Saturday, February 9, 2008

Sick Days

Aaah, midwinter. The time of cabin fever (and real fevers), butt clenching cold (and real colds) and the reaffirmation that mommies don't get sick days. It's simply not allowed. I'm not entirely sure if we did this to ourselves or if there's a rule somewhere, but we certainly don't allow ourselves a couple of days to feel lousy and do nothing but sniffle, sit on the couch and have someone bring us soup and the occasional piece of toast. Mommies feel we must maintain our normal programming at all costs, we're fine, we'll take care of everything just like we always do. Why is that? Is it because we know it won't get done without us or that it won't get done OUR way without us? I'm beginning to suspect it's the latter. I know for a fact the dishes won't get clean in the dishwasher if it's not loaded the way I load it. I'm completely convinced that the children will fail every class and never get into an Ivy League college if I'm not the one getting them off to school every single day. It's been proven that the children will turn into sociopaths if I don't get them to practice and make a decent dinner every night...right? This line of thinking is so burned into my brain that despite a fever and a sinus system that had been dipped in concrete, I did not bend, I kept on. Remember that scene from 'Star Wars" (the original of course), when the Rebels are attacking the Death Star and are being picked off one by one? The commander keeps saying "Stay on target." Boom! There goes another guy..."Stay on target." A zillion bad guys decending like flies..."Stay on target." until he's finally blown out of the sky. This is an example of the single mindedness I'm talking about.
You know, of course, that my family was fully aware and extremely appreciative of the effort it took mommy to muddle through the week and that they took special care of me when we were home for the evening. The kids were angels, the hubby was extra attentive to my needs and life was like a Calgon commercial (the part AFTER she's in the tub). Yeah, not really. The hubby was off ice fishing for the main part of the week and the kids were, well, kids. I'm not whining or feeling sorry for myself here, just simply observing that we've done this to ourselves. Silly mommies.
There really isn't much that's worse than a midwinter cold, summer colds stink but don't even come close on the misery scale to a runny nose in February. Living where I live, at this time of the year, things freeze quickly. Step outside with watering eyes and a runny nose and these things freeze too! Granted, you don't have to wipe as often, but boogers frozen to your upper lip really isn't a pleasant feeling, and the thawing out part, I'm going to let you all imagine THAT. The fever really isn't so bad, for the first time all winter, you're actually warm all the time without needing to dress in layers and huddle near a heat source. The bad part is that the cats quickly discover that YOU are a previously untapped heat source and spend all their time sitting on your chest. This is great some of the time, not so much when the previously discussed concrete has migrated into your chest cavity.
Cold medicine commercials really need to be rethought, I have never in my life experienced the instantaneous bliss that comes from a dose of Nyquil the commercials promise. My sleep isn't effortless and sniffle-free and the hangover the next day from 'nighttime' medicine as just as bad as one gained from a weekend bender at the bar, without the pool games and cigarettes. The daytime medicine commercials are equally deceptive, I don't have a spring in my step and a song in my heart after taking my daytime medicine. I'm upright and semi-aware of my surroundings, that's about all I can manage, even with the daytime wonder pill. I think most people don't really expect the advertised results, we're all just looking to be marginally functional until we get to collapse into bed with our new best friend...the Kleenex box and maybe a pot of Vicks Vapo-Rub.
I hope the children aren't going to be permanently affected by the past couple of weeks, Daddy's lengthy stay in Vicodin land and Mommy's current layover in Nyquil City are sure to have long term effects on their delicate little psyches and they're both going to become hoboes or politicians or worse and it will be all my fault. Because it's all up to the mommies, right?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Step Two

Looking at today's title, I realize that I've created my own little twelve step program here. Yesterday, I got to bask in the success of the two project a month goal met and only going slightly over my time limit. And as a reward, I found a perfect bamboo fountain for the bedroom on Ebay and started bidding on it. I’m thinking that if I get the winning bid on it, that means the Gods are smiling down on me and the Zen bedroom is truly possible.

Now that January is over, I should probably give some thought to the coming month and decide somewhat in advance what the projects are going to be this month.
Month one is under my belt, I have proven that the one major and one minor project plan is possible so now we’ll test the theory and see if I can do it two months in a row. Considering how much time we spend in the house in February, I’m going for projects that might still be somewhat enjoyable…to forestall the inevitable grumpiness that will come when I’m feeling overwhelmed.
Major project for the month: A purge of clothing that is beyond acceptably stained and all outgrown or never worn by its intended wearer. The minor project (and we’ll see how minor it is) will be sorting through and putting into albums the boxes upon boxes of photographs scattered throughout the house. At this writing, I see both as achievable goals and possibly enjoyable. I think the first step in the photos project is going to be to make a sweep of the house to track down any and all undeveloped rolls of film and get them to the drug store. This shouldn’t take much and will be a fairly easy way to get into the swing of things for the month.
February is also the month of greeting card insanity for my family, we have at least two birthdays per week for the entire month. Let me think…starting with one niece on the 25th of January, brother in law on the 2nd, dear friend on the 4th, sister on the 7th, Andrew on the 9th, nephew on the 13th, mine on the 16th, Ruth (the best woman in our wedding) on the 23rd, a second niece on the 25th and another niece on March 3rd…SHEESH! What gets into my family during the month of May?! I should just buy cards in bulk and send them all out in the first week of the month to cover all the bases. You know what, I think I might just do that when I go to the drug store to drop off the film. The whole two birds with one stone thing and all. I could cheat and call that one of my projects but I won’t…give me a second here to indulge in a little smug self-congratulations…okay, I’m done.