Army of Mom

So this is how liberty dies ... with thunderous applause.


Pregnant women are so cute

Busy busy weekend. Today I went to a baby shower for my friend, KR. She is so cute while she is pregnant.

Isn't she cute? Her cake was really cute, too.

and, here we are together. This picture has finalized it for me. I'm getting chin lipo. Next follow-up, I'm asking the plastic surgeon for some help.

Two more weeks till c-section day. Best wishes to welcome baby girl. Her little boy is good buddies with Hot Rod - we were pregnant at the same time. We got a "I'm a big brother" t-shirt for him and Hot Rod drew him a picture of his friend and the baby. It was very sweet.

Addition: I almost forgot a really funny story from the baby shower. When the cake was cut and distributed, I got this GIGANTIC piece and I laughed and told the server:
"That is a giant piece of cake you gave me."
"Yeah," she said. "It is a big ass piece of cake."
"Hey, that is appropriate since I have a big ass," I said with a laugh.
*mortified look on the girl's face*
"I didn't mean it that way."
"I know you didn't. I just couldn't resist. That was too easy."

Monday morning, Hot Rod goes for his pre-op check-up and I go see the doctor for my incision infection. Wish me luck.


On the bright side

The pain has subsided a bit since the infected spot burst this morning. It isn't shooting out stuff like the original infection did in the front. This is on my left hip where the doctor had to dig the staple out because it got bent and embedded.

So, I'm not leaking profusely, a bandage can cover it up comfortably. The plastic surgeon's nurse told me to call back the infectious disease (shuddering at that title) doctor and make an appointment. They're going to try and get me in Monday afternoon. *sigh* Nurse at plastic surgeon's office said I'm doing everything I can, but no more sit-down baths. Resume showers. *double sigh* I hate showers.

At least I'll be on site all day with a very funny video crew and work should pass quickly. Hopefully Army of Dad can fix the car for less than $200 and take care of that today.

Things are going to get better. I figure they pretty much have to. We have friends coming over tonight, so at least I have something to look forward to there.

Friday hunk of the day

Minnesota Viking Chris Hovan. Pics are from the Vikings-Texans game we attended last October at Reliant in Houston.

And another shot.

It's official

I have another infection - or else the first one never healed. The wound the nurse checked yesterday burst forth today a nasty flow of icky infected pus-stuff.

I'm going to go bonkers if I have to go back in and have the catheter reinserted and do the IV drugs again. That doctor is going to get an earful from me about that because of the money, the time and the pain.


If it weren't for back luck

I'd have no luck at all.
Gloom, despair and misery on me.

Ok, for those of you NON-rednecks, that was a song from the old show Hee Haw.

Been one of those days, weeks, months, years ...

Took Pickle to the specialist this morning and his weight gain is pretty bad, so we have to work on that. The nurse practitioner ordered a test to see about his blood sugar to check for diabetes. She doesn't think he has it, but we want to check. That would be great: CAH and diabetes.

Went to my plastic surgeon again. I had one part of the incision that just wasn't healing and this morning, it was swollen, feverish and bright red. *sigh* So, went and the nurse picked the scab off and jabbed me enough to get some fluid out of it to do a culture. I have some antibiotic ointment to put on it, but they're goign to send the culture off before they put me on any antibiotics. Pray, please, that it isn't that ferocious strain again and is something simple like staph infection. I never thought I'd WANT to have a staph infection, but I don't want to go have another port put in and do all of that again.

Fast forward to later in the day and my boss calls me in to work. So, hubby is on his way home to get the kids, stops to get gas and is car won't start. Friends pick up the kids for us. He gets a jump and heads to the auto parts store. Details are sketchy for me here because I haven 't really gotten to talk to him much. He bought an alternator and went to a friend's house to work on it. I hope it works.

I'm taking my headache and going to bed.

Denton soldier dies in Iraq

I bent over to pick up the paper and my heart jumpd out of my chest. So far, two of our soccer players have had dads sent to Iraq in the past year. One of them is still there.

I gasped as I picked up the paper and the headline read: Denton soldier killed in Iraq. I immediately pulled the paper out of the plastic bag to read the name.

*sigh of relief* It wasn't BR's dad. Thank God. Then, I felt bad for the family of Spc. Ernie Dallas Jr. My prayers are with his family. First Denton soldier killed in this war. I hope it is the last.

Pretty flowers

No particular reason for these, just pretty. They are from my mom's neighbor's house around her pool. These irises are the coolest I've ever seen.

And, just pretty flowers.

Today will be spent with Pickle. He has to go to the specialist in Fort Worth and possibly have labs, which usually include a blood draw and x-ray to check his medication levels in his blood and his bone age. Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia has a lot of little things it can do to a kid. Replacing the cortisol that his body doesn't make is a tricky business and CAH can cause a kid's bones to grow too fast, so we have to make sure that the bones are on track, too. Lots to it. But, he has been doing ok so far. After that, we'll be getting the boys registered for school. That is so not fun.

Little mama

We call Stinkerbelle that all the time. She will point to me and her and tell me, Two Mamas. Very sweet. I caught her yesterday morning changing her baby's diaper. We have to watch her or she'll use all the pull-ups and wet wipes.

My mom asked my dad to dig around in his barn and he found my old toy high chair from when I wasn't much bigger than Stinkerbelle. She hasn't quite warmed up to it yet, but it takes her a while to play with a new toy. She's been like that as long as she's been big enough to play with toys.

Cool stuff

As I work on wrapping up my project at the airport, I had a chance to see how the terminals are cooled and heated. These giant chillers are used to create the cold air that cools them and I got to see how they work and transport the chilled water in these pipes in tunnels under the airport. Here is a shot of one span of tunnel that goes for about three miles. Too cool.

I also got to see the dinosaur that ws found back in the 70s when the airport was first built.

Here is the info about it.

Tells you how old it is that Braniff was still around. It was cool to see how stuff works.

What is someone trying to tell me?

I came back to work the other day and found this on my desk:

While it looks like a giant roll of toilet paper, it is actually papertowels. But, I'm wondering if someone thinks I have a fat ass and need a giant roll of TP or I'm a big shithead ... hmm... the papertowels come in handy, though. (Seriously, though, people are leaving the project left and right and cubicles are emptying and being cleaned, so either someone just set it there or they're giving me a hint that I'm not far behind!!)


*looking over my shoulder*

My new life insurance policy went into effect today. *eyeing Army of Dad suspiciously* So, if I did some strange death, we'll all know who to suspect.

Hump day = good day

Right? Anything that could be called Hump Day HAS to be a good day.

Aside from some jackass, er, fishstickhead almost forcing me off the road. It has been a good day. It is raining and only going to be 82 today - praise the lord.

Came to work and flipped my daily LOTR calendar to find Pippin in his armored helmet thingee. Ooohwee. I would make that Hobbit a full-fledged man by the time I was done with him.

Got to don my PPE (complete with pink hard hat) one more time this morning for a tour of our CUP (central utility plant) and wonder the tunnels a bit while checking out what makes our terminals warm and cold. Was really cool. Plus, these guys are like coal-miners in that they never get out of their hole over there, so they were all coming out to gaze at the wonder of a female in their midst.

No heat + hobbit + hump day = good day for AoM.

Which would you choose?

Found this in my Parenting magazine the other day, it is the online poll of 28,000 moms questioned.

Which would you choose?
Extra cash 33 percent
More sex 25 percent
To lose five pounds 23 percent
Alone time 19 percent

I'm not sure which of those I'd pick if I REALLY got to choose. I pretty much get as much sex as I want, although I collapsed into bed last night before Army of Dad could even get there. I had set the mood with candles, music and then promptly fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. *shaking my head* But, that is not the norm.

So, cash would be good, but I think I'd rather lose five pounds or have some alone time. Hmm, I think the five pounds would be my choice right now.


Home on the range

I went to visit my mom this morning and she is doing well. She was walking around like a champ. A little Mr. Tudballish with the shuffling, but overall, really really good for having a stroke less than 10 days ago. She was still struggling a bit with eating and using her left arm, but her speech is really clear and that is good. I think she is a little grumpier now than she was before. Now, she has always been a cranky old bat, but it seems a little worse. She has always been very egocentric and that seems to haev worsened a bit, too, but I will take the tradeoff to keep her here. She pulled a manipulative little trick on me as I was getting ready to leave. Dad showed up and I was going to take off at that point and she started to fall from her chair at the dinner table and I had to rush over and catch her. Dad looked at me and looked at her and said "She hasn't done anything like that since she's been home. Only since you have been here." I think he wanted me and mom to know that she wasn't fooling anyone into thinking she didn't have her balance. I don't know what to think, but I tend to believe that it was probably a wee bit intentional to get my attention. She's like that and has been all of my life. She likes to be the center of attention, even if it means going really over the top to get the attention. She used to come to school when I was in high school and stagger through the halls saying "I'm drunk, I'm just so drunk." And, then, she's stumble into the wall and slide down it. Ironically, she doesn't drink and never has. She would mean that she was dizzy. But, in retrospect, I often wonder how much was put on and how much was genuine. Why choose THOSE words? It was so humiliating. I got numb to it, too. She could be dying in the floor and I'd step over her and go about my business because she did it so much. My friends thought I was a bitch, too, for not being caring, but what can you do?

Anyway. I digressed way more than I intended to. I had simply planned to mention that she is recovering well. Thanks for all your prayers and good thoughts.

I took the following pictures the day before the stroke while we were visiting. Sweet Pickle and my dad made some little whirly-gigs or whatever you call them. Dad built Pickle a dragon and had the boy finish painting it in dad's barn. I think he named it Geoffrey. Not sure why, but he did. He also went and played with my dad's chickens. As much as I hate to admit it, I'm a big old redneck.

Here is Papa setting it up for Pickle and then Pickle hard at work.

And, the creator supervising the artist.

Here is a penguin my dad made for Hot Rod and the dragon for Pickle. Stinkerbelle got an elephant. See the fan behind the whirlygigs? That was purchased by my parents when they got married in 1957!!!

And, Pickle with his favorite hen at my folks' house. Surprises me to see THIS child chasing, catching and holding a chicken. I love the way the chicken wire framed the picture.

Was going to post these the day my mom had her stroke. I got the fateful car while on the way back from taking Hot Rod to see Charlie and Chocolate Factory, which I loved, by the way. Now that things are getting closer to normal, I feel better. Finished my largest project today, too. *whew* So, now I can focus on the other projects.

Do what tastes right


Wendy's is getting a bit racy and trying to appeal to the bored housewives of the world. I wonder if Dave Thomas is spinning in his grave?

I'm soaking in the tub trying to relax and reading my Parenting magazine when I come across this ad for Wendy's:

Do some matchmaking. It's not like hamburgres and french fries are married. Hamburgers can play the field. Have a fling with a baked potato. Cozy up with some chili. Get fresh with a Caesar side salad. Nobdy has more choices. Because when it comes to combos, monogamy is monotony. It's your meal. You know what tastes right.

Yikes. I think they're trying to capitalize on some moms who are bored with life, their husbands, their sex and maybe they can sneak in some joy by feeling like they're avoiding the "monogamy is monotony" rut by spicing things up with some chili. Maybe they can fantasize about the construction workers in the booth behind them while they give the baby a fry to gnaw on.

I dunno. Coming from dirty-minded me, maybe I'm putting more into it than needs to be there ... but, what do you think it is supposed to be communicating? This right up there with the Paris Hilton-Carl's Jr. partnership. I never knew burgers were so sexy. I just know they upset my stomach and mke my ass large.

Tuesday news

Well, guys, I've worked pretty much non-stop since coming back after my mom's stroke on July 17. Things are good, but busy and I'm just pretty much drowning in work and life. It could be much worse, though, so I'm trying not to complain.

I'm going to see my mom this morning and take her to get some lunch. We'll just have to hit the drive-through because the nurse doesn't want her to get out and do too much, but it will be good. I haven't seen her since Wednesday because of work and life. This week won't be much better between all of my regular work, freelance assignments, specialist visit for Pickle and registering the boys for school. I have a lingerie party this weekend and a baby shower, too. So, having time for life in between is hard to do.

Today, however, the space shuttle is set to launch again. I'll probably be in the car while it is happening, but I'll listen to the play by play on the radio and send out a little prayer for the astronauts and all those involved.

Today is also the feast day of the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saints Joachim and Anne. Historians aren't even sure if these are their names because so little is known about Mary's parents, but "the truth is that it was the parents of Mary who nurtured Mary, taught her, brought her up to be a worthy Mother of God. It was their teaching that led her to respond to God's request with faith, "Let it be done to me as you will." It was their example of parenting that Mary must have followed as she brought up her own son, Jesus. It was their faith that laid the foundation of courage and strength that allowed her to stand by the cross as her son was crucified and still believe. Such parents can be examples and models for all parents. Anne (or Ann) is the patron saint of Christian mothers and of women in labor."

I selected Saint Anne to be my patron saint when I was confirmed in the Catholic church. It is the name I chose for me at that time, too. I chose her because I aspire so much to be a good mother. And, for those of you who may wonder ... yes, the spelling is the same as other people we love and this is why. Sorry to be cryptic to the rest of you. But, it is probably easy to figure out.


Hot Rod's first sleepover

I'm all bleary-eyed as I work on wrapping up a story that is due on Monday for one of my moonlighting jobs. Tonight is Hot Rod's first sleepover. It is at AoD's best buddy's house and Hot Rod was stoked about doing it. But, of course, mommy is worried about him needing me. What if he gets scared? His favorite blanket and penguin are in the car and I forgot to leave them there. What if he can't sleep?

What if, what if, what if ...

Is it mommy guilt or Catholic guilt getting the best of me? Or even worse, Catholic mommy guilt ...

AoD assures me that he'll be fine or his buddy would have called to let us know. They were going swimming and to eat pizza tonight. So, it couldn't get much better for the kid. Now, I just have to take a deep breath and let it go.

What happened to this sweet baby?

Fly me

Bright and early, I left the house this morning. 5:15 a.m. to be exact. I stopped and grabbed a buttermilk donut (nothing is more fun than hearing the Chinese gal there try to say buttermilk to confirm my order). But, I digress.

Arrived about 5:50 a.m. to find our new international terminal springing to life in ways I've never seen since I've been on the project. It was exciting and a bit sad at the same time. My project is winding down from here on out and I'm happy and sad at the same time. This was exciting and historic to be a part of.

We had many international entertainers performing and lots of welcomes for our inaugural day passengers. We even got to be there for a R&R flight from Iraq.

We started out with an early morning arrival around 7 a.m. of Mexicana Airlines. I didn't get to see it arrive, but was there to assist media with getting in and out of the terminal. While waiting for passengers to arrive, we had mariachis, shaolin dragon performers and just a flavor of the world. I couldn't figure out what country these guys represented and asked one of the DFW cops and he said: Never Been Laid Land. *giggling* Actually, it was Bolivia.

Yes, those are capri-style pants, flip flops, man purses and colorful stocking cap thingees. Yowsah.
Below is the Channel 11 folks doing one of their shots for their package. I escorted Channel 11, WB 33 and the Dallas Morning News photographer. I also worked with Samsung, too.

I did get the unique privilege of witnessing the Shower of Affection for Korean Air's first arrival. It is really neat to see. The fire department's color guard is there and two big fire trucks spray water on the plane. Pretty neat aside from sweating like a whore in church (AoD's colorful euphemism).

The third flight to arrive was an R&R flight from Iraq. Seemed like a clown car of soldiers. They just kept coming and coming. The USO and local volunteers did a great job of welcoming them "home." My friend, CL, who works in public affairs for the airport volunteered to help my "One woman USO." So, we figured we'd be twice as nice and give R&R a whole new meaning. I'll be one R and she'll be the other. However, rest and relaxation aren't the Rs we were thinking of.

Lots of red, white and blue and signs like the one below. What can I say? We're in Texas. Probably more than one Bubba on the flight.

A few teary homecomings were witnessed. I was very proud to see the awesome welcome these men and women received from strangers, too. The soldiers were often overcome and embarrassed by the fuss, but they really are wonderful. So are their families who sacrifice so much, too. Now, on a lighter note, I figure Army of Dad is getting up there in years, 29 now. So, I considered auditions for the next Mr. AoM. They were lining up. (just kidding, they were waiting for their bus!) But, a girl can dream, can't she?

It was a long day and my legs and feet are killing me, but I figure these guys have it WAY worse, so I'll try not to whine. But, day one is behind us now. *whew*


UPDATE: Pray for peace

Please add Gadfly's dad to your prayer list. He was hospitalized for pneumonia earlier this week and apparently now has a blood infection and things don't look good. I know you guys and gals can whip up some pretty good prayers judging by my mother's improvement, so please put in a good word for Gadfly's dad.

UPDATE: Gadfly called me tonight about 8:40 p.m. to tell me that his dad passed away. There, but for the grace of God go I. My prayers are with him and his family.

How men feel about us gals

A man walking along a California beach was deep in prayer.

Suddenly, the sky clouded above his head and, in a booming voice, the Lord said, "Because you have TRIED to be faithful to me in all ways, I will grant you one wish.

The man said, "Build a bridge to Hawaii so I can drive over anytime I want."

The Lord said, "Your request is very materialistic. Think of the enormous challenges for that kind of undertaking. The supports required to reach the bottom of the Pacific! The concrete and steel it would take! ! It will nearly exhaust several natural resources. I can do it, but it is hard for me to justify your desire for worldly things. Take a little more time and think of something that would honor and glorify me."

The man thought about it for a long time. Finally he said, "Lord, I wish that I could understand my wife. I want to know how she feels inside, what she's thinking when she gives me the silent treatment, why she cries, what she means when she says nothing's wrong, and how I can make a woman truly happy."

The Lord replied, "You want two lanes or four on that bridge?"

Army of Dad sent me this. Wonder what he was trying to tell me?

Friday hunk

I've always loved Tom Selleck. My mom loved him, too. I bought her a poster of him wrapping a towel around his waist as he's getting out of a swimming pool and she hung it behind her bedroom door. I spent many an evening gazing at his rugged hairy-chested magnificence. And, she wonders why I'm such a horndog today. *shaking my head*

There is just something about this guy. He is a man's man.

The sandwich generation

Yep, I'm officially there. I thought I had another 10 years before I'd be part of it, but ArmyWife is right (from comments in an earlier post). So, now I'm officially taking care of three children, a household, a husband and my parents. Not completely true, I guess. My dad is there to see to my mom's care, but he is going to need help. Neither of them is confident in asking questions and making sure people are on top of things. Hell, yesterday they were sitting around waiting for the doctor to discharge them from the hospital. So, I picked up the phone and called the doctor's office to make sure they knew that they were simply waiting on her orders. *sheesh*

I just wish my folks weren't an hour away. It is an ordeal to get there and back. So, we'll see how it goes. One of my colleagues at the airport offered me lots of resources to seek help from the American Stroke Association. So, we'll see how it goes. Seems to be ok.

Mom finally got home last night and was much happier. I called and talked to her, but she was tired and it was late and she wasn't really following the conversation well. It is going to take a while to get used to that. She has always been a little loopy and it will be a challenge to deal with this change, too. But, she is home and happier. Physical therapist was coming this morning, so I'll check on her this afternoon.

I have eight stories all due between Monday and Aug. 8, so that is weighing heavily on me, too. Gees. Always something. And, I have my giant writing project for work to complete before the end of September.

Calgon, take me away!

Nice tribute

Here is a nice tribute to James Doohan.

He was a nice guy and will be missed.


Merry go round

Well, things seem to change from one moment to the next on the mom front. Latest word, NOW, is that mom is going to be discharged to go home and they're just waiting for the doctor's orders. Dad seems to be under the impression that mom will do outpatient therapy. Mom is under the impression that it will be at-home with home health folks doing the therapy. So, who knows what is right? Gees. This is why I hate missing being there when the doctors are there.

So, I don't know what is going on right now. Hopefully we'll know something this evening. I just called the doctor's office to see if she could issue the orders so they can go home. We'll see.


Latest news

I guess it is little wonder that my hit count is down pretty low right now. I suppose not too many people want to read about someone having a stroke. Sorry folks, this is what is dominating my life right now.

Still, the doctors are not completely sure what caused mom's stroke but they believe it was a blood clot that has since moved on through her system. There was some scarring revealed on her brain in the MRI. The cardiologist saw her today and said her heart problems may be the cause, but there is no way to know for sure. She has mitral valve prolapse - which means the valves are sort of floppy - and the doctor said this sometimes causes clots to develop. He recommended a blood thinner pretty much all the time now. She is doing better. She, of course, relapses some when she is really tired. But, her speech is much clearer, only some drooping of the left side of her mouth. She is still having difficulty swallowing and eating, but this is getting better. She has to watch that she doesn't "pocket" food in the left cheek because she has no feeling in there. Her left hand use is getting better, but is still pretty bad (in my opinion). She moves around pretty well, but the physical therapist is still seeing significant weakness in the left leg. She is being moved to a rehab hospital closer to home. She did not want to go, but the doctor convinced her that she'd be better off with some on-site therapy than going home and breaking her hip and being out of commission for much longer. She doesn't like the idea, but is going and is already trying to work her left hand to build its strength back up. I'm very proud of her. She is terribly frightened. I promised her I would not leave her there if it is like a nursing home and that seemed to help put her at ease a little more. I'm going over there after work on Thursday to check the place out and reassure her that all is well. She surprised me how she sort of clams up when the doctors and therapists come around. Thankfully I was there to ask the heart doctor questions. I wish I could be there when her doctor comes, but it hasn't worked out that way yet.

Please keep praying for her recovery and pray for my dad to have the strength he needs to take care of himself as well as mom. She is doing well for having just had a stroke a few days ago and she is being a trooper, but she is scared and frustrated and just wants to be back to normal. I can identify with that feeling. I want her back to normal, too.

Beam Me Up, Scotty

James Doohan died today and I'm pretty sad about that. I knew he had been ill for about a year, so it was not a shock, but still sad.

I got to meet "Scotty" at a Star Trek convention in Austin about nine or 10 years ago. He was a jovial fellow and loved the women. He had to get a hug and a kiss from every woman who got his autograph. I didn't get my picture made with him, but I did get an autographed picture. Not sure if it was lost in a move over the years because I haven't seen it since we moved into our house, but I have a feeling it is nestled away in one of my memory boxes somewhere.

So many things I loved about this character on the original series. I always loved his "we can't hold on much longer, captain!" lines. I loved it when he was on the TNG and advised Lt. LaForge not to tell the captain the truth on how much he could give him. That was classic, but the best was a friend of mine had Scotty's voice on his computer when it booted up that had one of Scotty's movie lines: "Hello Computer."

Rest in peace.


Counting my blessings

243, 244 ... oh wait, I didn't mean that literally.

I am so fortunate to have so many good friends. I am not really sure what I've done to be so lucky to have so many people willing to step up and help. Between a couple of my cousins, my aunts, my husband and my ex, my "real life" friends and the prayers of my blogger buddies ... I am either one of the luckiest people in the world (which I tend to think I am most of the time) or I've done something right to have so many people care about me.

Thanks to each of you. I thank God for you every day. Ok, almost every day. Sometimes I fall asleep during my prayers. I hope God doesn't hold that against me. Funny, when I'm unable to fall asleep, as soon as I start praying I get such an instant peace that I have a hard time keeping my eyes open to finish my prayers.

Thanks again.

She's back!

I am so happy to find that a fellow blogger has returned to the blogosphere.

Just an Army Wife had sort of fallen out of the blog world and I dropped her from the blogroll out of respect to anyone who follows my blog links because she wasn't blogging any more. But, it seems after a move from the south to Alaska, she is back in the saddle again.

Everyone go give her a wave and tell her Army of Mom sent you. I'll duly add her back to my blogroll. Welcome back lovely lady.

Up and down

I guess I was really expecting too much. I went to see mom this afternoon from about 12:30 to 3:30 and she was doing so incredibly awesome that I was on cloud 9. I really was. She was talking clearly, able to walk to the bathroom unassisted (we were there to ensure she didn't trip or get woozy, though) and her face was looking good.

Then, I went home and met up with the hubs and picked up the kids, had dinner and took the children to see her at the hospital and she looked awful. Her left hand was sort of atrophied up on her chest, she was doing that annoying little nervous thing with her right hand (tapping the bedside thingee and just moving really nervously) and her face was drooping again and she was hard to understand. Dad said she hadn't rested all day and she was really tired. Hopefully that is all it was.

Good news is that the swallow therapy lady (whatever that is called) said mom seemed to be a good candidate for home health care and home therapy. So, maybe just maybe we can bypass the rehab and go straight home. I know it is going to mean lots of miles on my car and lots of trips to the boonies to help dad take care of her, but it will be worth it if we can get her rehabbed at home. I know she'll be happier there. She does NOT like being in the hospital, even though she is getting pretty good care.

My boss is being awesome about cutting me some slack and I'm hoping to pay him back with top-notch work on this book.

Off to soak in the tub and read some more Harry Potter. AoD was wonderful tonight and drove to and from home to the hospital (about 45 miles away) so I am up to page 230 now. It is hard to dedicate much time to reading with this crazy life I lead.

On a lighter note

I got a wonderful email from one of the airport medallion artists sending me a link to a story written about her. You may have to do a free registration, but it has some great photos of the work in process, which is really neat.

So, go read the article about Julie Richey. For you guys, you can get some culture while you ogle the hot chick.


The doctor finally showed up last night about 10:15 p.m. I called my mom and dad this morning at the hospital and got the skinny on what she said. Apparently, she checked mom out pretty thoroughly and ordered some sonograms (this is what dad said, so not sure what it is specifically) and said both an occupational therapist and a speech therapist would be coming to see her today. The doctor said she'd be there a "few more day." She said the MRI showed scarring from where a clot had been that caused the stroke, but the clot was gone, so that is good, I suppose. Mom said she is feeling better, but still really exhausted and still ready to go home. I will have to ask the nurses questions when I get there today because mom and dad forget to ask things. I'll try to find out if we have a timeline for her discharge and if it will still involve a rehab stay or if they might let her go home and rehab there with home health. I also need to ask how long before she starts to regain her energy levels. Bless her heart. She sounded good, though, to be honest. That made me feel better. I'm going to stop and get her a picture frame for a pic of the kids, some new pajamas and some watermelon. The nurse said I can mush it up pretty good for her and let her give it a try. It is her favorite food. Should be soft enough for her to swallow ok as long as those little stringy pieces don't gag her. We'll go slow.

Working from home this morning and then going up there this afternoon for a while. I'm anxious to see this again.


Update on my mom

I didn't get to be there when the doctor came today. I stayed till 8:05 p.m. but I just couldn't stay any longer. I needed to come home and take care of some things and be here in the morning for the children. I miss them right now. I didn't get to see them all day. I arrived at the hospital Sunday night around 11 p.m. and stayed with my mom once she was admitted.

Apparently, Saturday night after we left their house, mom had some sort of spell where she lost time and was speaking nonsense, but then became lucid again shortly later. Sunday, she worked in the yard some, laid down and took a nap and then couldn't grip a glass of tea, stumbled, started drooling and slurring her speech beyond understanding. Dad immediately freaked and drove her straight to the hospital, where was was quickly admitted and testing started.

Tall, dark and handsome doctor said she apparently had a stroke, but that the CT scan did not show a bleeding stroke, which is good, I guess, because those are the worst, he said. They did urine and blood work, too. SHe also has a UTI, but that had nothing to do with this. Finally, about 1:15 a.m. they admitted her to a room in the sub-acute unit, next to the ICU.

She has some pronounced weakness on her left side. She can't quite hold on to things with her left hand and her left leg is weak, too. She is having some trouble swallowing and is on a blender diet. Ick. She also is still having some speech problems as the left side of her face is drawn a bit. Overall, I guess, it could be worse and everyone keeps telling me this. It is just so hard to watch my independent mother not be able to do for herself. This woman was pulling weeds and carrying my 2-year-old just Saturday afternoon. Her heart is breaking because she just wants to go home and recover there. Only thing is I don't think they're going to let her. A nurse told me today that an MRI done this morning showed that a blood clot caused the stroke. She has been getting blood thinner shots in her stomach since Sunday night. Painful, they are, my mom said. She didn't say it Yoda style, that was me. Anyway. The nurse said that patients with this kind of stroke are typically at their worst immediately following the stroke, so odds are that she will improve. However, she will probably have to go to a rehab hospital before she can go home. My mom is going to be devastated when she gets the news. All she has said to me since I first saw her last night is that she wants to go home. I feel so sorry for her and that only makes it worse for her. Of course, in front of her, I'm very matter of fact to try and keep the facade going that all is well and I'm ok.

Only thing is I'm not. I've begged God not to take her from me. I've begged God not to take her from her grandchildren or my dad. Nuts as she is, I love her so much and my kids love her so much. My heart just rips more every time I think about her not being able to hold Stinkerbelle. Everyone tells me that she'll recover and I hope they're right. I just want my momma back the way she was before. She wanted me to stay longer Saturday and I insisted on leaving and I would give my right arm to go back in time and have stayed with her. Maybe I could have recognized that spell on Saturday and gotten her help sooner to prevent this big stroke. Maybe the kids would have had more time with granny the way she "used to be" ... maybe, maybe, maybe. I am so filled with regret. Sometimes you don't get a second chance. To quote a cheesey 80s hair band, you don't know what you've lost until its gone. I just want my mom back. I just want her to be happy again and bitching about her neighbors. This just sucks.

Here we are in December picking out a Christmas tree.

Here is mom ironing my clothes and Stinkerbelle playing right along in March.

At the airport in April for Family Day.

And, here she is holding Stinkerbelle in dad's chicken coop back in May. This is the saddest picture of them all to me right now, because she can't smile right since the stroke. I just want to see her smile again the way she did before.


Prayer request

Army of Granny had what appears to be a minor stroke. We don't know much more than that right now and Army of Mom is on her way to see her mom.

Please keep her in your prayers.

Army of Dad

Potter mania

This is what I've seen since about 7 p.m. Saturday night (when he first got his hands on the book).

He did come to sleep briefly. He's now on page 439. The book only has 652 pages. Only. ;) The one really good thing about this is that if he finishes quickly, I can start reading it again. I have gotten through the first chapter and a half before I lost control of the book.

No more pictures please!

I love this curl that hangs done Stinkerbelle's forehead, but in typical celebrity fashion, she didn't want the mamarazzi around.

Eventually, she let me do it. I haven't brushed her hair this morning or it could have been cuter, but how sweet is that curl?


Dorks as far as the eye can see

I didn't make it to Hastings until 12:05 a.m. this morning and the line was wrapped around the video aisle and pouring into the music section. We found out later than folks who didn't reserve copies were actually getting in and out faster than us doofs who reserved copies, but I don't know for sure. Uzz was highly pissed when he figured this out. He and Pickle were in line since 11 p.m.

Here they are in their dorkness. That boy is a chip off the old block between the two of us.

And, yes, he is wearing his Harry Potter glasses.

Here is the line we were waiting in. For perspective, the line in front of me went all the way down to the far yellow wall and then wrapped back around coming toward me on the right side of the pic. If you look closely, you can see Uzz about half-way down on the line approaching my point.

The parking lot was full and poured over into the neighboring stores' lots. I had to pass Barnes and Noble, too, and it was the most full I've seen it since Christmas.

Of course, I now have the book in my hot little hands. I read the first chapter before collapsing last night. I did peek to see how many pages and saw that at least one of my favorite characters hasn't bitten it because he had some dialog back there. So, that is good. I won't spoil it for anyone. I hope to get some more reading int today while visiting my mom and letting the kids swim. AoD took Hot Rod to a friend's house. AoD is helping the dad move and Hot Rod is keeping the kid company with the Xbox.

Where did the time go?

Soccer camp is over now and I think it was a great success.

Thursday night, the British soccer coaches play the local DSA coaches in an exhibition game and it is a lot of fun. Of course, the British coaches kicked the DSA coaches' asses 8 to 1. But, it was fun. Here are all the coaches post-game.

Let's see if I can name then all L to R: Laura, Ben, Rob, Karl, Blake, Ben, James, Laura and Colin. Yippee. I did it. I should be able to do it as the camp coordinator. They were a good bunch of guys and gals. The kids loved having them here.

Here are my kids with Colin. He was awesome. Such a great guy.

And, here is Hot Rod with his matching Coach Colin hair on Thursday. The fingers were another coach pointing out the likeness in hair style.

Each camp, they do a World Cup challenge and split the kids into teams and give them countries to represent. Hot Rod was playing for Finland (he kept calling it Fingland, so we are still working on that) and Pickle played for England (where Colin is from). The get bonus points for getting into the spirit of the game. We also use it as a tool to teach the boys geography and about the countries. We learned that Finland has 60,000 lakes and is north of Great Britain.

And, yes, I stayed up late Thursday night making the shirts and the posters. But, they enjoyd it and that made it worth the lack of sleep. I think. Hot Rod had his face and hair painted, too. Pickle wanted nothing to do with that.

The boys played pretty well. Pickle had a challenging week. He hates having balls kicked at him and he was intimidated playing against kids a foot taller than him, too. One drill they did caused him special grief, but they made a shot on goal and then had to run in and play keeper if they didn't make a goal. He hated this because the big boys were kicking goal shots at him. The coach told him to keep doing it and get used to it and toughen up. It must have worked. During the World Cup, most teams had five or six players. His team only had five and then one kid didn't show up. So, in the final game, they were playing four on six. So, it was tough on them. The gal who was playing keeper came out to try and help score and that left their goal empty. Pickle stepped up and despite his animosity to playing keeper, he got in the goal and tried to make some stops. They only scored one on him, but I was so proud of him I had tears in my eye. He was afraid to do it, but he did it anyway for the sake of his team. It was a giant lesson for him to have learned. He was also rewarded for it. Coach Ben named him camper of the week for his group.

After the final camp session, Ben, Colin and Hot Rod's coach, James, went with us to one of our local favorite restaurants for lunch. Was nice to be surrounded by good looking guys for a meal.

It was really fun and a great experience. I'll be coordinating again next year, too. I'm a glutton for punishment. Ok, maybe I just like being surrounded by all the cute British soccer coaches. Or better yet, all of the above.

Coach Ben day

Thursday was Coach Ben day at camp. Coach Ben (the tall one - there were two Bens and two Lauras at camp this year) has been at the local camp for the past three years, so the kids really know him. It was great fun. He likes the movie, Pirates of the Carribean and Manchester City soccer team. There were a few other things, too. So, campers who dressed up with one of those themes earned extra points for their team.

Pickle wasn't all that into it, but Hot Rod was keen on doing the pirate thing. Couldn't get him to wear the clip-on earring though. Apparently, people say Ben looks like the pirate who's eye pops out, so we even had a bouncy eyeball to pop out, too.

Here is a good pirate ARRRRRR!

And, with his buddy for his soccer team.

I really like this camp. We learned some new drills to do with the boys - big and small teams - too. So, it was great all the way around.


Harry Potter fever

I've got it!!!

I'm so stoked. I am doing a lingerie party at 8 p.m., but I hope to get out of there before midnight and head to Hasting's to get my copy of the HBP at 12:01 a.m.

I'll let you know if I make it or not. I'm sure Harry, Hermione, Ron and the gang will be waiting for me. And, that nasty old Voldemort, too!!!

Friday hunk

In honor of our soccer camp, the Friday hunk of the week will be our very own Coach Colin from soccer camp. Thanks to Uzz for this great shot.