Wednesday, September 23, 2009

34 years ago today....

....a squealing, squawking, towheaded little stinker was born and turned me from a blissful, spoiled, five year old princess into a sister who had to share the limelight.

I wasn't very happy about it then.

I still wasn't happy a few years later, but he started growing on me.

But now I realize that having a brother means that someone else gets to share the burden of caring for our parents when they get older.
(We've already picked out rooms for them at Shady Pines)

It also means that my kids have an uncle I can call to entertain them when the girls are driving me crazy.

He also gets Charlie - mom's parrot-like bird that will outlive everyone - an ongoing battle between the two of us.

Because neither one of us wants him.

But most of all I realize how lucky I am to have someone who knows what I'm talking about when I mention the "2 per day M&M incident" from 1980....and who chuckles with me remembering it.

I have turned from a petulant, resentful five year old spoiled brat who was NOT happy this little dude came in and took all the attention away from me, to a woman who realizes how very lucky she is that the person who has known her the longest and is truly her oldest, most trusted, best friend is also her brother.

Happy Birthday B! I love ya!

(Mom and dad - I'm only kidding about Shady Pines. We love you and would never seperate you. We picked out adjoining rooms, so you can relax)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

ANNNDDDD....We're clear....

OK. This swine flu thing? Pandemic, catastrophic event, end of the world....


Because my kids were "diagnosed" on Wednesday.

They were doing cartwheels in my family room on Thursday - fever and symptom free.

By Friday? I was looking at all the new gray hair I had from trying to entertain two very energetic young girls who couldn't "go out in public" and couldn't have anyone in the house for fear of "exposing" someone else to the virus.

Although Beth felt sorry for me and came over for awhile.
(She's fine, by the way)

In the meantime, I had planned to go into work -with my doctors blessing (and an actual medical release) because I had a HUGE project that I had limited time to finish and I didn't want to blow through my sick leave for the year - you know, in case I actually got SICK and needed it.

Instead, I was informed that I was - in no uncertain terms - not to come into the office until the following week and when I had a medical release (Hel-looooooooooo? I had one??? Can anyone hear me?) Apparently, there was fear among certain people that I would infect everyone and initiate that "catastrophic" event....

Keep in mind that I had no symptoms.

Keep in mind that this flu is transmitted like any other - meaning I would first have to be infected and second, sneeze or cough on you.
(And that would be rude - I would never do that!)

Given the fact that I was neither infected, nor planning to sneeze on anyone, I objected.

That's when I was told that I needed a medical release.

Which I had.

Still no go.

So, I spent those five days in the house with the kids. Brian, of course, got to go to work. How that works, I don't know.

I get back to work on Monday, see my desk piled high with work, realize that I am now REALLY behind on that project (which, by the way, is due this Friday) and realize that due to other people's uninformed, alarmist, panicked, uninformed opinions, I just got screwed.

I now have no sick time left and I'm buried at work.

My deadline didn't change. I still have to have it done this week.

I am REALLY pissed off.

Oh, and as far as me being contagious? Yeah - not a sneeze, not a sniffle not a cough - nothing.

The kids?

24 hours of miserableness and they were fine.

Sounds like any other flu to me, no?

Don't get me wrong, I realize that this could turn into something serious and people should take precautions. But let's be informed and reasonable rather than cause a complete panic among the population.

There is now a "swine flu policy" at my work wherein anyone who "has or has been exposed to" the virus can not come into work without a medical release.

Those people that went berserk about my kids being infected?

Do you think they locked themselves in the house all week and weekend? Do you think they abstained from going to the grocery store? Do you think they kept their kids out of school or away from sports activities?

Me neither. So guess what people? You had a better chance of infection from going to the mall, than you had from me sitting in my office for 8 hours - symptom free and not sneezing on you. (Because again -rude!)

The new policy states that we should use "Common sense" when dealing with this.

I agree. I spoke to the doctor, I did my research and I had a medical release.

Did anyone there think of calling their doctor and asking what the risks of being around someone who was exposed - but not infected nor showing any symptoms would be?

Um. No. They didn't think of that.

They also didn't pick up the slack at work and left it for me to deal with when I came back.

Way to use that common sense people.

I'm calling work tomorrow and telling them that I went to the mall tonight, was probably exposed to the virus and therefore, would be staying home for the next five days. Medical release be damned. It didn't work last week so I figure it won't matter this week.

Then I'm going to ask all my co-workers to pony up some of their sick leave to pay me while I'm off.

Bet they'll wonder what all the fuss was about then, won't they?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Yup, the swine flu is here......

Like here. In our house.

Sydney ran a 104 fever last night and Liv woke up with a sore throat this morning. I carted them both to the doctor this afternoon.

Liv's strep test came back negative.

Sydney's flu test came back positive for Influenza A. Since the only cases of Influenza A they've seen this early have been H1N1, she felt pretty confident that's what it is. She did offer to send it out to the lab for confirmation, but since that would have cost about $300, I politely declined.

So, we are on lock down until Monday morning. No school. No cheerleading, no one in the house but the girls and Brian and I and obviously, the girls can't go out anywhere.

They are being treated with Tamiflu and Sydney should be feeling better by Friday. Liv feel fine already with the exception of a slight sore throat.

Brian and I have no restrictions, since we are asymptomatic and she said there's no reason for us to be on lockdown unless we begin with symptoms.

Last weekend, I had grounded the girls from their playroom until next weekend (after I spent hours in there cleaning).

Today I rescinded that punishment and opened up the doors for them.

This is bad parenting, yes. But for my own sanity I couldn't justify not allowing the girls in there for the next five days since they can't do anything else.

So, we are all grounded in a sense.

Brian's stopping by the liquor store on the way home.

I have a feeling we'll need it......

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


My poor little love bug woke up this morning, put on her robe and came into my bedroom to stand beside me as I tried to rub the sleep from my eyes and said, "Mommy, I only slept a little bit last night - maybe two hours - because......

(a-hem, ex-cuse me mommy!)

.....because I coughed and it woke me up"

I quickly checked the side of the bed where she was standing and, seeing no signs that she had deposited a lung on my duvet, I got up.

As she looked at me with fever glazed eyes, I quickly did a mental assessment of my work calendar, until I was yanked back into reality by the most God-awful sound I had ever heard coming from her lungs.

I decided that nothing at work was that important (pshh - who am I kidding? Barrack Obama himself could have had an appointment with me today to discuss the world economy and I still wasn't going).

So, Sydney and I spent the day together. Or rather, I spent the day watching her sleep fitfully in a drug induced semi-coma. The medicine wears off, the fever goes up, the cough comes back. The medicine kicks in, the fever goes down and the cough quiets a bit.

We've done this before. Since she's prone to bronchitis and pneumonia, I did what I always do. Pump her full of fluids, Motrin or Tylenol every 4 to 6 hours to keep that fever below 102(depending on what I am giving her), decongestants/expectorants to keep the nasal passages clear and the gunk from settling in her lungs, and hope that she sleeps the day away.

So far, so good.

But with that little bugger called H1N1 out there, and the fact that most of the serious cases have occurred when an underlying bacterial infection is involved, I will be watching her very closely. Chances are she'll be sleeping beside me tonight.

And she is soooooooo not happy with me.

Because tomorrow is Grandparents Day for first grade at the school and 4 of the 8 grandparents had planned to be there.

I had to explain to her that they could come another day.


I told her that I had talked to Mimi and Poppy and Mom-mom and Pop-pop and they would love to come another day when she was feeling better and it would be a special day just for her!

That worked for about 2 seconds.

Because the next thing out of her mouth was....

"But, what about Gamma Judi and Mister? They have to come a long way and what if they can't come now? And what about Grandma and Grandpa? How can they come if we don't do it tomorrow????"

This presented quite a conundrum for me because, you see, I didn't tell the grandparents that live in Philadelphia and North Carolina about it, because really? That's kind of far to travel to have a school lunch with Sydney. Just sayin'.

So, I told her that unfortunately, they couldn't come anyway.

"But WHY?"


"Because they live far away and so I didn't tell them about it. And Grandma and Grandpa will be here next week to see you!"

"But Mom-mom and Pop-pop live far away and they live near Gamma and Mister! They can drive together!"

By now the tears, they are a'flowin'.....

Again, Oy.

So, Gamma and Mister, Grandpa and Grandma, I apologize for not inviting you to the school, thereby saving you from a very long trip to have cardboard pizza and sit in miniature chairs for an hour or two.

It was thoughtless of me.

And you are sure to hear snarky comments about your absence from Sydney.

But on the bright side? You can TOTALLY blame me for this one and I will take full responsibility. Because, well, it is my fault.

**And if you feel the slightest gratitude that you don't have to spend the afternoon with 15 very loud six year olds with runny noses?

Well......we'll just keep that between us ;)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

It's easy to understand love at first sight, but how do we explain love after two people have been looking at each other for years?

~Author Unknown

Eleven years ago today......

Whatever our souls are made up, his and mine are the same.

~ Emily Bronte ~

My best friend and I began a journey.....

Grow old along with me. The best is yet to be, The last of life, for which the first was made. Our times are in his hand.

~ Robert Browning ~

It hasn't always been easy, but we're still moving forward....

We two have found each other... different yet alike. We have grown together in love and understanding.

~ Author Unknown ~

And along the way, we became a family....

The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.

~Theodore Hesburgh~

We've discovered each other over and over again.....

Soulmates two halves of the same soul joining together in lifes journey

~ Author Unknown ~

But most of all, we found love....

You don't marry someone you can live with - you marry the person who you cannot live without.

~ Author Unknown ~

Happy anniversary, my love.

I look forward to spending the rest of my life with you.

Friday, September 11, 2009


My final Independent Study class finally came through. I'll be taking three classes this fall.....


I'll be DONE with classwork in December and will only have my Practicum in the spring.

This means I can graduate in May.


Thursday, September 10, 2009


There was a time when I was comfortable. When I had few worries. I worked very hard to reach that point in my life. I grew tired of living paycheck to paycheck, and I worked and he worked, and we saved, and we worked harder, all so we didn't lie awake at night worrying, wondering, fretting, tossing and turning.

We grew accustomed to bills being paid with no thought whatsoever. They were paid, it didn't really affect us, we saved a lot, we were able to pay cash for most everything...we were in the position that we should have been in as thirty-somethings - finally getting ahead in life and preparing for the future. Preparing for our children's future. Actually taking the time to enjoy life rather than worry our way through it.

We've taken 10 steps back. All that progress is gone.

Things change. I know that. Life intervenes. Choices are made and they seem like the right choices at the time. The economy is horrible, layoffs are occurring left and right and most people are just trying to survive. The job market is non-existent and, in my industry anyway, shows no real signs of improving for the next few years. Opportunity is non-existent.

So, here I sit. All this experience, a Master's degree in May 2010, and nothing to show for it.

Except a shit load of debt, which I have to start paying back.

I don't really want to have start over again, unless I start with a clean slate. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sell everything you own, move somewhere new or somewhere exotic with your family and just start over?

That's where I am. I used to enjoy life a lot more than I do now. Not because I was wasteful or careless. But because I knew I could handle whatever came my way. There was always a solution.

But now, I feel defeated. Something just has to give. A door needs to open.

Or we will soon have some tough, life changing decisions in front of us.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Can you feel it?

I'm an autumn girl. This truly is the most wonderful time of the year for me....

I love the crisp smells. The bite in the air. The apples, the pumpkins, the breeze, the amazing colors, the feel of fall...the hint of what's to come.

I know that autumn is the dying off of the old, the hibernating until spring. But to me, it's a rebirth. A time when everything hunkers down and burrows in and you gather everything you love around you and hold it close until the sun warms you again.

You bake food that produces wonderful aromas. You light a fire in the fireplace and gather around the kitchen table in warm amber light and you talk, and you laugh....

You think think about the holidays. You prepare for them. The three months of anticipation leading to Christmas are heavenly.

I have always loved fall. I love winter too - I love snow - but that's a post for another day.....

This is my third autumn in our house. The house takes on a different feel. It feels "homey". It feels warm and inviting. It feels welcoming.

Maybe it's because we moved here in September, so this time of year feels special to me and makes me love my home even more.

Maybe it's because I got married in September and it brings back such wonderful memories to me.

Maybe it's because I spent a lot of my childhood in New England, of which I have such amazing memories and where autumn is Nirvana....

I don't know.

But I do know that I feel energized. I want to be outside as much as possible and take big, deep, lung filling breaths.

I want to smile all the time.

I feel content.

Maybe it's my rebirth every year. With the hope of such wonderful things to come.....