Monday, March 28, 2011

Stuck Inside

So, according to my calendar, it is Spring.  According to the weather in Pittsburgh... not so much.  This is what it looked like in my back yard, one day last week...

Notice the pine cone bird feeder, that Dylan made at school?  Yea, um, we haven't seen too many birds.  I think they turned back around and went south.  I'm thinking of joining them.  Today, the sun is shining brightly... but it is 36 degrees.

Since we have been stuck inside, I have come to the sudden realization that I need to take a day and go through Dylan's toys.  As his play gets more and more creative, it gets harder and harder to avoid having my home look like a toy store delivery truck explosion.

(These are "volcanoes").

(3 Points if you can guess the theme.  And, no, the theme wasn't "big mess", as I previously thought).

Dylan's favorite thing to do lately seems to be to take small pieces from EVERY single game, box, bin, etc, and load them into other bags, bins, etc.  Clean up is fun, let me tell you.

I was talking to a friend while her son, and Dylan played, and I asked her how she controls the toy clutter with 3 boys.  She keeps toys in a locked shelving unit, and they have to clean up one thing before asking permission to take out something else.  I get the logic, but I just couldn't do it.  I WILL put some of the toys in the spare room for a while, and cycle through them periodically, but I will also keep reminding myself daily that CREATIVITY IS MESSY.

This is unrelated, but I just had to share, since it is my buddy Jenn's birthday today!

(His birthday card for "Pop-Pop")

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Yep, It's A Post A Week At This Point

The stress continues in the Rants & Raves household.  We have managed to have some fun, too, though.  Before I show you some pictures, let me just say that when you have a child whose hair has a mind of its own, it might be a good idea to avoid "Great Clips" at all costs.  They were crowded, so I told the nice lady I was going to just sit down and to let me know when she was finished with Dylan's haircut.  Jim was in Lowe's and was going to meet us in a little bit.  When she called me over, I wasn't sure whether to scream, cry, shout, or just laugh.  The phrase "Are you kidding me?!" came to mind.

I have discovered that I WOULD exercise if I lived in a place with a warm climate.  We have been having weather in the 60's, and even 70's a couple days (until last night when we had a tornado warning, hail, and then snow - it is in the 30's today).  Dylan and I have been going for walks almost every day, and I am really enjoying it.  One day we took such a long walk that my legs had that tingly, muscles twitching feeling when we got home, and I loved it.  After 6 months of inactivity, it has been amazing to be outside in the sunshine!  We even had a playdate at the zoo last Friday!

Dylan kept asking when spring was coming, and I told him the first day was going to be March 20th.  He was counting down the days.  We had to have something fun planned for the day.  We went to The Children's Museum, and were surprised, (and thrilled), to find out that it was free that day!  After that, we went to a fantastic italian restaurant for pizza, and then got our free first day of spring Rita's ice cream (a family tradition).  

Something else new?  Jim and I went to a huge children's consignment sale that I usually participate in twice a year (so many people signed up this year, that they closed registration before I could sign up - and I had a room full of stuff ready to sell!), and got Dylan this among other things...

WHY didn't I buy him one sooner?!  Best $4 I've spent in ages.

Friday, March 18, 2011

My Biggest Source Of Joy

Things have been a bit stressful around here lately.  A couple days after my grandfather died, Jim's dad went into the hospital, complaining of chest pains.  He was in the hospital until Wednesday this week.  We still aren't clear on what exactly is wrong, since Jim never got to see any doctors, and the paperwork they sent home with him is very vague and confusing.  Since witnessing how things are done at the hospital my grandfather was at, and now at this hospital, I can honestly say that the state of health care in this country is frightening and appalling.

There have been a couple other issues stress-wise, but lets move on to something more positive - my funny, creative four year old.  He has been so sweet and funny lately, and I really need to document some of this stuff.

One night,  I was sitting in bed reading, while Jim was putting Dylan to bed.  Dylan ran into the bedroom and saw that I was reading.  "Oh, Mommy, when you finish that book, you'll need more to read.  I'll go get you some more books to read".  I wish I had taken a picture of the stack of books he came back with.  They were all books about little boys and their mom!  He figured that was a subject I'm interested in, I guess.

Another day, I was in the bathroom, err... taking care of business, and realized there was no more toilet paper.  I checked the drawer that we keep the extra rolls in - empty.  I sat there wondering what to do next, when suddenly I had a thought.  "Dylan!  Can you come here?  Come in the bathroom!"  "What Mommy?"  "There's no more toilet paper, and I need some.  Can you go upstairs and get me some more?"  "Oh sure, I can!"  He turned to go upstairs, and I started to say, "The extra rolls are in the..."  "I KNOW where they are, Mommy!"  He ran back into the bathroom with a roll.  "Mommy, you just tell me when you need another roll and I'll get you more, okay?  I'm good at helping".  "I think I'm good for now, thanks".

One day he decided to make a list of all the words he knows how to spell.  Here is the list, front and back...

Do you see what word is the biggest?  Even bigger than that guy who is supposed to be the favorite around here!

One morning when I woke him up, he smiled, sighed, and said, "Oh, thank you Mommy!"  "Thank you for what?", I asked.  "Ummm.... I don't know... but thank you, Mommy".  If he wanted to start every day that way, I wouldn't object.  Jim could even take up the habit.

One night, I was upstairs putting laundry away, while Dylan and Jim were downstairs cleaning up before bed.  I came down to find this...

A couple days ago, I read him the book "The Bike Lesson", by Stan and Jan Berenstain.  In it, the father says he is going to teach his son some lessons about riding a bike.  He ends up showing him the wrong way to do everything, but pretends this was his intention all along.  When we were finished, Dylan said he wanted to teach me some lessons.  He demonstrated the right way, and wrong way to do the following things...

So glad I now know the correct way to get off a big ball.  That will really come in handy the next time I'm on one.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

An Amazing Man

My grandfather passed away today.  Of course, I am sad.  I will miss him very much.  But, I am so glad he is no longer suffering.  I am so thankful for all the time I got to spend with him.   So tell me, have you told everyone "I Love You" that you need to tell today?  Have you treated your family like they are 98?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sick / Fire Hall / Soccer Class

I really don't even want to talk about the whole sick thing again.  I'm so boring!  Whine, whine, sniffle, cough, blah, blah, blah.  But, some wonderful people have been asking, so I'll tell you.  Week three, and almost done with the antibiotics, I am better.  Definitely better, but still not 100%, and it's annoying.  I haven't slept through the night, or completely horizontal for that matter since I can't remember when, due to the bleepity bleepin' coughing.  But, I am off the couch, and functioning mostly normally, with the exception of getting weak after doing anything at all.

I even managed go along with Dylan's class yesterday, for a field trip to the fire station.  I have to say that it was great to be able to see him in the school environment.  I get so little information from the teachers and especially from Dylan about his time there, so I was intrigued.  I was happy to see that he WAS interacting with some of the other kids.  (He doesn't talk about any of them, so I wasn't sure).  I wasn't surprised to see that he talks a lot - asking questions and making comments.

He was very interested when the fire fighter was talking about fire safety, and sat there pretty still and quiet.  When they took us outside and talked about every stinking thing on the truck in details far surpassing a 4 year old attention span?  Not so much.  Standing STILL and listening to boring stuff?  Not exactly on Dylan's list of strengths.

After the field trip, I got to observe him in his soccer class.  I have to say that in my opinion, 30 kids that age with 2 instructors (one very laid back and quiet to boot), is too darn many kids!  I was groaning, as I watched Dylan, thinking, "What is he doing over there?  Isn't he supposed to be over here right now?"  Then, minutes later, "Now what is he doing?"  I had to stop myself several times from yelling to him.  Then, I noticed the father sitting next to me.  Every five minutes or so he would slap his hand to his forehead and go "What is he doing?!", talking about his son.  A few times he couldn't help himself.  "Alex!!  Get the ball!!  You're supposed to be over there!!"  Then, it hit me that we are all so focused on our own kids, that we don't notice that none of them have a clue what they are doing!

I really should take a video camera, so I can get how many times the instructors scream "NOT YOUR HANDS!  USE YOUR FEET!" on tape.

Okay, but is this normal?  Dylan sat on a little girl's feet not once, but twice, when they were all sitting as a group.  I could see her complaining to her little friends, and the instructor, but I could tell that Dylan had no idea he did it.  None.  I asked him later, "Did you know that you sat on a little girl's feet in soccer class?"  "I did?!  When?!", he asked.  When I told Jim about it, he said, "Oh great.  He's inherited the Magoo gene!"  (I call my dad Magoo, because he is blissfully unaware of the fact that other drivers are yelling and flipping him off, as he slowly makes his way along.  Jim says I have the Magoo gene, because he can do things like put my cell phone in my coat pocket without me noticing.  Or there was the time he put a chip clip on my pajama top while we were watching TV at night, and I went to bed with it on and spent the whole night sleeping, completely oblivious.)

Here's the thing though.  I'm worried the Magoo gene is going to get my kid beat up at some point!  Can you teach someone to be more observant?  I'm probably gonna need to get some books aren't I?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What I've Been Doing

What have I been doing since the last post, over a week ago?  Absolutely nothing.  No, really.  NOTHING.  Well, here... this picture will make things a little clearer...

The sad thing is that, with the exception of the Claritin, between Dylan and I, we really have used each and every one of those items in the past two weeks of SICK INDUCED HELL.  

He started last Monday, seemed better for a few days, seemed worse for a few days, better, worse, better, worse, until finally waking up this Tuesday screaming that his ear hurt.  I drug my feverish self off the couch to take him in so they could give him an antibiotic for the ear infection.  He's back at school today.

My SICK INDUCED HELL started last Wednesday.  By Sunday, I went to the emergency MedExpress, convinced I had pneumonia and was possibly dying.  (I never overreact).
The lovely Physician's Assistant (yes, I didn't see an actual doctor), was very sympathetic, tested me for the flu (negative), and sent me home with NOTHING.  As I was walking out, I might have mumbled something in my feverish state about "But are you sure I don't need to go to the hospital?  Maybe just for a couple days?  Please?"

Yesterday, (Wednesday), after spending Tuesday night playing a lovely game of throw up/wake up feverish and covered in sweat, repeat, I waved the white flag.  I went to an actual doctor and said, "I don't care what I have, but you have to give me something to make it stop as soon as possible".

So, even though I feel like I have done absolutely nothing productive in the past 2 weeks (no laundry, cleaning, cooking, working), I'm going to say that I have learned a few things.

1.  I've learned that I have a potty mouth when I am sick.  I was stringing together four letter words in ways I didn't even know were possible.  Luckily, this all occurred in my head, not out loud, but I was pretty impressed with myself, and not necessarily in a good way.

2.  On one of the days I actually had the energy to get off the couch, I became obsessed with the dust on the cold air return vent.  I removed it, looked inside, and found...

Say it with me, "EWWWWW!!!!!"  So, a whole house vent cleaning company is on my list of things to do now.  Do you know what yours look like?

3.  Since I was spending so much time on the couch, I figured I might as well read something.  I read
"Just checking... scenes from the life of an obsessive compulsive" by Emily Colas.  Wow.  I think we should all make our husbands read this book because, no offense Emily, but I'm thinking once they do we're all getting flowers.

4. The love you have for your child makes you do crazy, superhuman things.  I don't know if Dylan will remember being sick, but if he does he'll remember that his Mommy took good care of him.

5.  I love my parents.  This wasn't something new I learned, but it was a strong, slap in the face reminder.  My dad went out of his way to help, and truly the whole time I just wanted to scream, "I WANT MY MOMMY!"