Friday, October 30, 2009

Packed day

Yesterday was extremely busy.
I am trying to get all my information together for my comprehensive exam in my minor subject areas. I am progressing but my questions require a lot of thought and the exam is on Monday.

I did take the kids (and myself) to get the H1N1 vaccine yesterday. They had it at our health department and while I am a little unhappy that the children will have to go back for a second dose I am glad we went. I was a little unhappy that the children will need a second dose because they did not tell me that upfront and as far as I could find online it is the multi-dose formula that people are concerned about. However, one of the reasons I went was because I knew that right now I have the choice to get it or not get it. I did not want them to run out of vaccine and then have me wishing that I had done it. So I did my research and made my decision and went. I put off getting the seasonal flu shots because I wasn't sure what was happening with our insurance while Jim was finding a job and now I cannot find the seasonal vaccine for all of us. I can get the flu mist at the student health center, but they did not think that insurance covers it (even though my understanding is that the mist is more effective than a shot) so now I have to find out what it costs and decide if I can afford it, Josie can get it at the pediatrician but Doug and Andy are over the age that is the cut-off because the pediatrician has limited doses and is rationing it.
Health care and insurance is something that if you have reasonable health insurance you probably don't realize what a big deal it is not to have it or how hard it is to find care and afford it and how much it impacts you if you don't have it. But that would be a whole other post for me to go in to our health care/insurance saga.

We also went to the sorority trick-or-treating event on campus. It was a zoo. I was glad to get out of there. I saw people going there with single children who were not big enough to walk yet and I just thought "why." Anyway, all of the sororities had candy and were not just handing out one or two pieces but whole handfuls. Some had other things set-up so that there were games and such. It was crazy. I was by myself with the three kids and we would get up to a house and Doug and Andy would rush forward and I would have to expend all my energy just keeping an eye on where they were and making sure they could get back to me. Josie even ended up getting her face painted without me saying yes or no...she just got swept over in the direction of the face painting table and ended up with a butterfly on her check. Did I say it was crazy. We didn't even go to all of the houses because I was ready to go.
This was the first year we went to it. I am still mixed feelings about whether we would go again. I do know that I did not need to bother buying candy to hand out at our house because when we dumped out all three buckets the candy was mounded up in a large bowl. The buckets were so full that the kids got tired of carrying them because they were so heavy. Did I mention it was crazy!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

More more more

Andy broke a wishbone with me last week....he wished for "Lots of candy!"

He is getting his wish. We are on the second round of getting to wear our costumes. We have an opportunity to go trick-or-treating at the sororities tomorrow, a birthday party with costumes on Saturday, and it seems silly not to actually go trick-or-treating on Halloween since we have costumes. So candy and more candy it is.

Tonight we had a Fall Festival at church.
The nice thing is that with our little church everything is really simple and not overdone so that it is perfect for young kids.
Conveniently this year, rather than having individual rooms on the main hallway with activities, they put everything in the fellowship hall. It made it a lot easier for me to keep track of my three children who have their own ideas and interests.
Doug's favorite was the maze (boxes for them to crawl through on the darkened stage using a glow stick), Josie liked the hay ride, and Andy liked the bean bag toss.
I did have to stop Andy from outright taking handfuls of candy at some of the activities...and I will ration out the candy when all is said and done.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pictures!




I took a picture to send to Jim, so I am finally getting the pictures from this summer off the camera. So here are a few and there are more to come. We went to a farmer's market and some cheerleaders were painting faces. Doug got a race car, Andy got a snake, and Josie has a butterfly.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Quantity vs. Quality

My children came back, somehow, from their trip to the pumpkin patch with the church with one pumpkin. One! I have three children and one pumpkin is just not going to cut it.
However, this weekend we went to an annual Fall Festival my brother-in-law and sister-in-law host.
My kids had a marvelous time. Doug had to be reminded to eat and go potty because he spent almost the entire 5-ish hours we were there in the inflatable bouncy. Josie enjoyed the bouncy and hanging out with her daddy and she is now old enough that she was searching out her cousin and hanging out with other girls.
Andy, he is something else all together.
He liked the bouncy and spent a lot of time in there. However, he is particularly sensitive to mis-communication and has a strong sense of justice and a need to lead. So he just does not fit in as easily playing with other children as Doug does. Thus he partook of many of the other activities that were available as breaks from playing in the bouncy. One of those activities was decorating pumpkins.
My sister-in-law had crayons, those foam sticker things, pom poms, and googlie eyes out for the kids to put on the pumpkins. Andy started out with two eyes and a nose and then it got a whole lot more complicated....and then his desire for quantity came in to play.

Andy is a mass producer. He is a worker. He likes to see progress.
If we go to the library Doug will have one book and Andy will have 15.
If we paint pictures Doug will paint one carefully painted picture and Andy will have 20 pages lined up drying on the floor with three strokes of paint on each one.

So we ended up coming home with 7 pumpkins. One from Josie, one from Doug and 5 that Andy decorated.

Friday, October 23, 2009

I passed

I got a letter saying that I passed the first part of my comps! Now I just have take minor comps on November 2nd and figure out how the rest of this program works and what exactly I am dissertation. But at least this milestone is past!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Can I just be a blob?

I'm feeling a little consumed by things right now. I need to figure out a way to break out some and get back at least a little bit of a feeling of control. Some of it may be that I am sick. Not bad sick, but I have a runny nose and a cough. It probably doesn't help that there have been adjustments lately and I am having a hard time getting motivated about getting school work done. All I really want to do is sit in front of the TV. I try to justify this desire by sorting laundry or cleaning something while I am watching, but I really think I just want to switch my brain off.
Ironically tonight on the way home from church Doug, who has been playing the part of "contrary boy" lately and testing his limits, said "I am going to throw out my toys and I am going to stop exercising and I am just going to watch TV all day." He did reassure Andy that he was only going to throw out his own toys. After mentioning what would happen if he did only watch TV all day I started mentioning specific toys. So far I have not found one toy that he has agreed to get rid of.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Last one down

We initially had some doubt about whether Doug's symptoms were allergy or virus.
Now that Josie ran a fever and has similar cough and drainage issues, Andy had a fever and cough and drainage, and I might have had a low fever and now have cough and drainage issues I don't think there is any doubt that what Doug had/has is viral.

So we are surviving here...it's just that we don't sound very lovely.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Adjustments

So there have been some adjustments at our house with Daddy being gone most of the week.
Doug talks about it but seems fine. He is sort of the happy go lucky type anyway so I am not surprised. He has perhaps been pushing me a bit more on things but it could just be his week since the boys seem to go back and forth about who is stubborn and who is cooperative.
Andy is funny because for a few months now when the subject of Daddy getting a job would come up he would slap his little hands together and look heavenward and pray "Dear God please help Daddy get a job." The last couple of night when we were praying before bedtime I would ask him if there was anything he would like to pray about and he would start "Dear God please help Daddy..." Then you could see the wheels visually turning as he would process that Daddy has a job and he would be trying to figure out what direction to take with the next statement. Last night it ended up "Dear God please help Daddy....find a new way to go to his job." (Oh, and he has been "composing a song that begins "God is in an airplane in your heart" and this is followed by other vehicle references.) Andy's biggest concern when he found out that Daddy would be in the trailer and not at home was where Daddy would go to church.
Josie has perhaps had the most difficulty adjusting. It probably doesn't help that she had a fever on Tuesday and then has been fever free but coughing for the rest of the week. Wednesday I ended up picking her up from preschool because "she just wasn't herself" and then Thursday she stayed with me. Today she was fine until I mentioned preschool and then she started laying around and saying that she was going to stay with me. I took her in and explained to her teacher what was going on and her teacher pried her off me. So hopefully she will have a good day and then this afternoon she can start having some quality Daddy time.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A simple question with a not so simple answer

I had no idea that Transformers were so complicated...
When Doug got this "boo boo" (if you can call three stitches a simple "boo boo") I was told that I had to change his band-aid three times a day.
We only had a few kid band-aids left and I really prefer to not wear band-aids with popular cartoon characters on them so I did not want to run through the skin colored ones.

Hence a trip to the pharmacy section of a store was in order.
First Doug and I had an argument in the car about what type of band-aids he could get. He said he wanted Power Ranger band-aids (which I have a personal bias against all the kicking and hitting so I do not permit Power Rager things) and I was suggesting Transformer band-aids.
Well, wouldn't you know that they do not make Power Ranger band-aids and my boy who often "over-labels" or "over-extends" REALLY meant that he wanted Transformer band-aids.

He likes to choose which band-aid he gets and at least there are a bunch of different patterns in the pack. He has actually learned how to open the outer white wrapper on the band-aid.

However, of the Transformers pictured on the band-aids I only know two of them. There is a third one (I'm assuming it is an Autobot since the other two pictured are Optimus Prime and Bumblebee and I KNOW that they are Autobots) that is sort of grey/brown and apparently turns in to a motorcycle.

This lead to the simple question"Who is that one mommy?"

The answer...I had to "try" to look it up.
Did you know that there are multiple eras/worlds/interpretations of Transformers?
Did you know that there are sometimes multiple color schemes for even the same Transformer?
Did you know that most people who have sites with information about Transformers will describe the battle function of the Transformer and even the personality but not necessarily give information about the corresponding vehicle that the robot becomes?
Do you know that some really strange stuff comes up when you start trying to Google info about Transformers?

I did not realize that the Decepticons all became military vehicles and the Autobots tend to be civilian vehicles. I did not realize that there are multiple versions of the back story and arrival of the Transformers depending on which comic, TV show, movie, or toy series you are talking about. Who know? I certainly did not know prior to last night.

I really do not want to know how much time I wasted spent Internet surfing trying to find the answer. My best bet is that it "might" be the Autobot named "Groove" but I am not entirely convinced.
Perhaps if I somehow find some "spare" time I can do some more searching.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A chilling experience

I'm not sure whether it is funnier to tell this story backwards or forwards.....
I'm sitting in the waiting room with Doug and Josie while Andy is at speech when the case manager walks out and hands me our "boo boo ice"(A plastic cube that can be frozen and refrozen for putting on boo boos. It has a bunny cover but more often than not the bunny cover has migrated elsewhere.)

Just before leaving for speech Andy fell down and said his hip hurt. Sometimes with 4 year olds it is just easier to give ice rather than argue whether it is needed or not.
I had vague thoughts while I was driving that I should have asked Andy where he left the ice because I didn't want it melting on top of something while we were at speech.
As we were coming in I asked Andy if he needed to go potty since he kept pulling at his crotch but Miss Megan was right there and off they went.

Yes, it turns out that the ice was in a very "sensitive" area.
I was blushing a bit when the case manager told me where she found it....

***Update: The ice pack was in his underwear. When I asked him later about why he had it there he said that "If I had to go to the bathroom I would have to hold it, but otherwise I would not have to hold it and it would stay in place." Gotta love the reasoning.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The competition

While I often notice how different my life is with multiple children compared to people who have only one (you don't have to worry about fighting over car seats, toys, who gets to pick the show to watch, etc.) there are times when it is "convenient" to have some competition.

Take tonight for instance.
We got home (since we had gone to Pajama Story Time at the library) and I wanted to get them immediately in bed. They did not seem to want to cooperate until I said "first one ready for bed gets to choose the first story."
Not ten seconds later Andy comes tearing out of his room. He was completely naked and headed for the next step. Doug was constantly asking me if he was "winning."
...no Doug, it is mommy who is really winning here.
In about 20 minutes I had all three on my bed reading stories and ready to go to sleep.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Kiss

Last Thursday Jim and I went inside to pick up the kids from preschool. They all came out from their separate classrooms and then Andy noticed that Anna Morgan was waiting in the car rider line. This is the same little girl we saw on campus at the beginning of September. She was one of the three girls I heard about from Andy last year and she is in Doug's class.
So Andy ran over to her and gave her a hug....
...and while still hugging they kissed


on the lips.

I think every adult in the immediate area either went "ahhh" or had a shocked look on his or her face.
So my little boy has now been kissed. How quickly they grow up.

Andy's comment on the way out: Three girl friends is enough for any boy.

The numbers

Doug has 1 split chin that resulted from falling on the 2nd driveway so that he has 3 stitches on his 4 year old chin that will come out in 5 days.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Full of promise

Last night I had a dream. It was dark and raging and stormy. We were in a car and were approaching a bridge over turbulent waters. About a block before the bridge we took a right turn and then a left turn for a detour and came around the corner to find six complete rainbows up in the sky shining through the storm.
Then I woke up.

Yesterday Jim got a job!
There are still many things to work out. It is in a high school that appears to have a strong administration, is not Title I, and he will be taking over a classroom in his favorite subject area in Math. He starts Monday!
The parts that need working out are that it is two hours away from where we live. He is currently outside checking over the RV. He has a reservation at a camping site that does monthly rates and sounds nice. Tomorrow we will pull it there and park it and then grab whatever else he needs for the week. It will definitely be a change for us, but I think we can make it work.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Weight lifted (well...mostly)

I try really hard not to relive tests....you know that thing about where you could potentially agonize over your answers and whether you could have done better?

Yeah, I try not to do that.
Once, when Jim and I were first married and we were both taking classes, one of his friends had taken a test and was agonizing over the answers and whether he got them right. He ended by saying "Well, I either passed that test or I failed it"
Um, yeah...those are the only two choices usually.

So I did the best I could do. I remembered all of what I had memorized about my citations. There might have been a thing here or there that I probably could have added or done differently, but I cannot change it now.
So it is out of my hands and that weight is lifted.
I should know something in a few weeks.
In a couple of weeks I will also have to take comps in my minor areas, but that will be a different preparation and for now there is no more I can do.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Strategy

This past week with preparations for taking this huge test I have been realizing how much weight I put on the concept of "strategy."

I have strategies for many different things. For instance
  • Going to the grocery store with three children I park nearest the cart return rather than worrying about parking close to the store. That way I can grab a cart before heading in so that I can put kids in it and then when I get back to the car I can dump the cart easily.
  • Getting the kids in bed I just keep them moving. It is sort of a changing strategy as the kids get older and more independent, but I run them through a strategy of routine (clothes off, potty, jammies on, brush teeth, etc.) and that seems to work.
  • I have sort of unwritten strategies for trying to accomplish something new on the computer (look at the possibilities in the menu, try some things, Google it if I am getting no where...)
So my strategy for preparing for comps has been to take advantage of a reasonably good memory and my knowledge of mnemonics. Hopefully by this point I am familiar with my content area. The first thing I did when I got to the test was type out the citations and key words and then I started working on the actual writing. The citations actually helped me focus my writing so that I remembered what I wanted to talk about.
For today and the three questions I had I memorized 22 citations that included one to three names, a year for each, and then a key word to remind me what the article was about. I am working on 37 citations for the 4 questions I will answer on Wednesday. For my keywords I am using a sentence with the words and typing them in after I have the main information there. For the names and dates I am trying to notice patterns and develop silly associations (that's where the mnemonics comes in) to help me remember. Things such as a gentile green bear coughing becomes Greene 2006, Kaufman, Gentile, & Baer, 2005, and Milne, & Reis 2000 (since Milne is also the author's name for Winnie the Pooh). So that with lots and lots of practice is what my strategy is to get me through.
Oh, and if you want to say a small prayer for me I certainly wouldn't mind.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

It's always the last place you look

I spent three days off and on looking for a certain paper and was not finding it.
Then Jim and I spent three intense hours look and cleaning and sorting looking for this paper.

We did not find it. So we decided that we would just have to call on Monday and see if we could get another printout.

So I decided to find the puzzle piece that the kids had pulled out and of course not five minutes after we stopped looking for the paper and in the course of looking for the puzzle piece I found the paper I needed underneath a bookshelf.

Funniest thing...what you are looking for is always in the last place you look.