Sunday, March 11, 2012

what's the worst thing you could ask to borrow from a stranger?

I am nothing if not consistent.

When I wrote last night, I said that I'd probably be posting today because I am procrastination royalty and I knew I'd be dragging my behind on schoolwork. And here I am. Dragging my behind on schoolwork. And writing a blog post.

This post is probably going to be 


because that is what my life is like right now. 

So the kids and I have either ebola or the flold- that combo of vomity, feverish germiness {flu} that then transcends to a coughing, snot-infested dimension {cold} of ick. The past couple bouts of tuberculosis sickness we caught left me without even a tummy rumble. Which is awesome because someone's got to be the one scrubbing the upchuck off the floor. I'm not surprised that I caught this one, though. Stress manifests itself in the body and try as I might to deal with it, I think I was run ragged enough for the germs to take over. This little virus we've caught took me down, and took me down quick. My voice is currently at 20%. A vast improvement from yesterdays 5%. I ordered Panera takeout for dinner yesterday and I ended up with an odd mix of food that I did not request. But because I could barely squeak out what I wanted I wasn't surprised- the guy who answered the phone apparently does not speak "flold". He DID manage to hear my request for a bowl of broccoli cheddar soup, though. Thank God, or I'd have had the mutha of all hissy fits once I got home and realized I didn't get my soup. Seriously. 

The hardest part about being sick is this tiny shoebox of a home only has a shrinky-dinky standing shower in the master bathroom. No bath. Our house in Jacksonville has a super deep jetted tub. 
{moment of silence for the tub} 
When I get sick, I soak. It makes me right again. But with no bath, I had to go into the kids mini-sized bathtub and make do. What that basically means is that I was able to soak a third of my butt cheeks, half of my thighs, parts of my calves, and my heels in hot water. Not really what I was going for. But (HAHAHA) one third of my rear-end was very relaxed afterwards. 

And the other thing......our water heater is the size of a bumble bee's toenail (that's really small, okay? wait. do bumblebees have toenails? for the sake of this visualization, yes, they do). So hygiene maintenance is like a freakin olympic event here. I am shuffling naked booties in and out of the shower to ensure that none of us suffers hypothermia while trying to just to wash the day right out of our hair(s). Sigh. I wish you could see our cockamamie shower/bath routine.  Since you can''t, here's a transcript.....
"Jack, hurry, I still see bubbles in your hair! Scrub, buddy, scrub! This is no time for talking! Kaiti, get your pants off and be ready! Are you ready??? You don't seem ready! Tyler don't worry about your legs tonight, kiddo forget the feet, WE DON'T! HAVE! TIME!!!!!!!"
I just pretend like we are serious conservationists and we are choosing to save the planet, one gallon of water at a time. Four kids bathing in ten minutes...... where is my medal? (for real. where is it?)

If we ever happen to be invaded by deadly ants or grasshoppers the size of one's hand, I am screwed. Jack and Tyler have so many fake bugs strewn all over the house that I don't even give a second glance when I see creepy looking creatures on the floor, I just step over them. Maybe people who suffer from arachnophobia should try this as a form of treatment. If no one else has tried this technique, let it be known that I totally called it first. 

Okay. Before I tell you this I have to ask.....what is the worst thing you could ask to borrow from a person? 
A stranger? 
(After I told Jeremiah this story I asked him that, and we had a really fun contest thinking of the nastiest things you could ask to borrow from, and give back to, a stranger . actually, it wasn't a contest. it was just me. texting him nasty thing after nasty thing until my fingers could text no more.)

okay, so the story. About a week after Jeremiah left {of course, because this crap NEVER happens when there are 2 clear-thinking, capable adults in the home}, I was working on a paper and I hear Kaiti and Jack screaming and hear a gush of water. The downstairs toilet overflowed. A lot. I managed to stop the flow of water (and not the right way, because I am Shannon-- I shoved a ruler under that metal thing in the tank of the toilet to stop the water from filling) and used EVERY. SINGLE. TOWEL we own to clean up the mess. I ran to get the plunger when I realized we didn't have one. As an FYI, when you move to a new home, a plunger should always be on the list of things to buy immediately from Target.  So what do I do? I go to the next door neighbors house, a woman I had met only briefly and did not even know her name at the time,  and ask a complete stranger if I could please borrow her plunger. 
I did that. 

So in an effort to thank her for letting my borrow her urine/feces stick a couple weeks ago, I decided to share my breakfast with her this morning. One, because Hallmark does not make a card that is fitting for the occasion, and two, because the breakfast was delicious and I felt it would adequately pay her back. Have you ever made Pioneer Woman's monkey muffins? Do it. Do it NOW. 
I had Kaiti run a plate over to her. I hope she liked them. I hope she rubbed her belly and elevated my status to Mother Theresa level. -they really are that good- 
Because later in the day I was really rethinking my kindness and wished I had just given her a pine cone or something instead of those precious monkey muffins. Ohhhhh. Monkey muffins.

In the past, I've shared stories about Kaiti and her adorable quirkiness. My {oldest} daughter is a nut. I'm a big fan of hers. The other night, before the ebola took over my body, I was making tacos for dinner when Kaiti came in to chat.

K: Mom, how come you don't ever roast any chickens?
Me: Way-ullllll........I'm a bit scared of the chicken. Why? Why are you asking me that and how do you know about roasting?
K: Every once in a while I get grumpy, and I'm just wondering if it's cause I don't have any roasty chickens?
Me: Well, I doubt it, because then your brothers would be really grumpy, and so would Evie. And look at Jack- that goof ball is incapable of grumpy.
K: You should probably learn how to make roasty chicken. I think you should know that. Just in case.......
----her "just in case" sounded ominous enough that I was googling 'how do you roast a chicken' later that night----

that's all for now folks. on to the picture portion of our post.

this boy. never a dull moment around these parts.

and this bad-hair-day baby girl is just like the kiddo above her.

no jackets. sleeveless shirts on the first day of March. thank goodness.

the aquarium in Virginia Beach is neato.


if you couldn't see our legs, you'd really think we all got swallowed.


one, they could do this all day. two, that purse she is wearing is from last century and I have no idea how she found it.
three, this was on trip number eight.


taken .3 seconds before she tossed her fork and settled for her hand.


oh boy. he had just misbehaved and I asked him to talk to me. then he did this.

playing 'I bet I can make you laugh'. she's a pro.

I promise there were no little babies being deprived of their swing while she did this.


monkey muffins. delicious.

the crux of who they are in one little photo.


if I had a hobby, this is what it would be.


watching the sun make it's exit from our front porch.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

my dad

An update on my dad.

A few weeks ago, I shared what was going on with my Dad and asked for prayers. Thank you for praying for him.
I do have some good news, it's just not as good as I'd like it to be.

My Dad is still in the ICU at UCSF. Shortly after I shared what was going on, I got a call early in the morning from my dad's girlfriend Bev saying that his condition had worsened rather quickly. Based on what she said, I knew I had to get to the hospital- that I could not wait any longer. Jeremiah had been granted a brief time away the squadron in San Diego, so he was home if I needed to go. I did. I flew out to San Francisco, met my sister at the airport, and we went to the ICU to be with my Dad.

He didn't look good. He was heavily sedated, had a vent in, and several tubes and wires lay angled across his body and face. It was really hard. Even with the amount of sedation he was under you could still see his body start to tremor and spasm, and his face would turn purple, his heart monitors would go off, and it was clear he was in a great deal of pain.  The entire week was up and down. We had tremendous hope at one moment, and then hours later it would be dashed by results of a scan or test. We would see one area improve while another started to fail. I stayed for a week but had to come home.
It tore me apart leaving him. And I didn't want to leave my sister either.
It was so good to be with my sister again and spend time with her family. 
I missed my kids so much- that was the only time I had ever been away from them, except to have another baby. But I really felt like I needed to be with my Dad. 

*I wrote this post, but realized I left out one important thing. I also felt like I needed to fly out to be there for my sister. She had been at my Dad's bedside for a week by the time I got there. And she continues to go up as much as she can. She weathered the worst of it and saw my Dad in very bad shape. So what I saw, while it looked awful, was nothing compared to what she saw before I arrived. 

The neurologists officially diagnosed my dad with Stiff Man's Syndrome with the extreme subset of PERM, which stands for progressive encephalomyelitis with rigidity and myoclonus. The condition is very rare and we were told that he has the most aggressive case that's ever been noted. So. They attempted all known forms of treatment (there is no cure), and tried some treatments that they knew were incredible long shots. None of them worked like they had hoped.

He is now on a more experimental type of steroid treatment. And he is sort of responding- however, the spasms and tremors are still occurring, as is the pain and other symptoms, just not to such a severe extent. The steroids are causing another host of issues. He is extremely disoriented. He thinks he is at war and has been acting volatile, agitated and confused- all typical effects of treatment. He is mixing in truth/factual memory with fiction. Apparently for the past two days he has been asking for Jeremiah nonstop- he thinks he is in danger and is waiting for Jeremiah to rescue him. It is heartbreaking to hear. We just want him better. I miss the Dad I knew when my Mom was alive. He was happy and funny and witty and would play Scrabble with me until 3 in the morning. I don't think I will be getting that Dad back. Even if they figure out a way to control the spasms, it will come at a significant cost. Could you please keep praying? 

This has been so hard. For so many reasons. We have had a very rough couple of years. Struggles and issues and sadness and tears. I love my Dad. He's the man I measured everyone else against. Above all of the noise and the clamor that have permeated the last few years, I still hear the whisper of love. I love my Dad. And I want this all to be better. I want my Dad back and I want my babies to have their Grandpa Bill again. But mostly, I want him to have peace. 

So that's it for now. 

I have a feeling I'll be procrastinating tomorrow. I have a marketing simulation to work on and a finance test to study for. Which means I will probably be blogging first. That's how bad my procrastination is. When I know I am going to have so much to work on tomorrow, and I am saying I will likely be blogging before I even open a book. Awesome. 

And because I like to post with pictures and don't want to be full of gloom and sadness, here you go.



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