Friday, January 14, 2011

The Zodiac Said Yesterday That Apparently My Sign Changed From Leo To Cancer. Hmpf. The Zodiac Clearly Hasn't Seen My Mane.

I know you're expecting big news today.  It's been a slow week what with a sick baby, a snowstorm, the foot still in a boot, and mom leaving for Florida, so there's bound to be a big breakthrough one of these days, right?  Well readers, today is not that day. 

I was back on serious mommy to a sick boy duty today so I barely even had a free arm most of the day let alone a free minute to do anything for myself.  Brody is just so not himself and he just has this pitiful look on his face.  There are a few moments where he attempts to get down and play, but it's basically an exercise in futility as he switches between whining, crying, and screaming until he is safely curled up in my lap again.

Quick side note... as I type this Hope Floats is on.  And right now I am hearing one of the best songs by my favorite singer ever... "To Make You Feel My Love" by Garth Brooks... ooohhh I love this song.... I wouldn't mind dancing to it with Harry Connick Jr right now... but I digress...

I actually DID manage to do something for myself today, although it was a pretty small step indeed... But I booked a hair cut and color for myself!  This may sound VERY trivial to some of you, but let me assure you, this is a VERY big deal for me! 

I have such a huge mane of very thick, curly hair, I only get my hair cut and colored like once a year because the process takes at least 2 hours and I just never seem to be able to justify the time and money spent on myself.  So I don't!  But today I found out a friend of my sister is starting out at the salon at which I get my hair done and she's offering AMAZING deals to get her client base started and I completely pounced on that! 

I'm sure she'll be seriously regretting agreeing to work on my hair for such a good price once she sees what she's dealing with but.... we're locked in now so I'm ready to put my life (hair) into her hands!  Even though getting my hair done is always such an expensive endeavor because of how much of it I have I always leave a pretty great tip because I know the girl has really worked her butt off and that I've blocked her out of 2 or 3 other clients and with a deal like this, this girl can expect a REALLY great tip from me so hopefully she finds it worth her while.  :) 

Now I have to remind myself to make an appointment to get the Brodster's hair cut because he is really starting to look a little like Justin Beiber!!  Still comPLETEly adorable, but definitely in need of a haircut!  :) 

** Change Can Be Good. I Promise. It Really Can Be.

Since I've started this blog a short time ago already I'm finding that about 87 times a day something happens that I tell myself, hey, I want to blog about that!  But... it doesn't have anything to do with my quest to Live My Best Life so I don't. 

I've wrestled with the idea of starting a separate blog more about the musings of my daily life.  But then I think... well I'd want to start like 20 separate blogs!  One about all the funny things the kiddos do each day.  One about all the drama in my life.  One about all the stuff I buy that I would want people to either run straight to the store and buy for themselves or to be sure to not even consider wasting their time or money on.  One about all the tv shows I'm addicted to.  And the list would go on and on....

I thought.... I guess I could combine all of these into one and just make it kind of one random blog, separate from this 365 days to Live My Best Life blog, but all encompassing on anything else in the world I feel like getting off my chest, but really... who has the time for that.  I'm hardly organized enough to remember my 2 different email accounts let alone manage 2 different blogs.  Hell I haven't even figured out what I need to know about blogging yet anyway so I'm probably not the best person to start branching out. 

So this is what I decided.  Screw it!  I'm going to blog about what I want to blog about when I want to blog about it and do it all in one blog.  (See if you can come up with a sentence that uses the word blog more than that!)

In case you'd rather read my random thoughts than checking in on my quest to live a better (My Best!) life or vice versa, this is what I'm going to do for you....

If I am posting a more random blog the title will start with two asterisks, like this one.  My regular, daily blog posts about trying to live more like Oprah, won't have one.  Simple, right!?  :) 

I'm excited about adding this to my blog... once I figure out more about the whole blogging thing maybe I'll learn a way to compartmentalize things... until then... please enjoy one or both parts of my little blog!  :)

At The End Of The Day There Is Just Enough Time Left Over For Me To.... Fill Out Some Forms.

MRI was today.  Here's hoping the foot is healing as well as it feels like it is!  I still have some pain depending on what I do, but it is definitely feeling MUCH better so I'm cautiously optimistic!  Of course I won't find out the results for like another 10 days soooo.... lots more waiting ahead!

Brody was much more like himself today, although still not 100%.  He at least was somewhat playful and smiling and not completely attached to my side.  He had his moments, but he definitely ventured out more.  Seriously?  One shot of antibiotics and he's healthy again?  I hate not knowing what's making him sick because I don't feel like I know if he's really better or not.  I know that the most important thing is that he is feeling better and I just need to let go of my freakish mom-ochondriacness and be happy he's feeling better. 

Today was a pretty busy day.  After getting the kids off to school, going to get the MRI and then picking up some yummy Panera Bread to go for lunch (all with the help of my dad... I am so sick of these crutches!) it was after noon before I finally got home.  I spent the next hour and a half trying to figure out what was wrong with my computer.  We'll chalk this up to a total of about 30 hours now over the past 6 weeks.  I feel like Dell should be putting me on the payroll.  They finally had to send someone out Tuesday who basically replaced my entire computer, leaving only the shell it came in, and it's still not performing right.  On top of that they neglected to mention that when they did that, they wouldn't be resending the same hard drive I had purchased originally, preloaded with Microsoft Office and all sorts of other things that I now have to buy again.  It's safe to say I'm a little less than thrilled with them right now.

So before I knew it I had to pick the kids up from school.  After getting Liv and then to the preschool it was going to be 5 before we got home.  Not a huge deal but the girls had cheer practice tonight at 6 so it kind of put us in a bind.  Especially when the boyfriend called and said he was going to be running late (as usual) and wouldn't be home until close to 6.  The neighbor girl helped me bring Brody in and I spent the next half hour getting the kids set up with some snacks (apples and peanut butter for the girls, apples and bananas for Brody) and got Olivia started on studying for her spelling test. 

This is how every one of my days goes, it seems like!  I didn't even work and the minutes flew by we are constantly running behind!

The girls practice is usually over around 715.  Tonight it was 730 and they were still going.  We left.  We still had to eat dinner, get more spelling practice in, and do Liv's nightly reading!  Ooohh how the days go by.

I asked Scott to PLEASE keep Brody and Ava in the living room and occupy them so Liv could concentrate on finishing her homework.  I generally ask him this every single night, and every single night he sits himself down in front of the tv and somehow doesn't realize that Brody wanders into the kitchen to find me every 2 and a half minutes or so.  So every night it's me yelling, "Boyfriend!  Please come and get Brody!" 47 times while Liv and I do homework.  Sooo helpful, eh? 

Tonight he actually did a fairly decent job of keeping the kids out of the kitchen but this pulls at my heartstrings just as much because his idea of "occupying" them is pretty different than mine.  It has to do with either him turning on cartoons and sitting in a chair while Ava watches and Brody plays and he zones out and doesn't speak to or play with them, or he turns on something he wants to watch while Ava and Brody both play and he doesn't speak to or play with them.  What fun for them!  Ugghhh...

Anyway... it was almost 930 before the girls got to bed!  It's not right!  How does my day slip by like this?  And I still had to get Brody down!  This is one of the main reasons I need to figure out how to better organize and streamline my life.  Any suggestions will be welcomed and appreciated!  :)

So Brody goes down and it's after 10 and I haven't even had a minute to myself let alone had a minute to do something for myself to Live My Best Life.  This is seriously turning out to be harder than I thought!!!  But I am committed to this.  I have to do SOMETHING that will work towards making my life better so I set out to figure out what that would be for today.

But first I have to check my email and my Facebook page, right?  I mean, I still have to stay up to date with what's going on with all of the people I know that have fairly normal lives, right?  :)  But that's when I stumbled upon the answer for the day.  A kids consignment sale!

I have looked into these in the past and have been very interested in them but honestly, they seem like a lot more work than they probably end up being worth, but there is something about them that has always made me keep them in the back burner of my mind.  There is a group that runs several of these sales on a pretty huge sale 3-4 times a year around my area of the state.  I've always wanted to go to look for things for my kids but something has always kept me from being able to attend, which is probably a good thing because something like this would probably be seriously detrimental to my finances, and those can't take too much more detriment, believe me!

But now that Brody is getting bigger, I have a small baby store factory of gear and toys and clothes that I could get rid of.  I sold pretty much everything baby-related after the girls were born.  I was getting divorced and had come to terms with and even began to accept and be happy with the fact that Ava would be my last baby.  So I sold everything I could and donated everything else.  Then... surprise!  Brody!!  :)  (BEST surprise of my life, hands down!)  But it meant I had to repurchase EVERYTHING.

Now, 15 months later, I am the proud owner of an stroller/carseat travel system, a double stroller, 3 lightweight strollers, and another basic stroller.  And that's just my stroller collection!  That's nothing to speak of high chairs, pack and plays, baby carriers, other carseats, bouncers, and the list goes on and on.  I joke that I would seriously start a baby gear rental company if I lived in a location where I thought it would be worth it.  There is one near the beach we go to in Florida and I know they are constantly doing business renting strollers, porta cribs, carseats, and the like to vacationers who don't feel like travelling with all that stuff.  But in my little burg I just don't think there'd be much use for that kind of business so... consignment sale here I come!

I filled out the forms to become a consignor and I'm not kidding when I say it is a seriously confusing, lengthy process!  I'm excited about it, though.  The sales aren't until the fall so by then I'll have even more to to get rid of and I'll have the summer (and hopefully full use of all my limbs) to get all the stuff ready.  Yay! 

Whatever I don't sell I'm just going to donate.  I mean, I wish I could just donate it all but let's face it, I could definitely use the money.  But I'm making a commitment right now (hold me to this! And tell my mom because I KNOW she'll hold me to it!  LOL) that nothing that gets carted to the consignment sale makes it back into my house.  Nothing!  Hopefully I can make a few dollars on my gear and help some people out by getting them some good deals on some baby clothes and gear that are still in great shape, and then help some people even more by donating the rest.  Win-win-win!  :) 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Um, Please Don't Guess What's Wrong With My Son. Figure It Out And Fix It, Thanks.

I'm sorry to say, blog of mine, that I have nothing much to report today.  Brody is really sick.  :(  I spent most of the night holding him... he would literally scream whenever I made a move to put him down and just wrapped his little arms around me with a death grip.  The death grip didn't loosen this morning... I spent the day in the rocker with him until after noon when he woke up and only lightly fought me as I put him down and my step-mom put him in his high chair to see if we could get him to eat anything.

He soon stopped crying but it was clear he was just really off.  I did get him to get some food down although he won't hardly drink anything.  And this is the boy who will suck down a sippy cup of water in about 5 seconds and want more.  Worried about my guy.  :( 

Because of a pretty constant stream of snot that was really thick and yellow (TMI?  Sorry... I realize not everyone is a mom and therefore would be completely grossed out by this but I can't help it... that's what it was!) I figured he for sure had another ear infection.  Olivia already had a doctor's appointment this afternoon so I called to see if we could get the Brodster in too.  Sure, no problem, bring all your kids and all your money, was pretty much the answer to that.

Olivia and Ava have barley been sick in their lives.  Olivia had pinkeye a couple of times as a baby, and has had a fairly mild flu a few times.  Ava has had one minor ear infection and strep once.  She goes through more bouts of not feeling great and I think this is attributed to (diagnosed by me) her having sleep apnea causing her to be pretty tired all the time, but she's never down for long.  :)  Brody?  Sick all the freaking time.  Poor little guy I don't know what to do for him.

I will say that it does worry me somewhat that his father believes that he is sicker than anyone could possibly ever be in his life pretty much 2-3 times each week.  I know that he sometimes is actually sick, but for the most part, I really see this as a sign of his wimpiness and need to make himself act completely put upon all the time while at the same time freeing him up even more from helping with the house or kids.  I'm sure that sounds pretty mean, but if you would spend a week with him, you'd totally know what I mean.  Anyway, I worry that Brody will have some of this wimpiness in him and I don't want him to! 

But... he really is sick on a fairly regular basis and honestly, no one ever knows what's wrong with him.  It's so frustrating!!!  Since he was born I've dealt with problems with a near constant state of congestion and runny noses, diarrhea at least twice a month, he's had exema, herpangina, the worst diaper rash anyone's ever seen, serious unexplained rashes, and so far in his not quite 15 months of life, 4 ear infections.  What do I do with this boy?  LOL

It just really gets to me because he's had a lot of tests run on him, several blood tests, stool sample tests, culture tests, allergy tests, and so on.  But everything always comes back negative.  He did test positive for an extremely slight peanut allergy, and for awhile everything was blamed on that, but I've always known that wasn't all there was to it and the doctors finally pretty much called everything "unexplained" and let it at that. 

The past couple of days I already mentioned that Brody has had a fever.  I didn't take his temperature, I could feel the fever, but it seemed low, like maybe around 100.  At the doc's office my poor little sad boy had his temperature taken, and I found out he had a 104.4 fever!  I mentioned that I hadn't given him anything since around lunchtime, both because it hadn't yet been 4 hours, and also because Brody is notorious for being as sick as can possibly be until the minute we walk into the doctor's office when he suddenly is the happiest, healthiest boy you've ever seen.  I needed to make sure they saw how sick he was!

I'm pretty sure the pediatrician and the nurse both thought I was a sadist.  The ped said, "give this boy some Motrin before he has a seizure!"  Um, OK.  I'll be accepting my award for Worst Mother of the Year at a little ceremony this Friday.

So back to the Brodster.  The doc figured it was an ear infection.  Nope.  Then she looked at his throat, happy and healthy and the perfect pink.  So she thought maybe the flu.  She shoved a horrible long stick hard up his nose.  I had no warning that this was going to happen!  Brody screamed his little head off and I cried.  I'm so sorry, baby!  Anyway... flu?  Negative.

So what in the H is wrong with my guy?  The doctor said "it's probably something that's going around.  Let's get him on some amoxycillin.  OK, I have no problem there.  I want him better!  But doesn't it seem a little like putting the cart before the horse?  Don't we need to figure out what's actually wrong with him?

I guess not.  For now we assume it's a sinus thing, apparently.  And hope that the amoxycillin clears up whatever it is that's wrong with him.  If not.... back to the doc's on Friday I guess.

Has anyone else gone through this?  I just can't accept "it's probably (insert best educated guess here)," or "we'll just call it unexplained," or "well, all the tests came back negative and he seems fine now so [even though he's been dealing with something crazy for the past 3 weeks] let's just chalk it up to an unexplained childhood illness."  It's my SON!!  I want to know what it is that's actually wrong with him so I can make sure we fix it! 

I love our pediatrician, I really do.  One of the things I've always liked about her is her laid back attitude about things which is the perfect foil for my tendency to assume every fever is leukemia, every rattly breath is the sign of lung failure, etc.  She really does keep me grounded a lot.  And truth be told, much of what I'm mentioning happened over the summer while she was off for 2 weeks and we were dealing with another doctor in the practice.  So I don't want to make it seem like she's not competent, she's really been great for us over all these years.  But when my son has 104.4 fever and it's not an ear infection, the flu, or strep, I want to know what it IS!  I don't want to know what it "probably" is. 

I'm dealing with it right now the best way I know how.  Lots of love and antibiotics and ibuprofen for my sweet boy, and lots of Internet searches to read everything I can find on it.  I'm hoping I find some answers, or at least enough answers to let me calm down about it a little, but if not I'm just hoping that my little lovey boy feels better tomorrow.  So far we're doing better than last night... he's still asleep.  :) 

What did I do to Live My Best Life today?  Just.... tried to Be My Best Mommy. 

Tomorrow:  MRI on the ankle (scared!) and.... I don't know... I guess we'll see what else the day will bring for me!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I Can Lock My Keys In My Car 4 Times This Year

The baby has been sick, and therefore completely attached to me, which in my current crutches state, has pretty much left me completely attached to a chair.  During those rare moments when I absolutely need to pry him from my arms, we are all forced to listen to him scream for as long as it takes for me to do whatever I needed my arms for and then I quickly scoop him back up and he calms down and all is right with the world again.  So the old blog and the old quest to Live My Best Life have kind of taken a backseat to my quest to keep the Brodster as comfortable and happy as possible.

But I missed one day I didn't want to miss 2 days (even though I'm late tonight) so once I was finally able to have someone break his seal to me without waking him up and enraging him and getting him into his bed I am staying up a bit longer to get a quick post in for the day.

You probably know by now that I am quasi-addicted to these coupon deals I get via email every day.  Groupon, Living Social, Mamapedia, Fudha, all of them... they have my number.  They are like, we LOVE this girl.  She keeps buying our stuff.  SEND HER MORE!!!  Here's the newest way to keep a shopaholic, a deal-hunter-holic, constantly spending money.  The kids and the bills may keep her out of the stores, and she may be able to try not to click all the way through to the "commit to order" button when online window shopping, but you can't keep her from looking at her email!  And when those emails boast subject lines saying 50% off!, 90% off!, Great deal to simplify your life!, 85% off!, she doesn't have much hope in keeping her resolve. 

I always think I only fall for the best of the best deals, but today I really do think I got a good one!  And I really do think that it's going to be a good help this year while I'm trying to Live My Best Life.  I signed up for an AAA membership!  It was offered at 50% off through Groupon and I just felt like I couldn't pass that deal up! 

I've only had a membership once before because I've always decided that I don't want to spend the money on it.  I drop $50 at Target generally twice a week but I can't spend $55 once a year to join AAA?  I know, I know.  I don't make sense. 

I've needed AAA service many times over these years that I haven't been a member.  My dad has used his more than once to have my car towed or a tire fixed.  My mom has used hers to unlock my doors more than a few times.  Last summer on the road trip from hell (our annual June trek to Florida) we had to call AAA 3 times for various reasons.  My mom used her AAA each time.  The Friday before Christmas, at close to midnight, I somehow managed to lock my keys in the car at a gas station.  Out treks my mom in the cold at midnight to save the day again.  Shortly after that she got a letter in the mail from AAA letting her know she'd reached her limit for numbers of services in a year.  She said she's been an AAA member for 40 years and that's never happened.  And they were all because of me!  LOL 

So now I'm a member on my very own.  Maybe I can pay back my parents and help them out of a jam once or twice this year.  Or maybe I'll be lucky enough to have them for the next time my bad car luck rears its ugly head.  Either way, I'm glad to be responsible for this myself this year and have this be one less thing to rely on my parents for.  Until I reach my limit of services allowed and need to borrow theirs again.  :)

Side note... I started this blog around midnight.  About 15 minutes later the baby started crying.  The boyfriend brought him to me and set up the pack and play right next to my recliner so I can just stand up and lean over it to put him down in once he falls back to sleep (so the boyfriend can go back to bed).  He's been asleep almost the entire time since I've been holding him but the moment I make a move to stand up he wakes and starts screaming.  So it looks like I'll be sleeping like this tonight.  I finally gave in and put the laptop on my lap and started pecking with one hand so I could finish this up.  After 10 minutes of that I threw in the towel and positioned it kind of on top of the baby with my left arm around him a little too far so I can reach the keyboard and finish this up quickly.  Nothing is going to stop me from posting tonight!  :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Getting Out of The House Just To Have A Good Cry? I Love It!

I finished the weekend with some more "me" time.  Last night's adventure plans kind of got changed and we just ended up returning some Christmas presents that I had been needing to return and we picked up pizzas and came home and watched movies.  It wasn't exactly the night out I was looking for, but really, crutches do kind of limit your options.

We were hoping to have a good meal out last night (even though we did pick up pizza from our fave pizza place) before my mom left for Florida but since we didn't get that chance today she and I and my sister had lunch at our fave Chinese place. 

But first we went to a movie.  I LOVE going to movies and don't often get the chance to go.  The boyfriend and I haven't been to a movie together since... I honestly can't remember the last movie we saw together.  I'll bet it's been a year.  We don't actually do much together anymore, so this is actually maybe not as strange as it sounds (aside from the basic strange-ness of it to begin with). 

Because of the kids I don't get too many chances to get out.  My friends of course go to movies with their kids or families or husbands or boyfriends but don't really want to do movies to often on girls' nights out because everyone tends to rather get together and drink and chat and catch up, so movies aren't really the best place for this.  Although at just about every movie I've been able to get to in the past few years, there tends to always be a group of people in the theater, always sitting very near me, who feel like a movie theater in fact is the best place to chat and catch up.  I guess they don't think those "silence is golden" bits apply to them.

I do try to see movies with my mom and sister as often as possible, but again because of the kiddos this happens a lot more rarely than I want it to.  My sister has this crazy weird awesome ability to find free passes to movies all the time and sadly, I usually have to pass on them as I can't get out of the house.  Oh woe is me, right?  LOL.  I know this is pretty much the fate of most moms, especially moms of young kids, and especially single moms (or "basically" single moms, like me!).

But today the girls were unexpectedly going to be gone and I was going to take advantage of it.  I want to Live My Best Life, and that means having some time for myself sometimes, right!?  I feel pretty bad about taking time for myself twice in one weekend but honestly, it rarely happens once in one weekend, so I'm giving myself a pass about it. 

My mom and sister and I met and saw Country Song.  After reading reviews I had kind of decided not to see the movie until I could rent it (when you hardly ever get to the theater, you want to save your visits for the best movies possible!) because I honestly didn't think it was going to be that great.  But that's what my mom and sister wanted to see and my mom was buying tickets and I had the time that I could take and, well, beggars can't be choosers!  We actually got VERY lucky this weekend and had 3 movies to watch at home and ALL of them turned out to be amazing, and it's probably been longer since a hat trick like this happened than since I've been to a movie with the boyfriend.  So because of that, I figured, I was going to be happy just to get out, even if I didn't end up liking the movie.

But I did like it!  It was great!  I laughed and cried (mostly cried!) and was totally invested in the story and the characters.  I was so happily surprised by how good this movie was.  And I was so happy that I got to get out and see it!  I won't get into what the movie was about because I'm not writing movie reviews here, but I would recommend you see it if you've been thinking about it!  I did cry quite a bit throughout the movie, but trust me, it was warranted!  And maybe I'm a masochist, but I love movies that make me cry.  The story is usually a good one if I'm invested enough to cry, and I enjoy a good cry.  :)  My sister makes fun of me, but that's mainly because her heart is made of steel.  LOL  I even have a list of my "top 5 crying movies of all time" and I swear, I love watching these movies!!  (In case you're curious, When a Man Loves a Woman, Step-Mom, Corrina Corrina, Marvin's Room, and The Pursuit of Happyness.  There are like 20 or so honorable mentions, so I'll just leave you with these.  Rent them if you haven't seen them!  It's worth the cry, I promise!)

After the movie we went to our Chinese place and had a great lunch.  The three of us almost always have a great time together, talking and laughing, and I really enjoy getting to get together like this. 

Nothing huge today, I guess, but I had a pretty good day.  Not long after I got home the girls got home (earlier than expected) and the boyfriend went to visit his family for most of the rest of the day.  The baby woke up right before he left and the 3 kiddos and I got the chance to spend some fun time together so it really was one of those "best of both worlds" days for me in the end.  :)