Thursday, February 26, 2009

Vacation time

Vacation -

Drive to LA - 11 hours. Yes, I know there are folks that make it in 8 1/2, but I was the only driver, and I had my two kids with me. They were GREAT travelers, but we stopped often at rest areas to blow bubbles, turn cartwheels, climb trees, and generally burn off some energy.

Sunday - We met Marilyn's son, Ian, and his wife, Alexis, at the Irvine Spectrum Center. Awesome mall - Jake & I rode the ferris wheel and we saw an IMAX movie.

Monday - Disneyland and California Adventure! Turns out Emme wasn't quite ready for it - she's only 6, and everything was loud and scary. But she had a great time hanging out people watching and shopping, and got more into everything as the day went on. She loved Soaring over California - I'd never been on it before, and it's my new favorite! And she really enjoyed the Go Coaster in ToonTown. Jake had a blast on everything! He and I got the front row on Space Mountain - I think it was my first time in the front row there.

Tuesday - We went to the Santa Monica pier. This was one of my favorite places when I was little. We played on the beach, chased waves and found sea shells, then walked down the pier.

Wednesday we drove home - another 11 hours. Jake then played his last game of the hockey season and he got a trophy! He was very excited, and he really played a great game.

It was a wonderful time, thanks to my friend Marilyn!

Friday, February 20, 2009

I could use some advice

I offended someone yesterday, and she told me about it today. It was inadvertent, done without malice, and honestly - it was something that would not have offended 99.99% of the population.

But I did it. And it made her mad. Really, really mad. And I'm very, very sorry.

This is someone who has never liked me, and never made any bones about it. I don't know why, and it doesn't really matter. I've made a point of staying away from her when possible, and being unfailingly polite to her all other times.

I work with her. Thankfully, when she called me on the "incident" she did it with my manager right there.

I apologized. I tried to explain, but she wouldn't have any of it. I apologized again and again. She told me that she refused to accept my apology.

Later, my manager told me that maybe this person was having a bad day, because she was out of line. She told me that she'd talk to my coworker later.

This hasn't happened to me since 8th grade. But then it probably happened to pretty much all 8th grade girls, since 8th grade girls are a mess. It's just the way we were. Maybe they're more mature now, but it was a battleground in my middle school.

So, I'm going on vacation for a week. When I get back, I'll return to my former modus operandi (being polite, but avoiding if possible).

It's been over a year of side-stepping this person. I love my job, and I'm not leaving it.

I've been crying over this off and on all day.

Have you ever had anything like this happen? What did you do? How did you handle it?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Life's Funny Like That!

February 19 is Debby's last chemo treatment!!!

And we're all singing a song of joy! She's shared her journey with wisdom and humor, and all who read her blog are blessed by her.

Thanks, Debby! Way to go!

Cancer 0 - Hope 1.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

She's been healed!

2:30 this morning I hear my princess get up for a drink of water. She went back to bed, but was thrashing around. A lot. "Mama? My tummy hurts and I think I'm going to pu_____." (Insert retching noises here).

That's how my day started. How about yours?

At 7:15, we left to take the boy to school. Princess was holding a bowl in her lap. Thankfully, it didn't get used in the car.

By 8:30, we were home again (I had to go by the post office and pick up the mail, then drop it to work). And she was fine. Six hours of gastritis, followed by a day of cheerfulness. Of course I couldn't take her to school at that point, because of the 24-hour rule all parents whose children go to school or daycare are familiar with.

So we watched a movie. Played Sorry. Played Hide & Seek. She took two baths. We read 7 books. Picked up the boy at 4 (school ends at 2:45, but he has Good News Club on Tuesdays and didn't want to miss).

I am exhausted.

But as I was putting her to bed tonight, reading Horton Hears a Who, she looked up at me and said, "Mama, I can't WAIT for school tomorrow!"

And neither can I.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday wrap-up

This has been a truly strange week. Very weird at work, knowing my job is changing and my hours being cut the first of the month.

Today we had to call two ambulances for patients to be transported to the hospital. That's a record. It's always disturbing to me.

Excited - as we're going on vacation a week from tomorrow!!!! w00t! I love that my kids' school is closed the entire last week of February.

Letters...I have to write letters.

One is fun: the child I'm now sponsoring through Compassion International. That's a good one.

Another is interesting: I'm writing to Loren Maazel of the New York Philharmonic. He studied under one of my uncles, and I'm going to ask him if he has any memories or anecdotes.

And the last one is easy. No, hard. Let's say confusing, okay? I got a phone call the other day from our local adoptive parent liaison. My daughter's birth mother showed up at CPS looking for information. She wanted to know if I'd write a letter and send photos.

Of course I will. She must think of my little princess every day. Wondering how she is, what she looks like, if she knows about her. It's the least I can do as a mother to reassure her. To let her know our little girl is happy, and healthy, and loved beyond measure.

I'm kind of freaked out about sending pictures. I never met the princess' mother; I don't know what she looks like. She lives here in town. I'm a bit worried that we might run into her at Walmart or something and she'd catch us off guard. But that's not too big a worry....I could deal with it.

Part of me wants to say this: Yes, she is happy. She loves to dance and sing, to read, to swim. She's healthy - rarely gets a cold or flu, and has only had one serious illness. But she does have challenges that you can't see. She struggles with learning, with coordination, with focus, with impulse control. She has horrible teeth, and got her first three fillings at the age of three. She had six months of hideously painful physical therapy when she was only an infant. And all these things happened for two reasons, interrelated.

Because my daughter's birthmother used meth throughout her entire pregnancy, and therefore received absolutely no prenatal care (because, of course, she was afraid of getting caught).

But I'll tell her that she's learning to do handstands, loves the color pink and all kinds of berries. That she eats tomatoes as though they were candy.

And that we pray for her birthmother nearly every night.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Clear as mud

I love that hoary maxim. Clear as mud.

There's a regulation on the books we should be thankful for today. It's called "The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996." Mouthful. That's why they call it HIPAA.

Buried in this regulation, which appears to be about your right to take health insurance with you when you go on the Bahamas....without a lot of language about your rights to privacy at your doctor's office. And that, folks, is clear as mud.

I work in a doctor's office - really an urgent care center, occupational medicine clinic. Which, I'm sure, means nothing to you, but requires me to spell out "occupational" to people and explain what it means at least three times a day.

But be thankful. Because if it wasn't for HIPAA, and my inherent avoidance of gossip (ha!), this blog would be filled with stories of people who came in to see the doctor because they had a _____ stuck in their _____. Or, the young girl who managed to ______ to her ______.

Because of HIPAA, you won't have to answer the girl at the front desk when she asks you why you are there to see the doctor. Unless you really want to go into details about the _____ that has suddenly appeared under your ______.

You'll never know about the person who worked for _____ that tested ______ for _____! And yes, if you get hurt at work, odds are good that you'll be tested for drugs and alcohol before you receive treatment for your injury. But no one will know - except for your boss, of course. And the guy in human resources. And your wife, when you have to tell her why you got fired. So when it comes to drugs, or alcohol DURING BUSINESS HOURS....just say no, okay?

Then there's the guy who had a really, really big _____, but didn't know it until he fell on it, and boy, did it ever ______!!!!!!
Major yuck factor, there.

And that one really disgusting ______ that just ______ on someone's ______! Or the time the guy came in sure that he was dying of ______, but it was really just ______.

So rest assured...if you ever have to come into my place at work...I won't be writing about your horrendous _______, or your lack of _______, or even your grossly distended ______.

I won't breath a whisper. You can trust me.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Annie's terrible, awful, no good, very bad day

Have you ever had a terrible, awful, no good, very bad day?

I had one today. So bad that I cried at work. Had to go home at lunch and take out my contacts.

Had to keep myself from crying all evening. Thankfully, my kids are young enough that I could blame it on allergies and they didn't know I was lying.

Part of it was not unexpected - the depth of it was, though. The other part came right out of the blue.

I tried to remember what a great weekend I had, and that got me through. Jake had 2 hockey games, then we fed the folks at the Manor. Emme and I had some mommy and me time, and we went roller skating at Viking. And I actually skated! I tried to forget my fear of falling and breaking my *ss, and somehow the old muscle memory kicked in and I made it around the rink several times...enough that Emme said, "Mama, look at you! You're skating! I knew you could do it."

We caught a movie, Hotel for Dogs.

Sunday, we had church, then Super Bowl parties - yes, parties. My kids went to one, I went to another.

It was a great weekend.

And today was in the toilet.

And then I got this email. My foster mother emails me daily. While I lived with her for five years, we never seemed to develop a close bond. There were issues. It couldn't have been easy taking in a 13 year old orphan. But we stay in touch, and she sends lots of emails. Most are silly things that I delete. Some are actually offensive, and I delete those really quickly. But once in a while, she sends one that seems to arrive at just the right time. And that's what happened today.

Monday Wash Day
Lord, help me wash away all my selfishness and
Vanity, so I may serve you with perfect humility
Through the week ahead.

Tuesday Ironing Day
Dear Lord, help me iron out all the wrinkles
Of prejudice I have collected through the years
So that I may see the beauty in others.

Wednesday Mending Day
Oh God, help me mend my ways so I will not
Set a bad example for others.

Thursday Cleaning Day
Lord Jesus, help me to dust out all the many faults
I have been hiding in the secret corners of my heart.

Friday Shopping Day
Oh God, give me the grace to shop wisely so I may purchase eternal happiness for myself and all others in need of love.

Saturday Cooking Day
Help me, my Savior, to brew a big kettle of brotherly
Love and serve it with clean, sweet bread of human kindness.

Sunday The Lord's Day
Oh God, I have prepared my house for you. Please
Come into my heart so I may spend the day and the
rest of my life in your presence.

Thanks, Georgie. I needed that.