Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sick of Sick!

It's some kind of curse. The moment vacation time rolls around, half (or more) of this household gets sick. E still is not completely over his bronchitis. J & I were diagnosed with "angine(?)," which I'm pretty sure is strep throat. That was last week, at the beginning of the smaller boys' two-week vacation.

Then, this week (when everyone is off), J wakes up with a fever, after three days of antibiotics. We put him on a bus/train anyway for his ski trip. (He's being very well taken care of, and his teacher is emailing me. He is skiing and feeling fine now).

Sunday, A and R woke up with fevers. We doled out ibuprofen and hoped for the best. Nope. Monday morning I took them to the doctor too. R has the same diagnosis as J & me. A has something else. Something viral.

So today, Tuesday, R & A still have fevers and just want to lay around. E, on the other hand, is perking up. So he's bouncing off the walls, while the other two just want to cuddle.

And this morning, to top it all off, A threw up into his cereal bowl. Which grosses out R (who is already naseous), and tickles E, who screams with laughter, and has to narrate the whole thing... "A threw up!" (at top volume).

I've already had to cancel two playdates this week. I was hoping for a babysitter tomorrow, but she can't do it. I am going stir crazy here. Help!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

25 Things About Me Meme

1. I just discovered that this is my 101st post. It's also probably going to be my longest.

2. I didn't know what a meme was until recently. I'm still not entirely sure exactly what it means. But it's going around and everyone is doing it. I didn't want to be left out.

3. I'm living in the fashion capital of the world and I know NOTHING about fashion. This cat knows more than me.

4. Typing is really difficult with a three-year-old in your lap singing along to Chicken Little.

5. I traveled in Europe when I was 14 with my parents. We spent a week in Club Med in Switzerland (for a conference), then went on a tour bus through France with a bunch of adults, and two little kids. Guess who I got to "babysit" the whole time. My older brother didn't come with us.

6. I traveled in Europe again when I was 16/17. I spent my 17th birthday with a group of English-speaking teenagers/20-somethings on an island in Greece. They gave me a t-shirt and an ice-cream cone. Probably my best birthday, ever. (So far, anyway... my 40th could be great too!)

7. I have never dyed or permed my hair. Tried to once, but it didn't take. When it's long, it's wavy or curly, depending on length and location.

8. It's starting to turn grey now, but I don't mind. I earned every grey hair I own. My mom started turning grey in her 30s too. If I age as gracefully as she has (and as my grandmother did), I'll be very happy.

9. My grandmother was named Pearl. If I'd had a daughter, Pearl would have been her middle name. Her first name would have been Lessa. Lessa Pearl. I love that and am sad I'll never get to use it. Oh well.

10. If you follow the reference above, you will learn about my all-time favorite fictional world. I have read every single book, and I believe every short story as well. I wanted to name my oldest boy Jaxom, but settled for something that sounded a lot like it. I still resent having been introduced to the books out of order. (But I'm over it).

11. These 25 things are a lot longer and more detailed than I'd planned. That may be a theme for me - putting more detail into things than absolutely necessary - but with (I hope) interesting outcomes.

12. My brother's girlfriend was my friend first. When they broke up (20+ years ago), I lost track of her. Now they're back together, and I get to have her as a friend again. Hooray! She's the one who inspired me to write this meme. Hi J!

13. I started reading blogs about three years ago. My mother (we call her techno-granny) gave me my first link. It was to this mom-of-three-boys, whom she met at a Colorado Authors League meeting. In addition to her, the blogs I read (almost) every day are, in no particular order, WouldaCouldaShoulda, Notes from the Trenches, Mom to the Screaming Masses, Chookooloonks, and The Bold Soul. These women inspire me, not only to write, but to take time to appreciate my kids, my life, and the beauty around me.

14. Until recently, I hadn't read a newspaper regularly in over fifteen years. I never watch news programs, and rarely go to news websites. In all that time, I don't feel as if I've missed out on anything really important. I figure someone will tell me if there is anything that will affect me directly. So far, I've been right.

15. I just started taking the International Herald Tribune. I felt, for the first time, in a long time, that I'd like to know what's going on in the world. Something about being an American in a foreign country, I do not wish to appear stupid and/or uninformed.

16. However, I find most of the news distasteful and irrelevant. A Political Science professor in college told me I could learn everything I needed to know about the world by reading the editorials. I still follow that advice.

17. I read the comics religiously. The two I never miss are Non Sequitur and Luann.

18. I also read a bunch of magazines and newsletters. I often don't know what's happening on a day-to-day basis, but I understand trends. Here's a list of the ones I have right now: The Sun Magazine, Inc., Fast Company, Working Mother, Mothering, More. There's probably a couple that I'm missing.

19. I'm getting tired of making links. I'm still not all that great at technology stuff. I really want a personal assistant who will do everything I tell him/her to do, and make it all look pretty.

20. I love business. I love seeing how individual people make decisions to do something in their corner of the world, make something better, fulfill a need, solve a problem, and then go out and do it. I believe businesses impact our world far more than any politics or politician.

21. I'm a great speller. I can figure out how to spell almost anything. If I typed as good as I spelled, I'd never use a spell checker. Unfortunately, I'm a lousy typist.

22. I never, ever, ever, in my entire life, imagined I would have four children. It never crossed my mind. I always thought I'd have two - a boy and a girl, just like in my family. Now, of course, I wouldn't have it any other way.

23. Something else I never imagined I would do, is teach any kind of physical exercise. I was a bookworm as a kid, never played a sport, got overweight in college and never really took it off. The fact I'm a certified Jazzercise instructor boggles my mind. I never was coordinated or graceful. I'm still not that graceful, but I do my best.

24. I have had an amazing number of incredible teachers, mentors, friends and advisors in my life. I feel incredibly blessed to have their (your) support and love over the years. I am one of the luckiest people I know in this respect.

25! When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a pilot when I grew up. I was steadfast in this desire from the time I was about seven, to the time I was a teenager. Then someone told me there were lots of other ways to get paid to travel. I'm still working on the getting paid part, but I've travelled well.

Done! Your turn. If you haven't made your list yet, consider yourself tagged. I want to see your 25 Things. Send me a link!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I had every intention of blogging a lot this month. But somehow it's gotten away from me. And today, in lieu of an actual post, I'm going to give you pictures instead.

This is my attempt at art. (I'm being inspired by Karen at Chookooloonks). Actually, we were walking to school, and it was cold, and I was just so excited to see a bloom, I had to take a picture of it. Spring may actually arrive someday!

Is it any wonder that people ask me if they're twins? How can two children who are so different be so similar too? (I love this shot).

On Sunday, I had this bright idea that we could all go on a (guided) walking tour with Paris Walks. I figured the older kids would get a kick out of the underground tour, and the littles could just play and wander around.

Ha. E lost it before we even started. I gave up on the idea and we wandered around the park by ourselves instead. (See next two pictures). But in case you are interested, this is the Liberty Flame, a replica of the one on the Statue of Liberty in the US (that the French gave to USA). It's also just above the tunnel where Princess Diana died, and still has memorials and flowers around it today.

Boys playing at the park with the Eiffel Tower in the background. J has a pea shooter and is shooting bbs around the park. (Fortunately, not AT anyone other than pigeons).

J the Giant. (That's the jar of bbs in his hand. He would pour them into his mouth, then spit them through a straw. Lovely.)

This is Gaiatree (probably spelled wrong). She's my friend's 8 month old girl. And I get to hold her at least once a week. And sometimes twice. She smells as yummy as she looks.
(And to answer the question I'm sure you're wondering... No. No more for me. I just have to borrow babies now).

Thursday, February 12, 2009

OK, It's Alright with Me*

*A song I've just put into my Jazzercise set - way cool.

Actually, there is something going on I'm noticing. Here's what it is... I've always known that I'm a ridiculously optimistic person - to the point where I forget bad things ever happening (just block them from my mind), and always look at the bright side.

Which is fine, most of the time. And if it's not, how would I know, anyway?

Lately though, with the economy heading south and other things, it seems sometimes like I'm the only person in the world who is NOT struggling. Which is nice for me, but it limits my conversations somewhat.

I don't like to have "awfulizing" conversations where we talk about how bad everything is. I find them boring at least, and unpleasant at worst. And yet, I keep finding myself in these discussions and end up sitting mute. (Which, if you know me, you know is really strange!)

I really just want to say to people, "yeah, I get it's bad... But isn't there anything good we could talk about?"

Monday, February 02, 2009


This is R & J on "Crazy Hair Day" at school. Can you see the blue streaks?

And the backsides, of course...

A is learning to read. We have read The Cat in the Hat Comes Back every night for the last three weeks. Now, he's reading it to us. Not sure how much is reading and how much of it is memorization, but he is very excited. I caught him looking through this book on the stairs. (Cool photo, huh!)

The best laid plans...

Well, today was going to be my first day teaching Jazzercise. Even if it was unofficial. See, I even made space in my living room.

Unfortunately, the weather had other plans.

It took me the better part of an hour to drive the kids to school and get back home. I've been getting emails and phone calls all morning from people who wanted to come, but aren't going to. I don't blame them. If it was me, I wouldn't have come either.

There's always next week.