Saturday, July 18, 2009

School Supplies

Since Ander is going to a small, at-home preschool in the Fall, we had a short list of school supplies to buy for him. It was really short and reasonable, including things like fat crayons, blunt scissors, and glue. We made a big deal of it and took a trip to Target today.

Ugh! They were out of, or just don't carry, much of the list. They had the 8 pack of fat crayons, but they were in a separate section of the store from the rest of the colors and were $3 instead of 30 cents, like the 24 pack. They didn't have nap mats, even though every preschooler around here is required to get one. (i had been warned about nap mats by my school teacher sister and had grabbed one at Wal-mart the day they put them out.)

They were out of construction paper. Who runs out of construction paper in JULY? I mean, they had to know construction paper is on every supply list, right? Big, empty space on shelf where it would be.

There was no empty space for primary colored Play-doh (as they only sell pink and orange and bright girly blue), there were only two 2 inch binders in the whole store that costs less than $7 (Ander begged for the pink one...I really wanted to just get it, but I thought he might regret it when none of the other boys have pink), and there was no art smock (though the teacher said an oversized t-shirt is fine, so we might do that).

I'm sure, with the exception of the art smock, that these things are purchased by parents across Baton Rouge EVERY SINGLE why don't the stores order these things?


Monday, July 13, 2009

Sleep Training

This morning, before the sun came up, I had a 4 a.m. meltdown. It was not pretty.

Loki will sleep one way - tucked under me. He goes to sleep just fine. A bit of cuddling and he goes in his crib and sleeps, usually until about midnight. Then...


He will scream until we put him in our bed. And then, for fun, he wakes every hour or so and wails, just long enough to wake us up. He then goes back to sleep, with no assistance from us. Occasionally, he wakes to nurse. Other than during the night, we are fully weaned, so I hate to say no. But nursing five or six times a night is NOT acceptable.

We never did real crying it out with Ander. Instead, we did a version where we sat on the floor and patted him on the back and hummed, so we weren't talking to him but he knew we were there, until he fell asleep. But with Loki, putting him to bed is NOT the problem. And waking up at 4 a.m. to pat and hum is exceedingly difficult.

What to do? I need to sleep. I really cannot function like this. I can't drive the boys to childcare like this. I keep getting sick. I NEED SLEEP.


Friday, July 10, 2009

When Mom Gets Sick

I'm so tired of being sick. I have some sort of virus right now. I knocked me out yesterday and this morning. I felt better this afternoon, but tonight, my stomach is upset again, the cough is back, and I feel weak and beat up. Don't get the wrong impression...I'm not ER-level ill. If I wasn't on Facebook, no one would notice I was sick at all. I was caught up, pretty much, at the office, so this illness won't totally derail me there. And most of it seems to be landing on the weekend. Plus, Alan took off today and did childcare (and cut the grass and did laundry), so we are fine.

But getting sick is so hard when you are the mom. There are so many things that only I can do. Loki was trying to nurse, and on one hand, it's important to give him antibodies. On the other, I was close to dehydration and exhausted. The chores I normally do - like cleaning off the counter and bringing the boys to a playdate - fell on Alan, so mostly didn't get done. Not that he didn't work hard, but he is busy doing his own chores and caring for kids mostly by himself.

It's so unfair. I've been washing my hands like crazy, but I touch my laptop keyboard and then Alan does. Ander kisses me with no regard for germs. Loki, well, slobbering all over me. So I'd better rest up, because round two could hit them anytime.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Preschool Is Going To Cramp My Lifestyle

Preschool starts August 10. We've selected an at-home preschool program, taught in a little building behind the teacher's home. There will be six three year olds in the class, where the kids will have a typical preschool curriculum of numbers and letters and stories and art projects. I've read the handbook, put the school supplies on my shopping list, and explained to Ander every morning, on the drive to work, about what his day will be like when he has preschool.

But my day is going to suck.

Right now, unless I have court (maybe twice to three times a month), I don't have to be at work until 9:30 a.m. Understand, I am generally there by 8:30 a.m., even with dropping the kids with my mom. But if there is a blowout on the way out the door, or a mildly sick kid who wants to sleep in for thirty extra minutes, or I need gas in the car, I can arrive late. Usually, I get up as Alan leaves the house at 7ish. I get the boys dressed and ready and get myself ready and go. I give them a small snack (usually, it's a glass of milk for Ander and nurse and/or baby cookie for Loki), but don't have to feed them breakfast. My mom feeds them.

But preschool serves breakfast from 7:30 to 8 a.m. Frankly, I am not going to leave the house with two kids, one of whom still keeps me up half the night, at 7 a.m. to get there in time. That means that I have to feed Ander breakfast and get to preschool around 8 a.m. It's a half hour away, so we need a plan.

I think Alan will start waking Ander at 6:30 a.m., bringing him potty, and giving him breakfast in front of cartoons. I'll need to start getting up at 6:30 a.m. instead of 7 a.m., which sounds like not-a-big-deal, until you consider that I am up all night long with Loki. Sigh. I'll get up, feed and change Loki, shower and dress, and then change Ander and get the kids in the car by 7:30 a.m. Yuck.

Plus, we already planned a vacation - for the first week of school. We'll go the first and second day, and then leave for vacation. Great.

Oh, and I often work from home on Fridays. I still might, sometimes, but it means Ander missing school. :( I know he only really needs about two to three days a week right now (all we could find is a five day program), but I don't want to teach him that school isn't important.

I suspect we'll have to be more strict about bedtime, too, and that will suck. Right now, we sort of eat, clean up, check our fb, bathe the boys, get them ready, read some books, and go to bed. The time varies, depending how long everything takes, from 8:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. If the boys seem tired, we put them down earlier. If they napped good, they go down later. I don't think that's going to continue to work.

Ugh. Preschool hasn't even started and it's a pain.


Monday, July 6, 2009

I Had This Great Blog All Figured Out

It was about buying only what you need, checking quality before price, and using coupons (something I never have found a good system for doing).

But I had four urgent phone calls regarding work this morning, no morning sitter, juvenile court this afternoon, and was briefly in the presence of a cat. Cat's make me feel like I am going to die. Slowly. Painfully. And then sneeze and then gasp and then die again. I hate cats.

So no good blog about being a better consumer.


That's all I got.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Religious Discomfort

I was raised Catholic. No matter what Catholics do - pray the Rosary, say Grace, or make the sign of the cross while driving in front of a church - I rarely feel uncomfortable with it. I don't always agree with everything the Church teaches, but I try to make sure that, when I disagree, it's a well-thought out and prayerful decision of conscience, and not just laziness. (For example, I disagree with the ban on women as priests. But I thought about it, prayed about it, read about it, and tried to see all the arguments for it BEFORE deciding that I would not act in accordance with that Church teaching. Okay, that one's a cop-out, since I am not called to religious life anyway.) Sometimes, when people pray for something that I disagree with, I find myself reflecting on the arguments for the other side of the issue in my head. But that's not the same as discomfort.

And if I feel really removed from a religion, the ceremonies and practices of that religion rarely cause me discomfort. I think I would be very comfortable at a Wiccan ceremony or a Buddhist ceremony, learning what I can and observing the ritual and finding peace with the ideas (whether I agree or not), because the religions are so foreign to me that I feel like an observer.

But other Christian religions and some of their practices make me very uncomfortable. It's a silly visceral reaction, really, because either 1) I believe what they believe and just express it differently or 2) I don't believe what they believe, so I should feel like a mere observer.

Take a pictures in Alan's home high school yearbook, for example. The teacher had his arms spread away from him like wide wings and there was a caption about prayer. (1989...AFTER teacher-led prayer in schools was established to violate the First Amendment. But I digress.) Teacher-led prayer in public school has always been a problem for me, particularly because of the discomfort I personally feel (and even felt as a child) when the religious is close to mine in belief (say, a non-Catholic Christian) but not in specifics and practice. The picture of the teacher made me shifty, uncomfortable, and, if I am to be totally honest, a bit nauseous. That said, I don't have any problem in theory with this person praying, whether he is bowing to Mecca, chanting to the ancient gods, or worshipping Jesus. Yet I have a physical reaction of slight revulsion (only accentuated by the fact that he was a public school teacher and soem children in the class were forced to participate).

Tonight or tomorrow, Alan and I probably have to attend a funeral of a great-uncle of Alan's that neither of us really know. I am bracing myself for the religious dfiscomfort, because it will be at a Baptist service. I'm sure there will be talk of hell and damnation (which really bothers me at a funeral) and, maybe, just perhaps, someone will raise his arms in a salute to Jesus. And I'll break out in hives, despite my insistence at maintaining tolerance of other beliefs and learning and observing what I can from other religions.

This is abnormal, yes?