August 23, 2013

Flashback Friday

Yes, it's that time of year again.  So I thought it would be best to post a reminder about some basic skills necessary to navigate the drop-off/pick-up routine at school this year.  Read up.  Take notes.  


Rules for Drop-off/Pick-up at school:

1.  Pull up.

2.  Pull ALL THE WAY up.  To the front of the line, the beginning of the cones, the end of the curb, wherever is the farthest point at which you can pull up.

3.  If your child needs more help than a few encouraging words; park your car, help your kid out and walk him/her up to the door.  Getting out of your car and running around to the other side and giving me some exasperated eye roll as if little Jimmy never needs this much help at home, does not make me feel sorry for you.  It only stokes my drop-off rage.  I know my kids well enough to know how much help they need getting in and out of a car.  Slim is called Slim for a reason, and car doors are not his specialty.  (Thank God for the automatic minivan side doors.  I used to scoff at people who had these--back when I owned a minivan that didn't even have a driver's side slider or automatic anything.  I scoffed.  Until Slim started Kindergarten.)

4.  Don't get out of your vehicle.  See above.  If you are out of your vehicle, you cannot possibly pull up.  Do not ask the drop-off/pick-up adult where your kid is.  The other day some lady (who didn't even pull all the way up!) got out of her vehicle with a note in her hand and was trying to flag down the lone adult out there, saying something about she was a friend of Joey's mom and she was supposed to pick him up.  This was wrong on SO many levels.  First of all, whoever sent her obviously didn't give her the lowdown on procedure, but that is minor considering the rest of her transgressions.  Why would you jump out of your car (one in a long line) in the middle of school dismissal and try and introduce yourself to your coworker/friend's son and the random adult supervising pick-up that day (who may or may not know Joey any better than you do)?  From the way she was trying to introduce herself to "Joey" it didn't seem he knew her very well.  Why wouldn't she go into the office and explain the situation to school staff?  Or hopefully the kid's mother had the sense to call the school and the kid had the sense to get proof before traipsing off with a stranger.  Of course this prompted a grilling session with Moo on the way home:  What would you have done if someone approached you and said that?  Would you go with them?  Would you go back into the school?.........

5.  If you think you've pulled up enough, try another car-length or two.  I'm not sure I can say it better than I did in September on my Facebook status:
Wow! Even at intermediate school people can't handle the drop-off. Here's a few clues for you: 1. Those things dangling from your kid's butt? They're called legs, and they are meant to be walked on. So, you can 2. PULL UP! In case you haven't noticed you are not the only person dropping off your child. If you pull up, several of us can let our kids out at the same time and keep the line moving. I know these are radical ideas for some of you, but change can be good. Keep an open mind. Thanks. 
I just get totally bent by people who think their kids are too good to walk a few extra steps.  Junior does not need to get out exactly in front of the doors, or exactly at the dip in the curb.  And if you think Sally shouldn't have to walk a little more to get inside, she probably needs to walk a little more.  More likely, you should park your car and walk her up because I'm sure you could use the exercise too.  (God forbid if it's raining.)  And it just seems that so many people do not understand the concept that they are not the only ones dropping their kids off.  The more you pull up, the more of us that can let our kids out and the less time this whole process takes. There is a great big world around you with other people in it.  We, too, are trying to get to work, drop off our other kid, get to the grocery store, hurry home and Facebook, etc.

6.  Follow the line.  Don't drive around anyone for obvious safety reasons.  Slim's school (the elementary) recently changed the drop-off route.  We have to drive around the little back parking lot before turning into the actual drop-off lane.  Basically it's like a giant figure eight on acid.  It really is helpful in relieving traffic on the street which was the intention in changing it, but some people can't seem to handle the change or they are just too good to wait in the line before they can peel wheels out of the lot and be on their way.  They park their cars, walk up to get their kid and then rush back to their cars and try and get out before the line backs up.  Hurry up and wait.  Makes sense to me.
(Of course the exception to this rule is at the Intermediate drop-off lane which is a huge "U" that is super wide.  Here they have a few cones arranged in a bottleneck at the inside curve to prevent assholes from jumping the line and running anyone over, but past the bottleneck you have to PULL UP [tada!] so that any cars behind you CAN go around.  Especially at pick-up, since even though you may be near the front of the line, your child may not be the first one out of the school and into your car.)

7.  PULL THE HELL UP!   Every day I marvel that we are so much closer to the end of the year and yet still so far from smoothing the wrinkles out.  At the Intermediate school (4th and 5th grades in our town) haven't most of us been doing this for five or six years now?  People spend less time than this getting college degrees and we can't master a giant left turn with traffic cones and a complete stop in the middle.

So if you haven't surmised, I have a secret desire to be the drop-off/pick-up nazi, yelling at everyone to pull up and making sure nobody pulls into the lane without driving around first.  And heaven help you if you send Grandma to pick the kids up.  You better send her in with a diagram, a map, a GPS and a copy of these rules.
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August 15, 2013

My First Baby - Ketchup With Us #24

Baby girl, so BIG.  Is it appropriate to say that I gave birth to a toddler? 

Nine pounds, two ounces.  Solid and strong.  No newborn sizes for this girl.

My best sleeper.  (Still is.)  

Snuggly baby.  

Shy little girl.

Outgoing preteen--now so tall.  

My beautiful Lovey.  My freckly Feckle. 

My first baby.  Always, my first baby.  


In 57 words or less, tell us about a significant first day in your life … of school, work, parenthood, rehab, veganism, prison, whatever you want.

If you want to "Ketchup" with Old Dog New Tits and According to Mags click on over.  The hilarious pictures alone are worth it!  

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August 13, 2013

The Most Wonderful time of the Year....

If you just thought of the old Staples commercial with the in-your-face dad skipping through the aisles shopping for back-to-school items and the miserable kids, good job, that was exactly my intention. I'm SO ready.  I mean, I'm kinda not, but I am.  On the "why I am so ready" list?  Today:

Actually last week's list, but this one looked
much more productive.
I had big plans for today. Nothing too crazy, just wanted to get some crap DONE.  First on the list was to get to the lab early because Moo needed bloodwork and anyone worth their salt knows that your have to get there early lest you sit and wallow with the blue-hairs, waiting an eon for the pleasure of meeting the phlebotomic vampires in scrubs. The only thing about that was The Geel wasn't being particularly cooperative this morning and nothing would "shy" her up faster than being surrounded by a bunch of geriatrics smiling and wiggling their fingers trying to get her attention.  In this way, the lab did not disappoint.  But I'm getting ahead of myself....

Before the day even got that good we're at home "getting ready to go" and by that I mean, sitting around like lumps while I repeat myself ad nauseum that we need to "get going" and "get there early" and "get this over with" all the while trying to feed myself, The Geel and Slim and get some measure of coffee ingested before we go, and scrounging in my purse to make sure the lab orders were still where I shoved them three weeks ago at her pediatric endocrinologist appointment.  It was probably a good thing that Moo needed to fast for this labwork because while I'm trying to feed the rest of us, she's laying on the couch moaning that her stomach hurt.

Now I am not unsympathetic, but sometimes Moo has a flair for the dramatic.  And sometimes, she simply has symptoms of high or low blood sugar that are explainable.  This was not either of those times.  She came out of the bathroom and informed me that she needed help since she had thrown up.  I go in armed to the teeth with paper towels, bleach cleaner and the like, only to see that she (TURN AWAY, YE SQUEAMISH) horked up great gobs of mucus--likely due to a persistent post-nasal drip and her apparent inability to blow that crap down and OUT of her nose.  That cleaned up and everyone suitably dressed and shoe'd, off we go--a mere hour and a half later than my originally intended departure time.

We get there at a good time because only two people were waiting ahead of us, but it quickly filled up behind us and we still waited forever.  Plenty of time for The Geel to begin her daily epic battle with me for my cell phone.  When we are finally called up we go in the back and while one tech is tapping Moo's vein the other one asks us if anyone explained the 24 hour creatine test. Um, that would be no.

Apparently, we have to collect Moo's urine for a full 24 hours and, AND KEEP IT COLD.  Yes, that's right, refrigerate.  Yeah, so, the watermelon I just cleared space for in the fridge?  Might need to move him over and make room for that specimen container.  I don't get skeeved too easily, but I really do not want my daughter's urine taking up space next to my fresh fruit and my leftovers.  Thankfully the tech suggested that some people just set it in a bucket of ice in a cool area.  I'll take Option 2, thankyouverymuch.

Don't be jealous of this swank set-up.
"Lucky" for us we get these massive ice packs when Moo's insulin comes in the mail and I have an insulated reusable grocery bag that is ripped at the top and missing the zipper.  Won't miss that one a bit, because it definitely will NOT be going back in the reusable bag rotation after being on specimen duty.

One of the other things I wanted to accomplish today was working out.  I've been pretty dedicated this whole past week despite my haphazard attempt a couple of weeks ago.  I've been doing Focus T25 and so far so good.  Trying to stay on that wagon.  One of the things I like about it is the countdown clock on the screen. Except today my workout went something like this:
     25:00 Start
     24:34 Stop. Change Geel's diaper    
     24:11 Stop. Get Geel juice.
     23:26 Pause while The Geel crawls under me.
     21:23 Stop because something went wrong with my laptop and it skipped 10 whole minutes.
     Restart, etc, etc.
For me, T25 is really T45-50, depending on how many "breaks" I get.  How many extra calories do I burn changing diapers and making juice runs?  I may have to contact Shaun T so that he can modify the workouts properly for moms of toddlers.  

No matter what I have on my  TO DO list, I'll always have to stop and feed the animals. While I'm griddling up two grilled cheese for the girls, Slim was entertaining The Geel.  As was explained to me later, she was on a mission to destroy some lego creation of his and so he went running with it.  She chased him back to his room where he turned and attempted to shut the door so that she wouldn't see where he hid it.  Only she was faster than he anticipated because she got to the door and even got her hand on the door jamb, before he slammed the door shut and crushed her pinky in it.  Screaming from both ensued.  

I can say without a doubt that Slim was crying louder and harder than The Geel.  He was so upset that he hurt her.  I ran back, saw her little mangled finger and I almost started crying myself.  It looked much worse than it was.  She seemed to be able to bend it just fine.  Mostly it was getting swollen with bruising and the skin was torn on either side, but it didn't seem broken.  I held my baby while my big boy was wracked with sobs next to us on the couch and the "excitement" gave way to exhaustion....

You don't want to see what's under the bandage.

 ...and the grilled cheeses sandwiches were burning in the kitchen.  Thankfully Moo was able to stop the house from burning down with them, but since The Geel was asleep on me, my ability to get much of anything else done was pretty limited.  Naps all around!  I fell asleep on the couch with The Geel, Moo fell asleep on the chair and Slim was chillin' like a villain with the TV all to himself.  
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