Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I had my mind all made up to do the Turkey Day 5K this week, then yesterday I tripped over some random new birthday toy and my knee went "ziiiing." When I got up for our 2am 'my diaper is wet and I need Momma Milk' routine I was limping.

Ugh. So much for getting in an actual event in 2008. Oh well, 2009 is right around the corner and I've still got my heart set on attempting my first Oly.

In other news.... Wonderful Husband goes in for gallbladder removal tomorrow. We're looking forward to him being done with the pain and being afraid of more pain every time he eats. He's particularly enthusiastic to have it done before Thanksgiving dinner.

Hope everyone out there in blogland has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Birthday Bear

Happy First Birthday Baby Bear!

My world is a better place because you're in it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Could Almost Hate Him for This

We're about 2 weeks into the gallbladder nightmare (surgical consult scheduled for Thursday). I'm doing my best to keep Wonderful Husband fed with gallbladder friendly, low-fat meals and he's so scared of the pain coming back he's forgone his typical cheeseburger and pizza diet and is doing the same for himself when he's outside my jurisdiction during workdays.

The result?

The pain is manageable and he has avoided another major flare-up.

The side effect?

This morning he looked noticeably thinner and I said so. He's been talking about trying to lose 30 pounds for a while, so he was not unhappy to hear this and got on the scale to test my theory.

He's lost 7 pounds in 2 weeks.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Happy (Belated) Halloween (photo post)

As much as I love triathlon season and how good training makes me feel, and how exciting it is to race for the sheer joy of pitting myself against myself... I'm always happy when fall rolls around.

I love that the seasons are arranged, as if for my convenience, to bring me indoors just as body and spirit are starting to feel burned out on racing and training and traveling and all the details that go along with it.

I love it when training obligations transition from mandate to maintenance, and I have time to turn my attention to other interests.

Like Halloween. Which, as y'all know, I geek out over just as much as I do over triathlon.

Everyone told me I'd have to dial back my Halloween decor now that I have a kid. I told them to bite me. My kid sleeps with a stuffed vampire; he can handle a few foam latex body parts. And after some initial confusion over the severed arm, he did just fine.

It was a perfect year with perfect weather - we took Bear trick-or-treating, ran out of (14 bags) of candy and met more of our neighbors in 90 minutes than in the last 5 years. Awesome.

Bear thought Harry was there to play with.

Helping mommy decorate.

Bear assisted pumpkin carving.

Ichabod Crane was here.

Stylin' for the trick-or-treaters.

Cool shadow effects.

Welcome to our humble abode.

On the porch (what you can't see is the dozen shrunken heads, various weapons and severed limbs dangling from the ceiling).

Dinner's on.

Ingredients for the witch's stew.

This is Bob. He hangs out with us all the time.

This was Bob's buddy. We didn't catch his name. He pissed off Harry.

This is what's left of the rotten kids who tore up our Obama for President sign because we ran out of candy.

These are the fingers of the kids who tried to take more than their fair share of candy. I took them to a party for a snack.

Wonderful Husband and I got a Real Live babysitter and went to a Real Live Party!

Who needs a feather boa when you can snuggle with the real thing? (Ok, he's really a python. But he's still snuggly.)

Harry's little sister. (Yes, I am holding a real live tarantula. Yes, it took everything I had to do it. I am genuinely scared of spiders.)

I can't wait for next October!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

When It Rains It Pours

The same day Grandma died, Wonderful Husband ended up in the ER with severe abdominal pain. Tests at the time were negative and they sent him off with a scrip for Vicodin and orders to get into the first ultrasound appointment he could (which, between the funeral and the hospital's schedule, wasn't until today). He spent the last 4 days gutting out the family obligations, alternately battling a fever, pain and Vicodin haze.

We won't get the official word from our doctor until he's back in the office tomorrow, but at the appointment this morning the tech was nice enough to tell him unofficially that he probably shouldn't get too attached to his gallbladder. He even threw in that he hasn't 'seen one this bad' in a long time.

Which means... no Bahamas beach house in 3 weeks. Here's hoping we can reschedule those non-refundable plane tickets.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

I Love My Friends

One of my nearest and dearest sent me this today. I am so blessed to have friends close enough they aren't put off by funeral formalities and are able to give me a good laugh when I need it most.

Whatever you give a woman, she will multiply.

If you give her a house, she'll give you a home.

If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal.

If you give her a smile, she'll give you her heart.

She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her.

So, if you give her crap...

You'll get back more shit than any human being can handle.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Pauline Marie Barnes Bailey 1925-2008

The generational shift in my family is almost palpable.

It hasn't hit me yet. I'm too far from home. But just like with Grandpa, I'm sure it will hit me the farther south I drive.

I have no idea how I'm going to deal with cleaning out her house. It was the one place in an extremely difficult childhood where we felt safe, and where all the happy memories from that awful time were formed. It's where I learned about the Cubs, homemade ice cream and what Thanksgiving is supposed to smell like. The place we walked to after school to knaw on the homemade cookies we stole from Grandma's stash in the deep freeze.

For various physical and emotional reasons, the ones left in my mom's generation simply can't do it. And there's no way I'm going to leave it all to my SIL (new aka The Saint). It's the least I can do, after the last few years of everyone giving everything they had to help keep Grandma comfortable in her own home.

So after the funeral suits go the dry cleaners I'll don my work gloves and grubby jeans and start the daunting task of sorting through 60-some years of stuff.

I wonder if there are still cookies in the freezer.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Halloween Bear

I figure I've got a lifetime of superhero and monster costumes ahead of me, so this was one was for me.

(Thanks to everyone for your kind thoughts for my family. Granmda is on a morphine drip now to ease her passing. If there's a god it won't be much longer, because no one deserves to go through this.)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Tick Tock

I've never been so aware of time passing before. Every time the phone rings I assume it's the family calling to say Grandma is gone. Every hour that passes without a call all I can think about is how she looked lying in that bed, so weak she can't even drink from a straw, just lingering and suffering.

I take a shower, I play with the baby, I bake some cookies... and she's still just lying in that hospital bed. Took weak to pull up the blankets when she's cold or press the call button for help when her diaper needs changed. Sleeping so deeply she's more or less unconsicous, unable to stay awake for more than a few seconds at a time or whisper more than a word or two. Completely at the mercy of an almost criminally apathetic staff whose primary responsiblity seems to be avoiding us when we notify them she needs something.

I can't stop thinking about how she mustered every bit of strength she had to lift her hand up to hold mine when we were saying goodbye.

I'd have sat there all day if I could, but she's contagious and the hospital didn't want me to bring the baby into her room. So I had to put being a mom before being a granddaughter. I'm still working on sterilizing his favorite toys that were in her room before the staff got around to telling us it wasn't safe.

I've never seen a human so ill before. Animals, yes. Right before we put them to sleep to ease their suffering. In fact, the whole thing is disturbingly similar to how we lost Karma, our previous German Shepherd. Bacterial infection (both in the clostridium family), endless gastrointestinal chaos, lack of immune response... and now the worst, and final step - lungs filling with fluid. It was gut-wrenching to watch my dog go through it - knowing it's happening to my beloved Grandmother is tearing my heart out.

When she could still speak, before the infection ran rampant, she told anyone who'd listen she just wanted to die, and she's been a dnr for years. I totally respect her desire not to keep living in pain, but am having a hard time reconciling that with knowing the solution is for my grandma to die.

Now my aunt says they're taking out her PICC line to check for the source of infection before putting in a new one. Mom said they're taking out her PICC line and will 'let nature take its course.' They're both overly stressed, self-centered and dealing with their own depression issues outside of what's going on with their mother, so I don't know who to believe. The only thing they agree on - when they're not ranting to me about how unreliable the other one is - is that Grandma isn't going to make it.

I was devastated when my Grandma Helen died suddenly when I was a teenager. Holy crap do I now get that's better way for things to happen.