I’m molting….

Or at least that’s what I’m calling it.

 

Approx. 3-4 weeks ago, Casa de Thomas was struck by Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (which  is in NO WAY affiliated with Mad Cow Disease….or cows).   We  think it started with M-Man, the weekend of June 21st.  He claims to have been “feverish ” and “not feeling well”…..although he didn’t tell ANYONE, yet proceeded to become the only Thomas to wake-board.

A few days later, specifically, June 24th, T-man came down with a HORRIBLE fever (along with headache, nausea……none of which Advil helped)…which lasted through the 26th.  He wasn’t able to participate in Large-Boston-area College Basketball Camp for those 3 days….so we are just calling his camp fee a “donation” to the athletic department. He attended Friday…..apparently  he declared himself BORED staying at home…but complained about blisters on his feet as we were driving home. I attributed the blisters to the new b-ball shoes we bought.  (and….to put it as politely as possible…..I didn’t really want to look at T-man’s feet —YUCK!)))

Friday, June 27th, Little Guy wasn’t feeling well…..run down and feverish (no other symptoms, appetite is OK)…..couldn’t tell if it was the same as T-man, or just a case of possible exertion/dehydration from the hoops camp.   On Saturday, Little Guy  had a birthday party to attend, and he claimed, and swore up and down, that he was feeling better. (Mom noticed slow movement and lethargy…but who am I to argue???).   Little Guy has been invited to so few parties this year…..I questioned him up and down on “how he was feeling”…..and he convinced me enough to send him to the birthday party.

The following day, Sunday, was Little Guy’s soccer team’s end of the season party.  We all went—big boys too (although begrudgingly).  After the party, Little Guy is complaining about spots/blisters on his hands and feet.  Once we get home, Hubby checks them….yes, Little Guy has red spots and blisters.  So I check out my trusty friend, Dr. WebMD.com, and when I put together “fever” and “spots/blisters”……the answer came up as Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease…….which is typically acquired by children 10 and under, primarily toddlers. [yes–I did the “right thing” and contacted all the parents who went to the party]

You wanna guess what’s happens Wednesday July 2nd????

I come down with a mongo-huge fever, no appetite, advil did ZILCH to take away the fever.  And it flows into July 3rd—-the day we leave for vacation.  Luckily, I am strong-willed enough to “cure myself” to the point where I can make it to the airport.

But the REAL FUN doesn’t begin until July 4th……where I start developing blisters, hot spots, peeling skin….molting….on my hands and feet……which as been going on for 3 fun-filled weeks now.  My feet are raw and tender, and walking (my primary form of exercise) is painful. So much for it being a 10 and under disease.

I have bought myself a $5 bottle of nail polish and given myself a home-remedy mani/pedi, because NO MANICURIST would want to touch my feet.   I spent 3 days putting Neosporin on the tender spots, kept my feet up, done little to nothing.  I take a decent-length walk, and my feet are BURNING in pain.  Today, I went to the beach, the hot sand BURNED my feet, the wet sand scratched my feet, and the cold water felt refreshing. My feet are actually worse now……sigh.

So I sit here and complain trying to figure out how in god’s name I will function with burning feet………

 

One step at a time.

My Love/Hate Relationship with Electronic Devices

I have decided that I have a love/hate relationship with electronics…..especially actually when it comes to my kids.

Up until recently, my kids have not been video-game junkies. They have had Leap Frog game consoles, then we got a Wii, then Nintendo DS.  The Leap Frog and the DS were primarily used for car rides and restaurant trips.  Isn’t it nice to go out to dinner and have the waitress say “What well behaved children you have!”…..only to secretly thank the Japanese for their technology. At home, they have always had a nice mix of TV, books, games, creative play (LEGO, manhunt, pirates, etc), sports.  And some “gaming” thrown in too.  I was never worried or concerned about over-excessive thumb use.

Until recently.

This past Christmas, Santa was so kind to bring each of the big boys an iPod Touch each.

And it has been non-stop thumb work-outs. I’ve tried to set limits.  One hour per day.

They would wake up and play, and then I’d say “OK, one hour is up”…..one would complain that he only played for 1/2 hour (because he woke up later), so I would have to keep track of another 30 minutes. And then they’d go to school, do their homework, and whip out their iPods and start playing again, and get away with it, because I’m busy making dinner….they are quiet….and I forgot about the mornings One-Hour Rule.

And then I would have Little Guy complain “But I didn’t play for an hour!!”…..and sometimes he is allowed to play his bro’s IPT (as it is referred to at our house)…..but sorry, Little Guy…..I consider standing over your bro’s shoulder and staring at the video screen for two hours pretty much the same as actually playing.

And now summer vaca has rolled around.  The first three weeks of their vacation has been pretty tiring (IMO….perhaps it’s just Mommy-Guilt). First week was basketball camp in 90 deg temps, 2nd week was non-stop 5 hrs of flag football camp, and last week was full day (8:30am-4:30pm) YMCA camp.  On top of that, they had soccer team tryouts, Wed. night Summer Basketball, two nights of fireworks, parties with friends.  Seeing how tired my 3 fellas were, I thought being a couch-butt wouldn’t be a bad thing. I  allowed them to play their electronic devices (the DS’s came back into action too….as well as their computer MINECRAFT game). And then I noticed….from 6am til bedtime (while not in camp) all 3 kidlets were on an electronic device.

But then, I realized that it’s summer.  Being stuck inside should be a winter thing.  I asked, requested, cajoled, instructed, and then finally DEMANDED they go outside.  It was as if I was asking them to enter Hades. And the temps aren’t scorching like they are in the rest of the country.  Mid 80’s at best. They would go out for 10 minutes, and come back inside for more thumb workouts. I hope this isn’t the redefined “summer vacation.”  Where are my creative, energetic kids?

Yesterday, we thought it might be a nice day to take the boat out—Hubby’s foot has been doing much better—we gave the kids a choice —go boating or spend the day playing video games (this was a test from Hubby).  T-Man answered….”Dad, we could have the best of both worlds–play video games for the 2 hr car ride up and 2 hr car ride back, and be in the boat during the day.” M-Man (my outdoors guy) ACTUALLY said he rather stay home because he can’t get wi-fi in the car!  The look of disappointment on Hubby’s face was indescribable.

So I have taken away all electronic devices for the entire week.

The car ride up to the lake? One hour of playing car games as a FAMILY, and one hour of reading.  One the way home–one hour of talking about what a great day we had, and one hour of reading/talking/playing. Absolutely fabulous.

This week’s VBS camp is only half-day, 9am-12pm.  Plenty of time to enjoy the fabulous 80 deg, sunny weather we will have this week OUTSIDE PLAYING.

Right now, as I type this….on my electronic device….I can hear the TV on in the other room…but I also hear them creatively role-playing. It is awesome.

I think we’re going to have a great week around here. And in the mean-time, I think the VP is going to have to re-work the Electonic Device Policy.

Getting Hosed

Call me a traditionalist. Say that I’m a glutton for punishment.

I like pantyhose.

I like how they make my legs smooth and shiny.  I like how the “control top” keeps things “together” a la spanx. I like how during a New England Winter, it ads that extra layer of warmth.  And along the lines of New England winter, they add color to my pasty white winter legs.  (But just for MORE information, I don’t wear hose in warmer weather).

So I have to admit, that over the last 15 or so years I have rarely purchased pantyhose/nylons. For four years, I lived in California—no need for warmth or tanned-looking legs—I had the real thing going on. The last 10 years, as a stay-at-home mom, I rarely had an occassion where I needed pantyhose/tights.  Once a year …….maybe.

But now that I’m working, I seem to be wearing more skirts, and hence need pantyhose.

My Go-To store…..mainly because of convenience and reputation for “good deals”…..is Target.  Do you know how much ONE PAIR OF PANTYHOSE COSTS AT TARGET?!?

$8

A Pair.

And they are NOT super-strength that last for several wears.

I don’t want to date myself here, but last time I was buying pantyhose/tights “in bulk” I was paying $3-5 per pair.  GRANTED….. that was a WHILE ago, and I have to take inflation into account….but I really don’t think the technology has improved (clearly) or the material is in short supply.

Sigh.  Seems like I have to go to the mall and start some comparison shopping. For Hose.

Really?

Broken….for a little while

QUESTION: What do you get when you have 3 boys, 2 skateboards, a dog, and a tennis ball all outside in February?

(Sounds like a Horrible combination, eh?)

ANSWER:  An ugly mess that results in a broken arm

Last Thursday, yet another mild winter day for us in Suburban Boston, my children went outside. First it was just Little Guy and M-Man, playing hoops. But things weren’t going so well between Little Bro and Big Bro, so T-Man declared “I’ll go outside to keep the peace!” (Thanks T-MAN!)

Not five minutes later, I hear this God-aweful continuous howling outside. Mommy-instinct KNOWS it’s bad.  I run to the front door and open it, but T-Man is yelling from the Basement “M’s Hurt.” Apparantly, Little Guy was getting back at Big Bro by throwing the tennis ball near where he was skateboarding. And the dog tackled M-Man off the skateboard. (BOYS………..ERGHHHHHH)

I find M, lying on the driveway on his left side, unable to move his left arm (did I ever mention, he’s a lefty?).  I get him to sit up, and I check his arms for swelling, bleeding or bruising, but I don’t see any.  I move him into the basement and get him some ice, but Mommy Spidey-sense is telling me that ice isn’t going to help this one…..He’s still howling in pain. And his elbow is starting to swell.

I pack the kids up and go to the local urgent care. I call my mom to get T-Man and Little Guy since it’s around dinner time, and we all know how emergency rooms can be. All in all, we didn’t wait long to be seen, or have X-rays taken. But the shocker was when the doctor came into our exam room, and without going near M-Man, looks at me at said, “I strongly suggest you take him to Children’s Hospital for evaluation rather than an orthopedic around here.”  EXCUSE ME?

I ask, “What exactly did you see in the Xray that you are sending us to Children’s? Now?”

I didn’t understand his Latin medical terminology, but I did hear surgery and pins. Oh boy. I call my mom and text hubby (who is on a plane back home) that we’re heading into Boston.

Dr. Urgent Care was right. M-Man required surgery to place pins in his elbow as he damaged his growth plate. He’ll be in a cast for 4-6 weeks.

And even with a cast from his knuckles to his shoulder, M-Man still wants to play with LEGO.

Our experiences the last few days reminded me of a few things.

First, M-Man is just an AMAZING kid.  Ok, I already knew that. But my time with him re-affirmed it!  Although at first impact, I’m sure his pain was a 20 on a scale of 1-10, by the time we were asked at Urgent Care, he said it was an 8.  By the time we reached Children’s Hospital, he said it was down to a 6. And after 5 hours in the Children’s ER, he stated it was a 4. And throughout the entire evening….throughout the entire 48 hour stay at Children’s….he was smiling the whole time.  He was such a trooper.  His spirit is awesome (and contagious). A total joy to be around and take care of.

I am also extremely grateful to be living 20 minutes away from one of the best, if not THE BEST, Children’s Hospital in the world.  The level of care and compassion is truly second to none. This is the third time (second for M-Man) that our children have had to go to Children’s. I have so much confidence in the expert care they provide. However, taking a trip to Children’s Hospital can be heart-wrenching–seeing so many children who are sick, or disabled, or need the specialized care that only Children’s can provide. It makes me appreciate so much that my children are strong, healthy, thriving children. THANK YOU GOD.

The next few weeks should be interesting. But M-Man is young, healthy, drinks his milk. And with that great spirit, how could he not heal quickly?

Wine or Whine Not….A Psychic Night in

A fellow MOT (and new friend) hosted an event last night at her house……a variation of the traditional “MOT Night Out,” which usually takes place at a restaurant.  She dubbed it “Whine or Whine Not”…..nice play on words, huh? And to make it even more interesting, she had her psychic Gloria come and do 15-20 minute readings for each guest.

It has been approximately 15 years since I’ve had a “real” psychic reading. Back then, Vi came to my house and did an outstanding….spot-on….reading of things going on in my life and predicted things that did actually come true. Since Vi’s reading, I have been to a psychic once–probably about 11 years ago–but it was a very “generic” reading, i.e “you will be traveling soon, you have a great relationship, but past conflicts.” Because of all the STUFF going on at home and in my head, I found this MOT Night Out to be a MUST DO.

I was the fourth one to go upstairs. I went into the room where Gloria was sitting and introduced myself.  She asked me for my date of birth (month, day, year), and asked me to shuffle a deck of cards while she looked up my birthday in the Astrology book she had.  While I continued to shuffle, she declared that I am a true Gemini….all my moons/stars/planets are Gemini.  I found this a little odd, because although I am aware I was born when the moons were changing, I have always considered to carry Cancer traits.  Whatever…..I was still listening.  apparently, in the last 4 years Gemini has been in turmoil.  In the last 4-6 months, Gemini has been trying to correct itself and find balance again.

Gloria then asked me to return the deck of cards to her, and then take one card from a turquoise deck and four cards from a purple deck. Then my reading began.

Except that it didn’t.  She looked at the cards. She looked at me.  She told me that in order for her to have a successful reading, I needed to let my aura free.  At the time, I was sitting at the edge of my seat, sitting straight up, and holding my breath. TENSE. Upon her prompting, I moved to the back of the chair, closed my eyes, took deep breath, and tried to relax.

It helped.

Here is what Gloria said:

  • I am a private person who will listen to people tell their life stories, but I only reveal certain things to certain people. I must find the person to be trustworthy first before I give up any personal details/stories about myself.  I prefer to write down my thoughts/feelings/fears/ideas rather than talk to someone. I like to write all these things down, and go back to read and re-read and think about what I wrote.  (Hmmmm, blogger that I am……)
  • I am smarter than I give myself credit or let people know.  I am very intelligent.  I need to do something with that intelligence because what I am doing now is not cutting it.
  • I am in a state of antsy frustration. I need more than what I have, but I am not looking for financial gain or advancement. More of a mental stimulation and sense of purpose.
  • Gloria sees me going back to school.  Not necessarily to get another degree, but to learn something that would be directly  job related, to help advance the path I end up on.
  • She kept seeing me in an “institution”  (HAHAH!…..Ok, not that kind of institution!) There wouldn’t be any small kids, just adults. Maybe a college, a hospital. Somewhere were I would be helping people.
  • My spouse/partner is not being supportive, and it’s been a cause for additional frustration. He isn’t understanding what I need.  But regardless of what he thinks, I will forge ahead with my plans and all will work out.  This frustration is a rough patch in our relationship, but it will not last. I need to hang in there because he will learn that what I am doing is the right thing. She told me that the children will be OK and are old enough to take care of themselves.

At this point, I was in shock and awe.  The only information she had about me was that I was a mom of twins (she was told all the guests were MOTs), my first name, and my date of birth.

In addition, she stated she sees me writing/publishing a book. Not necessarily in the near future, but sometime in my lifetime.  She concluded that I need to go ahead with my plans to find happiness and fulfillment. It will calm me down and help me be “whole.”

After all that, I went back downstairs for a glass of wine……

The Scream

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Do I feel better? No, not really. Life at Thomas Inc has been……..grossly overwhelming as of late. I have been a ball of tears, screaming at my kids, screaming at my Hubby, waiting for the next shoe to drop. Headaches, stomach aches, grinding teeth, heavy heart.  It’s been mainly caused by having to deal with  one of my son’s “transition” issues on returning back to school. His impulsiveness and lack of organization, as well as his lackadaisical attitude, all compound the issues.  All while dealing with it alone as Hubby is traveling for 2 weeks.

I’m not one who asks for help.  For whatever reason, my inner voice has always believed in “My problem, I solve it/deal with it.” It’s my kid, my issue. Just like when the twins were babies, and I was having trouble dealing with baby times two…it was my primary responsibility to care for them. Who else would understand? As a matter of fact, I am feeling so much like I did back then, that I might just call my doctor to see about getting some more happy pills so that I can somehow cope better.

I have spent the last 11 days analyzing “Where did I go wrong?” “What could I have done differently?” “Would have it mattered?”

The answers I came up with, was that I did everything to the best of my ability. Some things I cannot control or change. Nature probably beat out nurture on this one. I can only continue to love him, support him, and help him in any way that I can.

I have a great amount of new respect for those single parents out there.  Wow—Kudos to you for doing it on your own. This “solo-parenting for a short while” is not new to me. Hubby has traveled once a month for 9 years now. Granted, this is only the 3rd or 4th time he’s done a 2 week trip. But, man, I’ve never had to deal with the multitude of issues/feelings that I am dealing with now. It’s been a very long, depressing 2 weeks.