Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Roller Coaster Ride - Part One

I had all but stopped this blog since I started using Facebook.  But with everything happening I need to write it down somewhere.

We have had to partially hospitalize our little girl. 

This past August, while I was completing the last week of camp, the volcano of emotions that our daughter had been suppressing erupted, spewing poison on everything in its path.  J had spent two nights with some neighbors at their shore house. She was a little nervous going, but we had assured her that if at any time she wanted to come home, we were a phone call away.  We got the call; DH went off to pick her up.  She entered the car quietly, but as soon as he pulled away from their shore house, the floodgates opened.  By the time they got home, he called me at camp.

This had come out of nowhere.  Since I was working at a therapeutic camp, he brought her to me.  I had never seen her like this.  She was a wreck and had been sobbing on and off for most of the day.  We had her sit down with one of the therapists, who was able to calm her down.  By that evening we had brought her to the ER of a large children's hospital.

Her story emerged slowly that day, in bits and pieces, on her bed.  She began with little stuff, testing to see my reaction, getting more and more weepy as she went on.  Apparently she had been feeling guilt and anxiety for a long time now, and she was panicked at the idea that she may have done something wrong, something so horrible that she would be arrested and sent to jail forever.  While away from home she heard on TV about the apparent suicide of Robin Williams. She heard a news reporter mention the discovery of a knife at the scene and began obsessively thinking about the knives at our house and how she could use one to hurt herself.  Once she thought it she could not get the idea to stop ping-ponging in her mind, and that terrified her.

I can still see her lying in bed, her face buried in the pillows, crying, peeking up every once in awhile to gauge my reaction.  "J, you could never do anything that would make me stop loving you," I explained as calmly as I could. "You could have murdered someone and I would still love you.  I might be a little confused, but I would still love you." A tiny giggle emerged from the pillow.

She sat up, took a deep breath, and began talking to me about the guilt that has been gnawing at her.  "I have been thinking about things that I have done years ago, things that I now know were wrong, things that might even be illegal." She paused, glancing at my face to make sure I was still okay.  I worked to keep my face completely impassive. She continued, "Four years ago (when she was SIX) I did something with a friend and her younger brother that I now know was totally inappropriate.  I didn't think it was that bad when we did it, but now I know and I feel so bad and I think if anyone finds out they will arrest me."  At this, she threw herself back on the bed, sobbing so loudly that she soon was having trouble breathing. I worked with her to calm her breathing, and soon she was able to whisper this horrible, horrible crime: "We pulled down our pants and looked at each other's private parts."

In other words, they played "doctor," something most kids at that age have done for years. Something so common they have a cute name for it.

I began saying everything I could to assure her that this is normal, this is something most curious kids do.  I asked her if they touch each other, and she shook her head.  I asked her if it made her feel uncomfortable, and she said  not really, but she kind of felt it was wrong. I asked her if it was something she did recently, and she quickly responded no with a shocked tone.

And I told her what she really needed to hear, "I still love you."

After the big secret was told, the others came pouring out.  Little ones mostly, things like going along with her friends and not stopping them when they made jokes about another girl.  Another that made her begin sobbing again was about a crank call.  No, she didn't make a crank call, but she had actually contemplated helping her friend make a crank call.  To the library.  To ask if they had a book on how to make babies.  No one actually made the phone call, but the fear that the security camera at school had recorded this conversation and the police were coming to lock her up was all she could think about.  Every time she heard a police siren she tensed up, just knowing that it was coming for her.  And she was terrified that a few years from now she would look back at something she was doing now and realize that it was totally wrong and inappropriate.

No matter how much I assured her that all of these things are normal, that she was not a bad person, that I still loved her, didn't matter.  She FELT bad, and thought she should die.

That evening we drove her to the ER.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

New Address

Alright, alright, enough people have pestered me to give them the address of my new blog, so here it is:

Feel free to come on over and visit!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

That's It.

I can't do it anymore. 

After being reprimanded again for writing about something someone was uncomfortable with, I've decided I can't do this anymore.  This is my last entry in this blog.  I have done everything I can to make this blog anonymous, but people that know me still know this blog and I can't keep censoring myself anymore.

I have started a brand new blog.  I'm not telling anyone the address.  I even got a new email address so there is no connection to me.  I am disappointed I had to do this, but I want to have the freedom to express what I want.

Thank you to anyone who has read this blog.  I appreciate that you were along for the journey.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Yet Another Sick Day

Still not mine.

J is sick this time, but it seems like only a low grade fever (can't find the stupid thermometer) and cough. She woke me up this morning around 7, which meant I couldn't write up specific plans, but the preschool director said she would take care of it.  I mean, I did have my plans for the week written up, but it doesn't specifically say what I was planning to do today. 

So while J lays on the couch relaxing, here's what I plan to accomplish:
  • Laundry, laundry, and more laundry - I have done so much laundry today that I literally have lost track.  I'm thrilled to say that I only have two baskets waiting to get washed left.
  • Sorted every piece of laundry in the house.  Now have HUGE piles on my bed, but will work through them all through out this day.  And YES, I had to add it to my To Do list so I could now say this - TA DA
  • 5 minutes in the LR, DR, and Kitchen  TA DA
  • Chop up veggies for soup  TA DA (And the soup was delicious!!!)
  • Cut up the chicken
  • Rearrange the kitchen cabinets - plates and cups
  • Create world peace
  • Work on our budget (hmmm...maybe I should just stop at world peace)
  • Once again tackle the mountain of papers
I hope I can get more than this accomplished, but for now, this is my TO DO list, which I hope will soon turn into my TA DA list.  I will add in italics what I actually do today.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Scenes from an Italian Restaurant

Okay, so it's not really "an Italian restaurant" so much as my favorite Borders.

And it's not really "scenes" so much as ideas I've gathered from my stack of magazines and books to look at while I'm hanging out which I will return to the shelves before I leave for the night.

But when I tried to think of a good title, "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" stuck in my head.

Deal with it.

This afternoon was kind of rough, so I jumped on DH's offer to basically take the rest of the day off in exchange for various {ahem} favors.

And now I'm at Border's.  Alone.  Ahhhhhhhh....

I decided to list all the fabulous ideas I gather tonight.  Whether I end up actually USING any of them remains to be seen.

  • Lay a Tray - create a decoupaged tray using egg shells that have been thoroughly cleaned and broken into small pieces.
  • Go Gaming - make a centerpiece kind of tray thingy by gluing misfit game pieces on a plain charger.  Note to self - figure out what a "plain charger" is.
  • Check out to figure out if we can get a free home energy audit.
  • This one woman featured in this magazine had no room for a separate pantry, so she opened one kitchen wall to expose the studes and added 2x4s cut to size for shelving.
  • Go to for some much needed advice on how to hopefully paint my kitchen cabinets.  Or maybe we should just remove the doors altogether?
  • I need to replace the awful, huge, fluorescent light in the kitchen - maybe with a "chic pendant lamp" from IKEA and one of those pot holder thingies.
  • IF (and this is a big IF) we had an "extra room" that could be used as a guest bedroom, there's an article here on how to make it do double duty as a craft room by using a Murphy bed. 
  • Oh my goodness - I cannot IMAGINE taking the time to wrap presents so they will look as fancy-schmancy as these do in this craft magazine!
  • Hmmm...these rooms with white, shoulder height paneling look great.  And by layering different styles of molding on top of the paneling leaves a nice sized ledge to use for display stuff.
  • I want to take everything out of our shed, apply painted pegboard to the walls, and hang everything from the walls.  Install hooks and buckets to the insides of the shed doors to hang lots of stuff.
  • You can use a kazoo to blow bubbles!
  • Use a six-pack carton as a car caddy to hold tissues, hand wipes, granola bars, whatever.
  • Go to to buy a $3 sippy straw cleaner!  We don't use sippy cups anymore, but all three kids love silly straws - I wonder if it would work for them.
  • to set up help for J's school party (I'm the homeroom mom for the first time).
  • I want to install an indoor swing or hammock seat in the kids' playroom.  It appears that IKEA sells an Ekorre swing kit and mounting hooks for a total of $17.  Sweet!
  • To make a pegboard to use in the entryway, paint it first with a base coat.  Trace the objects you want to hang with a pencil, and then use a paintbrush to paint inside the lines with the second color.  It looks really cool.
  • $20 canopy for J's room: Buy tulle ($2.50 for a nine by three feet sheet), hang it over her bed with four small nails or sturdy pushpins - it's that easy!
  • Preschool idea - find vintage rotary wall phones and hang them on the wall
  • Just as I have always said - you will NOT catch a cold simply by going outside with wet hair.
Okay, the person sitting next to me is eating vegetarian sushi and it smells SOOO good, but they don't sell that here, so now I have to ask him where he got it from so I can immediately go there, buy some, and head home.  Of course, he's deep in conversation, so I probably should at least wait until there is a slight lull, but before he throws the packaging away.  

I hope you enjoyed the ideas I found as much as I did!

Just a Pinch and Then It's Over

Before we left for school this morning, I gathered the kids around me. "I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is I'm picking you up from school early today and taking us all over to Dunkin Donuts!"

Cheers erupted through the dining room. Only one child, after jumping up and down a few times out of sheer joy, realized something must be up and suspiciously asked, "Why?"

"Well," I began slowly, "the bad news is that we first have to swing by the doctors' office to get our flu shots."

Cheers were soon replaced with loud sobs.

I got them calmed down, sent them off to school, went to my own school to teach, but their appointment got closer and closer and I couldn't put it off any longer. I picked up the kids and drove to the office. Tears started as soon as the van doors closed.  I repeated our shot mantra over and over:  "It's just a pinch and then it's over," but A screamed, "But some pinches are longer than others!"  I tried to redirect by asking for descriptions of the donut they were going to get afterwards, but A cried, "I just can't think about that now!"

Side note - While I try as a rule to not reward/bribe children with food, especially desserts, sometimes nothing else will do.
The actual time inside the examining room was fifteen minutes, but somehow once we entered the small room (the better for our screams to bounce off the walls and deafen Mommy) all time stopped. By the time we left, all the children were semi-calm once again, but I still ended up having to physically restrain all three of them while they each wailed at the top of their lungs. A jumped out of my arms three different times until I finally had to sit in a chair and hold him on my lap with both arms AND a leg, only to have him begin to laugh through his tears as soon as the shot was over, explaining, "It didn't hurt as much as I thought it would!"

Great, buddy.  I'm so glad it's didn't hurt YOU as much as you thought it would.  It sure hurt ME just as much as I thought it would!  I hate having to hold them down so some scary doctor or nurse can inflict pain.  I feel like I'm betraying any and all trust you have in me.  I know it's a necessary evil, but it still breaks my heart each and every time.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sick Day

Not mine. B has been sick with a fever and asthmatic cough, so we've been taking turns staying home with him. Today is my day. His fever was down this morning and is now gone (woohoo!) so he is now off the computer/not watching tv/done with the Wii and is tackling the mountain of schoolwork his brother brought home for him. Wasn't that nice of him? (sarcasm, in case you couldn't tell)

So now that he's not really, really sick, I really, really have no reason to still be sitting at the computer, ignoring the state of this house.  Really.  Since I wasted the morning:
B, I'm going upstairs to take a nap.  Here's the intercom if you need me, a big glass of juice with a silly straw, a bagel with margarine.  Enjoy watching the episodes of Fetch with Ruff Ruffman you just found on the computer.  Mommy needs to sleep.
Hmmm...does that make me a bad mom?  Or just one that was really, really tired?
I have to get my butt in gear so I at least feel like I accomplished SOMETHING!

Here's the plan, which I will attempt to complete in between helping B not get overwhelmed with his work:

  1. Fold and put away the laundry in the dryer, transfer laundry in the washer into the dryer, and put the blanket B threw up on into the washer.  Yuck!   - DONE
  2. Attack the kitchen - empty dishwasher - DONE, reload dishwasher - DONE, wash by hand the large dishes that will not fit in said dishwasher, clear off and clean off counters (including throwing away last week's CSA vegetables that I never got around to cooking - yes, I am hanging my head in shame as I throw my money away)
  3. Clear off the dining room table
  4. Resort and organize my many plastic containers and stock up on individual portions of snacks to make lunches easier to prepare
  5. Fold and put away laundry in the dryer, transfer blanket to the dryer, put in yet another load of laundry that clearly seems to multiply whenever I turn my back
  6. Find a face painting face template to print out so I can show what I am able to paint.  I volunteered to face paint at the school district's PTO carnival this weekend, and it sure makes it easier when I have faces for kids to pick
  7. If I'm still standing at that point - tackle the Paper Pile threatening to fall on and crush anyone who breathes on it wrong.
Sigh.  It's pretty sad that just typing that list was the highlight of my day so far.  Okay, okay, before B moves on to his math, I better get up and go.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Last Words

My friend M had a wonderful habit of ending almost every conversation by giving whoever she was speaking to a hug and telling them, "I love you and I care."  It always made me feel so special to see her and simply feel that love exuding from her. 

M and her husband A have been members at my synagogue since the synagogue began.  My parents joined the synagogue right after I was born, and I have been an active member since then, now teaching there six days a week, four different classes.  When I was twelve I was given permission to finally join the Adult Choir (there was no other choir to join at the temple at that time).  M was one of the two original members of the choir.  I was the youngest member of the choir, but having grown up with all of the choir members, really felt like I had lots of additional sets of parents and grandparents.  M and A, out of all of these, were my favorite set of extra grandparents.

Every time the choir performed, M would sit in the front row and A would sit at the end of his row so the two of them would end up basically sitting next to each other.  You rarely saw one without the other.  M and I would often chat about her grandson after services.  She usually laughed as she described that her grandson had no idea she was as old as she was since she got on the floor with him to play all the time.

Tuesday was a bad day.  J started the day by tantruming that she hated school and didn't want to go anymore.  All three kids ended up missing the bus because of it, so I had to drive them to school.  As I pulled out of their school's parking lot, the van started making an unsual noise that got a little louder as I continued driving.  The synagogue is only about five minutes away, so I slowed down and just kept going.  The noise began sounding almost rhythmic, sounding like maybe a tire was becoming flat.  I pushed through, hoping to just make it to school before I couldn't drive anymore.  As I got closer the sound got louder until I just pulled into a parking lot nearby.  When I got out I looked at the tires, expecting to see one of the tires totally flat.  Nope.  They were all perfectly fine.  Hmmm.  I walked the rest of the way to school, arriving past my contractual start time, received a reprimand for not at least calling (oops - my cell phone's not charged), called my auto body mechanic BIL who happened to be around the corner and was able to check out the car before returning with the bad news: it's probably the transmission.  Oh, crap.

And then the kids arrived, so I threw myself into teaching, putting the van to the back of my mind.  Most of my class left that day at 12 (I stay until 1 with any kids sticking around for Lunch Bunch), so I called my mom to see if she could do me a favor and call our mechanic to have the van towed.  I know, I'm old enough to make these calls myself, but I didn't have the number on me and couldn't leave my classroom to find the number and call. 

As soon as she picked up the phone, she said, "I heard."

Wow.  I can't believe that my BIL called my sister who then called my mom all within the three hours I was teaching.  Just to clarify, I asked, "You heard about my car already?"

"No, I heard about M and A.  About the car accident.  They were both killed."

Silence.  I heard a buzzing around my head as I stepped back to lean against my desk.  My mom hadn't meant to blurt out this horrible news to me like this, she truly thought I knew and was calling to make sure that SHE had heard.  And she definitely didn't know I was still responsible for kids.  I struggled to make sense of what she had just said, and finally pulled myself together enough to sigh, "Oh my gosh.  Woah.  I hadn't heard that, but I still have kids here," at which point my mom began profusely appologizing for telling me like this, but I couldn't focus on that yet, knowing that I was seconds away from losing it and needing to keep up a front for the kids in my room.  "Um, I was calling about my car.  Can you call Billy's and get it towed there?  I'll talk to you later."  I hung up, stuck my head out into the hallway and in a very stiff voice asked for someone to step into my room for a moment, thinking to myself, "Keep it together, keep it together, keep it together..."  As soon as someone started heading down, I left the room, locked myself into a bathroom, and let loose.

After a couple minutes I forced myself to calm down and headed to the Cantor's office, the woman who has been the choir director since before I joined.  My red eyes told her instantly that I had just found out, and she wrapped me in a hug.  I couldn't help myself; I stiffened and pulled away unintentionally, knowing that I couldn't allow myself to fall apart again since I still had to go back to my classroom.  She pointed out one thing that helped:  at least this loving couple basically went together.  There was no long, drawn out time in the hospital for either of them; neither was aware of what happened to the other.  And as horrific as the situation is, that is a blessing.

The funeral for M and A is tomorrow.

I keep going back to M's words, "I love you and I care."  For most people, these will be the last words, the last interaction they had with her.  What an amazing memory for so many people.  And it made me begin focusing on the interactions that I have with other people.  Do I make them feel loved?  Do I show them that I care?  And what can I do to make sure they know?

The only thing I can think to do for now is to try to be in the moment, to be present.  When I'm with someone, I need to look at them and listen to them.  And I need to go outside my comfort zone and reach out to my beautiful friends and make plans to get together with them.

And to anyone who cares enough to read about my little life, I sincerely have to say:
I love you, and I love that you care.

P.S. In case you're curious, the van is dead.  We have to get a new one (well, new to us), and since the transmission is totally dead, we can't even use it for a trade in.  This will make our finances even more strained than they currently are.  I'm taking a deep breath now.  Let's get through the funeral tomorrow, and then we'll focus on car shopping Saturday.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Last Day of Freedom

Or is it that freedom begins again tomorrow?

Tomorrow is our first day back to school!

DH actually started last week, which might be part of the reason I can't wait for school to start up again for the rest of us.  We have had a great summer, went to tons of fun museums, saw some good movies, bowled, mini-golfed, saw some fabulous children's theater, went to my sister's community pool, played with the neighbor kids, even enjoyed a week down the shore with my parents, my sister and her family, my mom's cousin, and us.  And we are all sooo ready to get back into our regular routine.

I have been working hard on getting the kids and me (mainly me) into a good back-to-school routine.  Since getting out of bed in the morning is really hard for me (I am the Snooze Alarm Queen), I bought this fabulously annoying alarm clock to force myself to get up.  I have set it to begin ringing and moving simultaneously, so when the alarm goes off, the clock actually jumps off my night table while making the most obnoxious noises (but also loud and unusual enough that they do not get incorporated into my dreams).  To turn it off I have to get out of bed, find the clock (which by now is rolling all around my bedroom), and fiddle around with it to find the small alarm button to get it to shut up before the kids all hear it and come running into my room to watch it roll around the floor.  Hey, whatever it takes, right?

What I've been attempting to do is to get up about 45 minutes before the kids do so I can get downstairs first and work out with my Wii Fit Plus.  It works out so much better for everyone if I can finish my workout before the kids become my audience and begin commenting on every move I make.  Even though all three kids wake up ungodly early no matter what time they go to bed, we have trained them to stay in bed until their clock radios begin playing music at 7-3-0.  It usually works. 

Today I was out of bed by 6:45 and downstairs by 7, though I didn't actually start working out until 7:25.  By the time I was finished my 30 or so minute workout, the kids were all down, watching, and waiting for their breakfasts.  If I were to do the same thing tomorrow, we would be late for school, so I think I need to make sure all their breakfasts are on the table BEFORE I begin working out.  I'm trying to re-establish the routine that before they come downstairs in the morning, they dress (down to their shoes - no more last minute tears because "I don't know where my shoes are!") and make their beds (with their pjs under their pillows - I'm so sick of the boys not being able to find the pjs they wore the night before so they simply grab a new pair every single night!).  The other part of their routine is that they eat breakfast, clean up from breakfast, and then brush their teeth BEFORE anyone turns on the TV.  This might mean no TV in the morning, but at least it provides an incentive to get a move on.  Maybe I should just dictate no TV in the morning period, but I think I'll see how this week goes first.

This year all three kids are taking the bus to the same school and not coming home until 3:30.  I love my children, and have had a wonderful time with each and every one of them this summer, but . . . happy, happy, joy, joy!  I have meetings and prep time tomorrow and Wednesday, no school Thursday due to Rosh Hashana, and a "Meet the Teacher" day on Friday before school starts for real next Monday.  I will be working again until 1:00 every day.  Did you notice the time difference of the when the kids get home from school and when I get home from school?  Oh yeah, that's two and a half hours.  Monday through Friday.  Well, I'll be watching my DN-J one of those afternoons, but still - two and a half hours!!!  Whatever will I do with myself?!!

And so tomorrow, it begins again.  And I, for one, cannot wait!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


DH has OCD.  I always learn new things about his OCD, different thoughts he has that he logically knows are not rational, but must address in some way or he fears something bad will happen.  We were in the car the other day and he told me that even numbers are very important for him and it's hard for him when things are made up of odd numbers. 

Me: You do realize that having "only" three kids means we have five people in our family - which is an odd number.

DH: I have OCD, but I'm not CRAZY!

I took B, J, and DN-J to a concert by Allison DeSalvo, a favorite children's performer of ours.  When it finished, B turned to me, sighed, and stated, "I understand now why these shows are geared for preschoolers.  I just don't have that kind of energy anymore!"

Wasn't sure whether I should laugh or cry.

We were all on the Blue Route and saw my dad's van.  My dad stores EVERYTHING in his van, so much that he doesn't keep the seats in the van because there is so much junk in there.  Eventually he pulled off at an exit.  One of the kids wondered aloud where he might be going.  Another quickly piped up, "Maybe he's going to the dump!"

Driving home from some trip or another we spied the Goodyear Blimp up in the sky.
J:  Look - an airplane!
DH:  No, it's actually a blimp.
DN-J:  No, it's not.  (She is at such a pleasant stage right now.)
J:  You don't even know what a blimp is!
Me:  Do you?
J:  (after a brief pause) No.

Monday, May 24, 2010

New Blog

No, I'm not abandoning this one, but I just started a new blog to document my journey from CHAOS to inner peace (or something like that). It's called Come FLY With Me!

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Kids are Funny

We were having a problem with the computer. Despite A's suggestions, I tried my own idea which, unfortunately, didn't work.

A: Well, I am the computer wiz! W-I-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z!

Me (trying to teasingly show that I'm good at some things): Oh yeah? Well, "wiz" only has ONE Z in it!

B (defending his brother): Mommy, he never said he was a SPELLING wiz!!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

We have been reading and enjoying a wonderful book named Roxaboxen in preschool, all about the imaginary village a bunch of neighborhood children create, and it has inspired many different activities. In the book two of the kids set up an ice cream shop, and the rest of the kids use the black pebbles they found to buy ice cream (because in Roxaboxen, you can eat as much ice cream as you want), trying to determine which they like best. Can you guess one of the things we will be making this week? I uploaded my rebus recipe to Scribid and am attempting to embed it for the first time. I hope it works!

ice cream

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Summer Plans

I love this time of year. The weather is great - warm, sometimes hot, but no humidity yet. We can spend lots of time outside (both my family and my preschool class). We're winding down in school and I'm thinking of ways to celebrate the fun we had this year. My thoughts are also turning to next year and how I want to do things differently, better. And the summer hasn't even started yet, so it's completely ahead of us, endless possibilities, fun in the making.

We opted not to do camp this summer, except for a theater camp DH and I both teach that the kids attend for free. That meets at night (6 - 8) twice a week, so it's fun, but not a major time commitment. The boys both qualified for ESY (extended school year) for the first time, which I was excited about, thinking they would be getting much needed services that will keep them both from regressing over the summer. Then I spoke with the people who run and found out that B would only be getting a 1/2 hour of Speech and a 1/2 hour of OT once a week, which would come to one hour once a week. A qualifies for more, one hour of Speech, one hour of OT, and a 1/2 hour of PT. I don't know what I was envisioning when I got the paperwork and it said Tuesday through Thursday, 9-12. I guess it was that they would be attending school Tuesday through Thursday, 9-12! No, what it actually means is that B will be attending one hour on one of those days, some time between 9 and 12 and A would be attending for one hour on Tuesday, one hour on Wednesday, and for half an hour on Thursday, any time between 9 and 12. I should be thrilled that the qualify for school-sponsored services, but it sounds like it will cut into anything we plan to do with the kids. And we STILL don't know when they would be going, and I can't stand waiting for someone else to schedule us for me to be able to schedule the rest of the summer. I know, I'm a control freak, but I've accepted that.

The biggest thing the boys need over the summer (and it wouldn't be a bad thing for the little girl either) is to have structure. They can't have unlimited electronic time, they can't stay up late every night, they can't just "hang out" day after day. With that in mind, we have come up with a loose structure for our summer days:

Museum Monday - Every Monday we will venture to a different museum. We live outside of Philadelphia, so there are tons to choose from. Let's see, we have:
  1. The Franklin Institute
  2. Please Touch Museum
  3. Garden State Discovery Museum
  4. Art Museum
  5. Acadamy of Natural Sciences
  6. The Zoo (not technically a museum, but I think it counts)
  7. Brandywine River Museum
  8. Delaware Children's Museum
  9. Morris Arboretum (I've never been there but I've heard good things)
  10. The Helicopter Museum
  11. Crayola Factory
  12. The Elmwood Park Zoo (another that I've not been to but have heard good things)
  13. Independence Seaport Museum
  14. Philadelphia Insectarium (can't say I've ever been here either but I think the kids would love it)

Hmm, that's a pretty good list, especially considering that there are only about ten weeks in the summer!

Totally Terrific Movie Tuesday - Free family movies at Regal Cinemas. Can't beat free!

Wacky Wednesday - This will be our day to try out silly stuff. I'm not sure exactly what those things will be yet, but I have a hunch if we were to have, say, a water balloon fight, it will take place on a Wednesday.

Theater Thursday -We have a fabulous children's theater program nearby, where teenagers work to put together a different, high-quality, children's theater production each week. We all (kids and grown ups) have loved every show we have seen. When I was in high school I did the program for a year or two, and I would not be surprised if our kids end up doing it when they get older. Here's a link to last year's shows. I can't wait to see what shows they'll be doing this summer!

Fun with Friends Friday - As the name implies, every Friday we will attempt to set up playdates for the kids either at our house, at some neutral location (like a park), or at a friends' house.

Sleepy Saturday - Don't know if this one will work every week, but this will be our day to stay in our PJs and make some kind of more labor-intensive breakfast (together) and watch some extra tv.

Super Slide Sunday - Sunday will be our day to seek out different parks in the area. Maybe we'll even create our own playground guide, so we'll first decide how to rate each park and then I'll let them work on the computer to publish something (A is an expert on computers so he can be in charge of this).

And there we have it. We will be creating our Rainy Day alternatives for days when needed, which I will work on later. With the exception of Mondays, and possibly some Fridays, most planned activities will be for the mornings. That will leave the afternoons for the kids to each have their alloted electronic time (normally 15 minutes/kid, may increase somewhat for the summer) and a little down time before heading outside to play with the neighbors, in the sprinkler, riding bikes - basically some regular, unstructured, freeplay time. I'll probably work in some OT activities and Math games designed to have each kid practice their basic facts, but I'll figure out ways to do that where it doesn't seem like work (at least that's my plan).

Do you have plans for the summer yet? What are you doing with YOUR kids?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

If It's Not One Kid, It's Another

J is back in school today, just in time for Pajama Day.

Now it's B's turn to stay home sick. On the plus side, his stomach is fine! My nephew was diagnosed with strep earlier this week, so when B came to me this morning complaining that his throat hurt, I made an appointment immediately for him to get a strep test this morning. It took a looooong time for him to be seen (and they didn't seem that busy, but what do I know), but the nurse told us pretty quickly that his test was positive. They fax prescriptions right over to Rite Aid for us now, so the nurse told us just to head over and wait, that as soon as the doctor is finished with the patient she is currently seeing she would fax it over for us. So after spending an hour (!) at the doctors', we headed to Rite Aid.

And then we waited. And waited. And waited some more. It seems that the doctor had typed B's birthday incorrectly into the computer and when the pharmacist called to find out what was taking so long, the office staff couldn't find any record that we had even been there this morning. They finally found the mistake and corrected it, but needed to wait for the doctor to once again be finished with her current patient to be able to fax it. After waiting another hour (!!) with a little boy who was feeling increasingly worse, we finally got the prescription and headed home.

It's almost 12 o'clock now, so we ended up wasting the whole morning!

Thinking about everything I was able to accomplish while home with J yesterday I'm very disappointed, especially since we are going to have to leave in an hour to pick up both J and DN-J and bring them back here, so I doubt I'll be able to get too much more accomplished with all three home, and then at 3:45 A comes home too. In any case, here's what I'm hoping to do in fifteen minute increments:
  1. More Laundry
  2. Finish the comments of my Religious School Progress Reports
  3. Make those vegetarian lunches I was trying to make yesterday
  4. Clean out the fridge, which somehow got super crowded all of a sudden
  5. At least begin my Preschool Progress Reports

I will once again be updating this as the day goes so I can feel a small sense of accomplishment.