Monday, January 31, 2011

We Bought a Mattress

And the purchase was.....a Tempurpedic. The Cloud model to be exact.

Thank you, everyone, for your input. People are serious about their mattresses!

The buying process was sort of comical. I went to a local store near us once by myself.

Then I waited.

Because I was afraid.

My word, have you seen the price on those bad boys?

I left brochures lying strategically around the house.

I rubbed my neck a lot.

I thrashed around in bed and stole all the covers.

I short-sheeted the bed.

Just kidding. That would serve no point. Except that it would be funny. Unless I forgot and got in bed first.

Last Saturday afternoon, we were near the other mattress store in the valley. I suggested a trip just to look.

We were there for an hour and a half.

Every time I turned around, Eamonn was on a different Tempurpedic bed.

He says he didn't fall asleep, but I question that assertion.

We got a quote. We made budget. It looked grim.

And then we found out that if we bought through the website we could get three years of financing, interest free.


The bed won't be delivered for 1 - 3 weeks, which is good because I need to buy new sheets and a comforter--we're graduating to a KING!!!

My neck feels better already.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Public Humiliation

So I haven't really written about my humiliating ski lesson last week. The one that I'm still sore from...4 days later. The one where I stamped my skis and said a bunch of bad words--not always under my breath. Or how about where I thought I was going to fall into a tree well and die.

I love skiing. Although last week I was unsure why, exactly.

It has been fun to see the boys learn to ski (except for the crashing--I could do without seeing/hearing about THEM crashing). To see them go from just wobbling around on their skis to skiing better than me, in Declan's case. I take lessons because I want to continue to improve. And, I don't want the boys to be that much better than me, if I can help it. I'm competitive that way.

Anyway, last week I was in the horrendous ski lesson. It was a male instructor and two other men. One dude was 65 and is having a knee replacement in March. And he pretty much tore my legs off all day. Not that I find that embarassing or anything. But I wanted to challenge myself. I'm sort of stuck at this high intermediate level and I want to be better. I want to ski steeper runs with more confidence. I want to ski bumps. I want to ski powder.

I was feeling all confident and went out with this group. I was OK at the start, but then, I wanted to leave. I wanted to ski into the trees (without hitting any of them) and hide until they all went away. Maybe ski patrol could just find me in their sweep at the end of the day and I could say I got lost or separated from my group. We were coming down runs that were making me whimper and say things like, "I can't! I'm afraid!" And I was.

Then there was the point that I was just sliding down a run on my back. As it was a steep run, I was going pretty fast on my back. Faster than I'd actually been going on my skis, I'm pretty certain. As an FYI, a lot of snow goes down your coat in that position.

After one ridiculous descent, the instructor, who was really good incidentally and I'd take a lesson from him again, came over to me. I was standing to the side of the lift line shaking the snow out of my underwear. The two other men in the group sort of skiied past me because I think they knew the instructor wanted to talk to me. So he skis up. I can't tell if he's amused or horrified.

Him: "Um, what happened there on Cataract?"

Me: "Which part? Where I slid down on my back? Where I slid down on my side? Where I fell backwards? Could you be more specific? Or did you mean where I almost ran into the tree before that vertical drop?"

I was kind of grumpy at that point.

I struggled through three embarassing black diamond runs before the old guy's knee was giving out (FINALLY my prayers were answered--I thought I was going to have to get all Tonya Harding on him to take him out) and we had to go to some cruisers to finish up the day (I have never been so relieved).

I've spent the last four days cringing thinking about that lesson. I've had a chance to lick my wounds, pretend it really wasn't that bad, and bathe myself in Ben Gay.

Tonight I stayed up late to finish my work so I can go do it all again tomorrow.

Totally whack.

Friday, January 21, 2011

And on Today's Episode of "As the Emergency Room Turns..."

In the last ten and three quarters years, I have spent more time in emergency medical situations than I did in the entire first 32 years of my life.

I remember when I was in fifth grade and my teacher, who had two boys, would tell stories about how his sons were constantly breaking or spraining appendages, requiring stitches, or getting general injuries requiring medical attention.

Having two sisters, I totally couldn't relate. Girls. We just don't tend to end up in the ER as often, apparently. At least not in my family.

As a result, I feel woefully unprepared for the medical drama that is associated with boys. You know, like scalpings, impalement, hypoxia, wrist breakages, other miscellaneous scalp lacs and head traumas. Please note: not all of these injuries belong to the little people in this house.

Anyway, for the last two days, the boys have been at Learn to Ski days for school. Since they would be skiing until 3:30pm each day, I took advantage of the opportunity to take a ski lesson myself.

I won't go into the various forms of torture my ski instructor put me through, but today, I wasn't so eager to run back out to the mountain. So I stayed home getting caught up on work. Around 12:45pm, I realized I was going to be finished around 1:30pm and since I had to go to the resort to pick up the kids anyway, I figured I'd at least go make a couple of runs to be sure all of my limbs were still in working order.

Thirty seconds later, the phone rang. It was Eamonn saying that he had just received a call. Declan had "taken a digger," in his words, and was at the mountain's medical center.

Now, over the years I've worked to stay calm in a crisis, but the first words out of my mouth were, "Why did they call you insted of me?" Not, "Oh no! My baby! Is he hurt?" Maybe I need to be a little less calm in a crisis and not worry why the medical people didn't call me since I was the one on the emergency contact forms (Turns out, Declan gave them the wrong phone number for me, but remembered Eamonn's number perfectly. I reminded him that BOTH numbers are on the back of his helmet...and in the pocket of his coat...).

Anyway, I was still in my workout clothes so I threw on real clothing and ran out the door.

Declan had been skiing down a steep-ish run and, in Eamonn's words, "took a digger," hitting himself in the nose with his ski pole on the way down and leaving a nice pool of blood in the snow which always creates a lot of excitement--all of that red on the lovely contrasting white, right? Because there was a lot of blood and he was dizzy, his ski instructor called ski patrol and Declan became the first person in our family to have the honor of being littered off the mountain on the ski patrol sled.


(I had a million questions about how comfortable that was. He said it wasn't that bad.)

An x-ray confirmed there was no serious injury. Words like "nasal contusion" and "mild closed head injury" are on the discharge papers (as in, his nose is bruised and he bumped his head). However, he is restricted from any sports for the next week. He'll be cleared to play hockey just before his game next Saturday (good news since he's the goalie). They take head injuries very seriously these days.

Once discharged, he ate a cheeseburger the size of Texas with a side of fries and then ran down the Beaver Creek cookie lady to get one of the free, warm chocolate chip cookies that are given out every day at 3pm.

I'm pretty sure he's feeling just fine.

See you next time on "As the Emergency Room Turns." Or not if we're lucky. Ha.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio

Has anyone ever seen this movie? I watched it a few years ago. I don't think it was any sort of blockbuster, but having grown up in Ohio, I was intrigued by the title.

Julianne Moore plays a mom with a zillion kids and a drunkard husband (Woody Harrelson) and she has to end up supporting the family by entering contests and writing jingles. It's just a good story--no car chases, gun battles or anything like that.

But recently I was thinking it's a good thing my family doesn't rely on me to write jingles and win contests to support us because...we'd starve. When I see contests on the Internet, sometimes I enter (and they don't even require me to write a jingle). Usually they're on the Pioneer Woman's site. I don't know why I keep trying to win a Kitchen Aid stand mixer on her contests. I have an amazing Bosch mixer that could do handstands around that Kitchen Aid, I'm sure. And yet, I want that shiny red, yellow, black, whatever color it is this week, mixer.

And the knives. Why would I want to win knives? We recieved Cutco knives for our wedding. Those knives will outlive me, and yet I enter contests for knives.

The other day I was desperately trying to win a new Cooking Light cookbook. Because apparently the two I have don't suffice.

I never win, so it clearly makes no difference anyway.

Once, in the late 80s, I won something. My friend, Andrea, and I went to the Festival of Trees in Columbus, and we bought raffle tickets for two round trip airfares to anywhere in the continental U.S. on American Airlines.

I won.

I never used them. I gave them to Andrea. Even though they weren't transferrable. And the story of her trying to use these tickets as me is hilarious and never could have actually happened in a post 9/11 world.

I won Bingo once in 7th grade.

My point here is that I'm totally negative on contests. Before Christmas, Finn entered some contest through Lego whereby he would win thousands of dollars worth of Lego. In his head, he was going to win. It's hard to know--do you let them have hope that they might win or do you crush their tiny spirits with the speech about how it's more likely that he'll be struck by lightening than win that contest?

It's a hard call. I think I gave the lightening speech.


I'll need to remember that the next time I enter a contest for anything on PW's site.

Friday, January 14, 2011

And the Mother of The Year Award Goes To...Not Me...

Ugh. One of my main goals in life is to get my kids off to school happy, calm, well fed and ready to face the day.

Today I figure I'm 0 for 4. As in, not batting a thousand.

Does anyone else get sick of repeating themselves over and over and over again? I often joke that parenting is all about marketing--package and present something attractively enough and they're going to bite. "It's 6:45am! Isn't that great? Hope out of bed and I'll have some hot chocolate waiting for you!" Or we're doing something exciting after schooo, or it's movie night, or those beets give you superpowers...whatever.

And I'm just kidding about the beets. I despise them so I never make them.

Anyway, parenting, as we know, isn't only about marketing, it's also about retition. But I feel like my life lately is repeating myself repeating myself over and over again. And no one is apparently listening or learning.

When I go upstairs before we walk to school, beds are not made, blinds are not open, night lights are not turned off. I estimate I have reminded them to do these things several thousand times. Literally.

I'm also dismayed and disappointed at my children's gimme gimme gimme get get get attitudes. They get an allowance (which I informed them this morning is in jeopardy if they cannot start completing even the simplest morning tasks without reminding) that burns a hole in their pocket from the second it lands there. I don't know why I find their incessant, "Can you take me to the store to buy this and this and this and this," commentary so draining. It's right up there with the constant stream of, "Can I play DS/Wii/computer?"

So this morning, after yet another question of when I could take a certain person to the store to buy a certain something, I cracked. I yelled. I shouted. I slammed stuff down on the counter.

I stunned everyone into silence and sulleness.

That felt great. Not.

The problem, of course, is me. Me not sticking to my guns about no electronics during the week. Me not outlining expectations and then sticking to them. It is always so painfully obvious to me when I am being inconsistent. What kid wouldn't flounder around in the face of inconsistency?

So I foresee a family meeting in our very near future where we re-affirm the rules for all parties, discuss consequences and also behaviorial expectations. Because really, do I need to remind you to do the same 3 things every morning? I think not. Even if you are just 8 and 10.


I'm glad it's Friday. I feel weary.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mattresses. Yet again.

I swear this will be my last mattress post for awhile. I need to hit the town and do more research. But I wanted to tell you something funny that Finn said today. He and Declan frequently sleep in the same room--sometimes in the double bed in Finn's room, sometimes in Declan's bunk beds. For the past week, they've been in Finn's room. These last few nights have been really cold so I'm guessing a little extra body heat is nice.

Anyway, yesterday Finn informed me that he needed a Tempurpedic mattress. Keep in mind, neither of the boys have been with me when I shopped for a mattress. I've probably mentioned it though.

The reason Finn says he needs a Tempurpedic mattress is so that when he gets up in the middle of the night, he doesn't wake Declan by moving the bed.

My issues:
-Why is he getting up in the middle of the night?
-He is clearly watching too much TV.

My next post will not be about mattresses. But wow, you guys are passionate about your mattresses.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Mattresses, Part Two

Who knew that mattresses would be such an interesting topic for all of us? People are very passionate about their mattresses, or else they're looking for a new one, it seems.

Anyway, this evening I had a chance to go to a mattress store nearby. I have two choices for mattress stores--one right nearby and one about 20 miles up valley. And there is always Costco, but I peered around in there and was unimpressed.

So I went into the store with some questions. First, my sister has a memory foam mattress. They really like it, but feel like it's already.....

BREAKING IN TO SAY A MATTRESS COMMERCIAL JUST CAME ON. WEIRD. It's for the Sleep Number. More about that...

Picking up where I left off...my sister and brother-in-law like the Memory Foam, but after just a year and a half, they are already noticing it compressing.

A fact for you: the average mattress is only designed to last 8 - 10 years. I think we've squeaked plenty of life out of ours for 20 years. Another fact: It's standard for a typical spring coil mattress to compress 1 1/2 inches over those 8 - 10 years--that's that whole mattress sag thing.

So first I asked what the diff is between the Memory Foam and the Tempurpedic. Because even though I slept on the "inferior" Memory Foam, I liked it. I liked it so much that I know I could be very happy with that style of mattress.

The store had samples of the different foams: Memory Foam vs. Tempurpedic. You can feel the difference easily. The reason Tempurpedic is so bloody expensive is that their foam is patented and guaranteed not to compress more than 1/4 inch over 20 years. So allegedly you don't get that sinking compression with the Tempurpedic.

Another difference is that Tempurpedic is made with these channels to keep you cool. Apparently the Memory Foam beds are pretty hot and the Tempurpedic is designed to address this. I don't recall being hot when I slept on the Memory Foam, but other people have mentioned this to me.

I'm a little freaked out about a bed that is chemically made. Shouldn't I be buying some organic cotton mattress instead?

I did also talk to the guy about air beds. Until someone mentioned it in the comments section, I had to idea that the whole concept behind beds like the Sleep Number Bed (there are other makers and this guy I talked to tonight said he could order one he thought was superior)is that it's air. I had no clue.

I do have to say that not having slept on a Sleep Number Bed, I'm a little leery. What if I didn't like it? I also worry about "working parts" having to be replaced and stuff. I get enough of that with my 12 year old car!

I'm continuing with my research and I'll keep updating you. The big downer about the Tempurpedic bed is the price. Ay yi yi! And the guy said Tempurpedic never goes on sale. He also said no one ever returns them.

The search continues...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Princess and the Pea

We need a new mattress.

I realize there are wants and needs.

In this case, we need a new mattress. In my opinion.

It's not like it's falling inward, like my friend said hers was doing, but after waking up with a sore back for weeks on end, I started pondering our current mattress, and I realized it's over 20 years old. Is it even legal to sleep on a 20-year old mattress?

So this post is a question for you. Do you still sleep on a traditional mattress? If not, what are you using? Tempurpedic (I LOVE my Tempurpedic pillow, which really isn't actually the Tempurpedic brand, but it's one of those memory foam ones)? Sleep Number? Something else?

I'm torn. And clearly I need to do more research. Eamonn and I have both slept on a Tempurpedic or memory foam mattress. We both agreed it was possibly the best night's sleep ever.

And who doesn't want to sleep on a bed that you can put a glass of red wine on and then jump up and down next to it without spilling it?

Weird thing though--I have yet to talk to a chiropractor who recommend the Tempurpedic.

I have talked to two chiropractors about matresses and they have both recommended the Sleep Number bed. I have no experience with it. Our friends have one. He likes it; she is on the fence.

So, I'd love to know what you're sleeping on and how you like it.

If that doesn't sound too kinky.