Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Not intended to be taken seriously at any point....

I can't write in here anymore.

Back in the day when I first started this blog it was mostly read by people I didn't know. Other bloggers. People who read blogs. People who thought I was sorta funny.

And then I told my mom about it or my sister or someone... I don't know who. But before I knew it I'd run into someone I barely knew at the grocery store and they'd be all "OH MY GOD! I read your blog ALL THE TIME and you're HILARIOUS!"

And then I started to get self-conscious. I became acutely aware that anything I wrote would eventually be seen by the person I was making fun of writing about. And my intention has never been to actually hurt anyone's feelings.

But y'all do some seriously blog-worthy stuff. You know who you are.

Oh wait... no, you probably don't.

Well, I'm certainly not going to be the one to tell you.

Because even though the people in my life are ridiculous? I love them. I really do. I love them all. In fact, I think I love the even more for providing me endless amounts of internal laughter.

Friday, November 12, 2010

New babies are even more awesome when they're part of your family!

I'm shocked that it's been almost a month and a half since I've posted last. Time is truly flying by so fast I feel like it's slipping through my fingers.

Perhaps it's time to take a moment to step back and reflect on the whirlwind that my life has become.

Between home school and girl scouts and eBay and family obligations I feel like the world is rushing by me in this uncontrollable fashion. Is it true that Christmas is leering around the corner at me with it's maniacal wide-eyed grin?

And beyond that a whole new year?

I think I'll look back at 2010 as the year I forgot to breathe.

In the time since I have posted last, I gained a whole new family member!

The Man's cousin, who I will from now on refer to as Em, added another mushy little ball of awesomeness to our family. And it's a funny story actually.

Over the past few years Em and I have grown pretty close. Our kids love each other and we're family and so far we're the only two women born in the 70s in the family. So we stick together and we try to have each others backs.

But Em, God love her, is just surrounded by drama. If something's gonna happen, it's gonna happen to Em.

And the birth of her youngest child was no exception to this rule.

It seemed like it was going to go just fine in the beginning. Epidural, pitocin, all that garbage. Em looked happy and relaxed and everything seemed A-OK.

Until it wasn't.

At some point the nurse began making concerned noises and glances at the heart rate monitor. She turned off Em's epidural and had Em roll from one side to another. But still, the heart rate monitor was causing some concern. Evidently, the baby didn't seem to be getting the oxygen he needed and it was causing his heart rate to drop drastically every time Em had a contraction.

And then craziness ensued. Somehow Em moved from 3 cm dialated to 9 cm dialated in like 45 minutes without an epidural. All you ladies reading this can now say a big Hell Yeah to that... because any woman that endures that kind of a transformation and PAIN deserves a freaking gold medal and an after-hours shopping trip at Neiman Marcus.

Em was told to push. Em told me to take pictures. The doctor looked at me with a mean face and sternly told me to PUT THE CAMERA DOWN. I did. He scared me.

The doctor told Em if she didn't push the baby out in 5 minutes she was going to have to have a C-section.

Em didn't want a C-section.

She pushed.

And pushed.

And pushed.

And no baby came out.

So the wheeled her down the hall toward the Operating Room.

And all the while, Em screamed "I don't WANT to have a C-Section!!!"

And this part was done without me in attendance because no one was allowed in the OR at that point....

Just before Em's IV was going to be all hopped up with knock-you-out medicine, she pushed that baby out.

Because Em did NOT want to have a C-Section.

Welcome to the world Baby X!

Friday, October 1, 2010

In which the Spaz says "Go outside and play!"

I read an article today about the End of the Supermom Era. And I have to say, I love it when I read things like this. It makes me feel better about myself.

Because I am the opposite of the Supermom. And it's funny... because in reality, I feel sorry for the Supermom's kids. Supermom has it all together. Her house is immaculate, her hair is perfect, and her nails and feet are done. She wouldn't dare leave the house without make-up and she's absolutely never going to throw on a shirt that may or may not have a small hole or stain she believes no one will ever notice even though that shirt is comfortable and technically clean.

Supermom drives an SUV and it is clean. Inside and out. Her two children are always clean and well dressed and if she has girls they don't leave the house without corresponding hair accessories.

And I am not that mom. If you're a consistent reader of my blog, you've probably picked up on that.

But I am a damned good mom. I will do whatever it takes to make sure my kids are successful and healthy and happy. Even if that means I will go without. I will teach them that there is a lot more to life than what other people think about you and that what you think about yourself will always be more important.

I will let them fall in the dirt and pick themselves up and dust themselves off and move on with their lives. I will let them climb to the top of the monkey bars and pray with all I've got that they don't fall off and break their arm. But if they do, we'll chalk that up to one of life's experiences. I will let them ride their bikes to the park and know that they know how to cross the street without me holding their hand.

I will teach them how to do their own laundry, make their own bed, cook their own dinner. I will teach them to manage their own money and make good choices. When they are out on their own, without me there to help them, they will know how to make a decision.

They will walk in the woods and respect nature. They will know to leave the world better than they found it. They will walk through their childhood with their eyes open and their minds quiet and ready.

Because one day they will have to grow up. Adulthood will find them whether I want it to happen or not. And it's going to be a lot easier on them if they know how to take care of themselves when it comes along.

Believe it or not, it's a battle to raise my kids this way. I'm constantly fighting a society that wants to baby their children until they leave the nest. The school district that won't allow my 7 year old to walk home from his bus stop alone, the well-meaning adult who tells my 10 year old not to climb the tree at the park, the other mom who looks at me like I'm crazy for letting my 9 year old go to a sleep away camp with her Junior troop over an hour away. They're learning, they're growing, they're becoming a little more independent every single day.

I'm always there watching and praying and pushing media hype out of my head. Yes, there are children that get hurt, children who are victimized, and children who never return home to their families. And those stories rip me apart to the point where I can barely bring myself to listen to them. But where does the risk to benefit ratio lie?

When do I stop protecting my child and start hurting him with over-protection? When I see children who can program the DVR but can't pump a swing by themselves, I have to wonder how that's even possible? Our children sit in front of gameboys and televisions and iPods and computers until they're heads swim, but half of them can't ride a bike without training wheels. And what's really more dangerous? The Disney channel or my middle class rural suburban neighborhood?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Butterfly Flaps It's Wings and All That.....

It's funny how sometimes someone passing through your life can affect you.

In junior high school there was this kid who was in a lot of my classes. He was one of those kids that never really seems to fit in anywhere. And we tortured him.

I think that age group is really brutal anyway. I don't think anyone really gets out of junior high without being victimized by someone at some point... even the most "popular" kids have to deal with it.

But this kid got it bad. He was awkward and had a bit of a know-it-all attitude and he didn't wear the right clothes... all of it. He was by every definition, a dork.

In high school he continued to be on the outskirts of social acceptance, but luckily in high school the torment seems to die down and I think in the larger school he found some kindred souls and things probably weren't so bad for him. But he and I were never really friends.

Later on, I discovered that my very own The Man actually had a distant friendship with this guy - a friend of a friend sort of deal. I remember talking with The Man about how ridiculed he was in junior high and how I felt a lot of regret for my part in the bullying that this guy had endured. The Man was somewhat surprised, letting me know that he felt this guy was actually a really nice guy.

After we were all grown up and starting lives of our own, his mom had another baby. A little girl. And as fate would have it, some years later this little girl ended up in my daughter's Brownie troop.

At one meeting his mom arrived to pick up her daughter and I introduced myself. I let her know that I had gone to high school with her son and that my daughter really enjoyed being in the same troop with her daughter.

I remember her eyes lighting up and she reached out and hugged me! She told me that her son had told her so much about me and how happy she was to have met me.

Now, I can only imagine what her son must have said about me... it just couldn't have been good.

But she hugged me and genuinely seemed happy to meet me.

And that really touched me.

Not even a year later I learned that she lost her battle to cancer. Her young daughter and my school mate had lost their mother, who was so obviously a great woman. And it's just boggling how our lives had interconnected over the years and how meeting her changed the way I look at my own life.

It made me look at how I had treated her son, at how The Man had viewed her son so differently than I had viewed him. It made me think about her daughter, so much like my own daughter, having to grow up without her mom. And how, as a mother she could so genuinely accept someone who had previously been cruel to her own son.

The five minutes I spent with her in the living room of my daughter's Brownie leader has changed the way I will raise my own children, an impact that is immeasurable.

Friday, September 24, 2010

In which the Spaz thinks maybe she should have done it differently...

We're one month in and I'm beginning to have doubts about my decision to homeschool Bug.

We're behind. Way behind. And I'm just not sure exactly how we're going to catch up.

Now, before you flame me for being irresponsible with my son's schooling, I'd like you to know that I blame this entirely on our school district.

That's right. It has nothing to do with my own disorganization or procrastination AT ALL.

No... seriously.

We ran into our first problem on September 9th when Munchkin and Goober had no school for Rosh Hashanah. Since I had been told that our schedule would follow the school district's schedule, I was surprised when Bug had a full day of lessons scheduled. We had plans for the day so I let Bug play hooky that day and figured we'd make it up as we went along.

We still haven't completely made it up. What can I say? We're a busy family.

So then, for 3 days this week Bug was required to spend the first 2 hours of each day doing diagnostic testing for the district at the elementary school. While I did enjoy having a couple of hours to myself for those days and I met another amazing mom who I have a lot in common with while dropping Bug off, we still had a full day of lessons scheduled on those days and only a few hours each day to complete them until Munchkin and Goober got home from school. (That was a horribly long sentence.)

And then the kicker came in when yesterday was a half day for the regular school kids. Of course, Bug had a full day of lessons scheduled, and hadn't even put a real dent in what he was overdue on by the time his siblings came loudly through the front door to distract him.

So now we're 2 to 3 full days behind and Bug is terribly overwhelmed. He looks at his lessons as this weight bearing down upon him like an anvil in a Warner Brothers cartoon. And I don't know how to make him feel better.

Somehow we need to get through this and get ahead of the game and it's not going smoothly. I've realized with horror how difficult it is to have one kid homeschooling with a structured program like the one Bug is using (Connections Academy if anyone has any experience), while his siblings are attending regular school.

Unfortunately the next couple of weekends are booked solid, as well, so we're going to have to figure out how to bang this out during the week. I'd like to say I can forgo some of the activities on the weekends but I honestly just can't. And I wonder if I've failed my son by selecting this for him...

But then I think back to last year when Bug went to regular school for 6 hours every day and then sat for the next 6 hours at the kitchen table crying because he couldn't get through his homework. So many nights I sent him to bed without finishing it because I had to decide whether it was more important for him to write an essay or get a good night's sleep. And then I know that this is a better option. It's just a lot harder than I thought it would be.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Just Like Heaven

I want to be Super Mom.

I do. I can picture it all, too. I'll wake up cheerful every morning, take a reviving shower and get myself dressed and do my hair and make-up. I'll make nutritious lunches for my little angels in my sparkling clean kitchen, and walk into their clean rooms to gently wake them up by letting the sun stream through their windows.

They'll put on school appropriate clothes every morning that have no little holes or stains, that they have found in their own closets and drawers and not out of a laundry basket filled with clothes I have neglected to fold and put away.

Once they're dressed and bright-eyed, they'll gather at our clean and clear table and eat bowls of nutritious cereal and fresh fruit while I drink fresh coffee and smile down at my darlings. No one will argue or tattle. They'll put their own breakfast dishes in the dishwasher (that has already been emptied) and happily wash their faces, comb their hair, and brush their teeth.

At precisely 7:30 we'll all gather into my clean, dent and scratch free mini van that nothing falls out of in the drop off circle at school when I open the sliding door. No one will have forgotten anything and no one will argue over who has to sit in the "back back" of the van.

At home, I'll spend the beginning of the morning (after I've kissed The Man goodbye and sent him off to work and after I've put a load of laundry into my washer, of course) patiently going over my oldest son's lessons with him. Once he's appropriately settled into his work, I'll straighten up the house and make sure I have all the ingredients for a nutritious dinner. I'll put away the laundry and vacuum and dust, leaving our happy home smelling fresh and clean, and before I know it, it will be time to grab the younger sweethearts from school.

They will sit nicely at the table with a healthy snack and do their homework with no complaints. I'll sign everything I need to sign, have the exact change for whatever field trip or fee needs to be paid, and they will put everything nicely into their backpacks (all trash disposed of appropriately, of course) and ready for school the next day.

The Man will come home from work promptly at 5:30 and we'll sit down to a nutritious and deliciously scrumptious meal I've prepared. After we've eaten, everyone will rinse their own dishes and place them nicely into the dishwasher and we'll be off to whatever activity is planned for the evening. We'll encourage each other nicely with "Great Job!"s and "Nice Work!"s, depending on whose practice we're at or whose meeting we're attending.

We'll arrive home with just enough time for showers before bed time and I'll tuck them all in with a bed time story and a kiss on the forehead.

I'll wrap up my day by straightening up all the little messes that have been made and reading an enlightening novel on the couch in the arms of The Man as he watches some survival show or special on the Discover Channel.

I can see it.

Monday, August 23, 2010

In which The Spaz decides that sleeping is overrated...

Today was Bug's first day of 5th grade and my first day as his Learning Coach. And we made it. We're both alive. Barely.

We started out the day with optimism and smiles. And even though there were a few tears and frustrations throughout the day, I think all in all it went pretty well. I loved that we went right into learning today on the first day (even though Bug said it was all pretty easy) instead of the first day of traditional school where it seems to be all paperwork and teachers getting organized and learning names.

We even got a little ahead of the game for tomorrow.

So Bug's all good. He's happy and I *think* he's pretty happy with the way this home school thing is working out.

Me? I'm fried.

I've been known to jump right into new adventures with both feet. And sometimes that's a good thing, and sometimes it's not so good. It's my nature and I certainly haven't betrayed my nature lately. I'm just wondering what I've gotten myself into.

It's not just the homeschooling, either. At some point today I committed to being a co-leader for Munchkin's Junior Girl Scout troop this year... the troop that holds meetings at the exact same time as Goober's football practices. And I'm still trying to figure out how to fit karate in for Bug.

And I can't forget the fact that I need to somehow fit in at least 30 hours of work time in each week, do the grocery shopping, make dinners, do laundry, and keep the house in some sort of order.

I've decided to just forgo sleeping to fit it all in.

The Man has reluctantly agreed to take some time off of work to play taxi driver and baby sitter and I'm in the process of making a new chore list for the kids to help take some of the pressure off of me. So maybe it won't be so insane... maybe?

The kids are only little once, right? Before I know it they'll be grown up and have their own lives and all this insanity will be like a dream.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Who really uses the Quadratic Equation, anyway?

For a minute (it was actually more like a couple of weeks, did you notice?) I made this blog private.

Because for a minute I let someone back into my life and then I regretted it. And that someone was reading this blog.

But screw it, I say now. I'm not going into hiding for anyone. Meh.

It's T minus 5 days and counting until Back To School time here at the Spaz household and I am patiently waiting for that day to come. We're all ready, with brand new school supplies and all the socks and school uniforms washed and ready to go. We have new backpacks and we know where our school appropriate shoes are and we're back to a normal bed time.

But this year is going to be a little different for Bug and me because this year Bug's going to go to school in his bedroom. It's not exactly home school because I'm not making the lesson plans and I'm not really his teacher. He's enrolled in an online school that partners with our school board so I don't think I can really fail him too badly.

Because that was always my qualm with true home school. I think I would fail my child. Not to discredit those moms (and dads) out there who truly home school their children. No, if anything, I have the utmost admiration for what you do. I don't think I could do it.... I'd be like, "Factoring? Oh honey, you'll never really use the Quadratic Equation in real life! Don't even worry about it."

Really... do any of you really remember the Quadratic Equation?? (Jenny, if you're reading this, you aren't allowed to answer. You are a freak of nature who remembers everything anyone has ever told you.) And even if for some strange reason you do remember it, when have you ever used it? Ever?

That's what I thought.

But no, this school will hold me to standards and require that my brilliant boy actually stay on track and do testing and all that jazz. And there will be real teachers who teach him and real lesson plans. We're both very excited.

And nervous.

Okay, maybe it's just me who is nervous.

Because last year when I made this decision I thought it was such a great idea. Bug had some problems in the traditional school. He's easily distracted. He's prone to day dreaming. He needs someone to keep him focused all the time. They've hinted at ADHD at his school and made it clear that unless something changed severely, Bug wasn't going to be able to thrive in a traditional school environment.

So I could try medication or I could try gluten free diets or I could try this.

And it seemed so progressive and modern. Online school for my gifted child who just needs a little more hands on instruction than your average kid. Most likely because he's so brilliant, right?

I pictured our days together as blissful adventures in learning. I pictured dropping the younger two off at elementary school and coming home to find my Bug bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to learn. I envisioned myself sitting down to the computer with him and reviewing his lessons for the day, the two of us doing fun experiments together and going on enriching field trips. I decided that this way Bug would get his one on one attention from me and he'd thrive by being able to set his own pace and learn the things he loves.

And maybe that's how it will all go, right? I mean, we haven't started yet.

But as the day looms closer I find myself with a nervous lump in my throat. Am I organized enough? Probably not. Do I really have the time to give Bug the necessary guidance he will need this year? I'll obviously have to make the time, but what else will have to give? Am I really up for this?

Only time will tell. Bug actually starts a week after the other two so he'll be glad to have that week to prepare for school in a quiet house free from his siblings. It's another week for me to get myself in order before we have to really put our nose to the grindstone.

I'm praying I've made the right decision for him.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Goober & The Dentist

Yesterday Goober had his first trip to the dentist.

Yes, I am a terrible mother and my almost 7 year old had never been to the dentist before yesterday. I realize this officially extinguishes any chance I have for entering the mommy hall of fame. Bite me.

To be completely honest with you, I would have put it off even longer. Because I'm about as scared of the dentist as I am of frogs jumping on my face.

I do attempt to not force this fear on to my children and I lie to them the entire way to the dentist by saying things like "Oh honey, don't worry! The dentist is GREAT and he keeps your teeth healthy and strong! The dentist is a wonderful place!"

All the while I'm shaking in my flip flops at the mere thought of entering a dentist's office.

Anyhow, as I was saying, I would have put off the dentist even longer if I could have. But Goober had an issue. Some time when he was 3 or 4 he was playing in the bathtub and fell and hit his front tooth on the side of the tub. The tooth then turned an interesting shade of off-gray and his pediatrician assured me that it just had nerve damage and would fall out just like any other baby tooth, but that I should probably take him to the dentist just to be sure.

I chose to not hear that last part because dentists are evil... so what I heard was "Everything is fine. Don't worry about it. You're a great mom."

(I happen to know of a wonderful dentist who is a brownie mom in Munchkin's troop and she is not evil at all... but I may think differently if I saw her at work with one of those horrible drills in her hand.)

So a few months ago the funky off-gray tooth started to get wiggly and I got excited that the sucker was finally going to be gone. Except... it never fell out. And his new grown up tooth was coming in all funny behind it. So I consulted Miss Wonderful Brownie Mom Dentist at our last meeting and she gave me the look. The look said "Get your kid to a dentist and get that thing yanked, lady."

And then she recommended to me a good pediatric dentist.

So I took my poor little nervous Goober yesterday morning, bright and early, to his very first dentist visit. And he was scared. And I lied to him the whole car ride there, telling him how great the dentist is and all that complete BS.

Little nervous Goober bravely sat down in the intimidating dentist chair and as he waited for the hygienist to come clean his teeth, he listened intently to the screaming child across the hall getting his teeth cleaned. He looked at me and said "Well, at least I'm not that kid."

And I wanted to grab his adorable little self and haul him out of there. My mommy heart was breaking.

He had his x-rays done and then his cleaning and he was looking pretty strong and happy. The dentist came and took a glance in his mouth and then did a wincey noise and gave me the look that said "I'm going to cause your baby a great deal of pain and you'd better buck up and not cry in front of him."

The hygienist frowned a little and told Goober he could pick three toys out of the treasure chest.

Goober thought he was all done when he got to get up and pick out toys. I'm sure his little head was thinking "Hey, mom was right! This dentist thing wasn't so bad at all!"

Oh, my poor sweet boy.

I had to go out to the desk and sign a paper that consented them to cause a horrible amount of pain to my dear little man. And then they took Goober into a different room. And I couldn't be in there with them. Probably because mothers have previously smacked the crap out of that dentist when he did what he was about to do to my baby.

I looked through the glass section of the door and watched helplessly as they strapped my baby down so he was powerless to move. I watched them give him a little nitrous oxide (evidently not enough), and then I watched as the dentist yanked both of his two front teeth out and I heard my little Goober scream bloody murder.

And I cried.

But not in front of him.

By the time he came out, sniffling with a mouth full of bloody gauze. I had dried my tears and gave him a big smile. The dentist made some joke about Goober being full of drama and I resisted the urge to smack him.

I know, I know... he was just doing his job.

Goober got over the sniffles pretty quickly when the hygienist showed him his teeth and put them in a little container so he could put them under his pillow for the tooth fairy. That was pretty darned exciting, because Goober had never had a visit from the tooth fairy before.

So all is well again in the Spaz household. And Goober now has more cash than I do.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Not quite, but almost, maybe, sort of, halfway through the Summer

It's been a while, blogosphere. I know this because I've been reading the happy hausfrau and her side bar tells me I haven't posted in 5 weeks.


That, and one of my parents remind me about once a week that I haven't posted. (Hi Mom & Dad!) It's nice to know that I have two readers.

So, it's the height of summer here at the Spaz household and oddly enough, I'm doing okay. According to my facebook status updates, I predicted that today would be the day I'd be sitting in a corner, sucking my thumb, and mumbling to myself... but so far I'm managing to keep it together.

Sure, I've been on my own version of a mini emotional roller coaster over the past month, but nothing that a glass of wine and the occasional prescription drug couldn't handle.

The Man might beg to differ, though, as he watched as I burst into tears when the survival guys on some survival show killed and ate an iguana that looked just like the pet iguana I had when I was a teenager. I maintain that my outburst had more to do with my love of reptiles than the fact that I've spent nearly every waking hour of the past month listening to my little angels argue over remote controls and video games and chores.

I attribute my last shred of sanity to the fact that I've managed to keep the kids pretty busy so far this summer. We've spent a good deal of time at the city library where the kids get to participate in all sorts of fun activities and make crafts. The fun never ends over there. They're enrolled in the Summer Reading Program so they can win prizes and stuff for reading (which has led to some priceless quiet time for mommy).

Currently I'm also reading them Odd and the Frost Giants aloud and we're listening to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland on CD in the car on our car trips. Literary geniuses in the making, I tell you.

We've also played in the fountains downtown and gone to see a few free summer kid movies in the mornings and utilized Bubby's pool on several occasions. So far, so good.

I even managed to get a full 24 hour break from the kids yesterday when Grandma took them off my hands to go to the public pool. There's a special place in my heart for my mother-in-law today. And that place is golden.

Munchkin and Bug did come back with a sunburn that is probably melanoma in the making, but I'm a much more relaxed mommy due to those 24 hours. It's a give and take, y'all.

How are you surviving the summer so far?

Monday, May 17, 2010

New babies are AWESOME! Dammit.

So I'm at the grocery store yesterday (I think I'm always at the grocery store) and I overhear a conversation between a woman and one of the Publix employees.

It went something like this:

Woman: "Hey Pete! Where've you been? I haven't seen you around lately."

Pete: "Well, actually, my wife and I just had a baby so I took some time off.

Woman: "Oh, okay."

And then she walked away.

Does anyone else find that odd? Am I the only one who thinks an "Oh my gosh! Congratulations! How wonderful!" was in order?

What kind of a person doesn't naturally just congratulate the heck out of someone when they're told that person has brought a new life into this world!?!

I almost ran after the guy myself just to congratulate him, but then realized how incredibly weird that would be of me since I wasn't really part of the conversation.

And then every time I saw that woman again while perusing the aisles, I gave her dirty looks. That's right, dirty looks.

PS - I started a new blog for my eBay stuffs! Check it out. :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Birthday, Earth Day, & The Wild Kingdom

Today is The Man's birthday and I got to see him for a whole 15 minutes before he trotted off to work this afternoon. He's turning the big three five this year and he's looking quite dapper for his old age, if I do say so myself.

Today is also the eve of Earth Day. Last year I went all gung ho on the Earth Day front and I figured it might be about time to reflect on the big changes I made to The Spaz household a year ago in honor of our planet.

Recycling bins. Yes, we got them. I even placed them in my kitchen when they arrived and lectured the kids on how to separate the plastics from the papers and which bin to place them in. Oh how much fun we had separating and filling up our bins which were to be collected once a week on Wednesday mornings.

After three Wednesday mornings had gone by and no one had taken out the bins, they were a little full. And stinky. And then one Friday night while everyone else was sleeping I threw everything in a garbage bag and put it out on the curb for Saturday morning's regular pickup. And that is how our recycling bins became acquainted with the back of our garage, never to see the light of day again.

Maybe I'll dig them out this year and try again.

Eco Friendly Lunchboxes. I'm actually doing great with this because now Goober is in kindergarten and therefore eats school lunch. So I haven't had to pack a sandwich in a ziploc bag or buy a box of Capri Suns all year! Score one for The Spaz!

I did, actually, have to pack Bug a lunch today for a field trip and did utilize a sandwich container and reusable plastic container for applesauce. That was more of an avoidance of the grocery store, though, than a real attempt to save the earth. I was out of ziplocs and only had a giant jar of applesauce. I did, however, save gas by not driving to the store.

Buying jugs of water. I can honestly, and not sarcastically, say that I've done really great with this. We still use our Brita pitcher and I haven't bought any jugs of bottled water. Seriously, I'm proud of myself here. Score another one for The Spaz!

Reusable shopping bags. Let me just tell you how much I use these bags. They're great for packing a kid up for a sleepover. You can send kids to school with all sorts of stuff in them. In fact, on the first day of school all of those supplies went to school in reusable shopping bags. They work great for bringing gifts to parties, sending stuff home with guests, the uses are endless!

If only I could remember to bring them with me to the actual grocery store I might be saving the earth.

I don't feel too terribly horrible about my Earth Day Failures, though, because I read a blog post today that let me know how much I do for the earth every day that I didn't even think of. Water conservation? Big giant check!

In other news, I have managed to keep Felix, the kitten, alive for over 7 weeks now. He's quite the feisty kitten these days so I guess I did a pretty good job. Cause The Spaz and wildlife go together like PB&J, y'all.

In fact, I saved a turtle crossing the road just this afternoon by standing in the middle of the road and motioning to cars to go around. Pick him up? No way. Those things can bite your finger off!

Friday, March 5, 2010

How can something so tiny make my heart explode?

This week has been a little different around the Spaz household. We've been waking up every few hours, heating bottles, and oohing and aahing over the newest member of our family.

His name is Felix.

See, last Sunday Bug and Munchkin were outside playing with Sudo in the yard. I was inside preparing a lovely pot roast with roasted veggies (parsnips - yum) when Munchkin ran inside in a frenzy and yelled "MOMMY!!! SUDO IS KILLING KITTENS!!!!"

I immediately pictured a horrid blood bath. I pictured tiny little kitty parts strewn across the grass and Sudo's mouth stained red with blood. I resolved in the five seconds that it took me to get outside that I would never be able to look at my beloved dog the same again.

As I ran outside I screamed like a banshee "SUDO!! DROP IT!! SUDO!!!!"

I'm sure I was heard by everyone within a five mile radius.

Sudo dropped it.


Evidently, while playing, Sudo had scared off a mother cat and found a den of kittens.

After much "oh my gosh isn't that the cutest thing you ever saw it's so adorable oh my gosh awwwwwww oh my gosh oh my gosh" we examined the little guy and found that he seemed to be just fine with no broken skin or bones or anything.

So we put him back in the nest with his brothers and sisters.


Later that evening, I went back out with a saucer of milk and set it out. Momma cat ran off again and then looked at me as I sat the milk down. (I've since learned that giving a cat milk is a no-no, I didn't know!) I was relieved that she had come back and went inside to leave her alone.

In the morning, before bringing the kids to school, I sent them out with a can of chicken and a bowl of water for her. They assured me that she ran out of the den again so I was thrilled, assuming she'd be happy to have food and stay put with her kittens.

That afternoon, though, Bug and I went out to check on her and found poor little Felix all alone in his den, crying and cold. Momma cat had abandoned him and moved all the other kittens to an unknown location.

So we brought him inside and googled how to take care of the little monster.


Since we took him in, Felix has gone from 5.8 ounces to 7.0 ounces and he's started purring and sort of kind of playing by batting his little tiny baby kitty paws at my hand when I rub his belly.

Or maybe he just doesn't like that.

I'm not sure if we'll be keeping him or not since I'm terribly allergic. I'm hoping someone in my family will be able to take him in (hint, hint guys!) so I'll be able to visit him. I'm sort of attached.

And how could I not be?


Friday, February 26, 2010

Maybe this is the problem with the kids these days...

There's a story in our local news that really drives me bonkers. It's a little story about a 4th grade boy who was so distracted by his video game that he forgot his lunch at home. Even after his mother had reminded him to remember it, little Everett was so involved in his game that he forgot to bring his lunch.

Everett's mom decided this would be a good opportunity to teach him a lesson and emailed the teacher to ask her not to give Everett any food for lunch and that he would eat at 2:30 when he got home. Everett had been given a good breakfast of cereal and fruit and juice.

To make a long story short, and you can read the story yourself if you'd like, the school defied Everett's mom and provided him with a cheese sandwich at school.

Is it just me that thinks this is ridiculous? How are parents supposed to have any control if the child knows that the rest of the world is going to pull the rug out from under his mom's feet all the time?

From my own observations with our school board (which is the neighboring school board to the one in the story), it seems to me that these children are so babied when they're in school that they will in no way be prepared for the consequences of the real world.

Take Bug, for example. Bug is so very behind with his school work. Now, it is partially my responsibility to keep up with his homework and partially his responsibility. I have to rely on his honesty and my correspondence with his teachers to see where he stands. After he got out of the hospital he had a ton of make-up work to do, obviously. We got through one packet, but evidently he still had more to do that I was unaware of.

Until I got an email from one of his teachers. Immediately I was on him and went through all of his papers and found some work he had not completed. Bug had to be back on the grindstone again with his work.

Now, he's not an easy kid to get to do work. He whines, he complains, he tells me how tired he is, he is overwhelmed with the work. And understandably so! It's a LOT of work.

However, when Bug is a grown up and he has some daunting task in front of him, I want him to be able to complete it!

His teachers (he has two) don't agree with me. They believe that they should just take what he has completed, average his grades and start fresh for the new trimester (which starts on Monday). I think he needs an incomplete and he needs to finish his work. He needs to know he can get through it and it's totally within his capabilities to complete the work.

They worry that his self-esteem is plummeting because the task is so daunting. I worry that he'll never believe in himself if he never completes any challenges.

What do you think? And hey, what do you think about the kid not getting lunch?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ah, the joys of motherhood and school board transportation

So we're getting back into the swing of things and Bug has been going to school for the past 3 days. Now, because Bug goes to one elementary school and Goober and Munchkin go to another I have to rely on bus transportation in the afternoons to get them all home. It's not an option to do it any other way since I can't be at two places at the same time.

Since Bug's ruptured appendix, he can't lift heavy things. It causes him pain and the doctor says he shouldn't do it anyhow. So I purchased him a rolling backpack. (I challenge you to find a rolling backpack in your town at this time of year. Serious, I challenge you!)

Every day when the bus drops him off I walk up to the bus and I help him bring his backpack down the steps. No big deal.

Today Bug's bus driver tells me:

"You gonna have ta do sumpin'! Bug cries evry aftahnoon cuz he caint lift dat heavy backpack up dees steps!"

So I basically looked at her like she was crazy and told her she needs to HELP HIM THEN. Seriously? Is it so hard for her to get up off the seat and help him bring the backpack up the steps? What the hell am I supposed to do?

I swear, if that woman bitches at me again tomorrow I'm gonna go postal on her.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Just a quick note!

Bug was discharged yesterday! So we're home and getting back to normal. Thanks for all the well-wishes.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Better than a sharp stick in the eye... maybe.

So we're in the beginning of our 6th day here in hospital land and I can honestly say we're ready to leave. Too bad the doctors don't think so.

Every morning at approximately 5:30 AM our door opens and we are assaulted with a continuous stream of doctors and RNs and CNAs and residents and students and housekeeping and dietitians and people from the cafeteria. They smile and listen to his belly and listen to his lungs and take his blood and add more antibiotics to his IV and remind him to eat and remind him to walk and ask him how he's feeling and if anything hurts and what his pain is on a scale of 1 to 10 and ask him what he wants to eat (always nothing) and this happens over and over again for about 5 hours.

And I can't help but wonder who decided that 5:30 AM was an appropriate time to wake a 10 year old up (and his mother) and draw his blood? And who decided that 6:00 AM was an appropriate time to force a mega-ton of food down the throat of a kid who hates to eat? Hospitals don't seem to be much in the "waking up calmly and gradually" camp.

All of this is coupled with the constant sounds of crying children and incessant beeping. It's really enough to make a person insane. Last night I dreamed that I had to beat beeping machines with a baseball bat until they shut up. It was a game I couldn't win.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

And the mom of the year award goes to...

The Spaz household has been a little out of sorts over the past week. Last Thursday night I took the kids to the South Florida fair with my parents and B1 and her family and the kids were fearless! Both Bug and Munchkin have reached the needed 48" to be able to ride most of the big rides and I was shocked to see them thrilled with all the whipping around. Even Goober got to go on some and he LOVED them! Combine all that up and down and upside down and cotton candy and popcorn and elephant ear and ice cream and I wasn't at all shocked to find that Munchkin woke up the next morning feeling a little under the weather.

All in the name of fun I thought, and I let her stay home from school just to catch up on some rest and relaxation.

By Sunday it wasn't just Munchkin with a fever, it was Goober, Bug, and even the Spaz, herself. Before long we were all coughing and gagging and wheezing and sneezing all over the place. The Man practically lived at work trying to keep himself from getting the funk, too.

Munchkin and Goober went begrudgingly back to school on Wednesday, but Bug was having a harder time kicking the funk so it wasn't until yesterday I sent him back to school. Now, I had warned him Thursday night that he'd be going back to school in the morning. Being the dramatic kid he is, I wasn't even phased in the morning when he told me his stomach hurt and he felt terrible.

"No way, kiddo. You've missed a week of school already, you're going today!"

And I packed them all up in the car and dropped them all off.

I wasn't even home before the phone rang at 8:05. The school nurse let me know that Bug was in the clinic and his stomach hurt but that he had no fever and otherwise appeared fine. The nurse and I collaberated and decided he could go back to class. So back to class Bug went.

Around 9:30 the phone rang again. Evidently when Bug went to his next teacher's classroom she sent him to the clinic, too. The nurse and I decided we'd let him rest a bit and then send him back to class. Both of us were sure that Bug was exaggerating and would pull out of it.

When the phone rang again around 11:30 I resolved that I'd need to run up to the school and pick Bug up. So I had him gather his homework from his teachers and I got in the car.

It was the way he held his stomach that alarmed me when I picked him up. He held it firmly on the lower right side and the look on his face told me he really was in pain.

So... to make a long story short... I'm posting this from the hospital where Bug is on IV antibiotics for his ruptured appendix.

Probably the worst parenting moment in history, you think?

Monday, January 4, 2010

At this point, I'd welcome those white coats...

Today was one of those days when you just look skyward and think "Really? Can I just get a little break?"

First of all it was cold.

Now I don't want to hear about it from you northerners. I'm frigging cold. I don't care if you're colder or if I'm a wimp because temperatures in the 40s and 50s aren't cold enough for me to warrant complaining. I'm a Florida girl and when the mercury drops below 70 I'm not happy about it.

Second of all, the kids have been out of school since the 18th of December. Two weeks of them being with me all the time, coupled with the holidays have pretty much set me on the brink of insanity. They go back to school tomorrow and I swear I'm going to hear choirs of angels singing when I drop the last bugger off in the morning.

And then this evening it was just one thing after another. First I attempted to get them to clean the bathroom. The Man's brother will be over tonight to watch some stuff on the TV with The Man and I attempt to at least make sure the bathroom he has to use isn't too gross. He's not picky - thanks, E! - but I try to at least make sure he doesn't have to be accosted with a floater or anything. That's the kind of nice sister-in-law I am.

There was whining and gnashing of teeth and complaining over all of that for what seemed like FOREVER. Finally, the bathroom was "clean"... according to their standards. But whatever.

Then the dog, who I'm loving a whole lot less these days, chewed up my Zafu (meditation cushion) and little wheat husks or whatever that thing was stuffed with went all over the floor. So I cried a little and attempted to not kill the dog and Bug (the sweetheart that he is) cleaned it up for me so I wouldn't have to see it. I love that kid.

Next we had to get to the grocery. We're all in the car and ready to go and Goober says to me "Mommy, I only have one shoe."

Of course you only have one shoe. Why would I assume you'd have two shoes on your feet when you get in the car???

So back in the house we go to get two shoes.

Then, just when they're getting ready for bed and I'm thinking the day is finally going to be calm, I hear "Mommy, Sudo pooped on my library book."

I'm done, y'all. Absolutely fried.

But you know what? I do this all to myself. Somehow. I know this, because I see other women who have three kids (sometimes more!) and a dog or some other animal and they're not crazy. They manage to have clean homes and their kids get to bed on time and their dogs don't poop on the library books or chew up their Zafus.

I think it's time to break out the iron fist. And the alcohol.