Archive for September, 2011

Head cold

September 30th, 2011
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My kid gave us another head cold. She got it in early-mid August and it was mild but persistent. It lasted her about three weeks.

Of course, it went around the entire family. My dad and I are the last to get it. We have seen this play out and we know it lasts a while.

I have a trip coming up so I went to the doctor, who told me there is nothing that can be done for a virus. She gave me some medications to treat the symptoms.

The symptoms are: body aches and fever in the first week, then a hacking cough that lingers for another one-11 weeks. I just couldn't believe when she said some of her patients have had it for three months. She said she's been getting a lot of patients lately with this virus.

So it's been three weeks and I'm at the bad cough/ runny nose stage, and while it's not debilitating, it makes me tired sooner.

Meantime, I've been kicked out of not one but two beds. Claus said he can't sleep because I have wheezy or honking coughing fits a few times a night. (It was more, until I got the codiene cough syrup.)

I went into Olivia's bed the first night but she complained of the same the next morning.

So I'm relegated to the guest bed, which is in a very tiny room under the dog's porch, and due to my lack of construction experience, I forgot to add insulation when I had that room built. I hear every movement and nail scratch Inca makes.

I'm doing Neti pot twice a day, vitamins, about 20 cups of tea a day, and lots of sleep. My question is, anyone had this and do you have tips to get over it sooner?

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High places

September 28th, 2011
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Olivia proudly announced she could reach some new height at home without the stool- I think it was the sink faucet. "Look at me, Mommy! Look how high I can reach!" she exclaimed.

I always approach each change, even if small, with a mixed reaction of excitement and a twinge of sadness. It's like, She's growing up! Wow! Then it's, Aww. My baby's growing up.

"I'm proud of you! Great!" I usually say. On this day, I followed up with, "You're getting to be such a big girl, will you still need your mommy?"

"Sure I will," she reassured me. "I'll need you to reach the high things for me."

"Like what?" I asked. I'm a smidge over five feet. With her half Scandinavian genes, she'll probably be taller than me in two years.

"Like... the sky!" she replied.

The sky. That's cute. Yes, I'll always be trying to reach the sky for my little girl.

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Hoarding

September 26th, 2011
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I come from a long, stubborn line of hoarders. Oh, they would never acknowledge it, but they all know it deep down.

It's my Chinese side. My mom's relatives. Lots of them. It's the kind where you have to walk sideways through their house and two people cannot be in the aisle at the same time.

On the plus side, it encourages weight-control, because those lanes can get pretty tight.

I remember one aunt, who everyone called Popo Nellie, had boxes piled to the ceiling in her apartment. Floor to ceiling!

She no longer cooked, and there was so little light getting in the kitchen, and so much grime, a little plant started growing out of the sink muck around the back of the faucet.

None of those relatives ever had dead kittens in their piles of junk (did you see that episode of Hoarders?) but it was still quite enough for me.

As long as I can remember, when I walk into a room that's really cluttered (note: not dirty, cluttered) , I feel a strong desire to clean it.

My dad's side, the Hawaiian side, is normal. There are varying degrees of mess, but I can't think of anyone who has out of control issues.

Thankfully, I got the clean gene from my paternal lineage. I like to throw stuff away. I like to clean my house; throwing away clutter makes me feel lighter.

My mom's house isn't as bad as Popo Nellie's - yet?- but you know, habits only ingrain with age.

I used to try to clean her house when I was younger but, to her delight, I'm way, way, way too busy now that I have a child, a husband, and a career. All her carefully washed and dried milk cartons and twisters are safe now.

Growing up in mild hoarding conditions reinforced my vow to to myself to never, ever be a saver.

That is, until I had a child. I have started saving things that I think she will need down the road for school projects.

I saved the plastic jar from the time we had the chameleon, Rango. It's in the attic. I save empty blowing-bubble wands and containers in case I have a group of kids and I need to split up the bubble solution for everyone to have one. I saved an ugly plastic lei in case we need it for some school craft project.

I also started saving empty containers, like after you buy poke, or after you use up the pre-mixed salad. It's for when I bake cupcakes or make food that I want to share with other people. It does tie into having a child; I'm just so much more domestic now.

I find myself bringing baked goods a lot of places. I had to meet a friend and I wanted to bring him soup for dinner.

About the soup friend - I did not have a large container for soup, so I had to ask my mom if she had a disposable container that could be given away.

"What for?" she asked. When I explained why, she sniffed, "Hmm. So you're saving containers now? I thought you love to throw everything away."

"Yes, well. It's different now," I mumbled. I had to eat crow. Decades of crow.

She riffled around her kitchen and presented something. "Will this do?"

"Yes, Mom. Thanks, Mom. Yes, you are right to save some stuff. When you need a one gallon plastic container for soup, then you'll have a one gallon plastic container for soup," I admitted, as I placed the humble pie inside the plastic jar.

I still vow I will never walk sideways in my own house.

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School project

September 23rd, 2011
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We are so proud to have just completed our first school project. Between my husband and me, there are 26 years of formal education, but this is our first preschool assignment.

Our sitter picks Olivia up from school and brings home little slips of paper to read; a daily report card. One paper had told parents to help their child prepare an "All About Me" collage on poster sized paper. I did not see this until I dropped her at school and noticed all the other posters.

Olivia pointed it out to me that hers was an 8 x 11" piece of paper with stick figures representing her family. I felt kind of bad, so I wanted to do it right away so she wouldn't feel left out.

It's kind of hard to go to work all day and then make time to run to the craft store after work, but luckily, I poked around the house and was able to find scraps of this and that which constituted enough for a collage. It's a good thing I've become a bit of a saver since I had a child, for this exact reason. (I am not a hoarder!)

I found poster board and extra photographs of our family, and she has lots of stickers and decorative items like glitter glue and markers. We set about making the poster.

The other posters in the classroom had ranged from hastily done to professionally printed, and from semi-child participation to what looked like no-child participation, in terms of visual markings on the paper. I'm sure all the kids had a hand in pointing out what photos they liked, what answers they wanted to give, or where to glue it. Ours looks more homemade as we had Olivia cut magazine photos out and write the words herself.

I set our poster board down and asked Olivia where she wanted to glue her photos down, and which ones. I then drew a line under it and told her to write a small title underneath, like Family or Pets. I fed her the letters one by one. There was a picture with her and her grandparents, but when I suggested she write Grandparents she balked at the length of the word.

After she put the stickers around the poster, I suggested we glue some 3D objects down. I had found a couple items in the bottom of the toy bin representing things she likes- Hello Kitty, Sesame Street. She has so many toys, she can definitely afford to lose a few to this school project. I also found a Mardi Gras bead necklace which Claus cut and glued around the border like a garland. You know, like it's our project.

Afterwards, she was proud of her artwork. She was happy to bring it to class the next day.

I know this is just the start of 12 more years of school projects... for her dad and me. Luckily we went to college for this.

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Phone voice

September 21st, 2011
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I called a good friend at work one afternoon.

"Hello, (company name), how can I help you?" said the voice on the other line. It was a high, sweet, young voice, like a high school intern.

I did not recognize this voice, and I'm familiar with most of the people in her very small office. I ran through all the females' names in my head trying to figure out who this person was.

After a second pause, I said, "May I speak to Mari?"

The voice morphed two octaves down, to the authoritative alto voice I know and love as Mari. "Hi Di. What's up?"

I burst out laughing on the other end. "Really? That was you? It was vaguely familiar but I still couldn't recognize you."

Obviously, I love Mari, but her normal tone of voice is brusque and means business. If she wanted to, she could make a WWE wrestler look like a kitten. This is not a chick you want mad at you.

And the phone voice- the voice was like cotton candy and Cinnamon Girl, of "I can be pushed around because I don't know anything" sweetness.

Apparently, I am not the first friend she has fooled. You know, I guess we all do it. My phone voice is nicer for strangers or acquaintances, too.

Which brings me to the next question. How come we reserve the nicer voice for strangers and the blunter voice for our friends? How come the closer people are to you, the less you have to be polite? Funny, right?

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