Friday, February 29, 2008

Stop me before I volunteer again

I offer this fantasy of a friend:

My friend is considering moving to be closer to family and to live somewhere with a lower cost of living. But she daydreams about moving and how great it would be to end all of her volunteer committments. She dreams of freedom. She dreams of putting her girls in already-established Girl Scout troops vs. the TWO she has formed. She dreams of not being the foundation president of her school (having also founded the foundation). She dreams of not being pressured to be PTA president. She dreams of not being on the committee in charge of countless fundraisers. She dreams of being a mom with time for her children.

I know exactly how she feels. I'm sure a lot of women do. When my husband was job hunting and the offer came from Portland, my mind was reeling with the possibilities of no longer being responsible for x, y and z (and some more of the alphabet).

With current budget woes at home and in every budget across the nation, every activity or place your child goes to is in desperate need of funds -- school, church, sports, scouts, dance, whatever. Everyone needs volunteers and fundraisers.

I am presently school site council chair, room mom, baseball team mom for two teams, basketball team mom, Reflections chairperson, PTA parliamentarian and I'm sure there are a couple more that I am forgetting about because I do them automatically and don't even think about it any more.

Many moms I know can list just as much if not more. My oldest has only reached third grade. We have a lot of years left.

Is there really a stage in life where our "fantasies" are NOT volunteering for something?!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Be a man

My son Neil is training to be a man. It is serious business to this 5-year-old. I can see him practicing his manhood by making moves, imitating conversations, checking himself out in the mirror.

In his mind, he is one of the big guys when he slings his baseball bag (which is bigger than he is) over his shoulder and gives his t-ball coach a wink and a nod as he says "Good practice coach!" Then he saunters off as he imagines real baseball players do. I feel like I should take him out for a beer.

He has asked me to refer to him as Big Papi (yes, David Ortiz of the Red Sox player). That's the number he chose for his t-ball jersey too.

He talks about himself in the third person, "Neil Yerem hits a home run!" "Neil Yerem dives for the ball."

Manhood is apparently narrated. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Teams mom

Is there an Olympic level for team moms? Can I compete with the best of the best? What would be the prize? Xanax? Valium? Maybe time away with some mental health help?

I am currently team mom for three teams -- one basketball team and two baseball teams. I've got banquets and banners to plan. There are looming snack schedules, field maintenance schedules and who-will-pick-up-the-trash schedules that need to be formatted. I spent 45 minutes on the phone with one coach last night going over the schedules we'll have to create once we actually have the game schedule.

This is serious business.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Cough, hack, wheeze

One of the things I dread as a parent is the sound of one of my children coughing. Even just a slight clearing of their throat will catch my attention. It's like the church bells calling the faithful. The ever-so-little cough around lunch time heralds a long, long night of wheezing and coughing, steamy showers to clear air passages, the non-stop hum of the humidifier and an exhausted mommy.

When I was working fulltime, my mind would slip into hyper gear: "What meetings can I postpone?" "How many sick days do I have left?" "How will I juggle this?"
Stay-at-home momming lets me relax a bit. I just have to accept cancelling everything on the calendar and actually staying at home. Sometimes it's a welcome time to slow down and just sit and hold my children. Of course, anyone who has held a sick child or two for a long period of time knows its not quite that easy.

My husband poo-poos my first feelings of dread with a your-overreacting look. I know I'll get him back around 1 a.m. when the first one shows up in our bedroom barking like a seal and complaining that he can't breathe.
And it turns out true, we are all wheezing and coughing and snuggling in on this Presidents Day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Baseball has been very good to me

Baseball season starts soon! We have two players in our house this year. The youngest will play t-ball. It's his very first team sport, and he can hardly contain himself. The oldest is old-hat at this. He is just thrilled to get to play, though he's a little dubious of the fact that his younger brother is going to be sharing the sports spotlight.

The youngest is excited about getting a cup. Yep. He cannot wait to wear an athletic supporter. I'm not sure they are required in t-ball, but they are required for Neil.

On Monday, the oldest was suiting up for his first practice and Neil insisted on suiting up too. I was filling water bottles in the kitchen when I looked into the family room to find a buck-naked 5-year-old holding his cup over his private area. He turned to me with a straight face and asked how it was supposed to stay on... This might be the highlight of the week. Of course, who knows what will happen when t-ball practice actually starts.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Super Tuesday

Are you voting today? I am. I'm even dropping off my husband's absentee ballot (He is in the great state of Georgia today). I'm still debating who to choose in the Democratic primary. I want to LOVE Hillary, but I don't. My gut has reservations about her and I'm not sure why. My husband on the other hand seems to have no problem with Hillary. It was an easy choice for him. Shouldn't it be easy for a woman to vote for the potential first female president of the United States? You would think so.

Monday, February 04, 2008

The dog ate my Bluetooth

Want to know why I finally started blogging? Other than I wanted to have an explanation for why I talk to myself in the car ("I'm just working on my next post..."):

The puppies ate my Bluetooth head piece. That's something to blog about. 

Now, how do I explain that to the husband? I've been complaining about the one I have (a hand-me-down), but I really didn't want the puppies to eat it. I can't even tell which one did it. It was on the center tray between the front seats of the van. It must have been during pickup from school. That sneaky Cody must have nibbled on it while I thought he was laying so peacefully in the seat next to me. I'm telling him he's a good boy the whole time he's gnawing on an earpiece or the foam for the mouthpiece... I found the remains under the seat (along with a shredded gummy snack package -- apparently there was a puppy party going on and I was oblivious).

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Puppy regret

We could only take the puppies for so long -- even the little men in my life who love puppies. Watching puppies on TV is only entertaining for so long. Real live puppies are better. We switched over to the Super Bowl. I left at half-time, assuming there would be no wardrobe malfunction on Tom Petty's part. And truthfully, if there is, I'll wait for the YouTube video.

So far, my husband's in love with the unibrow girl (I can save a fortune on waxing) and my sons love the giant Dorito-eating mouse.

Super puppies

The Puppy Bowl is more anticipated in my home than the Super Bowl. I was ordered to record it. Seriously? Yes, they were serious. We are anxiously awaiting the West Coast airing of the Puppy Bowl. It's only minutes away!!! Who will win Most Valuable Puppy? Don't tell me if you already know. I'm holding out for Rascal

Friday, February 01, 2008

I just want one doctor

My oldest son is sick today and needs to see his pediatrician. He doesn't like going to the doctor. There is a high level of anxiety that is alleviated somewhat by the fact that he has been seeing the same doctor his entire life. He trusts Doctor X. It's still stressful, but not as bad as it could be.

I call the doctor's office this morning, only to be informed that their new policy is that I must see whatever doctor is available first. Today Doctor Y is available at 11. My sons see Doctor X.

"Does Doctor X have any available appointments?"
"You have to take the first doctor available. Doctor Y has an 11 a.m."
"Yes, but does Doctor X have anything today?"
"Doctor X is very busy. The patients like him, but we have to fill up the other doctors appointments."

Yes. That is the point. The other doctors in the office aren't nearly as desirable. They make you wait for hours. They don't listen when you try to give them some medical history on your child. I know this from experience with them and from talking to other moms in the waiting room. Moms talk. Moms listen. Moms remember.

Turns out Doctor X has an 11:30 a.m. that I finally procured with the warning that they wouldn't do this again.

I can see trouble on the horizon...