Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Lazy day

Since B is officially contagious until this afternoon, we are laying low today. I had to cancel the MMO for the morning, and the kids are watching tv and playing checkers (well, there version of checkers, which is stacking the pieces up and knocking them down). I need to get my butt in gear because there's lots I could be doing right now. Need to set the timer so I at least get SOMETHING accomplished. Maybe if I set it to go off every fifteen minutes and I do something each time. I'll try that and see how that works. If I could only stop yawning . . .

Monday, January 30, 2006

Weepy, yucky eyes

B seems to have pink eye or some other nasty eye infection. He's had it since yesterday. His right eye especially is all swollen and weepy. He was up a lot last night, coughing and complaining. At 2 I gave him a cold pill (the last one - getting him to take liquid is near impossible, so we stick with the quick dissolve pills - he even gagged at the Triaminic quick dissolve strips) and some ibuprofen. At least he was able to get about 3 more hours of sleep.

I'm trying to call the doctor right now to get an appointment for right after I drop DN-A and A off at school, but they're not picking up. Normally I would just try to have the doctor call in a prescription but I want to get him checked out because 1) his eye actually isn't pink, though it is quite swollen and gross, and 2) he had a fever yesterday, though not now, and that's not a side effect of pink eye that I read about so I want to see if there's more going on, or if it's something else entirely. Hopefully they will pick up soon - I'm calling during their "question hour".

Yesterday was my opportunity to clean the house. I teach until 1 and DH takes the kids to his parents for most of the day. I join them around 4 for dinner. So I get a decent amount of time to clean and prep the house for the week. I didn't get home until 1:45, and by the time I put my stuff away, I had convinced myself to lay down for a little bit first and THEN clean. Yeah, right. I ended up waking up at 3:45 when DH came home to pick me up. DAMN!!! I missed out on all that time. And it wasn't even GOOD sleep. I kept resetting my timer for another ten minutes, and another ten minutes. It wouldn't have been good, but it would have been so much better if I had just committed to taking a long nap. I would have ended up more rested! But I did go to sleep by ten last night, so that was pretty good.

Hopefully I'll be able to get B checked out and pick up meds and be back home by 10:00. Then I can get him to lay down on the couch and maybe get some work done around here!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

I miss my prep period

When I was a teacher, I used to get a forty-five minute worked into my schedule for planning. Of course, being an elementary teacher, ten minutes was eaten up walking the kids back and forth to whatever special they were scheduled for, and usually ten more minutes was spent returning phone calls and/or writing notes back to parents, but I usually got at least twenty or so minutes to do some prep work for special activities for the day or the next day.

I usually also arrived at school at least an hour early to get things ready for the day, and I usually stayed for two to three hours afterwards to come up with fun new things to try and mark papers. And then on the weekend DH and I would spend hours at Borders with all our school work spread out on one table, grading papers and planning for the week ahead.

I really miss the opportunity to prep for special activities to do with the kids now that I'm a mom. I think I would be a much better mom if I got that chance on a regular basis.

Saturday, January 28, 2006


I'm ready to cry.
I just spent the last forty-five minutes (plus interruptions) writing an entry. It was one of the first times I was able to spend more than my customary ten minutes on a post. I was nearing the end of it when B needed something. A found his way to the computer, even though I told him not to touch it, and clicked on something else. Of course, I hadn't saved it as a draft before I went to help B so it's gone. I've tried everything I can think of, and it's still gone. I'm going to have to reype the whole thing. I'm so frustrated with him I told him just to leave the room. He tried coming in again to see if I was finished on the computer yet and I told him why I'm angry and said that he needed to go into another room RIGHT NOW.

I have tried so many different things with A to get him to listen and nothing seems to make a lasting impact. One of the things that may be causing a problem with his behavior is his apparent intelligence. I SO do not want to sound like one of those parents that I have had to deal with as a teacher that can explain every problem away with the fact that their child is a genius. But A is reading and writing and so focused on how to work various electronic things it amazes me. That's one of the reasons I can't get him away from computers, radios, stereos, answering machines, anything electronic. On the other hand, many times it's that he's so facinated watching the electronic display that I fear he's just trying to self-stimulate his brain and that he might have some larger problems that I can't diagnose. I'm going to call the IU and schedule some testing for him. If nothing else maybe they can suggest some behavioral techniques I haven't tried yet.

Just got my step-niece to agree to babysit for DH and I for this afternoon. I try to work it so the babysitter comes while the kids are all awake so we're not paying for him or her to sit while the kids are sleeping. No, I want them to earn their money! We will be home by bedtime so I'll put the kids to bed while DH drives her home. Then DH can watch a movie together or something. We plan to go to IKEA to walk around and get some ideas since we now have money to spend, thanks to Grandpop. Then we'll go to dinner where we can have some uninterrupted time talking about how to best use the financial gift he gave us. One thing we have decided on is to send the boys to school next year (five mornings) and send J for two mornings. We're even going to set money aside for the following year so J is totally taken care of. So nice to know that we won't have to scrape and save to come up with the tuition payments each month!

Okay, let me get the kids involved in something productive. It's tough. Most of the year, we've worked it out so I get Saturday mornings to myself. DH wakes up with them and is in charge until lunchtime. During the next few months, he will have Saturday rehearsals most of the day each Saturday. Not having the morning to "recharge" makes it kind of hard. Oh well, can't complain - I know there are plenty of other moms out there with no breaks at all.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Another frantic morning

Will write more this afternoon, but for now it's another frantic morning. Went to an evening playdate last night with someone from Mother's and More who I didn't really know and ended up having a fabulous time! Thank you so much for the hospitality. Sorry if I talked your ear off and if my kids destroyed the house too much. :)

On my way home, I picked up my groceries from Acme. I had ordered them on the computer the day before. I called Acme as I was heading there and they brought them out to the car and put them in for me. So sweet!!! I could write an entire post on the joys of on-line grocery shopping, but I won't.

I stayed up too late last night, which was a huge mistake considering what a busy day I have today, but it was for a good reason. My mom called when I got back home last night to tell me that my grandfather had left us a sizeable gift in his will. I woke DH up to tell him, and then we both started brainstorming about all the different things we could do with the money. Even after he went to bed, it was kind of hard to head upstairs for me. Too many thoughts running around my head. In addition to the various things we could buy for the house (a large shed for the back yard being at the top of my list), the question of the boys' school comes up. If money is not a factor, do I want them to stay at their current preschool. How important is it to me to not have them attend PreK five mornings a week. I know if it were up to them, they would DEFINITLY want to go - the LOVE school. I'm just not sure. Hmmm...

Okay, have to run, will check back in later.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Still yawning after all that sleep

A slept late today (over an hour later than he normally sleeps). That's unheard of in this house. J and B were both up before him, so I let them come into my room while I got dressed and since I had some of J's laundry that I hadn't put away yet (see, procrastinating comes in handy sometimes) I was able to get her dressed. B's clothes were all in his room where A was sleeping, so I just brought J and him downstairs. A woke up around 7:30 and wandered downstairs to join us. It's the first time he ever woke up to a non-gated doorway - he was very confused.

But now it's ten after eight and two kids still aren't dressed, no one has shoes on or their teeth or hair brushed, breakfast is still on the table, and the living room needs to get picked up some more.

On the plus side, I went to bed on time yesterday AND cleaned the kitchen and dining room before I went upstairs. The difference is that I didn't have anywhere to be last night, so I was able to give the kids their neb treatments before dinner (while DN-A was still here). As soon as DN-A was picked up, I was able to put dinner on the table (okay, had to heat it up first). After dinner, I let them play while I cleaned up from dinner completely. Then I took them upstairs for a bubble bath. All three of my kiddos in the tub and me without a camera. Too cute. I took them out one at a time by doing "Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Moe" (which they thought was hysterical and didn't mind getting "picked" to get out) and was able to dress each one while the others played in the tub or in their room - it worked out. When I was finally done, I walked downstairs to a clean kitchen and dining room. Very nice. When DH is home, one of us gets the kids ready for bed while the other cleans up, but when he's not (like last night) it's imperative that I clean up BEFORE I take the kids upstairs or it doesn't happen!

This afternoon DH will be late again, but I plan on dropping DN-A off, driving to a pizza playdate at a member of Mothers and More's house (I will bring the kids' sleepers and change them before we leave), then going to Acme to pick up the food I ordered on-line yesterday. Hopefully that works out as smoothly as I anticipate. I'll call Acme today to see where I go and such.

Okay, now it's twenty after 8 - REALLY have to move!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Random Observations

Just had to do some serious negotiating with J: "I need to put you down now."
"Just for a little bit."
"I need five minutes to do some writing."

B is not quite four. Don't you think it's too early for him to be insisting on calling us "Mom" and "Dad"? A and J are both still calling us Mommy and Daddy. B seems to feel so grown-up and proud of himself for calling us these new names. I've even told him that I'm Mommy, not Mom, but that doesn't seem to matter (or maybe that's why he's insisting on it). He works the name into conversation with me at least twice per each interaction. I HATE hearing it! I thought I would be "Mommy" for a while more!

The kids met their new baby cousin yesterday. As I anticipated, A was blase about the whole thing ("Hi, Baby J. Now...what can I get into at Aunt J's house."), B wanted to hug and kiss her immediately, and J, the one I thought would be jealous or disinterested, was so infatuated with the baby she could hardly take her eyes off her. It was a really interesting reaction!

I should be awake right now. Lights out at 10 last night, maybe another ten minutes or so to fall asleep. Was able to stay in bed until about 6. Why am I still tired?!! Tonight DH will be late, so I'm just giving the kids leftovers (we ended up eating at J's last night so we still have untouched leftovers in fridge), he has his grad class Thursday so we're going to a dinner playdate at a friend's house Thursday, Friday at Mom and Dad's for Shabbat dinner - woohoo, no cooking this week! :) Anyway, my point is I'm going to bed even earlier tonight!!!!

I have to get the boys ready for school. Then J and I are coming back here. I have computer work to do (all the stuff I didn't get to yesterday and more), clean-up to do, and laundry to catch up on. But at least no dinner to cook.

Sorry this was so scattered today. I'm tired.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Took the cereal box away from A and ended up spilling it on the floor.

Stayed up too late last night and am now going to be tired all day.

Didn't get up when the alarm went off so I was not able to get a head start on the day.

Did not clear off all my hot spots before I went to bed so now I'm starting the day behind.

Never prepped dinner or made the kids' lunches yesterday so now have to squeeze it in sometime this morning.

I feel like I am making life so much harder for myself than it needs to be!!!


In the next thirty minutes (because my Mom's Morning Out kids arrive at 9) I need to:
  1. Take my pills
  2. Clean up from breakfast
  3. Brush my teeth and hair
  4. Get dinner in crockpot - Naaa, scrap that, I need to search the fridge for leftovers!
  5. Get the kids' hair and teeth brushed
  6. Put shoes on the boys
  7. Clean up living room and dining room and kitchen so they are relatively presentable.


Let's see, life could have been so much easier if I had done #7 last night and if I had gotten up earlier the rest of the list would be done now too.

After MMO today I take the kids to preschool so they can have lunch and I can meet with the boys' teacher for conferences. Then I drive DN-A home so he can take a nap and my kids can meet the new baby. Then we go home so I can put J down for a nap. I need to try to buy groceries on-line (Acmemarkets.com) - never did it before but would like to try! I also need to balance my on-line checkbook and pay a few bills. I need to prep tomorrow's meals this afternoon because I'm going out tonight to a Mothers and More meeting. And I plan to go to bed as soon as I get back from that meeting. Okay, that's my plan.

Here goes.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Good and Bad

DS' baby was born early Saturday morning at 3:16. What a night! We had told DS that she had to hold off until Friday afternoon. We ended Shiva at 12 - her water broke when she went for her last appointment at the Birth Center at 2! They told her she could wait until 4:30 to head over to the hospital. I got there around 5:30, and stronger contractions started at 6. My legs became so sore because I breathed and rocked and moaned right through every contraction with her, helping her focus. She did great! And baby J was 8 lbs 7 oz, 20 inches long, with a full head of black hair. Beautiful.

So that was the good.
Burying Grandpop in the pouring rain - bad.
Sitting shiva at Mom and Dad's - not as bad as I thought.
Prepping each night for the next day's shiva since we never knew when we'd get that call from DS = bad. Just so tired by the end of the day.

The disaster that is my house = very bad.
My parents' house is clean. I was there every day and night, cleaning, prepping, organizing - their house looks good. Since I was only hear in the AM and then in time to go to bed, just about, this house is trashed. I spent some time yesterday cleaning, so it's not as bad as it could be, but it's still not good.

I have more to write, but I'm tired! Just never really caught up from missing a whole night's sleep Friday to Saturday. And J has a cold and apparently threw up from coughing last night, so I have a lot to clean up still. She woke around 5 and I went in and changed her sheet and pjs, but when I went back in before 7 when she woke again I saw that she had it in her hair so that sheet needs to get washed too plus her "Mine" (her favorite bear/blanket that she carries everywhere), plus needed to bathe her (it's all out but her hair still doesn't smell great). Now we just got back from the supermarket to get more laundry detergent (what a time to run out!). I need to change her, do her breathing medicine (making sure the cold doesn't progress to her lungs), gather up all the laundry and rinse off the vomit (YUCK!) and put in a load of laundry. And then we'll see how much time is left before I need to pick up the boys!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Shiva has ended

I'm so tired - the kind of bone-weary tiredness that just pervades everything you do or think. Add to the hell of this last week the fact that I got my period today and have cramps like you wouldn't believe, plus have to go to the bathroom constantly because that's how my period affects me (gross, I know). I'll try to write more this weekend. Need to get my thoughts out. But for now, I'm tired.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I'm beat!

Just got back from my parents'. I'm exhausted. DH got home at 5 and I took off. Went to their house and made dinner, then cleaned up from dinner (with help), and then got thing set up for tomorrow. We're expecting lots of people, so there was a lot to do, even with food trays being delivered. Luckily my sister was able to come over here during nap time so I could run to the mall to find something to wear for tomorrow. Ever go funeral clothes shopping? Not the most fun way to spend an afternoon, especially when you don't like shopping anyway.

So, their house is set, I'm made arrangements for the kids for tomorrow and prepared their snacks and lunches. I have to pull out what I'm going to wear tomorrow to make sure it all works together and nothing needs to get ironed or anything. I'm so tired I can hardly hold my eyes open (literally - it's tough to write) but I just wanted to vent a little. :) Going to be a long day tomorrow. The big thing is that we're hoping Jessica can hold that baby in until Friday. It's a long shot, but if she can at least wait past tomorrow, we'll be happy. We do have someone set up to make sure their car is accessible at all times in case we have to take her to the hospital.

Is it Friday yet?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Funeral Homes

I know, real uplifting title, right?

Today we'll be bringing my grandfather's suit to the funeral home and meeting to discuss the arrangements. Luckily the funeral home takes care of shipping his body back home, so one less thing on our list.

I went to my parents' yesterday to begin cleaning their house to prepare for the funeral and shiva. It's funny - tried cleaning my house and only got so far as vacuuming the living room and picking up in the playroom. Was too quiet and got too distracted. So I went to my parents' and cleaned there. My mom got home from Florida and my sister and I both hung out at the house. It was nice - my mom got to talk about this last week at the hospital, about saying good-bye to her father, about the process they went through to get the ventilator turned off and to have him extabated. It seemed very cathartic for her, so I was really glad we could be there.

Spent a good amount of time watching Jessica's belly perform contortions. Even though she was due yesterday, we're hoping she can hold the baby in until Friday night (we're ending shiva Friday at noon, so that would be the conveniant time). Watching her strong contractions yesterday (the whole belly rises up to a peak, stays there for a while, then relaxes - aaahh, memories), I'm not sure she's going to make it. I guess as long as she holds out until Wednesday afternoon, since the funeral is in the AM, I'll consider us lucky. We'll see . . .

Sunday, January 15, 2006

It's over

Grandpop died yesterday afternoon.

My mom will be home this afternoon. We'll go to the funeral home with his clothes tomorrow. And the funeral will not be until Wednesday. Then we'll sit shiva at my parents' house for seven days. Fun, fun, fun.

My sister called me with the news because my dad wasn't feeling well. He called me soon afterwards to take him to the ER due to severe constipation. Classy, I know, but he was really uncomfortable. They were able to make him more comfortable, but he needs to get it checked out with his GI guy because they need to figure out what caused the blockage in the first place. Since he's a cancer survivor, it could be connected to that (a reoccurance), but I need to keep that aspect of what the doctor said quiet for now because everyone is going through enough right now. More fun.

Jess is ready to pop that baby out every second, but now we're hoping she can at least hold out until next weekend, poor thing.

And my other sister, my friend that I have had since first grade, just called me. I knew her husband read my blog, so I thought she was checking in to see what's going on with my grandfather. No, she was calling to tell me that her MIL just died from ovarian cancer last night, the same thing that took her mother when we were freshman in high school. I'm so sorry that these things are all happening at the same time. I want to go be with her and her family right now, but need to be here with my family. This sucks so much. I told her that in the future we need to work on staggering these kinds of things a little more.

And that's all I have to say today.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Latest news

I wish I was in Florida.

The ventilator was turned off some time earlier. Luckily (and I still don't know why) they did not have to wait the full 72 hours that Florida law apparently dictates for those without a living will. My grandfather is on morphine and is still breathing faintly, and they're not expecting it him to live much longer.

Yesterday when I arrive home, a package had arrived - a case of oranges from Florida. This was a gift from my grandpop that he obviously had sent early this week. Amazing how things can change in one short week.

I hate that my mom is there going through this and I can't be there with her. I'm glad her brother is there, and my grandpop's sister and lady friend. I'm so glad that everyone was in agreement with what had to be done. If he somehow pulls through and continues to live, he will have very little quality of life. He will be blind in one eye due to a brain bleed, he will not be able to communicate in any way. Apparently in addition to the minor stroke that sent him to the hospital, he also had a heart attack and two massive strokes while in the hospital. He would HATE to live totally reliant on other people.

So now I'm just waiting for the final update. Then we have to start making arrangements for shipping him and everyone else back home and the funeral. It's so hard to think about all this when he's not actually dead yet, but that's the way it is. I offered to make phone calls or help when I spoke with my mom this AM, but there's nothing to be done yet.

So we wait for word.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Further updates on my grandfather

My mom is probably in the air now flying to Florida to see her father. We all came close but have not actually said that she will be saying good-bye. She and her brother are in agreement that he should not be kept alive by tubes and such, and he wouldn't want to live in a diminished cognitive level. Can you imagine what it would be like to be alive for years without being able to communicate? They don't think that he will gain back his lost language. Apparently when he had the heart attack yesterday morning, his brain was deprived of oxygen for a long time.

We're telling DS to cross her legs for now. She has her weekly midwife appointment today. She had been planning to have them sweep the membranes today (she's officially due tomorrow) to get things moving (it helped start my labor with J) but now doesn't even want them to do an internal. I'll be there to support her if labor starts, but we both want my mom to be there too. Mom revealed to me yesterday that she is always so fearful when one of us goes into labor since we know someone who died during childbirth. She loses sleep and has nightmares. So she REALLY wants to be there when DS gives birth - just in case.

DS and I are checking out a new preschool today after I drop the boys off at school. It's $140 a month PLUS they'll give me a sibling discount. I just hope it looks as good as it seems. Can't wait! Then I have a playgroup to go to with J, and then we'll take all the kids to McDonalds' for lunch. After naps we'll all go over my parents' to get things ready for Shabbat dinner.

I'm going to be a wreck every time the phone rings.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Turn for the worst

My grandfather either has a tracheotomy or has been intubated. Big difference, but we're getting conflicting stories from his sister and his lady friend. My mom might head down (tough decision considering Jess is due any second).


Grandpop Update: My grandfather is stable. He's not improving but he's not getting worse. His bp is normal now (Thank God) but his muscles and speech are not. We'll see what happens today.

Preschool Update: My MOMS Club had a preschool fair yesterday and I found a potential preschool for the boys. It is more than half of what I would have to pay to send them to their current school for next year, plus I wouldn't have to send them 5 mornings a week! They're even able to offer me a 10% sibling discount. I love the school they're at now, but the director/preK teacher at this other school seemed great! I'm going to observe tomorrow morning with my sister (assuming she's not in labor yet) - if I switched schools, she would have to as well since I'm the one driving her son to and from school.

I'm really late now, so have to run.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


My grandfather had a stroke last night.

He and his lady friend live in Florida during the winter months here. One of the hardest things about this is that we cannot just go to the hospital and see first hand how things are going. According to the overnight report, it is considered a minor stroke. At this time he has some cognitive damage and is not necessarily using his language correctly. He can repeat what you say but cannot retrieve the right words on his own.

Tired. Needed to sit and veg. I did what I normally do with tough situations - went numb. And I stayed up to late just being numb.

When my grandmother went into the hospital, we all were there. I still remember being with her in the ER room, before she went back to ICU, watching my proud, soft-spoken grandmom literally writhe in pain, not even caring that the blanket covering her naked body kept falling off. It was so awful and the week that she was there did not get much better. We kept getting calls in the middle of the night, "This is it, come to the hospital to say good-bye," and then she would improve slightly. We learned that she had an ulcer that had been hidden by scar tissue and was now bleeding and the acid had basically leaked out into the rest of her bloodstream/organs. The ulcer was caused by the ibuprofen that she had taken daily for a while on an empty stomach. The family had stayed in that damn sun room almost around the clock, waiting for the times they allowed visitors into the ICU room. And in the end, we learned that she was not improving as we'd hoped, she was actually in a lot of pain but was not able to speak. We thought she had been squeezing our hands at various times towards the end, but it was actually mini-seizures she was having; when they gave her a tranquilizer they stopped. Then we realized that she was so much pain and we made the decision to take her off life support. We were all in the room when we did that, and I will never forget the look of peace that came over her face when she actually died. It was so dramatic, so different than how her face had been looking the past week. It was beyond hard, but a neccessary decision none the less.

Well, that was a long tangent, just hard to think of my grandpop in the hospital without thinking of my grandmom. Apparently my grandfather's bp was 201 over 199, and he was experiencing congestive heart failure (gee, with his bp so high, ya think his heart was having trouble?) and had fluid in the lungs. Plus the stroke. That's the latest.

Have to go get the kids ready for school and myself ready for my MOMS Club meeting (which I'm so NOT in the mood for today). At least my VP is in charge of this one, so I'm going to try to cut out early.

On with the day.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Happy De-Lurking Week

Apparently it's an actual thing - I read about it on a couple of other blogs. Sooooo . . . if you're someone who has been lurking, reading my blog and not commenting, today's the day! Leave a comment, let me know who you are, tell me what you think, offer some advice, ANYTHING! :)

Not much to say today. Taught last night and it was a good class. I teach Resource Room for kids learning Hebrew at the Temple and having trouble. I have four kids on four slightly different levels, and last night I was able to keep each one engaged and working even as I worked with them individually. No easy juggling feat, let me tell you. After school I went to the library to get a bunch of pirate books. My friend hired me to be the entertainment for her son's pirate party this Saturday. I'm psyched! So much so that I'm scrapping my other plans for today and declaring today a Pirate Day. I want to try out all the different songs, games, and activities that I'm planning to see how they go over and to see how long they will take. I'm supposed to fill an hour - it's tough to keep kids' attention for more than fifteen minutes, so I'm looking at a big variety of things: sitting still to listen to a story, then getting up for an active song, then sitting down for a quiet song, then up for a game, etc.

Because I didn't get home until later than I'd like to last night, and was still revved up, I couldn't go to bed early. At least I went upstairs so I didn't fall asleep on the couch. And then DH had to leave early today (set the alarm for five) and I don't even remember more after his alarm went off - next thing I know it's 6:45! J had woken two hours earlier and I convinced her to go back to sleep (it's still bedtime, lay down) but no one else made a peep until then. They'd been waking around 6 recently, so that was nice. However, it meant that I didn't get showered or dressed before they got up, and they flipped when I mentioned taking a shower, so I only threw clothes on. I think waking up before them in enough time to shower, dress, throw a load of laundry in, and put breakfast on the table (if I didn't do it the night before) makes ALL the difference in the world. As it is, I now have less than thirty minutes to: get breakfast cleaned up, plus the kitchen counters and dining room floor, get the kids washed up, get myself cleaned up a little more, clear off the dining room hotspot (no I didn't do that last night!), get the kids' shoes on, and throw the laundry in. There's probably a few more things I should be doing too. Damn, I HATE HATE HATE that I do this to myself all the time. That's why I'm trying to establish my two goals for this month (to go to bed on time and to clear off the hotspots before I do). Alright, fresh chance tonight. Better get moving!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Possible Tuition Solution

Here's what I came up with (and DH is willing to try):
Apply tax refund to 1) the rest of this year's tuition, and then 2) next year's tuition up to Feburary (when we will then receive next year's refund).

Doing this will free up what we currently pay for tuition each month for us to use. I plan to put half of that into savings each month and use the other half to allow us to loosen our belts some. I THINK this can work!!!

Busy morning, already behind

Didn't go to bed on time.
Didn't clean off my hot spots.
Didn't even get out of bed when I should have. In fact, I even made J get in bed with me after she absolutely refused to go back to sleep and turned on Elmo for her just so I could sleep a little more.

Hanging my head in shame.

Now I'm very behind! I could kick myself. It's such a nasty cycle I get myself in all the time.

I have to finish getting the kids ready for school (teeth and hair brushed, shoes and socks on, show and tell items picked out), clean up from breakfast, and plan out at least the meals for the week so I can go grocery shopping later this morning. After I drop the boys off at school I will be meeting a MOMS Club friend at IHOP for "breakfast" (I plan on bringing J's cereal and milk with me, I might order a hot chocolate) and then heading to the grocery store. Hopefully I can get the groceries put away before we need to pick up the boys.

Really need to run, but just had to share: I found out what 5 morning a week tuition costs at the boys' school for this year (I'm guessing it will go up some for next year). It's going to cost us $600 a month to send them to Pre-K at the Temple. Impossible. I'm going to contact the Temple Board and the Rabbi to see if any financial assistance is possible. I also casually mentioned it to my MIL - we would not turn down help if they offered. And we'll see.

Sunday, January 08, 2006


J is sitting on the floor next to me with her new nesting cups, counting each one, "One, two, fifteen, thirteen, twenty, five, six . . ." She cracks me up.

I got to spend all day yesterday scrapbooking. It was wonderful! DH had the kids all day. He's so great. :) We started the day all together by going to breakfast at "Old McDonald's." The kids are just convinced that the restaurant is named after the man in the song. We decided that it was the most money we ever spent for the worst food we ever ate. Blech! The pancakes tasted like styrofoam. Oh well, it was still a special treat, and the kids loved it. After that DH went with the kids to a couple bookstores and I went home, packed up my stuff, and was off. A friend of mine gets us access to her church the first Saturday of every month for us to crop. When a consultant sets that up, you have to pay anywhere between $5 to $25 just to be able to work. She gets us the space for FREE!!! I was able to do a power layout for all of 2004. My goal (and this may be crazy) is to: order all the digital pictures from 2005, finish the rest of 2004 (doing a few pages a week?), and then do power layouts of 2005 before my scrapping retreat the first weekend in February. I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to finish that three day weekend (I'm so excited!) totally up to date. Then I could just scrap stuff as it happens.

To anyone reading: how do I include links to other blogs and websites on the side of this blog? I just can't figure it out, but am confident that one of you reading this can help. Thank you.

Okay, have to get the boys dressed (I dressed J before we came downstairs - she's wearing her first pair of tights in well over a year and as I put them on she was complaining, "Too tight! Too tight!"). J is now busy putting her puzzle letters in her cups and carrying each one in to give to the boys. She says she's "making cups." So I'm going to get the boys dressed, breakfast cleaned up, a load of laundry in, type up a quick newsletter for Sunday School, finish getting myself ready to go (shouldn't take long), and go to Sunday School to teach. When Sunday School is over for the day (two sessions - start at 9:30, done at 1) I will go home and clean (a WHB for you FLYlady fans) and plan out the week. The kids will be with DH at his parents. Ooo, here's incentive for me: if I can clean and plan quickly, I will have some time left over to scrapbook some, maybe to at least order the pictures of 2005. Nice.

Friday, January 06, 2006


Do you hear that huge sigh of relief?

You should. It's pretty big.

DH called while I was out for lunch to tell me that he just got his paycheck and obviously received the rest of his supplementary pay for directing the plays and running the newspaper, which came at just the right time. It made his paycheck double what it normally is. Considering I wasn't sure how we would be paying all our bills this month since we used up all our savings and our expenses are slightly more than our income no matter how I finagle the budget. I had just been hoping to get all our tax stuff together ASAP so we could get our refund back. It has been for a LOT of money the past few years (three kids = lots of deductions). But now I don't have to wait quite as anxiously. As soon as I'm finished writing this post I will be opening up Microsoft Money and balancing the budget and seeing where we stand.

I came to a huge financial realization a few days ago. While I agree that watching my sister's newborn along with my three and her other child will be challenging (to say the least), all along I've been thinking how great that extra money will be. I've even started fantasizing: being able to pay all the bills at the beginning of the month, putting something into savings each month, maybe being able to afford regular cable in BOTH tvs . . . Well, I don't know how I missed this, but to make life a little easier for myself, I decided that I couldn't run my Mom's Morning Out at the same time I'm watching the baby - it would just be too much. Somehow I didn't really stop to think about the fact that I would therefore not be receiving that money, which when I worked it out, comes to the exact same amount of EXTRA income I will be receiving from my sister when I start watching the baby. In other words, there will be NO change in our income at ALL!!! Yeah. Just peachy.

DH has been working late the last few days (they just auditioned and started rehearsals for their next show at school), and for the first time ever, the kids have been REALLY affected. We start each morning with one or both of the boys crying and whining for their daddy. B was saying, "I miss my daddy." over and over again. When I told him that he would see him tonight and then all day tomorrow, but he had to go to work today, he tearfully replied, "That makes me so sad." I'm glad that he's able to verbalize his feelings (can you tell I've been working on that a lot with them?) but, man, that just breaks my heart.

I did something totally out of character today. I knew the boys would be upset that we were not staying for lunch today. We're in between sessions for the Friday afternoon program I run at the Temple (which includes a brown bag lunch), so we weren't staying today. On the drive over to the pick them up, I started thinking about the lack of friends I have even though there are so many women that I am friendly with and what I could do about it. So, I stepped out of my comfort zone and invited one of the other moms that I have enjoyed chatting with while we wait to pick up the kids and her son to go out to lunch with all of us. She agreed (and seemed very happy to be asked), and we had a terrific lunch at McDonalds. I'm so proud of myself.

Okay, off to fold the laundry and then balance the on-line checkbook.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Confession Time

I have a confession to make.

Last night, after listening to an NPR review of two new country albums, I made a shocking discovery: I like country music. I can't believe I never realized this before. I mean, I'm a singer and an actress - I've always been attracted to songs that have stories in them, songs with incredible lyrics. And yet I've never journeyed down South to try out the other side. But last night, after listening to that review (which I'm sure you realize I mentioned only so you would be impressed with how cultured I am, even though I'm revealing my darkest secret to you), I actually found the country music station (it's now programmed on the car radio).

Driving home last night I listened to a song where a woman describes going to bed angry with her husband - they've been married seven years but it sometimes feels like twenty-one. She says that she's been up since five thinking about their relationship and has come to the conclusion that even though she's still angry and still is sure that she's right and he's wrong, she knows that she's always going to love him and she's never going to leave. She even admitted that she's probably going to say she's sorry first, and that even though she will leave for work without her good-bye kiss, she wants him to know that she's always going to love him no matter what. I'm probably not describing it well, but I could so identify with the story she created with her song.

It was amazing - some of the songs made me laugh, some made me really think, all made me FEEL. That's something that hasn't happened for awhile listening to my classic rock station. So I have to say, "My name is R, and I like country music."

P.S. While I'm making confessions, I ended up staying up later than I expected due to having too good a time with my book club last night, and when I got home I didn't get to finish cleaning up, so I didn't accomplish EITHER goal last night, and now I have half an hour to finish cleaning up, get dinner in the crockpot, shoes on the kids, and prepped for the morning before the other kids get here. AARGH!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

My children are strange

They're sitting at the table eating carrots that they're dipping in flavored yogurt. They got a new Blue's Clues DVD about snacktime and Blue shows how to roll a banana on a stick into yogurt and then roll it in granola. They're obviously copying this but EWWW!

After he ate his sandwich B asked, "What else can we eat for lunch?"
I told him that we have some oranges (he's not a fan), a banana, or some carrot sticks.
"I want chocolate chips, please," he states very confidently.
"We're not having chocolate chips for a snack."
Without missing a beat, he states in an equally confident voice, "I want carrots, please."

My sister's step-daughter H was very ill yesterday with the stomach virus. VERY ill. Poor DS - she's 38 weeks pregnant, tired and uncomfortable all the time. H had thrown up 3 times before DS left for work, but DS figured that was it and she'd rest for the rest of the day (H is 16 and her older brother is home from college). When DS called around 1:30, she discovered that H had thrown up approximately 12 more times - she has not been able to keep anything down. DS is (rightly so) terrified of catching this bug (trust me - it's no fun to be 38 weeks pg and catch the stomach virus - I did with J - OW!), but she still managed to finish up work early so she could go home, bring H to the doctor, get the stuff the doctor says she needed, try to give it to her (though she continued to throw up everything she swallowed, even the teaspoon of liquid the doctor said to give her). DS and DN-A ended up staying here overnight to hopefully not be exposed anymore to the germs flying around her house. Hopefully that will help! H ended up finally being able to keep some liquid down in time to not have to be taken to the hospital.

After I took the boys to school, J and I headed to Target to get a new vacuum. Even though J was in a Mood (yes, it has a capital M), taking one child to a store is infinitely easier than taking two children of the same age. I know, duh, but I finally get how other moms must feel with just one child. It's only one child to entertain as you walk the aisles, only one child to buckle in and out of a car seat, plus you actually get to use the cart, designed for one child. I had no idea that apparently, Target at 9:30 is the place to be for moms and young kids. All these things I'm discovering when I go out and about with only one child. And I don't have to stop every ten steps to answer questions ("Yes, they're all mine." "Yes, they're twins." "No, I don't pull my hair out every night."). All of this makes deciding about next year even harder.

Paying for both boys to be attending preschool has been very, very, very difficult. We're close to qualifying for WIC as it is (though not close enough) - adding in an additional $465 a month is near impossible. Next year they will be in PreK, which is 5 mornings a week (as opposed to 3). I have no idea what the rate increase will be. I'm almost holding my breath until we get all our tax info so we can do our return. Hopefully we wil be getting a very nice return and be able to comfortably pay for the rest of this year's tuition outright, then put the rest in savings for next year. Hopefully that will be enough.

Okay, just put DN-A and J down for a nap (DN-A wet his pants again - he told me right as I said, "Okay, it's potty time!"). I'm contemplating not even having the boys lay down for "quiet time" (I keep telling them to lay down while they watch a video) but just let them keep playing. I'm trying to cut back tv time for all of us. We didn't watch any this morning. I'll see how long I can keep it off. B just asked to play with his block, so I told him to clean up the legos first - he's actually doing it! So nice to have him at this point. Oops, spoke too soon. I'm off to help him put the rest away.

Oh, and for anyone who cares, I gave myself two more stickers on the calendar yesterday. Woohoo!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

I did it!

I managed to get to bed by 9:15 and had all hot spots cleared off. Go me! I now have two stickers on the calendar as my reward. It's amazing: tell my DH that I want to go to bed early to . . . spend some time with him, but I need everything ready for the next day before I head upstairs, and watch him move! He got breakfasts and lunches ready, cleaned up some of the kitchen . . . boy, he's good. :)

My son A amazes me! He's hovering by my left arm reading different things on the screen. He's THRILLED that I wrote his name just now - "You typed my name, A!" I started writing this paragraph because he came up to me and asked, "Why did you write 'I did it!' ?" I had to look around the screen to find that I had written it as the title to this post.

Today we start the winter session of my Mom's Morning Out. It will run only until the end of February. I will start watching my soon-to-be born niece or nephew in March. The theme for these two months is Nursery Rhymes and Fairy Tales. We're going to be doing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" today - after singing it and acting it out, we will paint a starry night picture.

Okay, A won't leave me alone - he's so desparate to get on the computer to play. I haven't turned the tv on yet for the kids (I normally let them watch for an hour after breakfast) and no one has complained. Maybe cutting tv time down for all of us won't be as tough as I thought!

Monday, January 02, 2006


Here we go. I actually don't like New Year Resolutions because in reality, who really ends up keeping there's? It seems like a waste of time. But I guess if I make resolutions it forces me to focus on my life and I can work on trying to accomplish these goals.

1) Take care of myself
This includes going to bed on time, eating right, and getting some exercise in (even if that just means dancing to the Wiggles with kids in the living room).

2) Building my routines for running this house one at a time so they stick instead of trying to do EVERYTHING overnight. I'm going to focus on ONE each month for each category (taking care of myself and the house). For the month of January, the habits I'm establishing are to go to bed on time and cleaning up the hot spots around the house each night so they don't become forest fires. I'm a dork, and little things make me happy, so I will reward myself with a sticker on my calendar for each day that I accomplish these.

3) Limiting tv time for everyone in the house
This will be tough. But I think it will help me with both of my other goals if I wasn't watching as much tv. So no one else can either. :)

4) Get up to date with my scrapbooks.
I would LOVE to be able to scrapbook current pictures. I want to be working on the current year as it unfolds. But I feel like I should catch up before I do that. I am going on a scrapbooking weekend the first weekend in February (I CAN'T WAIT!) and will be spending all day this Saturday scrapbooking as well (WOOHOO!). Hopefully I can at least be totally organized by the end of the day Saturday so that I can accomplish a ton at my weekend.

I was going to list unfinished projects here too, but I think that may get to be overwhelming and depressing, so I'll just leave it at these four resolutions/goals and see how I do.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Still tired!

Okay, I was good - we went out for dinner with our great friends (Hi, N + B!), had a fabulous time while the kids all played at their house with a babysitter (woohoo!), got the kids in bed late, but still okay (had to keep J up a little later to give the coughing girl a nebulizer treatment), and DH and I were in bed by 10. We're okay with being lame. :) So why is it that even though I did that AND was able to sleep in until 8 (Thank you, my wonderful husband) I'm STILL TIRED?!!! ARGH! It might be connected to this stupid cold - anytime you feel like leaving me, I'd be really okay with it!

Anyway, I'm been busy this morning getting ready for my wonderful, hugely pregnant sister's baby shower. I know, Jews traditionally aren't supposed to have showers (all that superstitious stuff), but we're doing it anyway. We're just going to have it at my mom's house and keep everything there until the baby is born. I insisted on having one when I was pregnant with the boys (they were the first babies in the family and we needed LOTS of stuff!), but I was on bedrest by then, so we had it at my house with me camped out on the couch, having to waddle to the tiny laundry area where our makeshift commode was set up for me. We actually had to have two showers because the house was too small for too many people. And after both showers, all the presents had to be driven over to my parents' house at my mom's insistence. Funny. DS' shower is a diapers/meals/anything to make her life easier once the baby is born kind of shower, so hopefully she gets a lot of useful stuff. My mom and I planned out some games: charades with lullabies/nursery rhymes, pictionary with baby objects, a memory game with all kinds of kid/baby objects I found around the house. I made some of the appetizers this morning and will finish up over at my mom's in a little bit. Should be fun! It was kind of last minute (with the holidays and all the date just got away from us), so we had trouble getting people that could make it since so many people apparently go away for New Years - who knew?! I bought a ton of prizes at the dollar store - hopefully everybody gets in the spirit of things and has fun, otherwise I'm keeping them all!

I better finish getting ready and head on over to my parents' to start setting up for the shower. I'll blog about my non-resolutions or life goals tomorrow. There - I wrote it - now I have to do it!

Happy New Year!