Zinger Boy

Dusting off the neglected LJ to record something.  Peter seems to have crossed some developmental Rubicon where he's well and truly sarcastic. Now, it's probably not totally shocking if you've had any interaction with me at all; the child has certainly been exposed to sarcasm since he was an egg. But he's always pretty straight-up and literal. But the last few weeks...hoo boy.  Notable examples:

* In the mall with friends, he catches his buddy Griffin (age 10) looking at the Victoria's Secret window as we walk by:

P: "See something you like?"
G: "No! I was...just...I was..."
P: "Oh. 'cause that's what I was gonna get you for your birthday."

(Griffin thought this was the FUNNIEST thing he ever heard, BTW.)

* I walk out of the bathroom, having (I admit it) not washed my hands:

P: "Um...have you MET the sink?"

* Talking about BIL's new girlfriend. (BIL is 47, a computer scientist, and terribly socially delayed. The fact that he is speaking to a woman is cause for great rejoicing):

P: "Is she a woman, like a real woman? Or a "woman" [he did the air quotes]. Are we sure she's not a robot?"

Big-Ass Update

I have to be a better journaler. I've been looking back at my LJ for some stuff, and it's pretty complete until it isn't.

So where are things? Things are basically good...

Peter is in 3rd grade and it's going well so far. His teacher is brand-new to his school and she is very nice, it seems. Very positive and upbeat. He is so happy to be with someone like this, and it shows. He's reading -- READING -- with interest (he's been able to read since he was three. He's seen no real reason to until now.)  They just finished "The Kite Fighters," which he loved. His homework comes home with comments about how amazing his reading comprehension and written answers are. I am a little WTFing about this. This is my kid? I mean, yeah -- this is what my kid should look like, if talent is genetic. But he ain't never done it before. He was always more of a math guy. My only concerns have to do with social relationships -- there is a lot of inappropriate rough play going on at recess, if P is being accurate in his reportage. He's been held down and tickled several times (NOT OKAY with me. P is ticklish as I am and we're in that place where tickling=torture) and today came home with a scratch on his arm. He says there was a big 3rd grade Come to Jesus today with the two teachers speaking about behavior, so that's something. We have conferences this week, so we'll see if the teacher is on the same page as I am with this.

P's still doing karate. He will test for brown belt (!) on Saturday. I am so proud of him. So proud. He's worked for literally years for this.  He also competed in his school's national championships this year -- he won two 2nd places at the regional meet and qualified for states. He lost in defensive techniques but won 3rd in sparring at the state event. This weekend was the national event. He sparred against four other kids, all much older (his division is green belt through brown belt, ages 8-12, and he is 8. Most of the other kids are 11-12.) It was a hard event -- the kids were all very good and much bigger than P -- but he ended up in 3rd place. He got his clock cleaned by the kids who placed 1st and 2nd, but so what? Again -- very proud. I'm proud he won anything at all, and I'm more proud that he gets out there and does it. He works through nerves and fear and does it. He focuses and thinks on his feet. That is so much better than winning, IMO.

He is growing like a weed -- he grew six inches between his 7th bday and his 8th bday. The net result was too-short pants, feet the same size as mine, and a summer of physical therapy. He was really spastic last spring -- moreso than usual. We went to the orthopod to get a Rx for new orthotics in June and it turns out the kid had no range of motion in his legs. That explains all the pain he was having...so, we did a summer of 7am PT (yippee) and he improved his ROM and his stamina. We are likely into this for a few years, though, until his last growth spurt is over.

Me? Well....I applied for a job about a month ago, as the director of a local nonprofit. It sounded great and I was the frontrunner for the job after two rounds of interviews. But when it came down to the nitty-gritty...they couldn't pay me enough. By "not enough," I mean take-home of under $8k a year for evenings, weekends, and the joy of keeping all of the organization files and supplies (think taxidermied animals) in my house. (It wasn't full-time; it was 20ish hours a week, more in crunch times. But they couldn't pay more than their cap, so if I had to work more time, I had to work it for free.) So I had to withdraw from consideration. I was sad, but I also had major misgivings about the job -- it's a 25-year-old organization that has never made any money. I asked what the BOD's goals were and they said "to break even."  Ugh. Also, they wanted me to carry directors' insurance on myself in case of lawsuit. That would've eaten any remaining money I might've made from the job. Oh -- and there was one guy on the BOD who flat-out creeped me out. That was a downside too. I felt guilty walking away from it, but I'm not taking a job to lose money. I'm sad about it; I was hoping it would be start of a new path in life. But alas, no.

I am still freelancing. It's slooooow. The fucking Internet has eaten my profession alive because any jackass with a copy of Word can say he's a writer and most of them will work for nothing. Hence my desire for a new path.

I am --AGAIN -- on the PTA executive board. It's a great group this year and I am happy about it. I am not happy about being book fair co-chair. Last year was supposed to be my last year leading the BF. This year two new women -- Joanne and Carol -- stepped up to lead. Then Carol's husband came home in June and announced they were moving to New Jersey and Carol left. Joanne begged me to help her, and I liked Joanne, so I said yes. Now...nine days before the book fair? I'm not likin' Joanne so much. We have major work/learning style issues -- she is VERY VERY linear. First this, next this, then #3. I am quite linear but I am also a big-picture person. The result is that I am asking big picture questions and Joanne is getting pissed at me because "we aren't at that step yet." The result of that being that Joanne is making decisions too early and fucking stuff up and having to go back and change stuff. And she thinks Google Calendar is "too hard to use" and she "doesn't understand Word." So I am finding her challenging to work with, but it's 2.5 more weeks and then it's over.

DH is fine. His leg healed okay. It was sore for a long time, but somewhere over the summer the soreness mostly subsided. He is okay now until he stands on it for several hours, and then it starts up again -- he stood from 9am-1pm Saturday at the karate tourney and then in the evening at a party. By 7:30 his ankle was purple and hurting. So he's not fully there yet. He's been sick for six weeks now, with his autumnal sinus-infection-that-becomes-a-cough-and-lasts-all-winter. We had the annual chest x-ray (clear, thank god) but he is STILL COUGHING. It's a drag for everyone.

His work is okay. Slow. Very slow. I know he's worried about it, but he tries not to show it.

Family? Eh. We took Nephew Timothy to the Bahamas with us in July, for Lego Fantasy Camp at the Atlantis. My attempts to be the Coolest Aunt Ever failed, apparently, because I am also an aunt who insists on kindness and no whining. It was a tough week with the kid, and I am pretty sure he hates us now, since his thrice-weekly phones calls have stopped altogether since we came back. SILFH has stopped communicating as well. Oof. I dunno if Peter has noticed, but I suspect he has. Makes me sad. (That said, Lego Fantasy Camp was *awesome*)  My family is status quo; my PsIL are status quo. BIL finished his PhD (computer science) in the spring and cannot get a job to save his life.

I want to gut my kitchen, but I can't do that right now.

And that's enough for now, because I have to go use Word for Joanne. *ahem*

grumbles and perspective re: them

I am home because the DirecTV guy was supposed to come between 8am and noon. I called and noon and was told he's coming between 1pm and 3pm. Bzzzt! No. Fucking. Way. And once again I bitch like a nutjob at Halstead Communications about MAKING A PHONE CALL WHEN ONE IS GOING TO BE LATE. This has happened about six times this year.

This is merely one of a million gripes I have today. All house-related. In short, my house is not done yet and it should have been done...oh...sometime in MAY. And now I have houseguests coming and nowhere for them to sleep. I put off houseguests until Late July/August so that we were super-sure we'd be done (first estimate at completion was "April, sometime," so even being pessimistic screwed me.) I have no bedroom for Peter because his new room is not done. All it needs is painting. I scaled back the work in there -- it really *needs* a new ceiling and trim -- to speed this along and get him in there and out of the guest room. Still, it is not done. Ron's BFF is coming this weekend and I have nowhere for him to sleep. I *could* have P sleep in my room this weekend. But next week my SILFH and nephew are coming and I need a place that is cat-free for Timothy to sleep in. I was planning on that being Peter's room. So...I'm annoyed beyond belief. And disappointed. And worn out and feeling taken advantage of and unheard. I have put Ron in charge of explaining all of this to Jeremy because I am either going to cry or rip him a new one if I do it.

[insert shit in here about hands malfunctioning and me not being able to do the mopping, vacuuming, and etc that need to be done in order for the house to be put back together. Blah blah blah]

And as I was writing the above, an EMS call came into our FD. Someone is lost off a boat on a lake in town. I am listening to the response and the person is lost. The fire chief is calling for the state police or the Fairfield helicopter and the dive team from an adjacent town. We have a boat and a Zodiac, but she wants another boat. She's doing recovery at this point, without saying so. Her voice is totally tense and freaked out. Not irrationally or out of control. Just...scared, but authoritative. I would hate like crap to do her job. I really hope it wasn't a kid. I hate this stuff. It is so hard to listen to, but I can't *not* listen either, you know? I care about what happens -- the victims, the families, the firefighters. Our friend Mike is the dispatcher on right now and he is one cool dude but I hear him getting kind of torqued out as well. I'm not an overly prayerful preson, but I do shoot thoughts to whomever or whatever will listen at times like this.

So there is our perspective-building moment for the day -- my house is a disaster, people are unreliable. But I do not have a problem. Not like some people do. So...nevermind.

the house meme got me thinking...

...about my actual house. It's moving along. Jeremy is working *very* hard and I am amazed at how much two guys working in the cold, rain, and snow have accomplished in just a few weeks. Some pictures:


I'm kind of spazzing out ATM that it looks like an addition. That is the last thing I want. I am trying to remember that we have the architect's plans and the finished result does *not* look like an addition. I'm trying.

The Adenoid Talk

We had it today with the ped. We took P in (after golf) because he's been kind of off in the personality department in a weird, he-is-sick way and also he has been snotted up since his birthday. He sounds like the Booger King, but nothing comes out of his nose when he blows it, even if irrigated with saline. So we went in. Dr. A saw nothing scary (he does have a ton of crap up his nose) but started The Talk again. In summary:

- We saw an ENT 18 months ago, during the Winter of Sinus Infections when he was three. Dr. S said at that time that he has the face shape of a kid with funky adenoids but one year of lots of infections (especially as it was his first year in school) was not cause for surgery or even a CT scan. At that time he did not snore or mouth breathe. He had no signs of adenoid problems, except a lot of sinus infections in one winter.

- This year was significantly better in terms of illness. I think he had one sinus infection and he notably did not get several rounds of strep (he's never had it) that went around his class. He also had several colds that did not turn into sinus infections. He was actually a very healthy preschooler this year.

- He has been boogery since May. Notably, he hasn't gotten a sinus infection or, if he has, it's been low-level for a while. It's not been his usual raging grossness. I was chalking it up to allergies or a seasonal rhinitis. I still consider that a possibility.

- He has started to snore and mouth breathe. He has bags under his eyes.

So. On the side of "no, we don't have a a problem," we have the fact that his health has improved. On the side of "red flags" we have that he snores, mouth breathes, and is chronically stuffed up. I can't say whether he has sleep apnea. He *seems* to be sleeping better, but he's also more mature and not in school right now. I will say that he's always been more tired-seeming and more low-energy than other kids. It's very possible, IMO, that he has apnea and is just dealing a lot better with it. The sleep problems, frankly, are as concerning to me as illness. I have seen studies of kids who were considered ADHD or "behavior problems" who had adenoid removal and all of a sudden their ADHD "disappeared." I do think a lot of that stuff is sleep deprivation in disguise and I do not want him starting school with a health issue that will muck up his sleep.

Sigh. Drugs are not an option. He cannot take any kind of significant antihistamine or nasal steroid. Not if we want his mental health to remain intact. So I guess what I will do now is call the ENT and go in again and at least get some kind of imaging of his adenoids and even see if they look gigantic and scary. I'm loathe to rush into a surgery, and it won't be happening asap. I will definitely wait out the beginning of this school year and see how his health and sleep are. But we need to start thinking about the fact that it might be a good idea.


- I seem doomed to stink. My fabulous organic Lush deodorant now makes me itch more often than not. That seems like a straight-up fragrance allergy, since there isn't anything in that stuff but fragrance. Over the weekend I bought me some Evil Chemical Antiperspirant (my first since early in the year), as I really wanted to not sweat in my good clothes all weekend. I got frangrance-free, in the hopes that I could have a day or so before the rash kicked in. I did remarkably well, and I was 100% fine all weekend. That really got me going on "maybe I'm just not supposed to put scented stuff on my 'pits..." I used the plain old antiperspirant on again today and again I was fine. Bummed, since I would rather not put aluminum-whatever or propylene glycol all over my armpits, but glad that something is working. Well, just now I started itching again. Gah. I can't use freaking anything.

- Run DMC's "Christmas in Hollis" is a much-neglected holiday classic ;-)

- My husband eats a piece of sushi in one bite and then chews loudly. I truly want to kill him when he does this. Loud chewing and mouth noises just...gag. Gack.

- I can't find an mp3 of "Do They Know It's Christmas" anywhere. I must be doing something wrong.

- My mother is being a "look at ME!" control freak about Christmas. On Sunday she called me to ask what the plans are for Christmas. I said I dunno, my SIL and I will work it out (in truth, I think we both want to have it at our own home, but we (a) would rather not do the work; and (b) would also not want to insult the other by saying so. We're both being too nice.) She launched into "I need to know what I'm doing!" I was all..."huh?" about that. What she's doing is flying up on the 24th and home on the 27th and WTF else does she need to know? If we go to Bro and SIL's, my folks will stay there. If everyone comes here, she will get in their car and drive up here with them. WTF is the issue? I got no answer on that and then she got all bitchola about "And no one ever comes to MY house for Christmas!" Oh boy. Here we go. Here is the thing -- YOU MOVED 1200 MILES FROM YOUR FAMILY. You know that your son and son-in-law both work on at least the 24th and 26th most years. (Bro actually works on the 25th itself often enough.) HOW would you like us to come to you? You propose that we fly down on Christmas morning and back that night? Funfunfun that would be. Yes, I get that traveling is a drag and all that, but IMO that's the price of admission when you are the grandparent and choose to move that far away and when you know that your kids don't have flexible time off that way. None of this is new or shocking. Additionally, I spent my entire life hearing about how we couldn't go here or there for Christmas because my dad had to work. So if ANYONE knows how that is, my parents do. Now that they do not have to work, they still don't want to travel. That's the part that really pisses me off. It was never about work; it was about them being stingy and inflexible. My SIL begged me not to say anything but I told her no dice. I am dealing with this now, or else it's gonna come up every stinking year. The unfairness of it all really is making me want to scream.

I guess this turned into a rant. Oops.