yeah, work out my a$$

I am going into panic mode here. Someone talk me down from the ledge!

It is 8 months until my baby (ie, Soleil) goes to Kindergarten. I want a nanny to pick up Luna from daycare and then get Soleil from the buss stop and finally they go home and snack and play until we get home.

Great. Sounds wonderful on paper.

How do I hire a Nanny? I look at the services and I nearly fall over. $2000-$2500 for placement fees. Oh My G-d!
That would be like a 50" plasma HD flat TV!  Hmm, ensuring my children’s safety? Or a kick as$ TV? Fortunately, we don’t have the space for a 50"  plasma HD flat TV. Yet. But I digress.

The point is, I don’t know how to hire a nanny. This is frustrating. I want a person that I can trust and work with. Really. I want someone that can take care of the girls in a loving manner. I want the girls to be in OUR house after school.

Why is this so hard? Why am I panicking?

I think my eyeballs will fall out from the stress of this. Jay, on the other hand, isn’t worrying about this at all.
"it will work out"


Italian Wedding Soup

After a nice workout, I am eating lunch at my desk, catch up on blogs and eating Italian Wedding Soup.
There is a story here:

Shortly after moving to the Boston area, I discovered Italian Wedding soup. Oh my. I love it! The thick chicken stock, the tender pasta and the meatballs! Every time the local deli had it, I got it. As we were planning our wedding, we got to the fateful day of MEAL PLANNING.

The wedding was being held at a wedding factory near Cleveland. Jay and I were there with both families, discussing the meal.  My mom and MIL have, shall we say, differing tastes in food.(Read polar opposites).
The planner was describing each dish to the parents as I took notes.
Mom wanted the beef, MIL wanted the chicken; that’s easy, offer both.
MIL wanted an appetizer, Mom wanted salad: salad.
Mom wanted steamed veggies, MIL wanted sauteed: steamed
But then the soup: A creamed squash soup, a tomato soup or an Italian wedding soup.
The women started to weigh in their opinions.Of course, MIL wanted the squash, mom wanted to tomato.
I put a stop to it. No, we are having the Italian wedding soup.
A few protests for each side, but no, we were having the Italian Wedding Soup.

Flash forward about 3 months at the actual wedding reception.
We ate our salads and then the staff came up to us to ask for our main course. I asked "what about the soup?"
The head waiter pales and rushes away. He returns in 3 minutes horrified. "We see that you ordered the soup, but it was not prepared!"
I was devastated.
He makes apologies and rushes back to the organizer to discuss something. Five minutes later he returns.
To my father he asks,"Did you order the beef or the chicken, sir?" Dad, deadpan, replied "The lobster." The poor head waiter nearly passed out knowing there were no lobsters prepared. Fortunately, dad didn’t make him suffer too long.

I will always remember how dad made the dinner that much more fun even without my soup!

PMS Quesadilla*

I’ve been watching some of my favorite bloggers post some great recipes.

My turn!

Here is one of my favorites:

PMS Quesadilla*

Whole wheat tortilla (make sure it is whole wheat to justify the other ingredients)
Peanut Butter
Chocolate chips or Hershey miniatures
mini pretzels (optional)

Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Melt a small portion of butter into the pan. While that is melting, spread peanut butter on the tortilla.
When the butter is melted, place tortilla, peanut butter side up, in the pan. When the peanut butter has melted, add chocolate and pretzels. Fold the tortilla closed. Press down with a spatula and flip over.
Once the chocolate looks melted, remove from heat and eat.
Glare and make growling noises at anyone who dare bothers you while you enjoy this.

*yeah, I know there is no Quesa or cheese in this, so what? Sue me!

THAT kind of parent

First, a quick update. Mom is home! Yea! She will need to get that kidney stone removed next week, but for now she is home and actually getting rest.

Now, for today’s topic: Parental Misgivings

I sometimes wonder about the girls. We had a "yoga night" at daycare on Tuesday. The girls were typical and ran and played and had fun. But I got worried. First, when the girls are together, they get more wild than when alone. We’ve spoken to their teachers and we’ve observed this ourselves. When the girls are alone, they act much differently than when they are playing together. They did some of the yoga, but mostly, they were seeing who could wrestle with whom better. When I tried to get them to stop, one of the teachers said it was ok. In my mind, I was shrinking away, embarrassed.

I wonder sometimes if we are "THAT" kind of parent. You know. The one that everyone says doesn’t discipline, that negotiates with their child, that doesn’t demand the child to obey…. In some senses, we are.

We definitely discipline. That’s not an issue. We don’t punish as much as stop the situation, discuss the consequences and deal. Example: The couch upstairs is one that the girls can jump on with three rules: 1) they ask me 2) no shoes, 3) stay on the cushions. When Soleil goes on the arm of the couch, she gets 1 warning and then she is not allowed on the couch anymore. Simple consequence. Not really a punishment, but a basic "here’s the rules, here’s why there are rules, if you don’t follow, you can’t jump"

Negotiate? Yes and no. Some things are negotiable. Dinner within reason, things to do during the day, with reason. We are a family and we work together. They don’t have an equal vote and sometimes, the kids need to just do and those times we explain "no, this one you need to do"

Doesn’t demand obedience. This is a tough one for me. I go back and forth on this one. I don’t demand obedience. I want to teach the girls that listening and helping is the right thing to do. We have MANY discussions on this. We discuss about situations where you MUST listen (the word STOP is a must-we only use it in unsafe situations), and situations where you can stop and discuss. I don’t want my kids to be in blind obedience to the ‘rules’ because I want them to be critical thinkers. But under age 6, this is difficult. They are not emotionally mature enough to be a good critical thinker. So we need a mix of obedience and questioning authority. This is a very fine line to walk and it is hard.

Last night, I had a rough time with Soleil. She didn’t listen to my requests and finally, I stopped her and got to her level and said "I’ve asked you twice to hang up your jacket in the closet, on the hook. You know that I ask this everynight. Please stop the game, go down and hang up your jacket. This is your responsibility as part of the family" And she did! And so did Luna.

What brought on this worry? This story and this sort of reaction.

I was on one blog (by a married, but without children person) and the comments she got on this story were amazing. How people without kids would handle it, how people with kids would NEVER have their child act this way…

Always things to ponder…

Scheduling life…

As I have gotten older, I have discovered that we need to schedule life far more than I ever wanted to. I recently joined a gym. It is close to home and I want to work out more than the 2 times a week I do at work. I really want to tone parts of my body and lose that extra 10 lbs that I carry for no apparent reason except for my love affair with Godiva and Pastry.

However, I can’t figure out times to work out. I am going to see if I can do it tonight and Friday. Maybe on Bathnights I can scoot out, workout, and be back while the girls are watching TV. Bath can take a long time, and I could easily check out the 22 minute X-press workout which is supposed to help you work on 8 machines and teach you the correct positions and how to work all of the major muscle groups. Then twice a week, I could do my aerobic exercises at the gym at work and  slowly, I might get the body I desire.

When did life get so tough? I have a great job in terms of time. Only 1 week per 4 do I need to be on call (granted, that is up from 1 in 6 weeks), and I don’t have to be in the office at a particular time. I do sometimes need to work late at night or on a weekend, but hey, it’s still a great deal of freedom.

I need to schedule times for lunch, for haircuts, for exercise, for reading, for bathroom breaks (just kidding, I can now go to the bathroom without an entourage, most days), for dinner and for sleep!

I remember the good old days, in college. I would wake around 10, go to bed around 2. I scheduled my classes at a reasonable time and then fit my homeworks and assignments around that. It was easy. But maybe
it was because it was college. When you are in the pseudo-real world. Where your freedom is tempered by the responsibility to the tuition payer.

I have a lot more freedom in some senses. And even less time to do things.

Snow and parenting…

We awoke this morning to a wonderful snow.This is the first real snowfall of the season and we are thrilled. I
have been missing snow and this just helps my mood. This is what happens when you take a woman from Buffalo and then stick her Boston where the snow is not so much.

This has been a pretty rough weekend for me. You need to understand that neither of my parents are very ill, but they are not in great health. They could both stand to lose weight, which they know. In 1996, dad has his first heart attack. We were all very scared and he did great with his recovery, he lost weight and got in good
shape. Over the past 11 years, he’s had a few more instances of heart trouble, a gall bladder attack and a few other things, but it’s mostly dad. This is the first time mom has really been the sick one. And it’s hard to see. She is very much a "look at me" person. But when she is ill, that’s very different. She gets very scared and it is hard to see her so scared. She does a very good job of holding down the fort when dad gets sick, and dad does a good job when she is sick, but, it is so hard to see her ill.

For those who have asked, they are far away. In North Carolina, near Asheville. I did offer to take a flight down to Atlanta and drive up to their place, but Dad said no. He said if he needed me, he would ask.

Much to my surprise, I’ve handled the stress of mom and the girls well. The girls were both, well, PITAs on Saturday. They both had colds and were royal pains. I love them, don’t get me wrong, but when
you have one child on the stairs to the swimming pool crying because she is cold and the other child crying because you are making her leave, oy!

I am not sure I am up to parenting my parents yet. My boss (second supervisor) is the same age as my parents. It’s hard to see them ill when I see how healthy Dan looks. Sigh.. I am too young for this!
I am only 35!!!!

This blog has gotten a little dull this weekend because of the stress, but I’ll get back into the swing. I am sure!

Mom update.. again

Sorry I really haven’t been posting…It’s been pretty stressful here..

Talked to mom today, first time. She is FINALLY out of ICU as of this afternoon. They were searching for a secondary infection. It was her blood. Yes, kidney and blood infection.

She is doing better, although still in a lot of pain and needs to rest. We expect her to be in for at least 3 more days, but at least she is out of danger if she’s out of ICU.

Thanks for all of the good thought. I really appreciate. This has been a very scary one..

Mom Update

As of last night, Mom was "doing better".

Her blood pressure was UP to 116/40(that 40 is scary). Apparently her blood pressure dropped to below 50/10 at one point yesterday.

She developed kidney stones. They decided to go in and remove them since they couldn’t blast them (I forget the correct term right now, forgive me.) I guess they can’t do that with the blood thinners she is on. When they went in to clear the stones, the kidney was infected. Badly. And then her BP dropped.

She’s on IV antibiotics, IV fluids to help flush the infection out of the kidney and IV drug to try to raise her blood pressure. She is still in ICU.

Unfortunately, she can’t have any pain medication. These lower the blood pressure. She will live. Her life is not in danger since they caught the infection. But she is in a lot of pain right now.

Thank you for the good thoughts. This is where it is hard to live so far away from your parents. They are down in the Smokys and here I am up in Boston… sigh…

Talking with Depression

I have thought of writing this up a while ago. To explain what it feels like… not today, but somedays…

I see you.
When you think I am not looking,
you are just over my shoulder.
You hide when I try to look face on.
You coward.

I see you.
In the day, when the rush of the morning is over
when the quiet settles in
You are there

At night, when I am rocking my babe to sleep
When all I can hear is her warm breath
I see you.
You are lurking
in the corner of my mind
watching me

We play this quiet game,
you hide, I try not to seek
But you are always there
Waiting to strike when I am faltering

And then I move in.
You might see me in the shadows
but you cannot see when I arrive

I am cold and uncaring,
why should I care?

You think you can beat me
you can’t! I will stay. I will show you
what dark really means
what cold really means
what empty is

I whisper in your ear
"You can beat this. You don’t need help"
Just to trick you
I remind you "No body understands. "
"nobody cares. You are not worth the time"

And I stay, as I wish
I watch you struggle to find emotions
and I quickly snuff them
as the flames of joy or love start to sputter
Despair is all you feel

Do you really wish me to leave?
Yes, I do, I don’t want you.
But don’t you know the truth?
I don’t want to know I won’t listen to you
You know it. You just are trying to ignore it
Leave, I don’t hear you anymore!
I can’t leave

I am you…