November 25, 2005
God's Perfect Timing ...

My husband had emergency surgery on his appendix this morning. I'll spare you lots of details, not out of any great consideration for my readers but rather from the fact that I'm exhausted.

He's going to be fine, albeit heavily medicated for awhile.

At first, I was a little frustrated that it happened now. I'm still recovering from surgery, my parents went home a few days ago, and his parents won't arrive until a few days from now. But then I had some thoughts ...

It really was perfect timing. I would have freaked if this had happened during the last few days of my pregnancy, which would have been super-bad for the baby. And as long as he's going to be out of commission, it makes him happy that its over a long weekend so he won't have to worry about rearranging his work schedule too much. Plus, everyone that I needed to help out with the logistics of hospitals and babysitting was off today! Talk about perfect timing!

Not to mention that the surgeon on-call at that particular time was really extra-good according to the nurse/friend who drove me to the hospital and stayed to scout things out, and to effectively label my husband "one of mine" so that he got slightly better-than-average care. She stayed until he was out of surgery, in spite of the fact that she was expecting a house full of in-laws for a big dinner in less than 3 hours.

He ended up being sent to a vacant room in Pediatrics, which has a better nurse/patient ratio than other areas of the hospital. Today the ratio happened to be 1:1. Thats pretty good, even if you have to stay in a room with a giant mural of The Little Mermaid. I can't swear its because Shannon took a little "walk" to have a private talk with some co-workers, but I know that before she left the waiting room he was going to one place and after she came back he was going to a better different place (pediatrics, even though he's in his 30's). I'm pretty sure I owe her a casserole and a really attractive dessert!

Note to readers: If you want to know things, ask the nurses. Off duty. Off the record. They'll tell you things. Interesting things.

Warning to doctor-type-people: Nurses will tell people things. Interesting things. Things about doctors!

November 21, 2005
Norman Finds His Niche

Norman could no more imagine dieing as a civilian than I could imagine being abducted by aliens. Then came the training accident.

Since the very beginning, Norman had always had the great conviction that he would die a Ranger and be buried at Arlington, if there was anything left to bury at all. He found a bizarre peace and purpose in that. I sometimes wonder if its possible to have dreams and ambitions in-utero. It often seems he was determined that early!

But the training accident ended that. He wasn't killed or crippled (which was in and of itself a miracle) but ... suddenly, he was faced with civilian life. A life he was ill-equiped for. A life he didn't want. I must admit, I occassionally wondered if it would have been kinder for him to have died rather than live after the dream died. I'm sure that's sacriligious, and I regret the thought born of a lack of faith, but to watch him struggle was hard.

He just collapsed. And so did what everyone in his family does when faced with disaster ... more college. If you're going to be miserable, at least be miserable with a flexible schedule while improving your options. Its not a bad plan, all things considered.

Norman finished off a degree in computer science, and toyed around with both Liberal Arts and the hard sciences. He's discovered that he adores college. He's a smart boy. And charming. And very sweet natured. For a guy that could kill you with his bare hands.

And thus he finds his niche! There's actually a high demand for guys with his particularly odd skill set. Charming laid-back literate ex-military guys with computer skills and interests in chemistry and biology.

He's the perfect graduate assistant for professors that travel to exotic hostile locations to conduct hands-on environmental research!

November 16, 2005
Just Weird

"Normal" bloodpressure is 120/80. You'd think that when bloodpressure elevates, both numbers go up. Because thats what normally happens.

So. I find it a little disturbing that mine is going up and down ... simultaneously. For example, 143/66.

People with explanations and/or speculations should comment excessively!

Just my weird moment for the day. Life is definitely getting weird and weirder. Bwahahahahaha.

November 15, 2005
It Depends On The Village

I'm sure we've all heard the saying "It takes a village to raise a child". While I'm aware of the feel-good thought behind it being that a sense of community is important to children, I'm also a little put off by the dismissal of the role the parent plays in the life of the child.

Yes, I have family and friends that help me out. And I help them out. But none of us have linked the success of our child-raising to the input of others. Realistically, if my family were placed into the federal witness protection program we'd still be successful in raising our children. Sure, we'd be a little stressed, but we wouldn't dissolve into a non-functioning mess.

Perhaps I feel like my home is under attack in much the same way France is under attack with the riots.

I've allowed imigration into The Village willy-nilly, letting people "in" because they were my old friends. Coddling them, giving them a view into a world different than theirs, all the while knowing they can never be me. I suppose it was cruel.

Now all those single thirty-somethings have decided that my children are the closest THEY are ever going to have to their own children, so my children are going to become "village" children.

I couldn't make this up if I tried. Friends that don't even know my children's names are having birthdays and suddenly lamenting their own lack of children, and eyeing mine. The absolute creepiest thing is to watch a friend at dinner pretending that your children are hers. Subtly of course, but still. And then later announcing that they behaved because she was there to take charge. (Note: The appropriate response is "No, they behaved because they're normal. This isn't some dysfunctional sitcom.")

I suppose there's some humor value in having four well-behaved children, and getting parenting advice from people that don't even have pets. Really. No pets.

Fortunately for my children, I'm not French.

November 14, 2005

When I was a little girl, very little in a very little town, there was a store called the Five and Dime. I found it odd that it wasn't named the Nickle and Dime or the Five and Ten, but I digress.

There was a huge open bin of random loose buttons that I delighted in running my fingers through. Each swipe moved new buttons to the top, occassionally a sparkly treasure instead of the ordinary shirt button. Even if no spectacular button drifted upward, I was rewarded by the cold clink-clink-clink of button moving upon button. I could stand there forever, or at least until my mother found whatever she was looking for.

Here's a collection random thought-buttons generated by a woman both sleep-deprived and medicated:

Cassie is bald-ish. An unfortunate consequence of using a comb as a roller which resulted in the aforesaid comb having to be cut out of her hair.

My husband got to pick-out the stroller/car-seat combo by himself. He did a stunning job! You'll never guess ... he bought the jogging stroller that has a detachable car-seat! Apparently he envisioned me jogging (bwahahahahaha). He views this as tremendously supportive of my weightlosing AND rather amusing. Not to mention, the boys will love pushing the ultra-cool stroller.

I will choke the very next person that tells me "Move around, you'll feel better".

Cathy eats like a little pig. Actually, Cathy eats like a HUGE pig.

November 10, 2005
Lucys Surprise

Lucy was scheduled for a c-section on Friday. Last night, as we prepared for bed, Lucy got the strangest expression on her face. At first, she thought our unborn daughter had kicked her. Then she realized her water had broken (first time for her even if this is her fourth pregnancy). So we made the fastest trip weve ever made to the hospital (105 miles away); fortunately traffic was light at that time of night.

Our youngest daughter arrived at 4:08 AM. She was 8 pounds, 1 ounce and 21 inches. Lucy makes consistent babies. All four of them were 8 pounds, plus or minus 2 ounces and ranged from 19 to 21 inches.

Lucy and daughter Cathy are healthy and doing well. Even though I did very little, I'm tired and proud. Looking forward to getting to entire family together under one roof soon. This hospital wants to keep her until Sunday, which seems long to us, but well see. Lucy will probably resume blogging early next week. Thank you for all your prayers and well-wishes.