Saturday, July 30, 2011

Oh, that's interesting, that is.

So tonight we went over to PJ & J's for a end-of-the-year barbeque with Hubby's discipleship group.  Thankfully, it was at PJ & J's, because they have two little girls--one about a year old, and the other just a little younger than the twins--and thus lots of little girl toys.

C, the younger of the two, is still nursing.

That's important.

While J munchkin-wrangled, the rest of us ate and talked and played Apples to Apples (hilarious game).  In a stroke of dumb luck and shrewd choosing of my red Apple cards, I won.  I felt bad that J was out wrangling kids all by herself, since three of them were mine and she kept accumulating neighbor girls, but I also knew the most I could do, at four days post-op, was sit there with my cane and look threatening.

By the time we left (we're almost always the last ones to leave any gathering), it was well past bedtime.  We came home and promptly gave orders for jammies and potty, fast.

Small Fry came over to stand next to me, where I was sitting at my desk, and snuggle against my arm.

So cute.

And suddenly, so weird.

She's giving me little nibbly kisses on my upper arm.  And grinning.  And not quite giggling.

I looked down at her.  "What are you doing?"

"I'm getting miwlk fwom youwr awrm."


"Where did you get this idea?" I asked, as the nibbly kisses continued.  (Come to think of it, it was almost like I would imagine goldfish "kisses" to feel like.)

"Fwom you."

She continues to grin adorably at me.

And then we realize that she's not wearing a Pull-up, so I squeezed her cheeks and sent her off to get one.  Hubby went to unearth the shorts for the jammies she'd picked out.

Everybody is going up to bed when she pokes her head back into the living room.

"I want to get some miwlk fwom you again."

I try to stifle my grin and hold out my arm.  I gave her a hug while she nibble-kissed on my right arm this time.

She then scooted on up to bed.

And the only thing I can think of is that she's seen J nursing C, and J has told her that this is how mommies give their babies milk, and J uses a cover-up that pretty much covers from shoulder to waist when she nurses C...

And Small Fry now thinks milk comes from my arms.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Messing with the Anesthesiologist

So, yesterday morning I'm up at the crack of ugly early to head for W'boro Hospital for an ankle surgery repeat.  Biggest difference: this time, I'll be in and out in a matter of hours, not days.  This procedure is also a lot simpler than before, and it's screws coming out of bone, rather than biting into it, so the pain should not be as severe this time either.  (I'll not leave you in suspense.  It's much less severe.  But Percocet is still my new best friend.)

Bless Pastor J, he called our house at 6a just as we were getting ready to leave, and asked if 7:30a for him to be at the hospital was going to be too late.  I told him I had to be there at 6:45a because they needed to run in the Vancomycin before the surgery, and I'd be surprised if I had an IV in before 7, so 7:30 should be just fine.  I would have been fine if he'd just prayed with me over the phone, but I was really touched that he was actually going to make the drive all the way to W'boro just to pray with me there.


The nurses get me all set up and in my lovely, oh-so-fashionable hospital gown, the IV is in, the Vancomycin flowing, and the nurse gets Hubby and Pastor J from the waiting room and brings them back.  We chatted for awhile and then we prayed together before things really started to get moving.  Doc P came by, gestured to my right leg, and said with a grin, "This one, right?"  I chuckled.  He used a Sharpie to write an R on my shin and said he'd see me in a little bit.  I knew I had two more people who would be in to see me...the anesthesiologist, and the OR nurse.

Let me explain for a minute here the difference between Hubby and Pastor J.  They're about the same height, but I think Hubby has an entire person on Pastor J.  He's a skinny dude, and if not for the fact that I've seen him not disappear when turning sideways, I'd wonder.  (Pastor J, if you're reading this, love you, man!  If it's any consolation, I think my 10th grade biology teacher was skinnier, and his last name was Oakleaf, and, well, he was about that skinny.) 

Pastor J has also known Hubby and I for 17 months.  He came to see me in the hospital the last time I was in one, for my combination pneumonia/PE debacle, and that was before I had even attended church there for the first time.  He's had my everlasting admiration and respect ever since then.  So it's fair to say that he knows us pretty well, and so he could just stand there looking entertained at what happened when the anesthesiologist showed up next.

He introduced himself to us (I think he might have been my anesthesiologist for my last ankle surgery)--we shall call him Dr. A because, for the life of me, I can't remember his name--and proceeded to review my medical history.  Most of the medical issues he asked about I said "no" to ever having had, and he wrapped up his litany with this: "Anything else wrong with you that we haven't discussed yet?"

I opened my mouth to say, "No," but Hubby beat me to it.

"She's just not right in the head," Hubby said.

Pastor J leaned against the opposite wall and looked amused.

Dr. A turned and looked at Hubby, and then me, and gestured between us.  "What's the relationship here?"

"She's my wife."

Dr. A looked at me somewhat incredulously.  "You're going to let him get away with that?"

I grinned impishly and half-shrugged.  "But it's the truth."

For a nanosecond, you could have heard a pin drop, and then Dr. A dropped his pen and his shoulders and laughed.  He tried to stop and failed about half a dozen times.

"You've messed up my anesthesiologist," I said to Hubby.

Hubby does a fist-pump.  "Yesssss!"

"C'mon, he's gotta be able to bring me out."  Dr. A is still chortling.

Pastor J is still leaning on the wall opposite Hubby and smiling.

Dr. A wiped his eyes and exhaled.  "Thanks for making my morning!"

It was still another minute or two before Dr. A thought he'd gotten to the point of being able to move on.  "Any other questions for me?" he asked me.

In all seriousness now, I looked him right in the eye.  "Please don't let my children down.  They're terrified that I'm not coming home."

He nodded.  He gave me a few last-minute instructions for what he would need me to do at the end of the procedure when the time came to pull out the breathing tube.

Apparently, I followed those instructions well enough, because the thing I knew next (after bantering with him regarding where I'd like to be as opposed to an OR and the Versed going in) was waking up in the recovery room.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A week off...of sorts.

We're in the 36-ish-hour countdown to ankle surgery.

I am trying not to think too much about it.

Unfortunately, my house is too quiet.  So I end up thinking about it.  A lot.

The Fries are currently bunking with Gramma and Boppa, so that I can recuperate in semi-quietude, without rambunctious children.  (I missed them before all of us even got out of the restaurant parking lot where we all met for lunch today.)

This was also our last Sunday at the church we've been attending for the last 17 months.


Because Hubby starts a new job at PSUB Church in S'burg tomorrow.  (And, after 17 months of him being out of work, this is a good thing.)  He's their new associate pastor of youth and worship.  Yay, Hubby!  (We will miss our SUB church friends.  Thankfully, we aren't going to be moving very far away.  S'burg is just up the road about twelve miles.)

This is just a rockin' and rollin' week.

Making it worse on my mommy's heart is the fact that we seem to have totally failed in explaining to the Fries exactly what is going to be happening on Tuesday to my foot.

We recalled for them the accident and its aftermath--all of us girls going to live with Gramma and Boppa for two and a half months--and my "big boo-boo" on my foot.  (A boo-boo in two places, no less.)  They've seen photocopied x-ray pictures of my foot, and they know about the skwrews I have inside there.

Small Fry tearfully sobbed, "But I don't want da doktewr to take out da skwrews!"

That they were tired when we first tried this did not help.  It was a discussion born of necessity.

The second didn't go any better.  (That time, they were hungry, too.)

We tried explaining that this would help Auntie's foot feel better.

No soap.

I hate that we screwed this up so badly; I didn't want them to be scared.  I just wanted them to understand why they needed to go stay with Gramma and Boppa this week.  And that they would come back home with us.

But it would seem that my nervousness has leeched out into the atmosphere that Medium Fry has completely come unglued.

Our latest naptime/bedtime foe is now pirates (in addition to the usual suspects of monsters, giants and wombats), thanks in part to Disney Junior's Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

We're three minutes from home, having left the restaurant where we had lunch, when my cell phone rings.  And it's my mom.

"I have a very important question to ask you," she says.  I put my phone on speaker.  She tries to do the same with hers, but even if I shout at my phone, I'm still only a whisper on her end.

The call fails, and Hubby pulls over to the side of the road.  Mom calls back.  VIQ time.

"Are there any pirates around you?" Mom asks.

"No, no pirates," both Hubby and I say.

"Can we call you on Skype when we get back to our house, so that Medium can see that the pirates didn't get you?"


There went my planned nap.  Okayyyy...I'll go to Kohl's instead, and see if I can spoil myself a little.  Or spoil my kids a little.  Or both.  (I ended up spoiling the kids--the twins have seriously outgrown their 4T nightgowns and needed some bigger ones--and buying a picture frame for Hubby's new office.  So he can have a picture of the Fries for his desk.)

So we talked to the Fries when I got back to the house.  Then they went to the park, and had a marvelous time.  Boppa sent me pictures and even video from his cell phone.  (Bless those smart phones.)  They had supper.

I wasn't surprised by the text from Mom at 7:30, asking if we would Skype at bedtime.

So we did.  It was the most chaotic bedtime prayers we've had in a long time.

And we reassured the kids that we love them, we miss them, and they'll be home soon.  And we can Skype any time that it's possible.

Half an hour ago, at 10:30, the Skype incoming-call window popped up.


Something she found that was interesting and related to the ongoing, underlying custody stuff?


Medium Fry.

Who woke up and is scared.  And needs--craves--the reassurance that she's loved.

We throw hugs and kisses.  Tell her how much we love her and miss her and that we'll see her soon.

She finally agreed to go lay in Gramma and Boppa's bed for a bit and try to sleep.

Mom called back a few minutes later, and said that it just might be that I'd have to come out (something we'd discussed, if it was too much for me to be alone the day after the surgery) because of the Fries' separation anxiety.

I was nearly in tears myself at this point, because all we'd wanted to do was explain to them why they were going to Gramma and Boppa's, and that they would be back.

Mom was the one who suggested that my own nervousness about this procedure--something I can't really control--was affecting Medium the most.  And that we'd done absolutely the right thing in trying to explain to them why they had to go stay with Gramma and Boppa.  The emotional memories they have from more than three years ago still affect them on a deeply subconscious level.  (I can't tell you how much I wish I could heal that for them.)

I told Mom that, yes, I had said the doctor was going to cut into my ankle.  But a couple months back, one of them had asked me how the doctor had gotten the screws into my foot.  I scrambled for a way to explain this to them.  I ended up grabbing two squares of notepaper off a pad on my desk, and sketching an ankle shape on them both.  On one, I drew an approximation of "bones," and put a "break" in one of them.  Then I stuck that one on the bottom, lined up the "ankles," and showed it to them.  The x-ray pictures, I explained, told the doctor that my ankle bone broke and that it needed to be fixed.  But because the bones are under my skin, he couldn't just get at them.

By this time, I had all three Fries crammed around me at my desk (a spot not conducive to a four-person, close-quarters meeting).

I picked up my little embroidery scissors I use when cross-stitching.  The doctor, I explained cut through my "skin"--the top layer of paper--to get at the breaks and fix them.  And when he was done, and they were all fixed, he sewed me up.  I slapped a piece of scotch tape over the incision I'd made with my little scissors.

Mom and Hubby were both impressed with my little illustration.  It was an excellent explanation.

Something right!

Fortunately, with Hubby going to work tomorrow and us only having one vehicle, I will be housebound all day, and so I'll be able to be at Skype beck-and-call (if you'll pardon the horrible pun).

Hopefully, the separation anxiety will ease.  Or I'll go out and spend the rest of the week with Gramma and Boppa.

I just wish that I'd thought to send our wedding scrapbook with them.  The kitty scrapbook I made for Medium--who misses our kitties and needs to see pictures of them when we're away--isn't going to help with missing us.

Perhaps that should be my next project...little family-fun scrapbooks, that they can take with them.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It's not a Wreck!

My baby is six.  How did this happen?

"Who is dat?"

For Christmas in 2008, not quite seven months after the Munchkin Invasion, my sister gave me a cd of songs that she'd burned, just for me.  "Patience for a Mother Pro Tem," she called it.

I love this cd.  Her thoughtfulness in putting it together for me chokes me up more than the songs she picked.

Hubby is out with Large Fry, picking up her Rapunzel cake (here's hoping it's not a wreck).

The twin Fries are alternately coming unglued:  Uncle "didn't hug" Small (he did; I watched him).  Medium can't find her duck.  Medium wants Uncle.  Medium made a "bed" on the living room floor and Small pushed her and messed it up.  Medium wants Uncle again.  Small wants to go to bed, but that's solely so she can suck her thumb.

I popped in this cd because I was sorely lacking in patience.  Laundry had to come out of the dryer.  Laundry had to go in to the dryer.  A new load needed to be started in the washer.  Last minute presents and wrapping stuff needs to go upstairs.  Oh.  And lunch.  There needed to be lunch.

And the heat wave that's impending has filled my ankle with doom and gloom for the last two days, and I don't anticipate it getting any better until after the weekend and the wave both pass.  (And I'm on an ibuprofen hiatus due to next week's surgery.  Argh.  But I digress.)

The first two songs are both sung by men, Bebo Norman and Steven Curtis Chapman respectively.

Then there's a song by the group Caedmon's Call, which is a mixed blend of male and female voices, and who sings what tends to alternate.  One of the women has lead on this song, "Sacred."  Additional voices join in the background on the chorus.

"Auntie, is that you and Uncle singing?" Medium asks.

"No, honey.  It's not."  I'm a contralto.  I can hit low notes that sweet-voiced mezzo can't.  She can hit beautiful high notes that I can't even reach in a suddenly-cold shower.  There's no way that's me.  But I'm amused and flattered that she thinks it could be me.

"Is it Gramma?"

I managed to choke back a laugh.  "No, it's not Gramma."

"Is it Sandi Patty?"

Wait, what?

As I said, I'm a contralto.  Hubby's a tenor.  Most of the music we have in the house is sung by men.  I don't think I even have a Sandi Patty cd anywhere.

When did Medium hear about her?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Quote of the Day

Small Fry, to Hubby, as she got into our kiddie pool after dinner:
I might buhwrp out my swimsuit, an' if I do, don't go unnewr da watewr.  It will taste yucky!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Now We Are (Almost) Six

After a full and busy weekend, everybody crashed for naps this afternoon.

And we had nice long naps, too.  (I love long naps.)

The Fries had spent part of the weekend with Gramma and Boppa, and had a tea party with Gramma on Saturday while Hubby and I attended some meetings back closer to home.

Innyhoo.  Naps.

As the Fries started waking up, they joined Hubby and me in our bed.  We ended up watching a little bit of tv, the PBS Sprout cable channel.

When we all went downstairs, Large Fry announced that she didn't feel good.  She had felt fine upstairs, so I didn't think much of it.  I chalked it up to her not wanting to do something I'd asked her to do.  I called them all to the table for a supper of PB&J sandwiches.  There was much giggling and talking and a few reprimands to get them to settle down and eat.

It was about ten minutes after I had them sit down that I looked up from where I was working at my desk and saw that Large Fry had left the table...and it didn't look like she had touched her sandwich.  And then I heard the unmistakable sound was obvious she was not feeling well.

I looked over at Hubby, who had his earphones in.  "Large Fry is throwing up," I said.  I was deep in the middle of sorting stuff out for work--payroll is this week--and so he went to go check on her.

She had no fever.  But she clearly didn't feel well.  She stayed inside on the couch, watching more Sprout, while her sisters went to play outside.  And got sick again.

Po's spot.  No exceptions.
I looked over at one point and saw that Po was once again not caring who was sick and laying on the couch; she was going to have her spot.

By the time the twins came back inside (Small Fry was filthy; her twin had thought it would be fun to give her a dirt bath, and so dirt clung to her clothes, her skin, was in her hair, and had stuck to the sticky PB&J residue on her face), it was bedtime, and when Hubby discovered the extent of the dirt-wearing, he took Small Fry up for a bath while I got the other two in jammies and ready to go upstairs.  Large acted like she was going to be sick again, so I sent her running to the bathroom (in just her undies) before she'd even gotten her jammies on.  She came back and went to get jammies out of the jammie dresser, and so I pointed her to the ones she'd already picked out.  She got them on, laid back down on the couch, and when I glanced at her two minutes later, finally at a point that I could stop and herd both Large and Medium up to bed, she was sound asleep.  At that point I figured I'd just let her sleep and let Hubby figure out how to get her up to bed.

Large Fry's birthday is on Wednesday.

I really hope that she's not really sick.  She's been soooo looking forward to her birthday this week.

Given that she has no fever, and that she is quite sensitive to our levels of stress (which have been admittedly high this week), we suspect that it's probably just a stress reaction.  We'll take it easy tomorrow just to be safe.

My poor girl.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Proper Grace

Lemon Lush. Or,saith the Emir, Lemon Lust.
Large Fry, opining at the start of my birthday dinner tonight, after having been helpfully reminded by Gramma to thank God for my birthday:
God is God, thank you for Auntie J's birfday today; we love her.  And the food.  Amen.
Mexican lasagna, if you were wondering.  (Woooooooooooooooonderful stuff.)

Lemon Lush for dessert. [clasps hand to heart dramatically]  Delish.  I almost want to have it for breakfast, but Mom made lemon-blueberry scones.  Also yum.

I got some nice gifts (a necklace from the Fries and semi-matching earrings from Hubby, and crafty stuff from Mom & Dad), but the greatest gifts I have were sitting around the table.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Evening Prayers

Small Fry and Medium Fry have both said what they're thankful for, but Large Fry is being obstinate.  (I can't imagine where she gets that from.)

She insists she's not thankful.  For anything.

Finally, Hubby manages to drag out of her that she isn't thankful that God is healing her boo-boo (she scraped her knee up last night on the outdoor porch concrete at Friendly's).  She wants her boo-boo to not get better so fast.

"Oh, you're not thankful that God is healing your boo-boo because you still want a bandaid, huh?" Hubby observes.

Lower lip out in full pout, Large nods.

Hubby tries to point out that it's a very good thing that God heals our boo-boos, because otherwise, we'd always have them and always hurt.

Logic is lost on a very tired almost-six-year-old, I tell you.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My Dear Youngest Child...

I am so happy you neeeeeeeed me.  I can't begin to tell you how much that warms my heart.  Or how much I wish I didn't have to clamp down so hard on the heart-warming so that I can enforce what I've just told you to do.

In this case, take a nap.

I wish I could also take a nap.  I wish I could go lay in my bed, too.  I wish I didn't have laundry to do.

But me laying down in my bed to somehow keep the monsters at bay is counter-productive.  Especially since I have already kicked them out.  Twice.

You telling me that you waaaaaaaaaaaaant me to lay down in my bed, when I have already told you three times that I will not be doing so, will result in a sharp, scolding tone of voice and me telling you to lay down.

I am sorry that Uncle is not here to give you a hug, that he committed the nearly-unpardonable sin of leaving the house without adequate hugging and kissing.  However, we are going someplace FUN tonight, and I want you to enjoy it and have fun and behave...and for that, we both need you to sleep.

Arguing that you are nawt tiyewrd really don't help your case.

Because I know you are.

Small Fry
Not only because the smallest things (which ordinarily would not faze you in the least) are making you bawl like a baby.

No, I know you're tired because I am tired.  That hour (at least) that you were awake and in our bed, until I sent you back to your own bed about 5:30 this morning?  I was awake for that too.

Sleep, my child.

It's healthy.

In this case, it's keeping one of us alive.  No, I am not sure which.

All my love,

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Impending Celebrations

Both Large Fry and I are July babies.  (Because, of course, when Hubby and "I decided to have children," we determined we just had to have one of them born in the same month as six other family birthdays (not including mine) and two family anniversaries.  Just had to.  In fact, Large Fry and Oldest Nephew share the same birthday, albeit 24 years apart.)

And since my birthday is next week and Large's is the week after, talk of presents has been going on around here.

Large Fry has told us what she wants:
  • A hula hoop
  • A jump rope
  • A piggy bank
XSIL, the Fries' biological mother, called on Skype tonight.  I make myself scarce during these times because I just can't handle it emotionally.  (Plus, she turns my stomach.)  So I asked Hubby afterward if XSIL had asked what Large Fry might like for her birthday.

Not that we expect her to do anything, mind you.  She hasn't in the last three years.

Apparently, this is what Large Fry told XSIL she wanted:
  • A Spiderman-girl
  • A new house with a bedroom and a closet for her (our current house is so old that Hubby's closet is in Large's room)
Good girl.  Ask for the impossible.

After dinner tonight, Small Fry came up to me with a question.  "Auntie," she said, "do you want a PillowPet for youwr biwrfday?"

Obviously, because she loves her PillowPet from Auntie & Uncle Js (gimme a break; both their names start with J), clearly I need something like that to love.

Medium Fry also asked what I would like for my birthday.  Even though I knew she'd been prompted, it still warmed my heart.

However, I really didn't need to worry about answering her question.  She's already decided what I need.

An Eeyore.  (Because I supposedly don't have one.  I do, though.)  I don't need a Pooh or a Tigger, because I already have those.  And I need a Rabbit, an Owl, and a Piglet.

What do I really want?  Aside from my own pie-in-the-sky wishes (no, I don't want a Spiderman-girl), I sure wouldn't mind seasons 6 and 7 of MacGyver on DVD.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Go Fourth and Have Adventures

What a day.

I sort of got up with my alarm...which means I hit the snooze button for half an hour before groaning, evicting Small Fry from her cozy spot, sprawled on top of me.

I had made a list last night of stuff I needed to do this morning.  Amazingly, it got done and we went out the door.  Not-so-amazingly, we left the house half an hour after I'd intended.  (We were supposed to meet Gramma and Boppa out at LFP Lake at 10:30, in order to get there "early enough" to hopefully grab a picnic table.)

I raced through the grocery store, which we'd stopped at on the way out of town, and jumped back in the van.  I looked at Aim-mee (what Hubby "named" our GPS) and was surprised to discover that, despite being half an hour "behind," we were on schedule for arriving exactly at 10:30 on the nose.  Amused, I sent a text to my mom, telling her we were on schedule after all.  They, however, were not.  They arrived 35 minutes after us.  A small part of their delay was that Dad had to stop and take a picture of the street sign for "Leper Farm Rd."

Among today's adventures:

  • Corralling a picnic table out of the, oh, four unoccupied ones, which most people didn't even think were available, because they were under the pavilion, and a number of other tables were already occupied there.
  • Sending the kids out to collect 15 pinecones while Dad and Hubby got the grill going and cooked burgers and dogs.
  • Avoiding the endless questions about "when can we go to the BEACH?"
  • Sunscreening three wiggle-worms who were already covered with sand.
  • Stepping into a very cooooooooooooooooooold, mountain-spring-fed lake...and watching Large Fry shiver while insisting she was having a marvelous time.
  • Quote of the day:  From Dad, to Hubby, when asking about the structure on the stream at one end of said lake and the proposed cardio-vascular activity in seeing it: "Are we taking this dam walk or not?"
  • Keeping track of our three urchins as they made friends with the entire world (or so it seemed).
  • Keeping track of our beachy toys...which, curiously, seem to magically increase every time we go to a beach.  No matter where that beach is, really....
  • Keeping tabs on the little munchkin of the family in front of us, who seemed to be having a not-so-good day and was more than a little peaked, making sure our kids didn't get too close to be germed-up.
  • Taking three wet girls, in wet swimsuits, to the family potty, only to have Large Fry complain that Small Fry went second and she wanted to, and I let Small go first because Large is older and can hold it which Large Fry nearly threw an entire pout-fit because she had to go last.  She nearly had a meltdown over it.
  • Trying to pull three little, wet, sand-encrusted girls from the lure of the shoreline to have them say goodbye to Gramma and Boppa...only to discover that said munchkin from the family in front of us had wandered off...thus resulting in a very panicked mommy, when the munchkin was not within sight, was not in the ladies' room, and wasn't responding to her name.  Immediately, that became priority.  Dad and Hubby fanned out and criss-crossed the beach while the petrified parents searched the picnic area.  Mom stayed put and kept both eyes on our three and their two.  I started walking the beach, by the shoreline, as Dad and Hubby moved to the picnic area.  I was heading back to the furthest right end of the shore when Hubby waved and said she'd been found.  He was the one who found her, chatting amiably with an older couple, and clueless about the panic she'd caused.  "Remember me?" Hubby asked her.  She nodded.  "Your mommy and daddy are looking for you.  What do you say we go find them?"  She readily agreed.  "Want to hold on to my finger?"  No stinking way.  Hubby must have said something about her being lost, because she looked up at him and quite seriously intoned, "I wasn't lost."  I reassured a couple other searching adults, saw my mom-friend (what else were we now?) coming back teary-eyed with her arms wrapped tightly around her middle child, and then caught Dad's eye as he wended his way back from the far left picnic area.  He held up an "okay" sign in question; I gave it right back to him.  He nodded, obviously relieved, even from that far away.  When I told him about her saying she wasn't lost, Dad chuckled, and pointed out that some are never  lost.  "Right," I said.  "Just badly bewildered."  Which is what Dad always used to say, citing Daniel Boone, who purportedly said he was never lost, just badly bewildered a few times.  Mom and I both hugged the mom, and she stood there like a sentry over her little girl until they were finished packing up and ready to go.  One more round of hugs, and they were off--and I hope their Fourth finished better than their beach trip did.  (I really think we could all have done without that particular adventure.)
  • Mom and Dad headed for home earlier than we did, but by the time I'd gotten the girls back from the bathroom adventure (chronologically after the MIA adventure), the gnats and friends were out in such force that I was ready to leave about two minutes after he gave the girls a 5-10 minute warning.  At which point we all traipsed back up to the family potty, which even had a shower, hosed the kids down, got them dressed, and headed for home ourselves.
  • A family-with-small-children day trip isn't complete unless you have to stop on the way home to dispense discipline.  This was no exception, and today's disciplinary recipient was Large Fry.
  • PB&J sandwiches for dinner, and then we killed time and drove over to the middle school to park and watch the borough fireworks.  For our little burg, we don't do too badly.  Not on the scale of the half-million-residents city that we used to live in, but quite good for our borough with a population of less than 19k inside the borough limits.  They were ALL there tonight, and brought at least two friends apiece.  Large Fry almost fell asleep before the fun started, and then watched quietly.  Medium Fry was in Hubby's lap before five minutes had elapsed, and Small Fry told me afterward that the "booms" scared her.  But I didn't hear a peep, and she wasn't insistent on climbing the nearest trusted adult like a tree, so I counted this a success.  They were all so pooped that they fell asleep in the van before we'd even pulled out of our parking space.  That doesn't say much--we were stuck there a good twenty minutes, at least--but they were all conked before we got through the second song on the classical music cd we were playing.
  • Hubby carried the Fries in from the car; I settled the twins in bed, wrestling Small's shorts and undies off and a nighttime Pull-Up on.  Large was able to come up the stairs under her own steam, crawled into her bed, and was out by the time I peeked in on her.

Now I just need to finish the load of swimsuits and towels from today, and I can go to bed, too!

Recommended Reading

Peter over at Bayou Renaissance Man has some interesting history to share.  Good stuff.

And, if you've never read the full thing, I would encourage you to scoot over to Ambulance Driver's place and rediscover why this day is so important here in the U. S. of A.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mawwige. Mawwige is what bwings us togevah today.

Small Fry: Uncle, are you going to mawrry Auntie?

Hubby:  I already married her.

Small Fry: Awre you gonna mawrry her again?

Hubby:  No...I don't need to.

Small Fry:  Yes!  We didn't get to see it!

Hubby:  I think we have a video somewhere.

Small Fry:  And then you can see her panties!  Why do you see her panties?

Hubby [trying not to guffaw]: Because that's what married people do.

This all happened while I was showering this morning.

And then, as we were getting ready to leave for church, this happened:

Large Fry: Why did you marry Auntie?

Hubby:  Because I love her.

Large Fry: What happens when you don't love her?

Hubby:  I'll always love her.

Large Fry:  But what about when you don't love her?

Hubby [light dawning]:  Are you worried that, because Daddy and Mommy stopped loving each other and got a divorce, we'll stop loving each other and get a divorce too?

Large nods.

Hubby:  That's not going to happen.  Your mommy and daddy didn't love each other as much as they should have to begin with.  They were only married thr...Mommy started saying she wanted a divorce before you were born, honey.  A long time.

Me:  And Uncle and I have been married a lot longer than your mommy and daddy were.  We love each other, and that's not going to stop.

Heartbreaking, isn't it?

But to cheer you up, I'll offer this little snippet of our lives, which just happened as I sat here typing.

It's naptime.  Medium is snuggling with Hubby, and he's got her trapped in his arms.

Hubby:  Say, "You're the greatest!"

Medium FryI'm da gweatest!

Smart kid.

Friday, July 1, 2011

I love the Fourth of July.

I'm not sure that LawDog necessarily did, at least not in the year about which he opines, but the resulting story is a scream.

Class A Beverage Alert, folks.

This is one of my favorites of LawDog's many stories.  I read through his archives as I recuperated from the auto accident two years ago, to keep myself cheered up.  It worked.


Biting the Bullet

For nearly two years now, I've lived in pain.

Sounds melodramatic, doesn't it?

Local paper photo, the day after.  Black car is mine.
The plain truth is that I was in a very nasty auto accident in July of 2009, which left me with some nasty road rash on my left hip (despite the skin never coming in contact with any road), lots and lots of colorful bruises along the seatbelt lines, crumbled auto glass in places that one should never have glass, two breaks in my right wrist, four broken bones in my right ankle, two titanium screws (to repair sheared-off bones in said ankle), a seven-day hospital stay, and familiarity with weird medical contraptions like platform walkers.

The other (17-year-old)  driver escaped with bumps and bruises.  So did her front-seat passenger.  (Her back-seat passenger wasn't so lucky, but being half my age, has likely recovered better than I did.)

The kids spent 10½ weeks living at Mom & Dad's.  I was there with them for 9½ weeks.  Hubby came down when he could, from Sunday afternoon, after church, until Tuesday morning, when he had to be back in his office.  (It was awful.)  It was physically impossible for me to recuperate at home.

Mine was snazzier.  And red.
Four days of intense physical and occupational therapy in the hospital gave way to PT once a week.  I had to do something to keep my leg muscles from atrophying, because I couldn't walk.  I needed to use the platform walker, because I had a broken right wrist and an ankle that could not bear any weight on it at all...for six long weeks.  That meant I braced my right forearm on the platform, curled my fingers around the handhold, gripped the walker itself with my right hand, supported all my weight down across my shoulders and through my left hand and right elbow, and heaved myself forward.  That would scoot me forward about two feet.  (Hubby tried it once.  He could barely do it.)

I could barely take care of myself--there was something oddly hysterical about having to be baby-sat by my octogenarian aunt, who couldn't get up much better than I could, while my family went to church (she could at least move the lever to get me out of the recliner, which I couldn't do myself)--let alone take care of my kids.  I was immensely grateful to my parents for letting us invade for two and a half months.  It was, however, humiliating to not be able to cut up my own food.  I was 34, not three and a half.  I cried a lot.

Pool therapy, Labor Day '09
When I was finally able to move home, it was wonderful...but challenging.  When the kids napped, so did I.  I could only handle the stairs a couple times a day.  We live in a very old half-house, and the thirteen steps between the first floor and the second are quite steep.

I knew from my surgeon that I was going to have pain, and that the winter would be unpleasant...this first winter post-op being the worst.  There were many times that I came downstairs, propped my foot up, and wrapped a hot pack around it to chase the chill out of my bones while Hubby cared for the kids.  The ankle in particular was very sensitive to weather and atmospheric pressure changes.  (Of course, that was the winter we got dumped on with snow.)

I'm still having ankle pain.  It's not as awful as that first winter.  But it's persistent, and it's annoying, and Hubby finally had enough and insisted I call my orthopedic surgeon for a follow-up appointment.  (Mom even consulted her podiatrist, who said what I was experiencing was not normal, but then, I figured, he didn't do the operation, he hadn't seen the x-rays, he didn't have more than second-hand knowledge, and I was told I would have pain, after all.)

So I did.

Turns out...about 50% of people simply cannot tolerate titanium in their bones, particularly the ankle, because there's so little fat to cushion the screws.  (I was really hoping sheer willpower would put me into the "tolerated" 50%.)  And the discomfort I've been feeling is definitely related to the screws.  He pushed on the location of the (very small) one on the outside of my ankle, the one most easily felt.  "Does it hurt?" he asked me.  "Painful?  No.  Uncomfortable?  Yes."  Then he probed the spot for the screw head on the inside of my ankle--the big one, that's at least two inches long and screws right up into my tibia.  "What about this one?"  I hissed in a breath.  "That hurts."  Despite that screw being buried in a ligament first and then bone, that's the one that really hurts.

The x-rays they took that day showed that the screws weren't actually loose, and were still in good position.  The bones were solid.

I am apparently not one of those who tolerates titanium well.
Picking up an acorn. PT!


I really didn't want to have the screws taken out.  For one thing, it's cool to be able to say that I'm sporting hardware.  For another, the jokes are just there for the taking: if I have them removed, I'll always have a couple screws loose.  And after the pain I endured post-op the first time, when the morphine would only last 45 minutes to an hour (I was on a two-hour schedule), I was in no hurry to have this ankle touched surgically again.

But Dr. P says that removing them will get rid of most of the pain I've been feeling.  The ankle is one of the best joints, he says, because it's so un-prone to arthritis, even after breaks.  It has the most cartilage.

So my surgery is scheduled for July 26th, a little over two years from the date I first met Dr. P.  (Which was, ironically, during the hellish hip x-rays following my first dosing of morphine.  He helped get me from the gurney to the table and back.  I was impressed that he would pitch in and help, and then he read the films right there and announced my hip was fine.  Nastily bruised, but fine.)


Fortunately, this should be a much simpler procedure.  A half-inch incision through my old incisions, screws unscrewed (I get to keep them), and I'm stitched back up.  Crutches for maybe a day.

Just no contact sports for 3 months while the screw holes refill with new bone.  So I can't go kick anybody for awhile....