It was time, I knew it was coming and so I held my breath and put clothes out on the bed and pretended we were just going to the grocery store. (Instead of going to get our flu shots.)
We were just easing into the month of October and already I’d overheard other parents’ low chatter about fevers, viruses and need for doctor’s appointments. I wasn’t taking any chances even if I was met with resistance and crocodile tears.
It can be said that I can be a bit of a pushover but I’m also a mama and I still remember the last time that when we opted to skip the flu shot our entire family got the flu. So every year since we get to the end of summer, I buy new backpacks and wait for the right time to tell my sons they’ll have to endure barely one second of pain in order to make sure we don’t have to use our PTO days as sick days because the flu is a lousy way to spend a couple days off.
What IS the flu? The flu is a respiratory infection caused by a virus. It can develop very quickly and with the flu, you almost always have a fever. Other common symptoms include headache, sore throat, dry cough, stuffy or runny nose and muscle aches. No fun!
When is “flu season?” Flu season does not necessarily have a specific start and end date. The timing, severity and length of the annual flu season vary, but outbreaks can begin as early as October, and has a tendency of peaking around January.
We made our way to the CVS MINUTE CLINIC closest to our house. I don’t know if you’ve tried the Minute Clinic yet for your health needs but I love it. It’s like my favorite place to get my haircut: No appointments are needed, the staff is friendly, knowledgeable and helpful, and I always walk out feeling better. Plus they accept most major insurance (which normally cover the cost of a flu shot!) and cash payments. This makes it so much easier for you as a family because you don’t have to endure the wait of making an appointment and waiting at a doctor’s office.
• Regular seasonal flu shot . The Minute Clinic is offering the Trivalent and Quadrivalent shot this year:
o Trivalent Vaccine (TIV) contains 2 A strains and 1 B strain of the
influenza virus. This has been the standard flu vaccine since the late 1970s.
o Quadrivalent Vaccine (QIV) protects against an additional B strain. This vaccine was created based on research from the past 12 influenza seasons. This vaccine offers an additional layer of protection against the flu.
• High dose vaccination for customers 65 years and up (provides an elevated level of antigens, which create a stronger immune response in seniors) MinuteClinic vaccinates patients 18 months and older. If you have a child between 6-18 months, they should receive their vaccination from a pediatrician. *Disclaimer: 18months and older; 24 months in KY; 5 years and older in CT.
The CRNP greeted us, helped us check in online at the touch screen and even remembered us from last year. She quietly asked me how Jacob felt about our visit and I confessed that he was a little skiddish but that I’d assured him we’d make it as painless as possible and that maybe (perhaps) I’d promised him a lollipop at the end.
To say our trip was uneventful would be a massive understatement. There was just no drama at all this year. The boys watched John and I get our flu shots, Jacob actually held John’s hand “just in case it hurts Daddy!” and then when it was time for the boys they both hopped onto my lap, let their arm “go dead” as instructed and one small pinch later and two minion band-aids later ( parents go ready band-aids. Unfair!) we were done and walking toward the door.
Not one tear from Jacob.
That’s how easy it is to get vaccinated.
My healthy, vaccinated kiddos
Of course staying healthy, washing your hands (especially after touching that touch screen or any place that is used by lots of people) , covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and using disinfect doesn’t hurt. Eating and sleeping well will also add an extra level of protection to your immune system but the best way to prevent getting the flu is getting your annual flu shot. (Yep, every year! It’s a myth that once you’re vaccinated that you don’t need to be again. A new vaccine is developed every year to those protect against those strains.)
And just so we clear about up the other myths about it:
The Flu shot doesn’t make you sick. It’s a dead vaccine. Meaning it’s not able to make you ill.
Fall is not too early to get your shot. Because it takes about 2 weeks for the antibodies to develop in your system (and with Halloween on the way. Germs, germs, germs) it’s one of the best times to look into getting your shot.
And the CDC put together this PDF file that CVS Minute Clinic is sharing. It answers all those questions you still have that I can’t answer because I’m not a medical professional (and sadly, I don’t play one on TV either).
Being a mom these days is an infinite check list of To-Do’s and often we don’t make time for things like getting vaccinated. But like I told my sons as they licked those lollipops I’d promised, “Now that we got our flu shots we’ll have time for all the fun things about fall without being worried that we’ll get sick!”
It’s that time of the year (month) again! Time for Old School Blogging with the fabulous Elaine of The Miss-Elaine-ous Life and her sidekick this month; the one, the only, the funny and fantastic Andrea of About 100%. I call both of these women good, good friends of mine…mostly because they give good hugs and make me laugh. (perhaps they have nice things to say about me too. Fingers crossed!)
B- Biggest Fear: Losing another person I love. (I’d write a bit more but then this blog will be all wet with tears.) I’m also afraid of never being enough. I think next to an unexpected loss the thing I fear most is being mediocre my whole life. (And snakes, always snakes. Ewww)
C- Current Time: 10:00 Am on Tuesday morning.
D- Drink you last had: Diet Caffeine Free Coke. (ahhh, my precious….)
E- Easiest Person To Talk to: Myself. (Obviously. I always agree!) My Mom (sometimes). John; when laughing. Morgan and Lisa for everything else. I don’t have to be anyone else with my besties.
G- Grossest Memory: Recently, our doggie Fenton had a diarrhea accident on our bedroom carpet and it was not fun to clean up. At all. (poor puppy!)
H- Hometown: Carbondale, PA. (It’s tiny but on most modern maps and GPS systems. Even Waze knows where it is, so there!)
I- In love with: My sons, my husband and the summer. I love being barefoot and warm (not hot and sweaty mind you, but warm and suntanned. Kind of like a baked potato.) I also love shoes from Payless, dresses from NY&CO, Law & Order Marathons and my mom. (Who just moved into their house in Georgia. OMG!)
J- Jealous Of: I’m trying NOT to be jealous as of late. I don’t like myself very much when I’m comparing myself to other more fantastic people. (But let’s be honest…I’m really jealous of any woman who has kissed Pierce Brosnan or Robert Downey Jr. Lucky bitches!)
K- Killed Someone? does writing it count? Then YES! (cue Vincent Price laughter)
L- Longest Relationship: Me and my mom; 45 years and still going strong.
Next up my sister, best friends Denise (43 years) and Lisa (21 years) and then of course John, together 14 years.
M- Middle Name: Anne (with anE )
N- Number of Siblings: This one is going to hurt. I have a baby sister Dana (43) and a baby brother in heaven Benjamin (forever young at 34, he’d be 36 now.) I have step siblings who are my family now too. Michelle, Dan and Geoff.
O- One Wish: Oh, like I’m going to tell you. HA! (I’d love a happy, peaceful life.)
P- Person who you last called: My mom (see the pattern?)
Q- Question you’re always asked: “Where did you get your shoes? “
R- Reason to smile: It’s still warm enough for bare legs, dresses and bare feet.
S- Song you last sang: “Delilah” by Florence and the Machine.
T- Time you woke up: 5 am, to the early news.
U- Underwear Color: Black and white polka dots cause I’m classy like that.
V- Vacation Destination: We just got back from Ft. Myers, Florida and it was gorgeous but I’m missing Aruba. I’d love to take the boys there.
W- Worst Habit: Over thinking everything and I must say “I’m sorry” about 100 times a day for things I didn’t even do.
X- X-rays you’ve had: teeth, lungs, ovaries
Y- Your favorite food: (Old Forge) Pizza.
Z- Zodiac Sign: Aquarius. I love being an Aquarian, our symbol is the water bearer but we are in fact an AIR sign ; spirits of the air, creative, emotional and willing to fly. I choose to believe we are friendliest, most spirited and best sign of the zodiac. *wink*
And for your viewing pleasure….Tom and Cuba Jr : ” these are the ABCs of me baby!”
Just answer the questions (easy-peasy) post them on your blog and then link up at Elaine’s or Andrea’s place. (don’t forget to tag #OSBlog on Twitter when you share!)
It’s that time of the year again. Summer is slowly fading into the background and before we know it our kids won’t be sitting at picnic tables every afternoon instead they’ll be busy at their desks.
And those leisurely weekend afternoons at the pool will be replaced with Saturday mornings on dew soaked soccer fields.
The school year is looming even as we take one more deep breath of salt air and dust sand from our feet. With that comes the need for things like school and sports physicals and a review of what to do if your child is injured during practice or a game.
While my little 2nd graders don’t need a sports physical before they take the field, your little athletes might and the CVS Minute Clinicsare a great place to have them done and get all the authorizations on your required paperwork. They can keep your kiddos up to date with immunizations too. (Just remember to hold their hands if they need a shot and allow them some candy on the way out of the store.)
Earlier this week I also lovingly arranged the new bags I got for the boys and then I read this, taking it all in and reminding myself to keep checking the weight of the backpacks once school is in high gear to avoid backaches, headaches and long term damage to their backs.
Then I ordered new cleats for their Fall soccer season and read up on the best ways to keep them hydrated, energetic and avoid injuries. Lots of useful and important information in this pamphlet.
And don’t forget things like snacks for the games, calamine lotion for the bug bites (oh those dew soaked fields are filled with buggies ) and the sunscreen; because here in PA even though we hear school bells and the leaves start to change the heat of summer will follow us into September and it’s important to keep up with our skincare.
The industrial size box because little kids and scrapes knees go together. It never hurts to have different sizes, shapes and character faces.
I think these smiles are ready for 2nd Grade!
Questions or just need to feel a lot less alone as we send them back to school? Take a look at the articles and videos offered by the Minute Clinic online, they are a wonderful resource.
CVS Minute Clinics can help us make sure all our kiddos go back to school happy & healthy. Hey before you know it, it’s going to be time to talk about Halloween costumes, candy and flu shots.
Wishing you a wonderful school year!
Don’t forget – you can get $10 off a sports physical from now until
My desire to chronicle moments and memories didn’t just appear one day; instead I believe I was born with it. I have notebooks and journals stacked among my favorite paperbacks, I have highlighted passages and small pieces of paper with quotes and my own thoughts and stories scattered in the zippered pockets of my purse and bulging out of the drawer in my nightstand.
I can barely pay attention to you because I am busy writing our story in my head, right now. People watching is one of my favorite activities next to naps and shoe shopping and drinking in a story is the best way to spend a day, afternoon or evening.
So my journey to spreading words didn’t begin ten years ago when I published my first piece to Kir’s Corner. No, it was a part of me yearning to get out and the only difference was it now had a home and a name.
In the last ten years of my blogging journey I have written so many words, shared so many stories, divulged so many secrets and realized so many dreams. It doesn’t seem possible that a decade has passed since I began offering myself to you in the form of essays and haiku.
Blogging is different now, it’s less and more simultaneously. It’s about going viral and taking a stand, picking a side and honestly it’s exhausting. Yet, I can’t say goodbye to it because it’s brought so much to my life and my hope is that my words return, that I find something to say that is worth reading.
In the meantime I have been pondering and reminiscing about the decade gone in this space. I’ve never gotten famous or rich, but I am the first person you think about when cupcakes or high heels are mentioned and that fills my soul. I’ve learned where my strengths lie, that in building a community I built friendships that my life would be empty without.
I’ve accepted that perhaps I can use the term writer when I describe myself.
And to that end I found that I write about so many things; from the happy to the tragic, from the wild creative stories of fiction to the memory tugging words of memoir. I have invited people in to share Proud Mommy Moments and I have blog-hopped, music-shared and meme-ed myself silly.
To think in ten years I didn’t get pregnant and then I did, I talked about karma and Aruba and IVF. You’ve seen my miracle boys born and grow up and in a larger sense you saw me grow up too. We’ve hugged and shared, laughed and celebrated my birthdays (and more) together.
We are friends inside this screen and outside of it.
I’ve attended Blog conferences and Bloggy Boot Camps (connecting, networking and just talking), I’ve been published and syndicated, seen my name added on an Amazon page and read my own words about my incredible sons on a stage in New York City.
I’ve found my center being a cheerleader and supportive commenter. I’ve never been happier than when my friends found success with their own words or been more motivated to dig deeper, kill- my-darlings, share all I have in an effort to someday be like them. I have spent every day being so grateful for the friendships this space has poured into my life from every corner of the world.
And while I procrastinate and ponder my place in this space I know I still have a long way to go, so many things to share, words that are bursting and stories that are still simmering.
I wonder if my deepest, darkest hopes and dreams will ever come true
I hear my sons laugh and squabble , my mom’s voice, my husband’s love, my gut telling me which way to go I see the world as it is and it scares me I want a full, money-back guarantee, on anything that goes wrong in this life I am not as hopeful or optimistic as I used to be.
I pretend I’m thinner, smarter, wittier, liked for who I am I feel helpless and overwhelmed sometimes I touch people when I’m talking to them in an effort to connect with the world I worry about unexpected phone calls, bills coming due and the other shoe falling I cry in Hallmark stores and during romantic comedies. I cry when I’m happy and sad in equal measure. I am a conundrum; an air sign wrapped in the name “water bearer”
I understand how quickly time flies and how precious today is I say “I love you” as much as I can…because I do. I dream of being the person I always thought I’d be I try to be kind, to be thoughtful, to be good I hope and dream and pray and sin and forgive and love every single day. I am thirty-two flavors and then some…
Linking with my wonderful, sweet friend Elaine and her partner for OSBlogging this month ( the dancing queen!) Angela.
Known as sniffling, sneezing, can’t-sleep-because-of-the-tossing-turning -and-snot-ridden-noses. My family loves to be outside, chasing fly balls and enjoying dinner on the deck but I catch myself looking at the gently swaying limbs of the cherry blossom trees and I see all the yellow pollen coating cars, handrails and recently our front stairs and I know what’s coming.
Of course the best preventative medicine is to stay away from the allergen but you try to keep two little boys in the house when the sun is shining and the dandelions are blowing. There is just no escaping the allergens.
And my poor Jacob ends up looking like this: that is one red, raw and sore nose folks.
So thank goodness for the nurses, doctors and staff of CVS Minute Clinicswho will explain the differences between allergies and an actual cold (normally a cold is accompanied by a persistent cough, body aches and a fever) and allergies (itchy, watery eyes, a runny, sore nose) to us and then help us find a speedy remedy so that we can continue to enjoy our days outside among the allergens.
It’s simply “that time of year” for many of us. Those beautiful flowering trees and bursting flower gardens are a welcome sight after the cold, barren winter we had here in the Northeast but they carry all the airborne substances (proteins) that float around, get up inside our nasal cavities and cause so havoc.
In our house over the counter decongestants and antihistamines are life savers and Jacob has become an expert at knowing how to use a nasal saline, tipping his head just so and allowing all the yuck to drain from his tiny congested nose. (If only my stubborn, suffering husband would follow suit! LOL)
We take our allergy season seriously and remember to wash our hands a lot, to keep our bed sheets laundered (weekly) to wash away the allergens and try to wash off enough of the “day” before we go to bed.
All of those things combine to help Jacob look like this instead: check out those bright eyes and smiles! (#SneezeFreeSpring)
Here is some important info about the way CVS Minute Clinics can help you through allergy season :
Open 7 days a week
No appointment necessary
Most insurance accepted
Here is someone from CVS Minute Clinics to tell you a bit more about how allergies are diagnosed and treated:
I felt the lights come up and warm my face, heard my voice echo through the room and reveled in the low murmurs and adjustments of the audience as they settled in.
I wasn’t quite sure how I felt. But I smiled as tears picked at the corners of my eyes. I touched the binder full of stories, ran my hands across the words of these amazing writers and allowed them to sink into my skin.
I don’t know about you but when I’m about to embark on a new journey there is always an air of anticipation and a belly of butterflies. Happiness, terror, bliss and nerve wracking fear fight for center stage in the middle of my chest.
My chest, at that moment, was fluttering, kicking and bursting with emotions I don’t have the words to convey just yet, and yet… I was happy, proud, thrilled and overwhelmed with the honor of the journey I was taking.
My dream was coming true.
Listen To Your Mother-Lehigh Valley didn’t come easily. After reading in for the 2012 NYC show I began to dream of hosting it in my own backyard but the journey to that stage in the middle of Bethlehem was one filled with disappointment, false starts and rejections and then a miracle. A true eleventh hour email and introduction , Hail Mary pass, that found the right hands.
As I stood on that stage two Sundays ago I wondered how it all came together when just a few months ago I had no idea if I was capable of doing any of it. I met Kristina and Lauren and that made it better, sweeter, possible. But like any Type-B personality I was wondering if I could.
Could I produce, direct, audition people and and say no, could I ask for money, sponsorships? Could I work full time and still WOW! an audience? Did I have any special talent that would allow me to express the enormity of this show to anyone who asked, “what is this you’re doing?” Because I’ve tried to explain LTYM to people and realize that I just end up saying…”You won’t know until you’ve experienced it. You won’t know until you come.”
It was a completely uncharted territory for me.
Last Sunday I sat in another dark auditorium and waited for the spotlight to come up on two precious sailors. They both held tight to the ship’s wheel and when the music allowed them they found their voices and raised them to tell the story of a Little Mermaid.
Pride puddled in the middle of my chest. Even when props faltered or songs stuttered my boys carried on. They found their voices and sang their songs loud and clear.
This first year of glee club, I’ve seen them blossom and open, stretch themselves beyond nervous tummies and band together in a way only twin brothers can. They made their own village in their uncharted territory and faced all the fears and bellies of butterflies of their own.
“I’m not reading, you know.”
I must have uttered that line to dozens of people who told me they were coming to the show.
They’d smile and assure me that it was of no consequence…they wanted to help me witness my dream coming true.
“I’m going to emcee!” I’d offer as a consolation prize until realized it was exactly where I wanted to be for this inaugural show. I had learned how to produce, how to sell our show, how to reach out to people and organizations in order to make it success and while I was quite proud of how far I’d come in that capacity I knew that the talent I possessed was that of mama bird, cheerleader, supporter.
And so when my voice shook, or my eyes filled as I read introductions it was because pride had taken over. I was moved, inspired and deeply proud of the twelve people who had overcome their own fear and doubt to not only audition but to come up onto that stage.
They did what they do.
I did what I do.
And it was MAGIC.
LTYM was amazing and moving, touching and everything I had imagined it would be.
I sat in the back of the auditorium as The Little Mermaid had their first intermission. A fellow mom strode past and touched my shoulder.
“You should be so proud! The show was great!”
I smiled and nodded, “they are doing such a great job aren’t they?”
She nodded. “They are, but I meant YOU! Last week! You were wonderful and you have to be so proud of all you’ve accomplished.”
Caught off guard, in unfamiliar waters, I floundered for words.
Finally, “I am. I’m so proud. Were you there? I didn’t see you.”
“I was and everyone is talking about it. So many more people want to come next year.”
I took a deep breath and took one look to the left and then to the right as our cast took their seats.
All those smiles, all those stories, the cast members who had become friends, family.
I let myself soak it in, I swam toward the deep waters and dived down.
In the shadow of Bethlehem Steel and in the company of the people who mean the most to me in the world, I reached the shore.
Standing at the edge of the stage we took our bows.
Three performances later, my little sailors had found their sweet spot.
Their timing was impeccable, their laughter was contagious.
I beamed with pride.
The past two weeks have been a lesson in steering my own ship, of knowing when to ask for help at the wheel, when to let the tide determine the course and when to just drift and allow the waves to carry me.