Thursday, January 31, 2008

I'm in the wrong line of work...

So, it is not bad enough that teachers basically earn less now than they did 15 years ago (if you account for inflation and cost of living and all that jazz) but evidently someone thought it would be right-jolly fun to steal from the PTO coffers!!

You read that right - someone actually embezzled funds from our school PTO.

That person was our Treasurer!!!

Not only did she take off with her kids, she took of with somewhere between...

wait for it...

$100,000 and $190,000 dollars.

Why this has not make headline news all over Scottsdale is beyond me.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Do all 2-yr olds suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder, or am I just the lucky one?

When I was in college, I was a psychology major. I took many classes on personality theory as well as abnormal psychology. I had to repeat the process during my Master's degree, so one could argue that I am rather well versed in the theory of Psychology in all its forms.

In fact, during one grad class in abnormal psych, one of the students asked for a better, more "real life" explanation of what Borderline Personality Disorder would look like in a patient. The professor was a parent of something like 3 kids. Her explanation? Imagine someone stuck in the terrible two's for EVER. And, when you run into someone who truly has a borderline personality, and you have parented a toddler through the murky waters of the terrible twos, you see the correlation immediately.

Christopher, my beloved blue-eyed infant of yesterday, is that borderline disordered child today.

Case study: Christopher has discovered the endless buckets of Matthew's Thomas tracks. Christopher loves the tracks. (as an aside - he's not so into the trains at this point; just the tracks) He takes them out of the bucket, lovingly, and places them on the floor with care. He turns them over to inspect each one, gazing longingly at them laid out in front of him.

He then tries to put them together, and this is where all hell can break loose. He becomes so maniacly frustrated with the process that he is rendered speechless, and resorts to primal grunting and wailing for help. This is a sound, by the way, that no wall can contain; the entire neighborhood knows of his misfortune.

So what is a mother do to but to see if I can help. I try to show him how to fit the pieces of the track together. 'If you just turn this one a bit...' which is met with more screaming, so I back off... only to have him, 2 seconds later, hand the track out to me with an emphatic HELP.

Wait; didn't I just try to help and you screamed at me?

Yes, mom, I did, but that was 2 seconds ago and NOW I want your help. NOW I SAID WOMAN - you are NOT solving my problem fast enough.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A very disturbing discovery

I was picking up after my eldest. He had left a new pair of jean on the floor in the hallway. I picked them up to fold them and discovered...

They are as long as the ones I was wearing!

Other than the fact that I could fit 2 of him around my hips, my kid is wearing the same inseam as I am.

This bothers me tremendously.

A backwards approach

When I was a little kid, often times I had trouble falling asleep. No big shocker there - I still do! Poor Steve is married to the world's lightest sleeper, who suffers from random and long stretching bouts with insomnia. As a kid, my mom had a good remedy (no; not a hot totty before bed!) and told me to lay with my head at the foot of the bed. There is no medical data to support her theory but in my house, it worked! To this day, if she has trouble sleeping, she will try to lay with her head at the foot of the bed, and while I have not completely abandoned the practice, I am more apt to just give in and grab the Tylenol PM bottle.

At any rate, today I ran backwards. Not ME backwards, but my route. Normally I run a route that has me going up Shea Boulevard headed East. Now, for those of you not from here, that means an ever-so-slight UPHILL run. The ever-so-slight part only really feels slight when one is in a car. When one is moving of his or her own power, the climb feels like I am scaling Camelback. So, today I went the other way. Can I just say that my 3.5 mile run was a breeze? Would it be cheating to run West on Shea from now on? Promise you wont' tell the running gods??


And on a completely different train of thought - some may wonder how I managed to run and blog during a time I am supposed to be at work, molding little minds into useful people. Steve was to appear in court today for a pre-trial hearing regarding the accident from October, so I being the devoted, loving and supportive wife that I am took the day off to be with him in his hour of need.

I get to do it all over again in about 3o days, because despite the CITY determining the court date and telling US when to arrive, THEY were not ready to proceed.

Can't you just hear the gears of efficiency grinding to a halt? Tax dollars put to good use, I tell ya'!

Monday, January 21, 2008

It's a question of symantics

Thanks to all who have asked about how Christopher is fairing; he's over the worst of the walking pneumonia, meds are finished, fever gone, but cough and gunky nose linger still. Most of the time he's a happy and joyfilled 2-yr old, but when he is tired, he's a major crankpot still. We are having issues sleeping; no naps and waking several times during the night and refusing to go back to sleep. Could be bug-related, could be any number of things. After all, he is two. Uncertainty is the name of the game at this stage! Parker has now developed a nasty sounding cough, so keep your fingers crossed that it is just a case of the gunks, and not what his brother had!

So, I have managed to get a couple of runs in over the last week. In fact, last Sunday was the PFChang's Rock and Roll Marathon. (Not that I participated in it) It turns out several of my colleagues ran in it!! I think one did the whole thing and the others did the 1/2 marathon, which in my book is still freakin' crazy - running 13.1 miles?? WOWZA! At any rate, I was in the hall the other day, came upon two of the runners (one was our Principal) who were comparing notes, what would you do differently next tinme, yadda, yadda... The talk started about getting a group of runners together from the school. (Mention of making t-shirts followed). As they were going down the list of folks who run, I mentioned one of our assistant Principals also runs. In fact, I have literally run into him while out on my runs, because he lives about 3 streets from me.

Now, the comment that followed could have more to do with the strained working relationship between the two folks at the helm of the school than with their attitudes toward we slower runners, but she commented something to the effect that "he's only a jogger".

So, what exactly did she mean by ONLY A JOGGER? She said it dismissively, with with just a hint of superiority. As if "I'm a real runner; he's just a jogger". And what is so darn horrible with being a jogger, anyway? Obviously there is something awful about that term, because even I seem to want to insist on calling myself a runner! Yes, I am slow. No, I will never, ever be fast. No, I can't go far, but can run 4 miles pretty "easily". I know my pace probably renders me into the "jogging" category, so where is that line? You know, the one between jogger and runner? Well, according to my running hero John Bingham (who calls himself the Penguin and ends all his articles with "Waddle on Friends") if I think I am a runner, then I am one.

And I suppose I do consider myself a runner. I get up at the crack of Oh-My-Go-It-Is-Early to run before work, and will run into the late evening. If I miss a few days, I get all cranky and crabby. I need my runs. I may not go fast, I may not go far, but I run. I don't jog... I RUN.

And you know, its funny... running is the one thing that I really do NOT want to do with another person. I like my solitude. I like going at my own waddling pace. I like cranking my music, or looking at the sunset (or sunrise as is often the case). It's MY time... even if I do waddle and my symbol is a turtle.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Grounded - part deux

Still grounded, but in a different way.

On Friday, I picked up Christopher from childcare and he fell stone cold asleep on the way home. Not too unusual per late, as he flatly refuses to sleep at childcare (too many toys, not enough time!!) and he learned to crawl out of the cribs at her house, so Nada is perfectly OK with him NOT trying to nap. (Could our crib be too far behind? Oh, good heavens, I hope not! I am SO not ready for him to be in a B-E-D just yet!!)

He slept through the transition from car-to-crib (this part is unusual for him) and then woke up in the FOULEST mood; clingy, whiny, whiny, clingy... We both dozed off on the sofa, and this did little to improve his mood.

That night we heard it: the tell tale signs of croup! If you have lived through croup in your house, you know the sound. Saturday was not good, Sunday was worse, to the point that I took him to the doctor yesterday morning.

The dx?? Walking Pneumonia!!

The treatment? Zythromycian. Or, more commonly known as a Z-pak! The good news? Only once per day for only 5 days. The bad news? Some really unpleasant side effects that could require hospitalization, and the most horrificly gawdawful taste you can imagine.

I went through the ENTIRE ALLOTTED DOSE just trying to get this kid to take ONE teaspoon. It was un-hidable! He could taste it in anything and everything, and would flatly refuse to take it. When Steve got home, we decided we needed to go the rough-and-tumble route and just hold the kid down. Yeah - not an easy task!! We were successful for about 1/2 the dose. The rest ended up running down his neck and smashed all over both his shirt and my hands.

Curious, I decided to take a taste. WHOA - no wonder he refused - it is truly vile stuff. For any BTDT moms around - any suggestions? We were marginally successful with volumes of chocolate syrup in chocolate milk, but I'm afraid his pancreas may revolt. The doc had nothing of significant revelation; yes, it's awful stuff, and no, there is not anything else out there that is any better. Wish us luck. 4 doses to go.

And note to self: Don't schedule a manicure the day before you know you are going to paint your hallway.

Monday, January 07, 2008


No... not any of my kids....ME!! Steve is off to Florida for his annual Sales Conference tomorrow and that means too many days of not running for me. I suppose I could get up at the crack of still-the-middle-of-the-night and run, to be certainly home before the kids woke up, but that just does not feel right to me. Am I using it as an excuse? I suppose one could argue that point. If I had the two older boys only, it would not be a question; my running could continue even in the throws of single-parentdom, but having a wee one in diapers - just feels like the "bad mommy" award knocking on my door.

So, what else will I be unable to do/accomplish while Steve is gone: Sleep well (as I always am anxious when he is away), be able to sleep past 6am, for it is nearly impossible to shower and get myself ready without Steve ushering the wee ones to and fro, making sure they are clothed, fed and ready to depart, get any "me" time, unless you could count my 6 minute showers... I know I can handle it when he is away. Heck; I managed to take care of 2 kids under 2 for 7 weeks, prep and then sell a house, pack and move while Steve was working in AZ before we moved from CA, so I know I can do this.

It just makes me awfully thankful that he does not have to do this on a regular basis.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Happy Belated Birthday, my dear Matthew!

7 years have gone by since I first became Matthew's mommy. My mom and I were taking about this fact, with emphasis on SEVENYEARS!! We both agreed, 4 felt about right, maybe 5, but no way could it be 7!!

I would hate to classify Matthew as "typical" in any fashion, for any reason, but I do believe there are some traits we see than can be classified as "typical" middle child. He is certainly the peace-keeper in the family. He seems to delight in making other people happy, or at least in making them laugh. And, he is want for nothing. I don't mean that he is spoiled, although one could argue that we do occasionally overindulge him, but rather that he literally wants for nothing. We had one heck of a time trying to get a letter to Santa out of him. In fact, we failed miserably, and Santa had to guess. I think Santa guessed rather well, but still - the fact that a child of Matthew's age was unable to give Santa any guidance was rather remarkable. Let's just say we are having the same problems with birthday gifts and even the idea of having a party. He just seems to not want to put anyone out. God love him!!

Where Matthew veers from the beaten path of middle-children, at least in my opinion, is in every other aspect of his personality. He is very curious about some pretty mind-bending things, such as how or why the universe is constantly expanding, and what would happen if you were in the path of a gamma-ray burst, and he not only wants to see a quasar, but can actually explain to you what one is. (I know - I don't understand most of it either. It is a bit unsettling to know that your child, at 7, is likely smarter by far than you are!) In my experience, kids who love space love pictures of rockets and planets and are content to remain within our known solar system, but Matthew has other plans. Namely to become an astronomer and discover earth-like planets like the scientists from UC Berkeley and Univ of Arizona do on the Discovery Channel.

I think there is some comment about aiming for the stars and hitting the moon if you fail, buried here somewhere, but knowing my Matthew, he will make it all the way to the stars, and back!

Happy Birthday, my dear, amazing, darling Matthew. I love you more than words can say and am awed by you in more ways than I can count!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New Year!!

Considering that I put this blog address on every Christmas card we sent out, I suppose I should actually update this blog on a somewhat regular basis, in the unlikely event that my general readership has increased from the 3 of my Fat Fighting friends and family members..

Christmas was lovely. We piled kids and dogs into the "NEW" car and drove to the snow. The boys saw a REAL snowman and hopefully now believe me that they are not just plastic Christmas decorations we plug into the wall. It took a number of days, but we reclaimed the living room from ghosts of Christmas-presents, and we are only now reaching the "Ok, we've been together too long" stage.

Yesterday was my birthday, tomorrow is Matthew's. Add that a mere 7 and 9 days past Christmas and it can cause major sugar overdose in any mere mortal. We all have a few fun new gadgets, a few new clothes, and have had a great time...

To top it off, SC beat Illinois in the Rose Bowl. Any time SC wins is a good time!

Here are a few more pictures from the last few days, including one of the new beast (which I love, by the way!) and one of the HIGHLIGHT of Parker's Christmas, which was meeting Boris Diaw in person.