Be Happy Anyway

Be Happy Anyway
From Brave Girls Club

Monday, May 31, 2010

Whine, Whmper, Whaaaa

Today is a school holiday. Most holidays there is still daycare, but today there is no daycare. Today my son woke up telling me that he has a toothache. I looked where he is pointing and there is already a filling and a crown. I can't imagine what else could be wrong there, but sure enough, that side of his face is slightly swollen. This happens when there is no dentist available and when I will have no more sick days on the last week of school. The whining and whimpering begin.

We move on from this to the backyard. "Mom! Caitlin won't push me on my horse swing!" Whaa Whaa Mmmmwhaaa. This is followed by a shout to my thirteen year old to go push her brother.

Next comes the park. Mind you, it's 98 degrees outside, but I figure he needs some more run around time. The whining starts about the tooth again, and I remind him that he will have to take some Tylenol (store brand since it is all recalled) when we get home. He tells me that Tylenol is for when you are sick. I tell him that Tylenol is for when you have pain, too. He informs me that he doesn't have a pain. I explain that when your tooth hurts that is called pain. He instructs me that pain is a volcano. (Someone has been watching too many heartburn commercials.) We argue over semantics for a few more minutes. Then I remember I need toilet paper.

I ask Caitlin to make a mental note that we need gasoline and toilet paper - not that she will remember, but I hope my telling her will make an imprint on my brain. It does, but also puts a bug in James' ear. "I NEED MARSHMALLOWS."

Again, another conversation ensues about the problem with toothaches and marshmallows, but it falls on deaf ears. James continues to make his plea for the 20 minute ride home and all the way through the grocery store. All the while he is whining and whimpering, and I think I am about to flip my lid.

As we get home, I ask James to let the dog in who is also whimpering. James just lays on the ottoman whining and complaining about the lack of marshmallows in the house. Finally a sound that is music to my ears emanates from the bathroom, the sound of water running. The sound that means that a certain little whiny boy is about to get in the tub, and a certain tired mother is about to get a moment's peace.

Until he remembers....There are no marshmallows.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Chaos vs Control

My life is pretty much chaos most of the time. The laundry is never done. The kitchen is never truly clean. (The moment it's clean, someone comes along to mess it up.) There are very few areas of life that I have control. Today I had a brief moment of anxiety because of a little chaos that happened today.

I had just bought a package of permanent color markers so the kids could color some "stained glass" pictures to hang at home. It was a classroom of 2nd and 4th graders who have been reading buddies all year. There was a cart with Sharpies and a table with Mark It pens. Each student could come and get one color and then put it back where they got it. They worked really hard to keep the Sharpies and the Mark Its separated, but no one told them that placing the pens in anything other than color order would make Mrs. Victory completely INSANE. By the end of the class, the pens looked like this:

I didn't feel better until I made it look like this.

They are still not exactly how they were when I bought them, but at least I have them somewhat where I want them.

And Peace Has Been Restored...At least in a box of markers.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Thanks Hilde Iren

I have such good friends, always sharing things with me to help me prep for my long awaited trip to Norway. (Insert *sigh* now who are ready for me to go so I can stop planning.)

Well, in a series of clicking blog loves of Norwegian friends, I encountered Hilde Iren. After my posting on her jewelry blog, she caught on that I was headed to Norway in just 1 month, 3 weeks and 3 days. :-) She has since shared with me a neat railway to the top of Bergen and today sent me a link to this video. (It is from television show.)

(I can't get the video small enough, no matter how I size it.)

It is just lovely, Hilde. Thanks for sharing it with me. I tried to add it to my blog playlist but there was only one song that featured her and it wasn't this one. I will have to add it to my traveling playlist when I get an iPod.

Just 1 month, 3 weeks and 3 days more and then you won't hear me planning it, but then you get to put up with me sharing all my great travel pics. Get ready!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Matter of Perspective

Today, we had to drive an hour and half away find a pair of gold shorts for Caitlin's dance routine. She had a pair but lost them at the last competition.

James had to be dragged around with us and was very well behaved. He entertained us from the back seat.

First, he decided to make a paper airplane. I don't have a picture of it, but it looked a little like this:
Remember he is only 5.

Then, he said, "Now what is it?"Can you see it??? No?? It's a shark.

Finally, he showed me this:
Do you see it? Give a guess. It's a saw.

Later as we were winding our ways down the country roads, we encountered the usual dead skunk. We usually hold our breath until we think it is safe, but James came up with another solution. He hummed. Every time we came across a skunk he hummed. He hums one long note. Try it. Find an onion or something malodorous and hum while it is in front of your nose. See if you can smell it. I bet you can't because humming require that you exhale.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Vintage Goodness

So I was reading Jacque's post on Little Red Studio today where she let people know about a sweet giveaway over at The Vintage Workshop. I hopped right over to see what was up. Well wouldn't you know it they were talking about gardening and sponsoring a giveaway of some goodies with a vintage gardening theme. You should pop on in and visit them. Great stuff.

So it got me thinking (as I am prone to do) about the last time I tried to garden. I have decided that I have a black thumb. Everything I try to grow turns out bad. The only one time that it seemed it was going to turn out fine, we had to move before the potatoes matured. :-( So I dug them up and showed my daughter what had become of them. It was exciting, but after everything else that I killed, I decided that gardening is probably not for me.

The gardeners in my family are my mother and her sister. My mother loves container gardening, mostly flowers, but she does have some herbs growing out front. Her sister however, doesn't just have a green thumb, she has a green hand, brain, whatever. Everything she touches blooms like you wouldn't believe. I wish I had some pictures on this computer.

Anyway, if I win some of the gardening themed goodies from Vintage Workshop, I know exactly who they are going to. Unless, of course you win them first.

Good luck and happy gardening.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Time is Drawing Near

Passport - Check
Travel Guides - Check
Language CDs - Check
Plane Reservations - Check
Hotel Reservations - Check, Check
Tranportation Arrangements - Check, Check, AND Check
Great Travel Companion - SUPER CHECK!

Things left to do:
  1. Finish working summer school
  2. Buy travel clothes
  3. Buy comfy shoes
  4. Look up Trondheim activities
  5. Clean house
I have been chatting with Miruspeg via email. Planning, deciding, collaborating.
Do you want to go by bus? Is this hotel okay? What do you think about staying this long here and there? Doesn't the train sound like fun? Oooh! Check this out!
If you were inside my head, you would have to be a ninja to avoid the flying thoughts.

Thank goodness for the internet. In the past, a person would have to rely on a travel agency, word of mouth and travel guides from the book store in order to plan a great trip. Where would we be without Google Maps, Expedia, Google Search and Google Translator?

This vacation started out almost three years ago as a wish, a dream, just whimsy. Then things started coming together bit by bit. I already knew someone in Norway. Then I began to connect with more people through Scrapblog and Blogger. Everyday that passed brought this crazy idea closer to reality.

Now our departure is two months away, and I am so excited. My stomach is turning. Just imagine the excitement you feel standing in a line waiting for your turn on a roller coaster. You step into the queue without a second thought. The closer you get to the gate, the louder the ride becomes. As you approach the final turn in your wait for this attraction, the structure looms high above you. You know it is going to be fun. Everyone has told you how great it is, yet you still worry. What if something goes wrong? What if I throw up, lose my favorite sunglasses, get stuck at the top of the ride? Regardless of this apprehension, you reach the point of no return, the moment when you are strapped in and the safety bar comes down over you and locks into place. You are committed to this. The ride jerks to a start, climbs clickity-clack up the all important first hill, comes to a pause at the very top and....ZOOM! You're off on the ride of your life, not knowing which way the rails will turn, twisting, flipping, holding your breath, laughing all the way until the ride returns to where you began - injury free, sunglasses clutched tightly in your fingers. You survived unscathed. You look at your partner and say...


This is my hope for our trip this summer. When it's all said and done, I want to be counting the days until I can do it again.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Mixed Bag

This week started with James having a fever and having to go to the doctor. Normally a fever doesn't bother me too much, but this one was accompanied by big red cheeks. Every indicator said, Fifth Disease. Mom took James to the doctor who checked for strep with the in office "quick test." She said no strep and that it WAS Fifth Disease also known as Slapped Cheek disease. She said if his fever was gone the next day, that he could go to school as it was no longer contagious. However, he needed to stay indoors ad sunlight exacerbates the rash.

Tuesday, I took James to school and gave them the doctor note allowing him back to school along with a note from me asking that he stay indoors the remainder of the week. When I picked him up after school, the teacher said everything went fine.

Wednesday, I went in with the same instructions, but this time when I picked him up he was covered in head to toe dust - an indicator that he had been outside. I questioned the teacher in the room and she said she forgot and didn't have her phone outside to call someone to come get him. Let me tell you, I was hot! I repeated, "He is not supposed to be outside," several times and she just kept telling me, "We stayed in the shade." Listen folks, this is Texas where it doesn't matter if you were in the shade. Then, I found his teacher and repeated my concern, and she gave me the same song and dance.
Thursday, no surprise, James had a 101 temperature. I have taken all of my sick days off. I still have personal days, but I have been out 11 days this school year. I also had a commitment at school for an after school event, so I asked my mom if she would watch him again. She did and he stayed sick all day and the next. It was so bad that I canceled the spa day my neighbor and I had planned for Saturday, but when I got home, my mom told me to go, so I had to go through the process of booking two sets of treatments again the Saturday before MOTHER'S DAY!!

Today, when I dropped James off at mom's, I got out the flashlight and had James say AHH. It looked a lot like below. No wonder he sounded like Kermit the frog. Immediately mom took James to the urgent care at the pediatrician's office. Guess what. It WAS strep.
He is now on antibiotics and an inhaler. Mom didn't know what I had at home so she only picked up the antibiotic. When I picked James up from her house, I went to the grocery to pick up the inhaler. Outside the store they were grilling bratwurst. This would be fine except the doors to the store were left wide open and the grill smoke drifted into the store. (Did I tell you we had no groceries in the house?) The longer we stayed in the store, the worse his wheezing got. I thought he would cough up his toenails.

Fortunately we figured out what James had today instead on Sunday so we didn't have to go to the ER. The pediatrician has Saturday hours.

On the good side, my neighbor and I had a great time at the spa.

I am looking forward to a better week next week.

Happy Mother's Day everyone.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My 10th

I saw this on Marit's blog: REPOST YOUR 10TH POST

Feeling A little nostalgic I decided to play along.

The Simple Things

It's the simple things that make life worthwhile sometimes.

Example 1:
Today I was looking for supplies in my cupboard at school when I realized that I had an unopened box of Girls Scout Thin Mints. There they were just calling my name. I was good and resisted tearing open the box and having a handful right in front of my students. Instead, I waited until I finished my healthy lunch of Progresso Chicken Soup, carefully pulled out three and enjoyed them one by one. I did have to resist the urge to leave the open box at the table and eat them freely from the box. (A habit I broke many years ago.)

Example 2:
Another simple thing is the ability to hit the snooze bar. I love it. It feels like I am getting over on someone. Sure, I have to wake up early to enjoy this, but somehow it is worth it to be able to slap that button a couple of times. Otherwise, I would have to jump up right when the alarm went off. Where's the fun in that?

Example 3:
Living where I do, it gets hot. Not just a little warm. I mean HOT, 100+° HOT, burn your skin on the lawn furniture HOT. Because of the heat, stores and dining establishments love to keep the air on 65°F. Now that is just too cold for me. When I leave these places, all I want to do is warm up. I do this by getting in the hot car without turning it on or opening any windows. It only takes a few seconds, but this is something I truly enjoy. Every time I do this, I have the pleasant memory of going to the commissary with my mom and little brother where it was almost cold enough to store meat without a freezer. Upon check-out, we would go out to my mother's station wagon and warm up while we waited for her to turn on the car. I don' t know why this is a good memory, but is, at least to me. To my daughter who has to hear me repeat it every time we leave a restaurant...not so much.

If it weren't for the simple things, what fun would life be? We can't just sit around waiting for that ultimate experience. We have to enjoy the good when we can.
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