Wednesday, January 4, 2017

New Year, Same Stuff

Well, as predicted, the change in the calendar didn't really change anything else.  The colds are still hanging in there, Jacob is still as difficult as ever, and the week between Christmas and New Year's has officially become my nemesis.

Every year I look forward to time off between Christmas and New Year's.  At my old job we were closed the whole week, but at this job we actually have a lot going on so we all try to take shifts and work a couple days during the week to maintain coverage.  I worked Tuesday and Friday (which was a short day), which meant I was off on the 26th, made it through one day, then had two days off before another short day, which was followed by a three-day weekend.  I figured that at some point in there I could rest, play with the kids and their new stuff, and catch up on some things around the house.  I always think that will be the case, every single year.  And every single year, something pops up to screw it up.  Usually one kid or another is puking, or I get sick enough that any rest I get is just getting me through the illness, rather than catching up on what I lost all through December.  It seriously never fails.  Looking back at my Facebook "On This Day" posts last week, one of the big themes was sickness, from Jacob's emergency room visit caused by nervous parenting during his first stomach bug, to Carter being sick a couple years ago, to a nasty stomach issue I had a few years back in the wee hours of New Year's Day.  It seems like there's always something that messes with my sleep and prevents me from doing all of the things I want to do.

So, of course, this year I got this obnoxious cold a couple days before Christmas and it left me wanting to do little more than lay on the couch.  Yes, I did do a couple things around the house, and yes, I did do things with the boys, and yes, I did sleep in, but none of it was at the level I wanted it to be at.  Then Craig got a cold--possibly the same one since he lost his voice, too--and we spent our time at home trying to trade off referee responsibilities while the other rested.  I felt awful one day and Craig took the boys to Wegmans so I could nap.  He stayed in bed until noon another day and I wrangled the boys to eat breakfast and get our day moving.  Each day I would dutifully get dressed and put on some makeup in hopes I'd feel good enough to do something, but each time we got to the end of the day and I felt a little silly for looking so presentable for doing nothing but laying on the couch and watching TV all day.  Even New Year's Eve was pretty blah, even for our standards.  I forced myself to drink some wine (even my favorite wasn't really appealing) and Jacob made it his mission to stay up until midnight to drink sparkling grape juice.  He made it, and got quite the pop culture education as we watched a couple of the NYE shows.  And yes, we saw Mariah Carey and it was bad.   

We did finally get around to leaving the house on Monday.  I had snagged a really great Groupon deal for Glow Golf at our mall, and we all went to play a couple rounds.  Both kids eagerly put on clothes they hoped would glow in the blacklights (see the bottom of Jacob's pants and Carter's skeleton shirt, specifically), and we headed out.  The boys were a handful, as usual, but luckily it wasn't too busy so we didn't make anyone too nuts.  Jacob played a hole or two ahead of us the whole time, Carter was always on his tail, and half the time that became a problem.  But it was tolerable enough that we made it through 36 holes (we could have played 54, but we figured once through each course was enough!).  My game was completely off (I blame the cold and the distractions), and somehow Jacob beat us all.  But it wasn't a bad way to spend a couple hours on a cruddy winter day.

They're smiling, I swear!
My cold seems to be fading a bit, finally, two weeks later.  As of Monday morning I didn't feel the constant need to take Tylenol to manage my headache and general blahs.  I'm not 100%, as I'm still tired, my appetite is a little off, my throat is a bit sore, and I'm still dealing with periodic congestion, headaches, and throat-clearing.  Craig seems to be doing a bit better as well.  His voice is back, and while he's still coughing, he seems much more functional than he did a few days ago.  Carter has had a perma-cold for weeks on end, and I really need to get him into the doctor...although that involves exposing him to even more germs, which I don't love the thought of.  Jacob started a higher dose of his ADHD medicine yesterday, and while it seemed to work like a charm at school, it seemed to make his non-medicated times nearly unbearable, so I'm not sure what we're going to do there.  The mood swings were pretty rough and the usual disrespect was even worse.  I dread the thought of starting over with another drug, but we may have to.  I'm hoping it was a blip with it being the beginning of getting back into the school routine, but I don't have a particularly good feeling.  We have a fresh set of concerns to share with the therapist, as I really just feel like what we're doing is not enough.  Sometimes I feel like I'm watching a train speed down the tracks, clearly bound for a catastrophe, and yet I feel completely helpless to prevent it.  And in this case, maybe the most appropriate metaphor is that I'm able to call the engineer and tell him, but he's oblivious, thinks nothing is wrong, and simply will not listen.  I've heard far too many stories lately about troubled kids making bad decisions, and I desperately fear what will happen to Jacob when he's a few years older, more hormonal, and more equipped to act upon urges.  Soon I won't be able to physically stop him, and that scares me, too.  That's why it's all the more important to find solutions for him now, so we can get him leveled off, help him understand we're on his team, and hopefully help him get through those difficult years with support.  

The other thing occupying our time right now is a big reorganization in the boys' rooms.  Today Jacob's new dresser arrived.  It's in a very heavy box and will probably take me three hours to put together.  His bed should arrive Friday.  He's getting a big kid metal bed frame.  The dresser looks pretty much like his old one.  Carter is getting all of Jacob's old stuff because it has a lot of storage and that's exactly what we need in his tiny room.  I'm not sure it'll fit comfortably in his tiny room, mind you, but we're going to try.  Underbed storage and more dresser space will make room for some of his new toys, including in his closet, which has always been overwhelmed by clothes.  The challenge is going to be to manage the furniture moving, as we'll need to get the old stuff out before the new stuff can come in, particularly in Carter's room.  Their doors are at a 90 degree angle to one another, and the hallway is narrow, so we'll have our work cut out for us.  And we have to get Carter's old stuff (a changing table dresser and my old, basic bedframe and box spring) down two floors to the basement.  It's not going to be easy, and the limbo will probably make me nuts, but I think the end result will be nice.  One casualty from the early stages of this was a garbage bag full of Jacob's massive stuffed animal collection.  I almost never thought I'd see the day come, but a large bag full has exited his room.  The ones he kept are mostly sports-related ones or ones he got at zoos.  The rejects include a lot of our early moose collection, as well as some ones that were gifted to him as a baby.  Not sure what their fate is yet, but it's a big step.'s a new year but it's still never a dull moment around here!

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