Thursday, February 24, 2011

The sweetest boy in the whole world

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When Josie was sick over the weekend, she ate nothing.  From Friday through the middle of Tuesday, I don't think she had more than 6 or 7 ounces of food, total.  And she's already so skinny.  She's 17 months old (today, in fact - happy 17 months, sweetie!), is in the 55th percentile for height (right where she should be), but is on the verge of dropping off the weight chart.

When she first got sick, she had been flirting with 20 pounds for a while.  She's now under 19 again.

not a happy girl.  at least her hair looks cute
Then on Tuesday afternoon, she suddenly got her appetite back.  She was scarfing everything in sight -- bananas, toast, cheerios.  We thought she was better better, but I guess she was only kinda better, because she had a rough day at school yesterday, which continued on to be a rough night at home.  Just cried and cried and cried, and there was nothing I could do to console her.  Eventually, after an hour or so, she just stopped crying and sat in my arms to read a book, and then went to bed without incident.

I was steeling myself to deal with getting Zeke ready for bed.  J gets up and leaves for work so early (3:30 in the morning to be precise) that by 8 at night, he's totally exhausted and barely functioning, so I generally have to deal with the bulk of the bedtime duties. 

And Zeke does not like going to bed.  He tends to get a burst of energy at around 7:30 or so, which means that hitting the designated 8:30 bedtime is a dicey proposition at best.

But I think sometimes he's as clued in to my moods as I am to his, because he just knew that last night was not the night to raise a fuss.  We went upstairs, brushed teeth, put on PJs, and he got into bed.

"Mama, will you snuggle with me for a little while?"

"Sure, honey, just for a few minutes."

I wrapped him in my arms.  He put his hand on my cheek and patted it.

"I love you, Mama."

"I love you too, sweet pea."

"You're the best mommy in the whole world!"

"Wow!  That's such a nice thing to say, thank you!"

"I like ants."


"Yes, some of them have polka-dots!"

"They do?  That's interesting."

He pats my face again.

"I'm patting your cheek, Mama."

"I know, honey.  That's very nice."

"You feel beautiful."

"Oh, my goodness."

"Maybe you could be a princess when you grow up."


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Midweek musings

A bit of housekeeping: My friend Lisa gave me the idea to set up a Facebook page for the blog.  So click here to "like" the page and get posts in your news feed (and while you're at it, "like" Lisa's page, too).  Or click on the link in the sidebar to the right.  Or just keep reading and go about your day.  Whatever makes you happy.

Mini-Vacay!  I know I just said how much I love going to work.  And honestly, I really do.  I love the job, I love the people I work with.  When I sit down at my desk, I'm happy.

But the benefits don't suck either, including the time off I get when I need it.  And my mom and Emma are coming tomorrow to visit for the weekend.  So I need it.  Excited for mani-pedis, lunch, maybe a hike out at Red Rocks, and some much needed time with my mommy.

Another day, another reunion:  I've got yet another reunion coming up in June.  This time it'll be my 20th college reunion.  Which means yet another exercise/weight-loss ramp up.  A P90X/Insanity hybrid, plus Weight Watchers.  Ugh.  Josie, I love you to pieces, but you single-handedly managed to exponentially increase my body's desire to retain fat deposits around my midsection.  Aging sucks.

Boys will be boys:  Finally, Zeke's obsession with the swimsuit issue continues unabated.  He's sitting next to me on the couch leafing through the magazine.  "What's she doing, Mama?"  "Uh, she's lying in the sand getting her picture take."  "What's that, Mama?"  "That's water.  The lady is lying down in some water."  I honestly didn't think I'd have to deal with this for years and years.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


It's kind of sad that these days I look forward to being at work more than I look forward to weekends.

Well, sort of. 

If I could spend my weekends doing whatever I wanted, or doing nothing at my leisure, weekends would be awesome.  But these days, when I already get no down time to myself as it is (except for the random morning off to ski, but that hasn't happened in a while), weekends are just more time to clean up after short people* and argue with said short people about their need to take a nap or change one of the short people's diapers (the other is finally potty-trained).

And it's not that I don't love the short people.  I adore them.  They're hilarious and sweet.  I laugh even when they do things like come out of the bathroom announcing that they went pee not in the potty, but rather in the drain.  Problem is, we don't have a drain in the downstairs bathroom.  Only a heating vent. 

I know, it's gross.  But it's still funny. 

This past weekend, Short Person No. 2, i.e., Josie, developed some kind of stomach bug.  We were supposed to go skiing on Saturday with my cousins, but only made it to Idaho Springs before Little J started puking all over the car.  So we went home.

And I spent the entire 3-day weekend with her on me.  All.  The.  Time.  Because all she wanted was to be cuddled and held.  Which I understand -- she's a little peanut who wanted her mommy because she felt like shit.  But it meant that I was pretty much chained to the house for 3 days.

Plus, Zeke is going through a major Oedipal phase right now.  It's like he wants to consume me.  He's always on me, caressing me, kissing me, even licking me.  Which is made even creepier by the fact that he's (still) in the little boy stage when he likes to be naked if he's in the house.  I finally told him that if he wanted me to hold him or cuddle him, he needs to at least put on underpants.  Jeez.

So I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I say that I could not wait to come back to work.  To sit in my cube and work on my stuff without anyone touching me.  Or bothering me.  Or asking me for chocolate milk.  Or throwing up on me.

Yesterday Josie seemed to be doing better.  She was keeping down fluids and had even eaten a little bit.  She hadn't puked in a long time.  She slept well.  So I was all excited to drop the kids off at daycare and head off to work.

But then as we were getting ready to leave, she stood in the middle of the living room, coughed ominously, and then puked all over the rug.

I burst into tears.

But, I managed to keep it together, took Zeke to school, went to the store to get Pedialite and saltines and some other stuff we needed, and then took Josie home.  We colored for awhile, watched last night's episode of Hawaii 5-0 (such a guilty pleasure, that show), and then she went to sleep.  I cleaned the living room and did the dishes. 

And then, thankfully, Jcame home.  He was able to get off work early and knew I needed some relief, not just because I was fried, but because it's not fair that every time the kids get sick or have to stay home, it's my job that suffers

Tonight I will be working late.  The thought of it makes me so happy.
*TM my friend Elizabeth.

Friday, February 18, 2011

At least he's not taking it into the bathroom and locking the door

I grew up in a family of sports fans (myself among them).  We watched football, had season tickets to basketball and hockey, played baseball and softball and whatever else our various schools and communities were offering.  We played and followed the games.

So I've been reading Sports Illustrated all my life.  One of the first things I did when I got to college was to take advantage of the student discounts offered on magazine subscriptions. 

My choice?  Sports Illustrated.

So I'm well familiar with the annual swimsuit issue.  I can tell you who the various stars were throughout the years, when Christie Brinkley's reign gave way to those of Paulina Porizkova, Elle MacPherson, Vendala and Heidi.  How the issue used to be more interesting when it was a 7 to 10 page feature in the regular magazine, often with articles about sports in whatever locale the pictures were shot in.  Now that it's its own book, there are so many pictures that individual ones get lost in the shuffle.

But honestly, I'm a fan.  I've never found it offensive or gross.  The women are beautiful and healthy looking, the photography is usually far above the level of your average cheesecake calendar shoot.  I'm fascinated by the body painting.

And let's face it, who doesn't like boobies?

I've got a decent rack myself and I've always admired a good one on someone else.  They're pretty and bouncy and very appealing.  I totally get why men are into them, beyond the whole "they started life suckling at the tit and then spend the rest of their lives trying to return" theory.  They're fun!

The men in my family are unquestionably breast men.  My dad, my brothers, my grandfather.

And now, apparently, my son.

The other night Zeke was talking on the phone with my mom.  They were talking about the stickers he was playing with, what was on them (puppies and kittens, I think), how when she comes to visit next week, a trip to the sticker store will be on the agenda.

Then, in mid-sentence, Zeke spied the new SI swimsuit issue on the side table where the phone is, and went completely silent.  I could hear my mom saying, "hello?  Zeke?" as Zeke stared slack-jawed at the picture of Irina Shayk, all gorgeous and tan and with juicy mango boobies barely contained by her bikini top.

I took the phone from him, knowing that any further efforts at conversation with him would be useless.

Later he came up to me holding the magazine like it was the Holy Grail, an earnest look on his face.  "Mama, can I look at this?"

He sat on the couch and slowly leafed through the pages.  At one poing I heard him talking under his breath. 

Turns out he was counting boobies.  "One, two."  Next page.  "One, two."  And so on.

I'm telling myself it's a healthy supplement to his education.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bringing Down the Hammer

Sometimes I think they've got the right idea in Catholic schools...
 As you might have noticed, I updated my reading list to include the Nanny 911 guidebook on how not to be a big pussy with your kids and make them behave without beating them senseless.  It's a great book -- full of very practical advice and information and tips and techniques that really work.

Not that I'm really a big pussy with my kids, but lately I've been so exhausted and feeling besieged by life that I've ignored irritating behavior because if I didn't ignore it, I would scream and then everyone would feel bad and cry, and the crying would give me a headache.  So Zeke has gotten away with going to bed later than he should and has demanded chocolate milk at every turn and I've given it to him because it was easier than not giving it to him, and he's just generally been acting kind of obnoxious.

Except when he's not.

That's the problem with 3-year-olds.  When they're on their game, they are seriously the cutest, sweetest, most charming people on the planet.  But when they're not, you want to throw them out the window and not look back.

There isn't much middle ground, unfortunately.

The past few days, Zeke has gotten less than stellar progress reports from school.  Not listening, not taking part in group activities, complaining of being tired, and generally acting like a little jerk.

And while I'm willing to endure a certain amount of bad behavior, I sure as hell don't want to be known around the daycare as the asshole parent who refuses to discipline her child, so last night I got out my trusty guidebook and then got to work. 

We now have a big chart on the refrigerator listing the house rules.  They are simple but broad -- listen and obey, use nice words, sleep in your own bed, no hitting/throwing, things like that.  We had a family meeting at which I explained the rules and the consequences for failing to follow them.

Zeke was informed that he would get no chocolate milk unless he came home today with a good report from the teachers.  He wasn't happy about it, but he dealt. 

And we had a good night.  Everyone sat nicely and ate dinner at the table.  We read books and then everyone went to sleep and stayed in their own beds.  "Please" and "thank you" rang throughout the house. 

We'll see how long it lasts.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Halfway there?

I'm 41 today. 

Which seems old.  I look back on past birthdays, when the prospect of being in my 40s seemed so remote.  Turning 21 with my college girlies and celebrating in Old Town Alexandria.  The surprise party my roomies threw for me when I turned 25.  The big party I threw when I turned 30, when I played the banjo and sang with my bluegrass buddies, and I drank too much so Cameron and Trey had to put me to bed.  They were thoughtful enough to blow out all the candles so the house wouldn't burn down. Turning 34 in Costa Rica with J (the UTI trip), when he organized a little party for me at the surf camp, and managed to find some lady in Tamarindo to make a cake. 

I've celebrated a lot of birthdays.

Honestly, I don't feel very old.  Physically I feel the same as always, strong and agile, but with an aching back.  But my back has ached since I was 14, so that's nothing new.  I can ski or hike or bike and I don't feel creaky the next day. 

I have to admit that mentally, I feel tired.  Life is exhausting these days.  Occasionally I get a few hours of alone time to recharge my batteries, but most days are spent careening from task to task, trying to keep my head above water.  Work is great, kids are great, all is well, but I need. more. time.  Time to clean, time to get organized, time to spend with my husband, time to spend individually with each kid, time to myself.

If my genetics hold up and I don't get hit by a bus or something, I still have plenty of years ahead of me.  My Grandma Anne is 93.  Ruth lived to be 87.  Leo lived to be 93.  My great-grandpa Julius lived to be 102.  Great-grandparents Alex and Sadie lived well into their 80s.  So I'm probably not even half-way done with my life yet. 

Which I guess is a good thing.  Life is hard, but it's better than the alternative, right?

I want to give a shout-out to my peeps who share my birthday.  First, my friend David (married to my good buddy Michele), is truly one of the most benevolent souls I know.  He also happens to possess a wonderfully dry and wicked sense of humor.  David, I wish you a happy birthday and a happy year -- here's hoping 2011 shapes up to be far, far better than 2010 was.  Love you.

My friend Nicole went to middle school and high school with me in Israel.  Have a wonderful day, Nicole, and I hope to see you again in the future, maybe at the next AIS reunion.

My friend Russ (whose birthday was yesterday, but I still count him as a birthday buddy) is a close friend from high school in India.  Here's to making another reunion happen this year in Costa Rica.  I volunteer free surf lessons from J for anyone who wants them. 

Zeke's teacher, Antoinette, also has a birthday today.  Have a wonderful day, Miss Anty, and thank you for taking such great care of my child.

And of course, my friend Kristin, who left us way too early.  RIP, my friend.

So, to everyone, have a great birthday, have a great year, and let's do our best to have a great life. 

Love to all.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Valentine's Day Shakedown

I'm not a big Valentine's Day person.  I don't hate it or have anything in particular against it.  I'm just indifferent.  Partly because it's the day before my birthday, so my whole life it was just the day before a big day.  Partly because I'm not particularly romantic or sentimental.  J and I will say, "Oh, yeah! Happy Valentine's Day!" when we remember it, and then go about our day, just like any other.

But now both kids are in preschool.  And I'm telling you, the Mob could learn something from the way preschools are able to get parents to toe the line when it comes to bringing in treats for everyone in the class, having little cards "signed" by your kids (neither of whom writes yet, so who are we kidding here), participate in parties, etc. 

Only instead of the threat of broken kneecaps, they use guilt.  Because no one wants to be that one asshole parent who doesn't contribute.

As I was getting the kids dressed this morning, I suddenly realized it was Valentine's Day and that I had completely spaced on the fact that I was supposed to bring 24 signed Valentine's for the kids in Zeke's and Josie's classes, plus treats for the party.  (Attending the party itself was out of the question -- I have a job, which is why I pay almost 2 grand a month for daycare in the first place.)

When I dropped the kids off, I took Zeke into his classroom, where his teacher was busy putting together elaborate goodie bags for the children.  There was Valentine's stuff everywhere.  I was thankful that I had thought to throw on a red sweater, so I could fake looking the part.

"Hi, Ann.  I totally forgot about Valentine's Day.  I don't have any Valentines."

She gave me a withering look.  Robert DeNiro could totally play her in the movie scene when the enforcer is shaking down the babbo who's into him for 10 large.

"But I'm going to Safeway right now to pick some up.  Should I get other stuff as well?  Is there anything you need?"

I'm totally pathetic at this point.  She's got me by the proverbial balls.

"Well, sure, whatever you'd like to contribute..." she says, in a voice dripping with sugar.  Laced with arsenic.

"Oh, of course, of course!"

And off I scurry.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dorkitude, Exhibit 4932, or, Why I Sometimes Feel Like I Shouldn't Be Allowed Out in Public

I'm not really one to listen to music via earbuds or headphones, at least not outside of an airplane.  I get so into the music that it pushes everything else in my head out of the way. 

Like at work, I might play music at an almost inaudible volume (so as not to disturb the fellow cube-dwellers) just to have it in the background.  But if I put in earbuds, I'll be too easily startled if someone approaches me (which I am anyway -- I get really focused when I work, so someone could creep up making virtually no sound and they'll still scare the shit out of me and cause me to jump out of my chair).  Plus I find it distracting.  So I generally don't do it.

But the other night when I was leaving work, it was a clear, pretty night, if a bit cold, and for whatever reason, I decided that I wanted to listen to some music while I waited for my bus.  Because it was after hours, I had a longer wait than usual.

So I put in Beethoven's Ode to Joy.  Not like it's so original to be a big fan of Ode to Joy, but it's one of my favorite pieces of music, so whatevs. I had been listening to it intermittently throughout the day, so I cued it up to start at the beginning of the 4th (and last) movement.

When I'm really, really into a piece of music, I instinctively close my eyes.  I do this when I sing, too.  Visual stimuli become almost overwhelmingly distracting.  But of course, I can't stand out on a street corner with my eyes closed (for one thing, I'd miss my bus), so from time to time I'll open them, and then without realizing it, close them again a little while later. 

The most famous part of Ode to Joy is the end, the big choral section that carries the musical theme to its huge, explosive conclusion. 

I love that part, but my favorite is the lead-up to the fireworks, which start at about 11 minutes into the 4th movement.*  It's like you're being pulled up a gorgeous mountain to the edge of a cliff, and being held there by strings of gossamer that are like a tease -- will they break?  will they hold up? will you fall? The view is so beautiful, and the feeling of being up so high and swaying on the edge is exquisite, almost orgasmic, because you feel like there's something big coming, but the getting there and the being there is so amazing as well.  And then, with a massive whooosh! the strings break and you do fall off the cliff, but instead of being scary, it's like falling into heaven. 

I'm sure you're all thinking at this point that I'm insane.  Who knows, maybe I am.

And maybe the workload and stress and crazyness and lack of sleep of the past week has made me emotional.  Because when the big chorus started -- the fall off the cliff -- I felt like my heart was going to burst and I started to cry (not hard, but still).  It was just so beautiful.

And that's how I ended up waiting for the bus in the middle of downtown Denver, with the crackheads and the drunks and the guys roaming around offering to sell discounted boxes of cigarettes, crying tears of joy and looking for all the world like a borderline narcoleptic.

I probably need to lay off the earbuds.

* Click here for the entire symphony.  Click on "ninth4b" for the part I've been describing -- it's about 5 1/2 minutes in.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Baby Fish Mouth is Sweeping the Nation

I never played with dolls as a little girl.  I had a Baby Alive once for about 20 minutes, but after the novelty of watching her poop fake baby food wore off, I amused myself by cutting up my socks to sew clothes for her.

So baby dolls as a toy for a little girl is something that doesn't really occur to me.  I don't have a problem with it.  I just don't really get it.

So color me surprised when Josie all of a sudden became totally obsessed with this doll in her classroom at school.  Like, sits and plays with it all day.  Calls it "Mimi" or "Bibi".  Won't let it go when J picks her up in the afternoon, so the school lets her takes it home.  She sits with it on the couch and gives it hugs and giggles.

Which is all very well and good and cute.  Except that this is what the doll looks like:

What the fuck?

survey services

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


The craziness of the beginning of last week continued unabated.

First it was supercrazycold and I lost two days of work because I had to stay home with the kids.  Two days of needed time to work on a huge project that's due next week.  But knowing what the weather report was, I was confident that I'd get to work the next day, and if I worked late Thursday and Friday and at least part of Saturday, I'd still be in OK shape to get a draft to my boss by the end of the day Monday (yesterday).

Then our pipes out in the laundry room froze Wednesday night and burst in the -15 degree air.  Poor J, who has been getting up at 3:30 to get to work on time at a job in Fort Collins, went downstairs to check on something and heard the water gushing all over the laundry and then down into the cellar below.

He found the shut-off valve for the house and I made an appointment for the next morning.  The plumber came and fixed everything and was out of the house by 10.  But that still killed my morning on Thursday.

I worked late Thursday night and felt like I had been really productive, making up for lost time.  I felt good about getting the bulk of the main section of the document finished if I worked late Friday night.

But when I went into work on Friday and opened up the document, all of Thursday's revisions -- a solid 9 1/2 hours' worth of work -- were gone.  Vanished into thin air.  Nowhere to be found.  I called our admin people, I called tech support, but it was no use.

I could have cried.  I wanted to.  But I didn't really feel like I had time.  So I sat down and rewrote what I had done the day before.  And then kept going until about 8:00, when my head was feeling fuzzy and I was losing my ability to think clearly.

So I went to catch my bus and went home.

The kids were still up when I got home.  There was a big love-fest when I walked in the door.  And then I realized how cold it was in the house.  There was no hot water, the furnace was blowing cold air, and the oven and stove didn't work.

Long story short, the owner of the house before us -- or, more accurately, his executor, since the owner is dead and we bought the house from the estate -- sat with us at closing and told us that he had switched all the utilities over to our name.  Except that he didn't do it, so all this time the power/gas company has been under the assumption that the house has been vacant.  And Friday night, in the middle of a major cold spell, was when they decided to shut off the gas.*

The representative I talked to set up a new account and told me that I could pay an extra $40 to get the service reconnected within 12 hours, but that it could literally be any time withing the next 12 hours from the time I called, which was 8:45 at night.  Like, even at 3 in the morning, if that was when my number came up. We had already decided we would stay the night in a hotel because I didn't want the kids to spend the night in the cold house, but the customer service guy assured me that the technician would call before he came.  

So we left the house at about 9:15 and checked into the Crown Plaza downtown.  I kept my phone glued to my hip, waiting for the gas company guy to come.  The kids were a little hyper and excited, but we finally got them to calm down and go to sleep.

But I was so paranoid about missing the call that I didn't sleep.  I tossed and turned and got in some cat-naps between 5 and 7.

We got up, ordered some breakfast and the kids had a bath.  I called the gas company to find out the status of our service call.

And was told by the lady I talked to that the 12-hour-emergency-reconnect service wasn't a service that was offered on the weekend.  I managed to keep my cool while still letting her know that the information she was giving me was totally inconsistent with the information I had previously received.  She said that it was possible that the guy could still make it out this weekend, after making any emergency calls that might come up.  But there was no way of checking the status.

"There isn't a dispatch number I can call or something?"

"No, ma'am."

"So you're telling me that once a service order is placed, it just falls into a black hole and there isn't anybody on the planet that you or I or anyone else can contact to determine its status?"

"That's right."

I called my cousin to ask if J and the kids could come and hang out for the day, because I needed to go to the office.  We packed up and went home.

To discover a note on our front door from the gas company, claiming they had missed us.  At 9 o'clock the night before.  When we were still home.

It's a miracle my head didn't explode.  Again I called the gas company, again I was given a different story by the rep.

"You know, you guys really need to get your stories straight.  This whole event has been frustrating enough, but the fact that every time I call I get information has made it much more difficult."

"Well, ma'am, it's a really big company.  We have a huge service area."

"What, so you're telling me that because you're a big company with a big service area, it's OK for the customer service reps to not know what they're talking about?"

He checked himself.  "No, you're right.  I'm sorry I said that."

"OK, good.  Now let's get this problem solved."

And it was within a couple of hours.  So I went to work and wrote for another 6 hours.  Then went home and cleaned and hung out with the kids.

The next day, we were having people over to watch the game (yay, Packers!). J had all kinds of electrical work to do for the bathroom renovation, so I tried to clean while looking after the kids.  Then we cooked.  Then we had friends over, which was great.  Then we collapsed.

I'm realizing how much easier things were when J was home, whether recovering from his surgery or when he was out of work.  It was about 4 months of having someone at home to take care of shit.  Now we're both constantly run ragged, exhausted, incapable of getting on top of life's tasks.  Things are fine, but man, I'm frazzled.

My mom and Emma are coming to visit at the end of the month.  I put in to take 2 days off of work to spend extra time with them, and to just relax a little bit.  I can't wait.

In the meantime, it's moments like this that get me through:

I swear on a stack of first edition Green Eggs and Ham that I did not stage this.

*For unknown reasons, the power is still on, and the guy I talked to assured me that it won't be shut off over the weekend and that I can call the billing center this week and everything will be fine.  Yeah, I don't get it either.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


There are definite upsides and downsides to being married to a tradesman.

The upside is that he knows how to do shit.  Got a new dryer requiring a different kind of outlet on non-standard voltage?  J can run a wire from the circuit box, run it through pipe that conforms to code, and get the whole thing set up in about 45 minutes.  He knows how to use tools that scare me, like sawz-alls.  He can frame a bed headboard and teach me how to put up sheet-rock.

He's definitely a handy guy to have around.

The downside is that when he's gainfully employed -- which he now is, thank goodness -- he works in an industry that is notoriously shitty to its employees.

When I started my new job, I immediately started accruing paid leave at the rate of 14 hours per month, not to mention the state and federal holidays I already get off.  If something happens like I get sick or my kid gets sick or there's some emergency, my employers understand and I can deal with my life without worrying about getting fired.

When J started his new job, he was informed that he would accrue a paid week off each year after he had worked for a year (mighty white of them, I say). And it's basically understood that unless you or a close relative is on the verge of death, don't bother calling in sick unless you're no longer interested in having a job at all.

It infuriates me, but it's a job.  They've got us by the short hairs for sure.

Supercrazycold.  Photo by Andy Cross for The Denver Post.
The past two days it's been what Zeke and I have referred to as supercrazycold.  Yesterday the high was about 3 degrees, with a low of about -15, plus it snowed all day Monday, so everything iced up and got sketchy.  Schools closed, including the kids' preschool.

Of course, J had to report to work at 6 in the morning at a job up in Fort Collins, which is about an hour away (assuming decent conditions).

So I stayed home with the kids.  I was going to work from home anyway, but with the kids around, I couldn't get any work done.  So we played and went to Monkey Bizness and watched movies. I comforted myself with the fact that the roads were decent and even though it was scheduled to be supercrazycold today as well, conditions were OK for travel so the kids would be able to go to school and I'd be able to go to work today.

Then last night at about 9, our pipes out in the laundry room (which is essentially an uninsulated wooden porch with a washer and dryer) froze and burst, sending water everywhere, including into the cellar.  J managed to locate the main shut-off valve for the water and stop the flow of water and I called a plumber and scheduled an appointment for this morning.  And when I was up working at 2 in the morning, I checked my email and saw a message from the preschool director announcing that even though Denver Public Schools did not announce a closure for today, she was going to close today as well, "for the safety of our children and her staff."

While I'm certainly a fan of safety, the kids are in a heated building.  And they don't have to wait at cold bus stops because they are driven to school by their parents.  You'll have to forgive me if I didn't consider taking them to school to be putting them in any kind of risk.

So I'm a little annoyed today.  I'm tired of being the one whose schedule always has to accommodate every emergency, simply because I work for reasonable people.

But then I'm brought back to earth listening to Zeke flush the toilet and yell "Bye, Zekey's pee!" at his work product.  Or by Josie walking around saying "WOW!"  She just figured out how to say it and does it in a very exaggerated way that's hilarious.  It's nice having time with the kids.

But it will be in the mid-30s tomorrow.  School and work will definitely be open.

Thank God.