Thursday, February 28, 2013

Is It Over Yet?

Last day of February, can I get a whoo-hoo?!

The sun is shining and I didn't wake up to more new snow. I am still coughing but, this morning, when I blew my nose, I was rewarded with a golf-ball sized wad of bloody mucus.

Oh, were you eating? Sorry.

Anyway, that wad of mucus leaving my sinus cavities has significantly relieved the pressure in my head. Hopefully it is the beginning of the end of this crap.

Fingers crossed.

In other news, a cat-hair tumbleweed roughly the size of that featured in every old western that I have ever seen just rolled across my dining room; I'm looking forward to a weekend of deep-cleaning, me thinks.

In kid news, The Teenager got a job! She will be working at a take-n-bake pizza place in Pixler and she starts tomorrow. I see a lot of pizza in my future.

The Man-Cub has started basketball practice and his team is shaping up to be a force with which to be reckoned. He doesn't miss wrestling at all and has held up admirably to the taunts directed at him from the teachers at the school who think he is making a huge mistake. Note to certain adults: Leave the kid alone. He made a decision and it was his to make.

Our first tournament will be in a tourist town two-and-a-half hours away. It takes place mid-March and I am looking forward to making it a mini-vacation for the family, although, if past experience is any indication; my offspring will complain mightily about swimming in the natural mineral springs located in that town. Something about swimming in water that smells like rotten eggs really bothers them. Ridiculous, right?

In work news, I am co-interviewing applicants for a job at Place of My Employment. Yep; been there less than six months and they trust me to help with the hiring process. I love my job.

And, I love that today is the last day of February. I am ready for March. Ready for spring. Ready for the mud and the wind and the weeds that sprout before the first tulip pokes its' head out of the cool soil. Yes, even for those less-than-pleasant things; as long as it means that summer is right around the corner.

So, hello March! I feel like I should throw you a Welcome to the Neighborhood party.

I really do.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Playing Catch-Up

Our trip to Denver went really well. The Teenager and her friend each found the perfect prom dress, I got to spend time with my sister, we got a chance to watch Hugh in action at the state wrestling tournament (where I got to catch up with an old friend from high school), and, we didn't die in the blizzard that pounded the city and mountains on our return home; that may have been my favorite part.

As I've mentioned, I'm not the most confident driver in adverse conditions.

While we were in Denver, The Teenager turned seventeen. We celebrated with as much pomp and circumstance as could be managed under the circumstances, and, despite the lack of a birthday cake, I think The Teenager had a good time. She did get a birthday Sundae, presented to her by the singing staff of IHop, so, there was that.

Last night, a large group of her friends treated her to dinner at a local restaurant, and, she got her ear pierced in Denver, which was all she really wanted, so, I have to assume her birthday was a success.

Speaking of successes; I think my body is finally starting to fight back against this illness. I don't feel quite like I'm dying, anymore. And, while I am still tired as hell, I can breath without coughing and I'm not nearly as dizzy as I had been for the past week or so. I'll be really happy once I am back to 100%.

My goals for the week include catching up at work, grabbing staples at the grocery store, and, cleaning my house. I figure I'll be lucky if I accomplish two-out-of-three.

And, with the end of the week comes the end of the month and the beginning of March. I'm looking forward to that change; February has kicked my ass.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Did Anyone Get the Licence Number of that Truck?

You know, the one that hit me last week? Because, I think it backed up and ran over me for good measure.

Seriously, I am a week into this crud and I actually had to sit down in the shower this morning when the simple act of washing my hair exhausted me to the point of feeling like I might pass out. That's pretty pathetic.

And, I'm tired. So, so tired. I slept in for a while this morning to try to take the edge off the exhaustion prior to making the five hour trip to Denver later today and yet, I am still weary.

The Teenager will not be disappointed, however. We will make the trip and a good time will be had by all, so help me, God.

No, really; I'm asking God to help.

I'm not sure how well I will do, otherwise.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Well, That's Better. Sort Of.

I am finally beginning to feel like I might just live, after all.

The elephant sitting on my chest has lost some weight and I am finally able to take a deep breath without coughing. I would dearly love for the feeling of drowning to pass, and, once that finally happens, I should be good to go, which; will happen just in the nick of time since The Teenager and I leave for Denver on Friday.

In the meantime, I have a ton of chores to catch up on at home. The poor house hasn't seen a vacuuming in almost two weeks and pet-hair tumbleweeds have taken up residence in almost every corner. Inch-thick dust coats every surface of the furniture and I'm not even brave enough to venture into the crisper drawer of the refrigerator without donning some sort of bio hazard suit.

It's not going to be pretty.

I would totally pull a Scarlett O'Hara and simply not worry about it until tomorrow, but, yeah, my parents arrive in Petticoat Junction tomorrow and I can't have them thinking they raised a slob, so, it looks like a cleaning spree tonight, following an organizing spree at the hardware store, because; I can't have my in-laws thinking my parents raised an office-slob, either.

Have I mentioned that the plague picked a really unfortunate time to hit? Yes? Well, it bears repeating.

Monday, February 18, 2013

I Am Far Too Busy to be This Sick

The Teenager turns 17 on Saturday and all she asked for was a girl's trip to Denver to do some prom dress shopping. I am most happy to accommodate her and am really looking forward to the trip since, not only will I be spending quality time with my daughter, but; I'll have a chance to see my sister, as well.

So, of course I feel like death warmed over. Of course I do.

Things at work are really starting to get crazy; I have been tasked with the responsibility of coordinating a new grant in addition to my usual duties. It's a great opportunity and could lead to even more responsibility and higher status on the pecking order.

And I feel like I am slogging through quicksand just to take a breath. Because, of course I do.

I'm struggling to bring my A-game, for sure.

On the bright side, I haven't had sugar in almost a week and I haven't missed it even a little bit, so; at least this cold is enabling me to stick to my Lenten obligations without anything resembling effort.

There's that, I guess.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Well, at Least I'm Not Throwing Up

I'm sick, y'all.

Like, drowning in my own phlegm, coughing until I pee my pants, sneezing in twenty-sneeze increments spaced less than five minutes apart (like contractions! Of the sinuses!), throat so sore I have contemplated huffing a fire extinguisher, body aching so bad I am walking stooped over like an old woman, sick.

It's totally sexy and I have no idea why Hugh declined to have his way with me on Valentine's Day.

Actually, that's not quite true, he didn't have his way with me because I was in a Nyqil coma and he draws the line at sex with a narcoleptic; he's a gentleman that way.

While Valentine's Day was unpleasant, yesterday was the crisis point of the illness; my fever topped out at 100.9, I sweated completely through every stitch of clothing that I attempted to wear and the skin on my nose started to peel off in sheets, thanks to the three boxes of tissues that I blew through in a six-hour period.

Once again, so damn sexy...

I would love to say that I am feeling better today but, that would be a lie. I still feel pretty damn shitty. But, I have obligations to meet, including a trip to Neighboring City to try on bridesmaids dresses for a wedding that The Teenager and I have been asked to participate in this summer.

I seriously considered cancelling on the bride, but, this was the only appointment she could get at the bridal salon and several of the other members of the wedding party had already begged out, so; I feel like I would be letting her down if I bailed out now.

On the other hand, she's totally going to blame me if she comes down with the plague next week. But, as I said above; at least she won't be puking.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

In Sickness & In Health...Unless Vomit is Involved

The Teenager contracted the stomach flu sometime yesterday and was up most of the night, puking.

In a rare case of role reversal, Hugh was the first to hear the child when she commenced with the barfing and was, therefore, the first responder to the emergency.

To say this role reversal was a rare occurrence is actually a vast understatement, because, in all actuality; it had previously never happened in our home. Seriously. Not once in The Teenager's almost seventeen years on this planet has her father awoken to the sounds of her getting sick. Not once.

He was awakened by her retching one time before, however; it wasn't the sound that awakened him; it was the sensation of a stream of vomit cascading down his shoulder and onto his chest, as the child was sleeping in between us at the time.

Now, I have to pause to clear the image of that moment from my head, because, if I don't; I might pee myself from laughing so hard, which is what always happens when I remember his reaction to that episode....

....ok, done.

No, wait....

...I'm sorry, but it really was that hilarious.

Hugh's first words upon waking in a puddle of vomit were: "Did she just drool on me? Wait! What? Is? THAT? OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD! Did she PUKE on me?!!!" At which point he began to gag and ran to the adjoining bathroom. Unfortunately (for him), I had already retreated to that bathroom with the child, so, I was holding the baby over the toilet, leaving Hugh no option but to employ a Herculean attempt not to puke, himself....

...gag, drop head between kees, look heavenward, take a deep breath, gag, rinse, repeat...

 His attempts not to throw up were...not sucessful, and, some bathtub cleanup was required once all was said and done.

For my part? Well, I was watching the entire thing as though it was a movie projected on the big screen; detached from the seriousness of the situation and laughing hard enough to require the use of the old Kegle muscles, if you know what I mean.

I blame hysteria for my reaction at that particular moment in time.

I have nothing to blame for still having that exact same reaction all these years later, each time I so much as think about the episode, but, humans; man, are we strange.

Anyway, to make a long story short (too late!); Hugh was the first responder last night and The Teenager is on the mend, today.

Also, I need to visit the ladies room, now. Because not even 100 Kegle exercises a day can repair the damage of two natural childbirths; not once hysterical laughter begins to have its' way with you, anyway.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Day Before

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the official start on the Lenten season. Which, makes today the last day in which to stuff my pie-hole with anything disgustingly bad for me, you know, since I'll be swearing off all of that stuff for the duration.

Of Lent, in case you were confused.

I do this almost every year, and, by the end of Lent, my body is a lean, mean, non-crap-eating machine.

Then, on Easter Sunday, I raid the childrens' Easter baskets and ruin six weeks of good work.

I'm really going to try not to let that happen this year.

I've been doing some research on the effects that sugar has on a body (POISON! POISON!) and I'm really going to make the effort to make the six weeks of Lent be the beginning of a lifestyle that severely limits processed sugar.

This may be easier said than done, given the whole sugar addiction that I am rocking, but; I'm going to try my best.

And, it all starts, tomorrow.

Pray for me.

No, really, please pray for me; see above: ADDICTION.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Nailed It

I managed to be everywhere that I needed to be today and neither of my kids got the short end of my attention-stick! I might just nail this parenting thing, after all.

Also nailing things; the Man-Cub, whose team came within .10 seconds of winning first place at today's remote controlled underwater rover competition. From what I hear, the race was awesome and our team was amazing. I would like to say that I saw it all for myself, but, unfortunately, the competition got an early start when the five teams signed up for the event managed to build their rovers in under the allowed time, thus pushing up the start time for the race. Therefor, as I was leisurely driving into Hooterville, laboring under the misconception that I had plenty of time to make it to the school; the Cub was remote controlling his team's rover around a tank.

When I asked the Cub why he didn't call me to let me know that they were starting early, he claimed that he would have, but, his hands were under water and he really didn't think that would be good for his phone.

I appreciate his logic but, man, I wish I had seen the race.

I did get to see The Teenager and her friends get ready for the Winter Formal, however, so, all was not lost.

The Teenager got ready at one of her friend's houses, but, I was lucky enough to score an invitation to join them. Granted, I was only invited under the condition that I take pictures, but, since most teenagers would sooner die than be caught dead with their mothers; I accepted the condition without complaint.

Later, The Teenager met Not the Boyfriend back at our house for dinner and, yes, more pictures, before heading to the dance.

I'm sure they will have a great time, and, The Teenager can tell me all about it, tomorow; I am exhausted and want nothing more than to fall into bed for a nice long winter's nap.

Nailing one's super powers takes a lot of energy.

Friday, February 08, 2013

The Super Power I Have Yet to Master

The ability to be in two places at one time would really come in handy tomorrow, when I need to be at a friend of The Teenager's, taking pictures of a group of girls as they get ready for the Winter Formal and in Hooterville, picking the Man-Cub up from his underwater robot thingamajig.

 At roughly the same time, of course.

I'm sure I'll work it out and everyone will get where they need to be, when they need to be there, but, yeah...super powers would be awesome.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Expect the Unexpected

I was at the High School this morning for the monthly meeting of the youth service group that I sponsor. On my way out of the building following the meeting, I was stopped by the school principal who told me what a pleasure my kids are and how much he has enjoyed them this year.

This was unexpected praise coming from a man who used to entertain Hugh and me in his office on a fairly regular basis back when he was the Middle School principal and The Teenager was evil.

It pretty much made my day.

Which was why I chose to ignore him when he implied that I was failing in my parenting duty by allowing the Man-Cub to play basketball instead of forcing encouraging him to wrestle this year; my shoulder shrug and declaration that Hugh and I were simply allowing the Cub to follow his bliss were clearly not the defense that he was expecting.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Red, Red Wine

I had such a nice weekend.

And then there was Monday, but, let's not spoil the memories by talking about that.

Friday afternoon, I had a massage that left me feeling relaxed and refreshed at the same time; I love massages like that.

Saturday, I got my home cleaned and organized and I spent some quality time with my kids. We don't get enough time together to just chill, so, that was a treat.

Saturday night, Hugh and I took the kids to see Warm Bodies, which might be one of our favorite zombie movies of all time. Before going to the theater, we stopped at the Hellmouth for a couple of boxes of Milk Duds and, while we were there, Hugh found an eight-bottle wine cooler that cost less than a single bottle of decent wine, so, he bought it for me for Valentines Day.

Sunday, I ripped that puppy out of the box and set it up in the kitchen, because, Valentines Day is too far away to wait for perfectly chilled wine.

After that, The Teenager and I drove to Neighboring City in search of items for her to wear today, because it is 80's day at school. We scored with a pair of neon pink leg warmers, neon green fingerless mesh gloves, a neon green headband and ginormous star-shaped earrings.

Then, we found the perfect pair of heels for her to wear to the school's first ever Winter Formal, which will take place Saturday night.

While we were shopping, we chatted and got caught up. I love days like that. Plus, when we got home, Hugh had done several loads of laundry so I wouldn't get behind. Extra score!

We also took some pictures for The Teenager to use when asking Not the Boyfriend to the Winter formal...

...he said yes.

Today, The Teenager is dressed and ready to kill the 80's theme. I hope she has a great day.

I am going to have a great day, as well. How could I not? I live with the knowledge that there are eight bottles of wine perpetually chillin' in my kitchen. That right there is job security for the Happy Fairy.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

In Praise of the World's Most Paranoid Rodent

The groundhog failed to see it's shadow, today which, means Spring will come early! Yay!

 Remind me of that when the heaviest snowfall of the year hits us in mid-April, you know, like it does every year in Colorado.

Anyway, in honor of the rodent's failure to retreat in fear of it's own shadow, I spent the morning cleaning my house. Then, since I hadn't had quite enough fun for one day; I cleaned out my car. I know; the life of a rock star and all that.

While I was dusting the various (and, numerous) picture frames throughout my home, it occurred to me that I hadn't taken any black and white portraits of the kids in a while. In addition, I haven't really annoyed them with my very existence on the planet in quite some time, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone.

One day, they will thank me for forcing them to pose for pictures together. They'll probably decide that I'm not nearly as embarrassing as they think I am right now, too. I predict that happening right around the time one (or, both) of them is wrangling their own surly teenager into an agreeable pose for the family portrait.

God, I hope I'm around to see it. And, you know, to cackle about what a bitch that ol' karma can be.

Friday, February 01, 2013

28 Days of Generosity

One of the community service groups that I belong to has challenged our community to do generous acts for the entire month of February.

28 Days of Generosity grew from casual conversations that the coordinator of the foundation had with school children, children who naturally tend toward a spirit of giving. The program then morphed into a list of suggestions and ideas for how individuals could be more generous in their everyday lives. That list then became a rally-cry for the community-at-large to jump on the generosity bandwagon, and, lo and behold; a movement was born.

Today is Day 1 of the 28 Days of Generosity; I brought muffins to the office for the entire staff.

On my desk, I found a mini manicure set from my office mate and a general feeling of togetherness in the office.

I have often said that February is the longest month; this year, I might just be sorry when February is over.