Thursday, January 31, 2008

Just for Adam...

Just because Adam asked...

National Board Certification for teachers is a process that takes about 15 months to complete. All teachers are licensed by their state to teach, but the NBC is a voluntary step to get certified nationally, and it is really hard to get. Only 63 teachers in Nebraska have achieved it. It involves a DVD portfolio of examples of your teaching in your classroom in 4 different areas. I have to submit reflective pieces to go along with these, as well as student work. I also have to take a test over my specialization (Early childhood elementary education ages 3-8) which is like the SAT for teacher's content knowledge. Why am I doing this? To prove to myself I can. It is a huge honor, and I want to see if I can do it. Also, to feel like myself, and not just a mom. To get back some of my feeling of worth as something other than Mom to Evan Charlie and Sam (although that is great too-don't get me wrong!) And also because the people who have done it say it is the best professional development activity they have ever done, and it really helps to improve your teaching.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Holy Crap

I have just signed my life away and applied as a candidate for National Board Certification for Professional Educators. I am soooo nauseous, but soooooo excited! As usual, I am having my "WHAT IN THE WORLD HAVE YOU GOTTEN YOURSELF INTO!!!" panic attack. Ugh.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Charlie is Allergic to Everything

I took Charlie in for allergy testing on Saturday morning. They pricked his poor little back and arms with over 50 needles, and then rubbed different substances over them that he might be allergic to. Out of all of those, he wasn't allergic to any of the foods (God Bless America!) cats, or interestingly-ragweed. EVERYTHING ELSE WAS POSITIVE! Afterwards, we talked to the doctor who recommended Charlie begin a regular regimen of weekly allergy shots when he is four to desensitize him. In the meantime, they went over various strategies to get rid of things in the house that bother him, like replacing his pillow every six months since he is horribly allergic to dust mites. One of the things they suggested was getting rid of things in the house that collect dust. Okay-seriously-what DOESN'T collect dust in the house? Should we remove all the furniture? I think even Jeff collects dust on the weekends when he watches football. We probably have to get rid of him too!

During the test, I was in tears watching my poor baby go through this, but Charlie didn't flinch, make a peep, or complain at all. In fact, he watched with interest the whole time they were pricking him. My mom predicts something in the medical field for him. The nurse was bragging about him to people in the waiting room she was so impressed. She said she has never had a kid sit that still. At least my kids are stars at something-even if it is allergy testing.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My Latest Addictions

Things I can't live without lately...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Party for Charlie

We celebrated Charlie's 2nd birthday yesterday with a family trip to the Children's Museum. Jeff had no idea what to expect beforhand, and was nervous to take the kids to a "museum". I think he (and the toddlers) were impressed. It was the first time Charlie and Sam had ever been, and they had a blast. Charlie, as expected, loved the life size fire engine. Sam was a HUGE fan of the water table. No matter where I tried to redirect him, he kept making a bee line right back toward it. He tried many time to heave his whole self in. Next time I will bring an extra shirt so I don't have to bring him out to the car dripping, especially on one of the coldest days of the year. Evan and Jeff went downstairs to their new Putt Putt exhibit, where they also saw Julie Cornell golfing with her kids. It was unbelievably busy, so I am looking forward to going back in the summer when it is *hopefully* not too crowded.

We also had Charlie's birthday party. He wasn't too impressed, probably because I woke him up from his nap to join the festivities, and he spent most of the party attached to my leg whining and crying. So, I suppose that was one indication we have officially started the Terrible Twos. Yuck. He really enjoyed seeing his friends Alyssa and Joel, and cousins Brooke and Colin. He loved the new book from the Koch family, and also his Thomas the Train Engines, who he calls just "Tom."

To top of the day's festivities, we had dinner at my favorite place-VALENTINO'S!!-with our favorite dinner companions the Kochs. (Thanks for suggesting it Christi! It was just what I needed!) I was pooped when I got home and Charlie was still cranky spanky kiddo, so he and I crawled into bed and watched two episodes of Dynasty. All in all it was a pretty super day.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Flu

The FLU hit me like a TRUCK this week. I had a high fever (104.5) and chills, aches, coughs, vomiting, you name it. I was even sick for Charlie's birthday yesterday. I didn't get to go in for my bloodwork, or for Charlie's allergy testing, so now I have to reschedule that whole mess. UGH! I am back at work today, but I am so regretting it. I feel totally wiped out.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Today after school I managed to take Evan to swim lessons, entertain two very grumpy toddlers while at swim lessons (with only one major temper tantrum), stop at the store for birthday treats for Charlie at school tomorrow, fix dinner, give baths (during which one toddler had diarhea in the tub and I had to start all over), help Evan with homework, get everyone to bed by 8:00, and exercise for half an hour. Most of this also occurred during a snow storm. Does this mean I can now qualify as asuccesful mother? Or maybe just crazy...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Doing Our Best to Support the Drug Companies

Charlie, bless him, is sick with his third round of a sinus infection, one he has been nursing faithfully since the first week in December. He finished his second round of antibiotics on Monday, and by Wednesday was a walking ball of green snot. So back to the doctor we went on Friday. Not only did he have the sinus infection, but all the green ooze had infected a patch of eczyma on his face. Dr. B wants us to see an allergist next week, have him allergy tested, and then he will probably start allergy shots. He prescribed three new meds for Charlie, and gave us a refill for one of Evan's meds. Jeff and I stopped at Walgreens on our way home from a lovely date dinner at Applebees to pick them up. I thought Jeff was going to pass out when the clerk told us the total we owed was FOUR HUNDRED AND FORTY FREAKING DOLLARS!!!!!!! Even the clerk looked distressed. We probably won't be able to afford to eat this year, but at least we will be well medicated. I have started a campaign to convince Jeff we need to move to Canada. Michael Moore is my new best friend.

It was a lovely way to end a date.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Odds and Ends

So much has been going on the last couple of days! The good news first...

Evan had his first Swimtastic swim lesson yesterday and he LOVED it! He was a nervous wreck before hand about doing something new, but he had a great time! And lucky for me, the toddlers behaved themselves during the lesson while we waited in the observation area, which was a good thing because the waiting area was chock full of St. Vinnie's parents!

Sam is officially walking! He took his first steps around Christmas, was doing a little more over the weekend, but yesterday he REALLY took off and was cruising EVERYWHERE. It was so cute last night to see Charlie watching Sam walking. Charlie was absolutely hysterical with laughter.

Charlie is well on his way to being potty trained! One day over Christmas break, he came up to me and said "Potty?" I was stunned. I had never broached the subject with him, and I didn't really have any plans to tackle this yet. But, I thought, what the heck? So, I sat him down on the toilet, and low and behold-he went! That night we picked out a new potty chair together, and he has been using it at home ever since. At school this week, he has been going with all of the other toddlers and keeping his diaper dry. I am stunned. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, because this is just too easy!

Now for the BAD news...I am having more medical drama. Yesterday, the doctor called with the results of my blood work from my physical. My triglycerides, which are supposed to run in the neighborhood of 140-150 were 440! My HDL cholesterol, (the good one) is supposed to be 50, but instead was 21. These were the nurses words to me- "I don't want to scare you, but your cholesterol and triglyceride levels are dangerously out of whack. You need to start some meds immediately, or a stroke is very possible." So of course I did get scared! The doctor called later and said that it is an effect from my PCOS, and my insulin resistance problems. I am going to have to follow a special diet, see a dietician, and an endocrinologist. This was thrilling news beyond the obvious, when you consider our absolutely wretched health insurance. It looks like we will be paying a ton of money out of pocket again this year. Blech.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

I Stand Corrected

So. I went to my mammogram today, and it wasn't bad AT ALL. So ladies, don't let all those horror stories women tell get to you, like I did. It was maybe a smidge uncomfortable, but it didn't hurt at all. I stand corrected, I was wrong, and it was worth it!

As a treat to myself for going through with it, and to celebrate being out by myself without the kids, I went to check out a fairly new store in Omaha called Steve and Barrys. WOW! It was so, so awesome! Literally everying in the store was only $8.98!!! I am talking coats, jeans, shoes, EVERYTHING! Granted, they are having their winter liquidation sale, but one of the salespeople told me their stuff is never priced over $20. I got a pair of jeans for Jeff and two for me for only $25. I also loved Sarah Jessica Parker's new Bitten line, sold there. They even had kids clothes!

Friday, January 04, 2008

A Crushing Experience

To further torture me through it's insanely crappy health plan, ConAgra has decreed that in order for us to get another $400 in our HRA account, Jeff and I must both take a health survey and get a checkup from our doctors. Joy of joys-mine includes-A MAMMOGRAM!!! I have not had the pleasure of having one of these yet, and I am so excited to do so tomorrow.

I know, I know, I need one. Yes, they are hepful. Certainly with a mother and grandmother who are both survivors of breast cancer it is a good idea for me to get one. But, NO it is not fun. NO it is not comfortable. And YES it is humiliating.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Stars in My Eyes

I had so much fun last night!! My dad took me to Dancing With the Stars at the Qwest center. Mutual of Omaha has a suite there, so we didn't even have to sit in the regular seating. We got to go to the suite where they had lots to eat and drink, and comfy private chairs to watch the show in. It was amazing! My favorite was Edyte...if only I could look/move like that! Even my dad, who has never seen the show, had a good time and was impressed. I was disapointed that Marie Osmond didn't dance but Sabrina was there, along with my favorite dancing professional Derek Hough, so that was awesome!

The perfect ending to a day spent with screaming, sick children.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008 usual

We started off 2008 yesterday with Sammy running a fever of 103.7. Typical for my children to be sick, and on a holiday! Just in time for us to pay full price on any doctor visits and prescriptions as well, thanks to our health insurace nightmare- courtesy of ConAgra.

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