Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Neti Stomp!

These allergies have been plaguing me for weeks but officially pushed me over the edge yesterday.  They are always bad in the spring and fall but this year has been terrible.  I've limited myself to 5 sentences of whining because nobody wants to read that, but I've hardly slept.  My daily walk has been stopped.  I can barely breathe when I walk outside (it feels like a cat has taken up residence on my face).  My eyes itch like crazy and the pressure on my head/sinuses is borderline explosion.  I've been nearly immobilized and forced to lay in bed in a near comatose state until 1:20pm reading a book (okay, so maybe that part wasn't so bad).  Then the allergies went ahead and hit way below the belt... they made my morning coffee taste funky.  

I've tried everything short of trapping myself in a air-purified giant hamster ball and rolling around life.  I've taken every herbal and medical means possible to get keep these awful things at bay.  I've been barely warding off a sinus infection / ear infection by faithfully (overdosing) on Claritin every morning and Benadryl (generic from Costco, of course) at night or when it gets too bad during the day. I can't use anything with a -D because of my high blood pressure.  I've suffered through nasal sprays.  I've eaten spoonfuls of local raw honey to help build my immunities to local pollen.  I've kept the house closed up with the air on.  I've cleaned every air filter and fan.  I shower all the pollen off.  Nothing is working but this current desperation brought me to a new level...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Travel Sport Lament

In case this isn't abundantly clear, we live in Middle Class Suburbia.  EVERYONE athletic (and some who are not) play, love, and embrace Travel Sports. I can't always tell, but I think it is more than just a status symbol / window cling to them...  Signing our son up for Travel Sports was a bigger dilemma for us than it needed to be because I'm always weighing what is just the culture with what we should do; I never wanted to be a soccer mom, and I over-think almost everything.

Don't worry, I don't say this in front of many people (yet here I am, blogging about it).  Permission to speak freely? 

I've always thought of sports as a decadent waste of time and I really don't like the whole idea of Travel Sports for kids.   I find them pretentious and just another way for Affluent America to exert elite-ism.  I don't like life to revolve around sports or to encourage the natural  egocentric mentality that life revolves around our Dear Son.  I am uncomfortable with the intensity of the parents / fans / coaches / players.  I'm not big on the rigorous nature of the schedule.  I hate that the "outfit" is so expensive; I refuse to call it a uniform because anything that coordinates that well and costs $200 is an "outfit".  I'm not even sure it is emotionally or physically healthy for kids to dedicate so much energy to one endeavor; I'd rather have a wider variety. But I've squeezed it into the budget and come to peace with it all because...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Memory of Trees

It is a sad day at the V house.  Four trees were chopped down today in our yard to make way for the new power lines.  The 60 year old trees bordered the backyard and hid the unsightly lines as well as made our yard wonderfully private without the need for a fence.  They weren't anything special, but they were tall pines that offered shade and a barrier whatever the season.  

ComEd (please read with a shudder of disdain) has been battling this moment with me for years.  One time, they didn't even ask, they just came by and whopped the top right off of one of the pine trees.  I ran outside, dragging a half dressed child, and demanding that they stop (the neighbors tell legends of finding me standing chained to my trees for days on end).  We came to a compromise and they took the branches off surrounding the lines but left the tops on.

Those poor pines were never the same.  They grew thinner and thinner with each season.  They produced less pinecones but the cardinal family still happily called it their home and the morning doves came out everyday to greet us.

When I got home from work on Friday, my neighbor nervously came over with a note from the ComEd arborist saying that I MUST call him immediately. This time, I knew there was trouble.  For the past couple of years, the power has faithfully gone out in Suburbia at the first sign of dark clouds.  Last time, a half hour after the storm passed, the power went out as if someone forgot to push the, "Knock Out Power to Suburbia" button at ComEd Headquarters (which I envision to be a very dark building on the top of hill, surrounded by barbed wire, and run by an evil tycoon that strongly resembles Mr. Burns - and coincidentally also controls Comcast, AT&T, BP, Chase, and Jiffy Lube).  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Raising a Nark

A friend and I were talking the other day about adult siblings who don't get along.  We were discussing how we want our kids to be friends with each other as they grow older.  My sister and I rarely ever fought and still don't-- we both figured we would live longer if we were on the same team (only partially a joke).  We could not be more different in personality but we look nearly the same, except that I look like a version of her that has "let herself go".  We talk everyday and go to art fairs together and laugh about our family.

My husband's family has 4 boys in 5 years (could you imagine that house?!)  They wrestle and tease, but they are all good friends (they claim that they fought until they realized that girls existed and then all of their energy shifted focus).  They golf together, have roomed together, make pasta on holidays, plan to watch games together, and without faking it, they've stood up proudly in each others weddings.  

My own son and daughter get along really well, for the most part.  They have their moments*, like yesterday with summer closing-out and they were purposefully annoying the heck out of each other at every turn while at the Art Institute, but usually, they are pretty good friends.  I'm sure karma will get me for this and my kids who normally hold hands when they cross streets will start kicking each other.  I'm not raising our children the exact same way as my mom or mother in law (no offense, I'm sure you guys would even change some things :0) - but here is one thing that both the moms did and that I continue to do...