Saturday, December 22, 2012

All I want for Christmas is some sleep

You ever have one of those days where all you want to do is take a nap? Even a power nap would do. Just 20 little minutes. Well, today was one of those days. Allergies are killing me right now. Last night to soothe a sore throat I made the mistake of brewing up some Earl Gray tea and had a cup around 8 pm. So even though I didn't feel good the caffeine from the tea kept me awake until 2am. Partner that fact with a wake up time of 7:30 this morning and I really needed a nap around 3 o'clock today.

Our children no longer nap. Napping is for babies. So in order for me to get a nap I need some cooperation from the offspring. I gave them the option of playing quietly in their bedrooms or watching a show quietly in the playroom. They chose the latter. So, I put on a Christmas show that lasted one hour. I told them that I was sick and needed some rest. I made them promise to be quiet until the show was over. Then I headed for the couch in the living room.

3:05pm-Lay down on the couch. Spread green blanket over myself. Close my eyes. Long sigh of relief.

3:08pm-Hear wailing and crying coming from playroom. Raise my voice just enough to tell children to get quiet and get along or they would be banished to their bedrooms. Close eyes. Long sigh of relief.

3:10pm-Begin dreaming of Scooby Doo. Don't ask me why.

3:15pm-Hear loud crash from playroom of cascading plastic pieces. Loudly ask the question "Who just did that?" No answer. Reiterate that I am sick and they better be quiet so I can sleep. Close eyes. Long sigh of exasperation.

3:18pm-Again with the loud crashing cascading plastic. Throw green blanket off. Get up and head to playroom. Again with the question "Who did that?" Found culprit surrounded by a pile of legos. Strongly suggested to the children that they remain quiet from here on out so mommy could get some rest. Appealed to their sense of reason. When they are sick they like to sleep. So does mommy. If mommy kept them awake they would be mad. So is mommy.

3:20pm-Head back to couch. Put green blanket back over me. Long, long sigh. Close eyes. Start to dream of children that take naps. Feel something being placed on my chest. Open my eyes to see Jake's new larger than life Shamu sitting on top of me. Really? Hear giggles and feet running back to playroom.

3:21pm-Close my eyes again. Pray for sleep. Pray for children who obey. Long sigh.

3:23pm-Starting to drift off again. Begin to feel like someone (other than Shamu) is watching me. Hear breathing right in my ear. Feel a pair of eyes boring into my closed eye lids. Decide to ignore intruder. Keep my eyes closed. Feel another set of eyes. Smaller ones I think. Four eyes peering at me, willing me to wake up. Play dead.

3:25pm-Hear patter of feet heading back to the playroom. It worked! It totally worked! Keep eyes closed. Long sigh. So excited that I am about to take a nap.

3:30pm-Screaming from the playroom. Something about Jake not doing something the way Emma Mae wants him to do it. I don't know. Are you freaking kidding me right now? Throw off the blanket. Get off the couch and huff my way to the playroom. Look at offspring and ask them why they hate me so much. Am told that they don't hate me. They love me. Ask why they won't let me sleep when I'm sick if they love me so much. Little girl tells me it is because she just needs to be with me.

3:31pm-Give up on nap. Curl up on playroom floor with little boy and even littler girl and watch Olive the other Reindeer. Good times.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Gingerbread and things

On Tuesday my sister and niece came over after school to watch the kids so Mike and I could go out for awhile. It was a much needed break. We went to Torchy's Tacos to eat and then saw a movie. The new James Bond movie. Both the tacos and the movie were good. There's a part of me that always feels like I'm doing something wrong when we go out without the kids though. How long is that gonna last?

The kids had all sorts of fun with Cheryl and Katie. They went out to eat pizza at Schlotzsky's. Then they came home and decorated gingerbread ornaments. Jake made a whole family to put on the tree. They were going to make gingerbread cookies too but I think they ran out of time. Or attention span. Who knows. So the kids and I busted out the dough yesterday to bake the cookies. We made a few Christmas trees and stars too. Our gingerbread doesn't believe in shape discrimination.

Other than that we have been hanging at the house the last few days as one or all of us keep getting sick. Jake is having the best time playing with all of his new birthday toys.

If only he could experience the joy of sharing and let his little sister play with them too! Poor thing, this morning I found her playing with the laundry basket and some of her stuffed animals.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sick Days

You may remember that Jake spent his entire birthday week sick with the flu. So it was no huge surprise when Emma Mae woke up with a fever yesterday morning and complained of having a headache. We immediately thought flu and rearranged plans for the day. I told her she would have to stay home from school and she seemed very relieved. I thought she would be disappointed to miss her last day of school before the Christmas break-and the Christmas party they were going to have.

Instead she sat crying at the kitchen table because she was so stressed out about the food choices at her Christmas party. She said, and I quote, "there's gonna be too much food choices at that party and it will be too confusing to me. I can't handle it!" Oh, little girl. If the food choices at a three year old Christmas party are too much to handle then I hate to think about your future in high school. There are many confusing times to come.

Anyhow. Back to the flu. Fortunately, Mike didn't have to be at school so he was able to stay home with Em while I went to work. He took her to the doctor and they did both a flu test and a strep test on her. Both came back negative. However, since the dr. just knew it was flu they gave her a prescription for Tamiflu. So, off they went to fill the prescription. Mike gave her the first dose of medicine right before I got home and then he went to work.

Not fifteen minutes later, Emma Mae was puking all over me and herself and the living room rug. I told Mike about it later and he informed me that the pharmacist warned him it might upset her tummy. Useful information. Little girl took a nap and ran fever the rest of the day.

But this morning, lo and behold, she woke up perfectly fine. And so far she has remained fine! So either her body has a fantastic immune system that is able to kick flu's butt in less than 24 hours or she never actually had the flu. I, however, have developed both a runny, stuffy nose and pink eye in the last six hours. I would take some medicine for it but there are just too many choices for medication out there. And I just can't handle it.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I'm having a hard time with December 14th. I'm having a hard time because twenty sets of parents lost a child in a senseless act of violence on that day. Yet, that day is one of the happiest of my life because it is the day that Jacob Michael Flinn finally decided to enter the world six years ago. As soon as I heard that the kids who died were all six or seven years old I knew I couldn't walk away from this one. Too close. I know a six year old. He runs through our house. He defeats bad guys. He makes videos of his toys doing nothing while he sings songs about them. He tells jokes that don't make sense but we laugh at them anyway. He trips his little sister on purpose then tells me it's an accident. He buys his little sister presents. He needs to play by himself in his room sometimes for privacy. He needs to sit right next to me on the couch sometimes to make sure I'm still there for him. I know what six looks like-as does this blogger who says it better than I could.

I haven't watched much of the television coverage of that awful event. I can't seem to handle it. I cry. I feel defeated. I feel broken. And if I (who still has my six year old) feel that way then how do I fathom what those parents feel? I can't. Grief is a tide. I imagine those parents are drowning in a high tide right now. I imagine emotion is so overwhelming that lungs are burning. Eyes are blurry. Minds uncomprehending. Existing moment to moment. Trying to make it through one more hour. Waiting. Waiting for the tide to roll out again. To be able to take a breath. But then low tide comes and lays bare everything that the high tide had buried. Treasures. A favorite toy. A picture. A memory. Low tide scrapes away rocks and peels away layers of sediment and shifts things around. Low tide leaves scars.

We turn off the TV if the kids are in the room because we don't want them to know about what happened. At six, would Jake even understand? Of course not. I'm 43 and I don't understand. After he got on the bus this morning I had a small panic attack about whether or not he would hear something from an older child or teacher today. If he did, he didn't mention it. That's the beauty of six. You still get to be a bit oblivious to life.

Except what if you are one of the six year olds who survived? I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around that scenario. How does a normal six year old process something so completely abnormal in their world? How do you watch your teacher get killed and come out okay? These are the children that need our prayers.

I really believe that prayer is the only answer here. A return to God. Sure, maybe stricter gun control laws or better screening and treatment for mentally ill people would help too. But nothing trumps prayer. And if you can't get behind God then maybe you can get behind what He stands for. Compassion. Love.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Happy 6!

Somehow our sweet little baby boy turned six years old on Friday. Five seemed big. Six seems like Oh my goodness he'll be moving out soon! Stop growing! Stay little!

Anyway he told me he wanted a Spiderman birthday cake and he opted to forgo a birthday party with a bunch of Kinder friends for a family dinner and a trip to Sea World. See why we love him so much?
Unfortunately, he got sick the Saturday before his birthday. And he stayed sick for exactly one week. Oh flu, how we hate you. Jake missed an entire week of school and he was still running a fever on his birthday. But my parents and sister and all of her sweet family decided to risk the germs and came over for dinner anyhow.

I couldn't decide on the cake. Chocolate cake with chocolate icing? White cake with white icing? Chocolate cake with white icing? So, in the end, I made them all. You only turn six once right?

Evidently we didn't take pictures of any of the party attendees. But Emma Mae and I were definitely there.

He got lots of new toys. And some shirts. And a hat.

I think he had as much fun as a sick boy can have on his sixth birthday. The next day we went to Sea World because he was fever free! It was a birthday miracle. He couldn't wait to get there so he could spend the birthday money my parents gave him on this huge Shamu he has had his eye on for the last three years. He was so excited to finally get it. He kept asking us when he could go shopping! First time I've ever heard those words from the boy. He bought his beloved whale and named him Biggy. Then he bought Emma Mae a dolphin so she wouldn't feel left out. Sweet boy!

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Our little elf on the shelf, Elfis, came back right after Thanksgiving! The kids love waking up to see if he has moved from the day before. Sometimes he doesn't move because he's just too tired or he hasn't seen enough good behavior to report back to Santa.

Last night it looks like he got into some trouble though. Maybe he was bored. Maybe he was feeling a little blue. Or maybe he just wanted some chocolate. Who knows?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

At this point I'm just trying to remember what we've done for the last two weeks. I know we had Thanksgiving. It was nice. My sister invited everyone to her house for the big turkey dinner. So I didn't have to cook. And she sent home a lot of leftovers with us so even better.

We made our own turkey dinner a few days later when the leftovers were all gone. I made a fudge caramel pecan pie that may have changed my life forever. It was that good. I'm thankful for all of my family and I'm thankful for pie.

I took Emma Mae to the grocery store last week and had to endure the humiliation of a three year old screaming at me at the top of her lungs that she wasn't going to like me anymore if I didn't buy her a donut. So I told her that she wasn't getting a donut ever again if she didn't learn how to act nicely. And she screamed at me that she would be nice just as soon as I gave her a donut. So then I learned to never try to have a rational discussion with a three year old in the throes of a temper tantrum.

We had a great time the other night trying to teach Jake some jokes. I pulled out my all time favorite. Why was six afraid of seven? Because seven ate nine. Get it? Seven ATE nine. Hilarious. So then he asked the all time classic why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side of course. Only then Emma Mae said in a very concerned voice "well that chicken might get runneded over!" Good point.

The kids have had the best time playing on their power wheels truck. It will be a shame if someone ever builds a house on the lot next door to us because then we will lose our dirt field and the kids will have to drive the truck on the street. Tonight we had several neighborhood kids come over to ride with them. Jake and Emma were so proud of that truck and that so many people were over to play. And I got to visit with some grown ups for a change. I'm thankful for small town suburbia.

And finally, I think I have come to terms with the fact that our first born will be turning six years old in two weeks. Crazy. He decided to forgo a big birthday party for a family trip to Sea World. I'm thankful for that boy and his five and three quarters self!