Friday, August 29, 2008

What a difference a day makes!

If you read my blog yesterday, you read about my cluttered brain, resulting in a pigsty (one word) of a house. Well, after a two hour nap yesterday and going to bed at a decent time and getting a good night's sleep, I am currently taking a break from ... my morning house cleaning to write this blog entry! I have scrubbed the bathroom and kitchen floors. My bathroom no longer smells like a urinal. Yesterday, I referred to it smelling like an outhouse (one word), but while cleaning it today, I decided it smelled more like a urinal. And I have smelled a urinal or two. I have even scrubbed and wiped down the baseboards in the bathroom, kitchen and entryway into the kitchen! It looks great. I am actually on my hands and knees using a scrub brush to get between the grout in the tiles on the floor. I realized how thankful I am that I can do that. Weird, but true. If you know my medical/neurological/surgical history, you may be aware there was a time when I wouldn't have been able to do that without excruciating headaches and likely blackouts. Now I just feel a little light headed when I stand up thanks to rather low blood pressure that I inherited from my dad.

And though I am getting a lot of this cleaning finished, I am acutely aware there is still a lot to do, but I will take it one "burst of energy" at a time. Hell, I have all winter to get my spring cleaning done and then when spring gets here, I'll be all finished.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pigsty

Did you know that is one word? I definitely thought it was two, but I looked it up. Anyway, I always know when my brain is cluttered with exhaustion, feeling overwhelmed, disorganization, confusion, boredom. If I didn't know it on the inside, the state of my house during these times would definitely give it away. It's a PIGSTY (one word). The bathrooms are gross, the kitchen counter is covered with junk (and that is one of my pet peeves), the TV room has crap everywhere and I haven't even ventured into the basement. My husband and kids, mostly my husband, straightened the basement over the weekend, though, so it's probably ok. There's dust everywhere, my floors need a desperate scrubbing, our carpets need to be cleaned, the baseboards are covered in muck and our furniture is filthy. Our yard is so out of control it has to be killed off and redone. They call that "lawn renovation." That will mainly be my husband's job and can't be done until fall. However, I have a feeling it will not get done at all unless a lot of nagging gets done by me. And what am I doing about all of this? Nothing. I have it on my schedule to clean tomorrow. But, in the words of ANNIE, tomorrow is "always a day away!" No really, I do need to at least get it under control. I have a friend's son coming over on Friday to spend some time with CJ and I while his mom volunteers at school and I would prefer he not go home and tell his mom our bathroom smells like an outhouse (also one word).

Monday, August 25, 2008

Government stuff

I spent a lot of time last week watching the Olympics. I LOVE the Olympics. I enjoy both winter and summer, but my all time favorite event is the short skate in the winter Olympics. I do enjoy swimming, diving and gymnastics in the summer. I am still a little perplexed that beach volleyball, ping pong and BMX bike racing are in the Olympics. I am even more perplexed that the women volleyball players (indoor and beach) wear considerably less clothing than the men. We were hanging out with the neighbors one night and talking about the Olympics and China. I mentioned my concern that the world would permit the Olympics to take place in China. Our neighbor pointed out he thought it is a good thing and that historically, when Olympics have been held in oppressed countries, it seems the country has a major downfall and a civilized, or at least more civilized, government emerges. He used Nazi Germany and the Olympics in Berlin in 1936 and the Moscow Olympics in 1980 as examples. I hope he is right and that China sees much improvement in the years and decades ahead. I thought it was a little scary that during the diving competition, the commentators said that four years ago China had two divers that were 14 (or whatever the minimum age for diving is) and they were expecting to see them compete in this Olympics. However, those two divers "have disappeared from the diving map" and China now has two other very young divers. And then the issues with the gymnasts and their ages. Hhhhmmm....

The other thing I have been asked a lot since Saturday is what I think about Joe Biden being selected as the VP candidate. I don't really know much about him. I have been reading some things and he seems like a good pick - stands up for what he wants/believes in, is pro-choice, is a family oriented guy, has a lot of the experience Obama is lacking. From that standpoint, I guess he looks pretty good. I have not read or heard much criticism about him except for that comment he made about Obama being the first good looking, educated, articulate African-American... I don't remember the exact quote, I just remember how much hoopla was made about it. I did read the comment that Obama can no longer stress "change" since he has a VEEP candidate who has been in the US government as long as Biden. But hey, you can't have it both ways - you can't criticize Obama for his lack of experience and then criticize him when he picks someone who has that experience. You don't get experience by being a newbie, so it only makes sense he would pick someone who has been in the trenches. And though it doesn't appear Joe Biden is a "yes man", I also haven't read he's an inflexible kind of a guy. Experience in the job doesn't mean he's not ready to see some major changes. In fact, he may be MORE ready if he is sick of the politics as usual mentality we have had over the last several years.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Small world

Yesterday, Big E received his first donation for his fundraising for the walk we are doing for Children's Hospital and Team MK. The donor only left the name Tanna E. It took me a second to think about who this "mystery" person was. It came to me fairly quickly. When Big E was in daycare, he had a teacher named Tanna and her last name did indeed begin with an E. When Big E was a little older, she left the daycare. Once I quit work and went to massage therapy school, Big E would go to her house twice a week so I could study. After that, we lost touch and I had heard she had moved out of state. I had many thoughts after seeing her donation: How did she find his website? How did she know he was walking for MK? Where is she now? Thankfully, the donation site keeps e-mails and I was able to e-mail her. It was so nice to hear from someone from our past - someone who took such good care of Big E. He adored her and when I talked to him last night about her donation, he said he remembers going to her house. He was only about two+ years old, but he said he remembers and I think he does. I could tell by the look on his face. She found us through my blog. After seeing the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition show with the family that had multiple family members with Chiari Malformation (same condition as myself), she googled chiari malformation and my name. My blog came up and she has been reading ever since, but I didn't know until now! It is indeed a small world. It's also a reminder that so much is possible in this age of technology.

Hair removal

The other day, I decided it was time for some upper lip hair removal. I have used a variety of products, but thought I would try something new. I was at the local drug store checking out all of the hair removal products - waxes, bleaching (not really removal, but more like disguising), creams. I then came across a box for a Brazilian bikini hair removal kit. Why anyone would want to try this at home is more than I can wrap my brain around. Of course, I was intrigued and had to check it out. It was for a hair removal cream and not a wax, but what made this product so different that they called it a Brazilian bikini kit? Well, the hair removal cream was a large tub of stuff instead of the small tube you need for facial hair, there is an applicator of some kind and some small scissors. Ok, I can see needing all of that. And then I saw it, the true reason they could call this the Brazilian bikini hair removal kit - the mirror. I had to start laughing right there in the store. They actually included a mirror, just in case you don't have one, so you can view your v-jay-jay and your asshole to make sure all the "coarse hair" is removed. I personally think a wax at a salon sounds better - it's quick and someone else gets to check out your asshole. I can't imagine having to find a place to sit? stand? lie down? while I am waiting around for 8 minutes with hair removal cream in my crotch and ass to activate and do it's thang (yes, I meant to type thang). By the way, they make the Brazilian hair removal cream for the lip/chin and face. That is what I used. I apparently have some tough hair as it took the entire 8 minutes for the hair to separate from the skin successfully, but it did work. I do question their definition of the "vanilla scent" of the cream though. It really smelled nothing like vanilla. And I would know, it was right under my nose!

I also got my hair cut (nothing too different, but it is shorter) and am letting my eyebrows grow in again. I am on a hair makoever!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

I haven't seen this commercial this year, but Staples used to do a commercial of a dad dancing through the aisles buying school supplies. The music was the Christmas song "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!" by Andy Williams. I totally get it.

Today was Big E and Sous Chef's first day of school. It was much less stress for me this year since it wasn't our "first year" at a new school. That makes a world of difference. We are excited about their teachers and Sous Chef will now receive gifted education services after passing the necessary test to qualify. That will be good for him.

Here are our pictures from this morning:
Big E

Big E and CJ

Yes, I know it's just a bus, but at his age, there is no way in hell he will let us walk him to the bus stop to take a picture up close! What we should have gotten a picture of was the neighbor mom who snuck onto her next door neighbor's front walk way so she could get a picture of her son getting on the school bus!


This is what I looked like at 7:40am. Not bad, considering I was up and showering about three hours earlier than what I have become accustomed to this summer!


Here is Sous Chef going to school an hour later.


This is Sous Chef with our neighbor boy, Seth, who is in the 2nd grade, and his mom. I wonder if she knows she made it into my blog? Isn't it nice that the two younger boys didn't utter a peep about their moms and a dad (Motorcycle Guy) being at the bus stop with them!


Yep, another bus picture.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Double check your prescriptions

CJ was being treated a couple of weeks ago for strep throat. His coughing, which was why I had taken him to the doctor to start with, was getting worse, not better, so I took him back. He then had an ear infection in addition to the strep, so his antibiotic was changed to a stronger one. I was sure I heard the nurse practitioner, who I LOVE, say it was one teaspoon a day for five days. I dropped off the prescription and picked it up a little while later. The directions said one teaspoon, twice a day, for ten days. I had that whisper in my head that said "I thought she said 'once a day for five days.' " I should have listened to my gut. I almost always do, and for some reason, this time I didn't follow up. Over the weekend, on day six, we ran out of medicine. I called the doctor today and we went through everything. She then said, they put the wrong instructions on the medicine. Thankfully, no harm done, but I do realize it could have been a lot worse if it had been a different type of med.I went to Walgreen's today and asked to see the original prescription. I also asked her to translate it for me. "Once teaspoon daily for five days." I then showed her what was on my bottle. Of course, she apologized, but I don't think that's enough. I don't know what I want exactly. I know I am not interested in pursuing anything legal, there was no harm done. But I do want them to be aware or held accountable for what COULD HAVE BEEN a fatal mistake. I do have to say, though, if it had been a more serious drug, I do believe I would have questioned it instead of blowing off my "gut instinct." The woman I spoke to was going to have the pharmacy manager call me when she comes in. So lesson learned. In the future, make sure your doctor CLEARLY tells you what the med is and how to take it. Then make sure the pharmacy gives you that med and the instructions are in line with what your doctor told you.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A sad goodbye

Today I attended my aunt's funeral. She was 67 years old. Her husband died while I was in college and my cousin, their youngest son, also died while I was in college. She has two sons still living. One of my uncles, who is a pastor, delivered the sermon and eulogy today. He struggled at times to keep his composure and did a great job. He was even able to add some humor. My mom and her siblings were so sad. I don't think I have ever seen my dad cry as hard as he did today. And my brother, well you could take him to a stranger's funeral and he would tear up, so it's worse than that when it's family - and when he sees my parents upset. We rode to and from the funeral together - a two hour drive each way. He admitted to me after the service that he has "separation anxiety" in the "adult form". I'm not 100% sure what that means except he doesn't deal well with those permanent goodbyes. I am concerned about having to go through this with him when it's one or both of our parents. I have a feeling I will be the rock and the organizer. I dread that day.

THREE TIMES!

That's how many times I had to color my hair last night. This is the first hair coloring fiasco I have had since the early 1990's. I decided to color and highlight my hair yesterday - a first for self highlighting. While I have to say I did a pretty damn good job WITH the highlighting part, the actual color of my hair and the highlights looked TERRIBLE on me. I looked at it and thought "fuck, that looks nothing like the picture." So I held up the picture next to my hair and it looked exactly like the picture, it just looked like shit with my skin and eye coloring. It's now 9:00pm and I run to Walgreen's and went for a color I had used before - a light golden brown. I really did not want to go to my aunt's funeral today looking like a 21st century version of a 1980's Cyndi Lauper. I then color my hair again - a little change, but not much. When I realize it's not changing nearly as close to the color I was trying to get to, I thought maybe it was time to call the Loreal hotline. Unfortunately, they close at 7:00pm EST and it's now past 9:30pm EST. Rinse, blow dry and "fuck, that looks nothing like the picture on the box." And it didn't - it was somewhere in between the first and second box color. Now Walgreen's is closed and I have to go to Kroger. I'm scared to death I will see someone I know. I decide this time to go dark and just cover it all up. And just to be safe, I also buy a temporary color in case the third application doesn't work. I don't think my hair could take a fourth permanent color application. Thank goodness the third application took and I have a nice dark brown hair color, with some gold in it. It's a little darker than I wanted, but it is a much better match with my skin. I expect any day now I will start shedding hunks of hair. I finally went to bed about 12:30am

Friday, August 15, 2008

Are you there vodka? It's me, Chelsea.

I think this might be the first I have written about a book since I started writing this blog. I just finished this book by Chelsea Handler. I am 100% sure I have never laughed, out loud, sometimes until my eyes watered, so much during a book. There was only one chapter that I didn't really think was funny, though others might. But for the rest of the book, there was laughter in every chapter. Some chapters there were multiple times when I was laughing. I was repeatedly having to answer "what's so funny?" whenever my kids were around while I was reading. CJ really didn't get it, since there are only words on the pages and no pictures. He flat out told me "There are only words. That's not funny." But I guarantee, if you are someone who is not easily offended, you will not be able to read this book without at least cracking a smile.

If you've not ever seen her before, check her out on the Jay Leno show.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

"You're gray and I'm moving to Guam!"

A week or two ago, my best friend, Lora, and I were on the phone. It was one of our daily, sometimes multiple daily, conversations about stuff, usually nothing. She was telling me about their chances of moving to Guam and I was lamenting about my "90% gray" issue that my hair stylist pointed out. She summed up the conversation with "You're gray and I moving to Guam." I told her if she did indeed end up moving to Guam I was going to use that sentence as a blog title. So here it is. She confirmed today her family is moving to Guam for three years. There is a possibility it will be less, but she's not holding her breath.Personally, I think Guam is a little too far. And a little too remote. But no one asked me. I've always believed the government was out to get me, and now I have proof. Lora and I have had a long distance friendship most of our adult lives. We have lived in the same city for only a few short years since graduating from college. But still. At least up until now we have been within a reasonable flying distance, with reasonable costs. Or for the more adventurous trips when the whole family goes for a visit, it's even been a somewhat reasonable driving distance. Twenty four hours on a plane, crossing the international date line and $1500+ is a little more than either of us had ever hoped for. We are talking about "meeting half way" which is Hawaii. Maybe this won't be so bad, after all.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cancer

It seems like this disease is everywhere and is currently infiltrating my life. I have past experiences with friends and family members winning or losing their battles with cancer. I prefer the winning, but unfotunately have had to deal a lot with the losing. Today, my aunt died after a short, but intense battle with lung cancer. I have not spent a lot of time with this aunt during my adult life for a variety of reasons. I did just spend an afternoon with her a couple of weeks ago. I have a lot of fond memories of her. I am sad for her children and grandchildren, my mom and her siblings. Out of eight children, my aunt is the first of them to die.

Yesterday, I learned that the partner of a friend is battling the disease. I also learned a dear friend of mine was diagnosed with thyroid cancer earlier in the day. I pray that both of them will have a full recovery.

I don't like dealing with the losing.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sixth Sense

I am one of those people who has a sixth sense. I know when things are happening or have happened - just ask my best friend. It's not something I can tap into like a crystal ball. I could not be one of those people the police use to catch criminals. It's not like that. It's just I know things at weird times - just ask my best friend. So the last few days I have spent a lot of my time thinking about my aunt, who is dying of lung cancer. I have also been thinking about my mom who is having a hard time watching her oldest sister suffer the way she is. My mom just wants it to be over for her sister and today they are putting my aunt into hospice care. The doctors said she would probably only live another two to three days. In the midst of thinking about all of this, I keep thinking about a friend from Kansas. He was the librarian at Big E's school the first year we lived there. After that first year, though, he moved to Ohio to be with his long time partner. Big E and Rich had a great relationship during the school year. Rich even came to watch Big E and his friends play a football game, thanks to Big E's invitation. Since we have been back, I have talked to Rich via e-mail a couple of times. Anyway, he has entered my thoughts a lot these last few days and I keep thinking "we really need to invite them to dinner". I know Big E would love to see him.

So out of the blue today I get an e-mail from Rich. His partner is ill, in the hospital and just had his own stem cells harvested, which was a success, and they will be reintroduced to his system, hopefully resulting in a full recovery. I wish my sixth sense could tell me what the outcome is going to be!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Medication is a good thing!

We were in Pittsburgh for the weekend. We always comment how much we love Pittsburgh whenever we are there. It is more "European" than any American city I have been in in the way it looks and feels. It's old and run down in some areas and other areas are old and being refurbished but most areas are a combination of both. It's hilly and green (during the summer), the traffic and the roads are wacky, they have great public transportation with the train/subway.

Anyway, I was getting ready on Sunday morning and Motorcycle Guy came into the bathroom to wash his hands or brush his teeth or something that he needed the sink and water for. While he was using the sink, I also needed the sink to wash my hands, so I was next to him waiting, with my hands out a little. When he finished, he turned off the water, knowing I was waiting. He chuckled a little when he did it. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: "Are you laughing because you turned off the water when I needed it next?"
Motorccyle Guy: "Yes."
Me: "Are you laughing because you did it on purpose?"
Motorcycle Guy: "Yes."
Me: basically, no response.
Motorcycle Guy, chuckling again: "I wanted to see your reaction."
Me: "I'm medicated now. That shit doesn't bother me."

Then we both chuckled.

Friday, August 8, 2008

My job

I really do like being a massage therapist. Yes, there are many times where I wish I didn't have to go to work. You would think since I typically work only three hours a week and sometimes maybe six hours a week, I would not think that. But I do. There are also days where I hope I have no clients so I can just sit for three hours and read my book. However, once I get there and see my clients, I enjoy my work the majority of the time. Sometimes I'll get a client that I just don't click with for whatever reason and I am glad when the session ends. Then there are those times when I have a client like I did last night. I have worked on her husband in the past and last night she scheduled with me. She was very sweet and easy to work with - overall relaxation massage, no need for 100% deep tissue work, which is HARD WORK and no complicated medical history. I was working on her neck and came across a knot. She winced every time I massaged over it. I am not even sure she knew it was there before the massage started. I worked on it and then did a trigger point release and it melted away. I LOVE that feeling. With her, it was like a little rock was caught in her muscle - hard and round. When it melts away, it feels like the rock and the rest of the muscle turn to pudding. It's SO COOL! I think she was surprised because she said, "oh, it feels a little better." Then I went back to the actual massage part and she was all "Oh my god, it doesn't hurt anymore. It really doesn't hurt anymore. Not at all. How did you do that? The pain is totally gone." All I could think was "cool, my work here is done!"

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Is it cold and flu season?

Not only do Motorcycly Guy, Sous Chef and I have upper respiratory infections, with two of us on breathing meds, CJ now has strep throat! STREP THROAT! It's August. All I can say is we better be getting this out of our systems now so when school starts I don't have any sick kids staying home with me the first week like I did last year.

URI and strep throat don't hold us back, though. We just got home from an afternoon of bowling, we are now heading off to the orthodontist and then I have work and Motorcycle Guy, a friend and the three little guys are going to play Disc Golf while I am at work.

Enjoy the day. The weather here is beautiful!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Wishing Well

There is a house near ours that has a wishing well. CJ wanted to stop by it to make a wish. I explained we did not know the people and we would not trespass onto their property. The house is off of a busy road and not in a neighborhood like where we live. So today he asked if we could go to the wishing well again. I explained again we can't stop, but I told him he could make his wish as we drove by. Here is our conversation:

"Can we drive by the wishing well?"
"Yes. You can make a wish as we drive by since we can't stop at it."
"How do I make a wish?"
"You make the wish in your thoughts."
"I don't know how to do that."
"OK then, say it out loud as we drive by and then blow your wish into the well with a kiss. What is your wish?"
"For a purple and pink train."
"OK, then say that as we drive by."
"OK, but you blow the kiss."

Well, I wasn't 100% sure where the wishing well was, and sure enough, we drove by it too fast and he missed his chance. I promised to drive by and slow down on the way home, which I did. I also asked him how he knew about a wishing well.
"On Spongebob, there was one behind the Krabby Patty and they made wishes and threw in a penny. Sandy wished for a telescope."
"Oh."
"Will I get my wish?"
"Maybe for your birthday. Have you seen any pink or purple trains?"
"No, just red."

Then we drove by the wishing well and I slowed down enough for him to shout:"I wish for a pink and purple train!" And I blew the kiss.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Hair Update

I am sure anyone reading this log is sitting on the edge of their seat wondering when, oh when, is she going to post and update with a picture of her hair. (NOT!) Well, here it is. This is as long as it has been since I was in college. And thankfully, the photo does a great job of covering up those "90% gray" roots and photoshop can blur out those crows feet! I'm still trying find a way to get those Botox injections that I need (again) paid for.


Friday, August 1, 2008

Getting Old(er)

I don't really think I am old, I say that in a joking manner. I do know I am get oldER. I went for my annual physical today with my primary care doctor. This is what I know so far:
  • I still don't shit on command like some people I know (you know who you are!). I am officially supposed to drink Benefiber or some similar fiber supplement on a regular basis so I don't create a traffic jam in my colo-rectal system. Great.
  • I got a tetanus shot and gave two vials of blood to be analyzed. Yeah, now I can go to Guam. Hopefully the blood test will come back GOOD. I do eat a lot of fast food, so I will be interested to see what my cholesterol count is.
  • I am wheezing. WHEEZING! I have never wheezed in all of my life. I have an upper respiratory infection that started with Sous Chef right before they left for a trip to Canada. Motorcycle Guy also got it about that same time. Apparently I have it now. Motorcycle Guy and Sous Chef had to take antibiotics, too, since they were going to be gone for several days in a remote area with no medical care. Sous Chef is still on breathing treatments. I am not taking the antibiotics, but have two weeks to get over this or I have to go back. I am using Advair to clear up the "wheeze."
  • I am officially medicated to help control my "generalized anxiety disorder" and even out my moods. Basically, it should take the edge off and I will be a much more tolerable person. We'll see. I don't see myself as overly anxious, especially about every day stuff. However, I do tend to worry about the BIG things that I have no control over - like my kids getting sick and dying or what would happen to my family if something happens to me or my husband. Those kinds of things. I have watched a good friend go through the death of a child over the last couple of years and it has been heartbreaking to watch her go through this. It does keep me awake at night on several occasions. Add to it a family history of mental health issues, and BAM, here I am. Though Zoloft was recently recommended to me by a friend, my doctor, thankfully, never prescribes Zoloft because it "takes your libido to zero." Well, I sure don't need that! That would DEFINITELY make me anxious and depressed. (Nor does my husband, who would prefer to have sex everyday, or more.) So Lexapro is my drug of choice, at least for the next eight weeks until I go back to give her an update. And should I become depressed, it's good for that, too!