Friday Fragments 01/29/10

Mommy's Idea

As always, this episode of Friday Fragments is brought to you by Mrs.4444 at Half Past Kissing’ Time.  To learn more about it and perhaps play along, click on the link to visit her place.

***Even though I was gone part of the week with Owen, I am glad it is Friday.  Seems like taking care of a sick toddler is a lot more work than going to my job and working.  It just occurred to me that Owen is going to be four this year; I guess that means he is not a toddler anymore, but what is he?

***Hannah broke up with her boyfriend this week.  He was exhibiting some rather controlling behaviors like getting mad at her for talking to her dad on the phone or wanting to spend time with us instead of going to see him (like when we all went swimming on New Year’s Day), or for spending too much time with her girlfriends.  I am so proud of that girl I can hardly stand it; she said to me,”I just don’t need that kind of crap!” and went on to say that rather than being sad, she is relieved

***It seems that Sam’s new asthma meds are helping him even better than I had hoped.  He is down to only using his rescue inhaler about once a day, his small-volume nebulizer not at all, and he is sleeping a lot better.  I can’t tell you what a genuine relief this is for all concerned.

***Of the two houses we were looking at for the vacation, neither of them were available at the times we could all go.  My sister is trying to find another one, but to no avail.  Keep your fingers crossed for her, would you?  Or if any of you happen to know of a 6 bedroom house in Seaside, Oregon that is available either the last week of July or the first week of August, let me know.

***Today is the last installment in Matt’s Time Out series over at The Playpen.  Today’s question deal with what  traits we hope we pass down to our kids, and with the very different women on the panel answering that question, it should be interesting to see.  Chime in if you get the chance; there have been a couple of really good debates about two of the topics he touched on this week.  And a big thanks goes out to Matt for including me on his panel; it was really quite a lot of fun.

For more Fragments, Mrs.4444 has a whole list of participants over at her place.  Don’t forget to visit a few and say hi!


Because just one more state of the union post isn't going to put you over the edge

I know it is going to be all over the Internet and television for the next couple of days; political pundits much more talented and knowledgeable than I will be dissecting President Obama’s every word and hand movement, the fashion police will be talking about the First Lady’s purple dress, various party members with their shellacked hair and smarmy smiles will talk about how none of this is necessary because the American Dream is all about individual success and a stronger military.  I try not to get too verbose on the topic of politics, not because I am not interested or invested but because I don’t really know anything; I have thoughts and feelings but no real knowledge.  Still I watched The President’s State of the Union Address because no matter how downtrodden we as a nation are, or we as individuals are, no matter what our political party is, President Obama is the man in charge.  We owe it to him as a people to listen to what he has to say (for the record, if McFuck had won I still would have listened, I just would have spent a lot more time yelling at the TV and feeling like our situation was hopeless because hey, that old man does not give a shit about me and my family and every other family just like mine)(also for the record, was anyone else just a little creeped out by the military personnel watching the address?  Never a smile, a nod, nothing, they all just sat there and looked, well, scary).

I don’t even really have a point here other than the fact that I watched the Address and was well pleased.  What it felt like during the election and inauguration of President Obama was that we were all at the beginning of a race, prancing and chomping at our bits, eager to just get out of the gate and get started.  Now, it feels like we as a nation are simply buckling down to get the job done, plodding forward one step at a time.  I don’t know much about horses but I know that high-strung race horses have a relatively short life, whereas work horses ten to live a lot longer and at the end of the day have something to show for their work besides a wreath of roses and a big metal cup.  Put me in the category of a work horse every time, because the time for flash is long gone. 

It still amazes me how many people thought that Obama was going to come in and magically change everything overnight.  This, given the fact that he started out, as either candidate would have, with a whole plateful of major problems to deal with.  I think I have said this before, but really, is he God?  Does he have some secret power to wake up one morning and snap his fingers and suddenly everything is A-OK?  Um, no, I don’t think so.  He is a man-a powerful man, and eloquent man, a beautiful man, but still, just a man.  And continuing on with the horse analogy, he is really just the man in charge of walking behind the horse’s ass who came before him, simply trying to clean up the shit he dropped as he walked along.  Not just cleaning it up so that the horses and behind him wouldn’t be covered in it, but so that the little people following at the very end of the parade aren’t still walking in it.  That’s it.  And as much as I hate to say it, we cannot blame all of our nation’s problems on the government-we as a whole haven’t been doing out part either.

I don’t have any more answers than I did last year when we elected this glorious man as our President.  I have had my moments just like everyone else when I have felt discouraged and disappointed.  There are still people losing their jobs and homes, there are still people who work decent jobs but still can’t make ends meet, there are still people being denied health coverage if they have insurance and praying like mad to be safe and healthy if they don’t.  I just believe that if anyone is going to institute lasting change, it is this administration-and it is our responsibility to give him the chance.

Like I said, I am not an expert, or even a novice when it comes to politics.  I am sure there are a thousand and one reasons for various things that I don’t understand, and I know well that unless everyone is committed to lasting change (which people have made clear they are not), it isn’t going to happen.  I know that as long as people really in their heart believe that we don’t have a responsibility to one another, that all men are created equal except those who make less that $250,000 a year and then they aren’t even people anymore but offal to be cast aside, then nothing is going to change.  I believe that if we continue to hold onto every penny we have and then lord that handful of pennies over everyone else and say,”This is MINE and I am not sharing because I deserve it more than you do,” things will never change.  I believe that unless we stop and really look at the people who share our space every day and see them as fellow humans, then nothing is going to change.

And isn’t it time?


***For a little lighter topic, it is Day Four of Matt’s Time Out series over at The Playpen.  Today’s question is about the inherent evils of television (or something like that) which is a favorite subject of mine, and I would love to know some of your thoughts about it.***

You're Staying home to do what?

I am home again this morning with a still-ill Owen; he is now taking antibiotics and some medicine to MAKE him cough.  Aren’t we always trying to make our kids stop coughing so they (we) can rest already?  Not in this case.  In this case, not coughing is notgood.  When he climbed into bed with us last night it was like having a furnace right next to me, so much so that I even turned off the electric blanket (gasp!).  His fever has abated somewhat this morning, although still fairly high, but my hope is that he will be markedly better after yet one more day of rest and good medicine and lots and lots of drinks of juice and water.  I think my boss wanted to be a little bit annoyed this morning when I called him, but what do you do?  I took Monday off, Steve took yesterday off, so by default it is my turn-and Steve is going to try to come home this afternoon so that I can go to work. *shrug* I love my job, and I like my boss a lot-I hate sitting home with a sick baby and worrying about how annoyed my boss is at work.  At least he won’t make fun of me-Steve already got seven kinds of hell for staying home yesterday (“Why can’t Kori just stay home again?” and there might have been a snide comment or two about him being, um, pussy whipped), which just annoys the hell out of me.  After all, aren’t both our incomes equally important?  Bah.  A rant for another time.

The thing is, without getting all sappy and lovey and starry-eyed, I know well how lucky I am that Steve at least acknowledges that it ISN’T  just my job to take care of sick kids.  Last year when Sam had the chicken pox, he took time off as well, and also took Sam to work with him for three days-yeah.  I know that his willingness to accept some responsibility not just for the child we share together as well as my other children is not always the case, and I don’t know if he really gets what a big deal things like this are to me.  I have been very used to doing it on my own, you see, even when I was married-so it is such a relief to not have to carry the burden on my own.  It is really a win-win situation for both of us-maybe not convenient or fun (though he and Owen both really enjoyed having a quiet day at home together yesterday) all of the time, but just one of those things that might seem minor but really strengthens the respect and caring we have for each other-not just as parents but as two people.  Just as I believe strongly that time alone is important for couples, I also believe parenting together helps foster those feelings of love and committment, which helps a lot when the inevitable shitstorm of life happens.

Matt’s newest installment of Time Out over at The Playpen  deals with something along these same lines; why don’t you go on over there and read what we five moms have to say about alone time?

Peace might not reign, but it does dwell

It’s no wonder we have all been battling colds and various other ailments; it was 45 degrees and sunny like spring last week, even up to yesterday, and today I woke up to snow and winds.  I have quit watching the weather, because they are never right-instead, when I get up in the morning and let the dogs out, I look outside and say,”Hm, it looks like it might be _____ today!”  Also, the woman who does the weather creeps me out, so there’s that, too.

So now, a cold and snowy Tuesday, and Owen is still sick.  his croupy cough is gone, to be replaced with a very deep, very wet-sounding cough, and he still has the fever and general malaise.  The thing is, he isn’t coughing much, which is bothersome in the fact that all that gunk is just sitting there, ripe for a bacterial infection to start.  This is what happened to me when I was so sick last month-I coughed like mad for one night, then stopped coughing and got quite ill.  It will bear watching, for sure-little fellows can go from slightly ill to really, really sick in a flash.  One time when Sam was about this same age, he had a slight fever and cough one day and overnight he got so sick that he was put in the hospital for a week; keep your fingers crossed that this is not the case with Owen.  The plan as of bedtime last night was that Steve would take a turn staying home with him, so as long as that is still the plan, I will be able to go to work today-much needed.

All in all, it is a better day than yesterday.  One of the problems that cropped up over the weekend has been if not resolved completely then at least talked out, which makes the air at least clear enough to breathe.  I know I have said this about fifty times before, but it bears saying one more time that I suck at relationship stuff.  And, frankly, so does Steve.  Not all the time, or even most of the time, or we wouldn’t still be together, but enough that is does cause conflict on occasion.  In this case, it was that we were both talking and not hearing at all what the other person was saying, and when we DID hear, we both heard totally wrong.  Pretty easy to get angry and defensive with one another when both are so busy defending their own position that the real words and meanings get smothered.  At any rate, that one issue is tabled for the moment-not in a “let’s pretend it is all okay and sweep this one under the rug” kind of way, but in a “this doesn’t need to be something that ruins us” kind of way.

The other thing that made the weekend pretty much suck ass was that fact that in the house dwells an almost 16 year old cave dweller of a teenager.  One who feels like he should be treated like a man but still acts/reacts at times like a ten year old.  One who, for whatever reason, has decided that he should pretty much be allowed to do whatever it is that he wants to do and NOT do what it is that I expect of him.  He has also developed a very nasty habit of talking back, and whew, I tell you, he seems to have learned overnight to push my buttons, HARD.  That situation has also calmed down, but I don’t expect peaceful resolution for another, oh, ten years or so when his mind and body begin to work together in something resembling a normal manner.  I used to think that being a teen girl was pretty awful, in my own teen years and going through it with Hannah, but now?  I realize it is just as hard for the boys, just in different ways.  Since I can’t change what HE is feeling and going through, all I can do is change the way I react and pick my own battles a little more carefully. 

I hope that I will soon be posting more meaningful stuff, but since that isn’t happening today, why don’t you head on over to The Playpen for the Tuesday installment of Time Out?   I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t much interaction yesterday-why don’t some of you comment and get a good conversation going?

Monday, Monday

Don’t forget to stop by The Playpen this morning for my friend Matt’s series called Time Out; he is featuring five very different moms (me being one of them; to find out who the others are you are just going to have to go read!) answering five questions throughout the week about parenting-very neat.

Aaand…that might very well be the highlight of my Monday, at this point at least.  It wasn’t a very good weekend at Chez Jones for a variety of reasons, and I was rather looking forward to going back to work.  However, Owen is feverish with a wet and croupy cough (alternately), which means no daycare and a long day at home with a whiny toddler.  He also doesn’t “get” the concept of making himself cough to bring up the phlegm, so he keeps crying and saying that he has a piece of meat stuck in his throat (which is funny as hell given that the kid doesn’t EAT meat for the most part).  It is shaping up to be a long day already.

I have a few things on my mind that I am trying to put into words, and that isn’t happening yet so this is what you get for the day. Go read The Playpen instead, and make sure to put in your own two cents while you are there.

Friday Fragments 01/22/10

 Mommy's Idea

 Welcome to Friday Fragments, hosted by the gorgeous-even-when-irrigating-her-nose-with-a-teapot Mrs.4444 over at Half Past Kissin’ Time!

***Beginning on Monday, my friend Matt over at The Playpen is kicking off a new series called time Out; he is featuring five different moms, one of whom is me.  He gave us each five questions, and he will feature an answer every day next week from all five of us.  It should be interesting, so don’t forget to take a gander at it.  He does have a kick-off post up today, so be sure to drop by and see the moms he has picked.

***I had to take Sam to his asthma doctor yesterday; he has been doing really well for a really long time, but then the last 2-3 months he has just had an awful time of it.  The doc did the skin-prick allergy tests (which didn’t show anything we didn’t already know) and also took blood to run some other tests, but the long and short of it is that even though he didn’t have any immediate complications from the swine flu, the problems with his asthma are directly tied to it.  Apparently it damages the lungs, and then before they can completely heal we head into cold season, and basically his defenses are just wiped out.  The doctor (who actually resembles an older Greg Kinnear) gave his two different inhalers, one to use morning and night and a different one to use as his rescue inhaler, plus a strong prescription allergy pill.  Sam slept better last night than he has in at least a month, and the doc confirmed my suspicion that Sam’s increased use of his small volume nebulizer and inhaler have made him antsy and unable to sleep well, and it just creates a vicious cycle.  Here’s to hoping that  within a few days he will be well on the mend.

***In the car this morning on the way to work, Owen was singing that Black-Eyed Peas song, “I Gotta Feeling,” which for some reason cracks me up.  he still doesn’t know his ABC’s in the correct order and often will insert a number or two in with the letters just to shake things up a bit, but he knows the whole chorus to some silly song.

***When we were in the old hometown to see my sister last weekend, three of the five of us sat down and picked out the house we are going to be renting at the beach in Oregon this summer.  We have it narrowed down to two different ones (our choices are actually a little limited simply because we need one with 6 bedrooms), so now we are just waiting to see which one it will be.  I am inordinately excited about something that isn’t even going to happen until July, but it is really neat to think about, to find different ways we can save the money to enable us to go, etc…My kids have never seen the ocean, so that itself is going to be a blast.  Thinking about and planning and saving for a vacation is just pretty damn cool, isn’t it?

***I am so glad it is Friday that I just almost can’t stand it.  Feels like it has been a really long week for a variety of reasons.  There are a few things I would like to get done over the weekend, but I am not going to say them out loud in case they don’t actually happen.  More than anything, I am looking forward to sleeping-but that is a common theme, isn’t it?

***Point of annoyance: Not making a decision IS, in fact, making a decision.  It drives me insane (er) when someone simply sits back and lets decisions be made for them, without taking part in any of it.  I think is has to do with not wanting to take responsibility, so that if things get all wonky later then someone else can take the blame, but damn, it is annoying.  Especially when it affects me and MY life.  Grrr.  The thing is, in a situation like that, the only thing you CAN do it let the other person continue to let things just…happen-because to push a decision either way is simply putting out a welcome mat for resentments and anger. 

For more Friday Fragments Fun, visit Mrs.4444.


Funny; as of yesterday, I have written 400 posts-isn’t that a little bit insane?  It used to really matter to me-whoa, 100, 200, 300 posts! And it is still kind of cool in the sense that I have had this blog for all that time.  The reason it is cool?  I can go back to my archives and read a random post and remember exactly how I was feeling that particular day, or trace the story of our lives over these last years and stand up and say, “This is my truth.  This is my story.”  Writing for me has always been about making things real; I used to joke to a friend of mine that things didn’t REALLY happen unless I wrote about them, and I find that to be just as true today.  To sit down and write about feelings and emotions and events, to be able to process different things, makes them real in a way that simple conversations don’t.  This is part of why I journal as well-to create a record, somewhere and somehow, of my life.  Is it going to matter ten years, twenty years from now?  I can’t say-but I like knowing there is a written record of my life out there.  Maybe someday my kids, my lover, my sisters or my friends, will pull up this blog and learn things they didn’t know about me, get a greater sense of who I was and what I thought about and how well or poorly I handled different things…or maybe after I am done, whenever that might be, it will simply gather dust and be forgotten-and I find that what happens to these words isn’t nearly as important as the writing of them is.

I am still amazingly calm today, as is the rest of the family, about CF being out.  Notin the sense of,"huh. Interesting." but in the sense of it just really doesn’t matter any longer.  There are all sorts of potential issues that might still come up, and I don’t know how any one of us will feel the first time ot two we see him (though I will say right here and now that if we run into him at the place we have Sunday breakfast and he ruins that for me, I will be totally pissed.  Just sayin’.), but you know, it hasn’t happened yet, it might not for weeks or months, so why lose sleep over the possibility?  Hannah did ask how long he had before he had to register, and I was glad that I had looked up the statutes so I could tell her (FYI-he has to have the forms filled out prior to release, and the law enforcement office has three days to get it up on the registry; if he moves to another area in this state, he has 5 days to re-register, and if he moves to another state, he has 10 days)-I imagine she will check it every day until it is up, just so she can feel that sense of satisfaction.  As will I-let’s be honest here, right?  But the bottom line is that we did what we set out to do, there is satisfaction in that, and we simply can’t sit around and worry about what may or may not happen in the future.

It seems fitting to post today about the minutiae of everyday life, because through everything that has gone on in our lives, these small things are the thread that binds them all together.  No matter what else is going on, the day to day things don’t change.  I have to go get my taxes done today, and while that is normally kind of exciting, as things change I just hope for enough left over to buy a camera to replace the one that got broken late last year.  I will work and make doctor appointments for Sam (his asthma is terribly hard to control lately, so we need to head back to the asthma doc to see what we can be doing differently), an eye appointment for me, I will go to the store after work to pick up things for dinner, I will eat with my family and we will all sleep-and these little bits of normality have always been what keeps me going, moving forward.

So begins another day; I listen to the kids argue and I drink my coffee and start a load of laundry, and isn’t this where the beauty really comes from?  showing up for my life on a day to day basis, writing it all down, and putting it out there.  At the end of the day, it’s really all any of us can do.