Saturday, September 23, 2006

God is testing us. Darn it.

Thursday evening we were met with what we knew was coming, but still dreaded it anyway... the flipping of construction on Seven Mile, meaning the road will be torn up on our side. It's a good 4-foot steep ramp we have to make it up to go from the newly paved road onto the old paved road (they've dropped the height considerably). Our own street is blocked off, so we have to navigate through the neighborhood - not bad, but when everyone else is funneled into 2 streets it gets hectic. Anyhoo... it's the last of the inconvenience.

Roman is becoming more and more like his Mama every day. His temper... he sealed it for me this evening when he threw an absolute temper tantrum when we ended his bath early (even though he knew why - he dumped a cupful of water onto the floor). He was thrashing around, screaming, kicking, just carrying on. I dumped him in his room to let him calm down. After it got quiet, I opened the door - and he was in a fantastic mood, putting his pirate eyepatch on and going through his toybox. I was so angry at first, but then.... wait. I was exactly the same way. I had (and still do!) such a short temper that I would carry on the same way Roman did - slam doors, kick, scream... and then I was fine. Once I got all that anger out, I was done. Issue over, no big thing, let's move on! I could never figure out why my parents continued to be so angry.

So this is the test God has given me. I have "the curse" - I have a child JUST LIKE ME. Luckily, I am still quite in touch with my anger of the younger years, so hopefully I can translate to Doug how to best handle Roman. Thankfully he doesn't have these tantrums very often - maybe even a couple times a week is all - but it's all about control. Oh, man, are we in for a ride.

Roman also loves to repeat everything. He picked up one thing we had hoped to never teach him - he heard it from a Thomas video, of all things. And that is "stupid." One of the engines says "stupid bird" as it passes by. And Roman has said it about a billion times today. He finally got a time out for it after we told him to stop 999,999,999 times. I suppose we should be a little more forceful in our discipline.

Roman also was flossed for the first time today. We only got in between about 6 teeth, they're so close together. But we tried, and we'll try again tomorrow. He also was babysat by Miss Katie this afternoon while we went to listen to a pitch for a "resort campground" near Howell. If we didn't camp anywhere else ever it would be nice. But we have 3-4 places we are starting to put into rotation (Family Camp, Frankenmuth, Holly for the Ren Fest, and probably Sleeper for the Cheeseburger in Caseville Festival) and just can't see putting a membership into use. It really was a neat place, though, and only 45 minutes away. That'd be nice.

Anyway... a second child would be nice, too, while we're spending money. And a garage, and....

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

An old acquaintance, a new friend?

Roman has known Maxwell from his previous daycare; Max has just turned three. Max loves trains too, and we have run into him and his Mom at Barnes & Noble a few times (both there to play with the train table!). We saw them again last Wednesday and Max's mom asked why we weren't at daycare anymore, and we talked... she apparently is having the same reservations we did about the bigger room. We finally exchanged numbers and we talked tonight. We have a play & pizza date Tuesday from 5-6:30. I'm probably as excited as Roman will be.

Dara is the mom's name... she's working part time as a teacher (little ones, that's all I know - maybe preschool?) and really likes time to herself too. In fact, the reason we met is because she was taking Max to daycare 1-1/2 days a week even when she wasn't working, just so she'd have "downtime." Now that's a woman after my own heart!
We even have the same bedtimes for the boys, which we laughed because everyone else thinks it's so early (start the routine at 7:30!). Her hubby is in Germany for 3 months (sounds like he's toward the middle of his overseas adventure for work) so she's really trying to keep busy. It will be fun to chat and see how the boys play together.

Singin' the blues

"All sunshine and roses... no rain came my way..."

Well, that's Larry Cucumber's version of the blues. Me, it's more like - "all sniffy and achey... no Puffs coming my way..."

Been down and out for 3 days now. Been getting to bed by 8:30 the last two nights, asleep by 9:15. Heading that way again in a few minutes. Hoping to return to my regularly scheduled life tomorrow. Roman has been suffering the same thing, just a day or so "ahead" in symptoms. He appears to have energy, just stuffiness now. One can only hope.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Special Days

Today is Constitution Day. Or was, since I'm writing this at 7:50pm. In 1787 our Constitution was approved; flexible, yet strict; changeable, but unchanging in its goal to be the light for the great experiment of democracy.

Tomorrow is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. No more explanation needed.

Roman was able to recognize his own illness today. He asked me in the car if I was "kind of tired." I said I was, and he agreed - "yeah, I'm kind of tired too." Then later, as we watched a video, both lying on the couch, he kept wanting me to put pressure on his temples. I asked him how he felt, and he said "Good." I asked again, "you feel good?" And his reply was, "Actually, I don't." Poor guy. He is in bed (note the time above) with nary a complaint. I'm going in just a few minutes. Both of us are suffering the "postnasal drip" from allergies/weather changes.

Friday, September 15, 2006


Roman threw up for the first time today. He had gone out with me for "juice" at the Box Bar with some coworkers, and we shared fries with "the silly guy" (Mr. Wooster) and a couple onion rings from Ms. J. 1-1/2 hours later we were trying to get him to taste the Cowboy Stew for dinner (he was chowing on the chips) and he kept refusing. Finally, he said okay and took a bite. Now, Roman is classic for faking a gag reflex to try to demonstrate how much he hates our dinnertime food. This time, it got out of control... and he gagged so much he actually did throw up, right at the table. Poor thing, it scared him so much! Down his shirt, in his lap, on the floor, on his hand...

Daddy wiped his face and then I carried him to the bathtub, where I helped him out of his clothes, we rinsed off, and we changed into our dinosaur loungewear (jammies, but don't tell him that at 6:30 at night!). He's good now, we rested and had some water & crackers before bed. But it turns out vomit doesn't bother me nearly as much as I thought it would.

Monday, September 11, 2006

It doesn't let up.

A double meaning, today's title. Or applies to two different things. First and most obvious, is the sadness over today's date. Mitch Albom had a great article in Sunday's paper about this impending 5th anniversary, "Remembering the Day before the Day." And last night on CBS was Jules and Gedeon Naudet's accidental documentary on 9/11, with extra interviews with firefighter survivors at the end. I like it a lot - it's my second time watching. Had my good cry for the month, although I'm sure there's more in store tonight. It is not hard for me to remember the thoughts and emotions of that day - probably because I was alone without Doug at the time, as he was driving home from Tennessee that day. I came home from school (after a couple drinks at the Box with coworkers) and sat in front of the tv all afternoon, evening, and night - Doug didn't come home until 11:30pm or so. I remember every large moment that day, almost hour-by-hour. And I especially grieve for the wives and kids who lost their husbands.

But onward. The busy-ness doesn't let up around here either. Second week of school, things are pretty much under control paperwork wise, but time is being eaten up. I have a student teacher, plus parent night is Wednesday night, plus Roman's swim practice starts this week, and my second week of grad class. All of these are going fine - Joe is eager to learn and do, we're skipping swim practice Wedn. because of parent night, I am no longer nervous about parent nights (well... not so much, anyway), and the demands of grad class are not as much as in the past. Of course, I have to miss 2 days because of conferences/DC.

Through all this, Doug is the most wonderful man. He intervenes with laundry and finishes it or folds it; he cooks dinner if I ask (or seem overwhelmed, as today); he does the grocery shopping; he mows the lawn; he puts Roman to bed... all so I can get my work done and then have an hour or two of time with him. In return, I'm simply doing more work at school so I CAN spend an hour or two with Doug rather than work until bedtime.

My kids this year appear great. They don't want to think too hard, but I can get them to do that. They are well-behaved, follow directions as long as I'm precise, and quiet down immediately when I ask. Without me even training them! Now, the work of getting their brains to go where I want them to...

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I'm going to Washington, D.C.!

I'm pretty excited about this. Long story short, through the Teaching American History Grant, about 18 of us are going to DC for a weekend in October. Got my airline tickets yesterday evening! The Grant is covering airline and hotel. We are responsible for everything else, which basically only means food as most monuments/places are free. And try to resist buying all kinds of cool souvenirs, history dork that I am.

The mornings will be an organized tour of someplace, the afternoons & evenings we have to ourselves. Four teachers are going from my school so we're all flying together - we actually have conferences the night we fly out! Leaving Thursday night the 19th, returning Sunday morning the 22nd. Saturday morning's tour is being specially arranged - an inside tour of the Pentagon! October can't come soon enough, I'm so darn thrilled! I haven't been to DC since my freshman year Government trip.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

first day of school, as told loosely by Roman

*The following is what Roman reported to us after his first day, scattered among playing trains and dinner.

I got up so early this morning! We left our house and I rode with Daddy, and Mama led the way to Red Bell. I was kind of nervous walking in the place so I held both Daddy's and Mama's hands. We went to the Yellow Room but there was no one there! I did see a bunny rabbit in a cage, though! Mama remembered that everybody meets in the Green Room before 8am so Daddy held my hand as we walked upstairs. There were kids and teachers everywhere! Even Mama was shy about where to go and who to talk to.

I met my teacher, Miss Marie. She took my bag of naptime stuff and told us to play. I was a little overwhelmed and wanted Daddy to stay with me. The big boys in the corner were so loud! I did agree to look for some toys, and Mama and Daddy left. (I hear that Mama got teary when she left!)

I went to the Yellow Room with my class. There are lots of kids but I don't know any names. I don't have a friend yet but I did play with some kids on the playground. I got to go in the Bear Treehouse! Not on the pirate ship, though. I went down the slide this many times! (holding 4 fingers) I had ravioli, and bread with peanut butter, and green beans for lunch! And milk. And they have a Thomas book!

Mama picked me up right after naptime, but she said I'll usually have snack too before she picks me up starting tomorrow. I was very tired and slept all the way to the end of naptime. I had a note to take home to Daddy, a calendar describing each day's "theme," but we couldn't find my jacket! I have a cubby but I don't know where my jacket is now.

Mama asked if I wanted to go back to Red Bell and I said, "not really." But Mama said I could either go to Miss Connie's again or back to Red Bell, and I said I wanted to go to Red Bell. By dinnertime, Red Bell was the favorite part of my day! And also the Lego train.

By the way, Mama hurt herself this morning with her Coke. She dropped it on her big toe, right foot. She has a big bruise on her toenail and she's pretty sure it fractured since she said it's like the last time she broke her toe when she was younger. I bumped into it when we were playing swordfight and Mama said it hurt all over again. But she forgave herself for hurting herself, 'cuz I asked her to.

Monday, September 04, 2006

our child is brilliant.

Because Roman has been on the computer at his previous daycare, he kept asking to get on ours and "help" us on the Internet. So we went out to Costco last week and bought a 4-pack of computer games for ages 3-5 ($16.95!). Only one of them is a little above his age - surprisingly, the Pooh & Tigger one. His favorite so far is the "Reader Rabbit" where you have to play different "carnival" games to restore the carnival that used to be in the town. He plays Body Builders and Hide & Seek (like a "Where's Waldo" thing). On his Arthur one, though, he has really impressed us. He is so awesome at finding the right size shapes to fit into a "shadow" on the wall. Like they'll have a triangle as part of a truck, and give you two blocks of differing size, color, or angle. Roman is probably 95% accurate at choosing the right ones. The most frustrating is that he doesn't have the patience to listen to directions - he just wants to click all over the screen. But I tell you, for a 3-year-old he has darn impressed us.

Our family had a great day at the zoo today. Weather was perfect, behavior was close to perfect, and as always we saw animals and situations that always amaze. A zebra eating out of a zookeeper's hand. Walking through the new kangaroo exhibit - THROUGH the exhibit, as people are allowed in their enclosure now. A baby snow monkey, and a wolverine who practically posed for me on a rock. We ate a picnic lunch by the fountain and had Dippin' Dots as a treat before we left. And we can't forget the train ride!

Tomorrow is Roman's first day at "school" as he likes to call it. We got a postcard in the mail middle of last week welcoming him to the Yellow Room, and asking him to bring a family picture for his first day. I think I'm as nervous as he is. It's enough to take MY first day of school off my mind! I'm treating myself to a do-it-yourself foot bath / pedicure (all except the color - all my bottles of polish are old and icky), and watching "Antiques Roadshow" on PBS.

PS: Sad news on Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter. Doug and I are pretty shocked about it; we used to spend our early married years curled on the couch, watching his show. He has a wife and 2 young kids. So very, very sad.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

family movie night

We actually got Roman to take a nap this afternoon - he was THAT tired. Stinker has to be woken up during the week, but comes bouncing into our room at 6:35am this morning ready to have breakfast. I don't think so! Because he napped until 4pm (yup - from 2:30!) we realized he would stay up later. This called for a Family Movie Night! Seeing as Roman was not so impressed with "Pooh's Heffalump Movie" from NetFlix, we sent it back and relied on an already-owned movie. So popcorn popped and jammies on, we all curled up for a showing of "Cinderella." Neither Roman nor Doug had seen it before. I don't remember it being so s..l..o..w... but always good in the end. It ended around 8:30pm and Roman was in a daze. It might have been a popcorn-induced coma, because he ate almost an entire bag.

The rest of our plans for the weekend are simply relax... relax... do a little something... and relax. Church tomorrow for the first time since end of July. We have dinner plans with Mrs. K and Jack, whom we have not gotten together with since February. I decided to try again as Jack is closer to 3 now and maybe a little better behaved. Monday we're going to the zoo with a picnic, we think. And relax...