Wednesday, November 29, 2006

It's a....

Yesterday was my ultrasound appointment. So I thought.

I scheduled it at least two weeks ago, and was a little disappointed at the time that I had to wait so long to get an appointment. I got to the hospital (after arranging for child care) with my mom (since Mr. had not made it back from the hunting trip yet), only to find out that they had no record of my appointment. I think the woman thought I either had the wrong hospital or was trying to weasel my way into an appointment.

I had even called the day before to ask a question, and they asked my name before answering anything (which made me think they had looked me up on the computer). Everything seemed fine then, but there was no appointment made for me when I got there. The next available appointment was three weeks later (by then, the poor kid would be so big, you wouldn't be able to see anything).

It's unkind to shock pregnant women like that, so of course, I started crying (just a little, I couldn't help myself!) the receptionist must have taken pity on me because she said that even though they were double-booked all day, I could come back in an hour and a half and they'd squeeze me in.

The unexpected change made for some interesting child shuffling, prevented my mom from getting much done at work, and pushed my pie baking back to today (the pies are almost done, I just have three lemon meringue left to make).

Finally I got in for the appointment that I really did make, and I have no idea why it wasn't in the computer system... Anyway, everything looked good, all body parts accounted for and all.

And it's a boy.

I'm not sure whether to be disappointed or relieved. Maybe a little of both. I'd like to be able to buy little girl clothes and do hair and all that, but really, when you consider that I have a hard time getting my boys' hair brushed on a regular basis, maybe I'm better off.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Dirty Secrets about Santa Clause

This morning I was giving my 5-year-old a hug and was about knocked over backwards by his breath. It was bad. I told him he'd better go brush his teeth because his breath was smelly. He said, "like Santa?".


Apparently last year when he got a chance to sit on Santa's lap and tell him what he wanted for Christmas, Santa had smelly breath. Santa always leaves toothbrushes in our stockings, maybe he needs to keep one out for himself. Or maybe we could start leaving breath mints instead of cookies (someone needs to look our for santa's dental health)...

Since he's in kindergarten this year, I'm waiting for the day that my 5-year-old comes home from school saying that so and so told him that there's no such thing as santa. I've been trying to think of what I will do when that time comes. I don't want to lie to him if he asks directly, but I want him to believe for as long as possible. Believing is magical, and every childhood ought to have as much magic as possible.

I've had a couple of suggestions. The first is to tell him that santa only brings presents to those who believe (although the mother that told me that wondered if she was just teaching her child to lie to her....). The other was to say, "some people believe and some people don't, but it sure is fun to believe so why don't we?".

There's also explaining about how santa represents the spirit of giving, just like the wise men brought gifts to baby Jesus.

What would you do?

Holding my breath for number 3 to hit.

Warning: This post may contain random ramblings...

"They" (whoever "they" are) say that bad things happen in threes. Well, we've replaced the front tires on the van, and now our fridge is on the brink of death, I'm afraid of what might happen next...

Hopefully whatever is wrong with our fridge is covered by warranty (which runs out the end of this month, so good timing eh?), we'll find out this afternoon when the repairman arrives. Currently the freezer food has all been moved out to the outdoor freezer, but the fridge food has no where to go. It's cool, but I'm not sure if it's cold enough. The milk tasted a little "less than crisp (can milk taste crisp?) but I have milk-tasting issues anyway so it's probably fine.

Speaking of number 3. no we don't know if it's a boy or a girl yet. Because of Thanksgiving, the hospital is backed into the last week of november, so our ultrasound is scheduled for the 28th. I'm not sure whether to be excited or resigned. There is always the possibility of a female child, it just doesn't seem like a good idea to get my hopes up because who wants to be disappointed when it comes to a baby? That hardly seems fair to the poor kid. My brief shock at #2 son being a boy not a girl was brief (I was sure he was a girl), and mostly centered around not being able to buy any little dresses.

My mister said that he thought I should keep a journal to record all the funny things that the kids do during the day. I told him that's why I have a blog, but as he pointed out, my blog doesn't really include much about my kids these days, so here's the update:

My 5-year-old is the VIP (Very Important Person) in his kindergarten class this week. It's been very exciting for him. Yesterday I told him that even when it wasn't his VIP week, he'd still be a VIP to me. He liked that.

A few weeks ago we had parent teacher conferences, he's doing well. He struggles with following directions, but as the teacher pointed out, he's 5, so that's normal.

In class he had filled out his own report card which asked a bunch of questions, each of which was followed by a happy face, a straight face, and a frowny face. He circled smiley faces on all but the first question, "I like going to school". I asked him why he circled the frowny face and he said, "It's a lot of work. I don't like going to school, but I go anyway." What a good kid. He likes being at school apparently, he's just not so fond of having to leave home.

This morning (he's done this before too) while mister and I were trying to wake up, this sweet 5-year-old set the table with bowls and spoons and cups for all of us, then poured cereal and (not-quite-cold-enough) milk for himself and his younger brother.

In the nearly-3-year-old department, I've gotten tired of constantly running to the kitchen to stop him from getting things out of the fridge. He's still eating like there's no tomorrow. I've set "snack times" and am not letting him eat if it's not snack time. I'm still running to the fridge to stop him from helping himself every two minutes, but I'm not feeding him all day long anymore.

Yesterday I made a huge lunch for both boys and didn't think they'd eat it all, but they did. I've been reading the Vegan Lunchbox Blog. We're not vegan, or even vegetarian (meat, yum) but it's a fun blog to read, and it nearly always inspires me to make lunch a little more fun. Fun lunches get eaten better than boring ones do. We had a dish of yogurt, peanut butter sandwiches, craisins, and carrots cut into little disks (the 5-year-old called them carrot quarters) with ranch dressing to dip. They ate everything and wanted more. The food was all arranged in our favorite "snack plate lunch" fashion which comes from the days when my grandma would cut up apples (skins off) and cheese and crackers and arrange them on a plate when we were sick. I still love snack plates...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Going public...

My sister posted on some of her experiences with health care today on her blog. She is a legal aid attorney and I would guess the majority of her clients have no health insurance, or very little. It was an interesting read. Check it out here.

The post got me to thinking, since private industry has done so well with health care, perhaps it is a good idea to privatize education. That way, every year our classroom premiums can go up, and if our children need speech therapy or are struggling in some area the school system can just cut off service to keep costs "down" for the rest of the children (not to mention profits up for the rest of the shareholders).

Maybe then wal mart or some other big box chain will open up "education centers" in their stores, and parents can take their children to wal mart to be educated while the parent gets their shopping done (hey, Smith's Marketplace already has that Freddie's Playland area, it's perfect!!!).

In a discussion with my family about privatizing education, my mom (who knows PRACTICALLY everything- since she had a real education, not a wal mart one) pointed out that private business is about making money. That's obvious, right? The whole purpose of business is to make money, so why would we want someone's bottom line to be the driving force behind our children's education?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Thank You

To all the wonderful, highly qualified democratic candidates who ran for local positions, Thank You!

Thank you for giving us a choice in who to vote for. Thank you for your time and effort.

It was a little frustrating at the voting booth to have so many races that were uncontested. I wish I had thought to just not vote in those races. It meant a lot to me to have a choice, and in so many cases, choices that I truly believed were better qualified.

And lastly, thanks to Pete Ashdown for putting so much into his senate race. I'm saving my signs for next time.

It will be interesting to watch what happens nationally with some changes in power. I'm hoping for sensible compromises and a government that stops fighting itself and works together.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Mean Voters....(getting yelled at)

I'm not used to getting yelled at. I don't deal with it well. When someone yells at me it makes me feel all unsettled, which is one reason why I generally don't yell at other people (that, and I'm just not a loud person).

I went to pick up my son from kindergarten today, and since it is voting day, the parking lot was full. I generally don't worry too much about pulling in behind the line of cars that block a row of parked cars because the parked cars are generally teachers who won't be leaving during the two minutes I'm blocking them in. I have been blocked in before, by a woman who visited with several other mothers while I waited for her to move her vehicle. It was irritating, but I waited for her and it was only a couple of minutes.

Anyway, there were no parking spots available today, so I pulled as far forward as I could hoping that the only cars I was blocking belonged to teachers. I saw kids coming out, so I hurried to go get my son. It wasn't his class, so I waited for one minute until his class got out. Then we hurried to the van.

When we got there a man in a small sedan was part-way backed out, and I thought he had hit my van with the way he braked suddenly. He jumped out of his car and started yelling at me "is this your van! Is this your van?!" He also said something about me blocking him in. I apologized and said I was just picking up my son from school. I understand his frustration with being blocked in. For that I'm really sorry.

There were no parking spots, and everyone just pulls up behind the parked cars- in a nice little row- when they pick up kindergartners. Having all the voters there made it a mess.

So as I was starting to pull out so he could get out (remember, I'm trying to hurry because he is obviously upset about the whole thing), he managed to maneuver his car around mine, causing me to brake suddenly- I didn't expect him to dart out like that- I didn't think there was even room for him to get out.

A raise in my blood pressure might do me some good, maybe I won't feel so dizzy when I stand up, but I don't think this man was benefited by the raise in his blood pressure. He could have said "I'm really frustrated that you blocked me in. I'm in a hurry and don't appreciate your idea of a parking spot". Then I would have said, "I'm really sorry, there weren't any parking spots and I thought I saw my son come out of the school, so I was trying to get him to the van before anyone needed to back out, I'm sorry it took longer than I had anticipated".

Then there wouldn't have been any raised blood pressure, or near-crashes, or general unsettled feelings on my part.

Next time someone does something that you find upsetting, try speaking calmly instead of yelling. Everyone will feel better.

Zero Energy Homes

My poor Mister now has even more to plan for if/when we build our "dream home".

I've been reading about zero engery homes, where the home is built to be extremely energy efficient and then solar panels are used to provide much of the electricity the home needs (and sometimes extra, which is sold back to the power company as credit).

I wonder if my current favorite house plan would be adaptable....

Here's a story from MSNBC about a Zero-energy house that was build in california.

And Here is an interesting website with a list of things that you should consider when trying to make your home more efficient.