82 thoughts on “Friday open thread

  1. So glad it’s Friday, y’all. DH is out of town, so I’ve been on my own getting DD to her 5:00am swim practices. Getting up at 4:15 bites. (Bakerbaker and other baby mamas may feel free to blow raspberries my way now.)

    But right now the cat is amusing my by trying to attack the shiney sticker on the mouse cord. Oh wait, now he’s asleep again.

    • That does indeed bite.

      Too bad they can’t make the old people or whoever it is using the pool in the afternoon trade with the teenagers. They probably get up at 5 am anyway.

    • Yeah, the joy of being home is that I can go back to sleep. I’m usually up with Stormy for awhile around 2 or 3 am, again around 6:00 or 6:30, but then I sleep from 7:00-9:00 or so. And I feed him in bed, so yeah, I definitely don’t get up at 4:15! Yuck.

  2. Okay, life- I give. I burned the candle at both ends and I get it- I’m too old for this crap. I’ve been on the road for the last 12 days and the sciatica is not happy about it. Woke up this morning with a tylenol-proof headache and the weepies. Proceeded to have a breakfast food battle with both kids over 4 freaking slices of banana. M ate it, H ended up gagging and spitting banana all over the table.

    Lovely. Thanks for the “Hold the hard line” advice, dietician at the lipid clinic. Really, it’s working like a charm.

    Meeting with the VP of Academic Affairs this morning plus a couple of students later in the day or I’d totally go home and go to bed. Have to drive to Boston tomorrow for a client meeting and I stupidly agreed to let Molly have a friend over to spend the night tomorrow night.

    Thank goodness for the moms who volunteer at school at make all the good stuff happen. This morning at drop off for Walk to School Friday, I saw the same 4 moms and had a moment of sad ’cause I’m not one of them. Then I decided to just be really grateful that they CAN do that stuff- along with the Teacher Appreciation breakfast next week, the veterans day event on Monday, and all the rest of it. I guess this is what “It takes a village” looks like, huh?

      • The kids don’t eat enough fruits and veggies. H eats only V-8 and applesauce and apparently they need more variety in order to get the anti-oxidants they needs to prevent heart disease. Plus there’s apparently a whole “fiber makes the fat go away” connection that I missed. Veggies and fruits= fiber.

        • liza’s not a huge fruit and veggies person either- really not until the last year and i’ve never really fought that battle but here are the things she does like in case you haven’t tried any of them:
          sugar snap peas
          edamame
          cucumbers
          apples dipped in smart balance crunchy peanut butter
          green beans satueed with garlic, kosher salt and lime juice (Kelly’s speciality)
          asparagus
          caesar salad

          • Edamame? WTF is that? I may be able to get some headway on the cucumbers. Apples are already in the mix for M, but maybe the peanut butter would win H over. And the green beans sound yummy.

            You’d think the stinky pee factor would be enough to bring H to the table for asparagus, wouldn’t you?

            • edamames are like pea bod/soy beans.. they come frozen and we buy a box of individual packs – throw one in the microwave and your’e good to do – they come shelled or unshelled but Liza has always liked the process of shelling them so we buy her those- Kelly likes them too. Sometimes when we go out for Chinese liza just gets a big plate of edamae and calls it a day.

              she’s also a big watermelon and strawberries fan. In the summer I pack her a tupperware of strawberries and another small one of coolwhip..she loves it.

            • The appetizer beans you get at Japanese restaurants. Kids love them. Also try snack packs of seaweed. These are all the rage in lunchboxes around here and DS2 blows through two a day, but they’re oily so make sure it’s an oil that is acceptable to the dietician.

    • Ok, how often does your school do teacher appreciation breakfasts? It seems like you always have a teacher appreciation breakfast to make something for. Our school has never had one.

        • I totally skim over the weekly emails and just read what’s relevant to my 3rd grader’s class, so I could have missed ours, too! I love teachers, really, but I’d rather pay extra $ in taxes to give them better benefits than have to organize a breakfast!

          • Not to snark or guilt or anything, but to see the appreciation on the teachers’ faces when they saw muffins, juice, coffee, and fruit this morning……tax dollars don’t do it.

            As a parent who is able to do some (not all) of the parent stuff, I can say that teachers are SO happy to see parents do stuff like this. I was at the store at 9:30 last night, and cutting fruit at 6 am….and (for me) it was worth it. YMMV, and I don’t judge, really I don’t, but I love that I can (sometimes) do this.

            • I guess it just feels like it’s something working parents have one more thing to feel guilty about. I do believe it’s important to show the love, but I wonder how much stress it causes parents like Laura to feel bad when they can’t participate. Everyone loves to feel appreciated, I’m not saying it’s wrong to show them that they matter. I’m saying no one should feel guilty if they can’t make monkey bread.

              • In all honesty, it’s taken years of shrinkage and more than a little Katie perspective to get there- and I’m not always able to get around the guilt wall that emerges when I see other moms who *can* do that stuff. So today I just let myself think “thank goodness for them” so I could let go of the guilt.

                • I’m really glad there are parents who have the skills to organize these events, and the parents who can participate. But I haven’t ever felt guilty that I can’t. My son’s preschool relies heavily on parent volunteers in the classroom, and the years when DD was there were the only times I could do it. I will say that when I was able to volunteer in the school library 2 years ago at DD’s elementary school, she loved it. She was so proud to see me in there when her class came through. So, I do wish I could do more for that reason, but at this point it would mean I have even less time with her during non-school hours since I’d be trying catch up on missed work. Someday she’ll understand!

                  • that’s how I feel – really glad and grateful for the volunteers that can do. Between my work and the fact that I still have a pre-schooler, I’m kind of limited as to what I can do at Jess’s school (for example, there is a weekly school bake sale/BBQ on Friday afternoons. I just can’t put my hand up to man the stall because what would I do with Lily around a massive BBQ?).

                    The thing is, all of the parents involved at Jess’s school are very cool and understanding about that. There’s a huge community aspect to the school, but not a snarky one – more like “if you can, do. If you can’t, cool.”

      • We have them three times a year. I blew off the first one this year and had all kinds of good intentions for this one, but there’s no way in hell I’ll get anything together for it.

        Oh well. They always have tons of food and it’s not like I contribute anything they don’t already have on the table. They’ll survive without monkey bread.

        • i’m a cold cold cold hearted yankee… i’d rather stab myself in the eye with a fork. I always feel stupid and self concious about this stuff… so I let others do it.

          clearly I’m not a giver :-)

          • Is there more to it than dropping something off? Not that I can remember to do that a lot of the time either between all of my kids. But I’m not seeing what would make you feel self-conscious. Are people expected to serve the teachers at these? All of the ones where I’ve ever been on the receiving end have just involved parents showing up and dropping off dishes and maybe one or two setting them up.

            • beats me.. but any time I have to actually be in or around liza’s school makes me self concious unless i’m supposed to be there as an audience member for a performance or a graduation or something. I just feel stupid.

    • I gotta tell you I’m with H- bananas re re re re pulsivo…

      I give thanks for volunteering moms b/c it means I don’t have to…I’m pretty sure I can make it all the way liza’s high school years now without having attended a single PTO meeting or volunteered for a single project or committee… other than serving pizza at one rockathon in elementary school I think my record is close to clean!

    • I never do the appreciation stuff. I barely even make treats for my own family so you can bet I am not going to be making them for anybody else. I can just imagine what the kids would say if I actually baked something and it turned out they couldn’t have any of it :P

      I do help by doing the circulating book program in my DS2′s class once a week. The effort this demands has stepped up a lot since the class sizes have gone up so much. I did it in DS1′s first grade class which had 19 kids. Now I am doing it for DS2 and he has 32 kids in his 3rd grade class. It takes quite a bit longer.

    • I hear you on the ‘hold the line’ stuff. Eleven is a rough age for this. My son screams at me every time I force him to take pills lately. “I’M NOT TAKING THESE!!!” “Yes, you are.” Unfortunately he takes pills 3x a day. Not fun. This morning at breakfast when I reminded him I was taking him out of school for an appointment I got, “I’M NOT GOING! IT DOESN’T HELP! I HATE HER! SHE’S STUPID! I’M. NOT. GOING!” I said, “11:30.” More screaming ensued. But I know he needs me to stay calm and firm. He needs to vent but it would scare him if he thought I might cave and he could end up harming himself. I make rebellion safe. Yay me.

      Yesterday at school pickup I handed him pills as he got in the car and he said, “I’m NOT taking these. Hey! I don’t get this one in the afternoon.” I said, “You left your meds on the table this morning, missed one dose yesterday and another the day before, and haven’t taken that pill in over 24 hrs.” And in a perfectly conversational tone he replied, “My feet were burning really badly all day today. You know, I always say the meds don’t do anything. But they actually make a big difference.” Um, ok; thanks for the insight.

      • ” I make rebellion safe. Yay me.”

        I may put this on a T-shirt.

        Seriously though, it’s always a bit of a BFO for them isn’t it? ” If I do x, y will occur. The negative of this is also true.

  3. I had to have my eyes dilated yesterday afternoon and I still don’t think they’re totally normal. Ugh. I hate that. And I learned that I have a freckle on my left eye. Near some nerve so I need to make sure we keep an eye on it (ha ha…) to make sure it doesn’t grow. Weird having a freckle on my eye!

    DH and I are in a debate about how to approach some girl bullying at school. We’ve done the role playing with Mira and talked with her teacher. The teacher and Mira have both spoken to the other girls. I want to wait and see how things go in the next couple weeks – see if this gets better. DH wants to talk to the other parents (who we know). We’re in a bit of a “still discussing” time. 3rd grade has been too much for me :-) Although I’ve been channeling my inner Katie – no PTO, no cookie exchange, no volunteering, no extra projects. It’s been really nice to have Katie’s voice in my head telling me that’s all ok!

      • Some of it seems just kind of “third grade girl” – but Mira’s the new kid so anything that leads to isolation is a big deal for her right now. So beyond the normal “who’s friends with who” stuff, she’s got a couple girls who continuously tease her (she’s a baby, or annoying, or stupid…), tell others not to play with Mira (when Mira can overhear), tell Mira when they do play with her that Mira should not tell anyone they talked to her, run away if other kids come around… And it’s kind of a whiplash – they’ll be nice every once in a while so Mira will think things are better and then the next day they go back to being mean.

        We worked with Mira about how to talk to them and talked with her teacher. Her teacher has been really responsive which has been nice. And we had a one week break where one of the two girls was gone and things were better. But this week brought an escalation from them and more talks between us, Mira, her teacher, the girls. I’d like to see if things settle given all the conversations the past two days. And Mira has asked us not to say anything to the parents. But DH feels like we should say something now.

        • Having gone through this with Jessica, I’m really sad for Mira. Here’s the thing – why are they making Mira sit down and converse with the girls? By doing so, the teachers are equating the victim with the bullies? I didn’t make that connection until I went to our school’s principal to talk with her about the girl bullying situation Jess was in. Jess was being excluded during recess. I felt that although her teacher was saying the right things, we weren’t making any headway and thus bumped it up the food chain to the principal. The principal immediately handled it, not by making Jess and her bully sit and talk it through, but by calling the girl and her parents in (in the context of other, ongoing issues that they’re managing).

          I definitely agree with DH that something needs to be done, but rather than take it through the other parents, why not try the principal? From a perspective of “this is happening, how can we work together on this?”

          • Oops – sorry about that. The teacher did not make Mira talk about it with the other girls. Mira had some things she wanted to say to them so she went up to tell them her thoughts (e.g. that they were being bullies, she didn’t like it, etc.). She was quite proud of herself. But then after about half a day of calm it started up again.

            The teacher talked to the other girls (without Mira and I don’t even know if Mira knows) and has volunteered to talk to their parents. So DH and I need to figure out how much to escalate and whether or not to wait until after Thanksgiving.

            I’ve not been too impressed with the principal, so I’ve been biased against that route, but I think perhaps it’s worth considering if things don’t improve.

            • I would definitely have the teacher talk to the other parents. It’s not just an issue for Mira; it’s also an issue of how smoothly the classroom runs. If these girls are being exclusive, etc., they need to be called on it, and the teacher is the best one to do it.

            • My advice having been through a few bullying incidents, including one where the same child started it up again a year later, is to follow through until you are satisfied with the outcome. If you need to escalate to the principal, do it. So far, our principal gets s*** done. We haven’t had any classroom bullying but our first bus one, we contacted the teacher who took it to the principal herself and it was settled that day.

            • OK – I’m glad to know that Mira’s conversation was separate to the girls’ conversation. Having the teacher talk to the other parents sounds like a natural progression. I’m surprised it hasn’t already happened, though. Definitely time for that.

  4. Right now I’m sitting in the conference hotel lobby, with the conference very much still in full swing, and I’m leaving early! Woot! What’s more, Suzanne and Bella are on the way soon to pick me up for lunch and airport dropoff. Double woot! No, triple woot! Won’t be long now. : )

    On the less sunny side of life, I have not nursed Clara in over 48 hours. I have two huge painful boulders swinging from my chest. There’s no arm crossing anymore, and let’s just say that I pity the fool who tries to invade my personal space during airport security or on the flight home. And I also pity DH if he fails to keep Clara up until I get home tonight!

    • Eek! The pump not doing the job for you? I actually did some emergency hand expressing in the bathroom once or twice when I was in that situation. No fun, but boy was it a relief.

      • I cannot tell you how many bathroom sinks I have christened with breast milk when I was nursing dd. she wasn’t a big nurser so I never pumped, except when I’d been away from her too long and needed to express.

        Ouch though. I’m totally engorged right now too even though F nurses like crazy. I feel your pain, literally.

        • Sitting at the gate and seeing many toddlers and babies, I am now concerned about a new problem I hadn’t thought about. What if I have a crying baby on my flight? That could be a problem for me above and beyond the general problem it creates for everyone. Praying for sleeping and quiet babes.

      • Clara is 13 months and I haven’t pumped in a month. We only nurse in the morning and at bedtime now and I’m okay with continuing to lessen that. So this was all part of the weaning plan, and you have to go through this stage at some point. But YOUCH! I was totally going to do the “don’t offer, don’t refuse” thing when I got back, but I’ve completely changed my mind on that. I am changing it to I will offer and she damn well better not refuse!

        • I went through the same exact experience when ds was 15 months. We left him for a weekend and we were down to just once or twice a day nursing. I figured the trip away would dry up my milk, but I came back in so much pain! I seemed to have made more milk than ever. He went to town and we did another 2 or 3 months after that. Ouch…painful memories.

      • And yes, I have been shower expressing. I even looked up online how to do that and HA! Those diagrams show a dainty little boob and directions for doing it with one hand. Hahahahahaha! I actually could have used a 3rd hand in there, but didn’t think it would be cool to ask my colleague/conference roommate to get involved.

        • Oddly satisfying, like squeezing a zit, isn’t it?

          I remember one time I had to work a few hours overtime for an emergency, and I hadn’t pumped in several hours. The patient was bitching about how I was hurting his chest with my ultrasound probe. and I soooo badly wanted to say “try not feeding your newborn for 8 hours and then tell me about how your chest hurts!”

  5. Holla! The girl brought home her 9th straight “Straight A” report card today… all four quarters of 6th and 7th grade and now the first quarter of 8th grade.

    she clearly did not spring from my “meh… good ‘enuff for now’ standards of work ethics..

      • I’m hoping I can intervene before it comes to that.

        seriously don’t y’all ever feel stupid and out of place when you do stuff like that? I always just stand around awkwardly and try to flee as soon as possible unless i’m at something like a chorus concert or open house night where i kinda know what’s expected of me. ONCE when Liza was in kindergarten I got called to come help with “christmas cookie decorating” I went… it was horrible. I went home and said to Liza don’t ever make me do things like that again…

        I have friends who regularly go HAVE LUNCH WITH THEIR KID AT SCHOOL. VOLUNTARILY. FOR FUN!

        the mind. it boggles…

        • I know some of the other moms, so it’s not that awkward. It took a lot of work to get there though.

          So H brought home all As on his report card too, but I’m shocked as to how it happened. Boyfriend can’t keep track of anything- his homework rarely gets turned in, his bag is a disaster area…

          Seriously. I’m shocked. Proud of course, but shocked. Plus I now have not a single leg to stand on in the “if you don’t get organized you’ll never pass your classes” debate.

          Stupid As.

            • You don’t hang out. You buy a box of store bought cookies, put them on a pretty disposable platter, wrap them in saran wrap and drop them off with the secretary at the front office. It takes about 8 minutes tops.
              No hyperventilating, no freak out, and if people judge me or think I’m stupid well then who gives a rat’s ass?

              But, I used to be the adult in the lunchroom every day for awhile and it’s not that big of a deal either. Kids are just people. Small, messy, smelly people but just people.

  6. I would rather remove my eyeball with a grapefruit spoon than volunteer at my kid’s school. Except I think maybe it could be a networking opportunity and my unemployed ass really needs those. Aaargh.

    • Agreed. I can’t seem to handle any contact at all with the control freak overinvolved supermoms that tend to be overrepresented in the volunteer population; when pinned down by one I just stand there thinking “you think you’re subtly bragging but you’re actually making me sad for your kids”. Not that the majority are like that, of course – in fact I don’t recall any in my first kid’s grade – but there were a couple in my younger son’s class and I am easily chased away. I did book exchange once a week for several years, which is a good one for us anti-social types. But now that I no longer do that I’m kind of out of it.

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