Saturday, September 30, 2006

Race day

I just finished my first 5k race, which was the Susan Komen Race for a Cure. I had an amazing time. Besides the actual activity, the atmosphere of the race was fantastic and so uplifting. Throughout the race course there were bystanders cheering on the runners. Some merely yelled "woohoo", others rapped out "beat breast cancer" songs while others still simply shouted "thank you". Even the police who were doing crowd control and blocking streets for the race got on their speakers to shout encouragement. Scattered throughout the race were participants who are survivors of breast cancer. You'd see their pink shirts as the crowd shifted. Then there were those who wore placards that said "I race in memory of..." I teared up several times as I read those, feeling a little bit of their loss. At the end of the race, the organizers called out to the survivors who finishing and had them announce how long they had been cancer-free. The answers I heard ranged from 2 months to 19 years.
I felt like I was part of something important and it helped me remember that there are many caring, considerate, good people around me in this world.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Banned books week

Tomorrow is the last day of banned books week, a week to celebrate literary creations that have been challenged or banned over the years for many an inane reason. I happy to report that out of the top 20 challenged books of all time, I have read 15 of them. Even to this day, Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson makes me cry everytime I read it. If you check out the American Library Association's website (, you too can see if the written word has corrupted you.

I am also happy to report that J is well on the road to reading his fair share of challenged/banned books. His favorite book series is the Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey, in the top ten of the most challenged books of the 21st century.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Bad mommy

There are times in my life when I realize that I should have handled things differently. The following is one of them.
J has "benchmark" testing this week and his math teacher sent home a packet of problems for him (as well as all his other classmates) to work on for practice. There were 23 word problems, with multiple choice answers. Easy, right? It would have been except instead of just being able to answer the problem, he needed to do a "window pane" which showed the facts of the problem, the main idea, the method, and the solution as to how the problem was solved. It is meant to teach the children how to break down a problem so that they can understand it. Fine, fine, but it is a pain in the ass and takes forever although I do not say this out loud. J does, and complains about it. He never wants to do all the steps since he can figure out the answer without doing all the work. So this weekend, he sat at my kitchen table for 3 hours on Saturday and 6 hours on Sunday doing next to nothing on this packet. By Sunday, my patience had gone out the window, and I started to raise my voice a bit about how he just needed to follow instructions and get the work done. At about this time he started complaining about a headache. My response? "Of course your head hurts, you've been staring at the same paper for hours. Now just do your work." Eventually it got to the point where nothing else was being done, he was beat, I was beat and I told him to just go outside and play, that he would face the consequences from his teacher and that if he failed 3rd grade, it would be because he wasn't doing his work (I know, a little extreme, but that is one of the reasons for the title of this post).
So after J comes in and gets ready for bed, he tells me again that his head still hurts. I reply it is "probably because you were stressed out over your homework", that "I'll email your teacher to let her know how long you worked on it and would she go over some of it today before the big test." He shrugs his shoulders and goes off to brush his teeth. Then he comes back and asks if I can take his temperature, since he thinks he might have a fever. I feel his head, cool to touch, and say "sure" to pacify him. Any guesses as to whether or not he had a fever (clue: title of post)?

100.9 F

So a low fever, but a fever nevertheless.

The award for worst mom of the week goes

Sunday, September 24, 2006

What if..

Recently here in Texas there was a shooting death of an officer during a "routine" traffic stop and arrest. While watching this breaking news, I got me thinking about what I would do if I was the spouse in this situation. This is a possibility not to far from reality, since hubby is in a law enforcement field, and does deal with some rather dangerous folks at times (he also deals with the relatively harmless loonies, but I digress). In fact, I have dreamed the scenario several times, with frighteningly realistic details.
I even have discussed this with some other wives I know whose husbands are also in the "business". We've debated over who would be best to have by your side when the news was broken to you, whether we would scream or just stare silently as we were told, would we move or keep the homes we are in, etc. I think I would just keep repeating, "No, no, no" and "go away" to the folks who came to tell me.
My hubby finds it a bit morbid, especially since it is his death I am contemplating, but I think of it as more of a realist's point of view. I may not be able to control other's actions, but I can be prepared when they influence my life. It is one of the reasons I refuse to carry any debt (other than house and car). I have a part time job, but it would not support us. Therefore, we need to be in the best financial situation before anything happens. If I were to loose my husband, I could not imagine loosing my home as well and therefore traumatizing my son even more so than he already would be. I'm lucky in that I would have options - I could stay where I am now or move back to the east coast where much of our family is located - but they are options I hope I never have to use.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

I keep this in mind everytime I am asked to help out with a school project, either through PTO or through J's classroom.

Monday, September 18, 2006

So we are chickens?!?

During breakfast, J was telling me about different aninals who shed either fur, feathers, or skin. Then he got onto the odd facts about animals, ie. a bulls horns are made of the same materieal as a fingernail, etc. I admit I wasn't paying much attention until he started talking about how girls have eggs in them. What?!? Are they teaching him sex ed in 3rd grade? I looked up from laptop and listened a wee bit closer. The science teacher mentioned how girls have, to quote J, "eggs in them somewhere, I don't quite get where" and that one of the girls in his class blurted out "they we are just like chickens!" I may have to prepare that "where do babies come from speech" a little sooner than I thought.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I survived too

I'm back from my doctor's visit, and the results were what I expected (which is a good thing). We'll have to wait on the blood work to make sure that I'm truly OK, but I am optimistic. Seems I had a cyst that decided to rupture, which is a rather painful experience. I also found out that I should not be developing them, but that I am one of the lucky 1 out of 100 who do. So, I can expect more joyful cysts to form and burst. I don't need to tell you how thrilled I was to hear that (the sarcasm would be dripping of my tongue if I was actually speaking to you right now). Funny thing is, my dear identical twin is going through the same thing, although hers hasn't burst yet. I've left her a message so she'll be ready for it when it happens.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I can see clearly now...

I am happy to report that J can see clearly, his eyesight is R 20/15, L 20/25. No need for glasses yet. More importantly, no need for surgery.
He's so funny when he gets his eyes dilated -he squirms and complains so much you would think the opthamologist is poking his eye out with a hot needle. Yes, it stings some, but he carries on quite a bit. Especially since this is the same child who tore off half a toenail when he caught it in a door and simple said "ouchy, ouchy" as he went off to ride his bike; landed on his face while skateboarding with just a "oomph", and in general toughs out most injuries that would have us adults limping and whining in pain.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I remember

I remember...
sitting in my home in Connecticut, watching Sesame Street as I readied J for preschool.
Then the phone rang,
"What are you watching, change the channel, a plane flew into the World Trade Center"
There I sat, tears streaming down my face, poor J asking what was wrong.
I couldn't answer.
I dropped him off at school, went to work, and couldn't believe people where going about their daily business.
We had left NY but a few months before.
What of our friends, our neighbors, where they OK?
Can't reach them, the phones are busy, busy, busy.
Then the phone call from my Step-mother-in-law,
"Your father-in-law is there, he left for NY when the first plane hit. We haven't heard from him - the cell towers are down."
He was at ground zero, part of the rescue efforts
After a week or so, my brother-in-law went to do his service for his fellow firefighters.
Both of them have health problems that have developed since that day - connected, who knows.
One thing is for certain, I will remember and treasurer those who gave their lives for us, and their families and friends whose lives where forever altered.
I remember.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Posting woes

Sorry I haven't been my usual witty self. I have several stories I'd like to share, but I just can't sit long enough to write them. Like Wally over at the Resident Curmudgeon, I've been a little under the weather. Also like Wally, I don't know the cause of my "illness", all I know is that there is much fatigue and pain involved with it. However, I am bowing to pressure and seeing a doctor on Thursday, hopefully to get some answers.
Besides that appointment, I get to take J to his appointment to find out if he'll need eye surgery again. We went through this when he was two, and I swore that I would never go through that again, that the sight of my baby unconscious on a hospital bed was so overwhelming that I literally could not stand, and almost fainted (me, the ex-EMT who has seen it all).
These doctor's appointments would be much easier to go through if hubby was around, unfortunately work has him on the eastern side of the states, far away from me. It always seems to work that way, doesn't it?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Cafeteria woes

Last Friday I received once of those automated phone calls which usually are from a telemarketer or a doctor's office reminding you of your next appointment, informing me that my son's school lunch account was in the negative $9.80.
Hmm. My son takes his lunch to school everyday. He doesn't have an account with the school cafeteria. I check the school departments website to see what we are to do in a case like this, and see that all students are issued a "randomly generated pin, making it difficult for someone to gain access to the number". Oh really. After quizzing him to be sure that he has not been getting extra meals, I wrote a note and sent it on with him to school today. The note simply said that J takes his lunch everyday and has never used the cafeteria line for food. When I came home from work today, there was a message telling me that I was wrong, that my son was eating both breakfast and lunch everyday there and that they couldn't stop him from charging to his account. This is quite hum0rous, since J's bus gets there after the breakfast is done being served. Plus, he is a picky eater and wouldn't ever buy lunch. And lastly, my son does not lie to me! So when he tells me he has never charged to his account (which he did not even know existed), I believe him.
Tomorrow, I will go to the school, dragging J behind me, to ask the cafeteria manager if she recognizes my child, since she is insisting that he has served him breakfast and lunch everyday. I'm very curious to meet my son's doppelganger, whomever he may be.

UPDATE: We went to the school, the cafeteria lady finally acknowledged that she had never served my son, made all the others look at him so if someone was claiming to be him, they would know what the real J looked like. She also posted little notes on all the registers. We didn't get anymore automated calls, so I'm thinking it has been resolved. I'll keep you updated.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Race for a Cure

As a birthday present to myself, I have signed up to do the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure on September 30th, which is on my actual birthday. What better way to celebrate than to do something meaningful?I've said many times that I wanted to run in a race and this is a worthy cause, and one that has closely affected my family, as it has affected many families. Everyone I speak to is either related to or knows somone who had had breast cancer. It affects women of all ages - I've personally know women in their 20's who've had this devasting diagnosis.

Luckily, there are many advances being made in research in this field, and everyday we are closer to a cure. If you feel like supporting my run, please click on the link below.