Dec 31, 2008

Lack of Time and Focus....

Well, I had to skip creating any new blog posts in lieu of tending to all that Christmas entails. I jotted down numerous notes on new ideas and topics, but things are still going.

The day after Christmas, my husband took our 3 children to his mother's house for 3 days. Exciting stuff. I organized and accomplished much on my To-Do list--stuff that I need to get done to place myself onto the top of my priority list for a change, guilt-free. See, I cannot just do it knowing that so many other things require my attention, so the solution is to put things just so to avoid this line of reasoning.

Hubbie brought the kids home Sunday night. He complained that he didn't feel well and my oldest expressed the same. As I unpacked the luggage, I noted that he had packed all 3 of their toothbrushes together in the same baggie - you just shouldn't do this on a good day, no? Just thought he and my oldest had eaten something bad because nobody was actually "sick" and it was past their bedtime when they arrived, I ran their toothbrushes under very hot water, thinking it would be sufficient. It wasn't long before my oldest vomited first in the middle of the night and DH started with the "other end." From there, my 3-y/o joined them so that Monday was an extraordinary day to say the least. Tuesday, nobody was up for eating still and only the youngest was still having the hind-end issues. My daughter, with the sweet tooth of all sweet tooths....although she said she felt fine, she did not eat anything nor drink much over the last couple of days, including sweet stuff, so I knew she was out of sorts, but at least she didn't spew anything.

Hubbie kept apologizing that now I was running around like a headless chicken, cleaning this and that, wiping up this and that, comforting all, offering fluids of all sorts to each whatever the special request might be. I told him that I was only disappointed in 2 things....1 that neither he or his mother had the sense to move the 3-day visit after discovering she was having diarrhea, and 2 that he put all those toothbrushes together like that and probably had them that way throughout the visit.

I was as careful as I could be, but despite that I now have the GI bug, albeit less in severity than they. There just isn't any way to avoid it at ALL costs when so many are running around with the same virus. However, they are all up and about and arguing tday so I asked DH to not go to work today. I slept most of the day away bundled up, despite not having a fever. It's really the first time that everyone here has caught such a bug - wow, does that keep you on your toes. DH and I have discussed, off-handedly, what is it that prevents your tummy from accepting that which is not causing a problem, to make it literally pump out the contents in order to empty it? Not fun and feels totally different as an adult than I remember it as a 10-year-old. lol.

So, instead of sharing some cute stories over the past week, I sit here completely unmotivated and not very creative. Upping the quality of the posts I'd like to share in the New Year is a goal of mine, whether I decide to divide my blog into many or find a way to learn how to organize this one the way I would like it to appear - that's the organization freak in me....I don't like these 3-column deals...I want categories. lol.

Happy New Year to you and yours!

Dec 17, 2008

Our 12th Wedding Anniversary......

Okay, so a little hubby is terrible at gift-giving.....well maybe not for every gift, but hearing me drop hints and even directly pointing out the item I would love to have, he seems to miss the mark.

I should've realized this would be a lifelong issue throughout our marriage the moment he proposed with the ring that I had specifically said "No, I don't like that one. In fact, I actually hate that one." when he took me shopping. lol.

Again, after becoming a mother, I pointed to a mother's necklace that was different from the one everyone else was getting at that time.....he got me the one everyone was getting at the time.

A couple years ago he bought me the past, present, and future ring that I wanted, BUT he added a bunch more little diamonds all around the main stones - it now looks like a cocktail ring - not my style. It was obvious how that happened, despite my specificity with him on that one, as I later met the jeweler when I took him out shopping for an anniversary gift a year later - that man was a pure salesman and didn't like it when I told him he shouldn't try to talk people into something other than what they were after because they wind up with an unhappy spouse like me. lol.

I'm just a balanced and simple person. I don't like abstract, curves, waves, or tons of little diamonds scattered about in my jewelry - straight lines and balance is what I need, clean. Can't get anymore specific than that, or can you?

Anyway, we just celebrated our 12th anniversary. We've been together for 18 years total. We were talking and I said "Maybe we should just stick to that old tradition that lists items made of paper and woods and such for gifts, or maybe even go with the newer, more updated version. He said, "What could I get you made of paper? Paper lingerie? A paper airplane? Is plastic one? You could wrap yourself in cellophane and I could wear a condom!" @@@ I think we'll be sticking to whatever floats his boat at that moment, as his options for a crack at the traditional gifts appear to represent a bigger challenge for him! He may be clueless when it comes to gift giving and what I like or dislike, but he is definitely my best friend and I'm glad he's mine.

Dec 9, 2008

Secret Santa and Gift Exchanges at School

So many fathers like to label us mothers as crazy or half deranged raving lunatics when it comes to some of the things we encounter at school or the demands our children's schools can place on us, so it's been particularly entertaining listening to my husband's rant this evening.

He's managed to cover many of the concerns I've shared with him over the years as if his expression of them is the first time anyone has ever thought of them. Too funny.

It started with him greeting the kids upon their return from school and unloading the dreaded backpacks, but this time he actually decided to sift through the onslaught of papers himself since I declared it was not specifically my job and I taught him how to read them, jot down important notes/dates, etc. and THEN pitch them (his previous method was a quick glance and a toss into the trash--needless to say a lot of things were falling through the cracks here.)

I'm sitting down here working on accounts payable to hear the basement door unlock and open, to hearing his voice, "You HAVE to get up here and SEE THIS!" I'm thinking the baby is entertaining the family, but when I get up there, he thrust this piece of paper in my face.

My daughter's 3rd grade teacher has sent home the Secret Santa information, only this time, it is a bit excessive. Usually, if your child has a teacher who does this sort of thing at all, you are looking at a Secret Santa gift limit of around $5.00. Oh no, not this teacher. There are explicit instruction to buy 4 gifts each not more than $2.00 in value - $4 x $2 = $8. That's not the end of it.....then there are instructions to buy a "big" gift not more than $10.00 in value - $8 + $10 = $18.00. I guess the plan is to gift the children daily and give them clues as to who their Secret Santa is - cute concept and all, but couldn't the kids maybe make some gifts for each other or just give daily hints as to who the Secret Santa is throughout the week for the "big" gift giving day?

Hubbie is just livid that this could be expected of just anyone, despite it not breaking our bank so to speak. lol. He's rattling off the things those with a gift of consciousness have in relation to those less fortunate, i.e. Not everybody can afford this!-This is crazy!-SHE is crazy!-You know how many kids might be made to feel badly because their families can't do this?-Is she high?-Why on earth would we buy any child in that classroom more than 1 gift period?-Does she know that some families have 30 people to buy for?-Why waste the money on useless dollar-store crap rather than a thoughtful gift?!, and She's only given everyone a week to accomplish this!, etc.

It is definitely entertaining. It is usually me freaking out about things like the Simple Machine projects that make me thank the powers that be out loud that I have a husband to help my children accomplish them, but because I remember the struggles my family faced as a young girl, I ALWAYS think of those who are currently struggling.

We aren't stingy people. We do what we can to help those in needy families whenever possible.

I'm thinking there may be a series of complaints lodged with the school tomorrow, so I'm going to sit tight for a few days until I'm certain this stays this teacher's game plan. It's only one year, right? Unless, of course, our next child gets the same teacher. lol.

I could go on all day about the craziness we've encountered at school, the strange rules individual teachers can impose upon your family at their very whim that they themselves completely contradict, like the teacher who outlawed treat sharing on birthdays and instead wanted the birthday child to supply the whole class with gifts and yet handed out candy daily as a reward, but I'll save that for another post.

What do you consider a reasonable amount for gift exchanges at school? What do you consider a reasonable number of presents for gift exchanges at school? (barring those who do not participate in Christmas at all obviously).

Dec 8, 2008

So It Isn't Melamine or Shrapnel, but......?

What I found this time gearing up to eat a meal was disturbing - what is it exactly? So, it's round and shaped like the rest of the Is it a burnt meatball? It doesn't smell burnt? It doesn't really look burnt, other than it being black......Had this rolled into the pan anywhere near the day I already cooked up and eaten a batch of turkey meatballs for my family, I would have been really close to "tossing my meatballs" so to speak. The sinking feeling I developed in the pit of my stomach when it did so a week later was enough as it is.

Yes, I plan on making a telephone call today about it. I can tell you, however, based on past experiences......finding a piece of metal in my child's pudding cup, emptying out a can of green beans to witness a blackened corncob chunk fall amongst the beans, feeding pickles to my toddler (who would eat absolutely anything) only to discover somewhere in the middle of the jar it tasted as if they were packaged using a liquid chemical of some sort, finding the dead-dressing-drenched ladybug in my prebagged salad mix "that are used in the pest control process," which I chased around my bowl thinking it was a scrumptious bacon bit, capturing it, and only noticing the curled up legs and orange color as I brought it to my mouth.....I can say the numerous coupons about to be sent my way in apology will NOT be enough to encourage me to give it another shot.

So I cut it in half - texture of a crouton - probably burnt, although I have yet to see any meat this burnt look this way.

Sure, the metal-inexcusable; the corn cob-just another vegetable, right?; the chemical pickles - don't know-what do you do?-hire a testing company?; and this black little ball of a thing, probably just a burnt meatball?

Well, the metal, ladybug, and the corn cob only serve to make one wonder "what else" could possibly be going "wrong" in the manufacturing process. The chemical taste in my pickles only cause pause in wondering just how much better we are than China.

The apology coupons in an effort to keep me coming back, rather than being an apology with a request to send it back in for testing at their expense with a personalized followup answer, is disturbing as well.

Is it just me encountering these issues time and time again? I would think it happens to the majority of folks once, but over and over?