Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Tween!

My kids are all so very different and that is one of their greatest gifts.  KC is what he considers a "tween"  At nearly 11 he is aware of being on the cusp of the teen years and excited and scared in equal measures.

This Saturday morning when we went grocery shopping he begged me to buy him some deoderant.  My wife is a bit charry of deoderants--feeling that chemicals smeared so close to the lymph nodes are unwise, particularly in the young.  She points out when we discuss this that because we homeschool he can shower when ever he wants. She is OK with powders like Gold Bond. She just does not like deoderant.

I am not really remembering how I got Rob past that little smelly road block with her.  Somehow I must have because he is a great aficionado of Axe and other similar things.  But I think his passions for those came much later and maybe my wife thought it was cologne initially.

At any rate, there I stood in the market with my son begging for deoderant.  In the interest of compromise I read all the deoderants there until I found one with no antipersperant, no fragrance, no parabens and no aluminum.  I handed it to him and he clutched it happily.  When we got to the checkout our cashier asked if the kids wanted to hold their gum.  I said no it was too early in the morning for gum. (we shop at 7:30 a.m.)  "Oh, but could I please hold my deoderant?" pipes up KC

Sunday was KC's first OWL class for fifth graders.  This is a class that helps address changing bodies and issues of sexuality that our religious denomination offers.  It does not replace my input as a parent but I find that particularly for my boys the value is that they are able to get a male perspective. And they are able to ask questions in the company of their peers which leads to feeling more comfortable with topics that typically are not comfortable.

Except that KC is my guy who will (thankfully!) talk to me about anything.  He literally talked non stop all the way home about what they did in class and why he felt the way he did about the discussion topics.  With Rob, by comparison, OWL cracked open the door so that he would reluctantly talk about these issues with me.  With KC, it was more like a floodgate!  I find myself wondering what it will be like in a few years with Lissa...

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Wisdom tooth #1

Fiona had her wisdom teeth out yesterday.  Or rather ONE of the teeth.  I am so steamed.  I didn't feel that I could do anything about this because there have been so many delays and the error by the group home lost us the far more local dentist.  This procedure now takes place at a dental school of medicine in the Big City. That is more than an hour away from my home and another 15 or so for the home Fiona lives in. There are many constraints due to Fiona's type of insurance so the group home's error was not one that could easily be resolved.  The commute alone worried me.  We have had uncooperative winter weather and I worried that they would not get to a pharmacy and get pain meds filled in time before the locals wore off.

I was right about that because they got stuck in traffic after the visit.  But it got even worse. The dentist did not expect her jaw bone to be so strong (she is only 22 why would her jaw not be strong?) And the lower tooth cracked coming out and took longer. So they only extracted one tooth and she has to go back next week for more.

I know this needs to be done and I know that people are human and make mistakes. Goddess knows I make my share, but knowing my girl is hurting and feeling in my core that there was a better way just kills me.

I could not talk to her last night because they got home so late and she had the meds at last. I am calling today to see how she is doing.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Birthday Surprise!

I am a bit emotionally and physically tired these days.  Unremitting snow and cold weather take their toll on me physically.  I feel like I may never be warm again.  However I keep chanting that we are close to spring.  Maybe the goddess will hear me and it will stop snowing!?  Right now the city where we go to church has the dubious distinction of being the snowiest city in the entire US.  Not a title any of us have particularly aspired to!  At our house, the snowbanks are taller than Chet who is nearly 6 feet tall.  Roads are narrow, sidewalks non existant for the most part.  The National Guard has helped out our city, trying ot clear major intersections a bit for safety and to help dig out fire hydrants. I really feel for the plow crews, both the city employees and the private contractors.  They are worn out to a nubbin. Today there is a huge wind chill so I have not been out in the snow with the kids.  Frost bite warnings abound so we are staying in.

I am also car-less as my car stopped working on my way home from work Friday evening.  It was a bit scary as I was in the middle lane of a multi lane highway and all of a sudden the car went form 30 to maybe 1/2  a mile an hour.  Traffic was not amused, I was fairly freaked.  Thankfully though most of the electrical died, my blinkers worked and I was able to use a hill to coast myself into a parking lot unscathed.  My mechanic had it towed to their shop but they do not work on weekends so he is trying to fix it today.  A bit worrisome is the fact that no clear cut thing is jumping right out as "this" is the problem.  There are a number of smallish things that it could be--the battery terminals are corroded. The alternator cables look a bit worn.  Maybe the alternator though appearing to work properly now is on its way out.  I hate the unsureness of this, although I trust my mechanic and appreciate that he is willing to say that he is not 100 per cent sure it is any of these things.  But we will have them fixed today and see if all goes well.

On the plus side of things, the kid's godmother and I managed despite my car-less state to pull off a birthday surprise for my kid's godfather.  Greg's birthday is Friday the 13th.  I was supposed to bring a cake to the coffee house for Greg's birthday to surprise him but Friday night found the cake in my pantry and me car-less because my wife was at work with our one remaining vehicle.

Wendy and I concocted a new plan where she and Greg would both drive to the coffee house and bring us.  The boys would ride with Greg and Lissa and I would ride with Wendy.  Somehow I would smuggle the cake into her car without Greg seeing and from there into the church without his knowledge.  Fates were smiling on us because Greg was so busy chatting with the boys that he did not see me skulk out the front door with the cake.  A traffic jam on the highway brought all of the traffic to a stand still.  However I knew a back road and was able to direct Wendy on how to use that to get to church. Thus we got to church 10 minutes before the guys and could have the cake safely tucked away without Greg being the wiser.

He was so surprised when it came out at intermission and everyone sang to him.  He loved the cards the kids had made for him.  I will remember all those smiles for a long time!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The secret Valentine Surprise movement!

Time to blog seems to be woefully hard to come by these days and I miss it.  It helps me keep my perspective and then I don't feel that I am mashing a lot of things disjointedly into one post.  So today, despite there being a kabillion things I want to write about and only about 5 minutes to do it, I am choosing our new family tradition:  "Valentune surprise."

My wife hates Valentines day. Which I think is weird as what is not to like about a holiday that makes you stop and remind someone you care about them?  She opines that it is a "manufactured" holiday and I maintain that she has the luxury to be that way because she has a February birthday. I love decorating, making valentines, sending flowers, the works.   My wife has a guaranteed celebration that the rest of the world does not with her February birthday.

However this year I decided to show her that Valentines Day is not commercial. It is a pause to make sure our loved ones know they are loved and appreciated.  Hence I created Valentine Surprise.  Last night I explained to the kids that over the next few days we were going to find somethng special to do for Mom and quietly do it. Then we would leave a little heart there that said "VS"  Last night's "vs" was cleaning the launch pad area in our front hall.  The kids helped put everything that was on it away and arranged three plants attractively in the center of it with a little heart tucked inside the middle one.  It was literally the first thing that my wife noticed when she came home from work.

I am going to be curious if today they are able to find a way to surprise her today on their own, or if they will need some help from me after we get home from dance classes tonight.  Either way, there will be another little heart with another non material gift appearing somewhere in our home today!