Tuesday, April 15, 2014

spring break (part 1)

Pretty ho-hum week here so far. No one was happy to wake up to more of this on the ground:

Cilia in the snow

Brave daffodils

Deck steps

Frozen flower pot

Believe it or not, there are peas planted in there. They haven't emerged yet, though.

My shadow

Water balloon fragment
Poor Anya just caught a cold, so I had to cancel playing for a voice lesson this afternoon. Were it for any other instrument, I wouldn't have bothered, but this is a singer whose voice has been recovering from a respiratory bug for at least a month, and it just didn't seem fair somehow to bring a kid along to her lesson who would sneeze a lungful of new germs into the air every five minutes. We did at least manage a walk in the woods after lunch.

Walking down the creek
Anya stops for a rest

There are lots of tiny waterfalls and dead logs

Do you see the heart-shaped rock?

I've always wondered where this old fence came from and how it got into the creek bed.

Heading home

Friday, April 11, 2014

five on friday: spring break edition

It is Friday, and I'm exhausted, y'all. The last couple of weeks I've put in many, many hours volunteering at the school. I've taken on a rather large project this spring, and while I believe it's worthwhile and important, it's a large amount of work and it occurred to me this afternoon that I better be careful or I'm going to get burned out.

Look at what finally bloomed on April Fools Day!
I've been feeling pretty frustrated lately. I know I complain a lot, and I'm sorry. I don't often take the opportunity to truly acknowledge how lucky I am; usually when I do bother, it's soured with the guilt I feel about being under-appreciated when I should just be counting my blessings and all that. Life is good, my family is well, spring is finally here (though it's probably going to snow on Monday, sigh) and I have been spending a lot of time doing work outside, which is quite restorative.

Next week Madison schools are on spring break. It's so late for a spring break here; I think kids and teachers were ready for this a month ago. But they didn't ask me when they made the school calendar, did they? Anyway, we're not going anywhere, which is kind of disappointing, but I just didn't get my act together or save enough money for a trip, so we're going to keep it low key and try to have some good, local fun. Here are five things I want to do next week:

1. Get haircuts for the kids. Thrillville, I know. But they need it. I should have done this already because we're going to a wedding tomorrow but we didn't have time. Plus, they actually like getting haircuts. We have the same gal cut their hair every time and she does the shampoo and the whole bit and they love it. Last time they both got to help clean up the floor with this special little vacuum made for hair salons.

2. Get the kids' rooms clean. Even more thrilling than haircuts! But it really needs to happen. There is so much junk and it's driving me nuts.

3. Play with clay. My friend is organizing a day we can go to a studio and make some stuff out of clay. They'll fire it and then we can bring it home later. Should be a fun outing.

4. If the weather is nice, spend a day at the Bookworm garden in Sheboygan. I've never been there, but I keep hearing great things about it.

5. Go out for ice cream. Who doesn't love ice cream?

6. I'm adding #6 because room cleaning doesn't really count. I want to have some vacation at home time. You know, watch a movie and have popcorn for supper, make cookies, spend the whole afternoon playing games and reading books, go to the park if it's nice outside (it probably won't be; have I mentioned how I hate April in Wisconsin?), build a fort in the basement. I know this stuff is kind of lame, but I'm doing my best here.

Monday, March 31, 2014

spring indoors

Yesterday finally felt like spring outdoors. It was warm enough to get out the grill and play at the park, so we did all that. There are still a few stubborn piles of snow refusing to melt, so it's that odd time of year when kids can play outside wearing shorts and still have a snowball fight. Alas, it's still too early to plant a garden, and cold, wet weather will return later this week. A little while ago I decided I couldn't take it anymore and decided to bring spring indoors, so the kids and I filled an old dish tub with dirt and planted a whole bunch of peas. Now we have a little forest of pea shoots to snack on. It gives me hope!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Do you hear that whirring sound? It's the sound of my propellors. I'm feeling a bit like a helicopter mom. It's not because I want to, but because I can't help it. I worry and worry. Daniel is recovering well from last Friday's procedure, but he's been so tired after school I worry I sent him back too soon. This morning on the walk to school he just looked a little off. I sent Anya on and turned around with him. When we got home I had him lie down. After about 45 minutes he announced he was hungry and needed a snack, so I got him a bowl of yogurt and then took him to school after all.

So often I roll my eyes at parents who are over protective. I don't want to be that way. I don't want to coddle. I don't want to encourage my child to baby himself or have hypochondriac tendencies. And yet sometimes I just get the feeling that something isn't right. Then I err on the side of caution. Sometimes that turns out to be the right choice, and sometimes not.

They say to trust your gut, but my gut isn't always right. Today Daniel appears to be fine after all, if still a little tired. I don't regret bringing him to school an hour late, but he would have made it through if we'd continued at the regular time this morning, too.

Do you ever question your judgement as a parent? I'm constantly second-guessing myself. Am I being overly cautious? Should I sign them up for more activities? Do they have enough chores? Do I help enough at the school? (I think the answer to that one is yes.) Do they eat too much sugar? Are they all right? Am I all right?

Friday, March 21, 2014

round 2

Daniel's surgery was today, so I thought I'd check in here with an update.

The procedure was scheduled for 1:00 but we didn't go back until 1:30 (it
was a busy day on the ENT ward!). It took a little more than
a half hour and did indeed include adenoid revision, which means they
cleaned out adenoid tissue that grew back since the last time. The doc
said he also cleaned out lots and lots of snot and goop from recent ear
infections and a cold he's got. (When I told Daniel that on the way home
he commented, "Well. That was handy.") He said Daniel has a rather oddly
shaped palate, which explains why the adenoids have given him so much
trouble in the first place. 

Thanks to an elaborate cocktail of anti-nausea drugs from the
anesthesiologist, recovery was not nearly as, uh, dramatic as last time
(except for the elevator ride down, I'm afraid), but it did take a while
before Daniel was ready to come home, mostly because he was sleeping off
a dose of Benadryl that was included in the mix. He's on the couch now
watching TV and keeps asking for food. We're taking it easy, of course,
but it's a good sign!

So all in all things went well. The staff was wonderful and helpful,
just like last time. I certainly hope this is the last surgery he has

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

last day of winter

Shortly after we woke up this morning, it started snowing. By mid-morning it was coming down thick and fast, and even though it stopped by early afternoon, and even though it's too warm outside (just) for the snow to stick around, it felt like a fitting last day of the brutal winter we've had. It's as if Winter was trying to squeeze in one last day of Cold, Wet Ick before succumbing to the change of season.

Tomorrow is the vernal equinox, and am I ever ready to see it. I've been making lists of things I want to plant in the garden. I just bought a shiny new sewing machine and I'm itching to make some breezy sleeveless tops to wear.  I just put the kids' muddy snow pants in the washing machine, and I sincerely hope that once they are clean and dry I can put them away until next winter. The kids are desperately ready for spring break to happen, but we've got another 3 and a half weeks to go. I don't even know if we'll travel anywhere, but we are ready for a change in routine and a chance to breathe some fresh air. (I overhead someone discussing his family's upcoming spring break trip to Costa Rica and I tried, without success, not to feel too envious.)

So here's to Spring! She's got to show up eventually.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

here we go again…again

You know how some normally healthy kids seem to have to go to the doctor all the time? And how some kids are accident prone? When my brother and I were growing up, he was the one who got himself cut with a rusty nail, broke his arm, got 30 stitches in his leg, dislocated a few toes. Not all in one day, obviously. He spent a fair amount of time in the ER for stuff like that and I've never even had stitches. I hope I didn't just jinx myself there. I don't know how my parents managed all the anxiety that must have caused.

Now that I have kids of my own, I know how stressful even minor medical things are. We haven't had stitches or broken bones as of yet, but Daniel had a couple trips to the ER last year for excessive vomiting and both kids have been to urgent care for ear infections more times than I can count, Daniel twice in the last month. This warranted another appointment with his ENT yesterday, who said Daniel needs tubes in his ears AGAIN and while they're at it he'll check to see if his adenoids need to be removed AGAIN.

Poor Daniel. Everything is just such a big deal for him. He's not the sickly type but lately he can't just come down with a regular cold. No, no. There has to be days of fever and coughing and weeks of congestion and finally secondary infections of the ear and sinus, all with some pretty unpleasant and goopy symptoms. Rationally, I know better than to worry about him, but I do anyway.

And surgery? Ugh. This child did NOT do well with anesthesia last time around. The procedure is scheduled for next Friday and I'm dreading it, frankly. I can feel my hair turning gray at the very thought of spending the day at the hospital with a boy who is not going to be enjoying himself. at. all.

Did I mention he needs to have a few teeth pulled, too? I'm not sure when that's going to happen.

I hate blogging about illness and medical stuff. Nobody really wants to read about medical issues and bodily fluids, least of all me. But in case you're wondering about what's going on in my life these days, I guess now you know.

I think we're all ready for spring break.