Monthly Archives: October 2010

Young Scientist Deconstructs Anti-Gay Stance

Baxter wandered into the kitchen while I was doing the dishes. “Mommy, you know how there are people who think it’s wrong to be gay?”

“Yes…”

“Well, I think that where their mistake is is that they’re thinking people are like magnets.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, you know…with magnets, only opposite charges can connect. Like, the pluses and minuses have to be connected for it to work. Negative can’t connect to negative and positive can’t connect to positive. I think since that has to do with attraction, that’s where people are getting mixed up. But people aren’t the same as magnets.”

He shook his head and headed down the hall.

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Wondermama’s Week in Review

Hello? Anybody there?

I know, it’s been a while. Again.

What’s going on over here, you ask? Well, hmmm…

Fall has come, in all its midwestern glory, and we are soaking up days that fluctuate between warm and crisp with cool nights and gorgeous trees everywhere we look. Sadly for me, the mold count is off the charts this fall, which is a significant allergy trigger of mine. This has meant that my allergies have been out of control for about 10 days now, only slightly mitigated by a regimen that includes (but is not limited to): Benadryl, Claritin, sinus rinses (yes, the Neti pot), a full bag of cough drops every 24 hours, gallons of water and lemon tea with honey, and multiple doses of Robitussin at night. I have finally slept through the night without coughing for the last two nights, which is a huge relief. My voice was hoarse from coughing for eight days, but finally today sounds closer to normal.

During this period of time, Matt had two of his many trips this month and so was away most of last week. I survived a solo 3-day weekend with the kids and the dog last week while feeling ill and having no voice. Thanks to some awesome neighbors who took the kids to their house to play one afternoon and brought over some excellent soup another night, I had bright spots in my week that got me through. I took one day off work but couldn’t afford to take more than that. The lack of paid sick and vacation days is one significant downside in working for oneself. (It’s right up there with spending many hours of the weekend resubmitting claims to an insurance company that has been holding onto a lot of my income without any communication as to why.) I was grateful to have a competent intern who could do a lot of talking for me last week and a business manager who could team up with me to get the insurance claims in again as quickly as possible.

But today I find myself coughing much less and with about 80% of my voice intact, just in time to take a day at home with Baxter, who has signs of strep throat and needs to see the doctor.  Luckily it was one of my work-from-home days, and I can get a lot done while he snoozes and watches TV.

All is not lost here, Wonderfriends, I promise.

On Friday night, despite my raspy voice, I bravely joined a group of talented actors in an informal living room reading of the play You Can’t Take it With You, reading the part of Mrs. Kirby in addition to stage directions. I am by no means an actor, not having been on a stage since 1991, but my friend who hosted the reading needed extra people as the cast was so large, and I was happy to come help out. It was a lot of fun, and really interesting to see how relevant this 75-year old play was to the current economic climate. And funny. Damn, is it funny. I’m not gonna lie, it probably set my voice recovery back a few notches, but it was worth it to have some fun and be in the company of such talent.

And over the weekend, although I didn’t participate in too much, it was fun to hear about the strides the boys made in their swimming and rock-climbing classes, and the fun Lyle had at a birthday party and Baxter had at a book club meeting with friends yesterday. Baxter and I spent a lot of time together with his school supplies, organizing and labeling everything to help him keep track of all those folders, notebooks, and pencils on his own. (Clue: one big, organized binder.) This was satisfying to us both in a nerdly way.

Last night we played musical beds. Baxter had taken up residence in the master bedroom during the afternoon, and was deeply asleep all evening, so I took the guest room with Lyle, whose primary dream in life is to be with me all the time. Since he didn’t want to sleep in the lower level without his brother, I took him with me. He told me it was his “dream come true”. I don’t know why that child wasn’t born into an attachment parenting household with a stay-at-home parent. Matt ended up on the couch in the living room instead of sleeping with Captain Germy in our room. The dog was very, very confused.

Before bed, Lyle and I cuddled on the couch to read (with a few amusing visits from Gus) and then snuggled up in the guest room bed together. We took a few silly, blurry photos of ourselves. It was a lovely way to end the weekend.


Goodbye, Power Decade

I recently had the great fortune of meeting with my new Nurse Practitioner for the first time. She was highly recommended by a good friend and since I was due for a physical, I went to her. She was incredible, spending over an hour with me discussing every facet of my health and really listening. I walked out with a handful of referrals and a huge sense of relief that someone was actually looking at the big picture and helping me manage my health. It was similar to the feeling I had when I left my accountant’s office for the first time, heaving a sigh of relief that someone was on top of things and pointing me in the right directions.

And so, for the past few weeks I’ve taken her up on all of those referrals, some of which were optional. I had my first mammogram, got some lab work done, and made appointments to get moles checked by a dermatologist and have an asthma specialist make sure the medication I take is still appropriate for me. I’m fine, perfectly healthy, but the difference now is that I’m being more proactive about my health. I’m happy to be meeting specialists I like in all these areas so that if I ever do have a concern I’ll know just who to go to and they’ll know who I am, and have some baseline information about me. ¬†And even as I waited for my mammogram, unsure of what to expect sitting there in my cotton gown, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the fact that I have health insurance that allows me to do all of this. Paying attention to the health care debates of the past couple years has really made me appreciate how fortunate I am. What’s a little boob discomfort when I’m not even paying anything extra to screen for cancer, for God’s sake? It’s nothing, that’s what. I think the lab technician expected some complaints; I didn’t let on that I wanted to hug her.

Even before going to the doctor, I started to take action on my diet and exercise, and I’m happy to report that I’m losing weight at a steady, healthy clip. I’m enjoying cooking some delicious, new, healthy fall recipes. This weekend I made homemade applesauce with Lyle and then went on to make a great low-calorie butternut squash soup (which was served with pears & blue cheese on toast – YUM!) and tonight I made a really easy pumpkin butter that will be a huge treat at breakfast. Plus, my house has been smelling good non-stop!

In my late 20s, I jokingly told Matt that my 30s would be my Power Decade. Looking back, I think that was fairly accurate. I had my kids in my late 20s and early 30s, started up my private practice, we relocated our family across the country, bought a house and I worked my tail off to move everybody and everything in the right direction. As I enter the last six months of this decade, I think I can start putting the Power Decade to bed. The kids are doing great, the business is going well, and I’m enjoying all of it. But I’m hopeful that my 40s will allow me to coast just a little bit; to ride out all that I’ve set up in this life and find more time to relax, more “me” time. I know I’ll still be busy, I’ll always work hard and give my family my all, and that my real years of rest will come much later. But I’m determined to head into this next decade with at least one eye that stays on myself, making sure I’m taking myself in the right direction.

What shall I call this one, Wonderfriends? We have until April to decide.