Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Louse-y day

Yesterday, I washed Caroline's hair, combed out lice and what I hoped were nits. I washed (in hot water) her sheets, her blanket, her quilt, two pillows, about seven towels, all of our towels, the bath mats, her jacket and hat. I also vacuumed her mattress and the couch. In the middle of all that I had to take apart the vacuum cleaner to remove a sock that had gotten sucked in and stuck.

Because I did so much non-clothing laundry, I was out of casual, comfortable pants this morning. I woke up at 6:30 and hit the shower because I had to take Caroline to be checked at the school nurse's office and I had a GYN appointment later in the morning. We went to school, and damn if they didn' t find one nit about a quarter of an inch from her scalp. No school for Caroline today! Then they checked Bobby; he was clean. Then they checked me--one nit. F#$%^. Deep sigh. Time to go to the gynecologist, and what better way to make it really fun than to take two children along with me.

Bobby and Caroline spilled their snacks, bickered and shouted at each other the whole time at the doctor's office. I had arrived 15 minutes early. By 10:45, I still hadn't seen the doctor, and I was getting stressed because Caitlin gets out at 11:10. Add to that I had some concerns I wanted to discuss with the doctor (and I wasn't thrilled to have an audience) and it's getting dangerously close to that time of the month, and you end up with me in tears as the doctor finally comes into the exam room. Not exactly my finest moment. She was very nice about it and she worked quickly and thoroughly to allay my concerns. Then we had to sprint to get Caitlin.

After we got Caitlin, we made two stops (well, three if you count the brief potty break at home) for more lice paraphenalia. At Walgreen's I scored the Robi-comb. It's a fine-tooth comb that is supposed to zap the nits, and I'm hoping it works because I'd much rather do that than apply 16 ounces of Cetaphil to Caroline's head, comb that through and blow it dry. I do have to sanitize her sheets and pillows again, and mine too. And I did wash my comfy pants this morning, but all this extra laundry is putting me behind on the clothing.

I did find out that another kid in Caroline's class was sent home yesterday. The nurse told me they checked about 80 kids yesterday! What fun.

So, wish me luck as I try to get everything cleaned...again.

Here's hoping Caroline will be nit-free tomorrow. I would hate for her to miss the Halloween parade and the class party.

Monday, October 29, 2007

In case you were wondering...

where does the phrase "nit picking" come from? I can tell you. I have been trying to pick nits out of my daughter's hair this morning! It's nearly impossible since the nits are microscopic. Yes, we have head lice today. Awesome! Caroline came home last week with a note from the school nurse--someone in the class had them. I didn't really think about it until last night when I was drying Caroline's hair. I had seen what I thought was a flea. I suppose I should be relieved that my daughter doesn't have fleas. Somehow that seems worse than lice. Rob would disagree. He is completely skeeved by the whole thing. Of course, he didn't have to spend half an hour trying to pull a ridiculous comb through Caroline's hair while trying to find specks of dust to remove. In addition to applying the lice-killing shampoo, I've been washing everything Caroline ever touched in hot water. (Actually, just her sheets, blanket, quilt, pillows, and towels.) I didn't have anything planned today--nothing major that I wanted to accomplish, and now lice removal has become my day's project.

And on a much happier note, the Red Sox swept the Rockies!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thursday thoughts

Where has the week gone? It's Thursday already? Time flies when you're walking back and forth to school...here's the latest:

  • The Red Sox took Game One of the World Series. I gave up around 10:00--these games run so late! Why can't they start at 7:30 instead of 8:30?

  • My feet have been killing me--and I mean, I've been taking ibuprofen because they hurt so bad. I iced my heels last night. I don't recommend it, although it did help with the pain. I am suffering from Plantar Fasciitis, btw. It sucks. I feel like a wuss. My gigantic Sasquatch feet are actually delicate instruments which apparently require all sorts of additional arch support! So at some point today I'm off in search of foot gear.

  • And today, I am, yet again, off to the grocery store. We can't seem to keep food in this house! That and I keep forgetting to buy key ingredients like half-and-half (for my coffee) and diced tomatoes (to make the gravy for spaghetti) and ground beef (to make the meatballs). See what happens when I try to make a mental list? Not good.
  • Don't you love the picture above? My mom was trying to take a picture of us on Sunday, and she had us standing facing the sun...this is what happened.

Monday, October 22, 2007

And here are the pictures!

I couldn't get the pictures to upload last night, so here are some highlights from Longwood Gardens.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Longwood Gardens in the Fall

My mom is up visiting this weekend, and today we went to Longwood Gardens. It was a perfect day to walk around the grounds and enjoy the scenery. Too bad the kids did not share this sentiment. I think they'll sleep very well tonight--we made them walk a LOT. And we capped off the day with dinner at P.F. Chang's, so I'm happy!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Odds and Ends

As I started typing "odds and ends," I found myself thinking "odds and evens." This goes back to the college days, where we had an odd/even rivalry (based on your year of graduation). I was an even--I guess I am an even--my graduation year never changed. Ever since last fall, thoughts of my alma mater just stir up a whole hornet's nest of emotions. I could dedicate a whole blog just to the drama of what has happened to Randolph-Macon Woman's College. Go to http://www.preserveeducationalchoice.org/ for more information--and to donate to the cause!

But back to my odds and ends: Wednesday is usually one of our crazier days. I should have known that something was up with Caitlin this morning when I went in the girls' room and found her still in bed. She's usually the first one up. Then, when I opened the blinds, she still didn't stir. It was no surprise twenty minutes later when she asked me to feel her forehead. She is running a low-grade fever and her cheeks are flushed. I kept her home. I guess this means she'll miss dance class this afternoon, so our afternoon just got a lot less crazy. Although I don't want to have to drag her out to Caroline's lesson if she's still not feeling well. Since we're basically stuck at home until 3:15, might as well do laundry! And I should finish cleaning the guest room.

Also, I could use some of this downtime to continue re-reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I know, it's the third time I've read it, and I probably need some kind of help. It's just such an exciting story and such a wonderful final chapter to the whole saga. I'm getting ready to hand it over to my mom (she's on Book 5 right now), and I couldn't bear to part with it without reading it one more time...

On to other heartbreak: the baseball playoffs. We're pulling for the Red Sox. They are killing me. And I'm trying to keep the faith. I know it's not over, no matter how bad it looks. That's the thing about baseball--you cannot give up on your team. But I sure do wish they were playing at Fenway. The crowd in Cleveland got right into that game last night, and having the crowd behind you is very powerful. I've gotta breathe, I'm getting worked up thinking about it. Maybe I should go tell Bobby to put on his Red Sox hat for the rest of the day. We need some good mojo out there!

Speaking of Bobby, I may as well rename the kid "Pigpen." My son is sweet; he is gorgeous; he can't eat a meal without spreading half of it on the table and the other half all over his face, hands and clothing. He is single-handedly trying to raise the stock price of the stain stick company. And now he's sitting on the couch picking his nose. I suppose this will all be funny when he grows up to be a neat-freak germophobe. God bless his little pointed head!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


So very sleepy! I'm debating whether to make a cup of coffee. I usually only have one per day because I get nasty headaches when I tweak my caffeine intake, but I didn't get to finish my cup from this morning, and, as I said already, I'm really tired!

I have spent today going through my closet. My shelf was in complete disarray. Now I have organized my sweaters and sweatshirts and I've removed the collection of bathing suits that had somehow found their way into my closet--not just my bathing suits, but every member of the family had a bathing suit up there. Now I just have to move all of the children's clothing from the guest room so my mom will have a place to sleep when she arrives on Thursday...I know I should be grateful that we get so many hand-me-downs, but it is insane! And changing seasons makes me crazy--it's never a smooth process. I have plastic garbage bags to put all the clothes in--the categories go something like this: clothes to hand down to cousin Casey; clothes to hand down to cousin Sarah; clothes to hold onto for two years for Caitlin; clothes that might fit next summer; clothes that are stained beyond belief; clothes that never got worn.

And as if I'm not having enough fun with clothes, I could probably stand to run a load of laundry while I'm at it! I'm going to make some coffee before we have to get Caroline.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Pumpkin fun

It finally feels like fall, and we went over to New Jersey for our annual pumpkin picking on Saturday. It was a beautiful day--clear and breezy. The kids had fun, and we came home with three pumpkins.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I'm still here

But we've been having computer problems, so posting hasn't been a priority lately! We're going pumpkin picking this weekend, and the weather is supposed to be beautiful, so I should have some good pictures to put up next week. I've taken a couple great ones of Bobby at the pumpkin patch over the years, as you can see above.

Friday, October 5, 2007

And breathe...

So it's Friday, and Caitlin is home from school. She threw up right as I'm trying to get them dressed and out the door. No school for you! (imagine the Soup Nazi voice here) And no gym for me. Guess I'll get my sweat on another day. Oh, well, I'm sure there's some laundry I could be doing right about now.

I'm still worn out from yesterday--I know it's not a full moon, but everyone was in rare form. I felt like I spent most of the afternoon yelling. And yelling at children only makes them yell at each other (and sometimes back at me). It's a bad cycle to get into, and it's hard as hell to break once I'm into it. I hate days like that--I just need to go cool off in another room, but I know that if I leave the room, I'll just come back to an even bigger mess, or the kids will be jumping off the table or something crazy. I can see now that maybe a divide and conquer strategy would probably be helpful--see how just a night of sleep can help? Just a little bit of distance from the madness is helpful. I really don't want to be a yelling mom. I often wish I could re-wire myself to be more laid back.

So, Caroline's first Brownie troop meeting of the year is tonight. That should be fun for her, I hope. You never can tell--last year she loved taking dance, and this year, she's complained every week. And she's really good at it. That's the thing that kills me. I'm working with the dance teacher to build up her confidence. One of the things Caroline dislikes is that she feels like she's the youngest one in her class, which isn't true. There are a couple of other seven year olds, but there are some ten year olds, too, and they're about a full head taller than her. But the teacher thought she was ready to move up a level, so there you have it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Here's one to think about

Today I skipped yoga because I decided I could better achieve inner peace by attending to some tasks that I've been putting off. One of these tasks was to sew some patches onto Caroline's Brownie vest. The sewing machine lives in the basement, and I have to bring it upstairs to use it, the cord runs across the kitchen floor, you get the picture, right? Not a fun thing to do with three kids around. Anyway, I was sewing (or trying to--my brown thread ran out) and it got me to thinking about the only known picture of me in my Brownie uniform. I remember exactly what it looks like--it was taken the day I officially became a Brownie. I was in second grade, I even had on the lovely beanie. The kitchen wallpaper in the background was an awesome late-seventies orange and yellow pattern. The thing is, I know I have this picture somewhere. I am certain that I took it from my parents at some point.

Cut to me in the basement going through a rubbermaid box of almost every picture, card and letter I ever received in my life. And no, I didn't find the picture. Damn, I keep a lot of stuff! I mean, there were some treasures in there--ribbons from my swim team days and the first letter my brother ever wrote me while I was at Girl Scout camp in 1979. That letter is so old I'm afraid it will fall apart if I try to open it, but I remember thinking even back then that it was so sweet. But about 80% of the box was cards and letters. And here is where my sentimental, scrapbooking side does battle with my pragmatic, recycle-or-die side. Do I really need to keep every high school graduation card I ever received? Do I need to keep any of them? If I keep them (and every Christmas card, every birthday card, every "Congrats on yet another baby" card), won't they eventually get tossed when I'm old and gray? Or dead, for that matter? (hopefully I'll have reached old and gray by then)

When my grandfather passed away, we spent what seemed like hours going through memorabilia of his (granted, he was a college basketball coach, so his stuff was cooler and of slight historical value). And then I think we tossed a great deal of it. Do I want to burden my children and grandchildren with having to go through all this stuff? Maybe they'll just take one look and dump it all.

I'm leaning toward tossing out much of it and maybe scrapbooking a few items. That way, I can indulge my need to organize and still recycle! It's win-win (-win, for you Office fans out there).

Monday, October 1, 2007

Trying to get into a groove

Sometimes it just sucks to be the first-born. I mean, for a little while (21 months in Caroline's case), Caroline was our only baby, and we hovered over and photographed and scrapbooked every second of it. Temperature at 98.8? Call the doctor! No bowel movement in 24 hours? Call the doctor! First time smiling, sitting up, crawling, standing up in her crib? Alert the media!

But once the siblings arrived, get in line. Granted, Caroline still gets to hit the milestones first--first day of preschool, first ride on the schoolbus, first lost tooth, etc. But now she's in second grade, and that's great, but it's not really newsworthy. It's more of the same. And then there's Caitlin, who has just started kindergarten--that's a big deal. It's different and exciting for her. And Caitlin has started reading all by herself--another very big deal. Of course, being the only boy is a big attention-getter for Bobby. I feel like Caroline is getting lost in the shuffle a little bit. And as all kids know, if you want attention, act really bad! It's a surefire way to get Mommy's attention!

I guess I need to carve out more time just for her--not easy to do, because there's never a time when it's just the two of us. We always have siblings in tow. Also I need to use more positive reinforcement. She's doing well and has been doing well for a while, so it's easy to forget that praise and encouragement are welcome and useful.

Since Caroline missed two days of school last week, she is behind in her school work. The teacher sent most of it home over the weekend, but we didn't get it finished. And then today, she came home with three more pages to make up! This is ridiculous! I'm not going to chain her to the table and force her to complete it all in one day. She did a couple of make-up assignments in addition to her new homework today. Maybe by Thursday she'll be all caught up. It's tough at homework time--the little ones always decide they need me just when I'm trying to work with her. It's frustrating. Deep breaths!