Thursday, May 27, 2010

The big, big purge

Remind me again why we're moving? Oh right, higher standard of living for less money and the chance to be near my family. That's good to remind myself because moving sure is a huge pain in the neck. I have spent the last several weeks cleaning, purging and rearranging. I've practically got Purple Heart on speed dial just to get all the crap off my front porch. I really had no idea how much stuff I have. Really. I know everyone says that, but I have actually been working on getting rid of stuff for a while. When the big kids moved home, I got rid of a bunch of furniture then. I also routinely go through mine and the little kids' closets to donate and pass along to other kids. Yet I still have an enormous amount of stuff to get rid of.

My attic is just about filled with boxes. Fortunately we're just about ready to list the house next week so I think I've gotten up there just about all that is going to go up there. Jennifer moves into her new place first of next week, which gives me about a day to then clean up the basement and rearrange some furniture from other parts of the house. I have invited some friends over allegedly for my birthday, but in reality everyone is going to help me get the place ready.

It's going to be a real challenge keeping the place neat so it can be showed. I had a long talk with the kids about it last night -- how there can be no laundry not folded, dishes have to go in the sink, beds made and everything off the floor. Mark mostly groaned. The little kids I can boss around, but Mark, well, not so much. My realtor has said she'll throw away any of his stuff he leaves on the floor so that should be interesting.

I have survived okay without Bjorn. I miss him terribly, but I'm excited to hear the new job seems to be going well. I know he was pretty choked up when he left so I felt pretty sorry for him headed off to the big unknown as the advance team until I spent all last weekend cleaning windows and shampooing carpets. Then, well, not so much.

Now, who wants to buy a four bedroom, 2 1/2 bath on 1/3 of an acre in Fairfax? Come on, it's walking distance to Royal Lake, Laurel Ridge Elementary, Robinson Secondary and Commonwealth Swim Club. Plus, it's right off the bus line with easy access to the Pentagon, VRE and DC. I'll make you a deal!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The big, big move

So there's big news in Casa de Bennett, Internets -- we're moving to Texas! Bjorn got a new job down in Dallas, my hometown, and he's moving this weekend to start on Monday. I'm going to stay behind in Virginia with the kids to sell the house with the goal of being down there first of August to be ready for Andy to start kindergarten in the fall. Oh, and in the middle, we have an awesome two week trip to Australia planned. So we've got a bunch of once in a lifetime events crammed into one summer. I had no idea I was such an overacheiver.

When we got married, oh, back in 1998, we always said that after the big kids got out of school, we would move back to Texas. I had never really intended to be here that long. It was a three month internship (a three hour tour...) But then I met a great guy and the rest is history. But here it is, nearly 12 year later and we're really doing it. I am so excited about the move, excited to be near my family and watch my kids and nieces grow up together, get a huge house for what our modest house costs around here. It's a win-win except for all the family and friends we're leaving here. Fortunately, Bjorn is looking at houses so massive we could bring everyone down for a weekend not run out of places for them to stay.

We've got a neighborhood down in Dallas all picked out -- the Southlake/Carroll area near the DFW airport. I have some friends from high school that live there and love it, we can get a house twice the size of our current one and be in a good school district with a great football team (I've been making sure to watch Friday Night Lights just to keep up. Oh, who are we kidding. I was watching already.)

I have come out to my office and they have been amazing. I'll stay on through the summer and then transition to a part-time role to finish up some projects as well as go to our big meeting in the fall. It's a good solution for both of us, I think. Plus, my adored assistant director is getting promoted to my job. I'm thrilled about that part, too (although having my successor named is sort of like being a lame duck president, I've decided).

Selling the house is going to be hard, especially trying to keep it clean with two kids and a 21-year-old who ignores most of what I ask about keeping his room tidy, but hardest is going to be Bjorn going on ahead for a couple of months. I'm trying not to think about it too much, but certainly a couple of weeks at a time will be the longest we've been apart since we've been married. Sad.

Even though I've been yelling at him for his refusal to pack in general, he's a total champ for doing all of this. How lucky am I?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Personal Record

I hit a new personal record this week -- we had four trips to the pediatrician. Of course, tomorrow is Saturday so we still have one more day to make it a full week. They know my name when I call in now. I'm kind of impressed with our rock star power.

Sunday -- visit for croup and strep test
Monday -- visit for day three of croup and stridor, lead to steroid shot and nebulizer treatment
Tuesday -- still coughing, turns out I was really there for her "steroid psychosis." That's right, her 'roid rage. She was going from laughing to crying in one breath. He cut her dose down to half for Wednesday.
Wednesday -- no visit!
Thursday -- no visit!
Friday -- she went to bed early, like 7:30, and woke up at 10:30 a.m.! I know, who ever heard of a toddler to sleep that late? When she did wake up, she was feverish again and lethargic. I called to talk to the doctor and was able to get an immediate appointment. Diagnosis - sinus infection. Unrelated to the croup, just that her weak immune system couldn't fight both.
Saturday -- fingers crossed!

It's been a long week of ups and downs. And actually there has been a lot of vomit, too. I would like to say for the record that I am over cleaning up vomit (and off myself especially). Sure, sure, that comes with parenting, but there have been at least four separate vomiting incidents in the last two weeks, probably half of which were on me. I think I could go, say, a month or so without it next time. 'Kay?

I am hopeful that we're getting our full of illnesses out now. We've got a couple trips coming up. A beach trip over Memorial Day, not to mention our two weeks in Australia next month. Her being sick is no fun for anyone, especially her, but doing it in a hotel in Tasmania would be suboptimal.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Doesn't that look like fun? We had our first real bout of croup this weekend that turned into steroids and nebulizer treatments today, poor baby. What's amazing is how a few hours after her throwing up due to her inability to breathe, how fast medicine can turn it all around.

It started Saturday. I heard it in the morning, a slight bark, but dismissed it. Then she woke up from a nap coughing and crying. She had a fine evening and then a terrible, awful, very bad night. We took turns with her in our bed and the other sleeping in Andy's room (note to self -- Andy needs a new mattress that doesn't feel like I was in a sleeping bag outside it was so hard). I had talked to the doctor's the day before who said to give her half a teaspoon of Benadryl (generic of course thanks to the McNeil recall) and to come in the next day for a strep test.

Indeed on Mother's Day, I dragged my exhausted self and her to the doctor where we waited for nearly two hours for a quick strep test and a diagnosis of "Yep. It's croup." He also checked that it wasn't in her lungs and that it should improve. And you know, it really did improve. She took a long, four hour nap and then slept well, just waking up twice. In the morning, she seemed better even -- no fever either. But I got the call from my babysitter only an hour after drop off saying the cough made her nervous and she had a little fever. I picked her up and we went home for a nap. And she did nap except about an hour in she woke up, coughed, cried and promptly threw up all over me. It was awful, because she was scared, she was breathing faster, and because she was breathing faster, it was that much harder. It was just like watching an asthma attack. I called the doctor's immediately and was seen 20 minutes later and probably 20 minutes after that she was getting a nebulizer treatment followed by a steroid shot to reduce the inflammation in her trachea. We left with a prescription for prednisone to give her twice a day for two days and to come back Wednesday for another appointment.

You know, I really like our pediatrician, but sometimes his people skills. Well, yeah, not so much. "Don't worry. We won't let her slip away." Um? Slipping away? That didnt' even occur to me! "At least her trachea won't collapse like it does on some nine-month-olds." Yeah, that didn't occur to me either. At least his clinical skills are excellent. My baby went from blue lips to running around the living room saying, "Chasing, chasing, chasing!" as she follows her brother around. I can live with some sub par people skills if he can give that back to me.

Monday, May 03, 2010


So both kids are in the middle of some weird regressions. Meg has discovered waking up at night is fun! I suspect she's 1) teething 2) having dreams/nightmares 3) she thinks me straggling in to give her a sip of water, hold her for a minute and set her back down is comforing and 4) she thinks Mama looks best with bags under my eyes.

To make it more interesting, Andy has been wetting the bed a lot lately. It's weird how it happens. Since around Christmas, he will be fine for two or three weeks in a row with maybe one accident, then he goes like three or four nights in a row having accidents. Naturally him having an accident means he comes to my room and tells one of us (hopefully Bjorn) that he's had an accident. Sometimes he will have changed into new clothes and crawls into bed with us to then kick me the rest of the morning. Other times like today he came in at 2 a.m. needing help with new clothes and sheets. Poor guy was so exhausted he could barely sit up straight. I made him wear a pull-up after this. I explained to the extent I could that his body is growing right now and it's so busy growing overnight that it doesn't have the energy at the moment to tell him to wake up. We'll see how well that goes over tonight.

Adding to the fun is that Meg has had the barfs twice in a week. First instance was Wednesday afternoon so she was home Thursday (after waking up at 3 a.m. to throw up and then rally into such a good mood she was up until 5 a.m. just being happy. Crazy kid). Then yesterday out of nowhere she woke up from her nap and threw up on me. I gave her some Pedilyte and she threw that up later, too.

Needless to say, I'm sleepy today.

You know, I've been debating changing the title of this blog beacuse until recently, they were pretty good sleepers a lot of the time. It just didn't seem right. But now? Now I am in desperate need of a good night's rest.