Sunday, January 31, 2010

29... Plus 5

On Monday I turned 29 for the fifth time, and I finally got the birthday present I've always wanted. Or at least the present I've been wanting for the past 2 years. I got a day off.

I've been really fortunate to have friends and family who love the kids and who are willing to watch them for an evening or over a weekend. But the weekdays come, John goes to work, and I start another routine 14-hour day of wearily changing diapers, feeding kids, and trying unsuccessfully to keep the house from looking like a demilitarized zone.

Monday morning I let John sleep in, and I had the kids until he came downstairs at around 10am or so. I'd like to say that I had no problems letting my husband sleep in and was chipper about spending my birthday doing what I do every day. But I was surly and felt utterly drained. When John came downstairs he told me that one of his birthday presents to me would be to come home early. I looked at him and cried.

Probably not the reaction he was expecting. I begged him to take the day off instead of coming home early. And then something happened that I had not expected. He agreed.

It's funny what hope and optimism can do for one's energy level. Instead of being (and looking like I was at) death's door, I suddenly bounded into the shower, put on nice clothes, and barely said goodbye before hitting the road. I felt like I had been let out of prison. Instead of asking Eric "Do you want to eat some oatmeal for breakfast?" I was asking myself, "What do you want to do today?"

And sadly... I really didn't know.

I decided to hit a bookstore and perhaps use free WiFi in a Starbucks to Skype some friends who live overseas, but the bloody coffee shop was full of retirees on their own personal computers and every chair was full. Huh. Now what? Shopping? Hey! The kids aren't with me! I can run errands!

Every person in the world with kids is going, "That's exactly what I would do." And every person without kids is saying, "Are you nuts??? Do something YOU want to do!"

I actually did go to places like Babies R Us, and then felt foolish after the fact when I called John and he mentioned he had taken both kids to run errands in my place. What a guy. After running around for a few hours, I got my second greatest birthday present- a phone call from my friend M who is currently in Nigeria. I got to talk to her uninterrupted for an hour . It was awesome.

I finally spent most of the late afternoon in another bookstore's coffee shop, curled up with a Stephanie Plum novel. A nice but misogynistic man sitting next to me decided to give me his long, but lovely theory on how children have gone to hell since women started working outside of the home. Had it been any other stressful day in my life, I would have stabbed him in the eye with my plastic straw and run him over with the double-stroller while screaming, "You do know I'm a woman, right?!" But I was feeling relaxed and happy so I smiled and nodded while thinking of stabbing him with the straw.

Unfortunately, the day ended on a sad note. John called to tell me Rachel had a fever of 104 degrees. 3 days later she had sores inside her mouth which means we have yet another round of hand, foot, and mouth disease to contend with. This time it wasn't from the play area of the gym but from the church nursery. Good grief, doesn't ANYONE sterilize play areas anymore?? Another 2-3 weeks of mommy being home-bound, and that's IF Eric doesn't get it again. No play-dates, no Bible study with free childcare on Wednesdays. What a pile of suck. I am now looking forward to one of my best friends coming in from Kansas City on Tuesday. I have this fantasy of John coming home early and taking the kids, putting them to bed by himself without difficulty while I go out to dinner at a restaurant without crayons. I keep sane by looking forward to these moments that come every so often. It's the little things...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Time of My Life or I Need to Get Out More

Have you ever wanted to relive the last few days of your life? Whenever I have an awesome weekend (it's usually the weekend), and I know I'm about to head back to work or into the normal stress of my life, I wish I could just take a giant remote and rewind my life. I would definitely rewind to last Friday afternoon. Then I could have the whole glorious weekend once again in front of me. My only complaint about last weekend was that we didn't get another 2 feet of snow. Because then I'm pretty sure I could have talked John into staying in Baltimore an extra day.

After dealing with a few errands and meeting up with some of John's old friends, we headed into Baltimore. Traffic was good, and we checked in a little early. This was important, as I had requested a $20 cheese plate* to be delivered to our room as a way of celebrating the beginning of our mini-vacation away from kids. This hotel was pretty darn expensive, and I had made a point to request a feather-free room ahead of time. I called, I got an email confirmation, and then I emailed again to make sure poor John wouldn't have to check all the pillow tags by hand.

We check into the room and... have feather pillows.

Back downstairs to the front desk. I giggled that we should have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. When I explained** that we had feather pillows, they saw the multiple requests on their computer, apologized profusely, and sent us to another room 2 floors up from the previous one. We made sure the cheese plate would make it upstairs because you don't want to spend $20 and not get any food, and then headed on up.

We waited outside of the room for about 10 minutes, but felt so grateful that we were in a public place without the kids we could have waited for an hour and not cared. A sweet woman named T knocked on the door next to ours with chocolate and wine. I smiled and told her how good that looked. She laughed and said that she loved delivering chocolate. Since I love eating chocolate, I thought we could be soul-mates, but I was afraid John might get the wrong idea.

When we finally get into the room, the cheese was delivered right on time... with a fruit tray and wine. ?? So I call down and they said everything was correct, so I enjoyed getting free wine and fruit. About an hour later, there's a knock on the door. It's T- with free chocolates and wine. I LOVED this hotel, guys. We packed 2 bottles of wine and checked out of the hotel with 3. And the cheese and chocolates never showed up on our bill. AWESOME!

One more small thing...

We decided to eat at a tapas place that had free shuttle service to the restaurant and back. While waiting for the shuttle a white stretch limo pulls up. I make a comment about how it must be nice to ride in a limo. We didn't even have a limo for our wedding... So we walk outside and... the limo WAS the shuttle service.

I got pictures to prove it.

Then I got a little drunk and this was the view from lying prone on my back from the seat.
(The car was moving. I swear I wasn't that drunk)

[sigh] Life really should have a rewind button...

*$20 is ridiculous I know, but when you don't have to change dirty diapers for 48 hours, it feels like you've been released from prison. So it's ok to splurge.
** I really was nice about it. I mean, this happens ALL THE TIME to me, so I would be shocked if I ever checked it and it didn't have down pillows and blankets everywhere. Down must feel awesome because every hotel in the world has it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Guys, I'm not depressed. Really.

Seriously, this year is looking up. Or maybe it's all the steroids I'm on to deal with my eczema flare-up. But with all this energy, who cares??

OK, so here's the short and sweet version:

1- Doctor's appointment went well. The doctor (I'll call her D) walks in and says "I haven't seen you in awhile! I've been wondering how you were..." (sees my skin)... "Okay. So... back for steroids?"
She wrote not 1, not 2, but 5 prescriptions. The student intern with her just stared at me bug-eyed as D filled out the little pads of happiness and joy. D was telling her, "Now, normally, we don't give cortisteroids for eczema flare-ups, but as you can see, Jennifer is an extreme case." And I just thought, 'That sums me up pretty well. Extreme case.'

2- I'm a part of a local yahoo Mom's group, and I finally got to a Mom's Night Out. This month is was at the Melting Pot, my favorite restaurant in the world. I think John and I must go once a month... But this did not work in my favor for a couple of reasons...
A) I was a little high on the drugs, and therefore more assertive and verbal than usual.
B) I couldn't keep my big mouth shut about all the fondues that suck and I think I may have pissed off some people... or it could be that I'm paranoid because of all the drugs.

... I'm starting to see a theme here. Maybe I should title this one "High on Steroids" and see how long it is before Child Protective Services comes to my door to take away the kids. Then I can either show them to prescriptions and be like "Haha CPS!! It's LEGAL!" or say, "Can you take them for, like, a couple of days so I can get some sleep??!!"

3- I was prescribed some Benedryl-type pills so when the steroids wear off I CAN get some sleep. Last night I settled down with a glass of wine and started to take those pills.

I said, "I can take 1-3 depending on the itch. I think I'll take 3."
John [looking up from the computer]: "Are you supposed to mix that with alcohol?"
Me: "No. So... 3, you think?"
John: "I would take 1 and see how you do..."
[I pop 3 pills in my mouth]
John: [sighs] "Okay..."

I have such a nice husband. And I actually slept for 6 consecutive hours!!!! See, this is why I can never take those butterfly-vampire sleeping pills because I would get addicted. OK, so I was still tired when I woke up, but after taking the steroids, I was fine.

What number am I on again?

4- Tomorrow John and I head to Baltimore to stay in a hotel on the Harbor (which we wouldn't normally do, but the rooms are like 70% off with this party-group discount, when they're normally $350 a NIGHT. How ridiculous is that??? $350 a NIGHT??!! Maybe if the room came with your own cook, butler, and a free massage...). Hopefully, we'll get some much-needed down time. His company is having their holiday party and since my birthday is coming up, my folks are once again being incredibly generous and watching the kid for us. I'll have to post some pictures. Especially if I can manage to shove my hips into the awesome pre-preggers dress I want to wear. Stupid steroids make you gain weight... Wait! I know...

Starvation diet!!

Kidding. Really.

I love chocolate too much.

Friday, January 8, 2010

I was a better blogger last year

I was reading over some old posts and thinking 'Wow. I actually wrote a ton and some of it was even funny!' Another child later...

I'll keep this one brief because I have no time today. Kids still have a bad cough from their Christmas cold. Eric isn't napping or sleeping well at night. Turns out that Eric was found eligible for services for language delay, etc. Still don't know if this is covered through our insurance though. And we didn't put a ton on the Flex card because we had way too much on it this year.

I've been having panic attacks at night. I'll wake up consumed with worry and can't go back to sleep. For some reason I'm having trouble napping during the day when the kids actually have overlapping naps. I just can't sleep. If anyone out there could say a prayer for me, I'd be grateful!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2 Under 3

Doesn't sound as good as "2 under 2" does it? [sigh] Well, anyway...

Today Eric had his official 2 year check-up. He is officially in the 60% for weight, 85% for height (as is his sister). He is also officially language delayed. Eric had his initial assessment with the county to possibly get services for this, but we won't know anything for a month or two. In some ways I hope he's eligible. In other ways it would be expensive if insurance doesn't cover it. And such a pita to get him there while dragging his sister along.

It's 10pm. Where does the time go? Need to sleep. John worked late, so I had to put the kids down. They decided not to nap. Then they decided to take a bath together. Then Rachel decided to poop in the tub. Can I just say that all single moms out there are my heroes? Trying to clean kids, clean out tub, stop Rachel from EATING... well, you get the idea. Mommy needs a drink.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Where Were You 10 Years Ago?

A friend from my mom's group posted that question and lit up the boards. Many women wrote about everything that had happened in the past 10 years, how their careers had changed, how they met their husbands... And almost every theme was the same: Everyone seemed to be much happier now.

But I don't feel that way.

I became so sad reading those posts. I felt like I was at a fabulous party where everyone was nicely snookered and having a great time, and there I am standing alone.. and in desperate need of a drink.

Which reminds me of where I was during the big Y2K scare on New Year's Eve 1999.

So on December 31st, 1999 I was standing in line for the women's restroom at a bar in New Orleans, wondering why there weren't a ton of people in New Orleans and why all the people who WERE there seemed to all need to use the restroom at the same bloody time! (It took 35 minutes with all us ladies taking over the men's room as well). It's was like a very lame Mardi Gras. Which I have never been to, by the way, but I digress...

I look back on the last 10 years very wistfully. I'm cursed by nostalgia to begin with, but back in 1999 I was a high school teacher in my first year, single, and able to travel and do things without obligations (or having to rob a bank to pay a sitter for my 2 kids). Looking back makes me wish I could relive the last decade. I love my kids, but there are times when I would give anything to just hop on a plane to somewhere (probably not New Orleans though, as my bladder isn't what it used to be). I miss being able to call up some friends and say "Anyone up for seeing a movie?" and just being able to GO, dammit! And restaurants without crayons?? OMG, there are restaurants without crayons??!!

Am I the only one out there who feels this way? If so, don't hate on me.

Which makes me think of the awesome Glee CDs John gave me for Christmas.

Which makes me think of how much I miss Glee. Coming back in April. And... that's right! LOST comes back next month!!! :-)

So I guess 2010 may not be all bad.