Hump Day Open Thread

What’s up?

Thank you all for your advice and perspectives on the homework issue. When I picked up Ari from the afterschool program on Monday he was — doing homework and helping a classmate to boot! His first words to me in the car? “Is my punishment over? Will I get to see Jude this weekend?” Not seeing his bff and having to spend all day Sunday — gasp! — doing homework was pretty rough on him. I have a feeling he’ll be completing those homework assignments, at least for a little while.

So now, it’s onto work. As you read this, I’ll be on a flight to DC to help out with this event:

What: MomsRising’s “Have a Heart, Save Lives” gathering for reducing gun violence, with performances by the World Children’s Choir, and
When: February 14, 2013, 11:00 AM EST
Where: Lutheran Church of the Reformation on Capitol Hill (212 East Capitol Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003)

If you happen to be in the area — please do come! And if you know other moms who this would be of interest, please pass along the invitation.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?

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About Elisa

I am a journalist and online organizer who is the co-publisher of this blog. When I am not online, I am shuttling around my two kids, an 8-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter.

107 thoughts on “Hump Day Open Thread

  1. Stupid wordpress ate my comment…grumble.

    My first deadline on the new gig is TODAY, so I cleared my calendar to get the piece written. It’s only about 750 words, so it shouldn’t be too awful. Have to interview some teachers at my kids’ elementary school here in a few minutes. When my piece goes up (on Friday, I think) it will be here: http://www.wholechildeducation.org/blog/reimagining-public-education-one-story-at-a-time

    DH is struggling and sad, which makes me sad. He’s overwhelmed with all the changes at work and he’s not feeling great theses days. Midlife crisis stuff I guess. On the upside, H has really perked up on the school front. Last night I had him take a couple of practice quizzes for the class he *wants* to be in (8th vs. 6th). He scored 80% on them, which was a huge boost for him (he was feeling like maybe he wasn’t as good as math as he thought he was since he didn’t “make” advanced math). He still has some work to do before he’s ready for the placement test (just terminology and practice), but it was a giant boost. He bounced out of the car this morning like he owned the place instead of slumping his way in like he has for the last several weeks.

  2. Wwmtd?

    Ds was sick yesterday w a fever and said his ear hurt. He was feverish in the night but fine now. I kept him home, but we are supposed to go visit a preschool for dd at 1. Is it ok to take him and have him sit in the double stroller and not touch any toys? I’m pretty sure it was an ear infection and not contagious anyway. Rescheduling is a bit dicey with the upcoming move, and classes filling up…

  3. Good morning everyone. Elisa I’m so glad things are going better on the homework front. My son Pablo and I have struggled with this too. I got a lot of good ideas from that thread too so thanks!

    So wish I could be in D.C. Looks like an amazing event!

    Oh and I’d still go visit the preschool too. One more slightly sick kid will not make any difference to the germ pools that preschools are this winter :-)

  4. Hey friends–I often struggle with what kind of little token to give DH for Valentines Day, but not this year! I got him a heart monitor watch. Functional, not too expensive, in keeping with his current workout interest, and heart-related. I can’t wait to give it to him tomorrow!

    Clara’s getting an board book with an I Love You theme. Lucy’s getting a begged for but very very unvalentines-y Monster High doll. I may still change my mind on that and take it back. It is so yucky and cheap looking and I wish she didn’t want one so bad.

    What are y’all doing/getting for your sweeties tomorrow?

    • The heart monitor watch sounds like a good gift! Weren’t you looking into those fuel bands, etc.? Is this what you ended up selecting? I was wondering if those bands would be useful (more for me than DH). What did you end up finding out about them?

      We have an unusual situation compared to most people because it is also DH’s birthday, which tends to take precedence over Valentine’s day. We just get each other a card for V-day. I haven’t gotten anything for the kids, but they will get birthday cake. That is what we usually do.

      • we just do cards and a special dinner [cooking steaks] — DH’s birthday was last week. Sometimes he brings me flowers but a giftr is not usually part of our pattern.

      • DH’s bday was last week and I ended up getting him a fitbit. None of the fitness bands (etc) had heart monitors on them, so I went with the cheap (around $50) fitbit and a separate heart monitor watch. I also got him some new workout clothes “from the kids,” for his bday, so I decided to save the heart monitor for vday. Kinda serendipity how it worked out, really.

        He’s liking the fitbit and still working out the kinks getting it synced properly and looking at his fitness stuff online. I wasn’t sure how into it he’d be, which is why I went with fitbit. It was the least expensive option.

    • We, uh, bought each other a house.

      We don’t do valentines day…or Christmas, or birthdays for each other. It’s just not fun when you share a bank account. We try to do dates fairly often, and we’ll go on a “valentines” date after the crowds die down. I’m pretty sure there’s a gift card for us from my folks. For the kids, I got them each a box of chocolates. They’re excited about the class valentines, and they exchanged them a church club last night. Dd’s birthday is on the 16th so it all kind of runs together. Friday she will bring in her valentines and birthday treat to daycare.

      I know, bah humbug. I used to force the gift giving but once we were married I quit bothering. Dh is a lot if things, but a gift giver he is not. Got tired of ordering my own gift and then being presented with it, unwrapped.

      • A house is a pretty damn fine gift!

        DH would be totally okay with your no gifts policy. Not me. I like presents. He’s gotten better over the years at choosing gifts and presenting them wrapped. Not as good as me, of course, but I’m kind of over the top with presentation sometimes.

      • Our sentiments exactly. We’re not big on giving gifts that someone has scheduled for us. And my kids get more than enough candy already, so I’m certainly not giving them more.

    • Valentine’s day is also the anniversary of when we officially started dating 9 years ago.. so it’s pretty special. I am sending Kelly 9 roses — one for each year– to be delivered to her office. We usually go out but she has a class tomorrow night so we are meeting at a restaurant across from the theater for a drink and some light bites after I get out of work and before her class starts.

      Then we’ll have sexy time later… ;-)

    • Jess loves Monster High, and I gotta say, I actually think they’re cute. She’s got a couple, which is just enough for her to have for playdates with her friends with MH dolls.

    • I don’t do Valentine’s Day. I’m the opposite of romantic. I hate it. Really….hate it. With a deep and abiding loathing reserved for red hearts, smoochie poo cards and roses.

      But we do have tickets to go out to an International Arts Festival event tonight. Scottish comedy lock in. Works for me!

  5. Here is why I love my job: M is sick today, so I am working from home in my lovely, spacious office while she watches TV on the couch in the next room. My works calls are forwarded here. I am wearing no makeup.

    Here is why I do not love my job: I end up picking up the slack for every other damn body who is slower than I am.

  6. Finally feeling “real” in my job – the first two weeks were just a blur (sort of like those first days when you bring a baby home), then two weeks of trying to learn EVERYTHING. Today (5th week) is the first Director’s Meeting, and I’m getting exposure to other senior managers and a feeling for how the agency as a whole works.

    the WWMTD issue of the day is this one:
    One of the ass’t directors (there is a CEO and two Asst’s) was talking to and about me in the first meeting of the day as Susie. I am not a Susie, and to make it worse (for me, emotionally), I used to joke with my Dad that he was the only one who could get away with calling me that. To complicate it a bit more – this particular AD is married to my immediate boss. Keeping him happy has multiple implications!

    So…How do I say “NO ONE calls me Susie?” or just let it go?

  7. Dang. Cross another preschool off the list. This one was promising because 1. It’s preschool AND drop in daycare, so both girls could go if I had to work. And cheap! And 2. I have a friend who works there and was recommended by another friend.

    But I just didn’t really like the director/teacher. She didn’t pay any attention to dd and dd was kind of scared to go in to circle time. Just seemed a bit rigid and I didn’t get warm fuzzies. I just don’t know if it’s for us but the drop in aspect would be good. I don’t want to sacrifice my kids’ well being just so I can work if needed.

  8. When did your kids stop napping? It’s been so long I don’t quite remember when DD8 stopped. DS3 is still (mostly) taking mid-day naps, but having a hard time falling asleep at night. Which makes me think maybe it’s time to skip the nap and consolidate his nighttime sleep, but honestly I’d rather not give up the midday nap yet. I like the break. Waaah.

    • Mt DD took 2-3 hour naps until she was five! She’s always been a great sleeper thank heavens. DS stopped napping at 3. Ugh. There was no thing I could do to keep him in there even for quiet rest time. It’s hard not to have that little midday break, especially when the older child is at school all day.

    • Yep we just dropped nap for the same reason (formal naps anyway. Half the days she conks out for an hour on the couch). It sucks. I am losing my mind. But it’s better than her not falling asleep till 11! Most afternoons she just chills on the couch with the iPad. She gets her binky back if she lays quietly so that helps motivate her.

    • Between 3 and 4 we went back and forth. At school, they would put her down and wake her after an hour if she went to sleep. That seemed to work pretty well to not disturb bedtime, though sometimes she was a crankyass when I woke her up from a nap at home!

  9. Say what you will about McDonald’s food (I admit it, I eat there more often than I should, though the kids do not eat there unless we’re traveling). But dang it if they don’t have the friendliest people at the windows! It doesn’t even matter which one I go to, I get a bright, friendly smile and greeting from the person at the drive thru. Plus, they give me so many napkins! I have a huge stash of extra McDonald’s napkins in my desk drawer. I know it’s totally brand management, but I don’t care. I fall for it and I like it.

  10. So, Lily, being nearly four, is going through one of those great leaps forward in vocabulary and language use. Her tricks of late have been the words “apparently” and “eventually”. They’re being used correctly, but still, it’s funny – as in:

    “Well, apparently I like ham and cheese sandwiches.” Said with just a touch of withering cynicism.

    “I will eventually fall asleep, but not before I turn four.”

    • I can overnight you some angry birds ones. We will be missing “happy heart day” it seems. My lil guy has a nasty ear infection. Started antibiotics but still going to give him tomorrow to recuperate.

    • 3 years ago- liza was in 5th grade — 8pm February 13th and she says “huh.. you know apparently our class is doing valentines after all”

      10 minutes later we’re at CVS in our pajamas… good times

      • H was so glad there were no Valentines to deal with this year, though he was bummed to discover that one could purchase valentines through Student Council and have them delivered in class. Last I heard, he was considering sending himself one so he could have the candy.

      • I went to CVS and there was one box left, and the one box they had only had 28 valentines in it (his class has 31 kids).

        Luckily the grocery store still had some.

  11. I went to buy chocolates for the vet as a thank you yesterday (they came to our house to put our dog down and cried with us, and were just plain wonderful). The girl behind the counter called me “ma’am” about five times and it was really jarring. I couldn’t figure out why, until I realized that she was American. Aussies just don’t do that, and I’m not used to hearing it anymore. I hadn’t even noticed her accent until then!

    • I could do without ma’am. I’m in the minority on this, but i would much rather be called honey or sweetie than ma’am. Well, by a woman that is, if a man calls me sweetie I get pissed.

      • I dislike ma’am, but *hate* Mrs. (Not least because technically I’m not–we don’t have the same last name.) Anyway, I’d frankly rather they didn’t call me anything if they don’t know my name, but I don’t mind “dear” or whatever from older people, men or women.

    • What a lovely thought. I’m so glad to hear your vet was so wonderful.

      How are you all doing? I’m so sorry.

      The kids are sleeping (or maybe just in bed in M’s case) and DH is out for a late dinner mtg. And I’m really missing Mugs. Even recently when he’s been sick, this was a time when I hung out with him. So the house feels especially empty without him right now :-(

      • We’re okay. It’s getting easier and easier. But I keep forgetting. I put the plates on the floor last night after dinner without thinking. :( And I know what you mean about empty. Soooo empty. sigh….

        I’m sorry for your loss too. What’s up with the MT dogs lately?!?!

      • Oh, I know what you mean. I work from home and our Chaney would plunk herself down wherever I was – office, kitchen, bedroom. After she died, I missed my daily companion. It gets better but you’ll still miss Mugs.
        The greyhound is also kind of needy that way. What I really don’t like is he barks. Big loud barks that are both deep and shrieky. I am trying to convince him that greyhounds don’t bark, didn’t he get the memo? ugh.

    • Sorry about your dog, too, Aussiegeek. Did you like doing it at your house? I thought about that last year, but worried that it would be harder for some reason.

      • She didn’t like the vet’s, so I wanted to do it at home to save her anxiety. This way was lovely. We got her to lie down on her bed, and we fed her bits of chicken and patted her and told her we loved her. She was none the wiser and not upset at all. We, on the other hand, were bawling.

          • They were there. We all sobbed. The boy wailed. We all hugged her and thanked her and said goodbye. It was not fun. But we had done a fair amount of talking about it beforehand, so they understood. And the vet said things like “You don’t have to be in pain anymore.”

            So….all good. But horrible.

            • Oh hugs.

              but that’s so much better than sitting in the waiting room at the vet with your sunglasses on, trying not to sob. And my vet was great about not leaving me there, but those couple of minutes from check in to going back were horrible. Next time I will definitely try to have a vet come out.

  12. Aaaaaand…. I’m sure no one could see this coming from miles away, but I am the “bad cop” once again when it comes to DS moving off campus. He never did deliver a reasonable budget, so when the landlady sent the lease for the parents to co-sign I said I would sign when I saw a budget — LIKE WE AGREED. So today I get a text from DS saying “We got the place!!!” and then he wondered why I wasn’t more excited when I merely texted back, “cool.” Evidently DH signed without telling me. Because according to DH, DS *did* do a budget. I guess I am now blind to invisible columns of numbers? Is that a thing?

    Also? DS started bullshitting, saying he would have the budget to me by Friday (why bother?), and also saying he was “very stressed” and had a “disabling” panic attack. This is code for “don’t make any demands on me whatsoever” and DH responds like a charm. I’ve been trying to get him into therapy for anxiety for freakin ever, and I’m getting tired of him pulling that out whenever he wants a problem to go away while refusing to do anything about it. This stuff is so treatable.

    Yes, I am a cold, cold woman. Grrrr.

    • Ooo what an operator! Are you going to make therapy a requirement for you to continue helping with expenses? Because you know, it sounds like the whole off campus thing might trigger some serious panic attacks. Maybe if he doesn’t start therapy, he needs to move back on campus?

      • Yes, very manipulative, and DH buys right into it. I don’t think forced therapy ever really works and I’ve already paid my share of bills for no-show appts., so I won’t go that route.

  13. Ooooo, BB is a pro. Your kids are going to get away with exactly nothing when they’re teens.

    And I’m sorry, IR. Have you ever asked DH if he will still be willing to bail out DS when he’s 30? Or am I the only one snarky enough to say something like that?

    • Oh yes, we’ve had that conversation many times. DH always acts kind of shocked-hurt when I bring it up, as if nothing he does is creating exactly that kind of dependency.

      What pisses me off about this time is that DH and I had a very calm conversation and concluded that DS would need to live within whatever the current room and board costs are for his school. And then he turned around and signed off on a rental that *might* work. And I’M the bad guy.

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