Stories from December 2009

Ode to the Urgent Care

Becca Sanders

Every family has its holiday traditions. Ours includes a trip to the urgent care. This year, we did Christmas right and didn’t skimp: we took two different kids to the urgent care on the same day. Everyone is on the mend now, and I’m grateful that we have decent health care coverage that allows us to spend so much quality time at our local clinic, reading year-old “Good Housekeeping” magazines.

Or writing poetry.

So I’ll sing out the old year with some verse, and wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year!

Ode to the Urgent Care

The waiting room is crowded at night
The place is brightly lit

The faces are sickly in florescent light
We sit and sit and sit

And wait for the doctor, and wait for the nurse
And wait for the winter to end

And wait for the warmth of the sun, and fresh air -
Our poor broken spirits to mend

Cause it’s “We need more Kleenex”
And “Get some clean sheets”
And “I think she’s getting it, too”
And a feeling that it will never end
And that we’ll never get through

At last it passes; the kids feel good
Their breathing is clear and free
A whole week goes by with hardly a sigh
No illness! You’d better knock wood

Because on day eight you don’t feel so great
With a burning in your throat
And it’s deja vu all over again
And a call to the cell of your mate

And it’s “We need more Kleenex”
And “Get some clean sheets”
And “I think I’m getting it, too”
And a feeling that it will never end
And that we’ll never get through

I’ll wait for the doctor, I’ll wait for the nurse
I’ll wait for my body to mend

Then I’ll buy me a ticket to Florida
This sickening cycle to end.


Laura De Veau

I’m not one for regrets, but I’m definitely one for resolutions.  I make them all the time.  Each Monday I resolve to be more organized at work.  On Tuesdays, I plan to get to the gym more often.  Wednesdays bring me face to face with the goal of getting Spicy Girl to sleep in her own room.  Thursdays, I promise to leave work at work, with the inevitability of Friday’s resolution to find a new job.  And the weekends – it’s one giant resolution usually having to do with finding time in the week to do errands, so the weekend isn’t gummed up with trips to and from wherever I need to go to do whatever has to be done.

So, when we are approaching the New Year, well then – now I really need to do some thinking.  Sure, saving money, losing weight and finding a better dermatologist annually make the list, but this year, I want to make the most of my failed attempt to make my life better.

I mean, why go with the basics, when I can really blow it out of the water?  So, here it is – this year I resolve to quit resolving and actually do it all.  Believe me, the list is long, and some of it is simply not do-able.  But, here’s how I will treat those not do-able items – I will tell someone that they can’t be done, and then I will move on.  Scratch the damn thing off the list, and quit it from haunting me.

That’s right world, this year, I am going to, in no particular order: (Read more…)

So Far Away

Angie McCullagh

I made a monumental decision when I was in my late twenties. I moved 2,000 miles away from my family. I knew it was very possible I’d meet, marry and have children with someone in my new city of Seattle, binding me here forever. But, at the time, relocating seemed the logical thing to do. Lansing, Michigan was certainly not presenting me with potential mates or exciting career moves.

So I packed up my one-bedroom apartment full of furniture, my cat and my hopes and dreams and headed West. Within six months of taking up residence in Washington, I met, on a blind date, the man who is now my husband.

When we married, we were both barreling toward middle age. So we hitched a ride on the baby train pretty quickly.

Now I find myself, ten-plus years later, on the other side of the continent from my mom, dad, sister, aunts, uncles and nephews. (Read more…)

Holiday Post-mortem

Lisa Kerr

I sat down at my computer to type this morning and found myself faced with a mental void.  Gone were the to-do lists, recipes, presents, Christmas tunes and the thousand other thoughts that could be categorized under “Christmas 2009”.  Like childbirth, all of the pain and effort that goes into creating the perfect holiday fade away and you’re left with rosy memories and a stretch mark or two.

So here, in no particular order, are a few of my favorite things about our family’s holiday celebration this year:

Our Teacher Presents:  Every year we debate the best way to show our appreciation for the people who put up with our kids more hours a day than we do.  This year the Monkey and I decided to make “Healthy Teacher Kits”: tissues, chap stick, hand sanitizer, vitamin C drops and tea, neatly packaged in a holiday tin.  This will either leave our educators with the idea that we are ‘a creative and thoughtful family’, or the ‘cheap a-holes who bought Purel’.  

White Trash:  This is a tasty sweet/savory mixture  of melted white chocolate, chex mix and m&ms that we made for family and friends. It suffers from a name that we secretly find hilarious, but question when neighbors drop by to bring exquisite hand-made caramels and the Ladybug runs through the house yelling “We made you White Trash!”

The Leg Lamp:  This is a new addition to our Christmas Celebration.  Perhaps you remember the infamous leg lamp from the movie “A Christmas Story”? No, I would not go so far as to have a life-size replica. But, I squealed with delight (Read more…)

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This Weeks Tip

You would think at our age that we wouldn’t have to worry about these things. But, as Kate will attest, even at *ahem* 27, untimely breakouts can (and will) happen. What to do? Apply an ice cube for 30 second. Then soak a cotton ball in eye drops and press it to the “spot” for 3 minutes. The theory is that the ice and drop combination will cause blood vessels below the surface to contract—leaving you looking, well, a little less like Rudolph.