Day-By-Day

Allergy Season Approaches, Me and Mickey Mouse, Playing the Bad Guy


(Flickr credit)

C..C..Cold and wet today. The north wind stole my breath away when Kevin and I went to lunch at Panera Bread. This is my least favorite time of year. Not only is the weather ugly, unpredictable and sometimes dangerous (tornado season), but the grass begins growing and the trees begin to bloom.

I hate that.

Not for ME, but for Jazz. He has spring allergies and I have to dope him up on Singular during the day and Zyrtec at night. This double whammy cocktail serves to strengthen his lung capacity and trick his body into thinking it’s NOT inhaling oak pollen thereby keeping his lungs from going nuts and morphing into asthma.

That has happened a few times over the years. It got so bad I had to take him into the clinic for breathing treatments until I finally got smart (notice I said this took years?? Yeah, I’m slow on the uptake sometimes) and took him to see an allergist where we determined that he’s EXTREMELY allergic to oak and moderately allergic to grass.

Which both show up in spades in the spring.

Ever since then, I’ve doped him up and he’s been able to sail through this time of year with very little problems. Only last year, when I was living out of a Columbia hospital with Kevin while he waited to have his pelvis reconstructed, I wasn’t around to remind Jazz to take his medication so that by the time I got back to Springfield, his allergies had morphed into asthma and I had to administer breathing treatments with old medicine (because there hadn’t been a need to buy more Albuterol, what I had was old) and a too small mask (because I have a child’s-sized mask and now need an adult-sized mask because the boy is virtually a man now). I’m hoping we get through this season with very little problems because if he needs another breathing treatment, I’ll have to A. make an appointment to see his allergist so that I can B. buy more Albuterol and C. buy a bigger mask.

And did I mention that our insurance dropped us this past December and we’re under a new plan with a higher deductible and this allergy stuff is expensive?? (Our insurance dropped us because we were part of a group plan through Kevin’s work and since his work went into liquidation and there was no longer a group to insure, well, our insurance dropped us. Yeah. NOT the best time for that to happen, but you know, such is life).

I’m going to have to time this allergy season perfectly because I only have 30 Singular pills, enough to last him 30 days. In order to refill our prescription, we’ll have to go back to his doctor (because the man refuses to simply refill the ‘scrip without a consult – “Has anything changed?” “No.” “Is Singular working for him?” “Yes.” “Okay. Here’s a ‘scrip for a refill and oh, by the way, don’t forget to pay the cashier for this pointless visit on your way out.” – so annoying) and buy more drugs (which are OVER $100, geez, drugs are insanely expensive) and since this is the only time of year any of us have any medical problems to speak of, it would be nice to sail through it without having to break open anymore piggy banks.

All this to say, I’m okay with the weather staying cold and wet for a few weeks longer – keep that pollen under wraps, Mother Nature.

*****

We got an information packet in the mail from Disney World the other day. Did I mention we’re going in July??

I have to admit, Disney knows how to get people excited about visiting. I watched the DVD that came with the packet, showed my family the brochure that “personally” welcomed our family to Disney and poured over maps for Epcot and Hollywood Studios (the two parks we plan on visiting, because we only allotted two days to spend at Disney World) all while trying not to act like a 10-year old girl breathlessly waiting to meet her fairy princess of choice.

(Which I would totally do if I wasn’t going to Disney World with three guys who have no interest in meeting fairy princesses).

I’ve been wanting to go to Disney for quite a few years, but every time I suggested it, my family vetoed the idea. The guys simply couldn’t get excited about going – they thought it was too kiddy-ish, or too girly. Which it might be, I’ve never been so what do I know. But now that we’ve decided to go, and we’re getting information tailor-made to our family, they’re starting to look forward to it.

We decided to go this year because we’re planning on catching a boat out of Port Canaveral to go to the Bahamas, only we couldn’t find a flight on the airline we usually use (because we have a credit card through them that we earn points on and later cash in for free flights – which is AWESOME when we have enough points, NOT SO AWESOME when we don’t), and had to sort of jump through hoops to find another airline that would take us to Orlando in a timely matter without breaking our bank account.

We found an airline that flies, non-stop, from St. Louis to Orlando, but not on the days we needed it to. So, we decided to take advantage of the fact that we’ll be in the area a few days before we sail to drop a small fortune at Disney World.

All of that to say, we’re finally starting to get excited.

*****

I put my Twitter account on private status. I’ve been applying for jobs and I figured if they Googled my name, it might come up and they would see what sort of nonsense I tweet and think, “this girl is insane. We don’t want her working for us.”

Which is exactly what WOULD happen if they Googled my name. Because I Googled my name and my Twitter account WAS the first thing that showed up.

It’s not that I have anything to hide, per se, but you know, it’s weird to face someone who reads the crap you write when you don’t really expect anyone to read it in the first place.

So, hopefully I’m eliminating that problem by going private, at least for a little while.

My blog doesn’t show up when you Google my name. Thank goodness. And that’s precisely WHY I don’t publish my first/last name here – because I don’t want anyone Googling my name and HI – READ MY LAME BLOG. It’s also the biggest reason I don’t call my sons by their real names on this blog either – I don’t want to put them in an embarrassing situation when (notice I said WHEN) they get jobs and are forced to explain to their potential boss about the time they ran around our backyard with no clothes on.

(By the way, that’s totally made up. They’ve never left the house with no clothes on – that I’m aware of, anyway).

So yeah. The Internet is SO FUN when you don’t have to meet anyone FROM the Internet, you know?

*****

I had to ground Jazz from his favorite computer game yesterday. The boys got their progress reports and Jazz is getting an F in English.

Now. Getting an F in any subject is bad enough, but when it’s in ENGLISH, and your mom is an ENGLISH nerd, is quite hurtful.

Not to mention disappointing.

Now, I take progress report grades with a grain of salt. (And progress reports are reports that come out every few weeks to let parents know how their kids are doing in their classes up to that point). The problem with progress reports are, they’re not always accurate. If the teacher hasn’t recorded their grades up to the point when the progress reports print out, then it’s possible the grades will be pretty crappy because there are several outstanding assignments that haven’t been recorded but have been added in the total points possible.

Does that make sense?

It took a HUGE fight with my oldest son several years back before I realized what was happening with these progress reports – ever since then, I’ve been a lot cooler about progress report grades. If the grades are sub-par, then I pay special attention to that subject to make sure the boys are keeping on top of that class. Most times, it irons out. In the end, the grades are acceptable come grade card time.

But sometimes, like yesterday, something’s off.

I looked at Jazz’s transcript the other day – the kid has ALL A’s and B’s since he started high school. And the rest of his classes this semester are all A’s. So this F in English? Stood out like a lighthouse beacon on a pitch black night.

His last progress report grade in English was a C-. Again, Jazz told me that the teacher simply hadn’t recorded all of his grades. Fine. But when I saw the F on this report, I investigated.

And by investigated, I mean I asked Jazz a bunch of SPECIFIC questions. (Note to moms – when your kids reach the teenage years, you have to be VERY SPECIFIC in your questions to them. Otherwise, they can shrug later and claim, “Well, you didn’t ask me THAT.”)

Jazz said he knew I would be upset by the F, so he talked to his teacher after class. She told him that he hadn’t turned in several reading logs, which dropped his grade. The thing is, Jazz claims not to have KNOWN he was supposed to do reading logs every day because the teacher never said they needed to do them every day.

Now. I’m not one of those moms who think my children crap gold. They are quite flawed and have lied to me in the past. They’re kids. They test the boundaries like every other kid. BUT, Dude has had this English teacher in the past and he had the same problem with this same teacher – she didn’t really make them work very hard, she wasn’t very good at communicating things with the class, and she took forever to record grades. So, even though I understood that Jazz quite possibly had a lemon teacher, it still wasn’t an excuse for the bad grade. It just meant that he couldn’t take anything for granted and he needed to overachieve in that classroom. In other words, he needed to go above and beyond what was expected of him so that he would have some “insurance” if/when the time came.

In the meantime, I had gone ahead and emailed his teacher before I had talked to Jazz. I simply asked her what the dealio was. Was Jazz not turning in his assignments? Was he doing poorly on his assignments? Please let me know what the problem is so we may work on it. Nothing confrontational because again, he’s my kid and I love him, but he’s not perfect.

Since Jazz had an F, he was no longer allowed to play his favorite computer game. That’s our deal. The boys know our deal. If their grades drop below a C, then they lose stuff. Period. Once those grades come back up, they get their stuff back.

It’s pretty black and white.

We set the bar at “C”, because we’re realistic. Not every kid is great at every subject. BUT, if they do better than a C, then we’re more apt to say yes to things they want in the future. You make the grade, you earn our respect.

Again, pretty black and white.

I heard from his teacher today. She told me that he now has a “C”, which tells me that she finally got around to recording his assignments. It also reaffirms the importance of parents following up – teachers are more apt to do their jobs if they have parents breathing down their necks, I’m sure. She also finished out the email by saying, “Jazz is a very polite young man, I enjoy having him in class very much.”

*MOM PRIDE*

(Also? She could have been kissing my butt. But whatever, I’ll take it).

Okay. So the boy is now back up to a C. Acceptable, but not desirable. He’s no longer grounded from his game (as per our agreement, because I’m a strict mom, but I’m a fair mom), but I will be keeping a very close eye on everything he does in that class to insure that he stays on top of things and ends the semester with a decent grade.

Because I’m his mother and that’s my job.

*****

I mentioned that I’ve been applying for jobs. I’ve also been looking at job listing sites twice daily and have been researching the jobs listed. I’ve seen quite a few pharmacy tech jobs. If you want to be a pharmacy tech, you have to be licensed. I’ve been looking into that and now I’m seriously thinking of doing that.

“But Karen, what happened to the paralegal idea?”

Ugh. Thanks Internet, you would have to bring that up. I have scratched that idea. Why? Because I started reading some paralegal blogs and these people work their tail ends off. Not that I’m scared of a little hard work, I’m not, but they travel a lot to take depositions and they work insane hours during trials and quite frankly? I don’t want to be away from my family that much. Even though the boys are on the verge of taking flight and doing their own thing, I don’t want to be away from Kevin that much. He’s my best friend and I need him. He needs me. It would just be too hard. So now I’m looking for something closer to home and with some (semi) decent hours.

I know. There’s no pleasing me.

*****

Kevin’s parents are having a 50th wedding anniversary party this weekend. My sis-in-laws want me to come over on Saturday and help with food and then Kevin and I are going over to the church early on Sunday to help set up.

My mother-in-law plans on displaying her wedding dress. How cool is that?? I’m really looking forward to taking some pictures, but I’m also a little nervous. My in-laws know A LOT of people, and from what I’ve heard, they’ve all been invited, so this is turning out to be quite the shindig.

This also makes me think about my OWN parents’ 50th wedding anniversary in four short years. (Cynthia, Dave, Angie? Are you reading? Just a head’s up. *wink*)

*****

The woman who hit Kevin head-on? Had yet another court appearance today. And yet again, she’s been granted a “continuance.”

To my knowledge, this woman hasn’t been punished for nearly killing my husband almost a year ago (Seriously ya’ll, it’ll be a YEAR since Kevin’s accident on April 16th. Can you freaking believe that???), though I think our insurance company has issued her papers and I know she’s been picked up since the accident for a DWI.

She’s a real winner, that one.

But that is what is wrong with our legal system – this woman has been out and about, endangering herself and others almost a year after hitting Kevin. That is seriously pathetic.

Will she EVER pay for her reckless behavior?

That’s the half-a-million dollar question, right there.

*****

And I’m done now.