Friday, August 7, 2009

I just got an e-mail from Grace's teacher. It reads as follows:

"Hi Mom! Grace doing great. Next week will be a load. She is a very student."

Does there seem to be a couple of words missing from those sentences, or is it just me? Now I'm going to be wondering all day long exactly what kind of student my child is. So many adjectives, so little time!


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Maybe we should just build an ark.


I have blogger's block. I know that I should write something, but when I sit down and try I have an uncontrollable urge to poke myself in the eye with a fork. Or eat something chocolate, which is usually the urge that I follow and is why my weight-loss efforts have gone the path of leg warmers and high-top tennis shoes. (Or are those back now? I'll have to consult my nine-year-old.)

Anway. Here's an Owen story. It's all I've got, folks.

A couple of weeks ago I was sitting here not blogging, when I heard a scream from upstairs. Seconds later, Owen came running down the stairs yelling at the top of his lungs, "Help! I flushed a yellow paper thingy down the toilet and now it's flooding the bathroom and I think it's going to flood everything and I can't find my goggles! Can we buy a new house?"

Now, charmed as I was by the idea of him floating around in toilet water wearing spiderman goggles, (not to mention getting a new house out of the deal. Sweet!) I decided that there was not enough anti-bacterial soap in the house to placate my germiphobe children, so I called for Josie to turn off the water to the toilet. She did, the toilet was unstopped, and all was right with the world. Well, my world anyway.

That is, until the next time that Owen had to use the bathroom. Then a hysteria erupted that I'm quite sure was heard in the outer regions of Siberia (how about it, Siberian folks? It was intense, was it not?) He is now convinced that the toilet is going to over-flow and send us all to a watery grave, and no amount of parental assurance can convince him otherwise. He has vowed to never poop again, which thankfully only lasted until the next time he had to poop, but still. He is, shall we say....fixated? Paranoid? Constipated? Weird?

Yesterday, I caught him heading to the bathroom wearing floaties. At least now he has a plan.

But can I point out, friends, that he starts kindergarten on Monday? How exactly does that fit into our new little phobia? Do I warn his teacher? Send him to school wearing an inflatable life-jacket just in case he can't wait until he gets home to "do a number two"? I've tried talking to him, and ....oh, you just have to know this child. The phrase "he has a mind of his own" doesn't even begin to do him justice. I think the phrase that fits better is "once he has made his mind up about something, you cannot change it until he moves on to his next obsession," but I think I just made that one up.

So. That's where we are right now. Getting ready for school to start, and worrying that we will all be up to our necks in toilet water at any moment. It's a thrilling life we lead around here, y'all. A flash flood warning is in effect until further notice.

I'm thinking of putting on some goggles and floaties, too. At least if he's going to be weird, he can have the comfort of knowing that it's genetic.


Thursday, July 23, 2009


And look! It's not wordless, after all! This is a picture of my nieces from their vacation last week, and I stole it off of my sister-in-laws facebook. So now I am a picture thief and a procrastinator for not getting it up on Wednesday, and a liar for not making it wordless. There is much guilt to be had from this blog post.

Oh! While I'm here...guess what I found in my hubby's lunch box yesterday?

Do you give up? You should. You'll never guess. I found.....

Dora the Explorer gummies! We do not buy Dora the Explorer gummies. So that means that he had to get them from work.

The man is a construction worker.

I've been contemplating this all day. Now you can join me.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wordless Wednesday~Owen, who was so "incited" to turn five that he could hardly contain himself.

When Ben and I were in college, he kept getting involved in all the musical theater productions, and I felt compelled to attend every single show...because I was just THAT besotted with him. He always had these little bit parts, because he never actually auditioned. He just hung around with the theater folk and would somehow get roped into being "oddly dressed man #2" or some other such nonsense. Once he was the dude that opened and closed the curtain, and I was
STILL there for every show. Such devotion is rare, and I remind him of this every time he tries to get me to cut his toenails. Even the most devoted person has their limits.

Anyway. In one of the productions (I cannot for the life of me remember which one. They all blur together.) one of the main characters had to come out of their house and into a courtyard for the opening scene right after a fifteen minute intermission. In every other show it had gone like clockwork, but this time intermission ended and we all sat back down and stared at the stage...and nothing happened. I don't know how many minutes went by, but it was enough so that the audience was getting very uncomfortable, and I was busy being embarassed for my friend that should have been on stage. I couldn't imagine how he was going to pull off this scene now, when everyone would know that he had totally missed his cue. Suddenly, he RAN onto the stage and stopped dead still in the middle, completely out of breath. He looked right at the audience and, in a moment of sheer genius, asked, "What? It's a big house!" I think the audience laughed for five minutes. I left wishing he would do that every night.

Why am I telling you this? I honestly don't know, except that I left you way back in April about to have surgery, and some of you have apparently been waiting to hear from me. It is as if I disappeared into the vastness of the internet and forgot my cue to come out. But somehow, writing a blog post all out of breath, and asking "What? It's a big internet!" just isn't as funny. So really, that whole introduction was pointless, but was better than "So, um....I kind of forgot that I had a blog after my surgery and became slightly addicted to finding old high-school friends on facebook instead." Maybe you feel less abandoned with the first excuse? I don't know. Go examine your feelings and get back to me.

So. I am minus one kidney stone now, and the surgery was...oh dear. I do not feel that I can adequately do it justice with mere words. Let's just say that if I ever get another monster kidney stone? It had better just build itself a modest one-bedroom abode and prepare to hang out for all eternity.

The only amusement that I found in the whole experience was the one night in the hospital when, in an effort to get comfortable with that horrendous tube coming out of my back, I tried to sleep in the recliner by my bed. After a couple of hours of dosing, I tried to get up, and realized that somehow all of my tubes and IVs and such had gotten tangled together and I was not getting out of that chair without professional assistance. So I hit the nurse call button, and told her my situation in it's most basic terms. "Help! The reliner is trying to eat me!" I cannot be sure, but I think I heard snickering in the background, and then no less than three nurses were in my room in about 1.2 seconds (a fact that I later resented when my pleas of "Help! My remote has fallen behind my bed and I am being forced to endure "Miami Ink". Also, I have to pee." were largely ignored.)

So, to recap: Surgery, a success. Recliner, did not win against the efforts of the nursing staff. Blog, probably lost all of it's readers, but since it has a repentent writer now, has hopes of being read again someday. Maybe. If I offer bribes.

The End.


Thursday, April 16, 2009


Since I am STILL sitting here with a ginormous kidney stone that isn't scheduled to leave my body until next Thursday, I figured that surely you would all like to be entertained with stories about my various doctors appointments. Because what else is there to talk about? It's either doctors appointments or peeing, and I am sure that you all have enough experience with peeing so that you don't need a play-by-play account from me. Although I'm willing to bet money that I have WAY more experience in the peeing department than most of you do about now. I'm a peeing CHAMPION! I should really win something. Y'all get right on that for me, okay?

I believe the word you are looking for is....

ANYWAY. When all this mess started, I had a urinary tract infection. I went to the doctor, and I said, "Dude! I have a kidney stone that has led to a urinary tract infection! DO SOMETHING!" And the doctor inspected my urine, and declared "Wow! You have a urinary tract infection! And with the pain that you have been having...I bet you have a kidney stone! Let's have an x-ray to see!" Low and behold, when the x-raying was completed, it was revealed that....I had a kidney stone! That had led to a urinary tract infection! And then they made me pay them for this discovory.

Then I went to a urologist. He was a cute little man who was seriously befuddled by the enormousness of my kidney stone. He kept saying, "That thing is 14mm! It is way bigger than your last one! What happened?" And I had to confess that I did not know, because my kidney apparently works independently of my brain and has it's very own agenda. An evil one, obviously. The doctor did an ultrasound and declared that my right kidney was blocked and that we would need to do a lithotripsy some time in the next week and that he would have no choice but to put in a stent because my kidney was swollen to ridiculous proportions. Then he left the room.

Moments later he was back, looking distressed. "I just don't think this is a good idea!" He declared, and I began wracking my brain for some idea of mine that I had vocalized that he maybe found offensive. I did not remember having any idea at all except the idea that I really wished my husband was not out of work so that I could justify going to Chick-Fil-A as soon as this was over because waffle fries....YUMMY! Then I thought...wait! Maybe I said this out loud without noticing and he is worried about my lack of a healthy diet and I was about to assure him that I would order a grilled chicken sandwich with the waffle fries to balance it out when he continued. "Your kidney is blocked! We can't wait until next week! Come in tomorrow and we will put in the stent, and then come back Friday to get the stone zapped." And I found myself agreeing that surely this was a better plan, and I was apologetic for even going along with him in the first place when his initial thoughts were so obviously flawed. What was I thinking? Next week??!! I could die by then! Clearly, tomorrow is the better choice.

So the next day I showed up to get knocked out and have a urinary stent put in. There are two things that I have to say about this. The first thing is that, if you are ever cursed with kidney stones and a well-meaning doctor tries to tell you that he wants to place a stent, ask him the following questins: "Will I die if you don't?" and, if not, "Will my kidney explode into little tiny pieces if I just choose to pass the stupid fragments with massive pain pills?" If the answer to both of these questions is no, then tell them to take that stent and....well, put it somewhere else. Just not in you. Because they are EVIL. (The stents, not the doctors. I think.)

The second thing that I have to say about this is that I had to be put to sleep to have the stent placed inside of me to drain my kidney, but they plan to take it out in the doctor's office with local anestesia. I think whoever came up with that plan was on drugs. That is my humble opinion.

Next was the lithotripsy. I was sedated and they blasted the stone and it did not even crack and I missed a perfectly good breakfast for nothing.

Two weeks later, the cute little urologist with all the faulty planning was back to tell me that he was going to have to go in through a tube in my back to suck the monster stone out and that the stent was going to have to stay in until after the surgery. Suddenly, his cuteness was really annoying.

Then (THEN!!) last week they called to tell me that I needed to go see my primary care doctor to get a surgical clearance so that I can have the surgery on the 23rd, and my question then was...what if they don't clear me? And then I decided that I was a prophetess because...they didn't! Apparently, my EKG was "borderline abnormal" and a cardiologist has to check it out before the surgery that is...NEXT WEEK. So the cardiologist worked me in yesterday, and I thought....yay! But then not, because all they did was talk to me and schedule a stress test for Monday, and I could save them the time and energy, because I am certainly stressed. What is there to test?

So. That is where I am right now. Stressed and stented and kidney stone filled. And still sadly without waffle fries. I get teary just thinking about them.

But there is a light on the horizon. We are fairly certain that Ben will be employed again starting on Monday (I kept saying all this time...just wait! They will call him back the week of my surgery! If I were not a Christian, I would set up shop in my living room to take advantage of my obvious psychic abilities.) So next week will be insane, but at least we will have money again. Just in time for all of the medical bills to start rolling in. Don't you love how that works?

So, TTFN. I will check back in after the surgery next week (unless something monumental happens in the meantime that I just have to share with you.) Here's hoping that when we meet again, I will be kidney stone free, stent free, and full of waffle fries.

Well, maybe not JUST waffle fries. Maybe a lemonade, too. And a Chick-Fil-A sandwich. Fried, not grilled.

Take that, you annoyingly cute little urologist.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Where in the world have I been?

(Ugh. Seriously, I just started to type when my daycare baby climbed in my lap and burped in my face. Peanut butter...yum!)

Anyway. I have to type fast, because I'm typing one-handed now, and also because I will need to go back to the bathroom in approximately 10 seconds. To make a very long story short, I have a kidney stone that has grown rather attached to me, and to prove it's loyalty, it grew to a mamoth 14mm and decided to block my kidney for kicks. The doctors tried to blast it into little pieces, but it proved indestructible (or maybe it just hid out for an hour or so in my liver, and then came back to it's comfy abode all "Na na na na....I showed you people!") All I know is that it's STILL THERE. So now they're gonna have to go in surgically and pluck the monster out and it will probably have attached itself in there with super glue by then. Yay me! I'm going to have them save it for me, and maybe I will post a picture of it to warn the world of the dangers of...whatever causes kidney stones. Cheese, maybe? I don't even know. Down with cheese!

Also, Ben is still out of work. He is in the sheet-metal union, and when you are laid off your name is put on a list with all the other laid off people. When this whole thing started (on January 19th) he was number 74 on the list and as of yesterday he is number 36. Progress, yes? Very slow progress. We have no money, but on the bright side he has been home to supervise the children while I spend 20 hours a day in the bathroom... so there is that, I suppose. God is providing, and if Ben had been working I have no idea how I would have gotten back and forth to all of these appointments since we only have one car.

So therein lies the lesson of this hastily written blog post. If you absolutely have to grow an Abominable Kidney Stone, wait until your husband is laid off from his job. It will be ever-so-much more convenient.

But only if you just can't restrain yourself...and only then if you really, really like the ambiance in your bathroom.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

To all of you wondering why I am not posting much or commenting, I wanted to let you know that I am having major computer issues. Every time I go to comment, I get kicked off line, and if my post is too long, I will get kicked off before I can actually hit "publish post". This is very frustrating to me, as I have much craziness to report. Hopefully, we will have a new computer in the next couple of weeks (if Ben gets called back to work quickly, because he's been laid off and OH MY WORD, that is a whole other blog post in itself.). Until then, I'm here. Just...not.


Monday, January 12, 2009

I love my new blog design! And I can totally say that without patting myself on the back, because I had nothing to do with it. (Well, I had a little to do with it, if you count sending someone some pictures and saying, "Um...I think I like brown. And maybe blue." My creativity amazes even me.) Jackie ( designed this blog for me and I am in love with it. Isn't she talented? Much more talented than I am, since I can't even get links to work right now, so I'm having to lamely copy and past her blog address. Sigh. Y'all ignore my ineptness and go over and tell her how great she is for me...and while you are there, stay awhile and read because on top of everything else she is also a talented writer and you will so enjoy her blog. But then come back and stare at the beautifulness. Because that is what I will be doing.


Friday, January 2, 2009

It is only the second day of the new year, and I've already broken my biggest resolution.

Only it wasn't ACTUALLY a resolution, because I was supposed to start it a couple of weeks ago, thus side-stepping all of the "New Year's Resolution" pressure and tenseness. Because I am smart that way. I declared to anyone who would listen (and many who would not) that I was going to start walking every day, because I was tired of my couch-potato lifestyle and wanted to be able to walk up my stairs without having to call an ambulance. Also, it would give me an excuse to buy new shoes, and I am all about those completely-essential-no-one-can-argue-that-I-really-have-no-option shoe shopping expeditions, as long as they do not involve children. So I was ready. (Except not, because I totally forgot to actually BUY the shoes, but I was fixin' to, people. Why are we talking about shoes anyway? This is not a post about shoes. Focus!)

Anyway, right before we left for Disney, I found out that I had a heel spur. Because, of course. But I walked anyway, because it was Disney and because I am totally not a wimp that would be deterred by such ridiculousness. And I made sure not to whine to the extent that my family abandoned me on the Tower of Terror, so really I was a rock. Right now, as I type this, I feel the waves of awe and admiration flowing over me across the internet. You are proud of me, aren't you? Is that a tear in your eye? I know. I amaze me, too.

So I walked on the heel spur and got used to it and was all "Heel spurs are nothing! I've had four c-sections! Hear me roar!" and then I came home from my vacation and twisted my right ankle. In my sleep. I do not know how I managed it, but I went to bed fine and woke up all gimpy. The entire inside of my ankle was blue and swollen, and seriously, I am ready to call in a private detective to figure out what in the world happened to me. I worried that maybe I kicked Ben in my sleep, but he has no corresponding bruising and no one will admit to beating me in a fit of rage against my lower extremities. Mysterious! And also insomnia-inducing. Does anyone want to volunteer to come to my house and watch over me while I sleep from now on? I'll make you some fudge!

So then my bruising went away and I could wear my shoes again without whimpering (The old ones. No new shoes yet. Why do you keep getting side-tracked like this?) and then....AND I stepped on a block. A very sharp, pointy block, and there was bleediness and excess blueness and WHY DO WE ALLOW OUR CHILDREN TO PLAY WITH SUCH DANGEROUS OBJECTS? Have we, as a society, learned nothing from years and years of block-related foot injuries? I tell you, those democrats have it all wrong. It does not take a village to raise a child.

It takes a maid.

So now, here it is, January 2nd, and I haven't gone walking once since our Disney trip. And then it was not so much for fitness as it was for a love of Mickey Mouse, and all of the Christmas candy that I injested since then cancelled out all that walking anyway. I think that maybe God is trying to tell me something. I had a fleeting impression that maybe it had something to do with perseverance, but now I know what He was really saying. "Gwendolyn!" He was saying. "I made you clumsy! It is how you were created! Do not attempt all this fitness nonsense. Lo, if you continue in these crazy ideas, surely you will be involved in some freak falling down thing, and no one will rise up and call you blessed because they will be too busy laughing at you!" Clearly, that is His message to me this new year. And do not try to convince me otherwise, because I have the boo-boos to prove it.

So, having said all that, I do have two New Years Resolutions to make for 2009. The first one is to try and remain mostly unbattered and unbroken for the majority of the time. I think it would also be wise to sleep with one eye open. Just in case none of you take me up on my fudge offer. And my second resolution is to remember to buy myself a new pair of shoes. Just to make you feel better, of course.

Because once you people get something in your heads, you just WILL NOT let it go.