Wednesday, December 2, 2009
The only drawback is the size. We also have 10 extra rooms to add to the space of our already larger rooms. Out of curiosity, I wore a pedometer to work last week. (I didn't go out and buy one. My son was given one at school to promote physical fitness). I wasn't a staff nurse that night. I was the "Help All" nurse. It is exactly what it states. We assist staff nurses with admissions, procedures, and respond to emergencies in the rest of the hospital. That night I took over 12,000 steps.
What does that even mean? How many miles is 12,000 steps you ask? Well, I googled it. 2,000 steps is approximately 1 mile. So I walked at least 5 miles. WOW. Add on top of that all the lifting of patients, equipment, and dialysis bags....I guess that means I can have an extra donut on saturdays when our lovely MDs bring us treats :)
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
We left the house around 11 a.m. and made pretty good time as far as I could tell from the passenger seat. I dozed off and on since I'd worked twelve hours the night before. I woke from a decent nap when my mom called to check on our progress. She informed me that the last few turns on the Mapquest directions were completely wrong. Our plan was to call her at a specific turn onto hwy 30A (I think) and she'd meet us at the next turn, before the directions went to crap. This was also the point where she'd lost cell phone reception. (She was currently calling me from Port St. Joe where the nearest grocery store, a Piggly Wiggly, was located.)
After I got off the phone with her, John asked me how far we were from Gulf Shores. I assumed he meant 'how far is the beach house from Gulf Shores.' I told him that the place we were staying was no where near Gulf Shores. It was in fact about an hour east of Panama City, FL. If you aren't familiar with beach routes through Alabama, google it. He then informed me that we were on I-65 south about thirty minutes past Montgomery. My jaw dropped and I might have swallowed a swarm of bees before I could close it.
"You're joking right?" I asked
"No, I'm not."
"We're supposed to be on 231 south heading for Panama City!"
I'm almost certain I had explained the approximate location of our destination to him more than once. But, apparently he didn't hear me. Regardless, the printed mapquest directions were sitting just to his right the entire time. And since our atlas was in my car at home, I called my mom and she told us a shortcut through Greenville to Luverne to Troy where we could pick up 231. First crisis averted, we carried on.
At some point, Bronwen's post nasal drip exceeded her gastric capacity and one good coughing fit had her puking up Cheerios and soy milk. We stopped and, since I'm the mom and nurse, I had the pleasure of cleaning up the mess. (Although later John had the priviledge of getting the puke out of all the little nooks and crannies the child restraint buckles have.) Second crisis contained.
In Troy, we stopped at the WalMart to buy an atlas. We took this opportunity to let the kids stretch their legs and use the restroom as well. After settling the kids back in the van with their snacks, we hit the road, once again thanking the powers that be for TVs in vehicles. God bless the parent who thought that up.
"We just saw these four places a little while ago. How weird is that?"
"And look, that Hooters has a silver truck out front just like the other one!"
Had we looked at the new atlas, we'd have noticed that there was a street that did a big circle all the way around the town. We got the turn on the second try and crisis three corrected with only about thirty minutes wasted.
Bronwen threw up again somwhere between Dothan and Panama City and we repeated the clean up routine.
We made it through Panama City without incident. I'm still constantly amazed that mapquest thinks it's easier to turn four times when, if you continue on 231, it runs right into hwy 98. After a long stretch of darkness, deer, and pine trees we made it to Port St. Joe. I called my mom to give her the heads up that we were getting close. She said we had another half hour or so. Great.
"Call me when you turn onto 30A and I'll meet you at the restaurant after the turn onto 30E (actually called Cliff-something-or-other) and that's the turn into the subdivisions. It's too hard to explain, and mapquest is competely off with their directions from there on." she said. I tried to respond but my phone cut out.
It was about 9p.m. when we got to the turn where I was supposed to call my mom. And of course, my phone had lost it's connection. John and I decided we could make it to the part where the subdivisions were, and maybe figure it out ourselves. WRONG. We tried every gated community, but the code we were given for entry didn't unlock any of them. We went back to the restaurant hoping that my mom would realize we'd lost reception and come to meet us.
We waited there a few minutes. We couldn't call her from a pay phone because there wasn't one. We drove back to the subdivisions to look for a road we might have missed. On our way down the street, we saw my stepdad and followed him in.
The road we missed was more like a firebreak in the forest. It was sand/dirt and there were strategic dips, bumps, and occasional large mounds of dirt you had to maneuver around. At 10:30 we got out of the van and the wind was blowing fiercely. John and I dragged the kids in, and he and my stepdad, Brian, unloaded the van. I don't remember most of that evening, just a blur really, and crisis four... done.
We all slept fitfully. The kids were all sick and we were starting to get the stuffy head/cough thing too. Between three kids, John and I were up about every two or three hours the first two nights.
Our first day at the beach was cold enough to keep us in jeans and fleece jackets. We spent most of the day in the house playing. Bronwen is completely obsessed with dogs, and to her joy my mom brought their dog Joe. He's getting older, and has a new seizure disorder, but he tolerated her with only a few grumbles.
Our last full day (wednesday) was great. It was warmer and we all got in the water a bit. We saw a few dolphins and lots of pelicans. Bronwen and Ian had a great time climbing up and down the three flights of stairs. I was thankful the elevator (yes, it had an elevator) was out of order, because surely my kids would have ridden it into its grave had it been operational. My calves on the other hand, were not used to so much exercise.
We planned to leave thursday and stay the night in Auburn,AL with my dad and stepmom. This would break up the long drive and give us an opportunity to see family. The best laid plans of mice and men......
We left around noon on thursday and hit every redlight between our beach house and Troy,AL. I'm not being sarcastic. We hit EVERY one! I think we averaged about 40 mph. Bronwen threw up three times, and she cries when we're driving after dark. Thank goodness we made it to Auburn just before sunset, crisis five... finished.
We enjoyed dinner with my dad, stepmom, stepsister and her husband. The kids were entertaining as usual.
We found a Ford dealership fairly easily. The guy assured us he'd get us through as quickly as possible and we set up camp in their lobby. Three sick kids and two grumpy adults. I felt very sorry for the other customers. The only entertainment was a collection of car pamplets, on Highlights magazine, and several copies of a children's bible book. After an hour of waiting, the kids quickly tired of this and started running in circles around the chairs. John and I, fed up with waiting, didn't even try to stop them.
John went back to the van to get drinks for the kids and see what progress was being made on the van. No progress had been made, they said the engine was too hot to look at it. Dagan fell asleep in a chair while Ian and Bronwen continued their four yard dash back and forth from the chairs to the wall.
After two hours, I went to do a progress check. The girl I talked to sent a guy to the shop to get an update. While he was gone, she asked for my name. I assumed she needed to look up our van in the computer system.
"It's under John McNab." I replied.
"No, what's your first name?"
"Aven. Why do you ask?" I was very confused at this point.
"You used to be Aven Jeffers right? I think you lived across from my grandmother in Auburn."
I told her yes, I was from Auburn, and she said "I knew you looked familiar." I could care less at this point, but I smiled and nodded secretly hoping a familiar face would speed things up.
The man came back and told me that they didn't know what was wrong with the van yet and right now everyone was out to lunch. Well, I thought, that's just great. They're taking their lunch break while the five of us are starving and filled with boredom. Typical. I called work to let them know I probably wouldn't make it back to Nashville in time to come to work. Shortly after, our not so helpful attendant told us we needed new spark plugs and the wires were fried as well. Only three were damaged but they only came in kits of six. John told him he knew for a fact they didn't because he works for Ford and they don't HAVE to be sold six at a time. The man said the wires came in a set but the plugs didn't, blah blah blah......
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Then it was over. I needed another beer ;)
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Looks like my horoscope is spot on today. So, what started out as the day from hell, is gonna be alright.
To start the day off right, coffee in hand, I have a not so great conversation with my mortgage person. She tells me that instead of $8700 in closing costs (which we couldn't have come up with anyway) it's gonna be $9900! If I had nearly $10,000 sitting around, I wouldn't need to refinance my house! So our refinance is off. But now we can pay cash for our Scotland trip instead of putting all our savings towards the refi.
Fast forward to 10am-ish, and Ian presses some magical button on the remote that cuts off our cable. Every damn channel is ant wars. Steam now shooting out of my ears, I declare TV broken, and that's that. Bronwen waltzes over to the TV a few minutes later, turns it on, and SURPRISE.....it works again.
So lunch time arrives. I'm fixing the boys some nourishment, and I hear what is either water pouring onto the floor, or someone peeing on it. Now, both the little ones are wearing diapers, and I am hoping like hell that Dagan hasn't taken up the habit of peeing where he shouldn't. I look around to find Bronwen holding a tub of Vaseline in one hand and the other crammed in the jar squishing it vigorously. She has the equivalent of boxer's gloves worth of goo on both hands. Good news is, that's the only place the stuff made it. Quick and easy clean up, but now we're out of Vaseline.
SO! I'm going to listen to my horoscope. I'm going to "graciously acknowledge the ideas that are presented" and start writing all my daydreams/ideas down on paper (or a Word document most likely). Who knows, maybe I'll have enough for a whole book. Goddess knows I've read plenty of them.
Here goes. I'm making lemonade out of my lemons. If things keep going like today, I'll need some Vodka to put in it though.
This was originally written December 4, 2007. I was 6 months pregnant with Bronwen at the time. So, here's our story of going to see Santa.......
This was written on the morning of September 11, 2009........
Eight years ago, I was walking in my neighborhood, trying to start up contractions. I was overdue by at least a week already, and just plain tired of being pregnant. I tried every little trick suggested (sex, riding down bumpy roads, walking) and none of it worked.
So on that ill-fated day, I came inside from yet another attempt at going into labor, to find the world in turmoil. My answering machine was flashing like a strobe light with messages, mostly from my mom. They all said something along the lines of “turn on the TV.” So I did. You all remember what we saw.
The next day, I reported to my scheduled OBGYN appointment. Everyone was so dejected. Shell-shocked. Can you believe it? Of course you know the gas prices will go up. My sister lives in NYC. What are we going to do? My father works at the Pentagon. All of these things, thought or said, were fresh on everyone’s minds.
There was no progress with a “natural” labor, so I was sent to the hospital to start induction. I spent the next 58 hours trying kick-start my labor by means of medications and uncomfortable monitors. Finally, on September 14, 2001 at 21:38 I had a healthy baby boy via cesarean, William Dagan Aston.
The whole time I was in the hospital, five days total, I really hadn’t absorbed the events of 9-11. Driving Dagan to school today we were listening to the radio. We heard lots of things about the events that happened eight years ago. Dagan asked me about 9-11. I said that some very bad people kidnapped some planes with good people on them. Then they crashed the planes and killed thousands of innocent people.
It was more upsetting to tell an 8 year old what happened than to remember it. It gave it a voice. Made it real all over again. I found myself in the line to drop off kids at school teary eyed, snot nosed, in my pajamas, and out of coffee. Driving back home, my thoughts still on 9-11, I thought there’s no way to explain that day. Just saying some bad people killed some good people doesn’t begin to cover it. For those who were not old enough to know what was going on or weren’t even born yet, there isn’t anything we can tell them. Only facts. Just like the Kennedy assassination and Pearl Harbor are to my generation. We know a terrible thing happened, but it doesn’t affect us as much.
I hope you all remember, as if we could really forget. Just like the Holocaust and slavery, September 11, 2001 should never be forgotten. And if you find yourself explaining to a child some horrible event in history, you might get emotional and maybe even tear up like I did. Or not. It doesn’t matter. As long as we tell them.