Friday, February 29, 2008

Tomorrow my daughter is -- of her own choosing -- attending a writer's conference hosted by our school district. I think that is very cool. And she is excited about it. I'm not sure how excited she'll be when she has to leave at 8:30 tomorrow morning. But still, my daughter gets to go to a writer's conference. At least if I don't have time to go, someone I know gets to go.

She's only nine, so I know that most likely her interests will change. But it is very fun as a parent when you see your child enjoying some of your interests. I don't know that I would've gone to a writer's conference when I was nine (I was too busy playing football and having dirt clod fights), but she does like to read the books I loved -- Encyclopedia Brown and the Fudge series. I have also been very happy for D because he has been able to share his love for the Choose Your Own Adventure series with her, and he doesn't really like to read. So that's been a huge step in our household.

I know it's just going to get harder as she gets older, so I'm just going to try to enjoy these little moments along the way.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Maybe, just maybe, I did give birth to my daughter. I try to keep my competitiveness in check when it comes to my children. And I also try to keep in mind that I did not play organized ball of any kind until technically sixth grade, so the fact she's been playing soccer for the past two and a half years is more than I ever did at her age. I just played football, soccer, tennis and basketball with kids in the neighborhood, but it still made me pretty tough because those kids were all guys and usually older than me.

Anyway, I usually have to remind myself that both of my oldest children are still very young and will (hopefully) develop that aggressive, competitive spirit when it comes to organized sports -- IF they choose to play. Up to this point, neither child has been one to hog the ball or score the points and that's OK. I just want them to have fun and contribute to the team.

However, tonight during Anna's indoor soccer match, that girl did an awesome job as defender. She ran hard (even though she doesn't like to run) and didn't act scared (even though the acoustics can be intimidating). Her team still got beat pretty soundly and she got nailed in the stomach with the ball, but after sitting out briefly, she got back out there and played hard. I was very proud of her.

Our girls made some good progress tonight. Spring soccer begins soon, and we will meet many of the girls on the opposing team again. I like our chances outside.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Thank goodness Spencer is starting to sleep through the nights FINALLY because I see some late nights in my future. We are now the usually happy owners of a Wii. I say usually because it depends on if Anna or Jeremy is winning if that certain person is happy or not. It will take some time for them to get the hang of just enjoying themselves, having fun and laughing.

Their mom and dad on the other hand? I domintated at tennis after about four matches, but D managed to beat me at bowling in the 10th frame after I led the entire game. I will be taking some pain medication before going to bed tonight. Of course, the only time D and I can manage to get in some decent, serious game time is after the kids have gone to bed.

Fortunately, D and I share a love of video games...or unfortunately. It may be very hard for us to turn off the machine at a decent hour.

Friday, February 22, 2008

I think it's interesting that Hillary Clinton accuses Barack Obama of plagiarism, of not using his own words in his speeches. Does that mean she's the first candidate in I don't know how many years who actually writes her very own speeches? She just put a lot of speech writers out of business. That was just one of the little exchanges I managed to catch last night between the many coughing fits in our household.

UPDATE: I wasn't able to complete my opinion of that particular issue because of a certain three year old who was determined to play Easy Bake Kitchen on the computer.

I think Obama could've at least mixed the words up a little, but if the guy who originally used those words works for his campaign, then I don't think I would call it plagiarism. I have a little experience in the public affairs arena -- although not as much as these presidential campaign workers -- and I can tell you it is not unusual to reuse phrases in various forms with many different audiences. I for one am not going to start throwing stones.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

On a positive note, Spencer slept through the night. The down side? Jeremy didn't. Poor guy spent most of the night in the bathroom. He stayed home from school and got to go into the office with me for a little while. But in the short hour and a half he was there, he made 4-5 trips to the bathroom. He's still pretty upbeat and doing better now.

However, Jack was sent home for Mother's Day Out with a fever. Yippee. Right now I just want to hibernate, but unfortunately, Anna has a soccer game this evening, so I must get out in this cold, misty mess. This will definitely not help my own barking cough. I will probably comfort myself with a hot chocolate after the game. But will I have enough self discipline to wait until I get home so D can make some hot chocolate or will I stop at Starbucks? We will see.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Will it never end?!? Son #3 woke up with a fever today! I pray he sleeps well tonight because I can't take much more. I guess that's what I get for being blessed with four kids.

Other than illness there's nothing else very exciting going on in my life. Sickness, girl scouts, boy scouts, indoor soccer and basketball. I misplaced my calendar for a few days, and I was afraid we were going to have to drop all extra-curricular activities because I didn't know when anything was scheduled. Fortunately, the calendar has been found so life can return to normal.

D is planning a guys-only ski trip with my blessing. I don't think I'm crazy, and I don't plan to hold it over his head either. He's actually great about giving me girl time, so I know I'll survive the long weekend and he will make it up to me. I think movies, fast food and a trip to the grandparents will be on our schedule that weekend.

I've stalled long enough. It's time to force Jack to go to bed. It's not going to be pretty, but somebody's got to do it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I am working from home today because round 2 of the flu or whatever has hit the household again. However, I don't think it is as severe this time. Over the weekend, either the stomach bug got me or it was something I ate at a new restaurant we tried. Regardless, I'll associate it with the restaurant so I doubt we'll be going back there anytime soon.

While I was in the southeastern part of the state telling teachers about some wonderful programs we offer, I got a phone call from my husband. Son #2 was running a fever of 102. Not much I can do when I'm more than three hours away. But today he seems to be doing better, especially after I dosed him with some motrin. I dropped the baby off at my MIL's and turned on the TV for Jack, so I should be able to get some work done.

Then tonight I'm turning all the kids over to D and heading out to bunko. I've been having a hard time concentrating because of the migraine meds, so hopefully I can still enjoy myself. I really need a good night.

OK. Now back to work.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I will give my husband his due. He got up at 6 a.m. and drove to the nearest Krispy Kreme which is at least 25 minutes away to buy heart-shaped donuts for the kids for breakfast. But to top it off -- he sent me a dozen gourmet dipped strawberries and eight gourmet dipped cookies. No need to waste flowers on me. He knows what I like. I have offered to share with my co-workers, but unfortunately, no one has taken me up on the offer...

I wish I was better at all of this for him. I did buy him the Sleepless in Seattle DVD several days ago when I saw it on display. He loves the soundtrack so I thought he'd like to have the movie. Maybe we'll watch it when we are childless this weekend. And I am encouraging him to go on a guys-only ski trip next month, so that should count for something.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Interesting political column/blog. I'm just glad to see Matthew Dowd voicing his opinions again nationally after catching such flack when he left the Bush administration.
I have taken a break from the real presidential election to re-live The West Wing election of Season 7. I hadn't realized how many of the episodes I had missed, but by that time, they had moved the show to an inconvenient 8 p.m. time slot on Sundays. It was usually pretty difficult to monitor bath time and keep up with the quick dialogue. So I usually sacrificed the show for motherhood.

The wonderful benefit of watching television shows on dvd is no commercials and the freedom to watch episodes back-to-back. The problem is the freedom to watch episodes back-to-back. I lack the self-discipline to stop and go to bed at a reasonable hour. So I watched the first four episodes and went to bed at 1 a.m. Tonight I watched three episodes and stopped because I needed to finish loading the dishwasher. I guess I have a little self discipline.

At least I know how this election will turn out. I'm not really sure about the present-day situation. Only time will tell.

Monday, February 11, 2008

This weekend I finally watched the one Blockbuster movie I had -- 1408 -- a paranormal thriller starring John Cusack. He has always been a favorite of mine, and I thought he handled the cynical author role well. I'm not one who gets creeped out easily, but since I was alone in the house with the baby, I did feel a little uneasy at first. But then D and the other kids came home, and he finished watching it with me. It was an interesting flick, but I would've liked to have learned more about why the room was so evil.

We also watched Game Plan (cute) and Shredderman Rules (another cute one with a kid from a Nickelodeon show). Since some of us (mainly me) were still unwell, we just hung around the house most of the weekend watching movies. Jeremy and I also caught a classic on TV -- Big starring Tom Hanks. Since we missed the first part, I've decided to put it in my Blockbuster queue so the whole family can enjoy one of his early hits.

I know my movie reviews are not riveting journalism but honestly my head is still pretty fuzzy so it's hard enough stringing words together. So I should probably quit while I hope I've written somewhat coherent sentences.

Friday, February 8, 2008

I don't like to discuss politics too much. I don't usually feel incredibly strong on too many issues, and I can usually listen to both sides and be persuaded by both. Maybe that makes me wishy-washy. I don't know.

What I do know is that I don't care for our governor. Those who say he's a good governor probably believe he's a great leader because 1) he hasn't stuck his foot in his mouth like our former gov, 2) they have won something in the lottery, 3) they haven't had to be stuck in a room and listened to him speak, or 3) they are teachers who have received a pay raise.

I speak on this issue now because recently the republican leadership criticized Brad's budget and now his office is criticizing them for publicly criticizing it. Hope that makes sense. Here's my problem with that. It's OK for the governor to look all wonderful by proposing this beautiful budget where teachers get more money and miraculously more things are done with money from somewhere, but now it's up to the legislators to figure out how to pay for his amazing plan. And now they will look like the bad guys and girls when a lot of these things aren't able to happen. So what's wrong with the leadership speaking out now so the public knows that while the governor has proposed some good ideas, like extending the school year, there is no solution for how to fund such a proposal? I have no problem with people pointing out the flaws in the governors plans. Someone needs to.

Everyone is caught up in the presidential election politicals, but I haven't forgotten about crazy local leadership we have.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Our house has been a hotbed for germs the past week. Anna has finally got the hang of throwing away used tissues. I won't worry about Jeremy getting the concept now since he is past ths snot-blowing stage. Poor Spencer is so congested he coughs and gags all the time. I think we've finally found relief for him in the form of breathing treatments and a raised matress. As for Jackson, I'm not sure there is any hope. There is not anything as obviously wrong with him. He coughs a little, sometimes runs a slight fever, but for the most part, he is just a bear to live with, which makes my life miserable.

I would love to be able to just sit and hold him, but unfortunately for him and me 1) I don't have time and 2) Spencer needs me too. When those two are both awake, there are moments when they are both miserable and crying which in turn makes me want to cry.

However, at this moment the house is quiet. No coughing. No crying. No sneezing. And yet, I'm sitting at the computer. That's because I had to take a few moments to answer work email. But now it's time to shut down so I can get some sleep to deal with more work and sick children tomorrow.

Sick children, healthy children, happy children, whiny children...they're mine and I love them.