The other day Caleb asked me, “Mom, how old would I be if I was born…um…2000…May 12th?”
“What?” I questioned totally confused by what he was trying to ask.
“How old would I be if I was born on May 12, 2000?”
“Well you were born on May 12 2002 so…” I started to say, trying to get him to do his own math.
“Yeah, I know,” he interrupted, “but how old would I be if I was born 2 yea…Oh wait. I would be 11.”
I love watching their brains work as they figure things out themselves.
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Every single year, since I started this blog in 2005, I’ve ended the year with a post recapping the previous year. Except this year. This year I needed some time to digest 2011. Some time to stop the screaming nightmares that was 2011.
Oh I jest.
The fact is, 2011 kind of blowed.
There was the house(s)
We put our house up for sale in August 2010 and let complete strangers roam through our home in hopes of a sale. Only as summer became Fall and Fall became Winter, the number of people roaming through our house dwindled. And we began 2011 with the stress of STILL trying to sell our house. As the hope started to fade to despair.
We rounded out the end of the first quarter of the year with the stress of almost losing our new house. As it went up for sale. Since couldn’t sell our old house. Driving by our new house. With the floor plan we drew up. And the cabinets we picked out. And the siding and stone we chose. And the front door I loved. And then seeing a “For Sale” in the yard was almost more than I could take.
In May we FINALLY got an offer. And I cried tears of joy. But the stress didn’t end. The middle of the year was spent stressing about pushed out closing dates for both our old house and our new house. Due to things beyond our control. It was at this point that people kept telling us horror stories about how somebody they knew ended up losing their sale because of [insert reason here].
And then there was the constant worry that something would go wrong and we wouldn’t get financing for our new house. Thereby leaving us homeless. This is the point where people kept telling us about how it’s soooo hard to get financing these days due to the collapsing housing market and banking fiasco. And, again, people were telling us their horror stories about how they knew somebody who ended up not getting a loan because [insert reason here].
And this is when I realized people suck.
But we did close. On both houses. One in May. And the other in June. And we even lived to tell about it.
There was the strike
As if I needed more keep me up at night, the union workers at my company threatened to go on strike if the company couldn’t agree to a new contract.
We spent the beginning of the year gossiping and worry about this strike.
We spent the beginning of the summer scrambling to make arrangements to (1) leave our families behind and (2) make travel arrangements and hotel reservations in the cities where we would be working for an undetermined amount of time (until the strike ended). Doing jobs we know nothing about and have absolutely no interest in.
I spent much of the month of July on all day training calls. Learning new systems. Learning new products. Learning how to be handle raging customers. [Have you met me? This is not one of my strong points.]
It was at this point I hit my breaking point on the way to a nervous breakdown.
By the time August came around, the workers went on strike. But I was excused from travel (thankfully). So I was able to stay home with my family. Ignoring them while I worked ridiculously long hours covering for those who were deployed.
The strike only last two weeks until the union and the company could come to a temporary agreement. Which was good in that everybody got to come home. But bad in that we’ve now spent the last half of the year worrying that we’ll be doing this all over again. Soon. With little notice. Because they have yet to agree on a new contract.
There were the teenage years
Sprinkled throughout the year were bits of insanity from the teenager. For said teenager’s privacy I won’t go in to details. But let’s just say, if kids came out of the womb as teenagers I would have stopped at one. I am a firm believer that the purpose of the teenage years is to help parents let go. So when the teen is ready to move out, instead of crying, we just help them pack and tell them to keep in touch. Occasionally. From their own home. And then we slip them a hundred. For bail money. And push them out the front door.
I find comfort in the knowledge that some day my kids will have likely have their own teenagers. And I can just sit back with my bottle of wine and laugh.
On to 2012
But, all that said, I know 2012 is going to be a rough year too. Because said teenager will graduate from high school in May. And even with all the insanity. And tears. And worry. I know I will be a hot mess as I watch him walk across the stage to accept his diploma. I know I will hyperventilate at just the anticipation of him moving out. I know I will worry every single day he isn’t here. Wondering if he’s safe. And happy. And making good choices.
So bring on the wine. ‘Cause this is going to be a bumpy ride.
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This year for Christmas Santa brought me…pink eye. And it wasn’t even on my list. That Santa. Always so generous. That fat bastard.
If it’s not Santa’s fault, then I blame Lee. Yesterday when we went last minute shopping he was always trailing slowly behind so I had to open all the doors to the stores. What ever happened to chivalry? Isn’t the guy supposed to be opening all the doors for us ladies? Jackass.
In any event, when I tried to open my eyes this morning, my right eye was glued shut. I knew right then the pink eye fairy had visited me in my sleep. Bitch.
So after spending the morning trying to deny that it was really pink eye. Oh it’s just a little crud in my eye. It will go away. I finally broke down and dragged Lee to the buy cheap levitrabuy viagra onlinefifth circle of hell…the walk-in clinic. As you know, I HATE the walk-in clinic. All those sick people. Touching everything. With their sick, germy hands. And coughing in my general direction. Just kill me now.
The second I walk in to the walk-in clinic I can feel my chest clench with panic. Today the girl at check-in needed me to fill out a form. And she handed me one of her germy pens. Um, no thank you. I have my own pen.
After battling the germs in the waiting room, we made our way back to an examination room. And examination room where a bug was flying around, the garbage can was overfilling, and the hand sanitizer dispenser was noticeably missing. Bring on the anxiety attack.
The doctor made me lay back on the table as she first put some stinging drops in my eyes. And then she put some weird orange tabby thing in my eyes that caused my vision to turn yellow (and stained my face orange with my tears). Apparently this torture was to check to see if I had any scratches on my eye. As if it wasn’t obvious when I walked in that I have pink eye. Not scratches.
After poking me in the eye…twice, the doc determined I have…pink eye. I should totally be a doctor.
She also told me that with pink eye the back side of your lid gets red (like mine are), but the red is closer to my eye then she’d like it to be. So it could be more than pink eye. It could be a much more dangerous, life-threatening eye infection. I may be exaggerating just a little here, but she did say if my eyes aren’t better within the next 24 hours I should go to the ER. But “I really don’t think it’s this other thing I’m thinking of. I think it’s just pink eye.” Well thanks for that reassurance there, doc. How ’bout next time you just keep your opinions to yourself? ‘Cause, um, have you met me? I can blow a hang nail completely out of proportion in to a flesh eating virus.
So I outta be a barrel of fun at Christmas Eve tonight with my family. Me with my grumpy, three sized too small Grinch heart, and my gross pink eye in both eyes. Good times.
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I had an appointment with my Immunologist this morning. Last time I saw him, four months ago, I went through allergy testing (for the third, possibly fourth, time), only to find out that I am not allergic to anything. I suspected this, but my Ear, Nose, Throat doc swore I must have allergies. Why else would I get colds so frequently? And polyps in my nose? But allergy testing is pretty subjective. Somebody pokes you with about 20 needles filled with crap you might be allergic too. Then, after a few minutes, he/she comes back to see if any of those injection spots are inflamed. If the spot gets super big then you are allergic. If not, then you aren’t. For me just about every spot got sort of inflamed. But not a lot. So the person doing my testing would always have a puzzled look on their face and say, “Hmm…I think this one might be inflamed. I’ll write that down.” And every single time I’ve had allergy testing done I’m supposedly allergic to different things. And miraculous cured of some other allergies.
So when my Immunologist did the allergy testing he assured me, “We do this hundreds of times a year. If I tell you your not allergic to anything, you are 100% not allergic to anything.” So I trusted him.
But then why I am I sick so frequently?
He suspected my frequent illnesses are caused by a weakened immune system. To test this he drew some blood, gave me the pneumonia vaccine, and told me to have more blood drawn four weeks later. The lab then tests my immuglobulin levels. The theory is that, if you immune system is working properly, your levels will quadruple four weeks after the pneumonia vaccine. My levels weren’t even close. Some barely changed. Some only doubled.
So I have a weakened immune system. What can we do about it?
Well, not much.
My doc told me to start eating more fruits and vegetables. I told him I’m a vegetarian and eat lots of vegetables (although not too many fruits). He checked my Vitamin D levels (which were good) and asked me what I eat in place of meat to make sure I’m getting enough nutrients. I am. He also told me to eat lots of yogurts. I have yogurt every morning for breakfast. So I’m good there too.
He then asked me if I participate in any sports. Have you met me? Sports? Really? That would be a negatory. So he told me to find something I like and start doing it. I need to be more active. But being active is just nearly as fun as sitting on the couch and watching TV. I’m just sayin’.
Then my doc told me I should start carrying hand sanitizer during the winter months when I may come in contact with sick people. Lee busted up laughing. I shot him a dirty look and told my doc, “He’s laughing because I have OCD and don’t like people to touch me.” Hand sanitizer? I already have that in my purse. In my truck. In my desk drawer at work. In my master bathroom. Hallway closet. Downstairs bathroom. I’m set.
Lee said, “She can’t even go shopping by herself because she won’t touch the cart.”
But hello! Didn’t the doctor just PROVE that I’m right to be concerned about shopping alone. Touching the shopping cart could KILL ME! And, no, I’m not being the least bit melodramatic.
So now I’m going to come up with a plan to beat this immune system in to submission. Please excuse me while I consult Dr. Internet to figure out what else I can do to strengthen my immune system. I’m sure WebMD would be more than happy to turn my irrational fears in to full blown panic. My doctor just loves it when I consult the internet for my medical questions. Loves it!
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Yesterday we went to Skyler & Spencer’s school conferences. It was a lot like previous conferences. The kids showed us some of their school work. They introduced us to their new reading blogs. They showed us their science projects; their humdingers…which hum and ding (obviously). And the teachers told us how awesome they are.
Skyler’s teacher told us Skyler is a great leader. She is very good at offering suggestions and guiding other students. And she does it in a fairly passive way so the other kids don’t even realize she’s telling them what to do. So the other kids really dig her. And she said Skyler can work in a group of any kids. She gets along with everybody. I love and admire that about her. Thank goodness she didn’t get my geeky awkwardness around people. She is truly an amazing person to be around.
Spencer’s teacher told us he has a lot of confidence. And I laughed. Cause, boy, does that kid have confidence. Not in a cocky “I’m the bomb” kinda way. But in a funny “I’m the bomb” kinda way. Back when Skyler had her birthday sleepover, the girls and I were sitting at the kitchen table having some “girl talk.” I was telling them funny stories about when Skyler & Spencer were little. They were telling me funny stories about all of them. And the girls were telling me that all the girls at school like Spencer.
Spencer overheard and a little later he asked me, “Why do all the girls at school like me?”
I replied, “Because you’re a pretty handsome kid.”
“I know,” he said, “I have really nice lips. And a really nice nose.”
A couple days ago Spencer wore jeans to school. He never wears jeans. That kid lives in knee-length sports shorts and hoodies. And as soon as he got home he changed in to a pair of shorts I had just washed that day.
“See Mom. I’ve got to wear shorts every day to show off these calves. These are some pretty nice calves. Look,” he explained.
So when she said he is “confident” I thought, “is he ever.”
She went on to explain when she asked him to pick out his best work for his conference folder (stuff to share with mom and dad) he looked through his science and math folders and said, “All of this is excellent work because I rock.” That’s my kid! I love that he has such great confidence in himself. But also that he isn’t afraid to laugh at himself. He keeps me in stitches.
So Spencer…this? Is for you!
BTW, that is, of course, his favorite song. He cracks me!
I’m pretty lucky to be blessed with these awesome kids!
Filed under: Daily ramblings | 1 Comment
My boys played in a soccer tournament this weekend. In Overland Park, KS. And it just so happened that we ended up at the same hotel as you. Hotel staff told us that several NFL teams have stayed at their hotel in the past, but they have never seen a team interact with other hotel guests like you guys did this weekend. And, for that, I THANK YOU. You have no idea how exciting this was for my boys and the other boys on their teams. They stood in the hotel lobby with their papers and pens, not-so-patiently waiting for all you guys to return. It was a dream come true for them.
Having been a bit of a girly girl, I’m kind of new to football. My 12 year old, Spencer, just finished his third football season. And my 9 year old, Caleb, just finished his first. So it’s just been in the last few years that I’ve started to learn about the rules, different positions, and play calls. But, I have to admit, even I was a little star struck. Putting faces to names my husband says while setting up his fantasy football league each week is pretty thrilling. Seeing all six foot whatever, and two hundred something pounds of a professional football player is amazing.
I don’t know all your names, but I’m told we met Eddie Royal, Willis McGahee, Knowshown Mareno, Jason Hunter, Champ Bailey, Matt Prater, Britton Colquit, Brady Quinn, Eric Decker, Coach Fox, and more. You all were so kind to take a little time out of your day to sign autographs and chat with our overjoyed soccer players. While you were signing your names and saying hello our boys’ hearts were doing back flips. And you were inspiring the next generation of fans.
At one point Spencer told Jason Hunter he plays football too. Jason asked him, “What position do you play?”
Spencer proudly proclaimed, “I’m a linebacker.”
“You look like a linebacker,” Jason told him.
And then Jason shook Spencer’s hand. You should have seen the huge smile on Spencer’s face. That smile could have warmed the coldest of hearts. Spencer was in heaven.
So THANK YOU! Thank you for taking the time to inspire little boys who hope to one day grow up to be just as great as you. And thank you for creating a magnificent lasting memory that these boys will never forget. You rock!
With love from your new biggest fan,
Filed under: My little athletes | 1 Comment