Thursday, October 29, 2009


Hello, my name is Jana and I am a fretter. A worrier. A person who obsesses over things that may or may not happen. A person who worries unnecessarily.

There are the things that everyone worries about - money, the health of my kids, vaccine/no vaccine*, the economy, the environment. You know, the standard.

Then there are the things that are completely stupid, especially in hindsight. Like worrying about how to get my weekly grocery shopping done when there's 100% chance of rain two days in a row. It's not like we'd starve if it took me a couple of days to get to the store. We'd be, at the most, inconvenienced, yet I still worry. See? Just dumb stuff.

Currently, I'm worrying about how many kids will come to Liam's upcoming 3rd birthday party. I just found out that one of his classmates is having his birthday party the same day as Liam's. The other boy's party is at a bouncy house place (with a variety of bouncy houses) from 12 til 2. We're having Liam's party at our house with a bouncy house from 2 til 4. (Just for the record, Liam's party invitations went out before the other boy's invitations.) How many parents are going to have their kids out for four consecutive hours of bouncing and/or cake eating? And if they make their kids choose, who's party are they going to pick? The party with ten bouncy houses or the party with one?

But then I think, Why should I care? All that matters is that the kids who do come have a good time. As a matter of fact, as long as Liam has a good time, I should be happy. Needless to say, I'm still working on that one.

The other big worry subject is Ryan's job. He works for a major bank and while his job is thankfully safe (which is a miracle in today's economy), he's pretty much figured out that the path for promotion lies in being transferred. To a whole other country. On a whole other continent. And, despite the fact that we'd be thousands of miles from our families, I am open to living in London or Sydney. After all, it would be a fabulous experience for me the kids. But the other options are Tokyo and Sao Paolo (Brazil). I am not so thrilled about those options. And we just found out The Bank is sending him to NYC for a two day seminar regarding the financial climate of South America. So the fretting begins.

So, my question to you is: how do I stop all the fretting? What do you do to put your mind at ease in situations like these?


* As an aside, we decided to get the H1N1 vaccine for Liam since kids with respiratory issues seem to have the most serious complications (like pneumonia, hospitalization, etc.) from the swine flu. Our pedi's office only has the mist and due to his respiratory issues, he can't have the live vaccine. So now we have to wait for the office to get the injection and who knows when that will be. Yet something else to fret about.....

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

State of the Union

So my last post was a bit depressing. Sorry. But, as promised, this one will be happier. Or at least not as pathetic.

Liam is finally feeling better. Poor guy had strep throat and two ear infections. I'm definitely not going to win "Mom of the Year" award for letting my kid get so sick. The pedi said sometimes kids get hives when they have a virus so luckily the antibiotic has taken care of the throat, the ears and the hives.

I am finally feeling better, too. Whatever stomach bug hit the boys earlier last week hit me on Friday and lasted through Sunday. It about knocked me on my rear end, especially since I was on my own with all three kids. On the upside, since all I ate was about a dozen Ritz crackers over the course of 3 days, I didn't have a lot of dishes to do.

My book club hosting went well, too. We discussed "The Time Traveler's Wife" and since we do themed dinners, I decided to serve time-themed foods. We had slow cooker pork chops, instant (bagged) salad, twice baked sweet potato casserole (since the main character lived part of his life twice) and pineapple upside down cake (since their lives were turned upside down). It was a really fun evening.

As for telling Sydney about Ryan's grandmother passing....that was tough. I told her as gently as possible and she cried a little bit. We talked a little bit about how sometimes people get older and their bodies just wear out and then she asked if she had to go to "the thing where everybody talks about the person and cries." Sadly, the funeral was this morning and with Ryan out of town and Liam and I recovering from our illnesses, it just wasn't possible. But Ryan said he was okay with missing it since he had a chance to say goodbye to her before she passed away.

And, I'm sure you've been holding your breath to find out about the potty training. Right? It went really well and Liam got to where he asked for his underwear one morning and did not have an accident all day. But then he got sick, had a few accidents and began fighting the underwear, so I decided to take a little break. We'll try again when he's back to feeling 100% and hopefully he'll catch on again in no time.

As with all challenging situations, I learned something during my stressful week. I learned that my parents are amazing. I mean, I already knew they were wonderful people, but they just amazed me this weekend. They took Sydney and Liam to a play on Saturday after our pumpkin patch visit (pictures coming soon!) and when they brought them home, my mom noticed that I looked tired. So after church on Sunday, they drove back out to our house (which is quite a drive from theirs) and my mom took the kids to the park while my dad mowed our yard. And as if that wasn't enough of a break for me, they took both boys home with them for a couple of days so that I could rest, clean the house and prepare for book club. My dad said it was just the excuse my mom needed to skip her volunteer work at the local food bank, but I know better. :)

I don't know that I would have survived the weekend without them. I only hope that when I'm a grandparent that I'll be able to do the same thing for my kids in their times of need.

But now I'm at a loss as to how to repay them for all they did for us this past weekend. Any ideas? (Preferably something that doesn't cost an arm and a leg?)

Friday, October 16, 2009

No Wonder Stress Kills People

Ever have one of those weeks when you wonder what else could go wrong? All you want to do is crawl back in bed to avoid whatever nastiness the universe is throwing at you, but the duties of life keep dragging you back into reality?

Well, that's me.

(If you don't want to read a whiny blog post, then you might want to skip this one. I'm just sayin'.)

Monday, I had two of my root canals redone. The dentist who did them told me that since there were no roots in them, it shouldn't hurt and how would I feel about not having any anesthesia?, thank you. I made sure to get as much deadening as possible and it turns out, one of the root canals was done incorrectly the first time (hence, the redo) and there was some pain. So glad I demanded opted for anesthesia.

Tuesday, both boys had diarrhea. 'Nough said.

Wednesday, Liam started running a fever (third one in three weeks) and broke out in hives all over his little body. He was so sad to miss school.

Yesterday, Ryan's grandmother passed away. Luckily, he was able to stop by at the hospital for some final goodbyes before he had to fly to NYC for an entire week. I have no idea how I'm going to tell Sydney. I think I'll just wait until I know the funeral plans.

And now to today. We're set to go to the pediatrician's office to get something for Liam's hives (and possibly an earache), but first I have to check Sydney out of school since I won't be able to get her off the bus which means she might miss her little prize for having excellent conduct all week. If so, I'll never hear the end of it. And I have to worry about the cesspool of germs at the pedi's office thanks to all the oink oink flu around here. And, I am now running a fever and feel terrible as well.

Oh, did I mention that I'm hosting book club on Monday and while I have all of the food, I have yet to clean the house thanks to the lovely week I've had? So guess what I get to do this weekend. Joy.

Anyway, if I can make it through this week, I feel like I can make it through anything.

I promise my next post will be happier and not whiny at all. In fact, tomorrow (barring illness), we're heading to a pumpkin patch for our annual fall pictures. It is one of my favorite days of the year and I cannot wait! (Seriously, I love it - no sarcasm here). With any luck, the curse of the bad week will be broken and I'll get some great pictures of the kids among the pumpkins. Can't wait!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Can I just say that the Terrible Twos ain't got nothin' on the attitude that accompanies the standard six year old girl?

When one of the boys throws a temper tantrum, it's usually because they're tired or hungry or for some other reason that I can usually figure out within a minute or two. But when my six year old girl gets an attitude, I am usually clueless as to the reasoning behind it.

And when I'm unlucky enough to have to deal with a toddler's temper tantrum, at least I know that it will be over in a few minutes and said toddler will be back to his silly, playful self in no time. Not so with the attitude. It can last for hours. Hours, I tell you.

Luckily, I get respite from the dreaded attitude when she goes on her weekend camping trips with Ryan. But then, of course, he has to deal with it. And apparently, Sydney was in fine form this past weekend. She knew she'd crossed a line or two because here is a little recap of the conversation they had on the way home from their trip (secondhand, of course, since I wasn't there):

Sydney: Daddy, I'm sorry about my attitude this weekend.

Ryan: That's OK, but you need to try to be nicer.

Sydney: Are you going to tell Mommy?

Ryan: Why?

Sydney: Because she'll get mad.

Ryan: I don't know. But the attitude needs to stop.

Sydney: I'm good at school, though.

Ryan: That's good.

Sydney: If you want, I can switch. I'll be nice at home and have an attitude at school.

Ryan: No, you need to be nice all of the time.

Sydney: I know. But it's so hard to be good all of the time.

And she's right. It is really hard to be nice all of the time. It's hard for everyone, not just six year olds. And it's really hard to be nice to a six year old who is copping an attitude with you.

I am glad to hear that she's polite at school, though. Her conduct grades are always excellent and her teacher told me that she's never had an issue with talking back so at least I can stop worrying about that.

Hmmm....since she's a stereotypical firstborn who worries about her grades, maybe I should start giving her an attitude report card. Or maybe I'll just keep praying for patience. Either way, I have a feeling we're going to have some pretty tumultuous years ahead of us.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fun Fact Friday

* Sydney and Ryan are going camping again this weekend. While she loved it last time, it's supposed to be semi-cold and rainy this weekend. I hope she still likes it because we just plunked down a chunk of change for a huge tent.

* Today is Potty HellTraining Part III for Liam. Only two accidents this morning, so there is hope yet for the boy. He turns three in one month so I am completely committed to making it work this time. Until I give up. Again. Ha!

* Today is also Picture Day at Sydney's school. I didn't buy any because I refuse to purchase pictures in advance (last year's looked terrible). But Sydney looked really cute this morning and now I'm feeling really guilty about it.

* I've been DVRing and watching episodes of the old 90210 from beginning to end. I watch them during nap time and in the evenings when Ryan is working late (which seems to be a lot lately). The final two episodes aired today....I'm going to miss those rich, spoiled people who never have to worry about money.

* I'm having three root canals done on Monday. To say I'm nervous would be a HUGE understatement.

* I still haven't finished cross-stitching Evan's stocking. It won't be done by Christmas, either. But I don't think he'll notice and I promise to finish it by next Christmas.

* My hives finally went away. Only took a week and a half this time - woo hoo!

* As the holidays approach, I'm getting the itch to make my chocolates again. I just wish I had the freezer space to hold them all until we have a chance to give them away.

* We have our Halloween costumes all picked out: Sydney is going to be Word Girl (my mom is making it), Liam is going to be Winnie the Pooh (a hand-me-down from my sister that Sydney wore a few years ago) and Evan is wearing Liam's cow costume from a couple of years ago. I'm so glad it's figured out.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


You know you're a mom when... an effort to help your child's class win the box top contest, you're tempted to ask your neighbors if you can cut the box tops off of the boxes they've left for the garbage men. smell something weird in the playroom, look for it, can't find it and then just forget it knowing that eventually it will smell so bad that there will be no doubt about its source. really don't care who sees you without makeup because it is more important to squeeze in an extra five minutes of sleep than to put it on.

...punishing your child by taking away their TV privileges for a day is more of a punishment for you.

...the only thing keeping you from dropping your semi-sick kid off at Mother's Day Out is a fear of being known as that mom.

...your hair is in a ponytail so often that the kids on your daughter's bus think you're her babysitter, not her mom. really don't care if your two year old eats his dinner or not. You know he'll eat when he's hungry. Besides, that's more for you to eat since half your dinner winds up on your one year old's high chair tray.'ve given up hope of ever sleeping past 7 am again.'ve come to the realization that there is no point in fixing and/or replacing the things your kids break until they're in junior high because they'll just break them again. Window blinds and nasty carpet, I'm looking at you.

Monday, October 5, 2009

New Additions

Looking for some new bloggy/internet reads? Check out some of the additions to my blog sidebar.

First, there's People of Walmart that never fails to crack me up when I look at it. Also, it makes me worry about how I look when I'm doing my weekly shopping (but I don't shop at Walmart, so I'm hoping that I'm safe from the scrutinizing eyes of internet gawkers [unless there is a site called People of HEB and then I'm up a creek without a paddle]).

Then there is Awkward Family Photos. This one makes me want to burn the family photos we had taken in the 80's. Some of my hairdos could definitely be considered quite awkward (remember the tight, curly perms that were so popular in 1985?).

And there's Embracing the Chaos, the blog of my high school friend, Frances. She's down to earth and so funny. I only wish we lived closer to each other so that we could see each other more often than family weddings. (Did I mention that she's also Ryan's step-niece-in-law? It's complicated - we just call her a cousin.)

So who are you reading lately? I'm always looking for new reads!