It's been ages since I blogged, and there are a myriad of reasons for it, but here's a little catch-up:
1. Harrison was supposed to perform in the junior high talent show this evening. He was going to sing and play the guitar. Instead we spent a couple of hours in the ER, because just before we needed to leave for the show, he developed a profuse nosebleed that stopped just long enough for us to get to the school, set up the video camera, tell everyone the dramatic story of his nosebleed, and then be informed by a random teenager that he was in the bathroom and needed us NOW. His nose had started bleeding again, and just stop reading this RIGHT NOW if you are squeamish at all, or don't like blood because I'm about to get very graphic. The sink was FULL of blood. We used up a whole roll of toilet paper sopping it up. Blood was coming out both nostrils in a stream. And huge clots that resembled leeches periodically slithered out his nose. I am not squeamish, but I think I gagged a little. And, being the mom, I had to clean up the mess and take him to the ER. So, where's my trophy? After a call to the nurse line at the hospital, we were advised to take him to the ER which we did, and it was a good thing we slipped in right before the rush because if we'd had to wait three hours for them to tape together two tongue depressors and make a pincher for his nose, I'd have been pissed. But that's exactly what they did. Super high-tech, yeah? They left it on his nose for a half hour, then he sat for another half hour to make sure it wasn't bleeding again. And then they booted us to the curb. Good times. Bonus: we got Dairy Queen on the way home!
2. That was my second trip to the ER in three weeks. Hannah spent an afternoon in the ER and then a week in the "IPU" at Children's Hospital for treatment for severe anxiety. I wrote a whole blog post about it and my computer froze up and it disappeared. I was on a roll and it was a damn good blog post if I do say so myself and I could never replicate it, but suffice it to say it was an emotionally-wrenching time, exhausting and time consuming, but overall it was a good experience and helpful. I'll write more about it in another blog post, when and if I can recreate the awesomeness of the one I lost.
3. Today at work, we had a fire alarm in the middle of calendar time, which put our already-on-the-edge kids in a frenzy and set off a day of craziness, which included screaming fits, crying (not me, the kids), and ended up with some blood. Not a great day for me, very stressful, and I spent a good deal of my time thinking about another line of work. On my way home, I spotted a group of kindergarten-aged children waiting for a bus. There were about ten of them, with one teacher, and they were holding hands and standing quietly in a semi-circle. And it struck me how that would never, could never, happen with my class. They just can't do the things other kids can. And as frustrating as that it sometimes, I have to remember that they just CAN'T and it's not always because they won't - they are just different. And my job is very, very hard and very, very exhausting.
4. We've recently instituted some technology rules in our house - everyone has to "turn in" their technology at 10 p.m. and no one sleeps with a cell phone in their room or an iPad, iPod or other gadget that is distracting to sleep. This, as you might imagine, went over like a lead balloon, but I dare say everyone is sleeping better and it's showing. Radical, eh? Yesterday I accidentally left my phone at home. I realized it just as I was exiting the neighborhood and could easily have turned around but I decided to just spend part of the day "off the grid" and see what happened. And it was kind of nice not to be bothered at work, or feel the need to check my email or Facebook at stoplights, or write a note to myself in my phone (I used a post-it note). I was really too busy to care.
5. I went out with girlfriends twice this week and it made me remember why I need to take those kinds of breaks. We all need someone to talk to. And while our lives take different directions over time, I'm grateful for those friends who are eager to catch up, even if a long time has passed. Also, a longtime friend of mine declined yet another invitation so I opened up the chance for her to put our friendship to bed and she did. Not just me, but two other friends - the four of us have been friends since our first born children were infants. And while I understood that she chose to focus on her new-found friends, I found it sad and a bit superficial that she didn't have time in her "busy" days to catch up with old friends. Which brought me back to an old thought - we are ALL busy, and we all have to decide how to budget our time, but I really treasure the friends who are not so wrapped up in themselves or their lives, no matter how challenging, that they still see the value of hanging with old friends, even if a long time passes between visits.
6. Research shows that working out before breakfast has many benefits, and also that lack of sleep can make you "fat" by increasing levels of cortisol in your body. I've been trying to work out, but I've also been staying up way too late, so some mornings I get out of bed and squeeze in 20 min of cardio before work, and some days I sleep till the last possible minute. I'm counting on it all balancing out, but I'm no fool. I caught a glimpse of myself in a dressing-room mirror today and I decided I resemble a cake pop - all round on top perched on a stick (no, my legs are hardly "sticks" but from the side I certainly have some proportional challenges). I mean, I like cake pops, so.....it's not all bad. But I'd rather resemble a slice of bacon - all curvy and hot. :)
7. I've been really frustrated by the cost of living lately, and the fact that we seem to run out of money between paychecks all the time, and that we live in this big metropolitan city with arts and entertainment galore and yet we can't afford it so it feel like being a kid in a candy shop with no access to the peanut butter cups. The treats are all around us, but we can't play. And it kind of pisses me off and puts me in a bad mood and makes me think how can I earn more money and could I work two jobs but then I remember I have these kids to take care of and they're kind of struggling right now, and so I need to be home as much as possible, so I can't work another job, so maybe we should just move somewhere more affordable, or somewhere where the entertainment is cheap, down-home and fun, and we could grow our own vegetables and churn our own butter and make handmade stuff and.....see how my thought process spirals? I just thought I'd treat you to it.
8. I LOVE Valentine's day, not because of the presents and chocolate but because I just love the color combo of pink, red and white. It's so cheery and fun! And I love hearts and want to plaster them everywhere. But as a holiday it kind of sucks because it's just too much pressure. Pressure if you're single and want to be dating, pressure if you're dating to get the perfect gift, pressure if you're the wife of a man who's really awesome at gift-giving but you suck at it.......or maybe that's just me. And then there are the kid gifts. Girls are so much easier - there are so many things you can give them for a Valentine's present - heart-shaped jewelry, clothing adorned with hearts......what do you get for boys? A candy bar with a heart wrapper? Yep. Boys get totally gypped on Valentine's Day. I think my kids will have to learn to love heart-shaped sugar cookies. Because I'm totally not buying into the whole commercial Valentine's day thing. Check back with me next week and see how I did. I'm such a sucker for cute.
9. I've recently been told that I set the tone for the household by my moods. And that when I'm stressed, the tension is in the air and everyone else gets tense. And that I try to control things too much. And I "freak out" when things don't go the way I want/expect them to. And while I acknowledge that most of that is probably true, I pointed out that I suffer from anxiety (as does everyone else in my family), I do the majority of the heavy lifting when it comes to parenting four teenagers, and I'm going through early menopause which, I'm sure, is playing havoc with my hormones. I take my anxiety meds every day like a good girl. So, everyone is just really lucky I don't rip off someone's head each and every day. And after the last two years I've had with my kids, I think every day that ends with all four kids alive and well is a good day. Parenting is not for the faint of heart. I remember thinking having a toddler who never slept was torture and I thought I'd die from lack of sleep. I'm laughing so hard now. Parents of kids under 13 take note: it gets SO MUCH HARDER! Your kids will turn into these really awesome beings who are talented and funny and with whom you really enjoy hanging out, but they will rip your heart to shreds in a millisecond. And don't you forget it.
10. I stayed up too late again. Story of my life.But no worries - because tomorrow I am going to rise early and work out. I will be on time to work. I will have a great day with cooperative kids who control themselves. I will come home and cook a delicious meal for my family. We will have a drama-free night and everyone will go to bed on time. I hope you enjoyed your bedtime story!