Kids 1, Parents 0

It is the official start of the holiday season in our household as we began the quest for a tolerable holiday photo to send out to all of our family and friends. Unfortunately, last year the bar was set way too high as we got one of those unintentional gems that people are still talking about. This year, I am sad to say, has the makings of a real bust.

We started on the couch in the living room and quickly disintegrated into games of peek a boo and all around the mulberry bush through the coffee table legs. 57 pictures later there is not a single usable one. Not even one that could be digitally remastered. The kids ended up in tears, M lost his temper, and the camera went on the fritz.

I’m already bucking for a holiday picture from our month in Maine this summer. So the kids are in bathing suits. At least they are smiling and happy. Meanwhile, my sister’s arrived today all nicely framed with Baby C holding a dove and gazing thoughtfully into the distance. Arghhh.

Happy bloody holiday season.


Should I be pleased or offended?

A mommy of one of C’s playgroup friends called me up asking if we were interested in going out to dinner with her and her husband. You see, they were looking for a couple to join them in a night of beer- swilling and pizza, and we were the only folks they could think of that they could invite out for such an occasion.

I think I am choosing to be pleased. There is nothing wrong with being a beer-swilling, pizza-eating type of friend. Even if I hate beer with a passion. Do you think I actually have to swill the beer, or can I sip a wine while others swill?

Family Ties

Lately C has been trying to figure out how this whole family thing works. It has become clear to him that Nana and Auntie M (my sister) are VERY important people in the hierarchy, heck, it’s even clear to A. When you get a phone call (or two or three) from someone in the course of every day, clearly they are someone to pay attention to. Plus, Nana makes muffins and pancakes. City Grandma and Grandpa are important. Grandpa J (my dad) is the fixer of all broken things.

Yesterday C asked “Will Baby C [my sister’s daughter] always be my cousin just like A will always be my sister?” “Yes,” I replied. “She will always be your cousin.” C sighed happily. “That’s good. When I’m grown up I’m going to visit Baby C and bring my kids to play with her kids and it will be a grand playdate.” Then he paused. “Will you come to visit me and my kids when I’m all grown up?” “Of course I will. I’ll be their Nana. And Nanas love to visit their kids and grandkids.” C sighed happily again. “That’s good. You’ll be the best Nana in the world. Except for the real Nana of course.” Good to know where I rank.

Whiney Whine, Wine

I tried oh so hard today to come up with something amusing, thoughtful, or really anything non-whiney to write about. But we ended up stuck in the house for yet another day (count them, there have been ten now) so whines are all I’ve got. And really, I’m not trying to win anything over at Phantom’s.

“Why,” you ask “are you still in the house? I thought the fever broke?” Well, A’s fever may be gone, but she has now developed a “viral rash.” Apparently the nasty little bug isn’t quite done with us yet. As a result, here we sat. Again. Alone. By ourselves. Not even a glimpse of the mailman.

To occupy ourselves we spent a lot of time inspecting our navels. Literally. A got sick of me checking her tummy on an hourly basis in hopes that the rash has disappeared, which would give us liberty to go out and about amongst the people again. So to get my desperate checks in, we started a belly button game. I would shout “Belly button! Belly button!” And we would all lift our shirts and inspect our belly buttons. Yup, it was a real exciting day over here.

Thankfully, M left the office early and made it home in time for me to sit here sipping my (real) wine and finishing this entry while he handles baths. I must have sounded really desperate at lunch. In fact I’m sure I did. I sounded desperate to myself. And my mother. And my sister, who I am fairly confident will never have a second child as a result of listening to me. And even my dad. I was desperate enough to call my dad. At work.

I am very hopeful that Panicky Nurse was correct when I called her at 8:35 this morning about the rash and it will be gone in 24 to 48 hours. Because if it is not, well, I might just have to hop a plane to Australia and convince the Wiggles to find another line of work. I pay well, and between all four of them they could probably handle my children. And I think if I offered up the Wiggles at a day care provider, my children wouldn’t even miss me.


A woke up this morning with a temp of 96.8. While I’m not one to count chickens at 7:30 in the morning, I’m all for counting a couple of roosters. Cock-a doodle-doo. The real test will be 5 pm tonight I suppose, but I am hopefully that our call to the wonderful Dr. S tomorrow morning will consist of a “Thank you so much, glad to tell you it is all gone.”

In the meantime I am going to get to work sanitizing my house to ensure that no one else gets this horrid little bug.

Thank you everyone for your virtual support. I tend to be a bit of a hysterical mommy when my kids are sick. I will now try yet again to return you to your regularly scheduled blogging experience.

Prayer to the Fever Gods

Well, yeah. Still no real clue as to what is causing A’s high fevers. They did a catheter (my poor baby) to rule out a UTI, although once she saw the pee the ped said she would eat her hat if it turned out to be one. If she still has the fever on Monday they’re going to start the battery of blood tests and etc. to rule out the really scary things. So we are going to spend the weekend doing little dances to the Fever Gods and trying not to obsessively take her temperature.

She is such a good girl. She didn’t even cry when they inserted the catheter. I cried, she just gave me this hurt little look and sniffed. I hate it when my kids are sick.

Will they go to Harvard or Yale?

A still has a fever of 103. I believe this is day 8. Maybe 9, if you count the fact that she felt hot the day before I first took her temp but just figured I had cold hands as she was acting just fine. On Monday the verdict was random viral thing. But her fever hit 104 at about 11 last night, so I feel like I at least have to call and ask if they need to see her again as a week strikes me as a long time to be running a fever of 103+.

Once I place the call I know we will be headed in as I always seem to get Panicky Nurse who insists I bring my children in to get checked even if I am just calling to ask for the Pedicare dosage. But if I ask specifically to talk with Calm Nurse who actually listens to my opinion, I still end up with Panicky Nurse. Sometimes I wonder why they even bother having nurses screen the calls as I have very rarely had one tell me that I didn’t have to bring my child in.

I honestly think this is one of those really annoying viral things that just won’t go away. The child is sleeping as well (or as poorly) as she always does, drinking up a storm, and eating (when the mood strikes her). Last night she started acting a bit sicker as she actually lay on my lap for an entire Sesame Street (yep, the Dingers are still dinging here Chez J-E). Which may seem like a normal thing to you, but in 18 months A has never once put her head on my lap OR sat still for an entire TV show, so the combo of the two is actually a little disturbing. So hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to Dr. S’s we go. We have apparently entered the season during which my children single handedly put my pediatrician’s future children through college. Do you think she’ll invite us to their graduations?

Bilingual at 18 months?

C: “Mommy, Mommy, she said my name!!!!”

Mommy: “She did? Do you think so?”

C: “Yes, she did. It was just in Spanish.”

Uh, OK. If it makes him happy. It sounded an awful lot like cookie to me though, and she was holding a chocolate chip one…

Some random thoughts on Sesame Street

I seem to be slowly returning from the land of the cold-ridden, brain-fogged mommy. It’s been a good half-hour since I blew my nose, and I can almost put a complete sentence together again. Except that I’ve been sleep walking through the last few days, so I don’t really have much to write about besides the Sesame Street episode we’ve watched a good ten times already. The same episode, over and over again. I know they learn from repetition, but let’s be honest, how much learning actually comes from Sesame Street?

What I’ve learned over the past 48 hours is that there are in fact a few episodes that Elmo does not play a feature role. And that they are still repeating a bunch of segments that I remember from my childhood. Like the one where the penguin tap dances on the iceberg. I always liked that one. I didn’t learn anything from it, but I do like penguins, and the thought of penguins tap dancing always made me happy.

I suppose one could claim that children learn letters and numbers from Sesame, and I’m sure some do. But if you ask C at the end of the episode what the letter or number of the day was he shrugs and tells you what Elmo did. It’s all about Elmo in our house. Well, and a little bit about Telly. A seems to really like Telly. He was one of my favorites too, along with Snuffy. Although now that everyone can see Snuffy, he’s not nearly as cool. Sorry big guy, but it’s true.

Why DID they make Snuffy real, and how did they do it? That event clearly happened in between the time that I used to watch Sesame as a kid and now, which is a pretty big time gap. I would think that an imaginary friend would be a good thing to show; there is no shortage of imaginary friends in our home, and I bet that they too would like a character to identify with on TV. There have to be many more imaginary friends in the world than big yellow talking birds. I’m just saying…

Perhaps I’ll suggest to C that his friends might like to stage a sit in on Sesame Street. There’s an episode for you. Much better than watching the dingers ding. Sesame could be teaching non-violent demonstration techniques instead of numbers and letters. I bet the religious right wouldn’t take issue with that at all. Trust me on that. I live with a Republican you know…

Speaking of Republicans, did you know that in June a Republican-dominated House Appropriations sub-committee tried to cut all federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting over the next two years? I know I’m a little slow on the uptake on this one, but hey, better late than never. Apparently funding was eventually restored to the bill, although not at the original level. I mean who could cut federal funding for ding alongs? I couldn’t. But then again I like tap dancing penguins.

I give up

I’ve been trying hard to put together a post with meaning, wit, and elegant writing. But apparently my head cold has also taken up residence in my brain and everything is coming out, well, awful. So I’ll spare you my efforts and instead jump on the Childhood Book Meme bandwagon (as seen at Mimilou and Under the Ponderosa, among other places).

Earliest book I remember having read to me: Katy and the Big Snow (now a hit with C as well).

Picture book I would most like to climb into: Goodnight Moon. I’ve always found it to be a really peacefully book.

Favorite series of books (then or now): Trixie Belden, Little House on the Prairie, Harry Potter, Wrinkle in Time, The Belgariad, Betsy Tacy

Character I would most like to meet: Mrs. Weasley from Harry Potter. She cracks me up. If only I could send a howler to M when he forgets to take the trash out.

Last childhood book I re-read: (not counting the bazillion I read to C and A each day) The Belgariad series. I got M to read it, and then had to re-read it so I could discuss it with him…