Monday, March 3, 2014

Stomach Flu and Mondays Really Get Me Down

It started yesterday morning when my second youngest, who is rarely sick, said he felt "weird." He then made a mad dash for the bathroom and spent the remainder of the day frequently visiting it.

Sick child notwithstanding, there are several tasks I simply must complete every Sunday or this family will not be ready for the coming week. You know the drill - buy groceries, do laundry, plan dinners, and bump all of the things on your to-do list that you didn't get to this weekend to next weekend.

As I went about my day, I racked my brain, trying to remember what my son had eaten in the last 24 hours. Was it something I made that didn't agree with him? Perhaps, but no one else seemed to be adversely affected by the pasta casserole I had made the night before. Not yet, anyway.

I took the precaution of scrubbing my hands every time I so much as looked at him.

When my boys were much younger and experienced similar symptoms, my husband would start them on the "Brat" diet - bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. As such, I procured these items as well as some popsicles and a gallon of an electrolyte-boosting sports drink.

By late afternoon, he was huddled under a blanket, watching a video. By eight, he was in bed.

Given the number of times I heard the toilet flush during the night, I'm guessing his symptoms have not abated. He seems to be sleeping now, finally.

I, on the other hand, am exhausted, but I still have lunches to pack and kids to get out the door. It is, after all, Monday morning and my plate-spinning show must go on. I believe it's time for me to start the "Cars" diet - caffeine-and-refined-sugar.

I'm pretty sure I have all the items I need.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

5 Reasons to Love This Long Winter

Apparently March has arrived.


Looking out my window, everything as far as the eye can see is still covered with a thick layer of white stuff. And my foyer is a jumble of snow boots, hats and gloves.

Don't even get me started on my banister. It's been stacked high with puffy parkas since November.

This winter seems to be going on for-ever.

In my neck of the woods, we've been bracing ourselves against record low temperatures and record high snow fall totals since before Thanksgiving.

Believe you me, I'm as tired as everbody else of having to dress in a dozen different layers. Not only does it add several minutes to my morning routine, it gives the allusion of added weight gain and, really, isn't that just pouring salt on a frost-bitten wound?

Given that my weather guy can't promise an end to this snow-mageddon anytime soon, I've made the conscious decision to look on the bright side.

Here's what I've been able to come up with so far:

  1. No bugs - Ants and mosquitoes are the bane of my summer time existence. Yes, I know they're just laying in wait, ready to pounce once the mercury rises, but until then, I'm enjoying the reprieve.
  2. No gardening - Call me a freak, but I have never understood the thrill of planting flowers or vegetables. Instead, I get my food and flowers as God intended - at a grocery store.
  3. Comfort food - It's not winter without them, right? What better excuse to inhale calorie-laden dishes like macaroni and cheese, lasagna and mashed potatoes? Like hibernating bears, we need the extra calories to do things like stay warm, shovel, and surf Netflix when it's too cold to go outside. 
  4. Baking cookies - Besides helping to warm the house, it's just another clever way to sneak more chocolate into my woefully nutrient-packed diet.
  5. And, last but not least, is anyone else waiting in rapt anticipation of what the Weather Channel will do if it runs out of names for winter storms?
Until it thaws...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Thanksgiving Carol

It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is just a week away. But, then again, I'm not hosting this year. You'd think that would give me plenty of time to come up with a brand new Thanksgiving ditty for you, right? Wrong.

What I'm coming up with instead is a new book. I've jumped in with both feet and am up against an aggressive deadline. As such, my house is a little messier than usual, my kids have taken over in the kitchen, and my husband has, for all intents and purposes, slipped into single-parent mode.

That being said, I submit for your reading pleasure an encore presentation of my original "Thanksgiving Carol"...

‘Twas days from Thanksgiving, and nothing was done
My job needed effort, my kids wanted fun.
The deadlines at work kept me stuck in my chair.
Leaving no time to shop or plan with great care.

A large crowd was coming to eat on that day.
The nieces and nephews and in-laws would stay.
A ball game they’d watch on my flatscreen TV
Eating some pie and cheering with glee.

The thought of the crowds, wanting nice food and fun
While projects at work kept me under the gun
Had me wondering why in the world I would host.
When all I do want is to sleep in the most.

My work must come first, I cried and implored.
I have to do well ne’er my job be off-shored.
My sisters assured me they’d come to my aid
Leaving all doubt behind that I wouldn’t get paid.

“Rally the children to help with the cleaning
Surely they can’t spend the day just IMing!”
My husband, so wise, had me in fits of laughter.
Just wait, I told him, to see what comes after.

The house will be cluttered, the carpet a mess
Our only recourse? A change of address.
Leave the kids to their fun, I’ll come up with a way
To get my work done before the big day.

With one day to go, it all seemed so tragic.
My office was dull and devoid of all magic.
My phone, it did ring and I answered the call.
Wondering how in the world I would manage it all.

When a voice so familiar spoke into my ear
“How’s it going?” Sis asked. “The big day is near.”
Don’t fear, I calmed her, the store has the bird.
They said they would thaw it. They gave me their word.
As I drove home that night, the bird in the trunk
I thought of the lonely, the hungry, the sunk.
Did I have it all wrong? Could I be so mistaken?
It’s not about food, or when I’ll awaken.

It’s not about cleaning or even the baking.
It’s how we give thanks for what we are taking.
I made up my mind to be the best host
Spending time with the ones that I love the most.

As we sat at the table, I took in the sight
Of my family around me and safe on that night.
After saying our Grace, we counted each blessing
Then helped ourselves to large spoonfuls of dressing.                  

Happy Thanksgiving to all and to all a good bite! 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Aching for the Eighties

I miss the eighties. There. I said it.

What with the the big hair and bushy eye brows, punk music and padded shoulders, is it any wonder?

Nostalgia for my plate-less days has been swirling around my busy brain more often than not lately and I'm not sure why.

Could it be I long for the simplicity of my college days and pre-married life?

Perhaps it has something to do with the fateful career choices I made way back then.

Maybe it's because my own kids are reaching the age that I was during the golden era of MTV.

In any event, there's only one person who can help me figure out why I'm feeling grody to the max - Dr. Know-it-All (a.k.a., Mom).

PS: Doc, the playlist on my phone is filled with the Cure, the Pretenders and the Eurythmics, and my ringtone is "Cruel Summer." What's wrong with me?

DR: Nothing, dear. You simply have a disdain for modern music. Remember, I was your age when Madonna hit the air waves. It's a common ailment among women like you.

PS (aghast): Like me? What are you implying? This is some kind of mid-life crisis? I thought only men had those.

DR (rolling her eyes): Calm down. It happens to everybody. Looking back on the carefree days of your youth could certainly prompt you to have certain, um, shall we say longings.

PS: Longings? I long for stuff all the time - sleep, chocolate, the demise of reality TV.

DR: No, I mean unusual longings. Why, I once knew a woman who ditched her career, moved to the dessert, and took up golf.

PS: Wait a minute. Wasn't that you?

DR: Point being, maybe it's simply time for a change. Something unusual, say, hot yoga or a whole new look.

PS: Exactly! That's what I'm getting at. I want my fine hair to look full and my shoulders to look
ridiculously big so my waist looks tiny again.

DR: I see...well, in that case, why don't you just get a perm?

PS:  I would in, like, a Miami Vice second if it would make me look 22 again.

DR: And the padded shoulders? Why not set a trend or, better yet, stop slouching?

PS: That advice is totally bitchin'...

DR: Don't you swear at me, young lady. Have you been taking your calcium supplements?

PS: Totally. So, let me sum up. If I get a new 'do and improve my posture, I'll stop yearning for the past?

DR: Exactly.

PS: How can I ever repay you?

DR: Just remember this conversation when one of your kids reaches your age and is waxing nostalgic over twerking...