Saturday, January 27, 2018

Le Voeu and 5-Second Holds

Looking back at January 2018, I'm going to exhale as Whitney once asked me to do.

Basketball practice and games.

Casting a left ankle, adjusted gymnastics days and removal of cast.

Holidays, ice days, sick days, missed pick up days, after work meeting days and work travel days.

Plus, the activities we took on in the evenings seemed just a bit different than our usual p.m. goings ons. I tried (and am only three cards shy) to mail out holiday cards by the end of the month. That required making a list of card recipients, buying stamps (twice), addressing (and then finding addresses) and walking to the mailbox. It's too much, too much. I mean, the walking along -- that block coming back to the house is uphill.

Friends have had surgery, babies and there are birthday parties this month. And, I've delivered nary a meal or taken over a baby gift. Yeah, I'm quite a good friend.

And, for my college junior in good standing, the start of a semester is full of activity -- both expected -- receiving emails about books being ordered online and receiving emails about lease decisions needing to be made -- as well as unexpected -- paying speeding tickets online and registering for sibling weekend online.

(I know Gervais is pleased that one of my resolutions was to thrift shop -- of course, that probably didn't mean go overboard at Poshmark. The prices are discounted. I do need a new dress, jeans, shoes and shirt all in the month of January.)

(I cannot love Poshmark enough right now. I'm finding old favorites of clothes, items I have on my 'What I'll be Wearing' Pinterest board and deals on things unbeknownst to me that I need.)

(Poshmark has been my gift this month of unusual.)

This last Saturday of the month that has been jam-packed with out-of-the-ordinary activities was to be a relaxing, nothing on the schedule day.

With an after-work meeting Thursday and an early morning work flight Friday, Gervais was solo in pick-up driving, lunch creating, homework finalizing and ponytail creating . . . and throw up cleaning.

After an eventful Thursday evening where it took him a bit longer than usual to get home (for those of you in San Antonio -- the 410/North Star Mall officer involved shooting happened three cars in front of Gervais who was just trying to get a gymnast and her sister home), Gervais readied the girls to get out the door for school. He was in a great mood because Friday p.m. was going to be a 2 1/2 hour drive down south to fish. Yes, the first fish of the year.

Happy, happy, happy.

'Caroline is throwing up this morn so I'm going to have to stay here.'

Text arrival time 7:09 a.m. Plane take off time 7 a.m.

Happy? Happy? Happy?

I got back home mid-afternoon so I could take over at home and Gervais could get an earlier start down to the coast.

Happy! Happy! Happy!

Remember, Saturday was going to be an easy, breezy day.

After figuring out how to get Camille picked up (thanks Dad) and Caroline to keep whatever was in her stomach down (no such luck until late in the evening), I sat. Ah, fourth part. Scandal. Watch What Happens Live. Finished Lady Bird.

Le voeu (the wish) came true. Relax. No need for a cocktail. Just time solo watching whatever I wanted on television.

And, then the night came. Lots of activity. The girls sleeping in different rooms -- Camille didn't want to catch the bug. Caroline deciding sleeping in her bed wasn't working and coming in my room. Caroline waking up throughout the night to 'try' to throw up. Lots of sounds with little result.

I slept in the middle of our bed without a pillow.

Le voeu of sleeping in didn't happen. So, I'm up an at 'em with coffee done, breakfast served, bills paid and HEB groceries ordered.

But, now, with the day ahead without anything on the schedule, what do you do? It's a bit gray and gloomy out. I've got a recovering stomach bug on my hands. I've no desire to shop -- even though Poshmark is calling my name -- because speeding ticket. I don't have to cook a grand lunch or even dinner since Gervais is fishing. Laundry is almost done.

While Valentine's boxes are calling from the homework tic-tac-toe, I know there are other activities to be done.

Rehab exercises. Camille is my rule follower so when the doctor says do the two pages of exercises every day for a week and then add on three other pages of exercises, we are doing the exercises. At the breakfast table, we point down for 5 seconds, release, point up for 5 seconds -- 20 times. And, then we move the left foot to one side and hold for 5 seconds, release, and then move it to the other side for 5 seconds -- 20 times.

Then, crumble paper with our left toes 20 times. And, to wrap up rehab for the day, grab items (thank goodness for Shopkins) with the left toes and drop. 20 times.

I don't know if Caroline threw up 20 times last night, but she was certainly up 20 times.

Holding my breath for 5-seconds.




En silence, elle a fait un voeu pour la paix dans les prochains jours,



Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Internships and Crispy Bacon

It's 20-something degrees here. Outside. Inside, we have a fire going and the heater on blast. (I can barely breathe with all the heat.)

So, it's cold. I'm grateful we have heat and a fire.

Because of the 2017 Tree Fall (thanks Harvey), we have enough wood to maintain a fire for days. Wait, what we have is kindling. I was a Girl Scout but apparently have very little knowledge of building and keeping a fire. We were more indoorsy Girl Scouts. I think we went camping a few times but I do not remember building a fire or even gathering the wood for said fire. I think we roasted marshmallows so someone must have built a fire.

Thankfully, I have a husband who knows all about the fire. He even prepared (fourth part planner?) with the purchase of the fire starter logs.

With the family gathered 'round the cracklin' fire, we are watching the local news since the break of day. The reporters are now inside their cars reporting on the accidents and weather.

I'm not sure what the local meteorologists have coined this freeze but I'm sure it includes 'ice' or 'icy' or 'frozen' or 'cold blast.' Roads and overpasses are closed. Schools and businesses are closed.

Never fear, we have bread, milk and snacks. And, I have alcohol. (That I won't drink until 5 p.m.)

I'm on my work from home lunch break right now. Technology allows for calls, calendars and meetings to occur. Brilliant. I did shower, but there's no make up on this face and my hair only looks done because of fourth part planning that involved getting fresh color yesterday on our MLK holiday.

Up the road Chris travels to school (I haaate that six-hour drive), there is ice everywhere. We knew of the impending Icy Frozen Cold Blast 2018 this weekend so we began the conversation of  'you can't go back to school Tuesday so maybe Monday since school starts Thursday.' Nah, we (and I mean, Chris) decided Monday was too early so he was taking the Wednesday route.

School starts Thursday.

I'm guessing there are no books to buy, classrooms to find or other spring semester figuring out activities.

I do know he needs 12 hours of Spanish for his degree requirement. And, I know he has three semesters (maybe? hopeful?) of school left. I don't think 12 hours that are dependent on each preceding hour can happen in three semesters.

I also know he can knock out six of those hours in the summer study abroad program. He can also knock out a summer internship concurrently with those six hours of Spanish while abroad. By abroad, we mean Central or South America.

For a planner, watching this play out for a 20-year-old who basically lets life come to him each and every moment is D-I-F-F-I-C-U-L-T. With my fourth part planning skills, I could have this all calendered and organized -- including when to email professors and advisors, when to make application and when to ask for financial aid. But, I'm watching.

I'm about to start becoming a bit more active in my watching and start nudging. Not pushing because apparently, we as parents are to let our children figure this out. I need to meet these kids who have it all together and figure out everything on their own -- assuming they also pay rent, insurance, etc. Who are these people? Where did I go wrong? Or, am I right?

Really, who cares how it is accomplished. If I hand hold or helicopter or any of the other 'bad' labels applied to my parenting, have I really, truly handicapped him for the future. Hey, I turned out OK and my parents took care of my financial aid forms. My parents also talked to me about my future plans. They provided insight -- of course, journalist and newspaper reporter didn't resonate as a career -- around becoming an educator. (Guess I sort of am an educator now,)

I'm nudging for an email to go to his advisor today -- I mean, what else are we doing except watching the fire and the news -- about the study abroad. I've also nudged toward what time classes are Thursday. (We just had recognition that the roads might still be bad Wednesday. Lord, help me.)

I also nudged for passport photo and application throughout the Christmas break. Neither happened. Chris has an expired passport that requires an in-person visit to get a new one. Yeah, no. We'll wait.

Fourth part planning sometimes sends me to the corner rocking. Is there an appreciation? Of course, there is. Do all enjoy it? Absolutely not.

Along with getting my hair colored on the holiday, I also picked up our week's worth of groceries. (I still love and adore and could marry curbside pick up.) I did the meal planning and other than milk (which Gervais had to get last night because 2018 Frozen Tundra SA) we are set. The family drank hot chocolate this morning. We ate a hardy breakfast of cinnamon rolls (from a can people don't get too excited) and bacon.

Half extra crispy, half a bit limp.

When will we ever figure out how to cook bacon in the oven. We've tried different temps -- 400 degrees, 415 degrees, 425 degrees and even dropped to 375 degrees mid-cook. We've tried different times -- 15 minutes, 20 minutes and moved to 12 minutes and then babysat every three minutes.

Why do we make our bacon in the oven . . . because frying it up in the pan is messy and requires full attention. You know what frying in the pan also does -- gives you crispy bacon.

Now, we have a plate sitting beside the stove with three pieces of the limp and one super crisp (read: burned).

I'm thinking this bacon will be a part of my lunch tomorrow (if the roads clear). I'm already talking about tomorrow and the people in my house aren't having it. They like resting in the no-school zone. I do, too, but I'm a planner. I know we have to pack lunches tomorrow. We have to finish up the tic tac toe homework so we don't work on it tomorrow. We need to do laundry and pack for the journey back to school.

We need to email our advisor about the class schedule because I just heard my son exclaim, "I still don't understand how introduction to drama can be my second English.' Add to that, "I think my landscape architecture class will be interesting."

What's that for, I ask. The response was along the lines of not sure.

"I'm going to email my advisor in a few minutes when my laptop charges up."

(FYI: I'm typing on a laptop. I could email that advisor. I want to email that advisor. I want to call that advisor.)

School starts Thursday.

We have no school today.

We have limp bacon.

We have a fire going.

We have Netflix.

We have technology.

I have two work calls about to kick off my afternoon.

Lunch break is over.

Internship requests are just beginning.

Como puedo obtener credito espanol?

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Christmas Tree Storage and Cast Care

It's January 6 and I ordered our holiday cards. Shutterfly had a discount so I went ahead and ordered. The card is clever. It indicates we are late with Christmas cheer, but right on time for new year's wishes. Well, right on time after we receive the delivery around January 20. And, then I address the cards and then find stamps and then mail. Happy Spring, all.

Last year we didn't get a card mailed. The gift of cooperation didn't make it into my stocking so the pictures had more grimace than glee. Initially, I struggled with not sending out a card. I think we have sent one every year since we've had children (maybe, I can't remember, I'm old now). Then, I filed it away as it was OK and moved on.

We took this year's picture Christmas Eve on our way to dinner. We adjusted our Christmas Eve schedule this season with a 9:30 a.m. church service, mid-day shopping and an early El Jarro dinner. I worked off the margaritas while wrapping gifts (and running out of tape -- thank goodness my sister lives a couple of houses down).

This holiday season felt a bit different than those in the past. The two trips took up time that might have been used for preparing and shopping. Chris worked a lot over the break. Camille had gymnastics practice regardless of holidays and I had work trips up until the end of the year. We still ate more than we should, introduced new and exciting cocktails, enjoyed time with friends and family, but it was different.

At least I planned for the holiday card picture. Fourth part planning at it's best. Oh, and we fit in a visit to Santa. And, yeah, we went to Colorado a few days before Christmas to visit our dear friends and surprise the girls' best friend on her birthday.

We had such a fun time. The girls played and we explored Colorado Springs. It is a beautiful place. Now, fourth part planning is being dedicated to figuring out a summer trip back. That will have to fit into gymnastics training because summer is when we start our season.

Which has been interrupted by a distal fibula Salter Harris 2 fracture. And, a cast.

The best part of seeing your best friend is playing with that friend. Pillow fights. Barbies. Laughing. Watching movies. Swimming (heated pool).

Jumping on the trampoline.

The last day of our visit, Camille rolled her left ankle while jumping on the trampoline. (Insert groans from all the coaches and doctors who don't like trampolines). It was a bit swollen and she walked a bit slower, but it seemed to be something temporary. When we woke up the next day back in San Antonio, it was swollen so we iced it, she stayed off it, we wrapped it.

Sunday, Christmas and the day after . . . swelling was gone. She was getting around no problem.

Gymnastics practice was back up and rolling December 27. We told the coaches. The ankle was wrapped. Practice was modified. Fine, fine, fine.

Another few days off because of New Year's, but back again Wednesday, January 3.

An hour before practice ended, I get a phone call from the gym.

'Camille landed in her floor routine and started crying.'

'You can pick her up now.'

'Take her for an x-ray.'

Well, there you go. No fourth part planning for this. I pick her up, we are off to the med clinic. The doctor saw nothing. The nurse wrapped the ankle. Ice and rest.

Thursday morning, the radiologist calls.

'I think I see something.'

'I think you should pick up the films.'

'I want you to call a pediatric orthopedist.'

Well, there you go. While at Thursday practice (modified) with a wrapped left ankle (notified she will only do beam and bar at the meet this weekend) -- I get an appointment for Friday, January 5.

I'm at a funeral. Gervais has doctor duty.

Friday morning, Gervais calls.

'She's getting a cast.'

'She has a fracture in her fibula.'

'She can't compete.'

I talk to the doctor.

'The bone is in the right place.'

'This is common.'

'We'll fix it now.'

It's a hot pink cast. Camille is in good spirits. Sad she won't compete this weekend. Sad she won't compete in Orlando in February. She likes people signing her cast.

I emailed the coach.

'She can't compete.'

'We will miss Friday practice.'

'We'll come to the meet Sunday to cheer on the team.'

There's no planning for a cast. There is planning for follow up visits, cancelling flight and hotel reservations in Orlando, modifying practice (still can do upper body work -- thank you Hillary for thinking I should ask for 1/2 price since we are only working 1/2 the body) and figuring out outfits that can work over a cast (no jeans).

The cast will slow Camille down. It will keep us at home which we all enjoy. It keeps me looking around at the Christmas that has been taken down but not put up in the attic.

Christmas has been down at our house since before New Year's. The wreath remains on the door, the art work the girls made at school hangs above the dining room window. Everything else, down. And, a few boxes are still in the house waiting to be taken to the garage.

It's basketball season so there are few evenings and weekends available during the holidays to pack it all away, but this weekend Chris doesn't work, there is no practice and we have no meet.

But, we don't have a Christmas tree storage bag for the main tree. It's splayed all over the living room floor -- kind of tucked into the corner, but nonetheless splayed and in the way. The box it came in is open and broken and torn. The tree is sitting in that dysfunctional box waiting for a new home.

Amazon Prime comes through at Christmas. (Gervais ordered my gifts December 23 and they arrived December 24 -- it's basketball season.) Amazon Prime comes through after Christmas spending gift cards. And, Amazon Prime comes through after, after Christmas when there is a need for Christmas tree storage.

Bag to be delivered by Monday, January 8. School will be back in session but there are no games that night, practice is not late and there won't be gymnastics because it is the day after a meet in which we won't compete (that rhymes, remember, I'm clever).

Here's hoping all Christmas but the main tree will make it back into the attic this weekend.

Here's hoping we'll figure out how to shower with a cast on the left leg.

Here's hoping we'll get through this next season with modified gymnastics and full-on basketball.

Here's hoping we'll chillax Ethan in this New Year.