Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Challenge!



80 words

speed/'>http://speedtest.10-fast-fingers.com">Speed test


Can you do better than this?? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Because I Love Me Some Irony

I've known for a long time that I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom when I had kids. It all began with my own mother. For many, many years she stayed home with us and that really made a difference in my life. I mean, really, how could I not vividly remember all the pampering that was showered upon my brother and me. We lived the good life during those elementary school years. Austin and I still reminisce about how she gently woke us in the morning and carried us out to the couch where she would tuck us into yet another blanket so we could watch cartoons. She would rub our feet to wake us up while we decided what we wanted for breakfast and then she would bring our breakfast out to the couch. Our clothes were neatly laid out so we could get dressed at our leisure.

I'm not kidding or exaggerating at all - this really happened.

Sick days were even better. We were settled into our parent's bed with a paper cup of Pepsi to ease our sick tummies. We watched game shows and soap operas all day while our mama did everything she could to make us as comfortable as possible.

Still...not kidding or exaggerating.

Her job was to take care of us. She was there when we got home from school. She was the perfect hostess to any birthday party. She was game for slumber parties and pool parties. She took us to dance competitions and soccer tournaments. She was there. She was present. She was constant.

I loved it.

Who wouldn't?

I decided I wanted to be a counselor when I was in high school after being inspired by a former teacher (and current exceptional friend). When it was time to specialize in a counseling field for my Master's Degree, I ultimately chose school counseling. I reasoned that I would still be in the field that I loved, but I would have the flexibility to be with my future children as much as possible. I would have the same schedule as my school-age children and those children were going to be my priority. If I was going to work outside the home then at least I would be working the same hours that my children were in school.

Thankfully, Matt and I were on the same page about me staying home with the kids until they go to kindergarten. We planned well, saved even better, and have always made choices (financially) that reflect this priority for us.

It doesn't hurt that my sugar-daddy of a husband totally provides for us. Thanks, honey.

I have now been home with our children for over 4 years and these are years that I will always cherish and know that I spent well. It is not easy, it's not always fun, and I'm not even close to being a perfect mom. But, I'm doing the best I can, and so far these little people are turning out pretty well.

And, I've got to tell you, I really like staying home with them. I don't miss work. When the kids are older and I go back to work, Matt plans to use my salary to save for retirement. I keep trying to tell him that I'm already retired, but he doesn't really think that is funny.

CPA's have an odd sense of humor.

Right after Abby was born, my brother came over for dinner and game night. He was wearing a shirt that simply said, "Unemployed." Ummm....hello? When he bought that for himself way out in California did he not think it appropriate to buy one for his unemployed sister?

I'll save you the suspense...he didn't.

So, I did what any reasonable person would do. I forced him to take off the shirt and give it to me. I sent him home in one of my old t-shirts. That "unemployed" shirt now belongs to me and Austin really didn't have a say in the whole matter.

He probably knew better than to argue with a sleep-deprived woman.

I LOVE wearing that shirt. When the kids were still babies, I would put that shirt on and push the unwieldy double stroller around the mall while I got all kinds of funny looks from people. And, boy did they ever give me funny (or disapproving) looks. But, I think it's hilarious and you could never convince me otherwise.

I still enjoy wearing the "unemployed" shirt as much as possible. Clearly, I have a job. A very important job. The most important job I'll ever have.

But, I'm still loving my years of unemployment. I may as well let the world know as such...

Friday, March 14, 2008

20%

I kinda feel like my kids have had more than their fair share of illness. We have braved pneumonia, RSV, severe dehydration requiring hospitalization, countless ear infections, respiratory infections, asthma, croup, stomach viruses, and plenty of common colds. Not to even mention the wide array of food allergies poor Drew has to deal with on a daily basis.

Good thing we have been vaccinated against all those BIG illnesses so we don't have to worry about that anymore.

What?

What did you say?

The chicken pox vaccine fails in 20% of children who receive the vaccination?

Oh, you didn't know that? Me either. And, you should have seen my jaw drop to the floor when the on-call pediatrician (ours is on vacation) told me that Abby has chicken pox.

Really?

The pox?

And, that's how you know that you've dealt with too much sickness. You start blowing off things like a growing rash that seems a little itchy and is accompanied by a mild fever.

Next thing you know - your kid has the pox.

And now I will present my defense for all who are judging me and thinking about taking away my mommy card:

Whenever Abby gets a cold/virus she gets a little rash on the back of her neck. Our pediatrician says it is just "normal" for her when she gets sick. So, Sunday afternoon she started with the fever and runny nose and the little rash on the back of her neck.

Her nose was clear and she was acting fine, so I sent her to preschool on Monday. I rationalized that she had probably caught this little cold from her preschool buddies in the first place.

She sneezed her little head off all day Tuesday (still clear) and the rash spread to the right side of her body. This did not keep us away from ballet class. Clearly, we are not easily deterred from our weekly activities.

We went to Disney on Wednesday and by the time we got home the rash had spread to the other side of her body and all over her back.

Finally, Matt had the good sense to insist that I take her to the doctor the next day. But, hello? She had preschool. The kid loves preschool and she seemed to be feeling fine. So, I sent her to school and made an appointment for the afternoon.

The doctor took one look at her and breezily said, "Oh, that just looks like chicken pox. The vaccine doesn't work in about 20% of kids so she'll just have a mild case. Get her some calamine lotion and she'll be fine."

So, that's what we did. I picked my jaw up off the floor and took Abby to the store. I told her we were going to get her some lotion and she asked me, "Can we get some pink lotion, mama?" Why, yes. Yes we can dear, sweet child with the pox. She was understandably thrilled. Because, what's a little chicken pox when you get to have pink lotion?

The rewards clearly justified the risk.

And, now Abby is totally getting her way all day today because I feel bad that she has had the pox and all week I've been acting like it's just a little cold.

Final count: two days of preschool, one day of dance class, one day at the Magic Kingdom, and one case of chicken freakin' pox exposed to way too many children.

I love demonstrating my stellar mommy skills.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

One Step Closer to Early Retirement

It's important in life to have a plan. A plan gives you a sense of direction, goals you would like to attain, something to strive for amidst the chaos of daily living. Matt and I came up with a great plan early in our marriage.

It's brilliant. However, I have to warn you that it can't work for everyone. So, don't go tryin' to steal our plan.

We decided to have children.

What kind of plan is that? Well, let me tell you my vertically challenged readers. That is a plan developed and carefully thought out by some very tall people.

We weren't at all surprised to discover that our first child would be a boy. It was all part of the plan. The early retirement plan.

Drew has been off the charts - greater than 100% in all documentation of his height. It is clear that this child is destined to be a professional basketball player in the NBA.

That is, after four glorious years of playing college ball for Billy Donovan and our beloved Gators.

Then, he will be drafted into the NBA and a long plan will come to fruition. He will make millions, and Matt and I will retire early.

Honestly, it makes financial planning kind of seem like a joke.

Clearly, we are not the only ones who recognize greatness in our son. We went to MGM Studios on Friday and ESPN was broadcasting a special event throughout the weekend. We got our seats for the parade and they announced that the Harlem Globetrotters would be leading the parade.

We were enjoying the entertainment along with everyone else when one of the players pulled Drew out into the street. I made a mad dash for the camera as he high-fived all the players. One of the guys started to do a trick and then this guy (the one looking straight into my camera) said, "Hey man! Turn him around so his mama can see him." So, thanks, Mr. Harlem Globetrotter!



He tosses the ball up into the air...



And then he helps Drew spin it on his finger! That ball kept spinning and spinning - no kidding, it was awesome!

I'm telling you - the kid has natural talent.

Click on this picture to see it larger - that ball is really on Drew's finger!




More high-fives for everyone and then they had to continue on with the parade.




Drew loved every single second of it. He had a HUGE smile on his face. "I love playing basketball with those guys, mama! Did you see me spin the ball on my finger? That was so cool! They pick me to play ball with them in the street! I want to do it again!"

It was such fun to see Drew jump up with those guys and have such an awesome experience.

Almost as much fun as realizing that this plan of ours really could work... early retirement - here we come!!