Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Day Tragedy

The MOAT is gone.

I swore that on Christmas Day, that sonofabitch was comin' down, and I meant it.

Shortly after the children dove into their booty, we pulled down the tree.

Here you can see the forensic evidence, like my very own Conifer Crime Scene:

The scene of the take down

Needle-spatter evidence

Where the victim was dragged

more needle spatter

Where the corpse was disposed

The day after Christmas was trash day. We forgot to put the trash out the night before, but thankfully, the MOAT saved us one last time, because it took so long to load her up onto the truck, Super G was able to wake up, get a coat and shoes on and run out to the curb with our mini-dumpster.

Next year, we're going tree-less. We'll gather 'round and decorate the Christmas Twig and count our blessings, every one.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Getting Rid of Grey Hair, on the cheap.....

So, you may be wondering, how is it that I have kept this head of long, fabulous hair even as I approach middle age.

My secret it to get it cut once a year, whenever the gift certificate fairy gives me the cash to go to my favorite salon. So for a month I have a style, and then it becomes one giant mass of follicles.

But two weeks ago I discovered the first sign of impending doom. Amongst the six inches of grow-out I have, I saw a light glint. Could it be???? Why yes, it was a grey hair.

I was told to go get Ms.Clairol and let her handle it for me, but not for one hair. Now I have two. I could pull them, but that hurts, and they'll just grow back.


Today, I thought of a solution, so simplistic in it's planning that it was sure to be foolproof. I found the brown Crayola marker, walked assuredly to the bathroom, locked the door and fixed my harbinger of menopause.

Unfortunately, Crayola markers are washable, and soon I was staring at the steel grey strands that mocked me.

Upon telling Super G of my project today, he stared for a moment, then ate a piece of cheese, clearly unimpressed with my resourcefulness. He would never understand, having been born with the perfect head, he eschewed the need for hair some time ago, so he just does not understand the travails from those of us less perfect than him.

Tomorrow, AFTER my shower, I'm gettin' out the Sharpie .

My mother will be horrified, sounds like this is a great idea :-)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

When boys are quiet....

something bad is happening.

Tuesday it was peeling the backing off of maxi pads and sticking them on the walls.

Wednesday, it was getting into the cookies for his sister's Christmas party, and giving them to the boy I babysit, who promptly took one bit out of six different ones.

Today, it was food coloring.

I was working, and after being interrupted every two minutes all morning, I suddenly realized that I'd been able to have continuity of thoughts.

This is a BAD thing.

I go into the kitchen, and on the table I see a bottle of ketchup, a loaf of bread, cocktail sauce and a can of whipped cream.

Closer inspection revealed a box of food coloring, which had been opened, and four little bottles lined up on the table, each with their caps off.

I followed the sound of running water to find the boys voluntarily washing their hands in the bathroom.

Buddy tried to hide his guilt:

But it was too late........

Tomorrow is a Christmas Party. We are getting a sitter.

We may never come home...........

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What every guy needs for Christmas......

Honey, I'm taking back the IPod Touch, the 60 inch flat screen Sony and the Swedish Swimsuit Massage Team, because I'm gettin' you the Nutty Buddy.

That is right. You saw it. One lunatic former baseball player, a tennis ball and a giggling teenager, what more could you want?

Some guys never grow up. You know what is wrong about this? He's going to make millions, like Ron Popeil, but wait there's more!

I envision young boys everywhere bashing each other in the nuts with baseball bats, surfing down the streets behind cars with only their cup between them and the pavement.

This cup is the end of civilization as we know it. Barroom brawls will no longer end when someone gets kicked in the balls. Where will the danger in dirt biking go? What of the girl wanting to get even after her boyfriend cheats on her with her sister?

This cup will make men impervious to pain, both good and evil men will become super-omnipotent, setting forth an ever escalating confrontation to which no man can succumb, leading not just to mutually assured destructions, total annihilation, but lets face it, Armageddon.

So to put it in a better frame of reference, NuttyBuddy is the Antichrist. Isn't that going to be ironic sitting under your Christmas tree?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Buddy Does the Christmas Program

Here we see why my son will never win the Oscar, play well with others, or complete the basic training in the branch of the military of his own choosing.

Keep your eye on the little guy in the maroon turtleneck as he wanders around.

He has a Christmas program at preschool coming up soon. His teacher stopped me today and expressed concern that he didn't stay in one place, sing or want to behave like a Wiseman. That would be my son, and I hate to break her heart, but he's not as eager to please as his sister was. He has no interest in being a Wiseman. Now, a WiseGUY, perhaps.....

Here's the next Tony Soprano, taking "Away in the Manger" literally:

I am so very proud of him.

For those counting at home, I've lost 17 pounds so far, and have been stalled for 3 days, which is frustrating. But it could be worse, I could have gained that 17 pounds!!!!

Sunday, December 2, 2007


The Mother Of All Trees.

On a crazy whim, we decided to get a live Christmas tree this year.

Dropped a ton of money at Target getting lights (our fake tree was pre-strung) and a stand and a cheesy skirt. It should be noted that I believe, in my heart, that children need to have loud, gaudy and garish Christmas trees. I let my children decorate our tree, so once it's done, all our ornaments are in a small wad about two feet off the ground. Last year Bug chose a silver star with crystals hanging off of it that, when lit, can be seen from space. So we picked out multicolored faceted pearl lights, 210 of them.

Then we went to the tree place in front of the church, selling trees to benefit AIDS Orphans in Africa.

The $35 trees looked anemic. So I sent SuperG to the ATM, because my sights were on the $50-$75 trees.

I found one that looked like our cat, Mo, because it was big and fat. We decided if we were dropping $75, we better get our money's worth.

My first inkling of trouble was when they tried to net the tree for transport.

and tried,




So then we loaded said tree up onto the top of the Hulking MiniVan of Death and happily headed home.

I'd like to say in my defense right now that it DID NOT LOOK THAT BIG IN THE WILD.

But when you domesticate a tree like that, sometimes, it just takes over your house:

The view from the couch:

Since it has been raining for 2 days, we are going to let MOAT dry out, and then decorate her this week.

The house smells lovely, but I think I'm going to need more lights..........

~~~~ I've been asked why we put the tree in the middle of the room. It is not, in point of fact, PUT in the middle of the room, the branches bend a bit at the wall and into the window. The tree just FLOWS INTO the middle of the room. I secretly wonder if we wake up in the morning, will it have continued to grow, thus putting us up in the sky with the Giant, the singing Harp and the Goose that laid the Golden Eggs?~~~

Saturday, December 1, 2007

New Belly, New life

Well Monday 11/26 was the big day. I now have had drastic bariatric surgery, and I don't regret anything, so far.

Sunday was hard, I was all ready and willing and able to go except that the in-laws were not here, and not here, and not here. They were sucked into the morass that was the Dayton I-70 I-75 interchange.

This interchange has been under construction since I moved to Ohio, in 2000. Seven years later you still spend your time in one lane of traffic, jammed between semis and waiting. And waiting.....and keeping other people waiting. Like the 6 year old who runs to the window every 3.5 minutes "are they here yet? When are they going to get here?"

I spent the entire day all jumpy and ready to roll. But not until 3 hours after the in-laws showed up did we FINALLY get moving, in the dark, cold, rainy night.

Two and a half hours up to Bowling Green we went. My first moment of rage came when, on Highway 23 around Lewis Center, some idiot decides to come to a COMPLETLE stop in the right hand land, before taking a 90 degree turn into the right hand turn lane. Yes, Yes, I enjoy going from 60-to-zero in an instant, especially on a cold, darky rainy night. ARGH! Assholes!

But not to be outdone, I believe once we got onto Highway 15, some old fart pulled out onto the highway, which is permitted, but a scant 20 feet in front of me. So I slam on the brakes and the horn, skid a bit, as he crosses in front of me, in the right lane, then into the left lane, and then back in front of me into the right lane, top speed: 32 mph. What was my speed prior to this moment of slow speed psychosis? 75 mph.

I was so pissed, it was all I could do to stop the car, get my baseball bat, walk up to Speedy Gonzales and show him how we handle DITWADS in Columbus.....

But we got to Bowling Green, alive and in one piece. I had reserved us a room at the Days Inn, one of the very few choices I had in the Greater Bowling Green Metroplex.

I reserved a King, Non-Smoking Jacuzzi Suite.

We got a King, Smoking John Waters Special.

Threadbare carpeting that didn't quite meet up in all places. Extravagant Liberace type cut glass mirrors surrounded the Jacuzzi, with the grout job done by Romper Room.

The microwave had DIALS on it. We didn't open the fridge. The room heater had no temp control, only on, low fan, mediums fan, breath of Satan settings. But it was a Searsometer, so I'm sure that meant something good (in 1972). The bed was so springy it needed shock absorbers.

But the most was the bathroom. Screaming yellow tile, floor to ceiling. Lemon meringue Pie Yellow, Big Bird Yellow, more yellow than my grandmother's 1976 Mercury Cougar. YELLOW! Even with the lights out, the yellow glow from the bathroom kept me awake for hours.

Oh yeah, and the jacuzzi only worked for 5 minutes.

Long after Super G fell asleep, about 2 seconds after his head hit the pillow, I laid awake wondering if this was a harbinger of the day to come.

The next morning we were both up bright and early, because I forgot the ride to the hospital was 5 minutes, not 45.

Checked in, had some bloodwork done, went upstairs. They made me put on these leggings made out of sheets, the only way I can describe it. And the requisite 3 pokes before finally getting an IV.

I woke up in the OR with the breathing tube still inserted, yeah that was a whole lot of no fun. I was loaded up with fentanyl and dilaudid, and eventually spirited off to my room. A nurse later told me that all Dr. Lane's patients get private rooms unless the hospital was completely crowded. So I had the room all to myself.

I was visited by two patients of Dr. Lane's who will be having surgery in December. Never met them in person, but why not meet someone for the first time when you're 8 hours post op? It was a great thrill ride........

Until the vomiting started. I had been given zofran, but for some reason, that doesn't do jack for me. I asked the nurse if I could have phenergan, she said that I could not because it was a dangerous drug and caused one of her patients a Deep Vein Thrombosis recently. I vomited all night long.

At shift change I talked to the new nurse about it. Turns out night nurse never called the Doctor, and the patient she was referring to got a DVT because she pushed phenergan through a bad IV. A short time later, I got my phenergan, which in actuality is a harsh drug, I slept for the rest of the day, but didn't vomit again.

I survived the upper GI and went home on Wednesday night, with a drain tube.

My drain stopped draining on Thursday.



Why would I drag around a tube hanging out of my body that is no longer functioning for an entire week?

I went upstairs, snipped out the suture and pulled out the drain myself. I don't see what the big deal is but apparently, people don't normally do this type of thing. I figure you, you pull out boogers, tampons, babies, why not a drain tube?

Still haven't figured out what I'm going to say to the Dr next week when I come in without my little friend.

I have good days and bad days, yesterday I was really hungry, but today I had some Campbells Select Creamy Tomato Parmesean soup, and it was heavy enough to make me feel full for the first time. I'm not supposed to start full liquids until Monday, but I'm not very compliant about some things, see the drain tube above.

So other than antsy to drop pounds (I gained nearly 10 with the IV fluids in the hospital) I feel normal.

and so I must start working for the day.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Bambi, this is why your mamma done died......

Deer are stupid. I've yet to see a smart one. They're like giant 500 pound moths drawn to my headlights.

I was on my way in to work this morning, at 5:30 am, cruising along the country roads, going about 50, when I saw in the ditch, a buck grazing.

So I slowed down considerably, but he seemed to not notice me, until, of course, I was right up on him, and then suddenly he headed to the road.

So I slam on the brakes, steer to the other side of the road and brace for impact. I also screamed "Oh SHIT!" but fortunately, I did not actually DO that.

The ABS kicked in and I found myself at a stop, nearly touching Bambi's imbecile cousin.....Dumbi?

He looked at me, I looked at him. His big dark eyes were staring into my headlights, glazed by some secret voice that calls only to deer that truly, madly, deeply want to commit suicide.

Then he blinked, and slowly walked back to the ditch and continued his grazing.

Dear Central Ohio Hunters: Please hunt down and kill this stupid sonofabitch. No one deserves to have their day started like this. He's a menace to the gene pool and needs to be eliminated, post haste. He had a nice rack on him, he's ready to be steaks. Thanks so much!

This begins the second week of no solid foods. I'm having a hard time of it now that I have to serve food to the kids. Today, I sucked the juice out of polish sausages, and took one of Buddy's chicken nuggets, chewed it up into a fine past then spit it out. This sucks! And making Thanksgiving dinner, when I can't eat any of it (except maybe drink the gravy) is cruel at best.

I understand the reasoning behind the full liquid diet, but give me an appetite suppressant, or dope me up or something. I'm not in a good mood when I'm STARVING, and I'm STARVING right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday Doldrums......

With all this blessed time on my hands, I'm like an Israelite wandering in the desert. I have "things" I should do, but not some huge pressing list of things I HAVE TO DO RIGHT NOW.

I guess when I'm under stress, I get stuff done, but when left in quiet solitude, I just sit here. And surf the interweb.

So I've not cheated at all on my pre-op liquid diet. This is good, because there is a half a pan of lasagna in the fridge from Saturday. Now that Bug has decided (after I cooked it) that she no longer likes lasagna, it sits there. I've not eaten any of it.

Instead, I use the Quisinart and pulverize Campbell's soups. The taste is okay, but it is horrible to look at.

It seems that Buddy is my muse. With him not here, I've got nothing to blog about. It is so quiet and lonely.

In 10 days I'm having having the first stage of a Duodenal Switch done, it is called a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. Roughly 80 to 90% of your stomach is removed. This restricts your eating, for sure, and also removed the majority of ghrelin production, which is the hormone that stimulates hunger. I've been hanging out on some message boards and finding that people are losing 80- 90% of their excess body weight within the first year. I'm liking those odds.

Things I'd like to do when I'm at a more healthy weight:

Swing on the swings with my kids, on our swingset.
Go for walks and not get winded.
Feel more confident to go out to gatherings and to places with my family and friends.
Be a better wife, because I will like myself so much more.
Feel attractive again.
Shop at Victoria's Secret (this may be a long way off)

There, that is my wish list. We'll see how I do. I got one of those weight ticker things for my signature on a forum I post to. I entered my high weight and my current weight, and discovered that I have lost 39 pounds since June! WOW, what a great headstart.

So there, the most boring blog post of the year. Since it's mid morning, I guess I'll go grind up some soup and then take a shower.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

So it is Wednesday night....

Buddy and Super G went back to the Nebraska for Orpha's funeral. I'm here....alone....with Bug.

Monday night went like this:

Me: "So, whaddya wanna do?"

Bug: "Umm, I dunno, whadda YOU wanna do?"

Me: "Uh, I dunno."

and on and on and on.

Then, last night, I put her in the tub and let her play until she was cold. She came wandering into my room, dripping, as I was folding clothes and watching Law & Order: Criminal Intent reruns on USA.

She was getting into it, so I'm explaining that this chick got this guy to kill some cops and some bad guys, and they stole the bad guys' money and now the cops and the bad guys want to get them.

Then I realized that perhaps this was a bit too mature for her.

Too late, because her little eyes had settled upon a slender Vincent D'Onofrio. And thus, my daughter has her own, personal, Paul Sorvino. When it was over, she walked to her room, turned to me and said, "if a show like that comes on again, let me know, okay?"

Yeah, I'll be right on that.

Today, the UPS guy made a delivery to our home. Jessi, the Australian Shepherd, HATES the UPS truck. She knows the sound of the engine and will start barking before it is even on the block.

So I waited until it was at the corner, then opened the door to get my box. She shot out the door, knocking me to the ground and chased the truck down the street and around the block! And not only that, she was biting at the tires! WTF? She can't take on something more her size, like the mail truck. It has to be the biggest thing to come rolling into the neighborhood. Anyway, the foster basset, Banjo, took off too. So I went and got my shoes on and the leash, went walking in their general direction, calling their names sweetly, and making threats under my breath.

The power of the leash never ceases to amaze me. Here Banjo is, all free to run and sniff out a whole new world of sniffs (he hadn't yet discovered the gibbon sanctuary across the street), then I hold up the leash and say "wanna go for a walk?" He comes running, with this goofy, happy look on his face. Why won't my children do the same thing? Not fair at all.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Explaining Death to a Six year old

So Super G broke the news to Bug that Grandma Orpha had died.

Bug: She's died?

SG: Yes, last night.

Bug: You mean somebody shot her and she's dead?

ummmmm no, not quite like that.

Goodbye to a matriarch

The first time I met SuperG's grandma, Orpha, I was so terrified. From what I had heard, she was a woman who commanded respect, who was quiet and gentle, but she was the matriarch of this clan that I had come to know and love.

I walked into her tidy duplex, and felt the pang of nostalgia. Everything was neat, every item placed Just So, and most everything was just as it was in 1977, still in mint condition.

We exchanged pleasantries, I felt a bit awkward, almost like meeting the Queen Mum, I wondered if I should bow.

Then she looked at me, square in the eye.

"What church to you attend?"

I smiled politely and said "Oh, I'm a Lutheran."

She inhaled deeply, sitting up stiff straight, folded her hands and looked away.

"Oh, We don't speak to Lutherans"

I froze in terror, what had I done? Should I have lied and professed my undying devotion to the Presbyterians?

Then I saw this every so slight, wry smile on her lips. She had pulled one over one me, and I passed with flying colors.

Even though I ended up bringing her grandson into the Lutheran collective, I think she still liked me.

On November 10, 2007, just 3 weeks after her 100th birthday, Orpha passed away. Perhaps it was a tribute, but the Huskers finally won a game, and won big, on the same day.

Rest in Peace, great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, wife and friend. For what it is worth, I believe they do let Presbyterians into Heaven ;-)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Buddy and the Enchanted Hose

Men and their penises. Why, oh WHY did God give them their own toys to take with them wherever they go?

Women do not play with their breasts just to have something to do with their hands. What it is about guys?

Buddy prefers to be naked. I encourage clothing choices, he prefers clothing optional. During one of his au naturel moments, he wanders into my office.

"Hey mommy! Check this out, see what I can do!"

He grabs his penis. Then he pulled the skin over the tip and pinched "First you cover it up, and then you push it in"


"And then you let go and *pop* it jumps back out!" He giggles like a maniac, and proceeds to do this horrible thing three or four more times.

Now, I can handle poop, pee, blood and major surgery. I cannot handle this.

WWWWHHHYYYYYYYY would anyone want to do this? What is the thrill? What is the purpose?

Then today, he tells me how he's going to eat and eat and eat and eat until his butt is "this big" (arms stretched out wide)

Why are you going to do that,my son?

He smiles at me, "because then I can poooooooooop a big pooooooop," his hands come together in front of his chest, as if he's cradling a glass ball " and then it will get small and I'll have the perfect butt, right there"

The perfect butt with the Enchanted disappearing hose. The kid is destined for Disney.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Detrius from the Demented

So, it has been a while. I've been a little busy....

Okay, very busy. Halloween came and went. The candy is all gone, but the costumes are still in a heap on the living room end table. Super G was kind enough to gather the accessories and put them in a bag on top of the costume heap on the living room end table.

I feel that February will be a good time to hang them up.

See this box of tampons? Isn't it cool? Don't you love the ever-so-subtle symbolism in the RED flower? Doesn't it make you just feel FRESH and FEMININE buying a box of wadded cotton pellets because there is a RED poppy on the front? Do you think that perhaps they chose a RED poppy because, really, all women who are menstrual not only need the wadded cotton pellets, but also the heroin that is made from those poppies?

Perhaps the good people at Kotex didn't have any of this in mind. Instead they put that RED poppy on the box to attract my son. This is at least the third time in his life where we've gotten into an all out melt down over the fact that:

  • We do NOT need to put that box in the cart.
  • We don't USE that brand, or any tampons at all.
  • HE will never have use for them, ever.
  • The box does not have flowers in it.
So anyway, I now have a big beef with two corporations, Kotex, for putting that stupid RED flower on a box of plugs, and WalMart for putting the crotch products right next to the Cat Food. What, pray tell, was their message in THAT particular product display?

Brutus, the foster basset, went to his forever home on Sunday 11/4. That was hard, I stayed home and worked, SuperG took the kids and delivered him. He was a sweetie, not too quick on the uptake, but a real good lug.

The puppy we took in 10 days ago immediately lost herself, forgot all she learned and terrorized our family with chewing, yipping and whining. So we brought another dog in for her to play with. He's been here 12 hours now and I like him. He's very low key and sedate, has a weird face, not all long and bassety, short ears for his kind.

My house is a mess. Tomorrow (Thursday) I go to Bowling Green for my final appointment before the next surgery on 11/26. I'm nervous and scared, but looking forward to the trip.... 3 hours up and back, in the car, all by myself. So I'll be cleaning like crazy today (or not)

And to that end, must go give the kids breakfast and get the girl ready for school.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Missile Sharks

You're the first to read about it, the worst ecosystem invasion ever to be discovered by a three year old in modern history.

IT is the invasion of the missile sharks
. Laugh if you must, but Buddy will tell you in no uncertain terms that they will come flying up out of the ocean, crash right through the window of the Hulking MiniVan of Death, and eat his brain.

Missile Sharks LOVE tender young brain.

Oh, you say, there is NO OCEAN in central Ohio. You would be wrong. There are micro oceans all over the place in Ohio and parts of Pennsylvania. I can attest to this. Back in Nebraska, when we went for aesthetics in our subdivison planning, we planted, or left, lots of things like TREES and green space. HERE, they dig holes and fill them with weirdly blue water, and fountains int he middle of these weird blue ponds. If the ponds don't look like cough syrup, then they are nasty green, filled with algae and goose poop. The "ocean" in our subdivision is part of the latter, and when Jessi the Aussie goes for a dip, all her white parts come home green. eeeeeewwwwwwwwww

Anyway, if you are driving along and you feel a thump against your car, and suddenly your three year old is slumped over drooling, don't say I didn't warn you about the missile sharks.


Friday Bug didn't have school. Dear Lord, WHY do they do this crap to me? Couldn't they have had the decency to consult me about my surgical schedule BEFORE they went and did something stupid like that? ARGH

Buddy has been begging to go to COSI every day for two months. I relented, invited one of Bug's friends and off we went. Me, 4 kids and COSI. Yeah, but remember I'm one week out from having a vital organ severed and partially removed. I seemed to have forgotten.

I paid the price today. SuperG went back to Nebraska to try and help the Huskers win a game (no such luck) and wish his Grandma a happy 100th birthday. I'm all alone with two kids.......

Bug had a skating party for 3 hours, when she got home, I told them I was taking a nap, and my sweet babies let me sleep for nearly 3 hours. How cool is that?

Only when I awoke, they decided that while I was sleeping, the best thing to do would be to paint Bug's body with acrylic paint. She of course blamed it all on the 3 year old, yet somehow I heard not one whimper of protest from her.

And, I knew it was too quiet, which is why I got up to go see. When I say they let me nap, they let me stay horizontal, sleep was not always allowed. they would stand next to the bed, or on the bed, and tell me about their cool ideas, or come give me kisses, or rat each other out, whatever, horizontal is half the battle.

Now they're both asleep. I actually got to eat dinner (mmmmm fish sticks) and blog in peace.

Now who could ask for a better day?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Welcome to Mommy's Freak Show

More times than I can count today, little voices are heard from around my midsection, and tiny hands lift my shirt.

"Mommy? I can I see your tummy?"

"Mommy, is that blood?"

"Mommy, can I see the hole?"

Mommy, did it hurt when they stapled your tummy?"

My children are endlessly fascinated with my surgical scars, or as I prefer to call them, my Roadmap of One Really Bad Day.

All day long, we have counted the surgical staples, (18), confirmed that they are NOT the same as the kind in the stapler in my office. We talked about the hole left by the drain tube.
No, we cannot put anything into that hole. Yes, it hurts now. No, it didn't hurt when they did it, I was asleep.

On and on and on. I've always known that chicks dig scars, but I had no clue that kids dig them too. Perhaps, one day, I'll get a tattoo covering the big one, maybe some colorful worm wrapped around a green stem, which would be the long scar. Who knows. I'm open to suggestions.


Today Super G was the man. After he got home from church, he mowed the lawn, and let the kids help him out, both of them. They actually each mowed a few rows, so I know Super G's day got a little easier.
Soon....soon they will do my bidding ..... I could hear it in his head.....

Notice the dog laying in the middle of the street. Yup, she's ours.

Then I came inside for my 2387th catnap of the weekend. I would lay in the recliner, and drift off just to the point of incorporating the background noises into my dreams, when someone would wake me up.

I was summoned to get the camera.

I opened the garage door and there was Super G, with the SuperGMobile up on ramps (which I knew about because I helped guide him) and Bug, yes Princess Bug, up under the car, draining the dirty oil. Then later I captured her putting the fresh oil in. And later, as SG steered the Hulking MiniVan of Death onto the ramps, Bug jumped up out of her seat and said "Let's get this thing going" I would post the videos, but I have to upload to YouTube first then embed it here, which is too much like work right now.

Then they came inside, ate dinner, took a shower, got in their jammies and eventually went to bed.

What a great day.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Back from the Abyss


on 10/11/2007 I had 40% of my left kidney removed. I had been having pain off and on for two years since they had to go in, twice, to remove staghorn calculi in that kidney.

I would like to just say "I told you I was hurting" right now. The surgeon said the kidney was a mess, and he had to fight through a lot of scar tissue to repair and reconstruct the portion of kidney that he saved.

Kidney surgeries are awful. Awful. My c-section was easier to deal with than this. The incision from this laparascopic procedure was longer than the one for my open appendectomy. I am still in quite a bit of pain.

Everyone, be kind to your kidneys. And if you are a person who has ever thrown and landed a kidney punch to someone else, you're an asshole.

I've never dealt with this particular hospital before, Riverside Methodist, and I hope to never have to deal with them again.

Not once, not once, in my entire stay, did anyone ask to see my insurance card or my photo I.D., just verify my name and date of birth. Hmmmm, this rubbed me the wrong way.

Then the first night, I got Mrs Tired-and-Jaded Charge Nurse. They set me up in my room (which was private for some reason) and left me with the door closed....except that my call light didn't work. I didn't find this out until my IV infiltrated (Blew) and my arm began to burn and look pregnant. I called out for help, bashed the call light a million times, then finally called Super G, who called the nurses' station and they finally sent someone in. I was on complete bedrest, and could not get up even if I wanted to.

Then they were unable to get a new on started on me, so they called the IV team, and they took TWO hours to get up to me. At the time my IV infiltrated, I was due for pain meds. I had a drain placed right up against my diaphragm, which was horribly painful with every breath. By the time she got me up and running, I was gasping for breath and crying. I was literally paralyzed with pain. I have never felt so horrid before. I just lay there in the bed, my arms bent out, my mouth open and contorted and completely unable to move. The nurse was in tears with me.

The next day was more of the same pain. Mostly a blur. A friend came to visit, which was nice, and Super G brought Buddy up to see me in the day. Then he brought Bug and Buddy back up at night.

Kids never want to see their parents in the hospital, they only want to go play in the play areas down in the lobby. And eat the cookies left over from mommy's dinner.

And so today they pulled out that drain tube (yet another paralyzing moment) and sent me home. I'm doing better and better, but can't lift Buddy, which he doesn't understand. I was able to give Bug a bath, but then I had to lay down for an hour afterward.

Super G even went to Panera and got me some Broccoli Cheese soup. It took me 2 hours, but I ate it all :-)

So for those who were worried, I'm home, I'm alive and as soon as I've healed up from the surgery, I am looking forward to living pain free......

The prospect of that seems so incomprehensible after what I've gone through in the last 2 years, and it is so enticing too.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Why, oh why, do they fight?

I was an only child. For many blessed years I was it in my world. I was a lonely, but good child and life was serene.

Then Hightower and Rita got divorced. They remarried, and suddenly I had three step brothers and a step sister. I got along fairly well with them, since they didn't really live with us, I still maintained my only child status on the weekdays.

So when Buddy came along, I naturally figured that the kids would play together and life would be good. No, I was not on drugs then. But I am now, and I still can't get that sugar coated turd out of my head.

They fight and scream and push and shove and hit and slap and bite and throw things and then it always comes down to "MOMMMMYYYYYYYYY". In fact, that very thing is happening now.

Right now.

I'm ignoring it. I am not the sibling police, I do not patrol the bedrooms looking for strife. They're both pissing me off right now, so I'm hiding in my office. They know that I've got a wicked cold, and they think I'm trying to sleep, which is why they are bickering and fighting. I have no voice, so I can't yell very loud, but boy, I can squeak like a ferocious mouse, The Mouse that Roared, if you will. The last time I squeak-o-roared at them, I think I ruptured something, my ear crackled, and I tasted blood. Couple this with the bad cough, the Achilles tendinitis, my newly diagnosed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, the near constant kidney pain (because I'm weaning off the Duragesic patches AND the OxyContin.... I aren't too smart, huh?) and you can see why they are kickin' me when I'm down.

I can't yell.

I can't get to the room fast enough to pull them apart before the slapping/pinching/biting/kicking starts.

I usually end up sputtering over my words because I'm trying NOT to drop f-bombs, but I'm cranky from the withdrawals and if I spew out what I want.....her room will be a parking lot of profanity.

But I'll show them. Ha ha ha! The next time they get into it, and bring their standoff to me, I'll just start whining, and then I'll cry, and then throwing myself on the ground and sob....just like them....

Just heard:

This is my computer and my room! I'm telling Mommy.


I'm telling Mommy!


ahhhhhh, must prepare the tears, I heard a thud and a crash, more "no" and some slapping.

now someone is hurt.

suppose I should go up there.

nah, he came down here.

He tried to leap from the arm of the computer chair to the bed, about 4 feet, he didn't make it.

Now he's back up there and they are the best of friends. Why do siblings have such schizophrenic relationships?

Five more days until I lose part of my kidney. Talking to Bug about it the other night, she said to me:

"I hope they don't kill you. Well, good night Mommy"

Yeah, I hope they don't kill me, either, kiddo. That would suck.

Friday, October 5, 2007

I love this so much

I have this sick affinity for Basset Hounds. Slobbering, chewing, drooping, drooling, goofy love sponges.

There is a place called House of Puddles, where old Basset Hounds go to live out their lives in dignity. If this works, you'll see a video here, and understand my day. Replace the dogs with one basset, and two kids, and she is me......

The Chinese Lead Conspiracy

I'm sure others have thought of it. But I'm voicing it here, because millions upon millions of people look at my blog every day. People throughout the galaxy depend on my words of wisdom to get through their pathetic little lives.

*ahem* thanks for reading, dear're the best.

So several months ago a toy recall happened that shook our world to the core. Thomas and Friends Wooden Railway toys! Buddy sleeps with his wooden trains. Seriously. I'll find him in his bed all snuggled up next to James and his tender, or Thomas with Annie and Clarabelle, and little wheel prints on his cheeks. It is so adorable.

Buddy is a trainiac, I am his enabler. It is just so CUTE! I love to watch him push his trains all over his little wooden tracks, and when the train table harshes his mellow, he breaks out and makes his entire room his little own Island of Sodor. WOOO WOOOO

So when I had to dig through all his stuff to see what was recalled, I was less than happy. In fact, you could almost count me among the more severely pissed off moms on the planet. Several engines had been eaten by PeeCircles, and replaced. Those were recalled. I immediately took away James and a few other ones, sent them in for replacement. You want to know sadness? Have a three year old running through the house calling "James, Jaaaaaaammmeessss, where are you? I miss you!!!!" breaks your heart PDQ.

So I think about this some more, as more and more toys have been recalled for lead paint dangers, and it dawns on me.....this is no mistake people!!!!!

Think about it: If you want to overtake a country, if you want to dominate a society which lives far enough away from you that, logistically, it would be a massive undertaking, wouldn't you find a way to come in under the radar?

So if you want to bring down a society, first try it out on their pets. Contaminate their pet foods and see how long it takes them to catch on......

Then contaminate paint on toys.....for years. Brain damage....learning disabilities....behavioral issues.....death.

Hmmm, either it's gross negligence, or something more nefarious. What is a mom to do? Not only did PeeCircles get contaminated pet food, he also ate two toys painted with contaminated paint. That poor dog, no wonder he went off the deep end. Not sure what my dog did to piss off the Powers-that-Be in Beijing, but I'm sure it didn't warrant them plundering his urinary tract and then going after what little brain he had.

So my solution? Don't buy anything foreign made. Go "off paper". I'm constantly threatening Super G with this concept. Burn all our identifying documents, get a cart, a horse and a Coleman three room tent. Go up into the hills and live off the land. Learn to whittle and make Buddy his own trains. Hunt, gather and cook over an open fire. No phone, no lights, no motor car, just us and each other.

But then I'd have to homeschool......and the fantasy ends, abruptly.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Swedish Sperm Donors, Unite!!!


My better half informed me tonight that the US is in short supply of sperm donors from Scandinavian countries. I guess there is a high demand for blonde haired, blue eyed Nordic looking babies, everyone wants that lutefisk look I guess.

BUT, according to ( ), the FDA banned any sperm donations from countries that have had Mad Cow Disease infections.


Super G was sure to start into a long diatribe about how the government needs to not regulate everything in our lives, we don't needs rules and regulations placed on our most sacred of bodily fluids.....

But I was thinking of calling my dad (Hightower) and his brothers (Evinrude and Leon) with the great news! With this Swedish Sperm Embargo going on, they've got a veritable gold mine in their pants!

Do you hear me guys? The tools of capitalism no longer need to be oiled with your blood! Throw off the shackles of the 9-5 world, this is your retirement handed to you in a sterile specimen cup!

Hightower works best with "Honey-Do" this will get you started.

1) If the boys have been snipped, reconnect 'em.

2) Get rid of the Tighty-Whities. You must wear boxers, or go Commando, to protect your machinery.

3) Renew your Playboy subscription, and chuck the reading glasses, you won't need to read the articles.

4) The bathroom is now your office, get the cushy seat with the optional recliner function.

5) Get a wrist brace. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can ruin your retirement dreams.

If you feel uncomfortable with this, try to remember: Everybody does it; you can't grow hair on your you really think it will grow on your palms?; even if it is a sin, none of us are Catholic, so you're off the hook.

For once, government intrusion into the lives of private citizens has proven to be a Godsend.

Should I see you around the holidays, you can thank me for your retirement dreams then, but don't be offended if I don't shake your hand.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

To my Uncle Evinrude: What the Hell were you thinking?

I have an uncle, Evinrude. Former Marine, quiet guy, very dry wit, the kind of guy that you respect. The kind of guy that you listen to, and trust. He is the reason I re-started this blog. Every time I'd send him an e-mail detailing the antics of the children, or my life, he would tell me that I should write a book. I don't like deadlines, and I don't think I'm that good, so a blog is the next best thing.

Evinrude does not have Terminal Forward Syndrome, like some of my family members. When he forwards things to me, it is usually a genuinely funny joke, or some essay that fits into our familial evil Rethuglican political agenda. Yesterday I get an email from him regarding Vicks brand Vapo-Rub. The contents are as follows:

WOW! I was raised, and raised my kids with Vicks. How come I
never knew this? I can't wait for my next cough. Amazing! READ IT
ALL. It works 100 percent of the time, although the scientists at the
Canada Research council (who discovered it) aren't sure why. To stop
nighttime coughing in a child (or an adult, as we found out personally),
put Vicks Vapor Rub generously on the bottom of the feet at bedtime
and then cover with socks.
Even persistent, heavy, deep coughing will stop in about five minutes
and stay stopped for many, many hours of relief. This works 100
percent of the time and is more effective in children than even very
strong prescription cough medicines. In addition it is extremely
soothing and comforting and they will sleep soundly. I heard the head
of the Canada Research Council describe these findings on the part of
their scientists when they were investigating the effectiveness and usage
of prescription cough medicines in children as compared to alternative
therapies like acupressure. I just happened to tune in to a.m. Radio and
picked up this guy talking about why cough medicines in kids often do
more harm than good due to the chemical makeup of these strong drugs, so
I listened. It was a surprising finding and found to be more effective
than prescribed medicines for children at bedtime and in addition to have
a soothing and calming effect on sick children who then went on to sleep
soundly. My wife tried it on herself when she had a very deep constant
and persistent cough a few weeks ago and it worked 100 percent! She said
it felt like a warm blanket had enveloped her. The coughing stopped in a
few minutes, and believe me, this was a deep (incredibly annoying!),
every few seconds, uncontrollable cough, and she slept cough-free for
hours every night she used it. If you have grandchildren, pass it on.
If you end up sick, try it yourself and you will be absolutely amazed
by the effect.
Foolishly, I thought this might actually be a good idea. I mean, after all, Uncle Evinrude forwarded it to me and other family members, it might have some validity to it.......

So I went searching for Vapo-Rub after the bath last night. Alas, we had none in the house. I remember throwing some out quite a while ago, but could not remember why. We did have some "baby friendly" vapo-creme type stuff that was pretty mild. It has been in the closet since Bug was a baby. I figure it has either become inert or omnipotent, being so far gone from the expiration date.

Buddy was already asleep, the miracle of complete exhaustion coupled with the "wait here in your bed, under the warm covers and I will be right back" bedtime ruse. Two nights in a row I didn't have to deal with him following me to bed at 11pm.

So I read
Junie B. Jones and the Stupid, Smelly Bus, the entire book, to her Miss Bugabooness. She started to cough and I pounced with my new bio-weapon!

"Let me rub some lotion on your feet, it will make your cough go away"

She stared at me with suspicion. "My feet aren't coughing"

"No, but if you put this lotion on your feet, it is supposed to make you feel better and keep you from coughing"

"But my feet aren't coughing Mommy."

Now I'm getting frustrated. " Feet can't cough. But I read somewhere that if you put this special lotion on your feet, it will help your coughing so you can sleep through the night. You put put socks on after you put on the lotion and then it works all night long"

She looked at me again. "You shouldn't believe everything that you read." And she pulled her feet up under her blanket, daring me to attempt my voodoo medicine.

Then I really thought about it. How many years of my life did my mother smear that glop all over my chest, neck and under my nose? How many times did it actually work? Yeah, I never liked having my chest smeared with flaming ice cubes then, why would I consider smearing my daughter's feet with it now?

And then I thought some more about it. Why would I believe everything I read, just because Uncle Evinrude sent it to me? What if he owns stock in Vicks, and is trying to make a killing on something? What if he finally started some wacked out menthol worshiping cult and decided to see how many of us would torture our kids, just because HE suggested it to us? Everyone is so worried about cults that make you drink the Kool-Aid, and here he is commanding us to Slather the Feet. Does he smear his feet with Vapo-Rub? Do I want to know about it if he did?

Then I re-read the e-mail. The "author" has not tried it himself.....can I trust his wife to be honest? And this was "discovered" by some Canadian doctors. CANADIANS?!??!?! They have socialized medicine. This is totally a ruse that they put out there when there are no more antibiotics and other medicines until the start of the new year.

So, I did not smear my children with any type of vapor acting lotion. And their coughs have improved nonetheless. The left wing pinko commie socialized Canadian medicine attempt to overtake American youth has been thwarted on my watch, you can thank me now. And if it wasn't a nefarious Canadian plot, then I need not worry much about falling under the Cult of Evinrude's foot fetish spell, my children's feet are safe and encrusted with dirt, dog hair and toe they should be.

Just goes to show, don't believe everything you read, even if your cool Uncle Evinrude sends it to you.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Homework, and why it should be banned

Once, a long, long time ago, in a land far, far away, I went to college. I wanted to be a teacher, I studied hard and got good grades. I went to my field experience and fell asleep just like the students. I was a total True Believer, I knew that I would be a wonderful teacher.

Then I moved to Ohio.

And had children.

And enrolled one in elementary school. I realized that I had neither the creativity, nor the patience, to teach children. And when the homework came, I KNEW that I would have been the suckiest teacher that ever sucked.

Bug and I don't always get along. I love her, and she loves me, but if I dare try to teach her anything, I might as well be grinding my head into a cheese grater.

Today was a bad kidney day. I tried to lay down and rest as best I could, but as soon as I started to drift off, in that strange twilight of sleep that has your body feeling heavy and your mind slightly disoriented, Buddy would come wake me up. I tried to get him to nap with me, but he kept waking me up as I started to drift into blissful sleep. Then he said he wanted to play with his trains, fine, whatever, just let mommy rest!!!!!

nd so it came to be that Buddy was walking into my room every 3.5 minutes to wake me up. I got no rest.

I tried to work off and on, but it was just impossible. When SuperG got home, he put Buddy to bed (in his own bed.... I bet he still feels all cool and smug about it...(.hey pal, we all perform miracles from time to time....) He gave Bug her bath. Then I went to take my work back and ran to the store to buy snacks, as they both had snack duty at their schools coming up. I was gone for maybe 40 minutes. He was finishing up reading "The Lorax" to her when I got home.

They were done with her homework. DONE!!!! HOW did they get done so quickly? SHE WORKED WITH HIM!!! The little turkey! ARGH.

Then when get got done reading, he had a discussion about the book with her in Spanish.


Tuesday, 5pm

So I started this post in the middle of the night, when the Evil Clown could be heard muttering under my bed.

I hate insomnia.

Bug just got off of the bus. She had to "go to the wall" twice today, this is new terminology to me, but I'm assuming it was so she could flip her card to yellow and then to blue, which is not good. However, I started to giggle, because all I could see after I heard "go to the wall" was David Letterman in a velcro suit, sticking to a fuzzy wall. The best stunt ever. Ever.....

The best stunt ever

oh yeah, I still haven't gotten the whole story on why she went to the wall, but it was something about saying mean things to her classmates.

I'm sure that when she was born, they didn't do a good job of getting all the "products of conception" out of my uterus. Her owner's manual has never been found, and I really need it.

off to schedule my annual exam....

Friday, September 21, 2007

Pee Circles Crossed a line......

Last year, around this time, I announced that I wanted a Basset Hound puppy, known in basset lover circles as a "buppy"

We got involved with a rescue organization and came home with Henry, aka Pee Circles. He was about 2 1/2 years old, very wild and crazy, very affectionate and totally what I wanted, 100 % basset, but didn't have the droopy face, drool and a bit on the small side. Chalk it up to the crappy breeding and the crappy puppy mill he came from (according to his microchip....he was a stray)

He was a willful SOB, he ate through every damned electrical cord he could get. He ate the seatbelts out of the back of Super G's SUV. He decapitated so many Barbie dolls that we would salvage the ones that merely lost limbs and got them wheelchairs, prosthetic arms, legs, hands... you name it. Our Boots the Monkey doll from the Dora set became a "helper monkey" and thus my children have a totally new understanding and compassion for the disabled peoples of the world.

He was stubborn, difficult to housebreak and could be grumpy. He snapped at Buddy on more than one occasion. He ruined our carpets, completely.

But he was so loving to me, he loved to get his ears cleaned, and would lay there groaning and moaning with pleasure whenever I cleaned his big floppy ears. When I would have a bad kidney day, he would lay next to me as long as I could lay down, and groan. He had a chair in the office next to mine. He would sleep there while I worked. He would allow Super G to sit there, but everyone else knew, that chair belonged to Henry.

He started to slowly get aggressive with me and the kids.

Tuesday night, he came after my son, completely unprovoked. I threw myself over Buddy, and PeeCircles got me by the hair and pulled out a big chunk. He was snarling and snapping, and angry. It was scary. My Australian Shepherd interceded, I don't know how it would have ended otherwise.

The next day, on girl from the rescue came and took him away. He is in Boot Camp, being kenneled right now. Once she gets some other dogs into foster care, she'll bring him to her house, hopefully she can do some good for him. Maybe our house is too hectic for him. Maybe he needs to be the only dog in a house without kids.
I don't know.

All I know is that I feel horrible that I failed him. And I'm angry at him for behaving like such an asshole.

We are all getting sick here, Bug stayed home from school. Buddy just came in from the backyard, without pants. I was about to ask him why he didn't have pants on, but then Brutus, the foster basset, came prancing in from outside, carrying his Buddy-made prize in his slobbery mouth. He dropped it on the floor, and I began to wretch and ran for a paper towel. Then Buddy starts to yell "Hey! that is my poop! you leave my poop alone!"

As I round the corner to the office, Buddy yells "Mommy! Brutus ate my poop!"

Yup, he sure did, licked the floor too.

So now I'm comforting a boy who is upset that the dog ate the poop he laid out in the yard. I would point out that none of this would have happened if he just used the TOILET, but it's all water under the bridge now......

Welcome to HERE, check your sanity at the door.....before the dog eats it.

Monday, September 17, 2007

We got flooring!!!!!

I'm so very happy!!!

Lumber Liquidators called us, our bamboo floors and laminate arrived on Friday!!!! Woo hoo!!!

So we found sucker to take the kids for a while and headed over there to pick everything up.

When I got the Hulking Minivan of Death, Super G resisted it greatly. Something about Bill Engvall, who we all know is the arbiter of manly greatness, saying that the non-tinted driver side window was a "goober viewing hole". That was his best argument. My best argument was that is was inexpensive, already pre-trashed (so we wouldn't have to worry when the kids would crap it up) and, oh yeah, it was cheap.

So today the old girl has 192,000 miles on her, and when he goes on business trips, which car does he prefer to drive if he's not flying? Yeah, that's right, the one with the goober-viewing-hole.

So we loaded her down so much, we had to removed the load leveler fuse, it just couldn't keep up. All the way home I felt as though I were staring death in the rear end. If I were driving a filled-over-capacity-back-end draggin' minivan, I wouldn't go 75mph and tail gate. It felt as though we were floating, especially when we changed lanes, or hit a bump or something. We traveled the length of 670, and when it was done, I was sobbing, and hyperventilating and ready to jump jump out the window.

He laughed. At one point he commented that it felt like we were floating, and then agreed with me that the front wheels may not be making complete contact with the ground. Then he couldn't figure out why I was nervous.

But we lived. We got home and I changed my pants, then we got to work unloading.

So now we have boxes of wood floors in the house. I'm excited and nervous about how this will go down. All I know is that the carpet and all its smells is leaving. Can't wait to cut it out. and then put up a spy camera to see if anyone comes to take the carpet on trash day!

Friday, September 14, 2007

From Arachnophobia to Arachnodog

The long day gets even longer.......

falling asleep at well after 2am, then lying half-awake from 6am to 7am, I just wanted to go back to bed. But Bug had to get ready for school, do some classwork that she couldn't complete in class, eat breakfast and watch an episode of "Drake and Josh".

Oh yeah, and tell me how I'm the meanest mom in the world and recounting all of my failings thus far in the day. I am SO loved.

In the early afternoon, I was resting and Buddy was in the kitchen watching Spongebob. He starts whining about a big 'fiiiiiieeeeerrrrr" so I ran in looking for fire. Seeing only sunlight, I told him that the sun was shining on him, that is why he was hot.

Then he pointed to IT.

IT was the biggest, hairiest, wolf spider to EVER get into our house. It is cold in the mornings now, so they start coming in. The good for nothing cats won't kill them because they bite and must not taste good. The dogs won't kill them because the dogs are lazy and domesticated.

Buddy yells to me "kill it!"

Now I'm stuck in a conundrum. My baby is begging me to kill this scary thing, but I'm terrified of the scary thing too. My eyes well up with tears, as I pick up a shoe and approached it.

It had big pointy fang things. I backed away with a scream.

"Kill it mommy, you have to save me, kill it!"


I hit it spot on with my shoe and leave it hanging on the wall. slowly its guts pull away and it falls to the floor.

But I am now hiding behind my son, shaking and crying after screaming like a little girl.

"I'm not scared of spiders mommy."

Now, couldn't this announcement have been made BEFORE I had to go near the biggest damn spider in Central Ohio?

"Why didn't YOU kill it then!" I've been betrayed by my baby.

He looks up at me and says so innocently "I'm too little."

Argh! foiled by cute!

But the story does not end there, because, after all I live HERE.

Anyway, I left it on the way was I going near it again. Brutus walks in and sniffs it, but it sticks to the drool on his mouth. And, of course, being the long dust bunny that he is, he's always under my feet. So I start running away from him, crying, and he's bounding after me, dead spider hanging off of his face. I wound up on the kitchen counter, shooing him away.

If this does not seem amusing to you, think of this: Basset Hounds are short dogs, until they stand on their hind legs, then they are very tall. I was standing on my counter, Brutus dangling the dead spider every closer to my feet as I'm screaming and kicking at him. If you've never seen me, think of someone with Rosie O'Donnell's build standing on a counter crying and kicking a slobbery dog with a spider hanging off his snout.

Then Buddy saves my life by dropping a cracker on the floor. Arachnodog senses food for the taking and runs away, dropping the spider corpse back under the table, almost exactly where it fell to the ground after I killed it.

But the story of suburban terror and familial betrayal does not end there. I stagger to my office, and send a frantic e-mail to my husband. This is the reply he sends to me.

OK, I'm going to hell, but I need to 'fess up. I saw that thing this morning, but it scampered under the computer desk before I could kill it. I tried to rattle cables and the other crap down there, but the spider was so very not leaving his warm little hidey-hole.

I thought about telling you, but I decided it would be better not to. I figured if the spider showed his head again, I'd get a phone call ... 8^)
He knows that I listen to enough true crime shows while I work that I know how to kill him, make it look like a natural death, AND get away with it.

You DO NOT leave GigantoSpider both in the home AND alive, knowing that a serious arachnophobe is the only one there to protect the baby. It could have bitten me, I would have swelled up and died, then it would have eaten the boy, the dogs and all our food before moving on to the neighbors. (But he would have spared the cats, no one messes with our cats). Did he not learn ANYTHING from Bill Cosby and the Chicken Heart? Does he just not UNDERSTAND how close the Far East Suburbs came to extinction today?

I have to now go hermetically seal myself in a gas permeable body bag, smear Jello all over the floor and set fire to the couch. There is no way I can sleep tonight knowing that there may be more 8 legged freaks of nature out there, thirsty for blood.


If you do not know about Bill Cosby and the Chicken Heart, a) you've lived under a rock for all of your sad life, and b) go buy his comedy album "Wonderfulness". You will not be disappointed.

A Conspiracy of Pauls

So, I was thinking about this today, and have come to the conclusion that what is happening to my body is not so much a sad turn of events, or perhaps even some would say a tragedy in the making, but rather, a vast medical wing conspiracy.

It came to me this morning in the glorious cleansing ritual that the commoners refer to as a "shower". It is a Conspiracy of Pauls.

Exhibit A: My urologist is Dr. Paul K. He has been to Omaha, he owns a hunk of Warren Buffet's empire, please go to Dairy Queen today and support him.

Exhibit B: My General Practitioner is Dr. Paul G. He has never been to Omaha. He is Italian (I think) and there are lots of good Italian restaurants in Omaha. Watch the Sopranos tonight, think of Dr. G.

Exhibit 3: My favorite actor is Paul Sorvino. He is Italian, he sings Opera, probably likes ice cream, and I don't care if he has been to Omaha or not. Go watch "Goodfellas" tomorrow.

Can you see it?!?!?! It is all here in dark green and dots! Paul K. discovers the pain, Paul G. writes me prescriptions to treat the pain, and Paul S. plays the legitimate businessman who supplies the pharmacy with the drugs that "fell off a truck" to fill my prescription!


It is now that I will advise you of the fact that I inherited the Blanche DuBois gene from my mother's side of the family. Fortunately it is tempered with the Hakuna Matata* gene from my father's side of the family, so the majority of my hysterical rantings and dramatic license are literary.

Dr. K has already talked to a local laparoscopic surgeon at the Kidney Stone Center at Riverside hospital here in Columbus. He has agreed to take my case, and my information is being sent to him, I see him Tuesday.

We leave and take Buddy to school. We are late, and he managed to stop for one picture,

and then I got one more.

He pretty much left me in the dust.

We picked Buddy up at noon, came home. I made him his "first day of school" lunch, PB&J cut in triangles and arranged like NASCAR flags around the bottom of plate, red grapes in the middle and quartered strawberries across the top of the plate. I served this with a glass of "yellow juice" which is, ironically, Orange Juice.

He looks at the plate, and the side of yogurt served with it. "oh Nice!" He thanks me and proceeds to eat a package of Zesta Saltine crackers.

Buddy, don't you want to eat the lunch I made for you?

By now I'm bent over the counter, holding it for support, I literally cannot stand because of the pain.

"nope, it's too pretty"

Never again will I serve aesthetically pleasing food.

I convince him to come upstairs and play with his trains so I can lay down. After about 90 minutes, he is in the bed with me, and we are watching a very entertaining episode of Spongebob Squarepants, when I finally feel the meds winning out over the pain.

We go see Dr. G. I tell him of my Paul Conspiracy Theory. He looks suspiciously at me, and now I know I'm being watched.

He prescribes a Duragesic Patch for me. I put it on when we got home. I began to feel a gradual numbing of the pain a few hours later. It flared up again, but I was able to beat it back with Percocet and rest.

Narcotics do not make me sleepy. I don't get a "high" from them, so I don't understand why people abuse them. I guess if you aren't in pain, you get all euphoric with them, but not me. The Duragesic patch so far is great, except keeping it on. I'll have to find a better place on Sunday when I put the new one on.

Then I tried to go to bed. Normally, this is an exercise in futility. But I felt myself drifting off to a peaceful sleep....and I freaked out. Oh No! I feel floaty and light, I must be having a fentanyl overdose....ack! must consult internet immediately!

Anyway, I got about two hours of sleep in, when I was awakened by a smell. I got dressed and followed my nose to the source.

The bassets looked guilty in their crates. I was sure one of them had an accident.

I let them go potty and investigated the crates. It seems that Mr. Brutus had some really bad gas. So bad that when they came back inside, he immediately ran to bunk with Henry. It must suck to have one of the strongest senses of smell in the animal kingdom.

So I'll leave you with this. Hounds are the most burying type of dog I've ever seen. Give them a rawhide bone, they have to go bury let it ferment or age or something, and then go dig it up a few hours or day later and enjoy it. This must be a useless "throwback" instinct, as they tend "bury" their bones in blankets, clothes baskets, couch cushions, etc.

Monday, Super G cleaned the litter boxes for me.

He found very little cat poo, (all dogs love catbox crunchies) but he did find a rawhide bone.

It is so very weird to live HERE.


* Hakuna Matata is a phrase from the Disney Movie, "The Lion King" which translates to "no worries"

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

When the time comes to part ways.....

And so, it would seem, the lower pole of my left kidney has felt the need to mutiny, by attempting to secede from the rest of the kidney, forming it's own little pool of stagnant urine, allowing little of it to drain out, thus forming a wicked stone with lightning speed and THEN, having the audacity to fight back when they attempted to insert a nephrostomy tube.

Adios, muchacho, you are gettin' your freedom.

Sunday, 9/9/07, I was hit with pain in the left kidney again, as usual. I tried sleeping it luck. I had taken my safe limit of percocet combined with the oxycontin, there was no relief for me. We went to the ER at Mt. Carmel East. I waited in the lobby for three hours, vomiting and writhing in agony. I get to a room, was given maybe half a dose of dilaudid, and was told by the ER Cowboy that ain't no way I was goin' home. I was admitted, against my will. Funny. The week prior we really needed me to be admitted, and no one would do it.

I spent the next day cursing the Cowboy, and dozing through a drug induced haze. Tuesday came, the lackey arrived earlier than expected so I couldn't wash my hair in the sink. He took me to Special Procedures and thus began the experience that keeps me from sleeping tonight.

First, they started prepping the wrong side. I finally pulled aside a nurse and very timidly said...."umm, the stone is in the left kidney"

Flip me around, start drugs through a ragged IV that blew the next morning, and the first puncture began.

They don't anesthetize you, you aren't in the Operating Room. There is a very nice RN whom I remember from the last time they did this two years ago. He is a heavy, heavy smoker. His fingers are stained with nicotine, and the stench of stale smoke is overwhelming. He is a nice man, but still.....

It was 2 1/2 hours later that they gave up. They had been pushing the Fentanyl and Versed into me whenever I would cry out or gasp in pain. A lot of the time I don't remember. But I vividly remember him moving to a place higher on my back, telling me that I would feel a sharp stick. And then he stabbed me. Once the instrument was in, I felt a burning on the surface of my skin, but nothing inside. Until with my next breath, he pushed the probe, or whatever the hell it was, into the kidney. I remember gasping and crying out. I remember the tears burning my eyes, and with blurry vision I saw fingers coming up to the IV in my hand, pressing more meds into me.

This is the moment that won't leave my head. This is why I can't sleep.

Later that afternoon, they attempted to work from both ends, my urologist with a scope in the ureter, up into the kidney, trying to carve out a path for the radiologist. Thankfully, I was under general anesthesia for this.

I woke up in recovery, the first thing I did was feel my side and my heart sank. No nephrostomy tube, no catheter. They were not successful.

My options, go to a highly specialized center, have another percutaneous procedure and hope that they might have better luck navigating the labyrinth of the lower pole of my left kidney, OR just lop off the lower 1/3 of the kidney and call it a day.

So I struggled with it that night. I came home, and worried about it some more. I cleaned my house like a lunatic. I went shopping. I worked myself into some unforgivable pain. And then I made dinner for my kids.

I was cutting chicken and the pain in my side grew stronger. The feel of the knife cutting, the pressure, felt sickening. I vomited in the kitchen sink, and served the uncut yardbird to an ungrateful crew.

And then I knew. I am so afraid of that pain, when I close my eyes, I see my swollen arm laying in front of me, and the yellowed fingers, ripe with smoke, pressing more meds into my system. And the absolute shock of him skewering my kidney. I had basically been precisely stabbed. I can't do it again. No way, no how. There is no way to describe how horrific that moment was. I can't remember much of my two hour stay in that chamber of pain, but I remember that, and it is enough to make up my mind for me.

So tomorrow I go see my doctor, and make arrangements to have him get me with a doctor who can cut off this offending bit of organ via laparoscopy.

Then I'm taking Buddy to his first day of preschool. He is so excited, I am glad that I won't miss his big day after all.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Training Breasts

I often wonder how other parents deal with explaining puberty, body changes and all that to their children. I remember my mom buying me books, one entitled "Period" and then the requisite Judy Blume library.

I do remember feeling embarrassed and weird reading these books, I was around 10 or 11 I think. I told her I wanted to take "Period" to school and she got this panicked look and said "NO!", then got flustered and irritated when I asked why. Thinking back, I probably was trying to exact the panicked and irritated reaction. I got the vibe that I wasn't supposed to talk about this kind of stuff, so I read the books, didn't really understand it all, but was too ashamed and embarrassed to ask for clarification.

Of course, maybe I did ask, and the ensuing conversation was so traumatic that I've blocked it from my memory. I am sure she'll read this and set me straight.

I remember being told by my aunt that my mom stole all the boobs, and that is why hers were so much smaller. I don't ever remember "the talk", or even really talking about puberty and body changed in general with my mom. The topic just seemed so uncomfortable.

So when Bug would ask questions about pregnancy and birth, body parts and how we grow and change, I just answered the questions. Didn't get all scientific, and did my best to act like it was no big deal.

So why I was not ready for what happened at Wal-Mart today is beyond comprehension. We walked into the girls clothing aisle, I was picking up her Brownie sash and stuff, and she yells "Hey mommy, I want to look at these bras!"

uhhhh okay......

Thankfully, Buddy fell asleep on the way to the store, and was sleeping in the cart, so we had time to discuss things and look at the offerings.

She picked up a spangly thing with molded, padded cups, underwires and stars all over it. Since when do training bras have underwires?

I tried to steer her towards the sports bra type sets. And as she looked around for a bra with stars on it (which seems to be a requirement) we chatted about breasts and how they will grow. I told her that right now she had breast buds, and that she doesn't really need more than a training bra.

Somehow she got "bra" and "breasts" mixed up and for the rest of the shopping adventure, she was very excited to have "training breasts". That term is so wrong, on so many levels, and yet so many 16 year old boys know exactly what "training breasts" are.

I convinced her to go with the sports type set and a more bra looking thing with molded "bends" (not really cups). She eagerly put on her new bra when we got home, and can't wait to wear the sporty one to bed tonight.

I can't believe that I'm letting her enter the enslavement so early in her life, but it was easier to agree, and encourage her understanding of the changes to come, than to actually try to pound some sense into her.

She did ask about when her breasts started to grow, if it would hurt. I thought back to my own experience, and lied through my teeth. "oh, it is a little uncomfortable, but not too bad"

So, my 6 year old has training breasts. I have one more gray hair.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Since I've been absent for a week or so....

I have decided to break my posts up by subject.

Today's subject: The Kidney, and how it kills you.

Most people assume that your organs are there to help your body function as a whole. Doctors wax poetic about the mystical symbiosis that exists within the complex structure that is the human body. If your doctor is speaking to you in quatrains, get the hell out of the room now, because he's trying to couch the news that you will soon be in agonizing pain. In fact, when you interview a urologist, you MUST, I repeat MUST, ask him which authors he enjoyed most in his college literature courses. If the names Dante, Melville, Hawthorne, Milton or Stephen King are mentioned at all, stand up, quickly back out of the room, never breaking eye contact, and run for your life. These are the calling cards of a sick and twisted mind. You do not want that mind controlling anything that is going to come into contact with an organ that filters your blood. Trust me.

As each day progressed as we last left me, our heroine, the left kidney continued its reign of terror and inexplicable pain. Kidney pain is unlike any pain I have ever felt before. And each time it hits me, I discover the old tyme religion like I never knew it . Goodbye quiet and introspective Lutheran prayers, this girl has felt the spirit rolling within her, and she does TESTIFY to "oh Lord, Oh God, Oh please, God, help me Jesus!"

Thursday, August 30th came. It was the day I was to be free of the 9 millimeter nemesis that dwells within my left kidney. Free from sudden pain that ruins plans for everyone. Free from pee that looks like raspberry tea. Free from trips to the ER begging for deliverance from snarky know-it-all bitches in scrubs.

When the fourth attempt at an IV insertion resulted in a blown vein and a bruise that swelled up like a golf ball and turned black immediately, I should have known it wasn't going to go well.

I remember the happy gas, the cold operating room, and then I was in recovery. Yes, my pain level is at a 10, oh some fentanyl....thanks babe! Oh more fentanyl. I'll take it. I have a stent in, I can feel it. I can feel my kidney...sure I'll take more fentanyl.....

Super G stayed at the hospital with Buddy while I had the surgery. Buddy tried to capture the goldfish in the tank in the surgery waiting area. He entertained a great many worried and tense people by telling them that mommy's pee pee was getting fixed here, at "mommy's hop-spital"

When they showed up to get me, I got the news. The good Doctor could not get the stone. He was able to not only thread the scope and laser into the kidney and make the 180 degree turn down into the lower pole, but there was a narrowing, or stricture that they had not been able to see on any of my previous scans. He could not grasp the stone, so he filled the kidney with dye, and watched as it slowly, barely, trickled through the stricture. So, not only could the stone not pass, but urine would back up and pool in the lower pole of the kidney, behind this stricture, as it slowly flowed out. This would cause a highly painful condition known as hydronephrosis. This highly painful condition is felt quite often when kidney stones pass, because they block the ureter, or impede the flow of urine, thus causing pain.

We have now figured out that the symptoms I have been feeling on and off for two years with varying degrees of intensity are due to this stricture, and the pressure of the giant stone behind it. So, EVEN THOUGH THE STONE IS "JUST" IN THE KIDNEY AND NOT PASSING, I AM EXPERIENCING PAIN. Hmmmmmm, I wonder where I've been told before that stones ONLY hurt when they pass????

But how do we fix the problem? Ah, I'm such a lucky girl. I was given a choice between attempted murder, and attempted manslaughter! What a deal. I chose to go with attempted murder, take my chances with the jury and hope for an acquittal, versus man 1, with a mandatory 25 to life sentence. (Sorry, just read that Fred Thompson is going to run for President.)

What I mean is I can have yet another Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PNL, or attempted murder) or they could do a partial nephrectomy, removing the lower third of my kidney.

My PNL will be on Tuesday September 11.

And I'd just like to shout out to Dr. Dawn P. who was working the Mt. Carmel St. Ann's ER dept on Saturday August 25th.

You owe me an apology, you smug, conceited, narcissistic Quack.

I was your patient. I came to you with a clear and obvious history of kidney stones, dating back two years. I had information to give you about my current condition that you chose NOT to listen to, because you just knew that stones don't hurt unless they pass. You did not treat me or my situation with respect. The attitude that you, who has never seen or touched me prior to that night, must know more about my current situation than I, who has been living with this for years, caused me to feel guilty for seeking out pain relief. I was there, shaking, vomiting, crying and in distress, in front of my children, and you insinuate that I'm not in that much pain, that I'm just there to get high. For shame. I would appreciate an apology, and that you admit that perhaps you were wrong, but I know that will not be forthcoming.

I do, however, have a pen and paper, and the ability to write. Rest assured, I remember our meeting and your name.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Child Impact Index

Back in the day, when I was getting ready to stand at the bus stop on a cold January morning, I remember hearing on the radio that it was 15 degrees below zero, but the wind chill index put the temp down around 40 below. School was not, however, cancelled. This was Nebraska, if they closed schools because kids had to wait in sub-zero temps, no one would go to school for the entire month of January.

Later on, the meteorology cabal came up with the "Heat Index". This was the actual temperature, combined with the humidity to tell you exactly how miserable you would be. In places like Omaha, when the temperature and the humidity are usually the same astronomical number, this is a cruel joke at best. In Ohio, where the weather is milder, such dire warnings are taken with great seriousness. People in Central Ohio are weather weenies. They have to explain the terms Wind Chill Index and Heat Index as "Real Feel", or how cold/hot you "really feel". If your weatherman has to explain how the weather feels, you don't have anything to complain about.

Today, as I scraped deodorant off of a beloved Thomas the Tank Engine wooden train (new and improved! Painted with 99 % less lead!) I came up with a term to explain a child like Buddy.

The Child Impact Index.

This is a measure of how many children it "feels" like you have, when you are dealing with a particular child.

For example: Bug, for all her hysteria, and drama, probably has a Child Impact Index of 1.5. She's fairly easy and compliant, but chooses her battles over the most inane things. The loss of a baby tooth is so traumatic, it takes two adults to extract a tooth hanging by a bit of gristle, and then four hours minimum of reassurances that she will not bleed to death out of the tooth hole.
But she will believe pretty much anything you tell her, and she is good to her little brother.

Buddy, on the other hand, has a CII of 15. You cannot take your eyes, ears or mind off of that boy for a second, or he's teaching the neighbor kids to pee and poop in the backyard. Or washing the dog with foaming hand soap, drawing on the walls with deodorant, or tonight's great adventure: Chemical warfare.

I was trying to get some work done before the sitter arrived. We had curriculum night at school and since we wanted to actually hear what was going on, we chose to leave the kids at home. As I'm keying my work with great speed (and minimal accuracy) I hear this blood curdling scream from Buddy's room.

I run upstairs and see him walking in the hallway, screaming that the "bubbles" burned his eyes.

Bubbles? Why was he washing his hands....voluntarily.....without assistance?

I take him in the bathroom and turn on the water, I smell his hands, they don't smell soapy, they smell like chemicals.

I try to rinse his eyes at the sink, he continues to scream.

I look into his room and see his train table soaked with fluid and some bubbles. A purple bottle of Carpet Cleaner and a bottle of Downey Wrinkle Releaser are on the floor. Further inspection shows that they are both empty.

There are no first aid directions on the Downey bottle ( they should have some instructions, you know some idiot out there will try to remove their own wrinkles and age lines with it) But the carpet cleaner says to rinse the eyes for FIFTEEN minutes. Are they insane?

So I try putting his head under the bath tub faucet, no luck. Now my pants are wet and the phone is ringing and I have twenty minutes to get to school.

Long story short, he is okay, we got to school on time and we now call him Chemical Buddee.