Saturday, January 30, 2010

Old Man Winter has heard my cry....and responded in fear and trembling! It is snowing a mighty snow now....a totally un-predicted snow, I think (but I wouldn't really know, bc I have turned my back on meteorologists everywhere). Anyway...snow, sweet snow! Woohoo!!
These pictures were taken this morning....during the wettest snow-play adventure of my life. I was having a bad attitude, but I did learn a few things:
1. kids (at least those 3 and under) don't know the difference
2. it's all great to them
3. and simultaneously terrible, as in "my gloves are wet!"
4. sleds go pretty fast when they are afloat
I had my own pair of ice skates growing up....because a couple of years the pond behind our house froze solid. It wasn't like living in the Northeast, but we got many good snowfalls a year. Lots of opportunity for sledding. Snowball fights. Snow shelters (which is what we called them after we realized building an actual igloo required more knowledge/skill/time than we had). Snowmen.

Now, I realize I have to make sacrifices for living south of the Mason-Dixon, and for the most part I love it. That's why Knoxville was voted the #1 place to retire. I made that up. For the benefit of my parents.:) But seriously, the weather is great and I could live with no-snow. I get to visit it in Indiana. What I can't live with is the 'promise of snow'. So, from this moment forward, I am never listening to another East TN weatherman, in his faux-Haiwian-print-shirt-under-a-suit and excessively bushy hair, EVER! (I have said this before, but I mean it now).

The recap of this week, if you don't live here, goes something like this: people start buzzing about snow on tues, on weds local retailers are advertising sleds, and by thurs the pharmacy is calling me "mrs. burch, please come and pick up Lilah's medicine because we don't want her to be without if we have to be closed for a few days." At this point, I start to take it a little seriously. Not getting excited, just making sure we have milk and meat (even though I'm pretty sure a family of 4 could live for a month on the contents of my pantry) and the appropriate medicines. Thurs night, I decide to turn on the news because, apparently they aren't going to interrupt the Backyardigans for a weather report, as I had been hoping. "6-12 inches." My ears perk up. I have been trained over the past years to know better ( I cannot count the number of snow-disappointments at this point). But I get sucked into the excitement.

Friday morning I learn schools have been called off. This must be something, I think. Even though I have yet to see a snowflake fall, I rush off to Target with both kids and everyone else in Knoxville for new boots and a sled. (I start therapy Monday). I count 3 snow pellets on my windshield on the way and start to dream of the possibilities. I talk it up to Garrett, who is already planning his sledding wardrobe. On the radio, they are giving snow cream recipes and advising people to stay off the roads. Everyone I know is talking about the blizzard of 2010. Even the biggest snow cynics are starting to get the fever. Plans for neighborhood snow parties are put in place. I hear groceries are out of bread, milk, and beans. I dig through cedar chests to find snow pants and waterproof gloves. This is it! How exciting!!!!

Just for the record the forcast was: 6-12 inches of snow, interspersed with ice (best sledding!), and rapidly dropping temps the next day. You know what we got? Maybe 1.5 inches of the sorriest snow I've ever seen. I knew it was a bad sign when the sound of rain woke me up this morning. Seriously!?! I thought we could count on at least a couple of good sleds down the hill (in a rubbermaid storage bin posing as a sled. clearly the best time to buy a sled is not in the south, on the day of an expected blizzard:), but, it's really hard to sled in the rain. I'm pretty sure I passed a goldfish on my way to get the paper from our mailbox.

I am sad. Mad. Very disappointed. And, I have to say, a bit disappointed in my own immaturity to get so worked up over a little (or practically no) snow. Garrett just said, "momma, has it quit raining so we can go outside in the snow?". I think there is a life lesson in here somewhere.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

This is what we've been up to: breathing treatments, trips to doctors, sleepless nights, and coffee.
Both of my kids, apparently, have had RSV...this nasty respiratory virus that can have devastating effects on children under 2. Even though G did fine and is 'over it', L is having a much rougher time shaking it (no surprise there). Paul and I are running out of tricks to entertain/distract her as she sits through 6 breathing treatments a day.
I am so beyond thankful that Lilah has been receiving Synogis shots every month to help give her a better resistance to the virus (without that she would clearly be in the hospital). And so thankful for our insurance that pays a majority of $1500/shot, of which she gets 2 every month for 7 months.
I only write on this because it's been what's occupying our time, but it really is just a blip on the radar. My point is 'it's all relative' and compared to other experiences, RSV is not a big deal.
I am trying to look beyond our family and realizing that there is a lot of hardship that I wouldn't trade our stuff for anything. And then I watch the news about the crisis in Haiti and it quickly reminds me that my "healthy daughter didn't get lost in the rubble" "my family has food" "I dont' have to smell dead bodies piling up all around me"............and it reminds is silly to wallow in sadness over our problems when we can barely comprehend the darkness surrounding others.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Remember that game at Showbiz Pizza where you smashed those pesky moles that popped their heads up at random with a giant mallet? It was my absolute favorite (after the dancing rat band and the prize tickets). I realize the name has changed to Chuck-E-Cheese, but since this makes me think of the pyscho doll and I might as well inject my children with a live virus, I'm not a big fan and prefer to remember the good-ole-days. Anyway, little did I know that game was so symbolic of life.... I feel like it's all about putting out the fires (and sometimes I just want to wack someone on the head).
The fires this week are double cases of croup, a single case of bronchitis, and a beloved pediatrician whose week-long sick leave is causing a serious case of anxiety in this mama. (I'm not joking, please pray Dr. Peeden is playing hooky and drinking scotch on some Caribbean island...or at least for a speedy recovery). I know the series of crises (is this a word? i'm trying to say the plural of 'crisis') is just part of parenting, but I'm longing for the day it feels more normal because right now it just feels like one crisis after another:)!!
But, lots of sweet with the sour. The kids are growing, and fighting, and laughing, and...happy. So much good in the midst of some really tough things, too. Our sermon this Sunday was one of the most true, real, relevant things I have heard in forever (or maybe it's just the only thing i've heard in forever)....about God's love for us and His intent for his people to trust Him. To take the bad with the good and know that He works all things for good. Not that there isn't a lot of suffering, but that the best is yet to come. And until then, hard times and easy times (what are these??) are not mutually's just life. We should try to enjoy the ride.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Some things I'm loving...

1. sweets. shoot me! i'm one of those 'all or nothing' kind of people when it comes to desserts, as in when a dessert (or dozens) break through the dam of my willpower--it's over! Me and my sweet tooth need to breakup....i'm just waiting for him to make the first move.

2. smartwool socks. i really hate skin is like a delicate flower (that has been dried out and roughed up, but that's another story) and i detest any 'itch', which is why i've stayed away from these long-talked about socks (at least in my family). but with temps in the teens, my resolved has caved and my toes are thanking me.

3. christmas gifts. i am so glad to have new books, new songs, and new pieces to pick up....a change of scenery is good. come where it may.:) plus, i scored some pretty sweet things myself and who doesn't like something new??

4. movies. i had a serious dry spell but i'm back on the wagon. run, run, run to see The Young Victoria and wish yourself a happy valentines day! if you don't have any favors in the bank and can't get your man to see that one, Invictus rocks too.

5. starbucks. i'm so 90s, i this is something novel to like starbucks?! but really, it's so good and consistent and it amazes me. and, i can do it with kids in the car.

6. now there is very little need for me to leave the house, which is a good thing considering my children are clearly never going to quit getting sick!!! (it's croup this time. i'm bitter, can you tell?:)

7. snow! a weeks-worth of white stuff on the ground in k'town is unheard of...and beautiful. it arrived just in time because i'm usually all "it's so ugly!" this time of year. Also, seeing/hearing the drama surrounding less than 2 inches of possible snow fall in these parts cracks me up.

8. inventions. or ideas for inventions/money making schemes. i'm not sure why i'm obsessed, but i am. i think i have lots of good ideas (don't ask P his thoughts), i just don't know how to get them going. of course, i can't put my ideas up here on the www, because they might be stolen! just know, my mind is like a machine (where all the parts and pieces are spinning out of control and totally disorganized).

And some things I'm not liking so much (i'm working on being a kinder-gentler G in 2010, how's this sound?)

1. people dressing inappropriately for the weather. attn: if it's below 40, you need a coat and clothes toed shoes. also, if you are wearing layers/coat/hat...your children need the same.

2. a house i drive by everyday because it is time to take down the christmas tree on your front porch, and while you are at it, get rid of your 3 rotting pumpkins!!! seriously, it is cheering me down.

3. cold. i'm over it! where is the groundhog?

4. cashiers who comment on my purchases. it's none of their business what i'm doing with endive and no, i'm not having a party, we just eat a lot of ice cream.

5. snot. there is too much at this house and i'm ready for the dry-up.

6. dry hands. i have bought (what seems) like ever lotion on the market and my hands still look like i've run them through the paper shredder...dry, scratched, cracked, sad. p has put the big 'veto' down for me sleeping in gloves (apparently Diane Keaton does nothing for him?), so i'm open to suggestions. and yes, i wear gloves outside.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My parents tell me when I was a baby, a cat scratched me in the face and they had to get rid of it...I think it all started there. My dislike of pets, that is. Actually, I'm just going to be honest. I'm among friends, right? I (mostly) hate animals. Sure, there were bunnies I liked for about a week in grade school (they really were so cute until I realized the small mountains of poop they generated. eeww!) and a cat a highschool boyfriend gave me that I kind of liked. But mostly, I just don't get it.
Or rather, I should say I appreciate why someone would enjoy the camaraderie of an outdoor pet, but still I would never consider it. And an indoor pet? Really, I have a mental list that practically outnumbers any of my other mental lists on reasons not to have a pet. I will spare you the specifics (in attempt to not completely alienate people in my life that love their dogs), but mostly, the reasons are about the 'work' involved in caring for someone/thing else. Well, the work and the hair, which is, yeah, it's all about the work. I get this, as I care for 3 other things :), but you just cannot compare having a dog to having a baby (although I know people who try).
Did anyone see that Chris Rock documentary about how he was trying to get white women to understand black hair and vice versa? Similarly, but totally different, are my feelings on dog people. Today, as I was taking L to the doctor and I was cussing because it was so freakin cold (I could blog for hours on my feelings about cold--watch out!).....I look over and see an old man bundled up like the Abominable Snowman walking his dog. It was like 12 degrees!!
Also, and this is what really got my kettle in Home Goods, a woman asked me to scoot over so she could get through with her stroller. Of course, everyone knows babies come first. I peek over the hood to get a good look at a-sure-to-be-precious little thing and... it's the ugliest dog you've ever seen. A dog! In a retail store! In a stroller! Made for dogs!
It pushed me over the edge. For years I've quietly put up with people having their dogs a various retail establishments, outdoor dining, airplanes, and the park --and--I've had it! I'm taking a stand and going to start saying something. (except at parks...totally kidding about the parks:)
My points are....1. this is not Cali and you are not Paris and your dog isn't a purse.
2. what if someone were deathly allergic to said pet and didn't even know he was in the store?
3. some people are very afraid of pets....I don't think you should have to have your guard up while shopping for designer names at retail prices.

That's all I have to say about that (actaully I could say alot more, but I'm showing restraint in hopes that no-one eggs my house tonight). Oh, and I do have a considerable amount of affection for Liza and Duke.
**also, judging from miss ya's response to all animals presented to her, I just might have to eat my words one day. please no!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Resolutions....I love them! What a great excuse to start fresh:) Unfortunately, I never take them uber-seriously, but here are mine:

1. read more, watch less crack-tv (e.g., desperate housewives of any variety, the bachelor, etc)
2. run in some sort of (very short) race (with another competitor besides Garrett)
3. encourage everyone in my house to pick up after themselves as they go (I realize it's kind of cheating to make resolutions for other people:)
4. take a trip with my husband and without my kids. somewhere warm!
5. move....this house will not cut it much longer with a 22lb (and growing) non-toddler. i am dreaming of one-level living. my husband and his 'man-cave' are not ready to end their relationship, though-- so all interested buyers should send offers to my email:)
6. reduce, reuse, recycle. actually, mostly just reduce.
7. eliminate snacking (this applies only to me and G...clearly Paul and Lilah can have all the snacks they want)
8. quit throwing my clothes in my 'i'm going to re-wear' pile--it just creates chaos in my room and my mind.

Considering I've spend most of 2010 in my PJs, I'm feeling a little behind the eight-ball.:) Hope everyone else's New Year is off to a smashing start!