Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Just Say No! (Unless It's Wine)

Last week was Red Ribbon Week at the girls' school.  For those of you who don't know what this is, it's the updated campaign on "just say no" to drugs.  For lack of a better explanation.  I'm not sure if Red Ribbon Week is something that happens at the same time all over the country or just here.  Basically what the schools do is tie big red ribbons on the trees outside the school grounds.  At some point during the week, the teachers have an age appropriate lesson on what is good and not good for your body, which points to "drugs are bad".  This year they also had a BMX group come and perform while letting the kids know they can only perform this way by keeping their minds clear and their bodies strong. I was actually volunteering that day, and it was quite an awesome performance.  These are all great things for the kids to learn and learn young.  I'm not saying their not.  The "just say no to drugs" thing totally worked on me when I was a kid.  Then I went to college, but we won't discuss that here.  However, the kids do get a little confused about the whole drugs good vs. bad thing.

There is no doubt that certain drugs are just plain bad.  Cocaine, Meth, Heroin, Crack.  These are terribly bad things that ruin lives completely.  Things that should never be done by anyone really.  Then there are the drugs like antibiotics and cold medicine that you might need to take from time to time.  This is where the kids get confused.  Because after Red Ribbon Week, they hear the word drug and just assume it's all bad.  Obviously, drugs like that are something we need from time to time.  Because of all these school discussions my girls were coming home telling me about how bad certain things were for you to do, then is spawned this conversation at dinner one of the nights I decided to have wine with dinner;

Lana-"Mom, isn't wine a drug?"


Lana-"Because we learned that wine is a drug at school."

Me-"Well, I guess technically it is, but.."

Lana-"So you are drinking DRUGS??"

Me-"No, Lana.  See the thing is, yes drugs can be bad, and while I guess wine can be considered a drug, there are different levels of how bad it is for you.  I'm having a glass of wine with my dinner.  Do I have a glass of wine EVERY night with dinner or four glasses of wine with dinner?" (although there are some nights I really want to.)

All three girls-"No."

Me-"Exactly.  So while things like alcohol and caffeine are considered drugs, as long as you don't use them to much and you are an adult, they aren't terrible for you like certain other drugs.  There are other drugs that you should never do though, okay?"


Then she went back to eating her dinner.  Glad I cleared that up!  The last thing I need is her going to school and telling her teacher that her mom drinks drugs sometimes with dinner.  Although, I guess technically I do have the sweet, sweet, drug of Pinot Noir a couple nights a week.  Still-drinking wine with dinner- totally fine.  Drinking drugs with dinner, however?  Not so much.  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Big Black Cats!

I know Halloween is still a few days away, but Georgia learned this song during music class at school last week.  She was so damn cute singing it that I had to record and share.  Yes, I know the child has a lisp, and at some point we might need to do something about it if she doesn't outgrow it on her own.  In the meantime is it wrong that I LOVE the lisp?  I kinda don't want her to outgrow it.  Although she might get made fun of when she turns sthixteen and still says her age that way.  Anyway-enjoy the sthong!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Andy and I celebrated our 12th Anniversary a week and a half ago.  Not sure where 12 years went, but here we are.  Having three kids will make time fly by.  At least after you get past those sleep deprived years.  Sonya wasn't around most of the day of our anniversary due to a Girl Scout scavenger hunt.  Usually she makes us these elaborate cards or drawings for our special day.  I think since she wasn't around and didn't have time she felt bad,  so a few days afterward she gave Andy and me these portraits of us.

I don't know much about art, if anything at all, but for 9 years old I feel this is pretty damn good.  These were something she just sketched out in about ten minutes.  I am constantly amazed by her talent for art.  Probably because I can't get past making myself a stick figure, but still.  I have always found people who can draw well amazing.  I'm so proud that one of those people happens to be my daughter.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

My Exhausted Little Old Soul

A couple of weeks ago Sonya's Girl Scout troop went to the San Diego Wild Animal Park to stay overnight at an in the park camp sight they have.  Because her troop has done so well with their cookie and nut sales the past few years, they were able to have enough funds to cover this fun adventure for all the girls and leaders.  It's something they have been planning and talking about for a year and Sonya was beyond excited.  I was excited for her.  It sounded like a blast.  They were going to spend the day at the Park, then hang out with other troops around the campfire at night.  The animal experts would be bringing a couple of animals during their campfire time, to show the girls.  Then the next day they would walk the park a bit more before coming home.  

Now, I knew before sending her, that she would most likely not get a lot of sleep and be exhausted the next day.  If you know anything about little girls and sleepovers, it's that they bounce off the walls and chat until way past their usual bedtime.  Then for some reason they like to get up at an ungodly hour the next day.  This all makes for a disastrous Sonya.  You know how as your kids grow you see some of your traits they picked up from you?  Well, not being able to function on little sleep comes straight from her father.

Sidestory-Years ago, Andy worked a graveyard shift at a post production company.  Trying to sleep during the day and stay up at night will wreak havoc on anybody, but Andy had a very difficult time with it.  Especially on the weekends when he would try to get on my and his roommate's schedules to hang out.  He ended up being very ummm...we'll say cranky.  (love you, babe!)  Anyway-this is exactly how Sonya is when she's overtired.  Just so you don't think I'm throwing my husband under the bus, I will tell you about my weakness that I passed along to Miss Lana.  I am no good when I get hungry.  I mean any one of my family members can tell you stories about me yelling at hostesses in restaurants if I feel someone got a seat before us.  If I'm hungry you better back the hell off.  Or I may eat your arm.  I have discovered the same about Lana.  The nights she doesn't eat her dinner she turns into the Incredible Hulk when she wakes up.  She's torn up quite a few PJ's that way.  The good news is, as soon as she gets a bowl of cereal in her belly, she turns back into little sweet Lana.  The funny thing is I do just fine on little sleep and Andy can eat cereal in the morning and not look at food until 8pm and still be Mr. Sunshine.  I always say if we could combine those powers we would make one kick ass Survivor player.  

Sorry-I digress.

So Sonya.  Lack of sleep.  Right.  

When I picked her up on Sunday afternoon, I could see how tired she was.  It also didn't help that she had sprained her ankle 2 weeks before and it had started really bothering her on their trip.  It took a toll on her and they had to rent a wheelchair  for part of the time.  So there was that little gem in there too.  

She was excited to tell me about everything.  As she was talking, I managed to get my questions in there about her sleep. When did she go to bed?  

"About 10-but I woke up in the middle of the  night and it was so cool because you could hear the lions roaring and at one point I heard an elephant!!"

Okay that is pretty cool, but still, bed at 10 and then up for a while in the night?  Oh boy.

"Well, what time did you wake up this morning?" I asked.

"Well, the first wake up call sounded at 6:15," she informed me.  "So I was awake then."

I knew then we were in for it.  No biggie.  We would go home have dinner, showers and get her to bed early.  She still seemed to be doing well.

Except that when we got home, after her initial greetings and talking about her trip, the excitement started to wear off.  There was quite a bit of general crankiness, followed by multiple bursts of crying.  About what you ask?  Anything and everything.  I know one of the biggest culprits was that we had put up the Halloween decorations while she was away, something she likes to help out with.  I had informed her that this would probably happen, and she seemed fine with it when she left.  It's not like we could all sit around, not do anything fun and wait for Sonya to come home for two days.  She was off having her own incredible time.  Although I have to admit, when I was a kid I was terrible about this as well.  Whenever I had a sleepover or went somewhere fun on my own, I was worried about what kind of fun things my family was doing without me.  Eventually, I got over it but it's hard at first.  

Andy was trying to calm her down about the decorations as she broke down into what could have been her 20th crying spurt.  Then she started to tell him it wasn't about the decorations and putting them up necessarily.

"Well, then what it is about?" He asked.

"Well, it's just that when I see the Halloween decorations up already it just reminds me how fast time goes.  It's already Halloween and I'm just getting bigger!  It's just going so fast!"

I'm sorry-who let the 30 year old possess my child's brain?  

Sure I worry about how fast time goes NOW, but I NEVER gave it one bit of thought when I was 8!  In fact Halloween and Christmas seemed to take five years to get to.  I thought they would never come.   And I'm fairly certain Andy felt the same way.  Not our old soul daughter though.  Nope.  Time is going to fast for her.   Of course I shouldn't be that surprised.  This is the kid who at five years old would cry to me at bedtime about how she didn't want to get older and have to move out and leave us.  Who thinks like that at FIVE?!  

Andy did his best to calm her down and he agreed with her that time does seem to move fast.  That is why we have to do what we can to spend as much time doing fun things with the people that we love.  I also assured her that when the Christmas decorations come out she can help us put those up.  She eventually calmed down and we went on with our evening.  Yes, there were more tears, but for what I couldn't tell you.  The toothpaste wasn't coming out right, she ran out of shampoo in the shower.  Who knows?  She was exhausted and she is an 8 year old girl.  Not a good combo.  

She made it to bed and passed out right at 8pm, which is early for her since most night she reads until almost 9.  She could barely keep her eyes open by the end.  I'd like to say she was better by the next morning, because you think she would be with all the sleep.  She wasn't as bad, but it takes two nights of good sleep for her to get completely back to normal. 

I know there will be more times in the future when she doesn't get enough rest.  Good luck to her when she has a baby!  But next time I know not to put up decorations that will make her feel like time is moving too quickly.  I want her to be a kid for as long as she can.  I will worry about the time moving too quickly.  Because, damn.  It really does.  

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

An Itch I Shouldn't Scratch

I recently discovered I have a condition called Brachioradial Pruritus.  Don’t be alarmed it’s nothing serious.  In fact I thought I was completely crazy for a couple years.  Well, I still probably am, but I mean about this.  Here’s what happened. 

For the past 3 years at the end of every summer-somewhere around the middle to end of August-my arms would start to get incredibly itchy.  I mean REALLY itchy.  I had no visible rash and the only thing that would make them feel better was running them under cold water.  The itch would come and go, but it was worse at night.  Scratching does nothing but exacerbate it.  Think Chicken Pox without the pox. 

I went to the dermatologist last year about it and she told me it was probably just dry skin and to put on Cetaphil cream.  I did this, but it didn’t make the itch go away.  The only thing that did was time.  By the end of October beginning of November, when the weather would cool and my arms were no longer tanned, the itch would stop.  Then I would forget about it, until the next August when the intense itch would come back.  

It is not fun and completely annoying.  Especially because I have no visible rash so people, like my husband, think I’m completely crazy or have made  this thing up in my head.  I have scratched my arms to the point of looking like a Meth addict because I  make wounds and spots that scab over on my arms.  It’s so pretty.  So this year when it started happening again, I became extremely frustrated.  There was no reason for this to be happening.  I mean sure I had spent all summer in the sun, but I had used sunblock, so what the hell?  My arms weren't THAT dry.  They were tan, but not itchy skin dry.  

Then I remembered that the Internet knows all.  I have gotten myself in trouble for self diagnosing before, but I tried the going to the Doctor route about this and they were less than helpful.  Plus it costs money to go there to have them tell me again, “your arms are dry, here is some cream”.  So instead I used Dr. Google and looky what I found!

I matched EVERY symptom on this list.  It was crazy, and the good news is, I wasn’t!  I actually have a real thing.  I will spare you from going and reading everything about it if you don’t want to.  It boils down to this; I have an impingement somewhere on my spine.  Nothing serious, could be as simple as “a slight bulge of a disk, calcium spurs coming of the vertebrae, or other spinal changes that accompany aging.”  Lovely-aging.  Anyway-the impingement sends a message to my brain that my arms are itchy, but there really is no reason for them to be itchy, like when you have a rash, poison ivy etc.  Sun damage brings on the itchiness.  Hence the reason it starts at the end of August for me after I’ve spent all summer by the pool and at the beach.  Granted I wear sunblock, but apparently I need zinc sunblock to completely protect myself.  Or long sleeves.  Not really a fun idea living  in Southern California in July.  Once the weather cools down and I’m not in the sun and I DO wear long sleeves, it gets better and eventually goes away.  

No, there is no real cure, only treatments. Those consist of trying to repair the sun damage with creams, putting ice packs on my arms when they get really itchy, and using anti itch creams with menthol.  These all work for a time, but don’t make it go away and for whatever reason I usually wake up at 3 in the morning scratching the skin off my arms again.  It sucks.  

Because of this, the girls now know I shouldn't be scratching my arms, so they have been scolding me when they see it happening.  It actually kinda helps me be more aware of it and try to go for one of the treatments instead of scratching.  

Then the other day in the car Georgia kicked it up a notch.  We were on our way back from Costco and it had been a particularly hot and dry day.  (Yay fall in Los Angeles.)  My arm was in the sun and it was starting to get the prickly itchy feeling, because being hot and in the sun brings it on more now.  I started to scratch and she said,


"I know, Georgia," I said.  "But my arm is just SO itchy!"

"Den justh go like disth," she told me.  Then she rubbed the palm of her hand over her arm.  Something I have done from time to time to not use my nails and actually scratch.  It helps a bit. 

"I will try!" I promised her. 

Then she really threatened me, "If you don't sthop sthcratching, you are going to get a punishment."

"Oh really?" I asked.  "What kind of punishment."

"Ummm..." She thought for a minute then all of a sudden came up with a good one.  "You can not have wine for TEN months!"

Damn ten months! Well, that would be quite the punishment.  But I'm not sure if I should be more concerned with the fact that my 5 year old is reprimanding me or that she's using my drinking wine to do it.  It did get me to stop scratching for the moment though. 

So when next summer rolls around, don't mind me.  I will be the girl wearing her winter parka with bikini bottoms.  

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pretty Little Liar

Lately, I’ve been having a problem with Georgia I’m not sure how to address.  It’s not a huge deal right now, but I’m afraid if I don’t do something about it now it’s going to be so much worse in about ten years.  She’s been lying.  

Here’s the thing though, she lies about things that don’t even matter.  She makes up things about other kids at school or her teacher.  Two weeks ago she told me that she played the game Clue at school and she was on her teacher’s team.  I thought that seemed odd, playing Clue in Kindergarten.  She eventually told me she had made it up.  Then there are the times she lies because she knows she’s going to get in trouble.  

“Georgia, who drew on the rug?”

“I don’t know,” she said and shrugged her shoulders.  

I knew it had to have been her, partially because she has been writing on other things she's not supposed to and partially because she was the only one home besides me.  However,  it took me almost ten minutes to get her to admit it.  By the end she was upset and in tears fearful of what punishment was to come.

I think the biggest problem is that she lies seamlessly.  She doesn’t bat an eye and completely believes the lie she is telling.  I know there are kids who go through this, but I haven’t had one yet.  Sonya wouldn’t be able to lie if her life depended on it and Lana sees no point.  She will just tell you the truth whether you like it or not, no matter if she gets in trouble.  She will tell you flat out that she punched her sister in the stomach. Georgia, however,  hates getting in trouble and has learned a way to make everyone believe her lie, including herself.  

You can see why this kind of behavior will worry me in years to come.  So I ask you out there in Internet land-have any of you had to deal with this with your kids?  What do you do?  I feel like punishing her when she eventually does tell me the truth will just push her into never telling me the truth again.  Why should she when she knows at the end she will  be punished?  Then again, I don’t want her to think it’s okay to lie to me to begin with.  Yup-I’m at a loss.  Anyone out there with any ideas, feel free to throw them this way.