Waging war in the urban jungle

Friday, February 25, 2011

When it rains....

This week has really put me through the ringer. 

Paulo's school auction is tomorrow, so we've had a lot of last minute meetings and tons of work still to be done.  I'm trying to print the bid sheets for the silent auction.  My equipment is not cooperating.  First my laser printer toner is running low.  I KNOW I bought another cartridge a few months ago and it has disappeared.  But darn it I know I bought it!!  Naturally the possibilities exists that I did not in fact purchase said cartridge, that I only meant to, that I already used it and that I'm losing my mind.  So, I moved on to my other ink printer, and 1/2 way through a sheet, the black ink ran out....seriously, the Gods are against me!

On Tuesday Paulo woke up sick, fever, sore throat, garden variety symptoms.  He hasn't been able to shake the fever since.  Last night I went to my Mother in law's to pick him up after work and found him sobbing, curled up in the fetal position holding his right side-his fever was up near 103.  I kick into Mommy panic mode, scoop him up, put him in the car and drive straight to the ER.  My fear being appendicitis.  A couple doses of zofran for the stomach and tylenol for the fever and four hours of observation later we're sent home.  I'm reminded of why I refuse to get ill or injured, I really don't like hospitals.  The doctor didn't want to scan him needlessly-which I appreciate-and decided that it was viral.  She told me that there is a virus going around in our neck of the woods with those symptoms, high fever and severe abdominal pain.  We got home close to 10:00 and had a late, light, dinner and crashed.

So, add the stress of the auction, the stress of end of the month business wrapping up/expenses and my Momma fears with a sick baby and what do you get?  A woman that is one step away from crouching in the corner, rocking back and forth and crying...sometimes loudly....seriously I'm one more snafu away from a full blown melt down-which I do not have time for.  I just need to get through the next 36 hours or so, I need the auction to go smoothly, I need people to come and have fun and buy the wonderful things we've worked so hard to get donated and I need my son to get well, I just need to get to Sunday in one piece physically and emotionally.  Light a candle, say a prayer, burn some incense, whatever it is that you do, do it for me so I can survive the next 36 hours.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The rule of 80/20

Years ago, when Paulo was in preschool I took over the reign of our Co-Op Board.  I'd served as the VP for 1/2 the school year and the current President's child was moving on to Kindergarten. 

When I took over the outgoing President gave me some advice that at the time I thought wasn't all that accurate. She told me about the rule of 80/20.  80% of the work is done by 20% of the people.  I scoffed a little inside...then I spent the next year doing 80% of the work of running a cooperative Preschool.  I've always remembered that statistic, I'm not sure there's any science behind the numbers but it sure feels accurate when you're part of the 20%.  And, yes I have always been and will always be part of the 20%.

I was reminded again of that sage wisdom last weekend.  Paulo's school is moving.  We start classes in our new location next Tuesday and the building is....not....ready.  So Paulo and I spent a chunk of the day there Saturday and I went back for a few hours Sunday.  I stopped by Monday to deliver a book shelf and rugs to his teacher and I was struck by the sea of familiar faces.  You see, it was the same dozen or so people that I'd seen all weekend long!  80/20....a vivid example of the rule of 80/20. 

I love my son's school, which is why I do not mind being part of that 20%.  I love his teachers, I love the staff, they are truly wonderful people who work for next to nothing and if I can make their lives easier by hauling boxes and moving furniture you can bet I will be there to do it.  I love being part of a community of kindred spirits that are working so hard to nurture my son, to help him grow up and develop both academically and emotionally.  They are such amazing people.  Without a doubt I love being part of the 20%.   I love being involved with his school and truth be told I love that people know who I am.  I am Paulo's Mom, I am part of the 20.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The best day ever!

I had a visitor last weekend.  It was by far the most relaxing at home weekend that I can remember in a long, long time. 

My dear friend, SM, came to visit me from the land of sun and surf-Southern California.  I had the pleasure of showing off my beautiful city.  We started off our Saturday with a run-see she's a triathlete and she knows I'm dipping my toe into the running waters and contemplating a 5K-and then a 10K in May-so we headed off bright and early Saturday morning and ran a little over 2.5 miles.  2.5 miles of hills mind you, not flat, not easy, a lot of hills where I live.  After a quick breakfast-omelets with farm fresh eggs that a customer had delivered to us at work the previous day-and quick showers we were off on our day long adventure.

Starting off our day was a trip to Powell's.  Oh Powell's you beautiful, beautiful place.  There is just nothing like that moment when you first open the door to Powell's, the scent of books waft over you and the buzz of activity that greets you.  I just love Powell's.  Powell's represents all that was important to me in high school.  I spent hours there-some of those hours when I should have been in school-wandering the aisles, fondling books.  I love Powell's and I was so happy to share the experience with my friend, who is also an avid reader, I knew she would get it.

After Powell's we headed off to Hawthorne for lunch and some window shopping.  Another favorite part of town for me but not one I get to indulge often.  See for one parking is a nightmare, seriously we scored a spot but I was nervous for a bit.  But the bigger problem is my busy britches boy, he would want to touch everything and I would end up freaking out that he was going to break something or annoy someone.  But we were KIDLESS!!  We lingered over lunch talking about anything and everything.  We wandered up and down the street ducking into shops here and there at will.  We explored some cute vintage shops, some eco friendly decor stores and some really sweet clothing shops.  What I loved though was the ease, it was so easy.  We could wander into a store and I never felt like we had to keep in constant contact.  We could peruse things at our own leisure then meet back in the middle.  The conversation flowed naturally, nothing forced, no awkward pauses.  It's like we've been hanging out together all our lives but in reality this is a relationship nurtured mostly via email, text and the occasional quick phone call. 

We capped off our day with a visit to Ashiyu Foot Spas in Sellwood for a foot soak and reflexology treatments before heading off for some vege Thai food down the street. 

Oooooooh, I feel relaxed right now just thinking about our day.  I wish every weekend, or at least every other weekend, could be so relaxing and recharging.  That's how I felt when I drove home Saturday, recharged.  Refreshed.  Renewed.  It was the....best.....day......ever. 

Thank you my dear friend for coming to visit me, I cannot wait for our next adventure!