Worst Stomach Flu Ever vs. Us

My Mom

We're losing. Big time. Are you sick of reading about our stomach flu? Me too. And I'm sick of living it. I'll be thrilled when we move beyond a diet of bland rice and bananas and don't look at mixing bowls as puke-catchers anymore. We are thankful that this hit us now as opposed to three weeks from now, when we're flying to California for a family vacation. Not to mention this is one of the biggest weeks ever in David's job. Ever. More on that later. But for now, we are waiting for Lily and Carver to come down with the Famous Flu of 2010, and buying more bananas.


While I'm glad the kids didn't get sick, it hardly seems fair that their energy levels remain the same. Well, Zinabu's is above average, it that's even possible!
And the good news of the day? I ate rice.


I guess trying to eat today was a little presumptuous.


Dear Stomach Flu,

Thank you so much for visiting our home. Really! When I think of all the families you could have stayed with, I feel so special that you chose us. I had no idea you could be such a party bug! Up all night, non-stop action. Whew. I also want to thank you for allowing me to spend so much time with the toilet in the laundry room. I guess I had always neglected it in the past, but when you kept me up all night I was able to really bond with that particular porcelain object. Somehow you knew it was feeling left out. You're one hard-core animal! I was afraid you'd send me to the hospital after all your influence. And thanks, also, for making sure David got in on all the action. I love that you made sure he was a part of your plans.

Your host,


Strange, but the people who seem to best appreciate my role in life is Procter and Gamble. I'm glad someone understands.


This is what you get when you make him take Mucinex. It's an instant reaction and lasts a good 20 seconds. I know the stuff tastes nasty, but he needs it. He sounds like he has things growing in his lungs. He has no fever, no lack of energy (or verbal skills--still talking as much as ever!) but when he coughs he sounds like he should be hospitalized. He was at school yesterday and began coughing so hard he threw up. He was fascinated by the experience... he got to go to the sick room in the office and "see their microwave AND the crossing guard orange vests."

Okee dokee. He's easily entertained.

So he's staying home today and I know he'll be perfectly fine but I'll keep pouring Mucinex down his gullet and keep smiling at his reaction!


Recently Overheard

Zinabu: Mom, guess what? Carver's going to buy me a dictionary if I don't bug him for two weeks!!!


Ski Trip
With a 3 day weekend on our hands, we drove to the slopes for a ski fiesta. It IS possible to ski on a budget, and this was the magic year for us. Zinabu can get a lift ticket for free (kids 6 and under--and this included a horribly awkward moment where the woman at the ticket counter asked us what year Z was born, and David and I froze. Like deer in the headlights. Cause when put on the spot we had no freakin' idea when he was born and we looked like the worst parents--or kidnappers, for all she knew--in the world.), and Carver can get a lift ticket for free (Colorado 5th graders ski free all year). Lily and David got coupon discounts. I was completely free because I stood at the bottom and made sure no one killed themselves. This was Zinabu's first time skiing, and I mostly helped him strap and unstrap his skis and snowboard. It was cold, but beautiful and exhilarating. Mostly, though, it's trips like these that sear themselves into our kids' memories and create those family moments they will always remember.

Carver was thrilled to be snowboarding again. He completed his first black diamond run and he could not have been more excited about it.

Zinabu was a superstar and gave snowboarding his best shot. The bindings were hard to get in and out of, so that frustrated him a bit. Still....

he was pretty good!

Lily and David coming down the hill.

Super dad. Literally! He kept everyone happy and did everything possible to make the trip perfect.

Lily on her skis. David and I talked that our kids ski just like their personalities. Carver is crazy and excited and wants speed and tricks. Lily is methodical and cautious and prefers not to stray too far from the "correct" posture or form.

What happens when you are supposed to stay in a room at the lodge but they didn't have enough beds for our family so they upgraded us--for free--to a cabin? You do a happy dance! (sorry it's so dark. i was using my camera.)

Gorgeous pine interior with a huge loft. Fireplace, fabulous kitchen and bathrooms, pine everywhere, and incredible amenities.

Our view.
We stayed at a hot springs and after skiing all day and being cold and tired, we all could not wait to soak in the hot springs. The pool has a temperature of 100 degrees, is outside, and because it was nighttime all the stars were out. It was such a blessing.
Day 2--Zinabu getting ready for his first time on the lift.
Does anyone prepare you for this? Your 6 year old and your 8 year old dangling from a little chair?
On the drive home. Refueling with greasy calories and warm comfort food. We're tired and SORE but my kids had an incredible weekend.


Where is the time going? This weekend is the halfway point for February!

Acts of Kindness Update:
February 8th--I had to run to the store for something, and the weather was terrible. Freezing cold with lots of snow. When I got there the store was mostly empty and the cashier was obviously lonely. She wanted to talk... and talk... and talk. So I let her. Normally I would offer a smile and a quick, "Have a good day" and bolt out the door. But since I really was not in a hurry to get anywhere else, I just listened. I heard all about how cold she is standing at the cash register and about her grandchildren and about how she can't wait for her vacation to New Jersey.
February 9th--Offered to run an errand for a friend since she wasn't feeling well.
February 10th--A coworker of David's just got a referral for a little girl from Haiti. Several orphanages with children whose paperwork is all up to date are trying to get the kids out of the country and into adoptive families. The social worker who works with the orphanage reported that they are running out of food. Right now the babies get one bottle a day. One! They are begging for supplies. The social worker is making a trip to Haiti on Friday and is asking for formula donations. I did what all of you wold have done. Went straight out and bought formula.

Please, please, don't forget about Haiti.


Do NOT spend money on Valentines. No way. Uh uh.

Go HERE to see the cutest, FREE, printables.
Want to update blog.
Need to feed kids breakfast.
Need to pack lunches.
Need to take the dog out.
Need to break up a fight.
Need to figure out if I have any clean underwear.
Need to shovel the driveway.
Need to start next work project.
Need to research info. for vacation in California.
Need to call the dentist.
Need to figure out what we're having for dinner.
So I'll get to the blog later.


That Sam-I-am!
That Sam-I-am!

Why do we live with my mom? This is why. Reading aloud to your Nana on a Sunday afternoon. Pure love between the two of them.

Acts of Kindness update:
February 6th: Forgiveness. Letting go of the ability to hold a grudge against someone. The most difficult but the most rewarding.
February 7th: Going to the grocery store, in the snow, and parking way, way out in the lot to save closer parking spaces for someone else. And helping little old ladies reach canned peaches off the top shelf. Definitely a bonus to my day.



It's Friday night so that means pizza. Tonight we went to a NY style pizzeria and it... was... heavenly. They toss the dough right there in front of a glass window. My kids looked like they were watching fireworks, they were so dazzled and amazed. The chef must have thought they were awfully cute because he gave each one a hunk of dough. It was great fun* watching my children toss dough up in the air in a restaurant and have it land on the floor but who cares because we're not eating it so just pick it up and keep going. Great fun. They even insisted on bringing it home to throw it around some more in our kitchen.

(*insert sarcastic tone)

Acts of kindness update: Feb. 4th I helped someone with a project they had going on at their house. Feb. 5th (today) I took the kids to a fun activity and when it came time to pay I gave the business owner a bit extra and told her to keep the change. She was flabbergasted. And it wasn't even that big of an amount. I told her to have a nice day and she gave me the most beautiful smile. So worth the extra money.


Well, isn't it just dandy that right after I posted my plan to perform acts of kindness throughout February I had a giant, emotional landmine explode in my face. Just a big ol' pile of yuck, splattered all over my life. That's how it is sometimes, but it sure made being kind to others the absolute LAST thing I wanted to think about. I'm going to have to slog through the next few days until I can get this issue worked out, so until then my kindness quota is nothing to brag about. But here's what I've done so far.

Feb. 1--Went to a meeting at school that evening. Once a month parents have the chance to meet with the principal to discuss concerns or raise questions. I had a few things on my mind I could have brought up, but instead I chose to zip my lip. After the meeting I approached the principal, gave her a big hug, and told her how much I appreciated her and all her hard work.

Feb. 2--It was Open House night at the middle school Carver will be attending. Parents got to come and meet some of the staff and go to a few break-out sessions to get information on classes, schedules, and volunteer opportunities. The place was packed, and every time I went to a new classroom, there were more people than chairs. I opted to stand the entire time and give up my seat for someone else. Not a big deal, but it was an act of kindness.

Feb. 3--The day is only half over, so I could still find other ways to be kind, but for now I am writing a sweet note to a distant relative who is elderly and mostly alone and who I know would love to hear from me. It will make her day, and it's pretty easy to write some kind words on a card and stick it in the mail.

So there you have it. Three days down, 25 to go. Hopefully I can shake off the funk I'm in and have a better attitude in the weeks to come.


Look at that. February. I love turning the page in my little calendar and seeing a new month stretching before me. Selfishly, I like to look at the days ahead and see if I can plan anything for myself before the onslaught of events and activities fills up each little square of "Wednesday" or "Saturday." I liken it to the airline safety rules of putting your own oxygen mask on before helping your children with theirs. It feels counter-intuitive but is really for the best.

Also, I am happy to be finished with 30 Days of Nothing. It got grueling toward the end. When I participated in November it was freeing and helpful and worthwhile. January felt like complete deprivation. So I applaud the many friends I have that finished strong and changed their relationship with money--not to mention their relationship with our very privileged lifestyle here in the United States.

February has begun, and in keeping with my idea that I'll try a new challenge each month I have decided to give myself over to one act of kindness every day. Sounds easy, right? Well, I'm not so sure about that.

1. My family is not included. Although if you counted how many acts of kindness I perform each and every day for them, they'd number into the hundreds. But that's just part of my job. Would it be nice if I were appreciated more? Sure. But I don't sling breakfast at them and bark, "You'll thank me for this when I'm dead and gone!" in order to evoke more appreciation for all my menial tasks. In other words, I don't lord my servitude over them. It's my job and that's that.

2. I cannot include volunteering at my kids' school. I already do that almost 5 days a week, and it wouldn't be a change in my behavior. However, if there's a way I can assist someone at school that goes above and beyond my volunteer duties, then I think I can count that.

3. Some acts of kindness can be performed from my computer or with a letter. While I'd love to believe I'm going to be "out in the world" every day, leaving a trail of kindness in my wake, the reality is that there are times when my days are filled with the mundane: carpooling, school, cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc., and I can't count on having an hour to "get out there" and immerse myself in public. So if I can write a letter or help out via the Internet, that's good enough for me.

I'm thinking this should be interesting. I hope I have some sweet stories to tell as a result of my reaching out more... but if nothing else I want to challenge myself to look for opportunities to see beyond myself and toward the needs of others.

*UPDATE: I just discovered that Feb. 15-21 is recognized as "Random Acts of Kindness" week. How fitting.