Thursday, November 29, 2007

Movin' Out

Big Daddy's out of CCU and in his own room! Keep checking back, though -- I may have a "bowel movement" alert later. Kidding, I'm kidding...

Name Dropping

Okay, so I should be cleaning right now, but I forgot a funny tidbit from yesterday and I really wanted to share it (plus, I have an update on Big Daddy...)

Story first!!

So yesterday, after we'd said 3 pre-goodbyes, we'd finally managed to walk him all the way to the waiting room, where the tears really flew. The anesthesiologist must have felt bad for us, because he quickly informed us that Dad's doctor was the same one who'd operated on Nolan Ryan not too long ago, and was considered one of the very best.

I swear, you'd have thought he just told us Dad was all better and could go home the way we fawned all over that one. I'm not sure if Nolan Ryan cares, but his successful heart surgery made things just a little easier on our family yesterday. We are that lame.

(This week on Grey's Anatomy:

Chief: "Okay people. The research is in and we've discovered that people tend to be less apprehensive about a loved one's surgery if they think the operating doctor has successfully performed the same surgery on a famous person. So that's what we'll be doing from now on.

Grey, you'll go first -- try that gullible-looking family from Texas.")

Now, onto the update: They just took out the tubes in his wrist, leg and neck, and will most likely be taking out his chest tubes later today.

I spoke with him earlier and he sounded miraculous. I love him so much, you don't even know.

All Systems Go

Well, what we thought would only be a Triple Bypass turned into a Quadruple Bypass, but that didn't phase Big Daddy -- he's recovering well and I just heard that he is sitting up and eating, so that's a relief! He'll be in CCU today and possibly tomorrow, after which he'll be moved to a different room for a few more days.

No one is more relieved than the other waiting room patrons, who by 3:30 yesterday afternoon were ready for our motley crew to move our motley butts elsewhere. Jax can only be contained for so long, you see....

Lea, Ninny and Mom are all at the hospital, I of course, am rendered useless to them because my own little man. Don't think I'm not fuming over that.

Thanks for all of your prayers! I'll continue to keep you updated!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Here's how OUR day went yesterday:

6 am and we're up getting ready to leave for work (Shawn) and the Heart Hospital (me & the kids). Big Daddy was scheduled for a cardiogram at 8 am, and we were on our way to his side.

We leave the house at 7, head to the donut shop (for "the kids"), stop for gas, and we're on the road.

8 am and we're still sitting in traffic.

8:10 We finally arrived, stressed because of stupid drivers who can't manage to readjust their cars so they actually fit into one parking space, but mostly because I feared we'd missed him. Silly Amy. We found Menana, Ninny and Big Daddy posted up in the lobby, kicked back all comfy-like.

An hour later and they've taken him back, prepped him and now we're ....waiting. With children. Enter the Central Market playground. Right next door to the hospital. Off we go in search of food and fun, both of which we eagerly consumed. The kids ran, Ninny, Menana and I ate, and all was well. After about 45 minutes Menana went to check on the big man, while Ninny and I lured the kids back to the hospital by way of the bookstore.

After hearing that Dad was still waiting, and would be for an undetermined amount of time, I trekked back to the playground with the kiddos, rather than face another minute chasing down Jax, begging him to be quiet, and hearing Ryan whine, "I wanna go to school!"

So this makes it what, 10:45/11? SOOOO many more people at the Central Market playground at 11 than at 8:30. Ryan immediately sent her radar out and attracted a fellow girl mate, and Jax busied himself climbing, sliding, and playing with his trucks. Then some kids tried to bully him, Ryan yelled at them, and they ran away. Boys. Tough Boys.

As I sat intermittently watching them and reading Jane Eyre, I saw the little girl Ryan was playing with walking towards me.

"I'm an evil princess dog," she said.

"Me too," I replied. (When I was younger I used to get a kick out of making scary faces at little kids and watching them freak out. See how well I've matured?)

Ryan then comes running up, breathlessly saying something to the Evil Princess Dog about "losing their powers", and they were off again.

It wasn't until about 20 minutes later that I realized what part Ryan was playing. As I glanced up from my book to see what playground urchin was interrupting my peace by relentlessly screaming, "Gazelle!! Gazelle!" I saw it was EPD, obviously searching for her master, Giselle (Enchanted, anyone??), but was just having a bit of a struggle pronouncing it correctly.

About 1:30 Menana and Ninny phoned to say that they'd finally wheeled Dad back and they would be joining us for lunch at the playground asap.

One hour and several hysterical fits of laughter later (the "Gazelle" bit never did end), we headed back to wait for Dad's results. They were not what we wanted.

He has 3 clogged arteries/veins, one 50%, one 70%, and one 90% blocked. They barely got the microscope up his leg before they saw the damage, brought it right back out and declared "Bypass time!"

This is not good. Big Daddy has been battling heart disease for 17 years, undergoing numerous angioplasties, stint insertions, and one "brought back from the dead" experience. But it has been 11 years since anything has happened. 11 years of convincing ourselves we could breathe a little easier, 11 years to stop the constant "How's Dad?" conversation, 11 years to watch college graduations, baby births, and help Menana beat cancer.

Our luck could only last so long. Plus, he doesn't really exercise or eat right (though he does try), and his stress levels are always Orange or above, so this day was inevitable. But like I said, it's been 11 years -- I'd forgotten what this was like. It sucks.

We started making calls right away, booked a flight home for Lea, and waited for the doctor. By then, the kids were cranky (we all were) and tired, we were anxious to get some factual info, and we needed some comic relief.

Enter Jax. Seeing Ryan curled up asleep on one of the lobby couches, he quickly tunneled underneath a tall-boy table surrounded by chairbacks, and laid down, quietly pushing his cars. As Mom and Ninny and I were talking, Menana looked over to see Jax gone. She went searching for him, reporting back between bursts of laughter that Jax had crawled under the chair of a very old man in the next seating area, and was apparently just waiting for the guy to see him between his legs and send him into cardiac arrest.

That was fun, especially the part where we tried to drag him out, which just ended up making everyone in the lobby laugh, which you all know is my favorite thing -- it really helps with the discipline and all.

I finally decided to take the kids home, and keep updated by phone, so that's what we did.

Now here's the thing about heart patients: you never know how long you'll be waiting, or what will happen. That said, we had only planned on being gone until about lunchtime, and had just left Lola to fend for herself in the house alone. Something I rarely do because of her propencity to eat poo, pee everywhere, and generally wreak havoc. I was not looking forward to seeing what she had done as we walked in at 5:30.

What she had done was completely demolish Jax's stuffed dog, "Cheeto", a cheap little orange rag-dog that Shawn won for him at Wurstfest. Lola had gone to town, and there was stuffing everywhere. Jax ran into the Big Room, saw the destruction, stomped his foot and yelled, "Shit, Lola!"

And then we laughed. And called Big Daddy and made him laugh.

Because in times like this, that's all I know how to do.

Until I tucked Ryan in, and the tears started flowing. "Mommy, do you remember when you told me that if you cry too hard and too long you will make yourself sick? Breathe, Mommy. I promise everything will be alright." She may never know how much I needed that.

So even though I'd enjoy some peace while we wait at the hospital today, I'm bring them with me anyway, because they're my buddies -- they make me laugh when nothing else can and they remind me to breathe. I'm hoping they'll do the same for everyone else.

His surgery is at 11. Prayers are welcome!!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Catching Up

This is how boring Ryan says I am to be around.

What we were doing while Daddy was listening to the vacuum guy...

Scroll down for more Thanksgiving treats!

Meme Time

Looks like I've been tagged by Melinda. Lucky YOU!! I'm not really sure I want any of you to know 7 unknown things about me -- chances are, if no one knows about them yet, it's probably a good thing. But I'll soldier on and try my hardest.

Hmmm....okay! I've got 'em! (drumroll, please):

#7) I'm a super-taster. I have a very sensitive palette and cannot stomach even a trace of peppers (except for black) in my food. A fact my husband is still trying to wrap his brain around.
#6) My birthmark is on my ass. And it's red.

#5) I hate reading directions. I'd much rather jump in on my own, and once I've completely screwed up, then I'll consider consulting the instructions. Makes life more interesting. Or something.

#4) I'm a closet Buddhist. Or I'd like to be.

#3) While in college, on the eve of one of my dad's numerous heart surgeries, I had a party because I didn't want to be sad. And now I regret it and will feel guilty for the rest of my life.

#2) I am no longer able to drink (or smell) Tequila. If you know why, keep it to yourself.

#1)I failed Golf in college. Again, if you know why, please don't tell.

Whew. My hands are sweating, my heart is palpatating, but I"publish".

Learn somethin' new everyday...

Last night I was reading a Christmas book to Ry and Jax, and it ended by talking about how just when everyone wakes up on Christmas morning, Santa is settling down to go to sleep.

As soon as I read the last words, Ryan quickly chimed in using her very best teacher-voice, "That's right, Jax, because Santa is nocturnal. Can you say nocturnal, Jax?"

I love that kid.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Gobble Gobble

Happy Thanksgiving Y'all! We, as usual, had the most dysfunctional fun our little family is capable of having. Let's just jump right in...

We were ambushed Wednesday night by a woman claiming she was trying to get the word out about her carpet cleaning company, and would we like her to clean a room for free in exchange for word of mouth?? Well...sure, why not? (Do you have anything that will get up dried eggs?)

Suckers. She sent in her "guy" who then proceeded to spend an hour trying to sell Shawn a $1500 vacuum cleaner.

(Note to lying vacuum salesmen: If someone accepts a free room carpet cleaning at 6 pm the night before Thanksgiving, they probably can't afford to buy a $1500 vacuum. Just a clue.)

I sweetly weaved my way through that one, channeling my inner Brenda/Tami and using my best Texas drawl to explain to the (lovely, I'm sure) salesman that Daddy works every single day of the week, and that we would actually enjoy spending time with him, so you could you please pack up all your "look-how-dirtyYOUR-vac-leaves-your-carpet" materials and get the hell out?

And he did. More on this later. I'm not done with Kirby Cleaning Services just yet -- BBB here I come!! (Oh, and that super-duty top of the line wet/dry vac? Didn't even come close to cleaning the egg stain, which is unfortunate for them.Might have changed the whole outcome of that visit...)

Anyway, that ordeal ended, Ninny arrived and we all had fun eating, laughing, playing and finally, sleeping.

And then. AND THEN....TURKEY DAY!!!!

That's right, MY National Holiday, to celebrate what a ginormous turkey I am!!

What? No parents or grandparents here for Thanksgiving? No prob, I'll take care of everything!

Let's see...pecan pie, 4 layer pumpkin cake, crispy-topped creamed spinach, cheesy corn bake,crust-topped broccoli and cheese casserole, sweet potato casserole, 2 kinds of cranberry sauce and hmmm.....what am I missing????

What's that? A Turkey? Well slap my mouth and call me Fred! Why didn't anyone mention a turkey?? Off to HEB!!

But not before I fix everyone Baked Apple Pancakes. Note to self: when grabbing handle of skillet that has spent 30 minutes in 425 degree oven, it's best to wear protective gear.

Yep, I pulled a big ole Johnny Tremain, and now my left hand is burnt and mangled. Not really, but there will be a nice little scar. Thank God for next-door neighbors bearing bottles of aloe...

Eventually we make it to the big meal , which everyone gobbles down. Except for Ryan, who was heard mumbling "gross" and "blecch" and "do I have to eat this???" and Jax, who just threw himself on the ground and went off on one of his classic Jax-Attacks. It really made me thankful for Prozac.

What else can be said? The Cowboys won, no one watched the parade, and Shawn and Ninny had a "smell my feet" war. Pretty much on par with every other holiday...

Shawn went back to work Friday, the kids and I went insane, and Ninny saved the day with bags of new clothes she bought the kids during the circus they call "Black Friday".

We pulled out a few Christmas items, read some books, put out some decor, and now I'm staring down the barrel of a day of cleaning and decorating with no escape plan for the kids (No Daddy, rain all day)...should be a lot of fun!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Shit shit shit

Jax has been saying this a lot lately.

Obviously it's my fault.

I've tried to cure him of it, though. I really have. I've been very conscious about not using the word around him, choosing the irritating "shoot!" instead, and still he says, "Shit!"

"Shoot, Jaxson."




Then, my parents reported that while at their house thie weekend, he ran outside and loudly declared, "Oh, Shit!"

Big Daddy did his best to correct him, to no avail.

Today he said it again, for what reason I'm not sure, but I quickly knocked on his head, got down on his level and said, "No, Jaxie. Don't say shit. It's naughty. Not nice. No, no,no."

After which he knocked me on my head and yelled, "No Shit!!!"

Monday, November 19, 2007

Guilt-Free Monday

In my ongoing quest to EVOLVE and become a more serene, stress-free me, I am attempting to relieve myself of some of the guilt I feel on a regular basis. So, I thought I'd list ten things guilting me down right now, and in doing so, will release them from their fleshy cave and lighten my load just a tad.

Wanna join in on the fun? Add your own list in the comments section! (I don't know why I do that to myself. None of you ever comment.)

Here's what I'm feeling guilty about right now:

10. Spending $10 on my credit card at Subway instead of coming home and making a sandwhich myself.

9. Not going to spin class this morning.

8. Convincing Ryan to buy the school's "surprise lunch" today so I wouldn't have to fix her lunch myself. (That one really hurts.)

7. Slapping Jax's hand after he ripped off the drawstring from my sweatshirt.

6. Typing up this list instead of cleaning.

5. Buying shortening for an apple pie instead of trying to find a healthier option.

4. Going up to Ryan's school this morning in ugg boots, shorts, a t-shirt and greasy hair.

3. My thighs. And my butt. And my stomach.

2. Drinking a Full-sugar Dr. Pepper, instead of a diet one. or water. or anything else that's even remotely healthier.

1. Getting to stay at home and write up silly lists like this while my husband toils away at work all day.

Collective breath...annnnddd....out again. Okay. All better.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Well, at least he doesn't pass out

My friend Angie sent me this article yesterday. I wonder what she was trying to say???

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ho Hum

Not much activity around these parts, a little poop in the carpet here, back-talk and eye rolls there...same old same old.

Ninny passed her Series 7 exam for her Stockbroker's license -- woohoo Ninny!!! Shawn's sister Courtaney just had her baby -- Evan Connor on November 5th -- woohoo!!! Menana &Big Daddy want all of us to go in on a camper trailer -- woohoo! I bought a pair of jeans on ebay and they are too small...boohoo. Lola had her teeth cleaned yesterday (no more poopy-diaper breath!!) WOOHOO!!!

That is all. Sorry.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Not Much Gets Past This One...

Ryan after school on Friday: "Hey, mom? I met another boy today named Ryan. You know what? I'm beginning to think there are more boy Ryan's than girl ones."

Then earlier today, as we passed by a house with a fully lit and decorated Christmas Tree blazing in their front yard (I shit you not): "Uh oh! I think those people forgot Thanksgiving!"

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Community Touchbase Outcry

Is it normal that a 2 1/2 year old would choose to watch Elf (my fave Xmas movie, btw) over every other movie on the market? More than Cars, more than Incredibles, more than Ratatouille?

I'm not sure, but we've watched it 3 day straight now, and I'm wondering is this every kid this age, or just mine? The reason I'm not sure is because I need something to cling to right now.

Ever since the Smashing Eggs Incident (12eggs. I carpet.), I've been breathing veeeerrrryyyyy slowly and focusing on the wonderful things about my boy. For me, this is one of them.

So what I want to know is, should I be worried, or can I continue in my blissful ignorance of Other Things Jax and just concentrate on this for a while?

I really hope I can, because it is too sweet when he says in his raspy little voice, "I want watch Belly!!" (aka: Buddy)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

It doesn't say "Lowering the Bar" for nothing



I have all this funny junk about Halloween, but I NEED MY PICTURES before Mommy Brain takes over and assaults my memory.

I really wish I'd had it yesterday for Ryan's Girl Scouts ceremony. Half the group was decked in blue vests, half were sheathed in their pink Girl Scout shirts, and then there was Ry -- popping out in straight zebra. It was perfect. And I can't show you because some kid may have mistaken my camera for his Halloween treat. Or it sprouted legs. Or I've left it in the dryer.

Judging by the sheer number of cameras and the 2 minute long "cheese" by the girls (which scared the crap out of Jax. Literally. He grabbed me, said "I stared", and then he shit.) there should be some random pics floating out there and as soon as I learn how to blur the other girl's faces I'll try and post some.

Though you wouldn't think I'd want to show off the fact that I was the only mom who forgot to bring their kid their outfit...

Do I smell MOTY???

Monday, November 5, 2007

Private Part Deux

Tonite at dinner, the discussion found a way to wind itself back to "private parts", involving us talking about an incident at our friend's house where the little boy she was playing with pulled down his pants, jumped on his bed and starting shakin' it (according to Ryan).

Anyway, in an attempt to be nonchalant about the whole thing, I quickly insert, "Well, it's not like he has anything you haven't already seen on your brother."

"Uh-uh, Mom. His was a lot bigger."

"Well, sure. He's bigger than Jax."

"Yeah, but it was HUGE!! It hung all the way down to the floor!!!"

...and on another note, check out our day at Wurstfest in New Braunfels...

Friday, November 2, 2007

I can't really argue with that

We've been having some "Private Parts" discussions about boundaries and rules lately,mostly consisting of: "don't talk about them, don't touch them, just pretend they're not there."

Clearly failing as a parent, tonite I caught Ry trying to "wash" Jax in the tub, and when I reprimanded her , she pleaded, "I'm sorry, mom. I just can't stop looking at it. It's so...funny."


Jax has struck again, and this time he has accomplices

Abut a week or so ago, he apparently shoved something (we think it may be a ball) down the guest toilet, a trick not quite so bad, until you add that Ryan woke up a couple of nights later, dumped a load in the clogged commode (I'm a poet...) and I didn't find out until 2 days later, when I once again went in search of "that fucking smell".

I immediately alerted Shawn, seeing as how our contract clearly states that I will wipe as many bums as necessary, will scrub as many toilets as may beckon me, but under no circumstances will I ever plunge.

Unfortunately, the same day I told him about the clogged pot, Jax up and flushed the entire box of wipes down the downstairs toilet, rendering it useless as well. Shawn apparently thought that was the potty I was referring to, and fixed the problem lickety-split.

That was 3 days ago. Due to my guilt over forcing him to do the dirtiest of dirty work, I refrained from nagging about the other toilet, thinking he was pre-treating it or something, I don't know, but last night I finally gave in, and demanded, nay, gagged that he do something about the port-o-potty to whom we had apparently rented space.

So after a long stressful day at work, he spent the a good portion of his evening not hammering out the take-home work he'd planned on finishing, but instead spent it choking, yelling, cursing and plunging...all to no avail.

And now I'm off to call the plumber, buy more candles, and add "toilet lock" to my baby safety list.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Just a Taste....

Another Halloween has come and gone, and we've got the video to prove it:

Ryan went as school-girl Elphaba, putting her costume-IQ worlds beyond most of the other kids her age. Jax was Rocket from "Little Einsteins", though according to my mom, he could also have passed as a car....

I was able to pull off Shawn's "Maximus" costume, which then left me needing a costume, so I did the easiest thing I could -- I went as the Man of My Dreams. (Speaking of which, I had the most horrifying nightmare about him last night -- something to do with him and another girl unabashedly thumbing their noses at me from the boudoir. Haunting, indeed.)

Pictures forthcoming, once I find my camera...

The best part of the night was when we went to a Haunted House one neighborhood over, where they'd hoisted the sails on a huge sailboat, posted some "Cap'n Jack" wannabe's, and handed out free beer to all the moms and dads. My kind of trick-or-treating.