Thursday, September 22, 2011

Okay, Seriously

My feet are healing.  Toe maybe not broken after all, although the word mofo still pops up now and again.  Broken blisters are only sore while I'm wearing shoes.

I did sleep weird the other day and got a kink in my neck.  I guess I pretty much asked for that, though, didn't I?

Instead of adding new body parts to a list of complaints, I'll just say I'm really glad I don't have to.

This morning, while driving the girls to Grandma's house, we had issues.  In case you're new around here and don't know, our morning drive goes from an elevated desert over a mountain range pass and down to the bottom of the other side.

It's not exactly treacherous mountain driving, being that each side of the freeway has three to four lanes.  There's enough of a downhill grade to have emergency ramps should one of the thousands of semis that passes through have a brake failure.

I did not have a brake failure.  Even better, I didn't have any trouble while in the pass.  About 10 miles from Grandma's house I heard that beep.  Saw the red triangle with an exclamation point.  Read the message that said, "Stop safely now."

Felt sick.

The last time this happened was a few years back, and my car had just run out of gas.  Today, I had plenty of fuel.  Last time I was only doing about 35 miles per hour; the car died in about 30 feet, complete with a locked up steering wheel.

Today I was driving closer to 75 miles an hour.  In the fast lane of a very fast freeway.

With my girls in the back.

*deep cleansing breath*

I did not attempt to get to the other side.  I made the equally bad decision to pull onto the center divide. 

A call to roadside assistance had someone on there way.  "They'll be there in 80 minutes or less."

"Eighty minutes?  I'm on the center divide with two small children."

I am not a crier, but I could have been.

A CHP officer pulled up, mentioned three times that I was in a very unsafe spot.  (It wasn't just the center divide, I was up against the start of a bridge, where the shoulder narrows.  Every passing carr rocked us.  I could not move forward or back.  Although my car was still running, it wouldn't go.)

He had dispatch call the tow service to see if they could speed things up.  Apparently not.  He came back and asked for my cell number.  Called my cell phone to make sure it was right and then told me he was going back to run a traffic break.  He would call me to let me know when to go.  I was concerned at how fast I could get the car to go.  He went back to his SUV and came back again.  Said another officer would run the break and he would escort me.

Someone on his walkie-talkie asked if I'd turned the car off and then turned it back on.  I had not. 

I tried it.

The triangle of doom was gone.  Replacing the "stop safely now" message was the same old "miles until E."

I do not understand cars.

Apparently I reset the car's computer.  Not that everything was fine, mind you, but it was good enough to make the traffic break work for us.

It was a little surreal being escorted off the freeway by two CHP officers.  Officer Garcia, my knight in shining black and white... whatever SUVs are made of these days... and the officer who ran the break made sure I got into a parking lot near the off-ramp and waved as they drove away.

My car was running fine, so I called my dad and Nance to update them before heading off again.  Got to Dad and Margaret's place only to hear the unmistakable sound of air leaking from a tire.  I had a moment of desperate hope when I wondered if maybe the flattening tire could have caused my earlier dilemma.

I believe my tires are "run flats," meaning I can go a little way before they show the effects of, say, a roofing nail being jammed clear through.  Despite leaking air for at least 10 minutes, the the tire still looked and felt normal.  So I dropped off the girls and had my dad follow me to the dealership.

The examination of my car revealed several problems.  Maybe the missing air filter case clip could be dealt with another time, but that and the rest are being worked on now and for at least one more day.

Thankfully, the problem that brought us to a (metaphorically) screeching halt this morning is covered under the extended warranty we purchased four years ago.  I am about 10,000 miles from the end of that warranty.  Whew!  With the driving I do, it will likely run out by the middle of winter.

Unfortunately, there are a host of "maintenance" issues that are all going to be handled at the same time.

The only estimate I've received so far is that we're at $550.

Plus two new tires.  No, not the one with the roofing nail; they're going to repair that one. 
Tires are a veritable bargain at $330, because it's not just tires.  They're gonna mount, balance and install them.  I may have begun self-medicating with chocolate.

And there may be a deductible for our warranty work. 
There's no deductible, hooray!

I have a theory on why this happened.  Want to hear it?

Last night I worked out our bills for tomorrow and next Friday.  We pay all of our bills ahead of schedule, but had gotten ourselves up tight against the due dates with all of the activities in July and August.  Last night I mentally patted myself on the back as I thought, "By next Friday we'll only have one bill left for the month of October.  Then we can start on Christmas, Tom's mother's retirement gift and a few other things.  As long as nothing happens."

Stupid thought.

Here's another, much better:  Mad, Fynn and I were only delayed.  We They were not frightened or injured.  Even though I will be driving a rental car home tonight, we will all go home together.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

So There's This Woman at Work

She's one of the teachers I work with.  Lovely soul.  As Nance kept mentioning the other day, gorgeous eyes.  Kind of scattered.

A few years ago she had surgery on her foot.  A sort of "won't this be great?!?" deal that has resulted in more surgeries.  I'm not even sure if it's been two years or three that she's been hobbling around in some version of a cast and crutches.

She started school late this year because of another surgery.  A different one.

Now she has a cast, crutches and a full plastic and metal stabilizing neck brace.

We wonder what she'll come back with after the holidays.

Today I feel a little bit like her, only without the accessories.

Yesterday morning I met some random woman off the Internet in a park.  At 4:30 in the morning.  To walk.  We walked for what turned out to be about 90 minutes.  (Time flies when you're in the midst of a good conversation.  And apparently the days are shorter than they were when Fynnie was last nursing all night long, so I misjudged when I should head home to clean up for work.)

When I got in the shower, I realized that what I'd thought were a couple blisters on the backs of my ankles were, in fact, no longer blisters.

Lamaze breathing comes in handy for a lot of things, not just popping out kids.  In case you were wondering.

By the time I arrived at work, my legs were a little stiff, but not too bad.  The bigger problem was that I have to wear grown up shoes at work.  (And I recently got the stink eye for wearing flip flops.  Again.  So I left them at home.)

Did you know it's not at all painful to go up two flights of stairs with popped blisters on the back of your ankles?  It's because the ankles angle away from the shoes.  In fact, if I could have gotten to my desk strictly by going upstairs, I would have done it.

Instead, I hobbled along the upper floor of my building, gradually turning my toes inward.  Did that help?  Not really, but for some reason I kept doing it.

Also, for unknown reasons, I realized I was hunching over.

The only thing that made it even more fun to watch was when I realized I'd drank too much water, coffee and lemonade and needed to dash to the bathroom.  My version of a dash, included pigeon toes, a hunched back and a lot of Kegels.

Have I ever mentioned that I have some sort of muscular connection between the Kegel muscles and my eyelids?  It must be true.  That's the only explanation I can come up with for the fact that my eyes get this surprised look if I'm doing them right.

So, to recap, yesterday I was pigeon toed, hunched over, rhythmically shocked, bloated, itchy, sneezing, dripping (from my nose, people!) and practicing my Lamaze breathing.  What could be better?

Today I accidentally kicked a little wooden wagon that the girls have for their blocks.  It was more like walking into the corner of it, but only with the second to last toe.

I think I broke my toe.  It's swollen, gray and purple and hurts like a mofo if I try to point or flex my foot.  Which is something I apparently do ALL. THE. TIME.  And it's not that shooting pain that stops when you stop.  It lingers.

Between the toe, the broken blisters and the sore muscles from yesterday's long walk, I am not a huge fan of living in a two storey house right now.

Tom and I discussed it this afternoon, and I decided to tape my toes together.  Only, we have no clue where the medical tape is right now, so I used dark gray electrical tape.  Highs and lows, people.  It is easier to walk, but pinches a little and has become covered in white dog hair.

The thought of shoes is enough to make me break out in a sweat.  One of our Chinese girls accidentally left a pair of slip on sandals that are my size.  Sure, they're a sort of neon salmon plastic.  What?  I'll just wear all black tomorrow and have them be my pop of color.

So now that I've got the feet covered, on to the neck!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Oh, No She Di-en't

Oh, yes I did!

Wait, what?  You don't know?  Oh this is big deal stuff, peeps.  Let me lay the foundation for ya.

*I am dealing with an especially bad "girl time" right now.
*I am bloated, cranky and craving butter.
*My allergies are beyond manageable.  (I know, because I've broken down and taken meds the past few days.)
*I am sneezing, dripping, and itching.
*My eyes are swollen (no, not the skin around my eyes... I mean my eyes) and red.
*Eyelids are puffy.
*Head feels like it's going to explode.
*My ears are plugged.
*Sinuses periodically stop dripping long enough make my face hurt with the congestion.

Even better, I was so wiped out yesterday that I went to bed at 8:15 last night.  Naturally, that means I have been up since 3:30 this morning.  When I was finally tired enough to go back to bed, Fynn gave me three solid minutes to get comfy before letting me know she was up.  So I'm also tired.

And my hair is scraped back into a ponytail-ish bun thing.  But with three inches of brown and gray(!!!) frizz poking out everywhere.

On the other hand, my girls are adorable.  Mad has two of those ponytail-ish bun things in a style that we call her Mickey Mouse ears.

Fynnie had a little clip to keep hair out of her face.

Cute clothes for both of them.

And... I took them to breakfast this morning.

Alone.  (Tom has tennis on Sunday mornings.)

In a restaurant.

Mad is always asking if we can go in and eat whenever we pass Farmer Boys.  So today, we did.

I told the cashier that it was my first time bringing them on my own and asked her to please wish me luck.  When she realized I was splitting a plate between the girls, she made a note of it.

They each had a plate with a pancake, a strip of bacon and a cup of fruit.

They ate.

They behaved.

Any spills that happened were not from hopping around and banging into things.

There was no shrieking.

No incessant requests to go use the potty.

Even more impressive, I got to eat.

And we finished at the same time!

I picked a few pieces of food up off the floor and wiped down the area where Fynnie sat and we were out the door.

People smiled as we left.  (And not because they were so relieved that we were finally leaving.)

And the angels sang, "La haaaaa!"

Friday, September 16, 2011

Does It Make You Want to Kiss Me On the Mouth, Too?

Or we could call this, "Reason #675 Why She Shouldn't Be Forced to Endure Meetings That Other People Use In Place of Therapy"

Her:  "Blah blah blah wah wah wah *snort*"

Me:  "Or maybe since you are a full-grown woman, you could actually do it yourself."

(Two people later said they could have kissed me on the mouth for that.  One of them was not my boss, who was sitting right next to me, however.)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Vacating, part two

More fun from our time away last month.

On our second day, we got to meet up with a the family of a wonderful friend I made through my birth board.  Janette and her husband have twin sons, Charlie and Sam.  Madelyn, who was going through a please let us be a phase of shrieking "Sister!" did not spare Charlie and Sam.  It is now how we refer to them.

Fynnie loved them.  Couldn't get enough!  And if someone happened to, you know, touch her?  Fabulous.

Later that evening we went to a park near the home of my brother-in-law and his fiancee.  It was like the United Nations park.  From what I saw and heard, I think there was a very good chance we were the only people born in America.  A huge group of Africans played soccer, while their children played with Mad.  We saw people dressed in traditional garb from at least three places in Asia.  It was beautiful.

 Fynnie contemplates her earlier meltdowns after seeing children from many nations come together for fun and frivolity.

Oh, wait.  I'm pretty sure these women are originally from here.  They were very patient and tolerant when Madelyn decided to join their game of bocce ball.  They even let her throw the ball.
Sticking with a theme that lasted from the start of our vacation until after our Chinese exchange students (more on them later!) left, Mad melted down when she was forced to realize that we don't actually know these bocce ball playing people do something that was outside her master plan.

The next morning before we left, Uncle Matt made the most amazing banana berry oatmeal.  Mad would have loved it.  If Uncle Matt hadn't given her some of the homemade peach ice cream he and Sarah had made the night before, she might have tried it.
In a pure sign of brotherly love, Matt and Sarah let us crash at their new place.  By new, I mean the movers arrived from Boston with their belongings about 30 hours before we showed up.
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