Tuesday, January 4, 2011

To All the Germs I've Loved Before...

"who've traveled in and out my door..."

Do you ever feel like your family is in the cross-hairs of some vindictive bacteria crime syndicate? That each time you step outside your house (or maybe it's each time we step INSIDE our house), another loved one gets "offed" by the nasty buggers? Well, I'm about to go all Elliott Ness on their a##es with a can of Lysol and some Clorox...

Week the first: It started at Boy Wonder's birthday party a few weeks ago. Two days after swimming in the Alaska Club pool and climbing all over the Alaska Club rock wall, poor little Boo wanders out from his nap with one crusty, gnarly looking eye. By the next morning, both eyes are filled with goo and we're sitting at the urgent care clinic discussing bacterial conjunctivitis. Ewww. Seven days worth of stinging, smelly drops later, we seem to be OK. Well, other than Boy Wonder conveniently announcing to the entire crowded Old Navy store (on Christmas Eve) that "My baby brother has the gross pink eye!" This, after Boo has already wandered up and down the aisles man-handling the merchandise and touching every debit pin machine in the store. I gave a non-committal shrug and a weak smile and threatened the first grader's life in a low voice as we left the store. Snitch! (Yes, he takes after me...)

Week the second: P has an "ingrown hair" on his arm. He squeezes the CRAP outta the thing and within 15 minutes, his entire forearm and wrist have doubled in size and grown angry (pissed off!) red. Oh. Holy. Sh^%. In a house with two parents who do jiu jitsu and a dad who has wrestled since he could put a singlet on by himself, those types of reactions don't bode well so P jumps in his truck and gets the beasty-looking thing checked out. Hello, Staph!! Ten doses of cephalexin later, and we don't have to amputate his arm or build a shed in the back for him to sleep in. Yay! P can stay with the family with all his limbs in tact! Yay!

Week the present: It started out when Anchorage decided to melt all its snow and ice in a freak temperature drop this weekend. I wake up Monday with a stuffed nose and the inability to swallow anything solid. Great. By night, I'm trying to beat my children to bed at 7 p.m. and I'm colder than a Puffin in the Arctic. (I don't know if Puffins get cold. I just think they're cute.) Then I'm hot. Then I'm crying because my bones hurt whenever someone else breathes. (Stop breathing upstairs, dammit! You're hurting my back!) By Tuesday, I'm so doped up I think I'm fine until 4 p.m. hits and I can swallow, breath, or sit because the couch cushions are too hard and the noise from the television is making my leg cramp. One visit to our favorite urgent-care clinic (Hello again, Dr. Kilkenny! Have you named the new wing after our family yet?) and one giant Q-tip down the throat later and I have strep. Hooray for my long-time nemesis, group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus--the bane of my sick existence since I was 8-years-old. (Oh, how I miss the good ol' days...the blissful gland-yanking times before removing tonsils became faux pas...take mine, really. No, please take my damn tonsils.)

After a z-pack, a pot of Matzo ball soup, three gallons of gatorade, and a big ol' bottle of Tylenol, things are looking better. Not sure I'll tell P just how much better because I really, really love the concern and constant babying. But I'm definitely not in tears at the drop of the hat and my sense of smell and taste are returning. Hurrah!

You'll notice in this narrative how Boy Wonder has somehow gotten through unscathed, despite hosting the birthday party that started the bacteria festival rolling around here.

Ironic, right?

After last year's bout with Fifth Disease, he has earned his "get out the sick house free" card, but knowing our luck, the kid will have bronchitis before the week is out.

Here's hoping things are less germ-y where you are...and God Bless this wonderful, itchy, sneezy petri-dish of a home we have!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 Doesn't Scare Me!

Let's be honest here: 2010 ended with a bit of a stumble, trip, and slide across the finish line on my face. The energy was down. My feelings were always hurt. I had no motivation to do anything but fight with my loved ones and feel sorry for my fat, pregnant self. Great image, eh?

I talked about how I pulled myself together about 48 hours before Christmas and thank you, Jesus, for small miracles, right? But it was a close one and I'm pretty certain that neither my sanity (nor my marriage!) can survive too many more scrapes with the doom and glooms of that magnitude.

I love resolutions. I love thinking about them. I love writing them. And I love torturing myself for about nine days trying to keep them, but they never really make it to MLK Day, and that stinks. Last year I adopted the practice of the one-word resolution (I think I chose "brighten." Don't laugh, a##holes! I tried!) and it's something I'll do again for 2011...but not just yet. 'Cuz I don't have a word picked out at the moment--that's why!

So while I cogitate on my word for the year, I'd like to make a few observations I picked up in 2010 and hope they help me focus my efforts in 2011.

1) Marriage. With the right person, it's a blessed, chaotic, thrilling, tiring ride. With the right person, you're allowed to laugh and fight and not give up. That's a new concept for me--not giving up. Without a doubt, P is the rock that keeps me sane. I am so lucky God introduced me to such a stable man!!

2) Friends are the family you chose. OMG, doesn't that sound incredibly cliche? It does, I know, but this year more than ever, I learned that these girls that I read books with, that I drink coffee with, the special ones that I work with...these are my sisters. These are the stand-in aunties for my boys because their real aunties live on the other side of the country. Their children are my nieces and nephews and life would be incredibly dry and sad without them. I turn all hermit-y every once in a while and for that I apologize, but the bottom line is that my girlfriends make my world go round and I have learned how much I need them and need to be there for them.

3. Time flies. This has been a tough lesson in my 30s. All of a sudden the days and weeks fly by. Two weeks have come and gone and I haven't called my dad or mailed a postcard to my mom. I haven't gone to church or met my friends for coffee. Haven't gone to the gym or updated my beloved blogs. Good intentions sometimes remain just that...intentions. More than any other time in my life, I understand the sacredness of the gift God has given me. In the coming year, it's my goal to make the most out of the 1,440 minutes He's given me each day and do something with them...anything to make them count for my family and I.

I know, I know. A little cliche, but I had to get it out. I'll spend the day watching College Football and thinking about what I want to accomplish in 2011. And eating. I'll spend my day watching football, writing goals, and eating cinnamon rolls. Good plan.

Happy new year to all our friends and loved ones. Here's to a fantastic 2011!