Monday, January 6, 2014

Snow days, how you challenge my sanity

Snow days.  No school today or tomorrow.  Hopefully they will go back to school on Wednesday.

I posted on Facebook, yesterday, a "thank-you" to Mother Nature for the timing of this Polar Vortex (that's a meteorological term I guess). Snow days are to be expected, but two of them in a row after my kids have already been home for two weeks on Christmas break is not cool.

To which post, a teacher-friend of mine commented that for teachers, these snow days are like a two-day miracle before having to try, for eight hours, to keep our cabin-fevered children sitting still and learning.

Okay, I guess she has a point.

However, let me make these points:  She gets PAID.  Yes I get it that teachers don't get paid enough, but they GET PAID.  Stay-at-home-parents?  No, they don't get a paycheck or benefits or paid time-off ( yes, yes, I know, they "get paid in kisses and hugs" but, have you tried to pay your bills with that? Or buy groceries?).

Also, teachers have evenings, weekends, summer breaks, Christmas breaks, and spring breaks to recover from the hours they spend with our children (and I would hope they actually enjoy the job they chose and for which they get paid - otherwise, why keep doing it?). Stay-at-home-parents have NO automatically scheduled vacations or breaks.  The only "break" I get from my 24/7 stay-at-home-mom job is when my kids are sleeping, and when they are at school...IF they have school.  Believe me, teachers, our kids are home and in our care MUCH more than they are at school.

So, forgive me for being a little frustrated that my list of five dozen to-do's isn't going to get done, or even started on, today.  Even as I sit here and write, my younger daughter is sitting in a chair right behind me, waiting to get on the computer (which she of course thought about doing ONLY because I said I had things to do on the computer. Grrrrrr. And I have to turn the computer screen so she can't read over my shoulder.).  Forgive me for wanting JUST A LITTLE TIME TO MYSELF, to sit and do something without being interrupted.  Sheesh.


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Because, you know, life was boring

FOR PETE'S SAKE. Seriously???

If you've read any of my past posts, you may know that my younger daughter Sophie was diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome shortly after she was born. She will be 10 years old very soon, and it has been an interesting, educational, tiring 10 years. The next 10 years should prove to be even more..."educational"...if the stories from other PWS parents are any indication.

So, because life is wholly unpredictable, and because really, who wants their life to be boring and without incident, my older daughter K has just been diagnosed with "Primary Generalized Epilepsy". Wanna know where she was when this diagnosis came about?

She was a gazillion miles away, on a school orchestra/band/choir trip to Orlando, Florida. Talk about a phone call you never, ever want to get at 11:15 p.m. when your child is that far away and experiencing something that must have scared the cr@p out of her. She was in excellent hands, though - the orchestra director was on the trip, and accompanied her through the entire experience of two hospital trips and an EEG which conclusively dx'd PGE but triggered another seizure another seizure in the process.

It hurts my heart to think about my beautiful, smart, funny girl having a seizure, even when there are 3-4 highly-qualified doctors right there to help.

Sorry for the swearing but, honestly, it has been a shitty couple days. K has been dealing with severe anxiety since March of 2013; having dealt with that and turned a corner with it through meds and counseling, now she has this to accept and understand and live with. Certainly she should gain confidence from this experience! Heck she made it through this trip and the seizures and the hospital stays without her parents being physically there with her...IMPRESSIVE, without a doubt. I wish this trip had happened and finished without this added detail? Most definitely.

Here's hoping that 2014 does NOT become "The Year of The Bad Keppra Adventures". :-/


Friday, January 3, 2014

Okay, okay, I'll write something!

It's 10:38 here in my world, and to be quite honest, I don't feel like writing.  But, here I am, and yes I marched myself up here to the computer in the chilly dormer room although I would rather be under my favorite blanket reading a book. I'm not sure my writing effort for today will be worth reading, but National Blog Post Month (NaBloPoMo) will hopefully be a great way to make writing every day a habit, however bad the product may be.

So today's "prompt" is this:
"Friday, January 3, 2014
Do you have a tendency to procrastinate, or do you like checking things off your to-do list?"

Hmmm.  Can I answer this tomorrow?  Just kidding.  I have made many to-do lists in my life.  For some reason, they don't work. Possibly because the act of writing it all down feels like enough of an accomplishment and the pressure to actually do those things is no longer there? Or perhaps I am overwhelmed by the list? Actually one thing I have done, which seems to help me be able to actually check things off, is write just three of the most pressing things to do for that day on a post-it note. Preferably a brightly colored post-it. I tried this one day, and I will say that by the end of the day, it felt pretty good to have checked off those three things and thrown that note away. A smaller list, written on a smaller piece of paper...much less daunting perhaps.

However, sometimes it doesn't matter how many to-do lists I write or where/how I write them, because being a stay-at-home parent means that your "plans" for the day - any day - are largely meaningless.  IF I am able to accomplish something, anything, I count it as a mark in the "win" column and pat myself on the back.  For instance, today I didn't have a plan for the day - other than going out to get dog food, which didn't happen anyway because my older daughter was just diagnosed with "primary generalized epilepsy" and is still getting used to her medication, and I didn't want to leave her home alone. So, Sophie helped me take down the Christmas tree (taking lights out of a Christmas tree = #4 on my list of the most irritating things on earth), and I also vacuumed the first floor and upstairs. Definitely a pat-myself-on-the-back kind of day. Of course, in the process of putting the tree away, I added an item to my to-do-at-some-point-in-the-future list: throw out every freaking thing in the attic...


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Well, heck, it's January 2014

2013 absolutely flew by.  And the past three months - or, really, the past 6-8 months - have been somewhat grueling, emotionally. So I am more than happy to start a "new year", even though I know it's just a change in the date.

I don't really make New Year's resolutions, but I do tend to look ahead and think "what would I like to accomplish in the next 12 months?".  Of course I have a long list of things I have put off doing which I'd really like to get done this year. But since I am not an "island unto myself", and I have children/pets/a husband, I refuse to put too much pressure on myself to Get All The Things Done That I Should Have Done days or months or years ago.  I know even if I lived alone and was not married and did not have children or pets, I would still be putting pressure on myself to do this-or-that - and for what?  Going around with a brain full of pressure and I-shoulds and I-musts is largely unproductive, I think.  It just puts so much stress on the brain that all I feel able to do is, well, sit down and think about everything I should be doing.

One thing I would like to do, though, is make writing a regular part of my weekly schedule. I announced publicly (on Facebook, which for me is somewhat similar to announcing it over the intercom at the local grocery store) that in 2014 I wanted to write more.  Of course, I didn't say what I would be I guess I could be sneaky and clever and just write some neatly-worded to-do lists every day, or put out some pithy and rich Tweets or something.  But, I am aiming to do more/better than that.  I joined up with "NaBloPoMo" for January, which stands for "National Blog Post Month".  Technically this is a November activity but it actually happens every month. It means I am supposed to put up a blog post every day in January.  Obviously, since it is now January 2, I am already a day late.  Oh well! Whether or not I like it, sometimes my efforts to write more this year will just have to take second-place to responsibilities like laundry and grocery shopping (and today, shoveling the driveway possibly). Such is life!