These People Are Nuts

(I sort of wanted to call this “These Bitches Be Crazy” but maybe that’s not so politic, eh?)

This morning was preschool registration for Jamie – registration for NEXT year, that is. (I know. What?) Now, I want to make perfectly clear at the outset that the preschool had this all down to a science and I have no complaints with their system or anything else they had a hand in.

But these MOTHERS. Dear Lord.

The information stated that doors opened at 8:45 am with registration beginning at 9:00. It was on a first come, first serve basis so as you arrived you would be given a number.  Knowing what a bunch of ridiculous over achievers these women are (you should SEE the halloween treats that came home) I decided to arrive at 8:30 am. I figured that early was better than late and if I had to sit in the car until the door opened, so be it.

I walked in the door at 8:34 am and I was number 32.  The parking lot was nearly full and the room for parents to wait in was mobbed.

REALLY?! It’s preschool, people. PRESCHOOL. THIS IS NOT NEW YORK CITY.

So, I sat down at a table full of parents that held one other person I knew. I was *so* uncomfortable. These people obviously knew each other and didn’t think the process we were currently engaged in was absurd. Get up at the ass crack of dawn to arrive as early as possible? NO PROBLEM. JUST A NORMAL DAY. Crazy. I don’t go through this much rigamarole for Liam’s school and he’s in second grade!

So I sat there waiting and chatting (eventually it got better on that front) until my number was called and I went to hand in my forms. The actual registration? Took all of 4 minutes and I was done.

Look, I know our preschool is a good one. Years and years ago it was one of the first ones accredited by the state. I get it. It’s in demand around here. But it’s not the only one. I can think of at least 3 others all within 5 miles of my house. They all teach the same stuff – letters, numbers, colors, shapes, etc.

This is, as they say, just a symptom of a larger problem. Generally, suburban living doesn’t bother me. It’s certainly more urban than the way I grew up. I knew there was a fair amount of “keeping up” that’s done around here and I’ve felt the edges of it before. But this stuff with preschool is just a giant flashing neon sign. “HEY! WE ARE AWESOME. LET US PROVE OUR AWESOMEITUDE. LOOK AT ALL THE AMAZING THINGS WE DO.” Yes, I get it. You are SuperMom/Woman and I am just the lowly sidekick to Jimmy Olsen. I just want to shake them and say “Calm down, people! These kids don’t NEED all of this crazy over-the-top stuff!”

I feel like I’m the crazy one here and they all think they’re sane.

Oh and by the way, THIS is what I mean by overachievers at Halloween.

Oh nothing. I’ll just knit 44 pumpkin cozies for candy distribution. No big.

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Stress!

I mentioned that last week was the week from hell and I wasn’t lying.  I don’t think I’ve looked forward to a Monday morning more than I looked forward to this one.

It started last Sunday night when Scot was hit very fast and very hard with the worst migraine of his life.  He has had problems with migraines for several years now and the short explanation is that he’s been to many doctors, tried many treatments (most of which are a serious problem for him), and come out the other side no better than when he started.  His headache Sunday night was a bad one and despite all medications we had to treat it at home, it was not going away.  He ended up going to the ER to have it treated.

As ER trips go, it was fairly low stress.  They gave him with the medications we know will work, broke the headache and sent him on his way.  Not such a bit deal, really.  (I’m sure you’re wondering how a ‘low-stress’ ER visit figures into this story of ongoing stress.  Stay with me.)

Monday he worked from home because the medications he’d been given combined with the severity of the headache left him feeling pretty hung-over.  This is how it came to be that he was home in the afternoon.

Now, Scot had a procedure of a personal nature about 3 weeks ago.  It went fine.  On Monday afternoon, I was herding Liam through the process of getting ready to go to TKD when I heard a high-pitched yelp.  I actually thought it was Liam from another room but when I looked up Liam was right there.  However, Jamie had been upstairs with Scot.

Oh no.

Scot took an injury of a personal nature courtesy of Jamie’s knee.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay around to chat because I had to take Liam to TKD.  While I was at the dojang, Scot and I were exchanging text messages and then phone calls about the situation.  The upshot was that he was in enough pain that he had to be seen by a doctor, it was after hours, and the doctor that did the procedure told him to go to the ER.

The same ER he’d been at just 24 hours before.

This time I went with him.  We made emergency arrangements for childcare (Thank you, Ann!) and when I got home with Liam from TKD, I shoved down some dinner and then took Scot to the ER.  It was not as painless a visit as the night before but he did get the same attending.  Also, the nurse thought I was Scot’s daughter, not his wife.  Considering this injury, this was both funny and weird.

Luckily, there didn’t appear to be any damage done so he was sent home with painkillers and told to take it easy. And to stay away from the toddler’s knee.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were fairly normal if hectic.  As usual, I had a crap ton to do and not enough time to do it in.  This is nothing new.

Friday night was the kicker.  That night just about did me in.

We got to the end of the day and it was time to start bath/bedtime routine.  I took the kids upstairs to and convinced them to get in the tub together to save me extra work.  Meanwhile, Scot and I kept saying “who farted?” and “what’s that smell?” and “is Jamie’s diaper dirty?” I got the kids in the tub and ran down to the basement to check things out.  Hit the furnace/laundry room.
GAS!
I went running for the stairs, yell at Scot to call his parents so we can get the kids out, shut off the furnace, and go running for the bathroom to bathe the kids, get them out, and get them dressed.  Scot calls his parents then calls the fire department.  Smart man, because I was all “BUG OUT!  BUG OUT!  MASH 4077, BUG OUT!”
So, he goes to wait outside for the nice burly firemen to show up while I run around like a crazy person getting Jamie dressed (Liam can dress himself), gathering toiletries, clothes, pillows, blankies, and stuffed animals and throwing it all together in an overnight bag.  All the while I’m wondering “What the hell are we going to do with the dog?!”
By this time the firemen have arrived (who, by the way showed up with the lights and trucks and whatnot – Jamie was FASCINATED as, I’m sure, were the neighbors) so I can’t get out of my driveway.  I went down to check on things and find out if I needed to whisk the kids away.  Guess what?  IT’S POO GAS.  Yep, a back burp of sewer gas from the main house drain.
Yes, go ahead.  I’m laughing at myself, too.  
But, you know, just to be safe, the burly firemen are running around with their little gas reading equipment.  There were no leaks on the furnace – good, it’s practically brand new – but he stuck the meter in the dryer, turned the dryer on and that meter lit up like a damn Christmas tree.  Gas leak in or around the dryer.
They shut off the gas supply to the dryer and I had to call a repairman today (they are coming out tomorrow).  Meanwhile, the 6 year old was freaking out that it’s not safe in the house and the 2 yr old was shrieking about all the “SHRUCKS!” in front of the house.
It was A Night and almost immediately upon getting the kids calmed down and in bed the phone rang.  It was the neighbors wanting to know what the hell was going on.  Oh joy.
The weekend was crisis-free but not aggravation free.  Everyone was on everyone else’s nerves and we were all cranky.  Not even a couple of family outings seemed to soothe our savageness.
So here it is, the start of a brand-new week, and I am praying that it will be calmer and that I will be able to get all of my domestic chores done without a bunch of crazy crises throwing monkey wrenches into things.  Considering I’ve got two TKD classes, a class field trip I’m chaperoning, a plumber coming in to repair the dryer, taking the car for inspection, Liam’s Lego class, and speech therapy all on the docket this week I need things to run smoothly.
My thoughts exactly, Jamie.

A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (Sort Of)

Oh what a day.

It started with me having to wake Liam up for school.  I never have to do this because the kid is out of bed, bright eyed and bushy tailed, at the stroke of seven each morning.  It’s like he stalks the clock in his room just waiting for it to hit 7 am before bursting into the hallway with a loud “I’M UP!”

Not so much this morning, though.  The boys got to bed late last night due to scheduling beyond my control and while Jamie handled it OK, Liam wasn’t prepared.  He woke up this morning with no spring in his step and bags under his eyes.

We got through the morning routine OK and made it to the bus on time.  I warned Liam that he had a dentist appointment this afternoon so I would pick him up early from school.

I got back to the house and noticed that my Mom had called so I called her back to find out what she called about.  A relative had passed away and she was calling to tell me.  The day was starting to take a downward slide.

After I got off the phone with Mom, I was sitting around with Jamie while he watched morning cartoons when it dawned on me that I completely forgot my brother-in-law’s birthday last week.  Not just missed it after thinking “hey!  That’s coming up!” but TOTALLY FORGOT.  It didn’t even occur to me that I had a birthday to remember.  I felt like a total heel.  We don’t exchange birthday gifts among the adults but we usually send cards and call each other.  I missed it entirely.  D’oh!

A bit later I turned off the TV and headed upstairs to sort out laundry for the day.  I needed to wash the jeans I was wearing so I peeled them off to throw in the pile.  I was sitting there sorting out loads of laundry – without pants on – when there was a knock at the door.

Crap.

I grabbed a pair of (dirty) jammy pants, hustled myself into them, and went downstairs to answer the door.  Who was there?  Jamie’s speech therapist.  Guess what I forgot?  Yep, Jamie had speech therapy this morning and I was standing there in what amounted to pajamas.  At least I was wearing a bra.

Batting 1,000, Cari.

The good news is that my house was not completely trashed so forgetting to clean before the therapist arrived wasn’t an issue.  Being a slave to the to-do list this week paid off and I didn’t have a family room sunk in dirty dishes and scattered toys.  WHEW!

After speech therapy we got lunch and I did laundry and then Jamie went down for a nap.  Things seemed to even out at this point so I thought the worst was over.  Not so.

I went downstairs to grab my now clean jeans out of the dryer so that I could get dressed to pick up Liam at school.  The washing machine was flashing an error code at me.  Aw, crap.  I looked up the code and it had something to do with a lack of water supply.  What the what?!  I hit the cancel button and it started to do something so I let it go to see what it would do while I went upstairs to get dressed and wake Jamie from his nap.  (I hate doing that but it was necessary so we could pick up Liam and get to the dentist on time.)

On our way down to the car to leave, I checked on the washer.  It had now shut off altogether.  Great.  It wasn’t working at all.  Lately, the dryer has also been on the fritz (sort of), so now I was looking at no laundry facilities at all.  Oh, this day.

The day finally seemed to turn a corner at the dentist.  There was no bad news at the dentist.  No cavities, everything in good shape, need a little work on the thoroughness of his brushing but otherwise good.

We got home and I turned the washing machine back on hoping that it had magically cleared up whatever was going on and decided to work again.  It did!  It washed the load with nary a hiccup.  Clean clothes!

The day ended on a high note when I weighed-in at Weight Watchers and lost another pound then came home and got the kids to bed early.

It was a hell of a Wednesday.

Hectic

That one word sums up the last several days.  I’ve wanted to blog more but we’ve been so busy I can barely get from one thing to the next on time.

Here’s how today went, to give you an idea.  Let me preface it with the fact that Scot’s car refused to start on Sunday so we had to have it towed on Monday and it’s been in the shop ever since.

6:30 – get up with Jamie.  Get dressed and presentable to leave the house.
7:00 – Liam gets up, wake Scot.  Spend next 30 min prepping to leave.
7:30 – load up the family and leave.  Take Scot to work stopping on the way to get coffee for him.
7:45 – drop off Scot and head to Jamie’s daycare.
8:00 – drop off Jamie at daycare and head to the grocery store with Liam.
8:15-9 – grocery shop then go home.
9 – 9:45 – unload the groceries, put them away, sit down to breathe and have breakfast.  Get Liam changed for swim lessons.
9:45 – leave for swim.
10 – 11 – swim lesson for Liam.
11:15 arrive home and have a dang break.
11:15 – 4:00 pm.  Hang out at home.  Get lunch, do cleaning, work on laundry, try to nap to no avail, make cupcakes.
4:00 pm – pick up Jamie.
4:15- 5:30 home long enough to feed the kids and myself.  Scot still at work.
5:30 – leave for Tae Kwon-do with both kids.  Jamie NEVER goes with us as it runs past his bath and bed time but one car, one parent, no choice.  He went with.
5:45 – 6:45 -TKD for Liam.  Managed to pick up Scot at work while Liam was in class.
7:00 – arrive home.  Scot eats, I throw children in the tub.  Jamie is now late for bed.
7:15 – Jamie in bed.
7:40 – Liam in bed.

After the kids were down, I made buttercream frosting and frosted the cupcakes I made.  Then I sat down to write an email to a friend that was waiting on my reply.  Tomorrow is speech therapy for Jamie and I still have to finish picking up the house.

I know that working parents do this sort of thing pretty much every day so I shouldn’t complain.  And, really, I’m not.  But I’m not used to this kind of schedule AT. ALL.  This is what my life has been like for the last several days – hence the lack of blogging.

Swim lessons run all week this week and next.  After they are done things calm down a little bit.  I’m looking forward to it.

A Letter To Spring

Dear Spring,

I miss you.  I miss your sunny days, your warming temperatures, your soft breezes, and the delightful way you smell.

You came to visit for a few days.  It lasted almost a week.  Then, you left us and now it’s cold again.  Oh, the sun may be out but don’t let that fool you.  Step outside and you’ll freeze something off.

Spring, you loveliest of seasons, it is now the last week of March.  You have taunted and teased us with hints of your arrival long enough.  Please come to stay.  My children want to play outside, ride bikes, play with sidewalk chalk, and chase the dog.

I want to throw open the windows of my house to let in those wonderful breezes.  I want children who aren’t crazy and cranky from being cooped up inside.  I want to clean my garage and try to tame the leaves left over from last fall.

Come back to us, Spring, and when you do, please whack that stupid groundhog upside the head as hard as you can.