Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008

Wow, what a year. A year ago, I listed the highs and lows of 2007 and made some predictions about what I thought might happen in 2008. As you can see, I nailed some and missed some and could never have predicted some. The highs and lows of 2008 are pretty much represented by updating last year's predictions:

Alli didn't only move in with Boy Wonder...she married him. Only she didn't move out. He moved in. Good idea? Bad idea? A little of both maybe, at least for me. However, for Elvis, it was the RIGHT decision. He's still here so I can keep an eye on him and make sure he's being cared for. I can put up with a lot of crap from the "happy couple" for the peace of mind that fact gives me.

Beth did not go to Brazil with the mission trip. She wanted to on some levels and then didn't on others. Money was a factor but if she'd absolutely wanted to go, we'd have found it some where.

Cori did leave my house and drama was involved. The drama was the closure of my foster home based on false allegations by Cori that were never investigated. While this hurt my feelings, I was okay as I really think I was done fostering.

Elvis did start kindergarten this fall and has LOVED every minute of it. He gets mad at us on holidays and breaks because he can't go to school. As much as he likes school, I've had some concerns about the classroom. We'll finish the year there this year but will be looking at alternate placements for next year.

Alli did have Baby Blair but not at all the way any of us thought it would happen.

And, as stated above, I was done fostering. I just could never have predicted how that came about.

So, here we go with a new year. Do I dare think about what 2009 has in store for us?

Here we go again, I think Alli will have a baby (duh)! (Sound familiar? Let's just hope for a different outcome with this pregnancy.)

I think Beth will graduate from high school. There have been many times I thought this would never happen, but if she stays on her current path, she will graduate. She's passed all the tests. She just needs to pass two classes and attend school. She can do it!

I'm planning to get my life under control (about time, huh?). I want my house put back together (finish home improvement projects, pleasantly decorated and presentable, and kept decently neat, clean and tidy). I want my body put back together (lose weight, much better fitness level, and much better social life). And I want my emotions put back together (stop basing my mood on the actions of the turkeys around me). It's time to grow up and take charge of my future. If I don't, no one will. I haven't always believed it, but I AM WORTH IT!

I would not be surprised to see Beth and Spider-Pig join their lives in 2009. I don't know that it will be through marriage just yet but it wouldn't shock me if they moved in together. Don't judge me. They are both adults and they will make that decision, not me. All I can do is love her and support her (and make sure she knows my feelings on that subject - which she already does).

I think Alli and Boy Wonder will continue their path of ups and downs. I do hope they find some sort of employment or I may have to kill them. If they think their lives are hard now, just wait til they add a newborn to the mix. That situation continues to worry me.

Everyone at our house is into Twilight

Even the cat. It's Beth's cat. Guess what her name is. That's right - Bella! Just like the girl in the book. Only at our house. And yes, she's really asleep in the picture.

And, just for fun, here's a picture of our house guest. Her name is Faith. Sorry it's not a very good picture. I took several but her eyes are really reflective and she looked like something out of a horror movie if she was looking at the camera.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Spider-Pig to the rescue!

Beth started her training at work today. She called when she was ready to leave and I left the house to go get her. I hopped in the van and it wouldn't start! Horrors! I knew my mom and brother were going to dinner about that time, so I called Mom to see where they might be. She was still at home but told me my brother had just left his house on the way to hers. Luckily, my brother lives near Beth's new job. He turned around and headed to pick her up. I started cleaning some crap out of my van so the mechanic wouldn't know how nasty we can be. When the interior light went out, I put the key back in the ignition, trying to get it turned back on. Wouldn't you know, the van started! My brother said it sounded like a battery problem. I told him I could get Beth and thanked him for his help.

I went on and got Beth and headed towards the pharmacy. (I'd picked up one of Elvis' seizure meds last night and noticed there was a piece of paper floating in it. YUCK! I needed to return it ASAP.) Beth sat in the van so I left it running so there wouldn't be a worry of it not starting back. While I was inside, she called Spider-Pig who told her he could replace my battery. He did! He went to an auto parts store and bought the battery. I paid him for the battery and gave him extra for his time, even though he said I didn't need to. I assured him I appreciated the effort and it was nice to know my van was going to start in the morning and I didn't have to deal with going to the mechanic.

Thanks, Spider-Pig!Image and video hosting by TinyPic

No more HGTV...for a while, anyway

I woke yesterday morning feeling odd. It took only a couple of hours before realizing the "odd" was actually a stomach virus. I never get those! (In 14 years of teaching, I seem to have built up an immunity to them. And, getting this one while out of school is particularly unusual.) Sadly, neither of my kids noticed I was sick. I spent the day in my bed, not sleeping, just shivering and trying to stay warm. My TV was on for company and it was on HGTV. I didn't watch much but I heard it all. I can honestly say I'm done with that channel for a while. I love to watch some of those shows but seeing them over and over all day kind of burned me out...for a day or two.

By yesterday afternoon, I'd ventured out to the den. Beth was playing the Wii when her phone rang. She looked at the number and recognized it as a local restaurant where she'd applied for a job back before Thanksgiving. It was 3:53 PM. They wanted to know if she could come in for an interview between 4:30 and 5:00. She quickly got ready and I steeled myself to venture into the outside world. She was in there less that 15 minutes and got the job! She'll be a hostess. She trains tonight and starts working Friday. We had to buy her some black, non-slip shoes and a black belt. The rest of her uniform consists of blue jeans and assorted witty t-shirts supplied by the restaurant. Of course, I can't find her social security card. I'm sure I put it somewhere for safe-keeping (along with her adoption decree) but can't find it. We're going to run by the social security office and apply for a new one. They'll give her a temporary print-out that will work until her replacement card comes in.

We have a visitor for the rest of the week. A friend and her family went out of town today and we're dog-sitting for their greyhound. She's a sweet, well-mannered, and kind of shy dog but she'll be fine with us. Luckily she and our elderly mutt get along well. For whatever reason, the visiting dog has taken a liking to Alli. This is rather odd because Alli dislikes most animals. We'll see how the week goes. We used to have a greyhound and still miss him terribly. He got hurt over a year ago and had to be put to sleep. They are "greyt" pets, if anyone is in the market!

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Compared to this, suddenly my Christmas wasn't so bad. I guess there is some truth to the point that, no matter how hard your life is, there is always someone out there whose life is even harder.

I'm less than 50 pages from the end of Breaking Dawn (Twilight, book 4). I'm practicing incredible restraint to still have pages to read. I want it to last forever! It's actually something of a miracle that I'm not already through.

I laid down with Elvis last night to get him to sleep. He would NOT go to sleep. He wasn't cranky and he seemed tired but he just wouldn't give it up and go to sleep. I finally turned the light back on and gave him a favorite toy to wave around for a while. I read while he played. I made myself stop before I finished the book. I tried again to get him to sleep but he was still resistant. At this point, it was nearing midnight and I dozed off waiting for him to sleep. At 12:17, he woke me with a seizure. Needless to say it was almost 1:00 AM before he was in bed for the night (morning?). And, at that point, I was WIDE awake. I resisted the urge to finish the book, though. I got up and played online until I was ready to sleep. And now, as soon as I finish the week's menu and shopping list, I'm going back to bed and finish my book. Farewell Bella, Edward, Jacob, Alice, and all my other new found vampire and werewolf friends. Thanks for the memories. And, Stephenie Meyer, GET BUSY WRITING MIDNIGHT SUN!! I need it!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

100 pages

That's all I have left to read in the Twilight Saga. I'm on book 4 with just 100 pages left. I made myself put the book down, planning to stretch it out until tomorrow to finish it. I have to admit, I'm getting a little obsessive about it. I saw the movie for the 2nd time yesterday. I rarely see a movie even once in the theater, preferring to save the hassle and just Netflix most that I want to see. Seeing a movie twice in the theater is a big deal for me. (I did see Titanic three times, back in the day. I think I was truly hoping Jack would live the next time I saw it - LOL!) Anyway, depending on how much longer our local theater has it, I just might see it one more time...

How'd our Christmas go, you ask? (Since it's rather obvious I'm avoiding posting about it.) Pretty much nothing special. Everyone got what they wanted/needed...except me. I got notonedamnthing. *sigh* I know, I know - It's better to give than receive, but would it have killed them to at least get me a card? Walmart has a whole section of cards for 99 cents each. Am I not worth that, at least? And now, perhaps you have a little better understanding of my fixation with Twilight. When real life disappoints you, you can count on some fictional vampires to lift your spirits a bit.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Tis the reason for the season

Christmas Eve = Fondue Night

Only in my circle, I'm sure, but we're sooo excited. We've done this every Christmas Eve for years. My family joins a family of 7. My mom comes, too. Boy Wonder is refusing to go but I'm happy to announce that Alli is going without him. (A few short months ago, she'd have missed one of her favorite events of the year just because he didn't want to go.) Beth and Spider-Pig are coming, too. By the end of the evening, we are stuffed full of bread dipped in cheese fondue, venison cooked in oil, and every kind of sweet dipped in the chocolate. It's a long, loud, fun-filled evening that we eagerly anticipate every year!

I'm about to make my last shopping trip out in the frenzied city. I need to buy the items to dip in the chocolate fondue, along with a few drinks to share. I still need to buy for a friend's husband but he's easy. He likes scratch-off lottery tickets. Those are always one of the last gifts I buy. I don't have my nephews' gifts yet, either, but their mom is helping me choose those. They got a Wii so Wii accessories might be better than the traditional gift cards. It also occurred to me late last night that Elvis' main gift must need batteries. I need to open it and make sure I've got what we need.

Of course, completing my tasks requires me to put down my new book. I'm in page 346 now. I just started it late last night. I've done a lot of reading and not very much sleeping. I got even less sleep than I'd intended because after I stopped reading at 1:30 AM, Elvis decided to wake up at 2:00 AM. Thanks, Buddy. I couldn't tell that he needed/wanted anything...he was just awake. I'm really hoping to squeeze an hour nap into my afternoon. Of course, even if I do block out that time, I'd probably just end up reading instead of sleeping. I'm going to be really sad when I finish that last book. I don't like it when good things end.

So, let the festivities begin!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

You'll all be glad to know

I am in possession of book 3, Eclipse. Beth and I went back to the same Target I went to yesterday and they still didn't have it. Since Books-a-Million was there in the very same strip mall, I asked Beth if she'd run and and check. THEY HAD SOME! I didn't have any cash with me so I'd sent her in with the money my aunt had given Elvis Sunday night. I have already replenished his envelope, though.

So, I'll quit whining and start reading.

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Just because...

Christmas Eve Eve

It's almost 11:00 AM here and I'm the only one awake in the house. We are bad about staying on schedule during school breaks. Even Elvis all too quickly adapts to staying up late and sleeping in. I like being the only one up for a while. It's rather peaceful, except for having to cater the whims of the pets. Our elderly dog demanded for me to get up and let him out this morning. I staggered down the hall, barely awake, and opened the back door for him. He stuck his nose out, sniffed twice, and retreated to the den. Thanks, Jerry. You got me up because you needed to smell the outside world? Then, Beth's cat decided she needed to get in to Beth's room (where her litter box and food are). I heard her pulling at Beth's door but Beth didn't get up to let her in. So I did. And, about 15 minutes later, she was trying to get out. I, again, got up and let the cat out of Beth's room. (I really hope she took a giant stinky poop in the litter box while she was in there, so Beth and her friend can enjoy the smell.) So, at 11:00 in the morning, I've catered to our weird pets and had leftover spaghetti and a few Hersey's Miniatures for breakfast. Aren't you jealous of my glamorous life??

Today, I must accomplish the last minute stuff. I have a few odd gifts to buy here and there. I would just give my nephews cash but if I do, my brother makes them save it. I think Christmas money is meant to be blown so I give them Walmart gift cards. Luckily the bank doesn't have a system to deposit those...yet. (Give my brother time and he'll find a way for them to do it.) I need to make a list of what I've gotten for Alli, Beth, and BW, and make sure it all balances out in some way. Elvis' gifts don't have to balance out with anyone else's. He is Elvis, after all. I really need to shower today since I didn't yesterday. I did clean the den and kitchen yesterday. They both look decent. Today, I need to straighten the living room and my bedroom/bathroom. I do have to admit our house looks half-way decent. I can't honestly say that often.

Tomorrow will fly by. Alli, BW, and Elvis are going to BW's father and stepmother's house for breakfast. Tomorrow night is our annual Christmas Eve fondue with a friend and her family. We look forward to that all year. We are in charge of bringing things to dip in the chocolate fondue - usually marshmallows, apples, mandarin oranges, Nutter Butters, rice krispie treats, and pound cake. I'm open for suggestions if anyone has other ideas.

Christmas Day, I'll hang around the house until going to my mom's for a late lunch and then stay for leftovers for dinner, too. I don't know what the girls' have planned for the day. I'm hoping they'll at least stop by for a little while during the day. In fact, I'm sure Beth will come by because I heard Spider-Pig tell my mom he'd see her on Christmas Day.

Now, if I just had book 3... (just kidding - I've decided to re-read book 2 while waiting. I'll survive.)

Monday, December 22, 2008

I failed

I couldn't find Eclipse in stock anywhere. I even drove 20 miles away to Target and Books-a-Million. They both had books 1,2, and 4, in the series but NO ONE had a single copy of book 3. Guess it wasn't meant to be. I'm beyond bummed. I would have driven on to the next big city if I knew for sure someone there had it. However, this is not the time for a wild goose chase. So...I'll wait....none too patiently. Hopefully someone will get it in stock or someone who owns one will finish it and loan it to me. In the meantime, I have plenty to do. I'd just rather be reading about Edward.


I finished New Moon. Today. Actually, I started it late last night but only got to page 21 before going to bed. Today I started on page 21 and read all the way to page 563. And it was wonderful. So I headed to Walmart at 11:30 PM to buy the third book in the saga, Eclipse. And guess what? THEY WERE OUT! ACK! I don't know what I'm going to do. My plans for tomorrow (well, today now) involved Eclipse and little else. *sniff, sniff* I guess now my Monday plans involve driving around trying to find Eclipse.

The family party was nice. Loud, but nice. Assorted cousins have 5 little girls, 5 and under. They had a lot of fun running up and down the hallway, shrieking in that high-pitch that only little girls can hit. Add to that the wrestling maneuvers of my 3 nephews and you've got yourself a loud party. I have to say that, despite the volume, it was a great evening. We are all together only this one night each year. It's nice to catch up. In the shock of my holiday so far, both Alli and Beth went. Spider-Pig came along, too, but Boy Wonder stayed home. Elvis had no shortage of people to tell him how cute he is. It was a nice evening. Count me in for next year, too.

Beth accompanied me to Walmart afterwards. As a result, she's seen (picked out, actually) a few of her presents. At least I know she's getting what she wants. Until earlier this evening, I was without Beth's big present. I knew what she wanted but didn't know where to find it. Right before leaving for the family gathering, a friend called to tell me she'd located what Beth wanted and the store had exactly ONE left. She snagged it for me and that's a relief. I'll go by tomorrow and pay her for it.

I'm not exactly sure how to handle Christmas this year. Santa has always brought gifts for all. I'm assuming Santa doesn't visit married daughters at their mom's house. I'd assume he visits them and their husbands separately? Based on this, Santa is putting gifts under our tree for Beth, Elvis, and me. I'm guessing it's up to Boy Wonder and Alli as to whether or not he visits them in their apartment. I will, of course, buy them each a few gifts but this is my first year to have a married kid living in my house. I've had a lot of firsts in 2008. This is just another in the long line of situations I've had to figure out this year. Who knows if I'm figuring them out right? I can only do my best.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

So, the big family party is tonight...

The one with my father's family that I skipped for years and years. However, we went last year (mainly because I couldn't come up with a reason not to go.) But we got there and had a great time. We've actually looked forward to this year's gathering.

Being all crafty and good in the kitchen (NOT -LOL!) I decided to try and make mice out of chocolate-dipped cherries. However, I didn't use these instructions. I used the directions from a magazine. And those didn't involve the Hershey's Kiss. These instructions sound much better. Too bad I didn't find them first. I couldn't keep the ears on the ones I tried. They were supposed to magically adhere to the cherry, I guess. I can see how the Kiss would be much more structurally sound. So, my mice flopped.

One track mind?

Not that I'm obsessed or anything...

I'm just glad I'm not a vampire.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I'm with the vampires, of course!

I'm officially one of "those people." You know, the ones who read and a love a little set of kids' books referred to as The Twilight Saga. I've been resisting. People kept telling me I needed to read them. I refused. Hello - I don't read books about vampires. I'm a big chicken. I don't read/see/think about anything scary. So, I politely refused to read them.

Then I found Beth reading a book. At 18 years of age, she read her first book. And it wasn't a little book. It was about 550 pages. And she read the whole thing! All 55oish pages. And I was soooo happy...and shocked. Of course, the book was the first in the saga, Twilight. And if a book was good enough to cause Beth to break her 18-year streak of no voluntary reading, I obviously had to read it. And so I did. And I LOVED it.

I loved it so much that I bought the second in the set. I've had it almost a whole week but haven't touched it. Well, technically I have touched it. I've walked past it and rubbed the cover lovingly. I've resisted the temptation. I just didn't want to read it before I'd had a chance to see the movie of the first book. I know the movie is only about the first book but I didn't want to read ahead and know what happened after the movie ended. I wanted to see the movie and only know how it ends.

Alli and I finally got to see the movie this afternoon. (We wanted to go badly enough that we left Elvis with Boy Wonder while we went. You never know how that will go.) It went fine, though. They kept each other occupied while Alli and I spent two hours in the company of Bella and Edward, along with the rest of his vampire family. And it was two hours well-spent. It wasn't as good as the book. Most movies never are. However, I enjoyed it. And I enjoyed having a little Alli-time.

And now, excuse me for the rest of the evening. I have a date...with Edward the vampire in the second Twilight book, New Moon. It's been waiting for me for almost a week.

At least I'm not tired

The pediatrician deemed Elvis as "better" Tuesday afternoon. I didn't specifically ask if he could go back to school and she didn't tell me he couldn't. So, Wednesday morning, Elvis and I rejoined the world. Wednesday was wild in my class. A giant otter came to talk to my kids about seat belt safety. When the highway patrol trooper was showing them how to properly wear a seat belt by saying the lap belt section should be over their "waist bones" I almost lost it. In all my free time, I do plan to email the coordinator of that program and ask her to pleeeease check that fact and pass the info on to the trooper. The rest of the day passed with excruciating slowness but it did, eventually, end. Thursday was wild, too, especially with the addition of a stage show by "Safari Greg." He brought along a few animals, which freaked out several of my kids. Evidently, my class isn't fond of snakes. There was lots of screaming and crying. Other teachers had to help hold and comfort my students, as my lap was already full. They may not have liked the snakes but I loved the 12-foot long Burmese python.

And then came Friday - the longest day of the school year. Of course, by measure of time, it's one of the shortest days. It just feels never-ending. It's our Christmas Party Day. We are supposed to carry on business as usual (yeah, right) from 8:15 until party time at 10:00. Then, we are descended upon by what feels like hundreds of parents/grandparents/step moms/great uncles' best friends' next-door-neighbors that have nothing better to do than come to kindergarten for 45 minutes of Hell. And, the high was 73 degrees. And our heat, once turned on in October, can't be turned off until March. In lieu of a party, my class makes gingerbread houses. I pre-glue graham crackers to small milk cartons. At the party, each child gets a cracker-covered-carton, a huge glop of icing, and enough candy to rot every tooth in their heads. The idea is to use the icing to stick the candy to the houses. In reality, much more candy is consumed than actually stuck to the houses. That's why we call it a party, I guess. That 45 minutes is loud, hot, wild, and lot and lots of fun! I'm always so relieved when it's over. To add to the fun yesterday, I had late bus duty, which, just like it sounds, meant I had to stay until all the kids who ride late buses had left. Lucky me, I know!

When bus duty was finished, I had to clean up the horrendous mess my room had become and get all the food safely thrown away (hoping to leave nothing for the mice to survive on over the holidays). We got home a little before 1:00 PM. I flopped across my bed with a new edition of People magazine and was sound asleep before 1:30. I remember nothing else until waking at 5:30. I was back asleep by 11:00 and slept until 9 this morning. So, I've slept 14 of the last 24 hours. Not a bad way to pass the time. I do feel pretty good. My back's a little stiff, I guess from being in bed so much, but I'm ready to tackle the world.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Darn weather

The weatherman tempted us with the possibility of sleet/freezing rain overnight. Sadly, it didn't hit our area. It's all around us and many, many school districts are either closed or opening late. Ours, however, is open and on time. Not that it really affects me. I'm home today with sick Elvis. However, it would have been nice for schools to be closed, thus saving me a sick day.

Alli is working today - subbing in the PreK class. Boy Wonder is taking her to school. I asked if he'd rather take her or come sit in the den so he could hear Elvis if he woke up. He chose to take her and that's fine by me. I've got frozen sausage balls in the toaster oven. I'm thinking I'll make a cup of hot chocolate and have my own personal little snow day until Elvis wakes. Once he's up, the day is all about him. He does have an appointment with his "Dr. Girlfriend" this afternoon. (He LOVES that woman.) We're hoping (well, I'm hoping) he's cleared to return to school. There are only 2.5 more days of school before Christmas break and I've got things I have to get done.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Last week

Thinking back, the last week of my life is one confused jumble in my brain. Let's see if I can straighten it out.

I first realized that Elvis was getting sick on Tuesday night at bedtime. He had just a little bit of a cough. For a normal kid, no problem. For Elvis, this means something is going wrong. Due to his cerebral palsy, he can't cough well - those muscles don't do anything well. When he's actually coughing, there is a problem.

By Wednesday morning, he was coughing more. He maybe felt a little warm but I couldn't find a thermometer. I knew he needed to see a doctor, though. I took him on to school (bad me, I know) and requested a half-day sub so we'd leave early and I'd take him to the doctor. He did fine at school. The mentioned he wasn't his usual perky self but he didn't seem to feel terrible. We got to the doctor's office and were waiting in the exam room. He was still coughing occasionally but not too often. I was actually worried he wouldn't cough while we were with the doctor. As luck would have it, he coughed while she was still in the hall outside our door. She walked in, commented on his wheezy cough, and said it sounded like RSV to her. She jammed a q-tip up his nose to get a snot sample to test and said we'd have to wait about 10 minutes for the result. Eleven minutes later she walked back in and said, "RSV. He's got it." We've seen this doctor since Elvis was less than a year old and just love her. This is the first time I've ever seen uncertainty in her face. She said we'd caught it early and she could guarantee me he would get worse before he got better. She let us go home, warning that we'd need to come in every day or two for them to listen to his lungs and for chest x-rays. I thanked her and we left.

He had one bad coughing spell Wednesday night but did fine other than that. Thursday was another story. Coughing spells all day long. He coughed until he gagged and threw up. He couldn't eat or drink. Through most of the day, the spells would come and go. By about 4:00 PM, the coughing just wouldn't stop. He was literally coughing every breath. At that time of the day, my only option was the ER. I gathered up what we'd need for a couple of days, fearing they'd admit him. It was 5:00 by the time we got on the road was snowing....lots and lots of snow. We made it to the hospital and there were no parking spaces anywhere near the ER. I had to park in a low spot and haul myself and Elvis up the hill to the ER in the blinding snow. It was blowing my my eyes, my nose, and my mouth. I could barely breathe and see to get us to the entrance. By the time I got in, I was dripping wet from melted snow. It took hours for me to dry out.

Sadly, I had hours to dry. They took us right back as RSV is contagious. They stuck us in an isolation room and left us. They didn't do anything for 2.5 hours. By then his temp was 103.8 and they got a little panicky. In the end, we were in the ER for just over 5 hours. Guess what? Elvis has RSV. Thankyouverymuch. They admitted him a little after 11:00 PM. We were put in a tiny room. The cleaning lady later informed me it was the smallest room on the floor. At that point, I didn't care. As long as it was a private room, I was good.

Most of the hospital stay is a blur. NO sleep. Lots of coughing. I didn't eat anything except 8 crackers until the middle of Friday afternoon when my brother paid for them to start bringing me a guest tray at meals. (Thanks, Bro.) I had money with me. I just hadn't had the time to think clearly enough to request it. Time in the hospital is weird. Nothing makes sense. All I could think about was soothing Elvis. And he was almost inconsolable.

And, Friday was my birthday. I did have a few surprises. A friend from school had sent me a present by Alli. I was able to open it just past midnight on my birthday. Beth and her friend showed up mid-afternoon with a pan of cookies they'd made. (see picture below) My brother and sister-in-law stopped by in the early evening with a giant cookie/cake. By late Friday evening, the coughing had eased some. He could sleep for about 45 minutes at a stretch. By midnight, he seemed to be out for the night. I finally opened the chair that thinks it's a bed about 1:30 AM and got a little sleep myself. Nurses and respiratory therapists came and went regularly, rousing me as they cared for Elvis. I still got some much-needed sleep and felt soooo much better when Elvis demanded my attention in the pre-dawn hours.

The pediatrician on-call visited about 9:00 and cleared us for discharge, thus ending one of the longest 2-day periods of my life. It still took more than an hour to get out but it felt good to be headed for home. He's still sick. He's not eating much and not able to keep most of what he does eat. He's not got a stomach virus. He's just coughing so much and so hard that he gags. I've been sprayed with partially-digested chocolate milk more times than I care to count in the last few days.

I'm home today and tomorrow, at least. We go back to the doctor tomorrow, hoping for clearance to return to school. Elvis isn't 100% yet but he's definitely better. What a week!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Got soup?

I pulled off a soup hat trick today. I had soup for all 3 meals. Good, homemade soup, mind you, but still soup, none the less. I didn't mean to. I woke up before Elvis this morning and went to straighten the kitchen a bit while I had a few minutes. I got a little hungry but there was nothing in the cabinets that looked good. However, in the fridge was the was cabbage soup I'd been making Thursday when I had to leave to take Elvis to the ER. I'd not had any of it. So, I heated it up and had a bowl for breakfast.

Then lunch time came. And nothing sounded good again. However, in the freezer was an individual serving of taco soup I'd made a couple of weeks ago. I'd frozen it thinking I'd take it to school for lunch one day. I ate it at home today instead.

I'd started dinner this morning in the crock pot. Yes, more soup. It was pizza soup and it was delicious. It was a good way to end my soup day.

Tomorrow...NO SOUP! I'm taking sick days Monday and Tuesday to stay with Elvis. I don't exactly know what I'm having tomorrow. I only know it won't be soup!

Retroactive blogging

This was to have been my first "Wordless Wednesday" post...last Wednesday, obviously. I'd gotten tired of trying to round up whatever medicine Elvis needed at any certain moment and just thrown them all in a basket to keep nearby.

I learned

Things I learned from spending 2 days in our local hospital with Elvis:

~ NEVER give chocolate milk to a child with a temp about 102 degrees. It apparently curdles in the heat of his tiny tummy. Upon completing the curdling process, it shows itself again...and again. *shudder*

~ Chocolate milk, once curdled in the tiny tummy of Elvis, bears a strong resemblance to cottage cheese - just a different color, obviously.

~ I can live 24 hours having only consumed 8 Ritz crackers.

~ That hospital smell can and will cling to every available surface.

~ Food service employees aren't permitted to enter the room when your child has a communicable disease. No one can enter without gloves and gowns. Some even wear masks.

~ Elvis doesn't much like people who wear masks.

~ When Elvis' temp hits 103.8 degrees, he can't move at all.

~ Elvis' heart can beat 202 times a minute and not kill him.

~ Washing your hair with a bar of soap helps some but not enough.

~ Contact lenses aren't actually super-glued to your eyeball after being worn for 50+ just feels like they are when you try to remove them.

~ If I'm tired enough, I can actually sleep on one of those ancient chairs that pulls out into a bed.

~ Elvis' body may be tiny but it can evidently produce/hold an insane amount of mucous.

~ There's no place like home...even my wacky home.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


I just took Elvis to my room to give him Motrin and a breathing treatment and then we both woke over 3.5 hours later. Guess we were both really tired, huh?

Please excuse

Dear Blog, Please excuse my absence. Elvis has been sick with RSV and ended up in the hospital. Happy birthday to me, huh? Details to follow. First, I must rid myself of the funky hospital smell...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Hey, Mongoose

We nearly lost Spider-Pig this week. He and Beth had some kind of big blow-up Thursday night. Beth was inconsolable. She even missed school Friday because she couldn't stop crying. (I've always given the girls a "boyfriend trauma" day during each school year. If they've broken up with or had a huge fight with a boyfriend, they sometimes need a day to chill.)

The source of this blow-up actually made me a proud. Spider-Pig was scheduled to work Friday night. Beth had made plans to do something with a girl friend. When Spider-Pig unexpectedly got the night off, he assumed Beth would cancel on her girl friend to go out with him. Beth didn't want to do that. In the past, she would have done that, leaving the friend dumped and alone. I'm very proud that she cared enough about the friend to not want to dump her at the last minute. Shows me she's growing up a bit.

As of now, Spider-Pig is still around. Beth said she doesn't hate him...she just "dislikes him right now" - LOL! Actually, they are still talking/texting quite a bit and I think they had plans together today. I'll keep you posted!

Wish I was there

Every December (for at least the last 6 years) I've loaded up whoever happens to be living at my house (and often a few spare people) and headed here for a long weekend. We always go with my friend and her family of 7. This to be exact, they are there and I am not. This is just one more reason that my holiday season sucks this year.

We'd actually planned to go. However, we miss two school days for this adventure each year. And Alli just got that interim subbing job at my school. And she's already missed some days for pregnancy-related doctor's appointments. And if she has to miss any more, they'll give the interim job to someone else. So, we're not there. Yes, I could have gone without her. But Beth's social calendar is jam-packed, as always. I don't know that she'd have wanted to go. That would have left Elvis and me to go on the trip. Elvis and I function quite well here at home but he's harder to manage on the road. The other family would have gladly helped with "Elvis management" but he's not their responsibility.

So, I'm sitting home, bummed. Christmas is so different this year. I've always done what we call "calendar gifts" and others might call advent gifts. Each child got a small present to open each day of December. It was usually nothing big - a flavored chapstick or a pair of gloves or a piece of candy. But it was a fun tradition. I didn't do them this year. Alli is married. Beth is rarely home more than 5 nights a week. It seemed a waste to do all that when she's not here. I decided I'd just do Elvis gifts. I borrowed another friend's idea and was going to do just books. He'd have a Christmas book to open each day of December. (The friend stores the books and re-wraps them next year and her son opens one a day again. Sounds like a great idea.) I bought all the books. I just never wrapped them.

Yes, gathering and wrapping all those gifts was a huge hassle each year, but I enjoyed it and looked forward to it. It got me into Christmas-mode. Instead of being relieved at not having to do it this year, I'm sad. The planning and effort required to pull off our multi-state trek to the water park was huge. Instead of being relieved to have all that extra free time, I'm sad.

Depression? I guess so. However, I also think it's situational. I'm moving into a new phase of my life. I'm becoming an "empty nester." The odd part is, my nest is far from empty. They are all still living in my house. I see them on a daily basis. I can't get away from them yet I can't do anything with them, either. It's like the empty nest from Hell.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Funny from my classroom

One day this week, one of my students asked me where we were going that day. (Meaning what specialty class did we have that day.) I was in the middle of 5 other things and I told him we had music class. I quickly remembered that it was actually their gym and apologized. I told him I had a bunch of things in my mind and I'd gotten them all scrambled up. Another student, who what standing nearby and had overheard the conversation, said "That happens to old people." Thanks, Sweetie.

I summarized the conversation and sent it home with the child who said that. I loved it. I thought it was hilarious and wanted them to enjoy it, too. The mom sent me a note the next day telling me that when they'd read it at home, their older son (a second grader) said, "Well, she's not THAT old." I had to laugh again because, some days, I do feel that old. And, with a birthday fast approaching, I'm getting older by the second.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Heard this on the radio

And it intrigued me. I came home this afternoon and looked them up. What talent! (you'll want to pause the lovely Faith Hill song on my blog to properly enjoy this)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Darn trojan spyware viruses!

I'm still here. I've had a heck of a time getting online this weekend. I got some stupid spyware trojan. We didn't open it but it wouldn't go away. I ran my malware remover time and time again but it didn't catch it. Spybot failed me, too. Finally, after googling and googling, I realized that this was a brand new terror. There was no mention of it before last week. So, duh, I updated my malware remover and it caught it right away. All that aggravation and the solution was so simple. All that to say, I couldn't post because my online time was being hijacked by fools.

My Thanksgiving weekend turned out okay. Mom and I ate alone on Thursday but others came in and out during the day. We had the pleasure of the company of a young couple who regularly join us on holidays. (They don't have much family here and what they do have don't celebrate holidays.) Alli, Boy Wonder, and Elvis stopped by. (We were the middle stop in their series of three family dinners.) Beth didn't show at all. A long-ago, now-grown kid of mine and her beautiful family was in town for the holiday. They had bio family celebrations to attend, too, but I got to spend a lot of time with them. It was a joy! So, pity party over. Even though my kids may be done with me on holidays, I still had a decent day and an even better long weekend.

The weather guy got my hopes up, forecasting snow last night and today. We got it, alright, but it was above freezing so it didn't stick. We trudged on to school and I tried to make the best of it. My students were loud but happy all day. We enjoyed watching the snow fall. It's still snowing a little and sleeting...maybe it will stick as the temps drop tonight? I'm hopeful!! I really like my job. I just like days off, too.