Saturday, December 23, 2006


Dinner out as a couple using a gift card ...
Time relaxing together on the couch at Border's while reading magazines . . .
Coming home to a quiet house with all three kids asleep . . .

What a nice evening!

Bumped into one of my good FLYfriends at Border's who complimented me on my writing here. She has an incredible memory and started commenting on some of the things I've written, things I hardly remember anymore. It blows me away that anyone actually reads this and remembers things that happen in my life, especially since my memory is so bad I usually DON'T! But what blows me away even more is the fact that someone (even if it's just this one friend) reads my blog and thinks that my writing is good. Trust me, I'm not fishing for compliments here.

I read some blogs that virtually every post feels like a potential essay to be published in a magazine (like Anjali's and Lauren's) or some that have such huge followings (like Rocks in my Dryer or The Reign of Ellen) and I think my blog just doesn't compare. And there are some days where that makes me feel inferior, and I question why I'm doing this in the first place. But for me, it always comes back to the fact that while I love having people read (and comment - hint, hint!) my blog, that's not why I write it.

I write so I have an outlet.

I write so I have a record of my life and my kids' lives.

I write so I can connect with other moms out there going through similar experiences.

I write so other mom's know that I'm NOT a supermom.

I write so I can work through my thoughts and feelings that often stay jumbled up in my head.

I write so someone else out there in the blogasphere might say to themselves, "YES! That's exactly what I was feeling too. Now I know I'm not the only one!"

And I write so I can remember what I did last week (I'm serious - my memory sucks!).

I think I just need to remind myself of that next time I look at my sitemeter and see that not that many people stopped by, or see that only a few people commented, or read other blog entries that blow me away with their style and polish. That's not me - definitely NOT polished - and definitely not doing this for other people.

But what about you? If you are reading this and have your own blog, why do you do it? And whether you blog or not, what do you hope to see when you go to other blogs?

And if you DO have a blog, could you make a mention on it to stop by and respond to my question here? I would love to see what other people think about this.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Was that a seal barking?

No, it was just A!
We were up a lot with A last night, even resorting to the good old sit in the bathroom with the door shut and the hot water running full blast. Of course, once DH set up the shower and went to get A, he told him to go in. A hesitated in the hallway, clearly not knowing exactly where to go in the bathroom. DH told him, "Go sit on the potty." Poor A started melting down in the hallway, clearly thinking this was yet another attempt to potty train him - waking him up in the middle of the night to go in the bathroom with the shower on.

We took all of them to the pediatrician today. B to make sure his lungs were still clear and that the goop coming out of his eyes was truly because of the virus or if it was now pink eye. Nope, still the virus. J was retracting when we got her dressed this morning (you could see her ribs with each breath she took) so we started her on her inhaled steroid. We haven't had to do it for a really long time luckily, so we just wanted to have her lungs listened to - all clear. And A, even though when he woke up this morning seemed fine, we wanted to get his throat looked at to make sure he didn't have strep too. All clear.

On the bright side, DH's last day of school was yesterday, so he was able to go with me to the doctor and will be able to stay home with the kids while I go teach my afternoon Shabbat Parent/Child group.

We will be going to my parents' tonight to celebrate the last night of Hannukah together. Woohoo! I just have to finish my dad's present. I ordered these easy calendars from Miles Kimball (catalog) where you simply select a photo for each month and peel the adhesive and stick it on the themed page. Simple. Except the December page is, of course, a Christmas page. Ooops. Won't work so well at my parents' house! So I have to figure out how to fix that, probably by attaching a Channukah themed page on top or something. Better do it fast since we're giving that tonight!

Okay, back to the kiddies who are all over daddy who is putting together two Thomas the Train sets the boys received from one of his colleagues. Extremely generous and unexpected - bigger than any gift WE gave them this year! I have not heard any coughing in a while, so hopefully that will continue. Maybe the seal that was resting in A's chest overnight has waddled out of the house for good.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Tired Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Random Things in RACHEL'sMind This Week

1. B is FINALLY feeling better. I kept him home from school to be on the safe side today, and while he is hanging out on my bed watching tv, the way he is bouncing around shows me things are improving.

2. I think one of the worst things to do as a parent is to hold your child down while someone inflicts pain on them. Had to do that with all three this week - flu shots for A and J and a strep test for B.

3. When B feels lousy he whines. A LOT.

4. When B doesn't feel well, he becomes nearly impossible to understand. I don't know if he stops moving his mouth or his tongue or what, but it's very challenging.

5. Made a whole bunch of delicious chocolate candies yesterday (Thanks Tracy!) to give as gifts. They are so good!

6. Stayed up too late making a whole bunch of delicious chocolate candies yesterday. I'm tired.

7. My kids show incredible gratitude for things we give them it's wonderful.

8. Even with that, I'm getting tired of giving them a present each night for Hannukah and after they unwrap it and they thank us, they ask what else they're getting that week.

9. Next year, we're going to have some alternatives to getting gifts for each night of Hannukah (if I can get DH to agree). They get tons of presents at my in-laws for Christmas.

10. The synagogues sent home a gift of candles this year with ideas on alternatives for presents. Some of them were things like a game night, a movie night, going to a bookstore and selecting a Hannukah book to read, going to an ice cream parlor, things like that. They suggest doing these things after you light the candles each night.

11. I think taking the focus away from receiving presents and putting it more on spending time together as a family would be a great thing!

12. Do you think the kids would totally rebel if we did that?!!

13. Argh! I wasted this morning with the majority at school because after sorting all the laundry in the house, I laid down next to B on the bed. Next thing I knew, an HOUR had gone by. And now it's time to pick them all up again.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Works-For-Me Wednesday

To get the kids to open their mouths while I brush their teeth, we play a version of name that tune. The song can only be sung with "Ah" sounds. When we started the game, I sang the song and they sang along. Now I ask them to sing one and I try to guess what it is. I guess it all comes down to distraction (and singing a song that forces them to open their mouth), but it works for me!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Tryin' to Tackle it!

In addition to 400 more loads of laundry (give or take) to totally demolish Mt. Washmore, my goal for today, with B watching tv in my bed right behind me because he's sick, is to select all the photos I need to get prints of to complete all gifts I'm putting together. None of them have to be scrapbooked or I'd REALLY be stressed.

I have some adorable pictures like:

The tough part is I have to figure out which picture belongs in each month for the calendars and which calendar should get each picture and how exactly to send each picture to get the prints made - I feel like such a novice when it comes to working with digital pictures. I'm learning as I go on how to save a photo that was e-mailed to me to my computer and then transfer it to snapfish or kodak or some place like that so I can get a print made. I'm sure I'm making this tougher than it needs to be! In any case, I'm shooting for getting them all sent off to get printed by the end of the day today.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Gotta Whine

My ears hurt. I keep getting ear infections (or one big one that just doesn't go away). I have an appointment for a ENT specialist, but it's not until January. I'll keep trying the ear drops that the doctor prescribed, and I'll call her again tomorrow if it still hurts this much. Blech. And I just finished a full dose of antibiotics for this, though it clearly didn't do it.

B is sick. I feel bad for him, but he is so whiny when he's feeling sick it's so hard! Plus I had some fun things planned for this week, both with the kids and without, but now probably won't be able to do any of them.

I did not do a good job prepping for the holidays this year. I still have a ton to do, and it's all my fault for just not being on top of it this year. I still have gifts to make, cookies to bake to give as gifts for a bunch of different colleagues of DH. I plan on making a holiday control journal after the holidays this year, a way to help me remember all those little things that I forgot this year, like a gift for my teaching assistant (oops) or when to start baking.

Had to take the kids to get their flu shots this afternoon. I'll have to call in tomorrow morning for a sick visit so they can check B out to determine if he's well enough to get it. I HATE holding them down so someone else can cause them pain.

My head HURTS! I have an appointment with a neurologist for the end of the week to check on my frequent headaches, which I bet are connected to the frequent ear infections.

The house is all messy yet again.

The dryer is not working at top capacity, making the time it takes to get through my Mount Washmore even longer.

I STILL am not taking care of myself like I need to. Obviously I need to do this!!!

I just am feeling very overwhelmed. That probably goes along with the whine above. All I want to do is pull the covers over my head.

Okay, thank you for listening. I need to add warm water to B's bath (finally found something that stopped him from whining - playing in the bathtub). Time to get off my butt!

Illness Has Struck


B woke up at night coughing, coughing, coughing. Any cold he gets goes right to his lungs ever since he had RSV as a baby. So he's home now, chilling on the couch, and I'm pushing fluids (which he doesn't want) and trying to keep J from torturing him. Hopefully we can keep him out of the hospital. I'll work on staying on top of his treatments, doing the breathing nebulizer treatments every four hours. He just came up here to complain that "It's hard to breathe when the cold is in your lungs." I know. Sneaky mom that I am, I just gave him a bagel with peanut butter for breakfast (he wouldn't eat earlier) so he'll get thirsty and want to drink. Whatever works. :)

The main reason I want to keep him out of the hospital is we were just there on Saturday with DH. We had friends over to celebrate Hannukah with us (Hi, guys, two of my faithful blog readers!). DH had been feeling like he had yet another hernia (he's had two surgically repaired in the past) for about a month, but yesterday it suddenly got really bad. He wanted to just see if it got better on its own, so he waited until after everyone left (and we got our kids in bed) to decide to go to the ER. We were there until one in the morning and they feel it's not a hernia but an inflamation/possible infection around his prostrate that is giving him a lot of pain. He's hopefully getting an appointment this morning with his urologist. When they first did the ultrasound, they had to come back to do another because they saw increased vascular flow and were concerned. Then the radiologist said that he had to confer with some colleagues because he wasn't sure what the problem was. Man, it was hard to relax and think pleasant thoughts while we were waiting for the results of that! But they didn't come back with anything too scary. Hopefully we'll hear good stuff from the urologist too.

Alright, time to go fold and put away laundry and clean the kitchen and put in a new load of laundry and sweep the floor and . . .

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Happy Hannukah!

Last night was the first night of Hannukah. I finally bought an electric menorah so we could have it shining in the window. After we "lit" it and put it on the windowsill, I realized that DH finally got his wish of putting up lights for this time of year.

After we said all the blessings (it was actually our third time for the day, and we would still do a fourth time at the Hannukah dinner at the Temple - once during the day at school, where A was the Shabbat King, once during Yaldai Sholom, the preschool service I lead at lunchtime, and then once at home), we gave the kids their presents. They each got a stuffed Disney character. B got Mickey, J got Minnie, and A got Disney's Pixar's Speed McQueen (he cannot refer to the movie as simply Cars, it always must be Disney's Pixar's Cars). The kids LOVED them. B declared, as he hugged Mickey, "Wow, this is the best present a boy could ever get!" Doesn't get much better than that.

And now, as I sit at the computer, attempting to relax as I post this, the three of them are in front of a large mirror near me, holding pencils as microphones, singing Electric Company songs at the TOP of their lungs. Well, they started that way. Now J is singing "Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel" and B is pleading with me to introduce him so he can sing "Is It Love?" from the Electric Company. Duty calls!

Friday, December 15, 2006

This Little Light of Mine . . .

I'm gonna let it shine. . .

This song started floating around in my head the other day. I couldn't figure out why, but I knew it was important.

Then I heard this song and made the connection.

Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me....

If I want peace in my life, it has to begin with me. I have to take care of myself. When I had gone to the doctor to figure out what was going on with me feeling tired, I found out that my bloodwork was totally normal - no thyroid problems. My ears were still infected and have been for awhile, so that very well could be part of what was causing the problem, so I will be seeing a ENT soon, but that wasn't the whole issue. I have to take care of myself more. She asked if I drank enough water. I always intend to, but do I REALLY do it? No. She asked if I took a multi-vitamin. I have a box of them just sitting there, but when was the last time I actually took one? She asked me if I am eating well. Some days yes, some days no. How about exercise? Well, I'm trying to get to the gym, but some weeks go by without me making it at all. She asked about how much sleep I'm getting. Besides the days when I was thoroughly exhausted and went to bed by seven, I have not been consistent with bedtime, which means the number of hours of sleep I get each night varies dramatically. In other words, I've not been taking care of myself like I know I need to.

Clearly this is not a new thought. Heck, you can read through many past posts on this blog and see that I go through this whole eye-opening revelation a few times a year. I just need to stick with the resolutions I keep making.

As for now, my little light is tired. To let it shine, I have to take a nap right now.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Works-For-Me Wednesday

Each night I tell my kids a bedtime story all about them as superheroes. In the stories, they are superheroes that help other kids get back to sleep. Sometimes they help kids who wake up with a bad dream and sometimes it is just a baby with a messy diaper (they love that one!) that they have to change to make that baby feel better. They look forward to this each night.

My FLYlady addiction

For all of you out there that think I'm crazy with my FLYlady addiction, check out what was on the news last night:

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Show Some Love

My friend Anjali is going through an incredibly tough time right now. She recently miscarried a three month old baby and now got pregnant and miscarried again. Please go over and tell her that you're thinking of and/or praying for her. She needs all the positive vibes she can get.

So Tired

Yesterday I went to bed at 8PM. I slept through until 8 (DH got up with the kids today) so I could get dressed and go teach religious school.

It's 7:15 right now and I'm getting ready for bed again. I ended up taking a nap this afternoon because I was having trouble making it through the afternoon.

I feel as if I could have mono again. I had it when I was in high school. Boy, was that a bad time. I was also anorexic at the time, so it took me a while to recover, mainly because I was severely underweight to begin with and then lost an additional ten pounds being sick. Hmmm...maybe it wouldn't be all bad if I had mono again. Just kidding!

It could also be my thyroid. I just finally went about getting a blood test to check all that out. I haven't heard back from the doctor yet about it. While I would hope she would have contacted me if there was anything wrong with the test, but in reality, I know she has a lot of patients. So tomorrow I'm going to make an appointment for a physical. I hate to complain about myself, but clearly something is going on!

Good night.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I wish we could move

B said as we were driving this afternoon. We have been checking out construction on a house near the kids' school, so we were doing our daily inspection when this popped out of his mouth.

I was really thrown for a minute. I thought he liked our house. Is there something going on I don't know about. I decided to explore this comment.

"Why, B, why do you want to move?"

"I want to have a house like that one," he replied, referring to the one we were driving by, that had the bottom level still open as the workman installed insulation but the top all closed up.

"What is special about that house?"

"I want a house like that because it doesn't have a bedroom. If we didn't have a bedroom then we could stay up all night and never have to go to bed."

After laughing out loud, I quickly explained to him that even if there wasn't a bedroom, we would all still have to go to bed at night, no matter which house we lived in.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things RHas Learned This Week

1. When feeling overwhelmed, it's okay to ask for help.

2. Admitting that watching five kids under the age of five when one has been diagnosed with Asperger's has gotten too hard has clearly made a lot of moms feel better about themselves.

3. Telling my sister that I couldn't watch her kids anymore was really, really, really tough.

4. See my sister with tear-swollen eyes and knowing that I caused that felt like a knife in my heart.

5. Sometimes speaking up for yourself ends up having positive results for everyone, even if you can't see that right away.

6. Getting a bonus morning by having J attend preschool on Wednesdays as well as Tuesdays and Thursdays is incredible!

7. This has been the first time that I have ever had time to myself during the day since having kids. When the boys entered preschool, J was already born, and when J entered school, I was watching the baby. Last Thursday was the first time I dropped the kids off at school and left empty-handed.

8. Dropping off all the kids at school and thinking, "I'm free!" when I left the building does NOT make me a bad parent.

9. I love my kids. I love them a lot more when I am able to have a little break from them during the day.

10. I feel so wonderful when I am actually able to get some stuff accomplished during the day.

11. I don't sleep well when DH is out of town.

12. While going to bed at 4:30 in the afternoon is not normal, it sure helps you catch up on sleep.

13. When I am caught up on my sleep and able to have a few hours to myself during the week, I actually feel human.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Bonus Day!

As of today, J is going to begin going to preschool on Wednesday mornings as well. DH does not seem too keen on the idea when I told him last night (money is going to be tight when I stop watching DN-A) so my goal is to be super productive this morning to show him the benefit of me getting this bonus morning. The way I look at it, I reached my frustration level a few weeks ago, when I made the decision to stop watching my niece and nephew. I just can't do it anymore. Unfortunately, my sister can't just instantly stop working - she has to give notice, blah, blah, blah. So that means that even though I already reached the point where I can't take it anymore, things are not changing as fast as I need them to (in other words, DN-A is still with us full time). And that's why I feel J starting a third morning at school is totally justified. Plus the fact that she loves school and leaves each morning significantly more verbal than when she went in. So I know it's good for her.

My plan for today is to order our groceries (gotta love, sort through all the paperwork around this computer (DH "cleaned up" the other day), do lots of laundry, complete my report cards for Hebrew School and Religious School, pay the bills, and at least begin putting together our holiday cards. Sound okay for two and half hours?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Not quite so tired anymore

Yesterday I slept in. We won't even talk about what happened before the kids were allowed to get up (see yesterday's post), but come 7 they all came in my room and watched tv while I slept some more. Slept too late and woke up to my BIL knocking on my front door with DN-A - oops! Then we all got dressed and ate and started our day. By the time we had lunch, I was so tired again I had to lay down while the boys watched TV for quiet time - kept my door open and told them to get me when the show ended. When that was done, I was STILL tired, so I laid on the couch with them and dozed. As soon as DH got home (4:30) I went to bed. I slept until 9, got up, had a bowl of cereal, watched a little tv, and was back in bed by 12. I slept through until 7 this morning.

So....I'm finally feeling a little more awake. Whew!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Did you see the fireworks?

That's how A woke me this morning.

After much investigating, I discovered that he had managed to go to the outlet whose cover broke off yesterday and reach behind it and pull out some large piece of metal. In doing so, he blew the circuit and created a fireworks display in our hallway. And somehow he was completely uninjured.

I am so kicking myself. I knew he was up, but it was earlier than he was allowed to be up (it was around 6), so I stayed in bed. I yelled through my door that he needed to go back to bed, but he didn't. He could have died. All because I wanted more sleep.

I'm not sure what to do about this. Of course, DH is repairing the outlet cover tonight when he gets home. But what's to stop A from yanking it off again (he's done that before)? Should I put a hook and eye lock on his door to make sure he doesn't wander again in the early morning hours?