Thursday, May 31, 2007


I feel like a bad blogger. I haven't been keeping up with this blog like I used to, and the stuff that I do blog about is mostly just nonsense and blabber. A lot of the folks that I regularly read haven't been blogging as much lately, either. I'm wondering if maybe the big blog craze is dying out? Either way, I'm not abandoning ship, just struggling to find anything blogworthy to write about.

I've recently joined a round robin poetry group, and I'm enjoying the idea of focusing on writing again after all these years of not writing at all. I've never had a love affair with any of the poems that I've written, but just the process of writing again is enjoyable. And I'm in the company of some phenomenal writers, so it makes me work extra hard not to sound like an idiot.

I've been doing a lot of baking again. There's just something so relaxing about it! I love my KitchenAid mixer. It is, besides the coffee maker, the most used appliance in my kitchen. Jonas loves to help me, too. He's so smart! When I ask him if he wants to help me make dough, he'll say "Sure Mama, I'll get flour, sugar, egg." Cute!

Here's a pic of him helping me roll out some pizza crust.
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And we've also taken a detour into the world of sweets lately. I'm not a big candy and chocolate fiend, but I do enjoy it from time to time. Here's J after helping to make a batch of fudge. Obviously, he has more of an affinity for it than I do.
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In domestic news, we finally gave in last weekend and bought the gazebo that we've been wanting forever. Actually, it's a screened porch that we really want, but that's serious money. This is a compromise that is much more budget friendly. Wil made it home from work early enough last night to give me a hand assembling it. In other words, he watched J and lifted things when I needed him to. I am most certainly the handyman in this family. It was actually incredibly easy to put together. Just 8 screws in the whole thing. How insane is that? Of course, it might not have been the wisest investment right at the start of hurricane season, but if it blows away, it's a heck of a lot cheaper to replace than, oh, say, a roof. :)

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So here it is, in all it's gazeboish glory. Yes, I'm aware that it's not level. Our yard is surprisingly un-level, and so we'll have to work on leveling out a spot this weekend. But it feels good to have it assembled. Today I'm going to work on getting the patio table and chairs cleaned up and dragged around. Maybe I'll get it done in time to enjoy a dinner al fresco tonight. Certainly would be a nice treat.

There's really no news on the knitting front. I'm still stalled in sock land. I'm just not in love with the pattern of these, and they're not the quick and appealing project that socks are supposed to be. Don't get me wrong, I love the result, but any sock that includes a k4tog will probably find it's way to the bottom of my "to knit" pile in the future.

I did do a swatch yesterday for a sweater I think I'm going to try. I'm about 1/2 stitch off on my gauge, but I'm wondering if I should just call that close enough? I'm a terrible swatcher and I admit it. Despite the fact that I KNOW it's saving me a buttload of time and heartache, I just don't have the patience for doing lots and lots of swatching. Bad knitter! No matter, I won't be getting started on the actual project for a while yet. More on that later. For now, I've got a little boy who needs to be convinced that it's potty time.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Hurry, win fabulous yarn and prizes!

Just a reminder that the fundraiser for Team Nova is still going on over at Gretchen's blog! For every dollar you donate, you get your name entered into one of the drawings. There are four of them left, so as little as $4 out of your pocket gets you one chance in each of them. You can win you some really awesome goodies. Seriously great stuff. Go have a look! And if you're not a knitter, well, you're doing a good deed anyway, and you can always send the box to me. :) The next drawing is in just a few days.

Go. Donate now. Do some good!

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Still Here

Really, I am. I don't even have much of an excuse, aside from laziness, for not blogging as frequently. I guess I don't feel like I have a lot to talk about lately. We've been keeping busy with the day-to-day sort of stuff mostly, and nothing too incredible.

Last weekend was a whirlwind of activity,though, so we'll start there.

My grandmother and her brother and his wife came for a brief visit. I couldn't imagine driving over 1000 miles and only staying 48 hours! I had to work Saturday morning, but as soon as we locked up the doors at noon I was out of there! I was hoping to have enough time to go home, shower, and change out of my scrubs, but I didn't get that sort of luck. Fortunately, family loves you no matter how gross you look. :) And Saturdays aren't real filthy days, so I was relatively un-filthy.

We had a great visit with everyone and Dad and Bert made a fabulous dinner which included an entire beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes, beans and corn, and these absolutely to die for individual molten chocolate cakes. They were pure heaven and I know exactly what recipe I'll be going for the next time I have a craving.

Company left around 8 that night with the plan of meeting the next morning to do airboat rides and other touristy type stuff, and so we decided to tag along, too.

And in a weird and totally unlike him sort of moment, Jonas refused to come home with me.

"No Mama! I stay Granny's!"

Now, he does this occasionally, but the moment he sees that I'm not staying with him, he decides he wants to come home, afterall. So, I told him he could stay if he wanted, and I headed for the car. Well, he just stood on the porch and waved and said "Night-night Mama." So, I went home feeling very empty. I've only ever been without him when Wil was in the hospital. But, to be honest, I really did enjoy the quiet time. And he had a great time because Steven spent the night at Granny's, too. They had a regular sleep-over.

Next morning I rush back to the parent's house, we zip through a drive-through for an unhealthy and grease-laden breakfast that J-man loved so much he ate mine, too, and then it was off to the airboats!

I was concerned that J would be afraid of the really loud noise of the boat, but he seemed incredibly excited and eager to ride. And, might I add, quite adorable in his little lifevest?! Once we were on the boat I was holding my breath, knowing that any minute he was going to totally flip out and want off, but the noise didn't startle him at all. He loved wearing the protective headphones that they give you, too. The only thing that he hated was the 45 mph wind smacking him in the face. I got a good chuckle, only for a second, out of watching his cheeks flapping, before he ducked down in the seat, grabbed my hand, and pulled it over his eyes. But as soon as the boat stopped moving, he'd poke his head out and look around at what was going on. We got to see some gators up close and personal (almost too up close and personal). The ride was great, the day was perfect, and we all had a great redneckish time.

After returning I found a brochure that says this place does a 2 hour chartered eco-tour for groups of 4 to 6. I'll have to keep that in mind, as it sounds like a lot of fun, and would be an educational experience for Steven.

From the airboats we had some lunch, and then we stopped at the flea market where Dad bought the boys matching Camo t-shirts. It must be a redneck rite of passage or something-- airboat riding medal of honor?

We ended up back at the house for a bit, so J and I took a swim. I was surprised at how unafraid of the water he was. Lately it's been a struggle just to get him in the bath, so the pool was a real shocker. Of course, pools sound a lot more fun than hair washing.

Then, as if that wasn't enough, we all trekked over to the beach to watch the sun set. Although I'm not sure why, since we're on the east coast, and well, last time I checked, the sun set on the west. But regardless, it was great playtime for the boys and Granny. They built a sandcastle, and then experimented with adding a seaweed barrier as reinforcement to keep it from washing away. They watched a guy with a metal detector find a quarter about a foot below the surface, which thrilled J. And they practiced wave-chasing and crab-walking. Another huge surprise out of J. The last time we went to the beach he lasted all of 5 mintues because he's so manic about his hands being dirty. I guess that's one more phase he's outgrown.

And speaking of growing up... when we got back to the parent's house, Steven went to take his shower, and I tried to talk J into the hated bathtub. When he refused for the 100th time, Steven talked him into taking a shower "like a big boy" with him. So, into the shower he went. Steven taught him how to stand under the water and get wet, how to soap himself like a big boy, and how to rinse without getting soap in his eyes. Of course, they also took time to play battle of the space-men from the planet shower-drain. It was so precious watching Steven with J. He's so patient and good to him, and he couln't possibly be any better to him considering their age difference.

It was a long weekend, indeed, but a great one. And I realize that this post has been incredibly too long, but hey, it could be worse, I have so much more to tell you about. :) I'll save it for later and leave you with some pictures from over the weekend.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Day to day stuff

I don't really have a lot to blog about lately. Hubby is well, got clearance yesterday to back to work on regular duty. That's a relief since the paychecks have sucked lately and we've burned up all of our leave time.

Work is work for me. Nothing spectacular, nothing to complain about. I go, I do my job, I end my shift, I come home. I mean, it's exhausting, sometimes heart-wrenching, sometimes comical work, but it's good work. Besides, blogging about yorkies with explosive diarrhea and labs that eat their owner's underwear just doesn't appeal to a large audience, I don't think.

So, that leaves knitting, which there hasn't been any of since we got out of the hospita, execpt for some seaming and whatnot. I havne't even gone any further on the socks I was working on. I guess I burned myself out a little, if that's even possible. I did find a pattern that I want to knit, though. Just something simple, not too time consuming, and something useful with the scorching weather that we'll be enduring for the next 6 months. It's the Dream Swatch designed by Wendy Bernard. Really, such a simple little project, but it's pretty, practical, and perfect FL knitting. Acutally, there's not a single one of her patterns that I don't adore, but I think I'll start here, with something fairly mindless to work on. Maybe it'll ease me back into the addiction that is knitting.

In the world of MT training... my course registration expires on June 5th, and I'm nowhere near done. It's sort of a depressing subject for me because I've never NOT completed something, and I've never struggled with something that seems so easy as much as I have with this. It probably has more to do with me actually finding/making the time to sit here and type out reports. No self-discipline with the computer and the desk right in the middle of the living rooom. It doesnt' help to have a 2-year-old companion at all times. It doesn't make for good work time, for sure. And I could sit here and make excuses all day, but the fact is, I'm not going to finish it on time, I'm going to have to pay for an extension, and I'm completely bummed about the whole thing, and I'm starting to doubt whether or not it's something I'll be able to do from home and be efficient at.

What else? Hmmm... not a whole lot.

While Wil was in the hospital Dad ordered a new tail light for my car. Yeah, it's been busted for about 2 years now, and it's a wonder I haven't been ticketed yet. So, it arrived the other day, and Wil got the chance to prove his manliness by installing it for me.

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But, once it was on, I noticed that the lens didn't seem to sit properly against the frame. Actually, the two weren't connected at all- as if the glue process was missed entirely. That's what happens when you order stuff from Ebay, I guess. So, off it came, and Dad, being the patient one, sat and glued the pieces together the way they were supposed to be. Then Wil got to feel extra manly by installing it for a second time!

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Admire the creative use of a beer cap to hold the pieces apart while the glue set. Just another bit of backwoods ingenuity.

And voila! I have a new tail light. What a great Mother's Day gift! Perhaps you think I'm being sarcastic, but I mean that sincerely. If given a choice between flowers and chocolates and something practical and useful, I'm chosing the practical every time.

Speaking of Mother's Day.. mine started off with a scary thing happening. As we were getting dressed and ready to go, Jonas come running into our bedroom for some reason or another, he slipped and fell and conked his noggin against the doorframe so hard that it made his nose bleed. It was a terribly frightening experience, and I was afraid we'd be spending the day in the ER getting MRI's and whatnot. But after lying there feeling pathetic with an icepack on his head and doing his best to not fall asleep, he seemed fine, and so we carried on cautiously with our day. Apparently, his hard head is good for something.
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By that afternoon it was apparent that he was just fine.
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And as an afterthought, can I tell you how impressed I am with the VSmile system, simply for making a joystick that is capable of being configured for lefties? Such a little thing, but not one that any other game system has ever considered.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Super Secret Project Revealed!

If your name ISN'T Amanda, and you didn't just give birth to my super-cute nephew, then you can click HERE and see what's inside the box.

If your name IS Amanda, and you DID just give birth to my super-cute nephew, you should be getting a Fed-Ex package containing the above tomorrow.

Monday, May 14, 2007

I have cute nephews

Not bragging or anything... just stating facts here.

What? Don't believe me? Well, they aren't mine to show off, so go visit them HERE, and leave the family some congrats and good wishes.

More on Mother's Day goodness and other stuff later.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Best Day Ever

Yep, that's what today is.

Happy Mother's Day to all you mommies out there! It kind of sucks that we had to be lame this year and just get all of our mothers cards, but with the hospital stuff, and the lack of paychecks for those two weeks, we're really scraping the bottom here. So, while there are no fancy gifts to give, the love is abundant and free.

But, not only is it Mother's Day... It's also my big brother's birthday. Happy Birthday B! He's the coolest big brother ever, and I only wish we lived closer together so that we could see each other more than once every year or so.

And not ONLY is it Mother's Day, and big brother's birthday, but it's also the day that big brother and his wife, also known as the super-cool Amanda of Bulldogknits, will welcome their second child into the family. I'm on pins and needles waiting to hear the good news. I even forgot about the 3 hour time difference between us, and then got all momentarily depressed because I was thinking that I'd be hearing the good news by noon, but that would be noon their time, so 3 our time, and those extra 3 hours seem intolerable. Heh! What's 3 hours after 9 months? Squee!!! New nephew!

So, yes, it's the best day ever, to quote Spongebob.

Wishing all you Mommies, Mr. Mommies, or just folks with Mommies a wonderful day today.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Doctors and more doctors

What a freakin' mess of a few weeks!

Ok, so we're all well-versed in the drama of Wil's foot, so I won't go on too much about that except to say that he had a followup appointment with the podiatrist today that was sort of so/so. The good news is that the swelling is down, and so is the redness. The bad news is most of the skin is going to slough off his foot. *gag* Also, his bloodwork is still coming back with high WBC levels, which means that he's still got an infection somewhere. Super! So, the doctor thinks that since he's clinically feeling and looking better that it may just be a reaction to the antibiotic he's on. For now he's supposed to stop taking it, have blood redrawn on Friday morning, and then see the doctor again next week. If it's still high then, he'll be referred to an infectious disease specialist. Doesn't that sound big and scary? I get this image in my head of the movie E.T. where all the dudes in space suits are quarantining the house. *shiver*

I'm also worried about the idea of him being off antibiotics completely. I mean, couldn't they just switch to something else and see what happens instead of stopping them completely. If there truly is still something infectious going on in there I can't imagine that a week without antibiotics is going to do him any favors.

Despite all of this, he's going back to work tomorrow on light duty. I'm sure he'll do just fine.

In other news, J woke up Saturday with a little bit of a rash on his hip. By Sunday it was red, raised, and icky. And so, Monday landed us in the pediatrician's office. It was more out of paranoia over the whole strep/staph scare than anything. Any other week I would have slathered it with Desitin or Neosporin and blown it off for a few more days. Ends up that it's just a contact dermatitis and it's already fading. I didn't mind paying the copay to have a professional tell me that I was overreacting, though.

And in even more medical news, Dad had some fairly minor surgery Tuesday. The procedure went well, but apparently he gave the nurses a hard time in recovery, and so they kept him in there for a VERY long and scary for those of us waiting to hear good news 5 hours. He's home again now after just a brief overnight stay. Not even sure if he got breakfast out of the deal. I think his biggest complaint out of the whole ordeal had something to do with a Foley and the nurse that WAS his friend until it was time to take it out.

So, for now, I hope and pray that we are done with doctors and hospitals for the most part. I can handle a followup or two here and there, but if I spend any more time at the hospital I'm going to have to start giving tours or something. Seriously, I can wind through those hallways with my eyes closed now. Not something I'm entirely proud of, though.


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Just an observation

Anyone who has read here for any length of time knows that I struggle with relationship issues. Struggle to the point of nearly giving up on several occasions. It's not that hubby is a bad one, necessarily, he just posesses the exact number of annoyances and quirks and behaviors to sometimes make living with him unbearable. I'm sure everyone has felt that way about their spouse from time to time.

So, the past six months or more have been exceptionally tedious with at least two occasions where we both thought it might be time to stop trying to force things to be what we wanted them to be and just move on. Somehow, though, we've always managed to work through whatever the problem of the moment was. Granted, it was more of a bandaid solution rather than a complete cure, but it was enough to keep us trying.

Have I told you that my husband has a problem with anxiety, or that he tends to be a bit of a hypochondriac? Well he does. So, you can imagine that two Fridays ago when he complained to me that his toe hurt, it was all I could to not to visibly roll my eyes. "You've probably got an ingrown toenail, or maybe an ant bite." I told him and totally blew him off.

Even at 2 a.m. when he woke me up to complain that the pain was all the way into his hip, I didn't really give it much credibility. I'm awakened quite often for minor complaints like stiff shoulders, aching backs, and sometimes even "I can't breathe" sort of things that always turn out to be nothing. So, I did my wifely duty and looked at the toe in the dim light of the room, confirmed that it was, in fact, swollen, and that the swelling was spreading up the foot and leg. Ok, so maybe he really did have something wrong this time.

I asked him if he wanted to go to the emergency room, or wait to find a doctor in the morning, all while dozing back off.

Next thing I know, it's morning, he's writing like he's been gut shot, and I'm thinking to myself, "yeah, it's infected, but come on!" I look him up a doctor's office that's open on Saturdays and send him packing-- alone-- across town. To my credit, I did have enough heart to send him with my car so that he didn't have to try and switch gears/push the clutch with his bad foot. Aren't I a good wife?

He calls me from the doctor's office to tell me that they want him to go straight to the emergency room. I tell him to come home first because he has the car with the car seat. Great wife, eh?

Long story short-- what I blew off as a bad toenail could have been fatal if neglected for even a few more hours. And I was left feeling more than a bit of that weight since I was the one that kept telling him to suck it up and stop acting like such a wuss.

The second night in the hospital it all hit me and I sort of had a bit of a breakdown. Wil and I talked, mostly I jabbered on and cried and he listened in a fever-induced half-sleep. It felt eerily like some sort of death-bed confession thing. And I realized that here I was, holding all these tiny little grudges against him, and even considering giving up on the relationship totally, but seeing him there, potentially close to death, made me realize how much I need and want him in my life... in our lives.

We spent the remiander of the time in the hospital working through some ugly stuff, forgiving each other over stupid things, making great plans for the future.

But then he was discharged, and home, and the first day was great. Then the second day was ok, then yesterday was tedious and back to the same sort of stuff as before the hospital incident. I'm trying, I really, really am, to be a better wife, to not be so selfish, to be content with him the way that he is, but it's tough and I can't do it without help from his end. Sure, he's the sick one, and he deserves a bit of a break, but I thought I'd get more than 3 days out of his renewed effort.

And so, my observation is this: Words are simply a Porta-Potty in this relationship: Cheap. temporary, and full of shit.


Saturday, May 05, 2007

Home again, home again, jiggety-jig

I'm a bad blogger for not updating this last night, but the MRI came back negative, and despite the fact that his white count was still elevated, the doctors agreed to release him since he was fever-free and claimed to feel fine.

So, we're home finally. Yippie! We got home late in the afternoon yesterday, and then I had to run to the pharmacy and pick up bandaging supplies, prescriptions, and a new thermometer, since I didn't think Wil would appreciate J's rectal pulling double duty. :) Then I had to hit the grocery store for the basics which had run out or expired in our absence. Then I had to cook dinner (or two different dinners, one for each of my picky boys). Then I had to do the laundry. By that time I was so exhausted all I could do was park myself on the couch and drool. And so I did. I'm not even sure if I got J to sleep before I went offline. But he's asleep now, and I heard no complaints, so I guess all went well.

Today I have to get my butt in gear, go pick bathe and retrieve the dog from the kennel. I can only imagine what a smelly, drooly mess she is. She does NOT do well in the kennel, and since I board her for free as an employee I beg the staff to not go out of their way to bathe the fuzzy beast unless it's necessary, and do it myself when I pick her up.

I'm also going to start finding some new and healthier recipes to try out. You see, the whole time we were in the hospital, every new doctor or nurse that stopped in asked the same question of Wil; "Are you diabetic?"

Well, no he isn't. But it turns out that the doctor says he's a prime candidate for it, given his ethnicity, his weight, and his eating habits. And so, while I can't control what he eats when he's not around me, I CAN start cooking better meals here at home. So, sorry baby, but the rice and beans and fried plantains are coming to a halt. But he's already taking it fairly seriously. Even to the point of voluntarily switching to diet soda, which up until now he has cringed at. I've promised him over and over that if he drinks it for a week he'll never drink regular again, but he hasn't trusted me on it yet. So, leaner protein, more veggies, less carbs, and we'll have him slim, handsome, and healthy in no time.

Anyway, I'm off to get my day started now that J just wobbled across the living room and climbed into my lap. It feels so good to be home.


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Aww Damn

We had the worst possible night last night at the hospital. Noisy floor, psycho (not joking, truly, scarily unstable) nurse, a new fever. Despite it all, we managed to keep humor about us, and hopes of being released today.

No dice.

His early a.m. bloodwork revealed that his white count was on the rise again. Redness and swelling in the foot again, too. NOW they are going to do the MRI that they planned on doing three days ago and never did. Hopefully it'll show absolutely nothing and that will be the end of it. But something is causing his white count to increase, and well, it has to be treated no matter how badly he wants to come home.

Also, the final reports on the cultures came back. They grew out both Staph and Strep B. Scary stuff if you care to read up on it. One website that I read listed a mortality rate of 20% in men. Yeesh!

Meanwhile, Wil's boss expects him back at work AND ON CALL (WTF?!) Saturday. Heh, she's got another thing coming. My guess is that it'll be quite a while before he's given clearance to go back to work. We're in the process of doing the short-term disability paperwork now, and the doctor told us this morning that he'd have no problem helping us with it if we needed him to. Nice guy.

You see, you tell people that you can't come to work because you have an infection in your toe, and they aren't quite as sympathetic as if you call and tell them you've had a heart attack or something. I mean, it's just a toe, right? Everyone seems to think that Wil is milking this thing. They don't understand that the toe thing is the the cherry on top of a huge bacterial sundae that's been working it's way through his body systemically. I may have to go down to his office and put his boss in her place. How dare her call his hospital room to let him know his schedule! You'd think that working for the health system would make her a bit more understanding.

Yes, I'm officially over my gratitude and cheery, thanks for the help sort of attitude. I'm tired, I'm crabby, I'm worried, I'm achy, and well, I just want to sit here and feel sorry for myself, and my family for a little while.

I just picked J up from the grandparents where he's been a good little sport, but is very clingy, whiney, and refuses to let me out of his sight for more than a second or two. I guess he's afraid I'll disappear again. He's napping now, and then we'll take a trip up to see Dad again. After that I'm going to try and talk Wil into braving it alone tonight so that I can be with J.

***Wil just called to let me know that now they're wanting to push the MRI until tomorrow.***


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

We're going home...eventually

See, I told you that I would have those words in my post.

Unfortunately, Wil had a documented fever last night. We'll ignore the fact that it was a total fluke, and just say that they're standing by their policy of 24 hours fever-free before discharging.

He's feeling almost normal, aside from the pain in his foot, but even that has subsided and is tolerable with just an occasional Tylenol. His appetite is good, his white count is down some more, and he's just as antsy as I am to get the heck out of here. Let's face it, there's only so much tv you can watch, and only so many magazines you can read.

I left this morning and went to get J, run some errands, pay some bills, etc. When I came back with J I walked in to a scary scene. Imagine your husband lying on a hospital bed, two chaplains standing over him, praying in Spanish and his father in the corner looking as if he could cry. My heart stopped for a brief moment. My God! Turns out, they're friends of his parents from their church, and just came by to wish him well. *whew*

So, the doctor promised him that he could go home tomorrow, as long as he continued doing well. They just came to take his vitals and they are clamining that he has a fever again. I think they need to check their equipment because I've got a great "mommy thermometer" and he's absolutely cool as a cucumber. I think this is the "he has good insurance, go ahead and milk it" thermometer.

I'm crossing my fingers that the doctor will look the other way on the whole fever thing and use the evidence of the improved bloodwork and the anxious to leave patient as a sign that it's ok to let him go. I promise I'll take good care of him at home.

I was supposed to be on my flight today to PA. I'm really disappointed that I had to cancel my plans. Between hanging out at Barnhenge, which is paradise, the incredible Fairie Festival, and Sheep and Wool, it certainly would have been an awesome trip. Not to mention how excited I was to get to hang out with Laura and Doug again, and *sniff* to meet Gretchen. Next time I think I'll make my plans covertly, maybe then I'll successfully make it onto a plane.

Anyway, Wil's requesting a soda, and that gives me an excuse to take a much needed walk, so I'll end this boredom induced ramble for tonight. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be reporting from the comfort of my very own livingroom. Cross your fingrs for me.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Good Karma, bad toes

I got 3 glorious hours of uninterrupted sleep last night. Wil is steadily improving and no longer needs me for everything, which is a huge relief to both of us. He hates having to be the big baby, and I just need a break!

The vampire (aka phlebotomy team) even let us sleep in a bit, not coming in until closer to 7 rather than the usual 4 a.m. Nice.

Of course, the excitement was short-lived as the podiatrist arrived just moments later to come and do the deed. You know, in a lot of countries they reserve the art of pulling out toenails as a form of torture. I suppose those poor souls don't have the combination of lidocaine and morphine to keep them comfortable, though. In all honesty, it was no big deal at all for Wil. However, it's not something I suggest you be a witness to if you're in any way queasy. I've got a pretty strong stomach, but I had to look away. Blech!

After he was bandaged and comfortably resting I went and picked up J from Abuela's and took him home with me for a while. I thought that just being back in his familiar surroundings and routines would do him a world of good. So we hung out, he helped me do the dishes, we watched a DVR-ed episode of Wonder Pets, had some lunch and took a trip to the library. From the library, the plan was to bring him up here with me to visit his Dada, which he was all excited about. Unfortunately, he fell asleep in the carseat on the way, so I ended up dropping him back off at Abuelas feeling a bit guilty about it all. I know he woke up heartbroken and disappointed.

The regular doctor came for a visit while I was away and told Wil that things are going well and that with any luck we'll be out of here in a couple more days. His white count is still high, but declining, and I can see that the redness and swelling in his leg is subsiding. Yay! We're both restless and ready to get the heck out of here. I'm pretty sure that if they decide to keep him for another night, he's going to have to do it alone. I just can't sleep in this chair, away from my kid, for another night. It's killing me.

I had to to something today that I have been dreading and avoiding for a few days--I had to make the phonecall to the airlines to cancel my flight. Now, you might remember that last year when I took this very same trip we woke up in the morning to a county so thick with smoke from a 1000 acre brushfire that the highway patrol had closed down every road between here and Orlando making it impossible to get to the airport. We went through absolute hell and almost $300 worth of cell minutes to get me on a flight the next day, and even then it was only after arguing ourselves blue and talking to every supervisor, etc at the airline. So, you can imagine my trepidation at making this call. I had no expectation of it going well at all, and honestly, I wasn't even in the mood to argue. I was willing to go along with whatever cancellation fees they wanted to charge me, so long as I could use the rest to go towards the purchase of future tickets.

So I called and got a sweet little thang with a southern accent that could melt butter on the phone. I explained my circumstances as to why I wasn't going to be able to get on the plane and asked her if I could transfer the tickets to later dates, that I was aware of their $60 rescheduling fee, and that I'd have to pay any difference in the prices, and that I wasn't really prepared to make any new dates just yet. This sweetheart of a girl quickly issued a refund to my account in the amount of the tickets minus the fee, explained how I could access it for future purchase, and then as I was thanking her for her help, she asked if I could hold for a moment. Of course I could. I've got nothing but time, right? She comes back a second later and says "Ma'am, I've been given clearance to waive that cancellation fee. I've refunded the full amount of your purchase to your rewards membership plan."

Oh. My. God.

She did that for me. Without being asked to. Without any prompting but the kindness in her own heart. I was at a loss for words. It literally brought tears to my eyes that someone out there still has enough compassion in their hearts to extend a bit of kindness to an absolute stranger when just last year with a totally separate airline I was forced to get mean, ugly, downright nasty just to be allowed to reschedule my flight with a payment of a significant fee.

So thank you to Michelle of AirTran airways customer service. You were an angel to me when I really needed one, and you totally made my day.

And since this really has become long, I will wish you all goodnight and file another report tomorrow, hopefully one with words like "we're going home" somewhere in it.