Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Done with life

I'm tired.Tired of what? Tired of being me! Tired of my life!
SINGLE LIFE:You see, even though I married 12 years ago ("till death do as part"), I have become a single mother. A single mother who also works. Granted, not full time, but for the next I-don't-know-how-many-months, I am working while the kids are in school from 3-4 days per week and the regular weekends. Yes, I know there are many single mothers who work full time, pick up their kids from daycare, maybe feed them dinner, and tuck them in. Some are happy with this life. I, however am not!
WHEN THE HUSBAND SHOWS UP AT HOME: Mark started a new job almost 2 years ago. Travel was one component. His travel increased to the point that it was Monday through Friday for 6-7 weeks in a row. Then he decided he'd have AT LEAST one day per week home. That week day would be a "work from home" day - which meant he could catch up on home issues and take calls as needed. Somewhere in the past few weeks, this "great idea" has vanished. Take this past Monday for example. He agreed to drop Lauren off at school...and then would be home to catch up on a few things (aka "work from home"). I was volunteering at Mason's school to do vision screening from 8am-12. Funny thing. He went into work. Oh, yes, he did come home around 12:30. He also made a point to tell me he'd purchased himself lunch. But me, no. Why think about others? He left again for an afternoon of conference calls. Monday night, I stated I wanted to discuss future travel plans. It's very hard to do that when one is obsessed with facebook. So, at around 9pm, I said, "you know, if you stopped facebook now, you could hang up the blinds you promised to do YESTERDAY". Guess what! The blinds are still on the living room floor. And, it's not that I hate facebook altogether. It's that I hate the possibility of what could be. I don't think it's appropriate for women to send "private" messages or "gifts" to men. Apparantly, I'm the only one. See, while some are busy on facebook, trying to rack up the number of their "Friends", others of us are left at home, and are neglected. And the housework is neglected. It's just not OK. It's also not OK to show up at home for 2 days and do nothing because you are "sick" or "tired". But, for the past two weekends, that's what Mark has done. Two weekends ago, he somehow got mason to nap (because then Mark gets to nap too, while Lauren watches TV or plays on teh computer). But then after naptime, he also let them watch an entire other movie. See, I don't get that privledge. If I don't do "my chores", no one else is going to pick up after me. I've actually tested and proved this theory. In fact, Mark actually told me on one weekend to lay down and rest....that I could do those things later! 'I', not "we".
THE WEBCAM: It's a great invention. What fun it is to see the other person at their place and talk, while they can see you. What is annoying, is that the webcam is not portable. You can't be playing outside or eating breakfast or getting in the car and talk on the webcam. It's not possible. On a cell phone, yes. Webcam, NO. But, being that he WANTS to use the webcam, he chooses to call at the most inopportune times. For example, we leave at school at the same time EVERY MORNING! Why would you call then to chat? Bedtime is virtually the same time every night, so why would you call then? And, no, I'm not keeping "your kids" from you. It's a pain in the butt to wrangle them up when they are playing outside in the sun! And, I choose not to get them out of bed to talk to you when it's bedtime. Yesterday he called as we were on the way home from school (same time as always). He wanted to talk as soon as we arrived home. Problem is, is that the kids need to get their homework done. I had already promised that as soon as homework was done, they could watch High School Musical 2 (since HSM 3 comes out on Friday). There was no way, I was interrupting homework for a phone call. When we called back after homework, guess what! He wasn't available. So, I kept my end of the promise and let them watch the movie. He called mid-movie to talk again. Neither kiddo wanted to get up from their seats (aside from when they were dancing). Then, he called back after bed time. Seriously - use a clock! Well, we called this morning, but guess what. He wasn't available. I guess the moral is, for those of us who do NOTHING (like me), we should drop everything to talk via webcam.
NOTHING: Let me tell you about the "nothingness" of my days. Where to start (since there is so little to discuss). Let's just discuss this current week.
Monday - Fix lunches; take Mason to school; volunteer from 8-12 at Mason's school for vision screening; come home and change sheets and clean both kids rooms; get call from Lauren's school nurse and talk to Lauren about an injury; email mason's teachers about his performance; pick up Mason; pick up Lauren & Thornley from school; drop Thorns off; sit down for 40 minutes with kids as they do homework; take Lauren to/from a birthday party; mop kitchen floor; do some congregational care work.
Tuesday - Fix breakfast; fix lunches; drop off Mason at school; drive carpool to Lauren's school; go to ENT; have CT scan of sinuses; come home; change my sheets; clean bathroom; start dinner (crock pot); clean laundry room (Mark's job - but he refuses to actually clean all the lint balls off the floor); go to the gym to work out with Michelle; pick up Mason; drive carpool home; do homework with both kids; assist Mason with thank you notes from his birthday (oh, yeah, to Mark's parents); open scholastic box; divide all books for Lauren's classmates in separate bags; pack Lauren's halloween outfit (for girl scout party on Wednesday); mop kitchen floor again (spaghetti spill); tuck kids in; pack up Mason's swimming stuff (for Wednesday); do more congregational care work; empty garbages (Mark's job - he likes to "forget" some); take all 3 garbage dumpsters to the street.
Today - Fix breakfast; fix lunches; drop Mason off at school; take Lauren to the twins house (their day for carpool); go to work; pick up Mason; take him to swimming; eat lunch (yogurt); come home; play outside with Mason; bring garbage cans back from street; clean outside toy bin; sweep a little; pick up dog poop from outside; go to girl scouts; watch their performance; come home; do homework with kids; play outside with kids; clean up; take Lauren to kids choir; put Mason in bath; receive call that Lauren is injured and needs to come home; get mason out of bath and race to church; bring Lauren home; tend to her; tuck kids in; clean pantry floor; type my "angry" blog. Oh, yes, and in the midst of this "nothing-ness", feed the dog; help Mason with occupational therapy homework; adapt Mason's homework for him; reply to emails from his therapists, teachers, etc. And, that's just a synopsis. There are so many other things that I just do routinely (Laundry on a daily basis, straightening up, etc).
So, that sums it up. I'm tired. I'm mad. And, well, the next week will be exactly the same as this! Me and the kids.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The glasses

Good news on all fronts! Mason's lost glasses have been found.

He's had the glasses for almost 2 months. He was wearing them fairly well - but nonetheless, they did require constant adjustments. He would pull them off, put them on, stretch them out, etc. So, once to twice a week, we'd get them fixed. Hence, the back-up glasses. It made it a bit easier. On one of the two pairs, one lens kept falling out. When I'd pick him up from school, the teacher would hand me the frames and the lens. So, two weeks ago, Mark took both pairs of glasses to be repaired at Costco, and came home with both pairs (I saw them both). Sometime that day, one pair disappeared. For one week I scoured the house top to bottom. Under the couches, under cushions, behind other objects, in favorite hiding spots. I looked EVERYWHERE. I finally gave up. In the meantime, with the pair he had left, the lens kept falling out. So, last week Mark took the pair of glasses back to be repaired again - and this time, they sent the glasses back to the lab! So for one week, no glasses. Yesterday, Mason and I were outside. He was playing here, there, and everywhere. When he came inside, he was wearing GLASSES! I asked him where he found them. He found them in his little power wheels car in the back yard. I think that was the ONE place we didn't search! Hallelujah. We don't have to spend money on another pair of glasses! (being that we just spent $95 on the locksmith)!!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

This is dedicated to Meghan

This morning I was awakened at 7:05am by the telephone. It was Meghan. Praise the Lord for my Meghan wake-up call! Due to her timely call, it left me with 30 minutes to get myself and the kids ready for school. Hence, why I dedicate this to Meghan.

Being that it is now Thursday, let me take you back to Tuesday night. Mark came home late that night from a trip (for which he left again for on Wednesday at 6pm). He is still recovering from bronchitis (which he was diagnosed with last Saturday at the urgent care, after I couldn't listen to him cough any more without being evaluated). Anyway, it was very nice of him to come home for Mason's birthday. But, that meant he was coughing and snoring ALL night. I think there was an hour spurt in there where I was wide awake as he was coughing and retching.

That brings us to Wednesday morning. It was Mason's birthday. Lauren woke us at 5:55 to ask if we could wake up Mason. As soon as he woke, he opened a few presents in the kitchen before breakfast. Mark & I brought cupcakes to his class. We brought him McDonalds to lunch and ate with him in the cafeteria (good idea Jen). We celebrated all day. In the afternoon Mark left for his trip. The rest of us had spaghetti at Grandma & Grandpas. After opening more presents, it was time for homemade cake - a clown face - which my mom spent two hours decorating. The kids went to bed as soon as we got home.

This brings us to "technically" Thursday. By that I mean 1am. I was wakened by Lauren. She informed me that Mason was awake. So, I stumbled into his room and found him on his rocking chair, peeking out his window. About an hour later everyone was back to sleep. At about 3:40am, I woke up again to close everyone's doors. Apparantly I fell back asleep and slept right on through my alarm at 6:15am.

Which brings us to the rest of Thursday. After Meghan (my alarm clock) woke me, I realized how MUCH I can truly get done in 30 minutes: Kids dressed; kids fed; dog fed; beds made; lunches made; blinds opened. To make it even better, I showered, got ready (including makeup) and had the kids to school ON TIME!

After dropping them off at school, I ran to Oil Can Henry's for oil (obviously). Headed back home and had 45 minutes to get a few things done. Was sidetracked by Church issues. Met Deanne for lunch. Raced back home to be here for another friend to drop off her son Wyatt at 12:30 (so I could babysit while she had a doctor's appointment). Played with Wyatt. Went to pick up Mason - Wyatt safely in a stroller as he likes to run away too. Heard from my friend that she hadn't been seen by the doctor yet. Came back home. Let the boys watch a little T.V. All three of us head to pick up Lauren. Head to speech and arrived 15 minutes late due to the HORRID construction delays on Coal Creek. Both boys fall asleep on the way. Call Mason's speech therapist to let her know we are indeed coming. Arrive at speech and ask her to come get Mason, since Wyatt is still asleep. Within seconds, Wyatt's mom pulls in and retrieves him. Come home from speech. Hear a loud crash. Mason has broken the light to his room (which was removed a few days ago again). Explain that the kids' bathroom is off limits until I clean up the hazardous area. Fix dinner & multitask at the same time to help with homework. Do dishes. Do the "shower/bath" countdown. Encourage hoodlums to get ready for bed. However, at this point, the bathroom door is still locked. Find appropriately labeled key to unlock it (oh, yes, 2 weeks ago, I labeled all the keys). Discover the labeled bathroom key does not work. Curse under my breath. Find other bathroom key. Discover it too doesn't work. Call locksmiths. Get estimates. Put children in our shower. Call another locksmith. Put children to bed. Let locksmith in. Have bathroom unlocked. Pay $95 for 5 minutes of "breaking and entering". Clean up glass from bathroom. And, now, sit down to write this.....and work on issues for meeting with Mason's teachers tomorrow afternoon.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Back in "the day", orthodontia seemed a bit barbaric. It was painful. Really painful. Having impressions made seemed to take forever. You sat in the chair with a huge tray of the plaster-tasting impression material in your mouth for about 5 minutes. Finally, they'd remove it. It would be shipped to a lab to make the mold of your teeth and then it would be returned. X-rays were taken with "x-ray film". It had to be developed, then put on the "light boxes" to view. Taking a picture of your smile meant you wouldn't see the photo until it had to be developed. Braces were fairly simple: Silver brackets, silver wires, clunky metal, and standard "ties". No options. And, to make it even better, you had the priviledge of just laying in the chair, listening to elevator music. Yippee. My old orthodonist retired years ago. We figure my treatment alone probably bought his summer home (expanders, braces x2, jaw surgery, retainers, "chains" to bring one tooth down, bite guard, etc).

My how the years have changed the practice for orthodontists everywhere. Last week for example, Lauren had an orthodontic consult. After the FREE consult, they actually had time to start the process. We didn't have to schedule the next appointment to have all the preliminary "tests" and scans done. First were the photos. Of course in digital. Next were the impressions. She was able to pick the flavors of her choice for the impressions (from about 20 choices). She chose pina colada for the uppers and root beer for the lower teeth. It took all of about 60 seconds for the impression to be completed, once it was in her mouth. Next were the spacers (rubber bands). They put them in rather quickly and she was done. Within 3 days we had a letter from the orthodonists outlining the findings and discussing treatment.

Today the actual orthodontia began. Of course there was the first issue of business. How we would pay. After that was done, it was time to discuss what would occur today. Everything was on the computer. The impressions were even on the computer in 3-D images. I have a copy they printed so I could show Mark. Next it was time for the torture session. First the bands on the back teeth were sized. No problem for Lauren. Next was another impression to custom-make the expander. Lauren's flavor choice today was vanilla. 60 seconds later it was done. The impression was taken to the lab (inside the office) and finished within minutes. Seriously. A few minutes later, a tech came out with the custom made expander. While the impression and expander were being finished, the brackets/braces were put on. Again, no problem. A little glue and the bracket was placed and turned the correct direction without pain. And, there were even smaller brackets for smaller teeth. Amazing. Next the wire was put on. Next were the "ties" or little rubber bands. Lauren was able to choose whatever colors she wanted. They had almost every color possible - including glow in the dark. Last the expander was cemented in. And, I might add, there was no elevator music. Each chair had it's own Nintendo DS system to play. Lauren played PacMan. Good news is that over the next year, she'll have time to improve her score. Aside from hating the taste of the expander glue, she didn't complain at all. She was a pro!

Once the equipment was finished, they took us to another room to discuss care of braces and expanders. Then they discussed their incentive program. Every time you come in, you can earn tokens. Then they have prices you can redeem your tokens for. Again, I was never rewarded for the pain of orthodontia.

After it was all over, she didn't even complain of pain (although I do anticipate complaints of pain tomorrow). When we got to the car, I gave her a little gift of a pair of earrings. She was ecstatic. Bottom line, kids these days have it MUCH easier then we did!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Caller ID

Caller ID. It can be a great feature. Sometimes, I will look at the incoming caller and I can actually CHOOSE to answer or not answer. Other times, if I am on a call, I might not look at caller ID and ignore whomever is calling. Other times, I'll look at the ID and hang up on whomever I was on the phone with originally. It's not that I'm trying to be rude or play favorites. It's just that sometimes you do have to take the other call.

Take today for example. My cell phone rang, but I was in the bathroom and didn't answer it. A few minutes later the home phone rang (and I was out of the bathroom) so I answered it without looking at the incoming number. It was Lauren's school. She had forgotten her lunch. So, like the good mother I am (despite the fact that Mason called me a "very bad mommy" this morning - as I wouldn't let him watch more T.V.), I said I'd drive to Lauren's school and drop off her lunch. I might add at this time, that I did ask Lauren if she got her lunch and she said 'yes'. Apparantly, when she departed from the car, I should have asked her if she also remembered to pick up the lunch from the floor of the car and take it with her to school! Anyway, Lauren received her lunch.

So, two hours later, while talking to Jackie (long distance), the call waiting rings. I hang up on her as I recognize the phone number as belonging to Mason's school. Great! So, I answer it. It's his "helper" (who helps monitor his eating at lunch and recess to make sure he doesn't run away). During recess, he was climbing up the ladder. She was standing behind him and he lost his footing. He slipped through the rungs and was hanging on. She tried to reach him, but he fell through and landed on his feet, then his rear. So, she took him to the school nurse (who he visited on a regular basis last week for his albuterol) and he was still complaining of a hurt pinky finger. Anyway, she wanted to call before she left school. I thanked her for her call and said I'd look at him after school.

The morale to this story: DON'T answer the phone if it's from the school!

Friday, October 3, 2008

What I didn't want to hear

To add to this crazy week, we took both kids to a consult appointment at an orthodontist. Last week at Mason's dentist appointment, (to evaluate two permanent teeth growing behind two very solid baby teeth), she advised that he'd have to have at least two teeth extracted. Since he has trachea issues, it would have to be done at Children's under general anesthesia. Since it must be at Children's, she wanted us to have an orthodontic consult to see if anything else should be done while they are "in there". I asked if we should bring Lauren to the orthodontist now, and she said yes. The good news is that the orthodontic consults are FREE. Yes, FREE. Not one dime!

Here is a summary of Mason's report from the orthodontist:
-Class 3 Lower jaw and teeth are displaced to the front of the upper jaw structures.
-An underbite is present
-Space available for upper teeth is severely insufficient
-Space available for the lower teeth is mildly insufficient.
Recommendations: To have 8 (YES, EIGHT) teeth extracted (4 upper; 4 lower) and to be reevaluated in 6 months.

Here is a summary of Lauren's report from the orthodontist:
-Class 1 The first molars are in a normal relationship
-Space available for the upper teeth is excessive
-Space available for the lower teeth is excessive
-Right posterior crossbite is present
Recommendations: Maxillary expander; Partial maxillary appliances; First phase treatment (estimated treatment for 12 months).
So, Lauren will begin the long road of orthodontia next week. The good news is that she will not have to undergo as much as I did (from second grade - expander, braces, extractions, surgery, etc - and "graduated" my sophomore year in COLLEGE). The bad news, is that this "free consultation" will cost a pretty penny. Anyone want to donate to the "Ponte beautiful smiles" fund?

The healthy child

It's been a LONG week! My sickly child Mason continues to be sick. Good news is that he made it 7 WHOLE DAYS at school before he got sick. Thank goodness there was a strike...he made it to the end of September without antibiotics. He's now on round two of antibiotics, and oral steroids (which make him evil). His oxygen levels last night were hovering around the low 90's. This morning he was actually sounding better and his oxygen was in the mid-90's. So, being that he had no fever, is on antibiotics, and the school can administer albuterol, I sent him!!

This morning when Lauren woke up and the lights were on, I noticed her eye looked a little red. Then, I noticed there was a little drainage. NO - NOT PINK EYE! After dropping the "sickly child" off at school, it was off to the doctor with the "healthy child". The nurse practitioner walked in and joked, saying "oh, I wasn't expecting you" (referring to Lauren vs. Mason). She evaluated her and then asked "how long has she had the cold for"? I staggered through my words, as I said "I can't remember - a week or more - it's been mild - she's my healthy one - Mason's been sick". We both laughed. I then joked, "how red does an eye have to be to keep her home from school". We all laughed at that too, knowing full well the school policy is absolutely NO pink eye at school (unless treated for 24 hours). What a bad mom am I!

Since Lauren was diagnosed with pink eye AND a sinus infection, it was off to the pharmacy to fill the prescription. As we wandered around Bartell's, we were paged back to the pharmacy. They had to verify Lauren's prescription coverage. I laughed and said, it's the same coverage as me and Mason (the sickly pair). I handed them the insurance card so they could add verify Lauren's coverage. Funny thing is, the last time she needed ANY prescription was July of 2007!!!! So, explain to me, WHY this had to happen this week!!!