Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Disneyland? Maybe? . . .

We have been dying to take the kids to Disneyland. Butter hasn't been in almost 10 years--I know because we conceived Bean at Disneyland and she just turned nine! We keep telling the kids we are going to go and then finances just don't let us do it. We always think we are going to go and we say we are going to do it and it just doesn't happen. It has been a tough few years for us and every time we think we are turning a corner, it just doesn't happen.

So, we just filed our taxes and we should be getting some money back soon, so we think we are just going to do it. The hotel that we want to use has a really good discount rate right now (like $119 a night versus $179), and we could do it mega cheap. The room has bunk beds for the kids and a fridge and microwave so we can do our own meals. The kids will understand that it is on the mega-cheap plan--at least they get to go.

I'm starting to get excited. I love Disneyland. When we lived in the OC I would buy annual passes. I studied at the park while waiting for Fantasmic to start. I went to the park just to go shopping for my nephew's first birthday. When I was lucky enough to go last year, by myself, it was still so magical. It was nice doing it alone because I got to do things I wouldn't have done with the kids. But I also saw things that I purposely didn't do because I wanted to experience it first through Zienna's eyes (stuff in California Adventure).

We NEED to make this happen this time!

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Birthday that Wasn't . . .

I really wasn't expecting much from this birthday. It's just another day and another year. But I was turning 45--not a big deal, but halfway between 40 and 50. To me it kind of meant something, even if I was perfectly happy with the age. So why am I so bummed that the birthday never "really" happened?

Having a birthday in the middle of the week is never good and this on was on Thursday (June 17th). It also doesn't help that I had to travel 200 miles away, but was going to be home the evening of my birthday. I left the day before and did get to go to a baseball game with a friend (go Giants!). Her birthday is six days before me--so this was a joint celebration. Then we went out for dinner and drinks after. Ok, so there was some celebrating.

Then, on my birthday, I got my work done and met up with some co-workers for lunch. I did let it slip that it was my birthday and the waitress must have heard, because they did bring me ice cream and sing. That was embarrassing but fun.

I headed home and made it back in town by 4:00. Finished up some work and headed home. Was home by 5:30--thought we would have a nice dinner at home with the kids. NOPE! Instead, hubby spends the next three hours or so with Bean at an urgent care clinic and then at the pharmacy--diagnosis - swimmer's ear with a slight infection. Ok, that's fine, the kids did say happy birthday and I did get a card from my mom & dad. No biggie, we'll do something over the weekend. In fact, hubby and I were scheduled to go on a date on Friday night. Yay!

Friday comes and Bean spends the day at the neighbor's house, where she is also going to spend the night. Hubby comes to pick me up from work with Baby Bean (mistake #1--he should have come alone and we could have gone to dinner). We run by the grocery store to pick up a few things then head home. Hubby's ears are plugged and he isn't feeling too well, but we figure we will get Bean her ear drops in and then head out for a drink. Nope--not gonna happen. Bean comes home and is in so much pain that we decide the slumber party just isn't going to happen. Good thing since she woke up delirious and in pain and talking about the "guy that came out of the pancakes" at about 1:30am. I don't think the neighbors would have liked that too much.

Saturday--spent some time getting my hair done--cut and highlights (which I love). Then took all three kids out--Baby Bean needed her bangs cut and the kids wanted out of the house. While we are out--Bean starts crying hysterically because of pain. We spend the next two hours back at urgent care getting a "wick" put in her ear and a prescription for Norco (strong stuff for the pain). There went the rest of the day.

Sunday--Father's Day. No birthday for me, but not much of a Father's Day either since Bean is still in pain and crying off and on and sleeping off and on due to the drugs. Well, I guess we are even, I didn't get a birthday and hubby didn't really get a Father's Day.

There's always next year!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Happy Belated Birthday, Bean!

Wow--I cannot believe that my Bean turned nine on Saturday--where in the world does the time go? I remember being in the hospital and having an almost ten pound baby being placed on my chest. No one could believe she was that big, especially since she was five days early!

This year her birthday was a bit understated. She had her party the week before her birthday--in the hopes that more friends from school would be able to attend. They did and the party was awesome--we had it at a small little bakery in town. The girls got to make cookies, then had gelato and decorated their own cupcakes while the cookies were baking. Everyone seemed to have a good time. The problem, by the time her actual party came around, the celebrating had all been done--especially since she conned us into giving her her gift early (or should I say conned her dad).

Her actual birthday was Saturday--as is my fashion, I did hang streamers and a Happy Birthday sign from her door over night. Then we went and got her something special for breakfast, but then Butter and I left at 9:30am to head to the Bay Area to see a friends band rehearsal before a concert. We didn't make it home until 8:30, but I did take Bean to Barns & Noble when I got home to use some birthday money.

Yesterday, I took the kids to the local water park. Bean went on several rides with Butter (even if I did have to force him since some of his friends showed up after we got there). Then I took Bean, Baby Bean and Bean's friend to Chevy's for dinner. It was her first "girls night." She loved having them sing to her and give her the sombrero. She was able to turn her birthday into a birthweek--with all the celebrations going on.

While Bean and I definitely have our issues--could it be that we are only five days apart and as such both Gemini's?--we are starting to click. More when we are alone, but all in all she is starting to get it and is trying to act better and more grown up. While I hate the bickering and fighting, I know that most of it is normal and she is starting to outgrow it. I love that sometimes she just wants to sit and read next to each other. She is a book worm like me, so that is something that I love to be able to do with her.

Next year, she will be double digits. Closer to being a teenager. It's hard enough with one teenager, not sure that I will be able to deal with two, but in a way I cannot wait for the challenge. I hope that next year we will be able to do more for her and make her birthday more about her!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Baby Bean ROCKS!

So, just got back from Baby Bean's 4-year old check up. She has grown 3 1/2 inches and gained 4 pounds since her check up last year (she weighs 42 pounds and is 41 inches tall)--she is in the 75th percentile, which officially makes her my smallest child! Butter and Bean have always been in the 90+ percentile. She is able to do everything the doctor asked--and more!

But beyond that? She rocks with the vaccine! The doctor said that she could get them now (four of them, including the TB vaccine/test), or wait until next year, but she needs them before kindergarten. I figured, we are here, we have insurance, let's do it. So, he finishes his exam and sends the nurse in with the vaccines. While we are waiting Baby Bean asks why--I explain that she is going to get vaccines. She asked what that was and I explained that it is medicine to help keep her from getting sick. She asked if it was special medicine and I said yes. Throughout this I'm very careful to never use the word "shot" and she never asked. R comes in and positions Baby Bean's arms just so and has me hold each wrist. She does the TB first and Baby Bean never makes a peep or even freaks out at all when she sees the needle. She just watches and talks to us. Then two vaccines in the other arm, one more in the TB arm and we are done. And Baby Bean is still talking away, chatting and laughing and saying that now she won't get sick! R was AMAZED at Baby Bean and said that 4 year olds are normally VERY difficult to give vaccines to, and that she made it very easy.

I think the fact that I never mentioned that there were shots and the fact that I didn't make a big deal out of it made a difference. But I know if it had been Bean? Even if I hadn't said anything, the minute she saw the shot she would have FREAKED the heck out. We were so proud that I promptly took her over to get an ice cream cone.

Bits of Randomness . . .

I went to visit my bil yesterday--he was in very good spirits. Had been moved to the PM&R wing the night before and is starting rehab. He should find out later today when he might be able to go home. They are testing out various wheelchairs to see which will be best for him. On the bright side, they won't need much renovating done of their house and they have lots of friends that are willing to do it and help out. Other good news for them--their total share of the medical bills will be less than $5k due to my sister's great insurance coverage. Yay!

Today is Butter's last day of school. True his last three days have been field trips, but he is still required to go. Ok, twist my arm and I'll go miniature golfing, to a movie and the waterpark. No problem! So far, it is looking like he will keep his streak of straight As. We are waiting for grades to be finalized, but they are just about and those that aren't, well, there is no way he could fall below an A in those classes. Wow--eight straight quarters of straight A's! I don't think I could be prouder of him.

Today is Baby Bean's 4-year check up. I know she has gotten taller, but not sure if she weighs much more than she did last year. She is still able to wear some of the clothes that she wore for her 3rd birthday!

Bean turns 9 on Saturday--she already had her party, and has most of her gifts. But she is enjoying the whole experience. Since she already had the party and presents, she keeps say that she is 9 and we have to correct her.

Does anyone else watch Hell*s Kitchen? I am always amazed every season when someone gets upset with how mean Chef is--HELLO???? Have you never watched the show? Haven't you seen how he treats people? And the first episode last week--when he starts kissing & playing tonsil hockey with one "contestant"? That was classic--turns out to be his wife, but I love the one girl who said, "I want to go first!"

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Time for a perspective check . . .

Ok, so at the end of last week I was really starting to feel down about our situation. We are severely in debt, literally living paycheck to paycheck, waiting to see if we might get some tax money back (yes, they have not been done yet as we are waiting for corporate taxes to be finalized), and dh's car finally took the last nose dive (to the extent that the mechanic told us to pull the battery and bury the keys to make sure no one drives it and wasn't happy that we took it home). We have Bean's birthday party this weekend and lots of expenses hanging over our heads right now. Overall, things were (and in some ways still are)looking very bleak.

Then on Sunday, I was in the office (yes, working) and taking a quick break and looking at some really old pictures, including one of my nephew when he was three or four (he is now almost 17) getting on to his first dirt bike (motorcycle kind). Then my cell phone rang and it was my mom. The voice mail said to call her back and she was audibly upset. After I called her back, I found out that my bil and nephew had been out dirt biking with some friends and there had been a freak accident, my bil was taken by ambulance to the hospital and was currently undergoing surgery which could take 4-5 hours. Turns out he broke his back and had a four-level emergency fusion from T9 - T12--NOT GOOD! He currently has no feeling from his groin down. They initially said it could take the back 2-3 days for the shock to wear off and he could have the feeling back. Well, it is now five days and it isn't back. So, the lack of sensation isn't from shock. But, according to my sister, he can gradually get feeling back, and it could take up to a year (or more).

When I spoke with her a couple of days ago, she was mentioning that it could have been worse--like he could not be here right now. I kept thinking until then, there is no way I could even begin to imagine going home at night and not have dh there. It's one thing when we are traveling and I'm gone or he is gone, but to have him gone and probably be gone for a considerable period of time--I just don't know. I've lived with dh now for going on 24 years--to not have that or him--even if it was just to have him at the hospital--would be torture.

So, as the title of the post suggests, it is time for a perspective check. Yes, our finances are still really bad. Yes, we are still surviving on only one car even with me doing a lot of traveling (thanks to good neighbors and friends who are helping to get our kids to/from school). Yes, life still seems upside down. But, overall? I'll take this over having my dh in a hospital bed, unable to walk for who knows how long, any day!