Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Christmas went well. I got an iPod, and Frank got enough Thomas the Tank Engine stuff to sink the Titanic. Everyone seemed to enjoy dinner, too, which made me happy. Of course, there was a ton of food, because I thought I was going to have four more people here than I had. Yup, SIL never notified us that they were not coming. Well, check that, she did- she emailed Darrel at his work email at 1pm on Christmas Eve. And, despite the fact that Darrel called their house and left a voicemail asking them to call us back and let us know what they were doing, we still have heard nothing from them! I mean, come on- even if you thought emailing someone at their work email on the afternoon of Christmas Eve your plans for the next day, when you get the voice mail, at least think to yourself that oh crap, maybe I should call and apologize for the mix-up!

Gah! I'm all for just dumping their presents on their front porch- we were in the neighborhood Saturday- but Darrel isn't. I told him the presents are his problem then, because I am not going out of my way to get them to SIL and her family.

We went to visit MIL Saturday. The facility she's in is very nice. On our way up to her room, I kept looking in all the rooms we passed, checking out all the facilities.

MIL seemed to be in good spirits. She said the day before had been a bad one, but that day, Saturday, was going pretty well. She gets her pain meds upon request, about a half hour before therapy starts, which is good, because then she can get a lot out of therapy. I liked seeing that, when we wandered the halls together, she pushed her own wheelchair for much of the time- only towards the end did Darrel have to push her. She'll be in this facility a total of just over three weeks, and then she will be at home, with some home care coming in.

Darrel is sick. He has a flu-like illness. It could be genuine flu- he had the flu shot, so, even if he gets it, it'd be a milder case, anyway. He's been sick since...Hm, Sunday, I think? Chills, sweats, fever, the works. He's been feeling better the last day or so, and has been eating. He gets one of these about once a year or so. Otherwise, he's almost obnoxiously healthy. I guess one of us has to be, right?

Frank went to daycare yesterday and today. He really seems to like it, and Darrel and I both felt that we needed a break. As it turned out, what with Darrel being sick, it's just as well Frank went- the less he's around when Darrel is sick, the better, both for Darrel and for Frank- I don't want us to have to stay home with a flu-ish child next week! He'll go to daycare Friday, too. I originally was going to go into NYC Friday, but the weather is calling for snow showers, and I don't really want to be walking around in that all day! It pisses me off- I was really looking forward to it. Oh well, hopefully I'll be able to go in a day or two during February break.

Our toilet in our bathroom is totally broken. Now I have to remember not to use it when I wake up in the middle of the night and have to pee! We're hoping to geta plumber here in the next couple of days.

New Year's Eve...I predict we'll all be asleep well before midnight. My life is so boring and predictable. I can't remember the last time I actually did anything for New Year's Eve. Not that I ever did anything fabulous- mostly just hanging out at friends' houses- but I do miss having a social life. Actually, I have decided that is my New Year's resolution this year- we are going to have people over and socialize more often! I'm tired of my boring old life with nothing except work and bed!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

I screwed up the spritz cookies. Up until then, it was a pretty productive day, really.

I got up at 6am, showered, did a load of laundry, and cut up veggies for tomorrow. Frank woke up right about then, so I chased him around for a while, and then I set about making the mashed potatoes for tomorrow. I made enough potatoes to feed an army! This is a good thing- I love mashed potatoes, so now I will have lots of leftovers. :) Darrel had to work for a few hours today, so all of the above took the better part of the morning.

I don't like to have the oven going when frank is up and running around, so I thought I was being all smart and stuff- I made the batter for the spritz cookies while he was still awake, and then I covered it and put it in the fridge, with the idea that as soon as he was in for a nap, I'd take it out, preheat the oven, and go to town with it all.

Yeah, not so much. The dough was seriously stiff. Like, dry and hard kind of stiff. I called my mother, who thought the problem was I'd let it get too cold and I had to let it get back to room temperature. I tried that- I kept kneading it and everything. I fianlly got it all into the cookie press, but by the time it was even remotely soft enough to try pressing it again, it was 3pm, and I had to leave by 3:30pm for church. So, Darrel had gotten home, and I explained to him what was up with the cookies.

He tried, he really did, and it is not his fault, but they are just bad news and they will not be served tomorrow. :( I'm so mad at myself- it's Christmas, my first one in the new house, and we are supposed to have Christmas cookies, dammit!


In other news, Frank pooped in the potty for the very first time today! I made the appropriate big deal out of it, sang and danced around, and made a ceremony out of dumping it into the toilet and flushing. Poor kid- he looked in his potty and started to cry- I think he thought he was in trouble for pooping outside his diaper or something! But he liked when we flushed it down the toilet.

Ah, the utter excitement that is my life.


I still don't know if Darrel's sister and her family are coming tomorrow or if they are spending the day with MIL at the rehab center.

Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


So, I came straight home from school at 1pm today and began to bake cookies. darrel was picking Frank up at 5:30pm or thereabouts, so I had the house to myself all afternoon. (Side note: Frank's daycare was supposed to have a holiday sing along Friday afternoon at 3:15pm. It was postponed until today, because of the bad weather. Had I been smart and baked all weekend while I was snowed in, I could have made it. Yes, I do in fact feel guilty about not going to my two-year-old's holiday singalong that he will never remember.)

I am still not done with the cookies. I have to do the spritz cookies. Why I saved the most important Christmas cookies until last, I have no idea. But I am cookied out. Between all the crap that was floating around today at school and baking all afternoon, I feel like I could slip into a diabetic coma and not come out of it until around March.

So, while chasing around a two-year-old tomorrow, I have to:

*bake cookies
*slice up veggies
*make mashed potatoes
*figure out how exactly we're cooking the two turkey breasts we got
*get Darrel to find out if his sister is in fact still coming Thursday

I also need to go deposit my paycheck and go to the post office at some point tomorrow, but I have to wait until after my IVIG gets delivered, and I've no idea when they'll be here with it. Hopefully it'll be earlier instead of later!!

Then, I have to interpret a 4:30pm service in Hackettstown, a little more than a half hour drive from here.

Hm, maybe tomorrow night when I get home we can get pizza...

Monday, December 22, 2008

MIL's hip

So, last Tuesday, we get a phone call from Darrel's sister. My MIL has babysat for her children since the first niece was born, five years ago. She watches them three days a week while SIL and BIL work. BIL's mother watches them the other two days, or BIL works nights and watches them days- I lose track of what goes on sometimes. So, anyway, MIL went to the supermarket near SIL's house, on her way there, and she fell and broke her hip. It was hard to get information out of SIL- when she called Darrel, she was somewhat hysterical, and we kept getting different info- it wa sher leg, she was just bruised, no, it was her hip.

It turns out, it is the top of her left femur that broke, which is actually part of the hip mechanism. She had surgery that night, and three pins were put in the bone. She did fine with the surgery, and was transferred from the hospital to the rehab center on Friday.

The main issue right now is, she doesn't seem to comprehend, or believe, just how critical an injury she has. She's acting like she should have the same recovery time as a second-grader who broke his arm, but that's just not going to happen. She's a 67-year-old woman with serious osteoporosis who doesn't reliably take her medication and has so many physical woes, she makes me loook like a robust specimen of human. I mean, it'll probably be a good six months before she can even takle stairs, or squat on the ground. She'll never be able to sleep on an Aerobed, or a couch, like she often does at SIL's- neither are supportive enough for her now. And, according to my mother, who worked in geriatrics for nearly forty years and thusly has seen quite a lot of this kind of injury, 30% of all geriatric patients with hip fractures die within a year!

My concern, of course, is that MIL doesn't want to cause any problems for anyone, and will therefore rush her recovery and screw something up royally. We've told her not to worry about SIL or anything- MIL's job right now is to focus on herself and get better properly, not rush things. I don't think she's hearing it, though.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

This was my son after almost an entire weekend of snowfall. Well, that's a slight exaggeration.
I got the phone call Thursday night that school would be closed for me due to reports of harsh weather for Friday. I thought it was odd to call it the night before, especially as my district virtually never calls snow days- delayed openings, early closings, sure, but I think I can count on one hand the number of snow days we've had in nine years, and I don't believe we've ever had one before Christmas. Oh, well, at least I didn't have to get up early Friday morning, or be awakened even earlier by the phone ringing!
I went to the doctor Friday morning, and brought Frank with me- we kept him home from daycare that day, and Darrel was working from home for a half day. It was barely starting to flake when we left at ten am. By the time I went to the doctor, had a nebulizer treatment (frigging asthma), went to CVS, and came home, at 12:45pm, it was a full-on blizzard! SO not fun to drive in. Frank, however, loved it, because we kept passing snowplows. "Beep beep! beep beep!" he yelled. (Beep beep is his term for anything larger than an SUV but smaller than an 18-wheeler.) Darrel had to help me get the car up the driveway when I got home- I kept skidding!
Friday was Darrel's birthday, too, and Frank and I gave him his cards and presents that morning. Thankfully, we had a respite from the snow Saturday, because I'd hired a babysitter, our very first non-related one, to come Saturday evening so Darrel and I could go out to dinner for his birthday. He had no idea- I'd told him to be ready at 7pm dressed in something he'd wear to work. The girl who came is the younger daughter of one of my co-workers, and she lives ten minutes away. She'd come over earlier in the week to meet us, and for Frank to get to know her.
Today the snow started up again before dawn, and continued, along with sleet, the better part of the day. The last time I checked on our deck, it was close to ten inches. Where the drifts are, it's probably 12 to 14 inches. Yay. All this before Christmas, too. So not good. I have a bad feeling about the rest of the winter!
Oh, and last week, my MIL fell and broke her hip. But that's another saga for another day...

Sunday, December 7, 2008


I brought Frank to church this morning, for the first time since he was maybe nine months old. Considering that, and that he's two, it wasn't that bad, I guess. I was utterly exhausted by the end, though! They had no child care today because it was Family Sunday, what the church i grew up in called Youth Sunday. This means all the kids go to the entire church service, and the sermon is a children's sermon- the priest calls all the kids to come up front, and she preaches to them, on their level. I carried Frank up front and sat down with him for the sermon, but he was up and about again within a couple of minutes. So much for that!

This is a new church I am going to, too. The church I have been a member of for the last ten years or so has changed a great deal the last couple of years, as have I, and I no longer really feel like a part of things there. I've been going very sporadically basically since Frank was born. So, since we moved, and there's another Episcopal church about five minutes closer, I decided to check them out.

They are a very friendly congregation, which took me a bit off-guard! The first Sunday I went, the assistant priest was preaching, and, after church, when I greeted her in the reception line, she asked me my name and chatted for a couple of minutes. Then she flagged her husband down, and he introduced me around at coffee hour. Today was the second time I've been there, and I had a few people come to me and introduce themselves, including the senior warden. (The wardens are, for those who don't know, part of the Vestry, which is the governing body of an Episcopal church. The Senior Warden is essentially the president of the Vestry.) The senior warden made sure he told me that he thought I handled Frank very well (taking him out of church when he got too loud and coming back in), and that small children were absolutely welcome in this church. However, there might be a few older people who might say something about the antics of a small child, and, "...if anyone says anything to you about it, come and tell me, and I will take care of it." Wow. I guess they've had issues with this before!

There are a few things about this church that are different from any church I've been a member of before. In the Episcopal church, you can generally divide churches into High and Low. High is more formal, more traditional music, and people generally dress very formally for church- men will wear suits, for example. Low means the service tends to be less traditional- modern forms of prayers, for example- different types of songs and hymns, and the people dress more casually. I have always gone to High churches. This church is definitely Low. I mean, many people wore jeans, both Sundays I've gone! To me, the only time you wear jeans to church is when you're, say, doing yardwork on the church property immediately after coffee hour or something. So, it's different, but the people are very open and friendly, which is nice. I am already on the list of people going to the luncheon after church on January 4th, for Epiphany!

Anyway, I think I am going to switch to this church, which means I'll need to get a letter of transfer from my other church. It's not a big deal, except the priest there is an interim, and she'll probably want to sit down and find out why exactly I'm leaving, a conversation I really don't really want to have.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


...after having gone to bed essentially without dinner every night since Sunday this week, Frank actually ate most of his meal tonight. Could it be...he's actually...you know...learning?

He also went to bed easily, which he damn well should, since he woke me up at 4:45am this morning and neither one of us ever went back to sleep.

Darrel comes home tomorrow night. I can't wait!

We had two interpreters absent today. Since we still have one out on maternity leave, this means we had five people doing the jobs of eight. Yay. I feel sorry for my supervisor, who has to figure out exactly how to cover everything when these things happen!

Monday, December 1, 2008

My son

The child will be lucky if he lives to turn three.

His latest stunt (I strongly suspect he has a bad case of "I'm two") is, when I set his dinner down in front of him, to eat two bites, and then saunter off into the living room. My original thought was hey, he's being social, I'll have something to eat with him.

Yeah, that didn't work.

So, I thought hey, I won't establish a precise mealtime- when he's hungry, he'll ask for food, and if he's hungry enough, he'll actually eat chicken instead of continuing to beg for cookies or crackers instead.

Yeah, that didn't work.

So, two nights ago, Darrel and I turned off the TV and put away all his toys. We then each sat down to read...ignoring Frank completely. I think we bored him to death, because he eventually did decide to eat that night.

Tonight, I was trying to get a couple of things done, waited for him to request food, etc...and he wouldn't eat. When I took his plate away, and turned off the TV ("I want Elmo!") he started in with a temper tantrum. I mean, full-blown, sobbing hysterically. I even hauled him upstairs and threw him in his crib for a time-out for a couple of minutes...mostly so I wouldn't strangle him.

I called my mother in law. "Talk me out of beating my son," I told her. I had to repeat this, twice, because the subject of the fantasy beating was still sobbing hysterically in the background ("But I NEED Elmo!!" I NEED COOKIES!"). (For what it's worth, MIL agreed with me that Frank is in fact behaving like he's two.)

Darrel got home an hour after the whole fiasco began. Frank immediately ran over to him and started wailing again. Darrel, thankfully, is quite perceptive, and he looked at me sitting on the couch, and noted the daggers shooting out of my eye sockets towards the boy. He then narrowed his eyes at the boy and asked him why he wasn't eating his dinner.

Frank then flopped down on the floor and began sobbing in earnest once again.

He went to bed with very little dinner in him this evening, for the second night in a row.

Our only concern with allowing this to happen is that we don't want to be awakened at 3am by a hungry child.

After all this, I am amazed by two things:
1. That anyone, after having all the "fun" of one child, actually decides to have a second. I mean, we got into this not really knowing just how much "fun" this all is, but after one, you know!
2. That any child ever actually makes it to see the age of three.