Monday, November 17, 2008


As expected, dad’s Angioplasty revealed his heart is healthy and fabulous. The heart of a man 25 years younger. The Doctor said he’s short of breath because he’s so anemic. It was looking like his bones might be dying, not producing any iron or anything. This hints at leukemia.
So they went back to home, north 80 miles, from the hospital where the tests were done. Long story short, turns out his bones aren’t dead – ruling out leukemia and other bone cancery sort of things. He just had a colonoscopy three years ago, so today they’re going to look at upper GI tract sorts of possibilities of something bleeding out into his body. That happens later this afternoon.

We left for our Orlando vacation on the 12th. I picked the girls up after a morning of school and we flew to Atlanta, then changed planes and went to Orlando. Unfortunately our luggage didn’t make the plane change.
Hubby was there to meet us and took us back to the hotel. As we were letting them know about the luggage Hubby and I discovered we’d had a miscommunication about the hotel dates. I had reserved a Disney hotel for Friday and Saturday nights, but Hubby had told them we’d be checking out of the conference hotel on Thursday morning. He seemed to think that the conference would cover us for one more night, but he seemed a little unsure to me. Again, continuing the miscommunication, I figured it would be cheaper to stay at the Disney hotel an extra night than to pay for the fancy conference hotel. So Thursday morning I got on the phone with Disney, and got us another room. As he was getting out of the shower I told him it would be easier for me to stay in the conference hotel one more day while we’re swimming at the pool… and at that point I learned that he firmly believed it wouldn’t have been a problem for us to get the conference to cover us for another night. Oh well… too late.
So the girls and I had breakfast, then put on our swimming suits and packed up the hotel room, moved all the luggage to the rental car, then went swimming. We saw lizards... lots of them, around the pool. The girls loved it.

Everything was fine until around 3:00. Suddenly Thing 2 told me her stomach hurt… badly. I didn’t know what to do. She just seemed miserable. I sort of panicked, since I didn’t have a comfortable hotel room to take her to, and didn’t have anything in particular to entertain Thing while Thing 2 was resting comfortably on a couch somewhere, I decided to take them both to the Disney hotel and check in.
I had my first experience with Hubby’s navigator thing. It is lovely. Thing 2 fell asleep in the car on the way over.
Thing 2 was pretty much all better by the time I woke her up when I started feeling I had left them alone in the car long enough while I was checking in. We got to the room and I unpacked, then got a message from Hubby saying come pick me up.
We had dinner at a restaurant in downtown Disney called the T-rex experience or something like that. Very noisy, very crowded… and they lost Hubby and my orders. We didn’t get our food until long after the girls had finished.
Long day.
The next day (Friday) we went to Magic Kingdom. It seems like it takes us a while to get started, and it was somewhat crowded but not terrible. Half the problem was figuring out what we wanted to do, and where we wanted to eat. It was also really hot. Th girls were both complaining of being hot and tired…. Then Thing 2 really collapsed and just wanted to sleep. I told Hubby and Thing 1 to go ride some rides and I took Thing 2 on a search for some frozen lemonade, I thought that might make both of us feel better. I got some fairly close to where we left Hubby and Thing 1, and found a table. She almost immediately laid down across a couple of stools and fell asleep. I ate the lemonade and watched all the people go by.

Hubby came back around 5:00. He and Thing 1 had been riding rides and shopping. So we decided to swap. I’d go ride a few rides with Thing 1, and he’d stay with Thing 2. We went on Thunder mountain, and Thing 1 decided she’d be okay on Splash mountain. We had just gotten on the ride when I got a text from Huby saying Thing 2 had woken up and was throwing up.
By the time we got off the ride, she’d thrown up twice. It was close to 6:00. Thing 1 and I raced back to them, and we picked up Thing 2 and hustled back to the bus, and back to the hotel. She threw up on the trip back into a plastic bag that her toy of the day, a stuffed rottweiller, had come in.
Hubby and Thing 1 left me and Thing 2 watching TV at the hotel room, and went to downtown Disney to get Thing 1’s prize for the day, a build-a-dino at the T-rex store. Thing 2 seemed to be better and went to bed around 9:00, but woke up just enough to throw up twice more before about 11:00. Hubby and Thing 1 got in around 10:30, but had a marvelous time, and she was thrilled with her dino.
Saturday was our last full day, and we planned on going to Animal Kingdom. Thing 2 woke up and seemed just fine, so we went with the intention of renting a double stroller for her to ride in, and for Thing 1 to ride in if she wanted. That worked well. Thing 2 rode most of the day, Thing 1 rode with her some… and they had a nice time. Thing 2 was a little tired, as you’d expect from someone recovering from the stomach flu, but all in all it was a nice day. We left the park early, around 5:30, without having seen all the shows we might have liked to see. But considering what we were working with, I think we did good.

We had dinner at planet Hollywood in Downtown Disney. Thing 2 fell asleep in the way over and I struggled to wake her up once her food came. She didn’t eat much, but was cheerful and feeling better. The big change came in Hubby. He just seemed psyched to be there, and to have a good meal. He had a great evening.
We had the longest wait for a bus of our trip that evening, and ended up going to the boat to get back to the lodge. Every other time before or since the busses came either immediately or within a few minutes.
Sunday we had a nice big breakfast at the hotel restaurant, which was pretty yummy for me. I had these wonderful sweet potato pancakes with cinnamon pecan butter on top… really nice.
The girls were very excited to go fishing, which they did while I did a little last minute shopping. Hubby stayed with them to bait the hooks and take pictures should anyone actually catch anything, which neither of them did. I bought a Christmas ornament, and a new watch… minor stuff.

The flight back seemed incredibly long. Thing 2 and I sat together, and Hubby and Thing 1 sat together. I had my work cut out for me entertaining Thing 2, but Hubby just let Thing 1 play a game on his i-phone.

The whole trip was a lovely, if somewhat short.. I think a lot of what made it work so well was staying on the Disney property, as compared with last time we went when we stayed at another hotel that was by downtown Disney, but wasn’t affiliated with Disney. One thing I probably would have done different, though, was after we woke up on Thursday since we were staying at a Disney hotel that night, instead of swimming in the conference pool, I would have packed up and headed off to the Disney pool and gone swimming there all day. In retrospect it would have worked out better – a more interesting pool for the kids, and somewhere to rest when Thing 2 got sick. But at the time, we did what we could with the information we had.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Florida here we come

The primary program went really well yesterday. How could it go wrong when the kids were so heavily involved? I had several people comment to me after… and others tell me reports 2nd hand of praise for it. My name kept getting mentioned as having written it, which is nice… but a little embarrassing.

Hubby is in Orlando. We leave to join him on Wednesday. Which means I have to get packed. I am completely not ready. I didn’t get my house cleaned… and things keep piling up on top of everything else. I’m fighting a cold, which would be miserable to take with me to Florida. The girls are getting pretty excited.

My Dad is going for an angiogram or angioplasty tomorrow. We don’t really know which. Apparently this is pretty common, but it seems a little scary to us.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Morning battles

The push to get out the door in the morning is killing me.

I pause for one moment, to gather clothes, to start breakfast, whatever, and the girls slip away and turn on the TV. And once they do that, the battle lines are drawn. I can’t get them out from in front of it. I call cheerily. Nothing. I call louder, still cheery. Nothing. I start to bark. I bark more. I become a rabid seething pit bull. Finally they trudge in and sit down to breakfast. But they’re surly. They’re angry at me for interrupting their lives.

We eat. If I’m not sitting right on top of them, they slink back to the TV, usually. And we go through the same routine, minus two or three of the cheery calls and go straight to a sort of bark.
This morning, Thing 1 became upset during her breakfast when a package of plastic and cardboard encased magnets I had left on the table dropped into her cereal. She determined her cereal contaminated and was unable to finish. Since we’d already had an argument that she takes too much milk (I can tell by the two inches of it left in her cereal bowl each morning) I got my back up and put my foot down and refused to start over with more milk and cereal. She asked for some applesauce, which is what Thing 2 had for breakfast. About this time, I intercepted Thing 2 after her breakfast and got her dressed while Thing 1 was eating applesauce.
I took Thing 2 into the bathroom to brush her teeth and comb her hair, and heard a strange noise… I poked my head out and sure enough, Thing 1 is not getting dressed. She’s in the toy room playing with a helium balloon that was left over from Halloween. Being careful to not be too frantic – because me being frantic turns her into cold tar… I put my hands on her back and tummy and said softly “Can you please go get yourself dressed?”
I went back to Thing 2’s hair and teeth. I came out a few minutes later to find Thing 1 now playing with the balloon in the kitchen, standing next to her clothes. I grab her clothes, grab her, and she immediately resists and starts howling that she WAS going to do it, she was JUST ABOUT TO START when I INTERRUPTED HER. I hurry to get her dressed and she starts whining that she’s cold. She INSISTS she needs a sweatshirt. She goes to the coat area, and can’t find one. I say “Can you put on a sweater?” I’m standing next to the baskets full of sweaters. No. She goes upstairs to get a sweatshirt.

Thing 2 puts on her shoes, we get her some gloves, and she’s ready to go. I grab some gloves for Thing 1, get her coat, backpack, and lunchbox… We’re waiting at the bottom of the stairs, when Thing 1 comes to the top. She has the green, yellow, and orange sweater my mother made her wrapped around her waist. She starts down the stairs one… at… a… time. When I can reach her I lift her off the stairs. She is wearing blue pants, a short sleeved white shirt with a blue and brown striped long sleeved shirt on top. I say let’s take off the striped shirt, and just wear the sweater. She ignores me and pulls on the sweater. With the mismatched collars showing she looks like a homeless person who is wearing all their clothes at once to keep warm. I say we have GOT to take off that shirt… and we do… I hurry and comb her hair, ask her to brush her teeth…

Then she comes to the door with us. I see she isn’t wearing any shoes. Thing 2 and I are in our coats… “Shoes, honey! Run get some shoes!” She starts wandering, I goad her into a bit of a run, during which she is yelling at me, chastising me for encouraging her to run. “OKAY! I UNDERSTAND! PLEASE JUST GET SOME SHOES!!”
She informs me “YOU’RE MAKING ME ANGRY!!!”

Finally she comes, we put on her coat. And gloves. She starts whining that the gloves are too small. I sort of pull her out the door and lock it. “Please can’t you wear them just this ONE day? We are so late!” She whimpers most of the way to school that her gloves are “squishy.” Okay, tomorrow you can wear your good ones (that I was hoping to not be sending to school with her on the expectation that it’s just a matter of time before she loses one or both…)
Time to buy her a new pair of “good” gloves.

There are days when I just want to come home and cry.
Instead, I need to come home and clean. I have a new babysitter coming tonight, and the house is a mess. I want to be one of those clean, Spartan people that don’t have crap piled in every corner. I am so not that way, and I seem to be more that way than anyone else under my roof. I feel like I’m rowing against the current… I can work and work but I look up and nothing has really changed. One room looks good for about 6 hours. Then, like snow… I turn my back only to turn around again to find it’s cluttered up.

Sigh. Not my best day at being a parent/housekeeper, I suppose.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Rain and dogs

This morning was very rainy. Now normally it is simply a huge problem for me to get the girls out the door on time. Rain, of course, just adds to the trouble with the inclusion of more appropriate footwear, coats, and umbrellas. Normally we often run, and sometimes I give up and we drive the four or so blocks. It takes us 7 to 10 minutes to walk them… With the added problems of puddles and holding umbrellas, I should have driven today. But I didn’t. I gave them each their umbrella… and took the big golf umbrella myself and out the door we went.
Thing 1 kept bopping herself with her umbrella when she’d do anything faster than a slow walk, and her whimpering as she tagged along half a block behind be became increasingly annoying. Thing 2 couldn’t walk and hold her umbrella at all, for some reason. So I folded hers up, carried it under my arm, and told her to stay close to me. Pretty soon I had both girls walking under my umbrella, staying close so as to not get wet but interfering profoundly with my ability to walk without tripping over one or the other of them, with their umbrellas folded up dripping onto me. Of course there were plenty of overflowing gutters that I had to carry them across… and I can’t just lift them over the gutter and then leave them out in the street… I have to find a nice tree for one to stand under, shuttle the other one to safety on the other side of the street, find a tree to stand her by, then go back and get the other… by the time we get to school (late) I’m all wet too, and I’m realizing that my coat is less water resistant than I thought. I was about a block away coming home, carrying two wet umbrellas with my big one open, when this very enthusiastic half grown golden retriever runs up to me. Luckily it has a collar and a tag with a phone number, but unluckily I don’t carry my cell phone to school. The dog is obviously too stupid and rambunctious to stay out of the street. I hook my finger under its collar – it’s dancing around nearly taking my arm off - and we go three houses up to the house of a woman I know, and we use her phone to try and call the number on the dog’s tag. No one is home. I leave my name and phone number and tell their machine I’ve got their dog. But that means I still have to walk the danged thing three blocks home. We take it at sort of a slow run, me leaning over to keep a hold of the dog. By the time I am within sight of my house I am concerned that I’m going to die. But I made it. I turn Happy Dog loose in the back yard, but it very badly wants to come in the house. After watching it whimper and pace outside for a while, getting wetter and wetter, I dug out an old leash from one of my past dog ownership episodes and tied it to the pantry doorknob in the kitchen.

Luckily I got a hold of the owner and she came shortly after. Turns out I probably should have just walked up and down the street for a while with the dog, as we weren’t far from its home. Standing there for a while wouldn’t have been a bad option either. It just came at me from out of no where, and I had no idea which way to go. Next time I know. I also think I’m not ready for a dog. That thing was just a bundle of energy. It must have clothes-lined itself a dozen times on the leash in my kitchen.

Monday, November 3, 2008

D&^#$ TV

Got the new tea kettle and while it isn’t as sweet as the old one, it works fine.

I also picked up a new phone, or set of phones, I guess. This one is a vast improvement on our old phone. It is one phone with an answering machine, with two extra satellite handsets. The old one was starting to not work very well, and had always been crackly, and had a few features I didn’t like, and this one has corrected them.

I spent quite a bit of time this morning and afternoon working on leaves. I decided to open the new leaf blower, which was brand new as a result of the old leaf blower breaking before the warranty expired and they sent me a new one. Well, I filled one bag with leaves, and the new one started sparking and smoking a little. Granted, the leaves were probably wetter than they should be. I decided I should switch to blowing instead of sucking. But I couldn’t get the sucking attachment off to save my soul. I think I’m going to see if they will replace this one. I’m ready to give up on the whole thing, I really like the vacuum aspect but if it doesn’t work, or breaks if I get a little water in it, it’s really not going to work for me.

So I set to raking. Things 1 and 2 have been watching a lot of TV lately, and today was no exception. I am outside raking, and talking on the phone a little, and they are inside watching TV. My idea was to get to IKEA this evening, to exchange something I got in the wrong color, and I thought we’d just have dinner out there. But Thing 2 starts whining that she can’t read her homework, then whines even more when I tell her to stop whining while I work with Thing 1 for a while, then whines even more when I put her in time out for whining… Ye gods!!! The phrase “I’ll give you something to cry about!” keeps dancing behind my eyes. I told them I am NOT taking any whiny girls to IKEA, it took us about three times longer to do homework than I expected, and now they‘ve wandered back to the TV and I should be making dinner.

Sometimes I get a little resentful. As the mom, you take on just about every responsibility in the house. As the wife of a guy who travels, I take on most of the stuff he'd do. I can’t help but feel bad for women whose husbands travel for extended periods to places where they’re in danger, at least my husband isn’t in the line of fire, he’s just in offices, airports, and hotel rooms… but it doesn’t stop me from getting frustrated at taking on the typically husbandly chores in addition to all of the wifely ones.  I flat out don't get how single parents do it.

And keeping the girls entertained while I get these things done is the job of the TV. Which also chaps my hide. I hate that damn thing. Yet I find it completely helpful when I need them out of my hair. Sometimes I spend longer getting them involved in something else so I can accomplish something than I spend accomplishing the thing. Sigh. But right now I hate it.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween wrap up

We had a busy month, and a good Halloween. The girls chose their costumes – Thing 1 was a spider and Thing 2 was a witch. Thing 1 drew extensive mock-ups and blue prints of her costume, making sure she had it just right in the design. I ordered a black hooded sweatshirt and pants on line, and bought corresponding fabric and the fabric store to provide the extra legs, and the cowl across her face where her red mandibles were to be.

Thing 2 was a little easier. I simply let out her witch costume from last year, and added a little long skirt at the bottom. She already had a fabulous cape I had made her before, and a hat and broom we’d picked up.

Hubby took them trick-or-treating with some of the neighbor kids, I stayed home to mind the door. My folks came down, since Halloween is typically an event they look forward to missing. My dad hates to answer the door, and they don’t get many trick-or-treaters anyway, it just worked better for them to leave town.

I’ve been writing the primary sacrament meeting program. I had this idea that if they were telling stories they were comfortable with, even little kids could have bigger parts. We had our practice today, and I’m not sure how well my idea is going to work.

An unfortunate thing happened this morning.
Hubby has been making a big wonderful breakfast on the weekends. He has recently added making some coffee for himself to his line-up. Coffee kind of comes and goes, sometimes he makes it for a while, but for several months he hasn’t. It made an appearance yesterday, and this morning. He makes coffee by packing the grounds into the bottom part of this little two part French press coffee urn thing, and then placing it on a kitchen burner turned on high, which percolates the water through the grounds and makes the kind of coffee he likes.

So I also need to add that a couple of months ago our teapot finally bit the dust. Instead of replacing it with another teapot, I splurged a little and bought an electric tea kettle. I’d heard about them, knew people who loved them, and liked the idea myself of the quick hot water. I found a reasonable one at Costco for about $30… but didn’t buy it. I decided to look around. I found a wonderful one at Smith’s, it was really cool, a Krups, and cost $80. It had quite a higher watts rating, which I figured meant it was even faster, and it had a sleek stainless steel design, and I justified it to myself. I decided I use this fairly frequently and will take care of it and use it forever, so I bought the Krups. I have absolutely loved it. It’s amazingly fast, it’s cool in every way.

Well, this morning, I was sitting at the computer taking care of something, and he was rushing around making breakfast. I have a tendency to get busy and occupied with other things on these weekend breakfasts, instead of helping in the home stretch of getting breakfast on as I should. He started up the tea kettle for me, for some tea. Only he didn’t start the tea kettle, he did what he does to start coffee, which is putting the French press directly on the red hot burner of the stove to get the coffee boiling through. So, being distracted, rushed, and probably a little annoyed at me for not helping, and thinking about other things, he took the fabulous Krups kettle and put the pot part on one of the stove burners and cranked up the heat to HI - instead of putting it on its little electric contact base. What clued him off was either the smell or the smoke, I don’t know. But now the bottom of the kettle is melted and warped, and the thing won’t heat up unless you apply a fair amount of pressure on the top of it to hold it down on the electric unit. I am more than a little bummed. But what can I say. I should have been helping him with breakfast, I should have been the one starting the kettle, not him.

Yes, I am rather bummed. Tomorrow I’ll go to Costco to see if they still have the cheaper one there.

When our house was broken into and my ring was stolen, I started thinking why bother spending extra money on NICE stuff. It just gets stolen or broken and then you have to pay all that money AGAIN to replace it. I’ll just buy the cheap crappy stuff that costs half as much or less, it’s not as expensive to replace when the first one gets broken. Well, we’re back there again. If I ever do get another diamond, I think I’ll just go for the big flashy Costco rock that has all sorts of crevices and cracks filled in with paste, but costs half as much as a nice diamond. Sure as I do, I’ll have it the rest of my life, it will never get stolen or lost. That’s the other ironic thing. Crappy stuff generally lasts longer.