Friday, May 30, 2008

Today's laugh

My friend tcooke sent me a link to this, and I just cracked up. I don't think a "We regret the error" notice in the paper could make up for such an error. Can you imagine this poor woman going to her kids' school and having people who saw the first notice but not the retraction looking at her.

My neighbor has a friend who was recently accused of soliciting. The woman was standing outside the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema downtown talking on the phone while waiting for her movie-going partner when an Alamo staff member came up to her. He asked her if she had been soliciting his patrons. She was so stunned she didn't even know what to say. She finally asked why he would ask her such a thing. His response was that someone had complained about a woman standing out front soliciting men as they went in the theater, and since she was the only woman standing outside, he assumed it was her.

I'm surprised she didn't deck him, right then and there, for such a thing. But I don't have a lot of self control like that.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Another Love Thursday item

Here's another reason I love my husband.

He got me a new cell phone a few weeks ago - I had asked for one because the one I had was a hand-me-down from his office and didn't work well. This new phone doesn't have many bells and whistles, which is just fine by me, but it does allow me to download ringtones.

I got really excited and said, "Yay! Now I can get the Jimmy Shea song." B just looked at me funny until I reminded him what I was talking about. Back during the Salt Lake City Olympics, there was a cell phone ad featuring US Skeleton team member Jimmy Shea. During the ad, various people sang "Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy Shea. We're calling Jimmy" to the War song "Low Rider." I used to sing along, which drove B nuts because it would get stuck in his head and he'd end up humming the tune.

This morning, as I was leaving the house to go watch Ella in a play at school, the song "Low Rider" started playing in my pocket. I fished out my phone to see that it was B calling me. He had downloaded the song and put it on my phone for me. Now I giggle every time my phone rings.

It's little things like this that keep a marriage going.

Love Thursday

For the past two years, Lily has taken Creative Movement classes at Ballet Austin from the divine Joan Wolff - except Lily calls it "ballelet."

Lily loves ballet more than any other activity we've ever tried with her. When she first started taking the classes, she'd wake up each day and ask "Is I going to ballelet today?" I love this picture from last week's class - you can just tell how much fun she is having.

Lily's last Creative Movement class was last Thursday. Technically, she's supposed to move on to pre-ballet, but I'm not sure how she'll handle that. Apparently, Miss Joan is going to teach a Creative Movement class for kindergarteners one day a week for those who aren't ready for the next level, and we may put Lily in that class. But it won't be because she's not ready to tackle more challenges, but rather because she can't bear the thought of leaving Miss Joan.

Twice in the past month Lily has come out of her room, long after bedtime, sobbing about how she doesn't want to be in a different ballelet class. It breaks my heart that she is so upset about something she loves so much.

So I guess I'll see how the summer goes and talk to Lily when it comes time to register. Maybe then she'll be ready to move on.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I am too old for this!

Last week my right ear started bothering me. It was plugged up and causing some mild vertigo, so I started taking Sudafed, which usually does the trick when this happens. Not this time.

My ear felt worse and worse over the course of the weekend and my left ear starting hurting in sympathy, so yesterday I called my OB's office to see if they could help. After getting a lecture from the appointment secretary about how I really need to have a GP, she scheduled an appointment for me with one of the nurse practitioners yesterday afternoon.

It turns out that if you want to entertain medical staff at an OB's office, go in with an ear ache. Two nurse practitioners and one medical assistant took turns looking in my ears, which hurt a lot.

The verdict? Two ear infections, one possibly ruptured ear drum (which would explain why I can't really hear out of my right ear), and a possible sinus infection. After three more lectures on finding a GP, they turned me loose with a prescription for antibiotics.

Our pharmacists laughed at me when I went in the prescription. They both said they rarely if ever see adults with ear infections.

When I got home and told B the diagnosis, he said, "Way to take care of the problem before it got worse!" Then he laughed. I decided not to point out how often he does things like this.

I don't remember having ear infections as a kid, other than the rare case of swimmer's ear. And Ella is the only one of my kids who has ever had an ear infection. So how do I get one as an adult? I'm stumped.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

FAQs, Part II

I've been getting questions via e-mail and comments, so I figured I'd answer some of them in this fashion.

How are you feeling?
Pregnancy-wise, I'm feeling much better. I'm in my 17th week and have turned the corner with the all-day sickness and exhaustion. I'm still pretty worn out by the end of the day, but I think that has more to do with my life than with pregnancy.

However, we've had a rough few weeks with illnesses and broken bones, and I'm in a bit of a funk, emotionally.

Are you getting more excited about the baby?
No, not really. When I think about it at all, it's to worry about how on earth I'm going to manage four kids when I can barely keep the three that I have under control. I'm very concerned about what life is going to be like.

One friend, while trying to cheer me up, told me about her neighbor, who has four kids. She said, "She's so organized with them. You should see them all get in the car - they come out of the house and line up and get buckled in without any problems." I know she was trying to make me feel better, but it didn't work. My kids already don't behave that way. As soon as I open the front door, Ella bolts to climb the tree, Campbell takes off for the neighbors' house, and Lily is tracking down Grey Kitty to play with her, leaving me to stand next to the car yelling, "GET IN THE CAR NOW!" Adding another child to the process isn't going to suddenly make me organized or my kids compliant.

How's B's broken heel?
Not much better. We're concerned that he may have been misdiagnosed. He definitely bruised the heel, but now that the bruise is gone, his heel doesn't hurt at all. Unfortunately, something is definitely wrong further up in his foot. He still can't put any weight on it, and it gets really swollen by the end of the day. He's calling the doctor today about going in to have it re-checked. He's worried that he's wasted three weeks waiting for the wrong thing to heal.

How's your new job?
It's going really well, at least I think it is. And the client sent me more work after I submitted my first few pieces, so I think that's a good sign. It's a very different kind of writing than I've been doing for the past few years, so I'm having to work different parts of my brain, which is a good thing.

Any names for the baby yet?
Nope. We still can't agree on anything. But the Drunken Housewife is sponsoring a baby naming contest for me. Hurry up and enter if you have thoughts on good names.

So is it a boy or a girl?
Mom, how many times do I have to tell you? We're not finding out.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Beware of boys with bats

I figured it would take longer for Campbell to inflict his first real injuries on a member of the household, but I'm not sure why I thought that.

Yesterday he managed to wallop me across the bridge of my nose with the Hello Kitty bat - I don't even know where this bat came from; I certainly didn't buy it.

I was sitting on the sofa reading, and he was walking back and forth from the coffee table, which he had pushed up so that it was almost touching the sofa, to the sofa. During one of his "leaps," he smacked me in the face with the bat. It may be a padded bat, but the blow still hurt - I swear I saw stars.

I yelled, "OWWWW!" as a reflex, and he just started laughing, which worries me more than a little. The bat is now put up, out of his reach, and he has to make do with a "light saber" made out of a foam pool noodle that Ella and Lily got at a birthday party.

I think we'll wait a while before buying him a real bat, like long enough for him to understand that it hurts when he hits his mama with one.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

What were you thinking? Part 357

Last night, at about 8:30, I was working in my office and heard an odd noise from the kitchen. B was out in the garage, so I knew it wasn't him. I went around the corner to find Ella standing on the kitchen counter, reaching for the candy bowl, which is up on a high shelf. She froze like a deer in headlights when she saw me, then hopped off the counter.

When I asked what she was doing, she pursed her lips and wouldn't look at me. I asked several more times and didn't get any answer, at least not until I threatened her with being grounded after school today. She then fessed up that she was getting bubble gum for Lily.

Now usually it's Ella who gets Lily to go on stupid errands that she knows will probably get one of them in trouble - like coming out of their room after bedtime to ask some silly question. So I was stunned that Lily had conned Ella into doing something wrong.

I chased Ella back into bed, then went in and sat next to Lily, who had her covers pulled up to her eyeballs. When I asked her if she had sent her sister for bubble gum, she slowly nodded yes. I reminded her that a. bubble gum is a special treat, and b. she's definitely not allowed to have it in bed.

I then lectured both of them on the foolishness of this stunt and threatened both with grounding after school if they popped out of bed again for anything other than going to the bathroom. Amazingly, despite earlier claims of not being able to fall asleep, they were both out like lights when I went in to check on them five minutes later.

Sheesh. What will they think of next?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Knitter gran

I'm poking my head out of my hole of self-pity for a moment to advertise my mom's new blog. I can't believe she's joined the blogosphere, but she has. She's a frequent commenter here, usually as "anonymous," but I always know it's her.

So take a look - As the Spirit Moves Me - and welcome her to the community.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Taking a break

I read through my last few posts and realized how gloom and doom filled they were. They pretty accurately reflect my mood this week. So in the spirit of not saying anything if I can't say something nice, I'm taking a few days off to pull myself together again.

But I'll leave you with one picture of my daughter. A few weeks ago, her class went on a field trip to the Rosedale school here in Austin, which serves kids who with physical disabilities. They had a rodeo and a petting zoo, which the kids, all of them, loved. One of the teachers took this picture of Ella, which I think is just beautiful, and a little scary. We're going to be beating the boys away with baseball bats when she gets older.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I said "UNCLE!"

What sort of cosmic infraction have I committed to deserve this? I'd really like to know.

Just when I thought things couldn't get worse Tuesday, they did. Shortly after B left to meet with his client, I started throwing up. I called him to see if there was any way he could come home to help me, and there wasn't. Instead, his father came over to wrangle the kids. I hid in my bedroom and bathroom and spent the following six hours throwing up every 45 minutes, just like clockwork.

At 8:00, my father-in-law poked his head in my room to tell me that Campbell had started throwing up, too. I was so sick that I couldn't even get up to take care of my own baby. Fortunately, Campbell's bout was as short-lived as his sisters'. He threw up twice then fell asleep without further protest.

B arrived home from his meeting at 9:00 and started throwing up. At this point, my father-in-law broke out the lysol and started scrubbing everything in sight. He probably went home and bathed in it, too. Poor B spent most of the night throwing up. I eventually moved out onto the sofa so that I could doze without being woken up by his sprints to the bathroom.

I spent most of yesterday flat on the sofa in a haze while Campbell noodled around. The girls both went to school since they were acting like they had never been sick. I was in bed and asleep by 8:00 last night.

Here's hoping today is better.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Crying "uncle"

I've had quite enough, now, thank you very much. I can't take anyone else getting hurt or sick, I just can't.

My Mother's Day started at 2:00 am when Ella tapped me on the shoulder. My initial thought was that she was so excited about Mother's Day that she was up bright and early to be the first to thank me for being such a great mom. Instead, she announced that she thrown up. I went into her room and quickly backed out again due to the smell. I yelled for back-up from Brandon and handed Ella a bucket. I gave B a pile of towels and cleaning spray and fled before I threw up from the smell. B cleaned everything up balanced on one foot and one crutch and put all the nasty towels in the washer and started it. I knew there was a reason I love him so much.

Ella spent Sunday pretty flat but was fine to go to school on Monday. Whatever she had was short-lived.

This morning, I took Lily to preschool early to be home in time to greet Campbell's babysitter. I was supposed to be working at Ella's school book fair this morning. But when we got out of the car at preschool, Lily started crying, saying she was going to throw up. I loaded her and Campbell back in the car, handed her a plastic bag to throw up in in, and called the sitter to cancel. Lily made it all the way home before throwing up on the door mat on the front porch. I put it straight in the trash. I'd rather buy a new one than clean up that mess.

I left Lily and Campbell with B, whose ability to take care of Campbell is somewhat limited since he still can't walk on his broken foot, so I could spend an hour at the book fair.

Lily is still dry heaving, and now I have a migraine. And B had to leave to meet with clients.

My hopes are that Lily's bout of whatever this is turns out to be as short-lived as Ella's was and that Campbell, B and I don't get it next. I really can't handle any more sickness right now.

Monday, May 12, 2008


I gave myself the Mother's Day gift of turning off my computer for the weekend. I needed to unplug for two days, or I was going to go nuts. That's the thing about working from home - work is always there, e-mails are always popping up.

I'd like to say I didn't check e-mail all weekend, but that would be a lie. I swiped B's computer for a few minutes and checked e-mail three different times. But I didn't respond to anything work-related.

Because I was offline, I also didn't read any of my usual news sites or blogs. That means I have some catching up to do. Or maybe I don't. It was kind of nice being out of the loop for a weekend. I might just not get back in.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Love Thursday

I love this picture. It's my parents on their wedding day with my dad's mother and step-father. I swiped this copy of the picture from an album in my grandparents' house when I was there for my grandmother's memorial service and carried it home in my knitting bag so nothing would happen to it.

My parents basically eloped, if you can call telling people you're getting married ahead of time an elopement. They got married at St. Peter's in Albany by the Reverend Dr. Bruner, and Dr. Bruner's son Jeff was my dad's best man. My dad and Jeff had grown up as neighbors and close friends all their lives.

My favorite part of the story was that my grandfather was down shoveling snow off the pond when one of my dad's younger brothers ran down to tell him about the upcoming wedding. My grandfather didn't even need to change clothes before going to the church - he had been shoveling snow dressed in a tie and jacket.
After the ceremony, attended by my grandparents and several of my dad's younger brothers, everyone went back to my grandparents' house and cake and champagne. That's when this picture was taken.
They all look so young - my parents were 22 and 23 - and happy. You can't see it in this picture, but my mom's dress was very mini; I doubt it reached to the tip of her fingers when she held her arms down. It was pink and the belt was purple.
Despite its rather hasty beginning, my parents' marriage has endured; they celebrated their 38th anniversary back in December.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Almost Wordless Wednesday

It's a good thing it's Wordless Wednesday, because I don't have the brain function to actually write anything. Here's our health score card:

B - Broken heel, but no surgery needed (thank goodness for small favors)
Ella - Healthy, but lots of attitude
Lily - No fever, but still coughing, cruelly sent to preschool anyway
Campbell - Seems to be coming down with what Lily had
HOK - Sore throat, fever - suspect strep but can't manage to call the doctor

And now for today's pictures. We made it to the lake on Sunday for B's birthday. The water was brisk, to say the least, but that didn't stop Ella from swimming until she turned blue. Campbell was surprising cooperative about wearing his life jacket the whole time we were there.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

From bad to worse

Last week when B broke his heel, I asked what else could go wrong. As I predicted, I shouldn't have asked that. Things have gotten worse.

We went to the lake on Sunday in honor of B's birthday, and that turned out to be a bad call. It was too much for him, even though he spent most of the time sitting with his foot up. His neck problems flared up as a result of his being up and around on his crutches so much. Plus his PT appointment yesterday for his neck aggravated things. He finished yesterday in a lot of pain.

I kept Lily home from preschool yesterday because she is sick. She keeps running a low-grade fever and has a nasty cough. Campbell now mimics her cough, which is entertaining the first few times he does it. Lily is home again today because her fever went up to 101 at bedtime last night, and her cough won't go away. I think I'll be calling the doctor.

And to add insult to injury, I seem to be sick. My throat is so swollen and sore that I can barely swallow. I can't afford to be sick right now. I'm behind on work from last week, and B can't help with the kids much because of his foot. It's just really not fair at all. I want to crawl back into bed for a few hours, but I can't. I have an article on the importance of genetic counseling to write, a conference call at 10:00, presentations for Holt to finalize, four baskets of laundry to fold, a kitchen to mop, and children to chase after.


Saturday, May 03, 2008

A special contest

So my bloggy friend Drunken Housewife is hosting a "name hok's baby" contest for me. Drunken Housewife is a cool San Francisco blogger and mother of two awesome girls. She fosters kittens and has ongoing battles with a psycho contractor who is building a house down the street. She also loves World of Warcraft, whatever the heck that is, and Project Runway Canada (Iman is a goddess).

So if you have an opinion about the name of our fourth child, drop on by and leave a comment. We'll take them under advisement, but I can't guarantee we'll use any of the suggestions.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Picture Friday

I don't really have much to write. It's been a sucky few days around here, what with B's broken foot and my continued nausea. So I thought I'd post a cute picture of my little man. We spent the whole day calling him "Panama Pete."

Just after I took the picture, he crawled onto the desk and started banging on the keyboard to the other computer, causing it to crash completely.