Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Confession Tuesday

I cannot believe how long it has been since I last posted! I don't know what is wrong with me. I think with work being so draining, I just am tired when I get home.
Actually, I think that it is just that I am too lazy when I get home. All I want to do is watch the Bachelorette or something mindless and then go to bed.
I would also like to blame my lack of creativity on the home conditions. I mean, how can anyone be expected to write anything when your house is 100 degrees? Yeah, that's it! It was the house and not my laziness! I need an ideal temp of 72 degrees to maximize my creative juices.
I killed a pigeon the other day. My coworkers and I were driving back from lunch. This pigeon just jumped into the road in front my car! I tried to swerve away from it but I actually turned the car into it. Seconds later, it was no more.
This gets added to a long list of animals I have killed in my day. Frogs, squirrels, birds, a possum, butterflies and now our friend pigeon all have met their maker as a result of my car. I don't know why animals seem to be so attracted to it. I mean, it's just a Toyota!
Went to Virginia this weekend (thank you Wilsons for housing us!) We went for a very sad purpose as it was for Helene's funeral. It was so strange being home. I mean, since my parents moved to NC, I had not been home since my girlfriend Sabrina got married in Nov 2006. Going home, you know, when I got there, it was as if there had been a piece of me missing and Virginia finally filled it. Yes, Texas has its charms. But, there is something about going home to Virginia.

It is not like Norfolk is the nicest town. I mean, there are some pretty run down parts of the city. Certainly, there are PLENTY of nice parts but there are LOTS of run down parts. I like to think that adds to its charm. No homogonized suburbanites here, that's for sure!

Our best day had to be Sunday, though. We took a ferry from one side of the shore in Portsmouth to the other to the AAA Norfolk Tides baseball game. Jack got to help the captain drive the ferry! Then, at the game, he got to run the bases afterwards. On the way home, he asked the captain if he could drive the ferry again. It was so great. It was Jack's dream day. I mean, where in Texas can you do that? Carry me back to old Virginny, indeed.
I'm getting REALLY good at sneaking in food to a movie. That said, I do take personal pride in the fact that I snuck in a plate of fish tacos to the new Indiana Jones movie on Monday with my husband. I firmly believe that that sneak should go into the movie food sneak hall of fame. They were DE-LISH, by the way!
We had a scare with Eva a couple of weeks ago. As I mentioned, she had a cold that turned bad. She then, got a fever. I called the doctor first thing in the am. I had an appointment around 2p, the same time I had an appt the day that Eva got sick. We were in the same room, I in my same seat, Dr. Kennedy in hers. Just as before, she could not really find out why Eva had a fever. When she went out of the room to go look for something, Eva started to take out the diapers from the drawer just as she did moments before her seizure.

It was deja vu all over again.

Dr. Kennedy decided to go ahead and send us to Medical City ER to have an xray, just as we did the day Eva was diagnosed. We got there and many of the same staff were there. They took her off to xray. As it turns out, Eva only had an ear infection that had caused her fever. While Jon and I waited for the results, so many things were pouring in my head. I'm not ready, I decided, to be able to handle a return of Eva's cancer. I'm not ready.

Muchas Pulgas

My house has fleeeeeas...
My house has fleeeeeas...

Yes, this is a stupid song. Do you remember it? Usually, it is a "dog" that has fleas but for me, it is my house.

Last week, our air conditioner went out. When we called the friendly folks at American Home Shield (our warranty folks), they said they would send someone out right away (read: two days from now).

The man came in and said just two words, "Bad news". When your A/C guy says "bad news", you KNOW it means, bad news!

So our A/C compressor was out. The friendly folks at American Home Shield said that they would only pay the cost of the part but it would cost us $500 additional dollars to bring our unit up to "code". I don't know about you folks but I would like to know who is ALWAYS changing those codes? I mean, we had to pay $1,100! to have our water heater replaced because of CODES! And Home Shield bought the water heater! Don't get me wrong, I know that they do that so people don't have craphole houses with craphole crap in them but honestly, we have a nice house and does it really take $700 to make sure that our new water heater is exactly 18 inches off the ground instead of the 15 inches it was before? But I digress...

Back to the friendly folks at American Home Shield who only cover the cost of the part. Our A/C guy said, oh by the way, your unit is over 20 years old and instead of just replacing the compressor, you really, really, really need to replace the whole unit. Oh, and the friendly folks at American Home Shield will only pay $500 of it to replace your part that is broken. So, $3200 and five days later, we have A/C.

Oh, I forgot to mention that it is almost 100 degrees in Dallas right now. Yeah, poor Eva would wake up from her nap soaking wet, we had fans blowing everywhere but did nothing to cool the temperatures. Just one big sweaty house for a WEEK!

What does this have to do with the fleas, you ask. Well, last Thursday night, Jon came home from work, took off his socks and low and behold, he was eaten alive by fleas. After further investigation, we found more of them in the house.

Friday, we were heading to VA for the weekend. Oh, we'll take care of it when we return.

Monday morning, we returned home to find our nanny running out of the house. "Muchas pulgas! Muchas pulgas! " Crap. I know enough spanish to know that ain't good.

Jon and I left the kids in the car, ran into the house to grab whatever we could for tomorrow and headed to Jon's sister's house.

We were in the house for minutes and were covered in fleas. We ripped off our clothes and threw them in the washing machine and drove to Jon's sister's house in our skivvies. I felt like we were in some weird game show where we had 30 seconds to try to grab everything we could in our house before we lose $100,000. Dress for work? check. Jack's school uniform? check. Shoes for work? crap. It's not worth it, Kristi, stay away from the fleas. Just turn and walk away. You can wear your flip flops to work, no one will notice.

"Mommy, why are you driving in your underwear?" Jack asked. "Muchas pulgas", I replied.

How the heck did we get fleas? Well, it turns out that when our friend the possum came to visit us, he probably had fleas. Apparently, and I know WAY too much about fleas now, by the way, the eggs can lay dormant for up to 200 days. Once it gets too warm in your house, they hatch, then they mate like bunny rabbits or fleas, as it were. Then, those little blood suckers wait and wait for a host to come so they can pounce.

Damn you, you fleas, you will not beat me! I will reclaim my house! Just in a few days when you are all dead.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Brrrr, time for a cooold winter!

This came from a girlfriend of mine and I thought I would post. She works for a natural gas company here in TX but I am sure this will be felt across the country:

Just wanted to warn you that the price of natural gas is going through the roof. This WILL affect your electric bill as well. Natural Gas is used to produce electricity. Currently, electricity is about twice the price of natural gas.

At the beginning of the year, we were at $7.50 per Mcf. They are predicting we will be at $11 by this summer and $13 by the winter heating months.

The price of natural gas for the next year will be higher than the prices were during Hurricane Katrina and Rita.

As I told my husband, it is time to bundle up the kids and break out that clothes line!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Confession Tuesday

Ok, it is Wednesday, again.
Tuesdays seem to be a bit hard for me, right now. Maybe it is that I get all wrapped up with the Dancing with the Stars results show. I don't know. For the record, this season I am torn. I want Kristi to win, not only because we share a name and skating skill-level but because it is about time for a gal to win! But, Edyta...oh Edyta! It is your time, too, girl!
Last night, I had my first board meeting for the Family Advisory Board of the hospital where Eva stayed. While Eva was in the hospital, they were looking for volunteers to help serve on this committee. So, I did. The meeting went well. The topic? The ER. They asked the group, anyone been to our ER? I was like, yeah, which time in the three days would you like to know about? I think it will be good, though,and while I work in non-profit, it is nice to be volunteering again.
I can't seem to get Jack to keep/put his clothes on. I'm not sure quite what is going on but the Emperor in our house definitely has new clothes.
When I am on an airplane, I block the person in front of me from putting down their seat by placing my knee on the back of their chair. Then, I proceed to read a book or a magazine while they keep hitting the button and trying to get the seat back. I keep my knee there firmly in place until I am sure that he (it is ALWAYS a he!) thinks that his seat is broken. I know, it is awful but I'm sorry I am nearly 6ft tall and really? You HAVE to put your head in my face?
I was tricked on the flight home from NC by a guy sitting in the bulk head. I thought that surely, he has 20ft of room in front of him, why would he put his seat back? Bam, down he goes. When we boarded, I was so happy, too. I got the seat in the adjacent row while Jon took both kids as I had traveled with both by myself on the way out there. I thought, hey, I'm going to read my book this flight! This guy's seat was so far back, I could not get my book far enough away from my eyes so I could read!

So, I tried my tactic #2, seat bumping when I get up and down. Did not work. Ok, tactic #3, Jack? Want to sit in Mommy's lap for a bit? No go. Tactic #4, voodoo hex/hate eyes. Still did not work. So, for three hours, I sat cramped but that nice fella sure slept well. I hope he deserved it. I sure hope he was so tired from saving children from a burning building or perhaps feeding the hungry in Africa. If you are reading this Seat 31B, thanks a bunch!!!
I have decided that if I ever write a book, I would title it "In Vino Veritas: A Wine Guide to Parenting"
Eva does not speak very much but she does know more spanish than english. How sad is that? This weekend, I asked her if she was hungry, she just looked at me. Then I said, "Tienes tu hambre?" She said, "Si!"
One thing about Jack, he tells some great stories but he has no imagination. He would sit in a room and you would say, ok, Jack, tell me a story. It would go like this, "Once upon a time there was a boy named, Jack. He was in his room with his Mommy sitting on the bed. He looked up and saw a light bulb and then put away his toys. The end."

But for some reason, he has had an explosion of creativity. Because Jack has a reputation of always telling the truth, people always believe him. Here's what I have learned over the past two weeks when people have asked: 1-My car broke down and Eva, Jack and I got picked up by a tow truck, 2-Jack went to Austin, 3-Jack eats tree bark and worms regularly for breakfast and my favorite, 4-Jack has a 10-year old brother named Sammy who lives in Montreal by himself but comes to visit Jack every Friday while I am at work. Yeah, THAT one was really fun to explain to a school parent! Hmmm, maybe I should fact check with Jon just to be sure...
Eva is still up. Jon put her in her pack and play. Here's a last shot of her trying to break out. Time for bed!

Two Months Down!

Went to the oncologist today. Eva looks fine, he tells me, besides the cold that I gave her when we kept her in the rain last weekend. Dr. Lenarsky was kind enough to check her ears for me so we don't have to take Eva to the dr. That saved me $30, thank you!

So, provided that her urine tests come back ok, we have knocked 2 months off of our 24.

Next month is the big appointment. She does a quarterly CT scan and then we meet with the dr. That is the scary one.

Here's a shot of Eva tonight as she has decided that she does not want to go to sleep.

In Loving Memory of Helene Gean

I went to the same school for 10 years. Grades 1-10. It was a terrific school and I am thankful for the education that I received there. My Dad worked at the school and in the summer after the 10th grade, I decided that it was time for me to experience a different environment...public school.

I remember it like it was yesterday. It was the first week of school. I was in chorus class and in walked this short little firecracker, Sabrina Gean. While she was only a sophomore, she owned the school. I loved her immediately. She decided that my "sweet sheltered wallflower act" would just not do. A lifelong friendship was born.

SG, as I call her (still), took me home one day to meet her Mom, Helene. Helene was french and loud and outspoken and hilarious. She tanned EVERY DAY, skin cancer be damned! She was the spitting image of Sabrina only a few inches shorter, if that was even possible.

But most importantly, Helene insisted that I call her Helene. Helene! I mean, I'm 16 years old, she wants me to call her by her FIRST name? I felt so cool and so grown up!

Helene and SG immediately joined our family. They were invited to every family celebration that we ever had from that point forward. Every graduation, every mother's day, every birthday party...not just mine, EVERY PARTY.

She was very fervent in her practice of the catholic faith. She and my father loved to discuss various points of which they firmly agreed on all. My dad dubbed her St. Helene of Gean.

One of my fondest memories of her was when France won the World Cup. She stood on her porch, waived her french flag and shouted, "Vive la France!! Vive la France!!" I heard her screaming as I rounded the street.

Helene was diagnosed with mylodysplasia a few years ago. In keeping with her strong personality, she fought hard. God took a new saint today, St. Helene of Gean. I know she will be watching over us and her beloved France.