Wednesday, April 29, 2009

And This Little Piggy ...

... was in quarantine.

I have had over 500 emails in my inbox since Saturday morning. The senders vary -- many are from my bosses and colleagues, but many are from local health officials, emergency management officers, and CDC doctors.

Some of these emails contain information that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. It is one of the disadvantages of receiving emails that are not for public posting ... sometimes I think you can have too much information. And I've been soaking up information like a sponge these past five days.

For the last three years, I have been in charge of the Pandemic Flu planning for our school district. It has been challenging, at best. Many of my training classes were full of skeptics and nay-sayers. Many of our Department Heads and Principals hemmed and hawed about having to complete more planning paperwork about a seemingly irrelevant topic instead of focusing on more pressing academic issues.

Since Saturday morning, 15 of my 500 emails were emails from those same cynics saying, "Thank you".

While many people are scrambling and panicking -- and I want to stress that while this outbreak is serious, the sky is NOT falling -- our district is taking this in stride. We have been ready for three years. We have the plans, we have practiced the plans, and we are now putting the plans in action.

Having worked on the Bioterrorism Response Team for the city before coming to the district, I truly trust that everyone is doing what they need to do to keep as many people safe and healthy right now.

"I'm from the government, and I'm here to help."

However, it is going to take more than just the government doing their job. It is going to take all of us doing our job, too.

For years, the government has been telling us to be prepared ... to have an emergency kit ready just in case ... to have family plan. The reason why they have been saying that is because if something does happen, the cavalry ain't coming.

There are 303,850,000 in the United States according to the 2006 census. There is no way the government can provide food/water/medicine for everyone.

Fact: there are only about 50 million doses of Tamiflu stockpiled in the National Strategic Stockpile. So, 1 out of every 6 people can get Tamiflu.

If you haven't made your kit yet, here's a website to get you started:

Some of our friends and family have been been calling or writing me with questions since they know I am getting a little bit more information that the general public. Please know that I cannot release certain information -- I could tell you, but then I'd have to string you up by your toenails.

I'm not saying that you should live your lives in fear over the next several months, but I am saying that you need to adapt to the current situations.

I, for one, am determined to single-handedly help prevent the spread of the Swine Flu by putting bacon on everything I eat!

Mmmmm, bacon ... the forgotten food group!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

March of Dimes 2009

There we are ... third from the top in the third column.
Thank you everyone who sponsored us and made us a TOP WALKER!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Between a Rock and Hard Place

There is one important thing I have learned about being a Mom -- I am my children's rock even when I feel like I am loose gravel.

Yesterday, Dan and I just didn't feel very good. And it was raining. Ughh -- the boys were stir-crazy and we were slugs.

Back in our pre-children days, we would have slept in until at least 10am, hauled over to First Watch (our favorite breakfast place) and had Eggs Benedict while lingering over the Sunday paper and coffee, gone home and lazied around on the couch while watching the movies that defined our teenage years (and will make us seem "old" to the boys), and then we might have gotten some Thai take-out for dinner before rolling into bed around 9pm.

But Moms (or Dads) don't get a "sick day".

It's kinda like having to follow the parent's version of the postman's creed ...

"Neither upset stomachs nor migraine headaches, sore backs nor lack of sleep shall stay these parents from the swift completion of their appointed five loads of laundry, three meals and two snacks, reading of countless books, and playing with Play-doh."

So, we were up at 7am ... playing with Little People, drawing pictures, playing with window gel clings, putting kids in time-out, and watching Finding Nemo for the zillionth time.

The boys had a great day even if Dan and I weren't at 100%. And that's what matters. Because in the end I would move mountains to make my children healthy and happy.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Baskets Pictures

We started Easter off a little late, thanks to the boys sleeping in as an Easter gift to Dan and me!! Only problem was that they were HUNGRY when they got up. So, we gave them their Easter Baskets to keep them occupied while we made breakfast.

I had filled them with little things I had collected over the year -- a stuffed bunny, a Fisher Price flip-phone, an Elmo phone (they like phones), Sesame Street theme socks, foam "Easter Egg" balls, and sandbox toys. They also got these giant jungle animals which they LOVED -- thank you, Discovery Store!

We also got special Easter bags from Nana and Grand! They had snack plates and cups from our favorite movie, "Cars", along with sidewalk chalk, and a new dump truck toy!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Egg Hunt

We had a lot of fun slopping through the mud on our first big Easter Egg Hunt!

We got to meet the Easter Bunny and Sparky the Fire Dog.

We even got our picture taken by the local newspaper (I'll post the link if it makes it in!).

The only damper on our adventure was the amount of adults smoking during the hunt. Seriously, people, if you are jonesing so bad for a smoke that you light up during a children's event, you've got a problem.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Faster Than a Speeding Bullet

Telling a perfectionist to be okay with imperfection is like telling an insomniac to just go to sleep.

It's not that easy.

I know that it is not necessarily a "good thing" to be a perfectionist. That's because when you are a perfectionist, you are never really trying to be the best, but instead you are really just highlighting the worst in yourself.

Yuck -- I feel dirty even writing that, but it's the truth. And I am a perfectionist.

It's interesting how I hold myself to a higher standard than I hold everyone else, especially when it comes to being a mother.

I am the first to tell people even in the face of defeat and failure, "You should be proud -- you did your best!"

Then I turn around and beat myself up for some grievous parenting error that I'm sure has cause irreversible harm to my children ...

... like letting my children hug goats while standing in a pile of barn animal doo-doo.

I don't think I'm alone in this, but why can't we as mothers believe that we are as good as we can be. That's it -- no excuses, no apologies. Just accept that we are good enough.

Yeah ... I don't buy it either. I wish I could, but I can't.

There are all kinds of books out there to try and help "fix" me to be less of a perfectionist. Most talk about learning to accept a different state of expectations.

I don't -- can't -- accept that. Why should I lower my expectations of myself?

My mom always told me that "I could do anything I put my mind to" ... and I have. Honestly, I can't think of one time in my life where if I have really made the effort to achieve something important, I haven't reached my goal.

A few years ago, I clipped an article about 'Alpha Moms' from a magazine I was reading a a doctor's office. They defined Alpha Moms as educated, tech-savvy, Type A moms with a common goal: mommy excellence. These moms are multi-taskers, kid-centric, hands-on and view motherhood as a job that can be mastered ... with diligent research, of course.

I think that's me. I kinda like the title "Alpha Mom". It's makes me sound like a superhero!

And it fits on a cape much easier than "As Good As I Can Be Mom".

Friday, April 10, 2009

Would You Like Some Fresh Ground Pepper With That?

Yes, that is a pepper mill that has been systematically opened and the contents spilled all over the kitchen.

I swear I'm going to come home one day and Tanner will have the washing machine completely taken apart.

As Tanner said, "It's a mess, Mommy!"

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Water, Water Everywhere

That's my boy -- licking spilled water off the deck!

He was so proud of himself, how could I stay mad?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Our Second Zoo Class

So what if it was only slightly above freezing and snowing outside ... in APRIL!!!!

We had our second "Zoo Class" Tuesday. As you remember, our first class was last month and focused on 'Creature Features'. We learned what body parts we have in common with the Zoo animals -- Noses, Feet, Eyes!

Today was 'Color Quest".

Even though there was a little dusting of snow on the ground, bright, vibrant flowers were blooming, green leaves and grass are all around. It's not called the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens for nothing!

I think spring is a great time to learn about colors! We took a stroll through the zoo, looked closely, and let nature help us to learn our colors. The boys had little color squares that we used to find those colors around the zoo.

I didn't get many pictures because it was pretty cold and snowing, so our stroll was pretty quick.

Soon ...

It might be snowing today, but I have visions of summer in my mind.

Ahhhhh -- lazy days out by the pool and messy ice cream cones for the boys.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Hunt is ON!

Most of you know I LOVE a bargain ... that is why I check every Thursday for their latest coupons game.

So you see now why my title is funny ... get it "ON" as in "Old Navy". Geez, I am so funny sometimes, I don't know how my family puts up with me.

You have find the hidden coupons. It makes bargain hunting fun. To get you as hooked as I am, here are where to find this week's deals ... hidden coupons:

1. $45 off $100 … Click and drag the hamburger from the little boy’s hand to the dude in the yellow t-shirts hand (just clicking on the burger won't work)

2. $25 off $50 … vote for Amy as the best legs supermodel under the top banner (voting at the bottom gives you nothing)

3. 50% off a single item … click on the flying kite in the sky to the left off the five girl models

4. 40% off a single item … click multiple times on the corn on the grill to make it smoke

5. 30% off a single item … ???? I can’t find it, but I’m sure it is somewhere in the yellow guy picture

6. 20% off a single item … click on the frisbee in the little boy’s hand

7. 20% off 2 items ... watch the video in the bottom left hand corner of the screen, and click on Amy's sunglasses when you get to second 00:17 of the clip

Happy hunting (and shopping!)