Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Under the Weather

I hate to be a complainer, but here goes anyway. So, please forgive me if I sound like a broken record....but what does it take to keep yourself well as a mom?

I found out yesterday I have strep throat, and this time, I caught it from our nanny. Now, don't get me wrong. I am grateful to have a nanny, but unfortunately, she isn't great about taking care of herself, and I'm often walking around the house spraying Lysol. But, this time, it didn't work, so now I'm on antibiotic, and feeling rotten.

This caps off an already super sickly season at our home, including colds, pink eye and the stomach flu. I can't even think of the last time we have all been totally well. And, we take vitamins.

Someone said to me that it's because the weather in NY hasn't been consistently cold, enabling germs and various viral strains to circulate freely. I, personally, have no clue....but I am tired of being ill....and I'm not a fan of antibiotics. I stocked up on the yogurt, which I was told is advisable to offset the effect of antibiotics. I can't each much anyway since it's hard to swallow, so this is ideal.

The doctor said try to rest and drink a lot. Sounds good....but rest with a five year old and a husband tied up with tax season? Is he going to come to my house and play with my son?!

So now I'm trying to keep a distance from Seth and Marc, and am washing my hands constantly. I've explained to Seth over and over again that I can't come close to him. And, it's hard. I miss his hugs. But, the last thing I'd want is for him to get strep. Wow....is it painful!!

I was supposed to go to Seth's school this week and bring cupcakes to celebrate his 5th birthday, but that had to be rescheduled.

Being 40 something raging hormone mom, it's hard enough to feel 100 percent. That's a whole other story, and I've blogged about that before.

All I can say is that if the weather is a contributing factor to all this sickness, then bring on spring. I await it with open arms.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Monday, February 25, 2008

One Hundred Days

It's been one hundred days (and some) since our daughter was born last November. According to Korean tradition, a baby's birth is celebrated only after 100 days. Until then, people did not openly celebrate nor even acknowledge the birth, for fear of triggering the jealousy and wrath of a particular goddess in charge of babies. For 100 days, the baby and the mother are confined indoors.

Of course, we being westernized and all, took the baby out to the public after 6 weeks with an okay from her pediatrician and an okay from my OB. Where did we go? To K-Town, of course. Complete strangers (almost always older Korean women) ooh'ed and aah'ed at our baby, while not hesitating to opine:
"What a cute baby!!"
"Thank you."
"How old?"
"Six weeks." Or "Two months." Or "Two-and-a-half months."
"You mean the baby is not yet 100 days?"
This was then followed by a quick, closing remark such as "I guess times are different." "What has the world come to?" "You must be very healthy, like an American woman."

Last weekend was sweet. During our weekly K-Town trip, I had several chances to reply with my head up high, "She passed her 100 days!"

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Loveseat Blues

It was the first piece of furniture my husband and I ever bought together—a loveseat and matching sofa pullout bed. Made of heavy burlap sack material, in thick striped beige and navy blue design with detachable back cushions (that I later would hate picking up off the floor incessantly), over sized armrests, the seat cushion accommodated my 6’ 1” husband’s leg span comfortably.

Tom and I had been together two years—one dating and one engaged and were moving into an apartment in Forest Hills, New York. We were nervous-$1,100 total for the set. Until then, the only other large purchase we had made in the thousands was my engagement ring and deposits for our Long Island wedding.

The salesman at Sofa Bed World in Farmingdale convinced us...“virtually in-destructable, scotchguarded for rugged durability—colors will match anything—throughout life. Your kids will take ‘em to college with them.”

Kids. We grinned sheepishly at each other and plunked down the credit card and went out for celebratory ice cream, marveling at how compatible our taste in furniture or, now looking back, lack thereof was.

The delivery guys came to our Forest Hills apartment and we prayed as they shoved the sofa bed into the 1920s black grated elevator on up to the 3rd floor, pulling, grunting and cursing to get both couches down the narrow hallway. The next year we lovingly wrapped them in plastic, moved into our first home and five years later trudged them to this, our second house.

Many a day was spent with my children tucked in bouncy seats nestled in its fabric and later sprawling arm and leg limbs climbed up and over the couch as they grew. Fights broke out over who would sleep on the loveseat during Saturday night “den” slumber parties.

Then last night Robert was sick with the stomach virus and barfed up his dinner all over the loveseat that now has a major hole in the springs where shoes or toys lodged and went missing for days. It was really on its last leg and this virtually indestructible couch met its match in 9-year-old Robert.

We cleaned it off and brought the couch to the street for the garbage men. The girls cried a dirge in unison. “Our Couch!” Tom hung his head waxing poetic sentiments about many Monday night football games spent eating chicken wings on “his” couch.

I felt the winds of change blowing. It’s a new phase in our family’s life cycle. We have begun to grow, outlasting the first go around of indestructible, crappy furniture. Time to redecorate!

This morning, Robert felt much better and I gave him a high-five saying, “Next time, throw up all over the cheap Persian carpet—maybe we’ll get a real one.”

Needless to say, we’re all trying to avoid the stomach virus. Stay well.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Half Day Deal

I ask you....what is the deal with a half day in kindergarten?

Seth starts this coming fall, and he will have either two or three days when he only goes for three hours. He is in pre-K now, and goes for five hours.

We are not happy about this.

He will be going to a different school, come fall, and unless we want to send him to a private school, this is the way it will be.

He's been in nursery and now pre-K from 9AM - 2PM since he turned 3.5, and it's been really good for him. He's learning, socializing, growing, etc....in ways that I have to imagine he wouldn't were he home during those hours. Although, when I was a kid, I didn't go to nursery school, and I turned out "ok" (I think). So, no doubt, there are different schools of thought.

But to go from more to less doesn't make a lot of sense to me. And, this isn't true of all school districts. We live in Great Neck, NY, and it's the case here.

So, now we're trying to figure out what to do with Seth when he gets home early those days. We can sign him up for individual programs elsewhere, i.e. gym, but it won't be the same continuity he'd have in a full day school program.

I'm just somewhat perplexed as to why the school here is set up this way.

How is it where you live? And, what is your feeling on full day kindergarten?

Just needed to vent............thanks for listening. :)

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, February 03, 2008

A Family That Poops Together

I am so thrilled and proud to annnouce...and just in the knick of time....Seth is now regularly pooping in the potty. And, not a moment too soon!!

This past week, we have all taken turns running to our respective bathrooms. Luckily, we have two, and Marc isn't home during the day.

We got hit with the most nasty stomach virus. You've probably either heard of it, or experienced it by now. It's taking families by storm, and hits you like a ton of bricks if you get it.

I was actually laid up in bed one day last week and wound up cancelling a gym apppointment, which I hate to do. I must admit, this is one way to start a diet, since you can barely eat. But, who wants to be sick to lose weight.

Tonight we ventured out to the diner, thinking we were all relatively on the mend. If we ate lightly, we'd be okay, we presumed. Well, it hit me like a tons of bricks yet again, once we got home.

Thankfully, we have plenty of saltines, ginger ale and Gatorade in the house, from last week, so we're well stocked. But, when is this going to be over? Seth's pediatrician warned that even if you think it's done, it might not be. She's seen alot of relapses....terrific!!

Crossing my fingers this will be a better week.

I don't know about you....but this winter has been so sickly for our family. Nothing serious to speak of, but still, it's quite the challenge to keep us all well.

Hope your family is having better luck. And, if not, at least you know you're not alone.

Labels: ,

GUEST BLOG: A Grandmother's Perspective

THIS IS A SPECIAL GUEST BLOG BY A GRANDMOM, Rochelle Jewel Shapiro, author, "Miriam the Medium" (Simon & Schuster). Your comments to this blog are welcome, and may be posted below.

As hard as it is for a woman to admit she’s growing older, it seems even harder for a daughter to admit her mother is getting on in years. Last week, I took the train upstate to my daughter’s at a time of revolution. Her daughter, who had thought kindly of her baby brother when he was sedately swaddled, suddenly was faced with a sibling who crawled at top speed, knocking over her blocks, sticking her doll house figurines in his mouth. She now wanted to (and almost did) ring his neck. My daughter, holding her daughter back, called out “Get him, Mom,” as her son scooted under a computer table to yank the wires, as if I am still the young woman once again who could scoop up her ashy little brother from the fireplace. I did get him. I did everything that was needed and came home with vivid memories of snuggling my granddaughter, seeing my grandson’s gummy smile as I tickled his belly. But, although I didn’t tell my daughter, I also came home to Ace Bandages and heat packs and bed rest. My daughter loves me. She tells me so each time we talk. I can see it in the light in her eyes when she looks at me. If I bring up my physical limitations, it would be like bringing up the topic of my mortality. As grown up as she is, she’s still my child. So, even though I haven’t yet had the courage to broach this with my daughter, I want to share it with all of you. Perhaps I’m practicing for the next conversation I have with her.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, February 01, 2008

The Tooth Fairy’s getting older!

My little one Melanie lost her first tooth the other day. It was a monumental right-of-passage moment in our family being that she is the youngest and last to go through everything. First there was crying because now she’d look different which then gave way to sheer excitement about the Tooth Fairy. We discussed the benevolence of said Fairy, how she gets in the house and if she had red or blonde hair. Was she in fact the same Tooth Fairy mommy and daddy had as kids? I told Melanie about the day when she was six months old and we discovered that tooth newly broken through her swollen gums.

Kelly, older and wiser at eight, reminded Melanie that she was lucky because it was Tuesday and the Tooth Fairy doesn’t come on Sundays or Mondays. Apparently I had missed one or two teeth-retrieving nights along the way and we gave poor Kelly a lame excuse that those were the Fairy’s nights off.

Melanie and I wrote a note on pretty paper, carefully put the tiny root-less baby tooth in a Ziplock bag and tucked it under her pillow. After a very hectic day and a glass of wine with dinner, I was exhausted and fell asleep early.

The next morning Melanie came running down the stairs into the living room where I was drinking my morning coffee and thumbing through the newspaper. She held up a fistful of coins and paper money and shrieked, “Mommy, Mommy the Tooth Fairy came. LOOK.”

SH_ _ SUGAR. I forgot. But…how? I was truly shocked opening my eyes and blinking to see clearly. For a split second I felt like the movie Peter Pan where everyone chants: I do believe in Fairies. I do. I do. Then my husband came upstairs from the den with a wide grin on his face.

“How much money did you get Melanie?” he asked. They counted out $3.68. Oh Thank God for him because this dunderhead mother fell asleep and forgot. I’m glad we didn’t have to cross out yet another day off the Tooth Fairy’s rounds.

That night eating dinner, I bit into a soft veggie burger and cracked off a piece of my back molar. It didn’t hurt and although grateful that I didn’t swallow it, I was horrified that I’m like an old woman losing teeth and next thing I’ll be sprouting stray hairs out of my chin. It is a weird feeling to lose your tooth or a piece of one. I understood why Melanie cried. I’m not happy that now they’ll have to yank out the filling that’s exposed and maybe even the rest of the tooth with it. I’m sure I’ll need root canal or a crown—expensive—which let’s face it who wants to spend on TEETH—let alone on me, mommy. I couldn’t even remember the last time I had been to the dentist. I think it was five years ago to fill this cavity that hurt over the years, but I ignored. It was just another thunk on the head in a long list of mommy not taking care of herself and my things that get put on the back burner.

The kids coaxed me to put it under my pillow and said I would definitely get money for even a quarter of a tooth, because “Mommy your teeth are way bigger.” Tom winked reassuringly at me. I couldn’t help but notice that the Tooth Fairy struck an uncanny resemblance to Santa Claus only with wings and a wand.

When’s the last time the Tooth Fairy visited your house or that you’ve been to the dentist for yourself?

Labels: , , ,