29 February 2008

Potty mouth

As those of you who read Jen's blog know, Ben has had more than his fair share of "poo issues" in his short life. Jen happened upon what we think is a great solution to this in the form of organic aloe vera juice! Works like charm but the years of painful stools has a "Pavlov's dog" effect on Ben.

So we were on the way to view a Suzuki violin lesson last night (with a view of having Ben start) when he urgently informs us that he has to go! Well, being the pro-active Gramma I think I am, I had bought a portable potty for my "Gramma Car". We stop in the back of a store parking lot, set up the little "porta-potty" and set Ben upon the tiny throne. He keeps saying, "It hurts! It hurts!!" We are all giving him encouragement, telling him how it will soon be over, it won't be too bad, etc. when, exasperated, he finally raises his voice and says, "The POO doesn't hurt! The POTTY hurts!!"

I guess we should listen better. Gramma will replace the potty today.

Simple pleasures are the best...

This week, I was able to discontinue one of the medications that I'd been put on when I had my little heart issue three weeks ago. It was one that had "a few side effects" - little things like, oh, swollen ankles, breathlessness, extreme lethargy, fast heartbeat, really vivid and unusual dreams. As the effects wear off, I'm beginning to feel "normal" again - whatever that is. I'm on a couple more meds for awhile longer, one possibly for a long time, but getting off this one particular one really made me appreciate how things were "before" and to relish the chance to return to that. I was, frankly, beginning to feel a bit old.

Just had to share.

28 February 2008

"Technology False Security"

As previously mentioned, Mike is out of the country. He has his trusty Blackberry which, annoyed as we get with AT&T sometimes, really does have a good global range (and without all those herds of people following him around like SOME mobile phone companies would have you believe - can you imagine the cost to a Verizon customer with all those folks following him onto international flights in BUSINESS CLASS??? Doesn't even bear thinking about.) But every once in awhile, I simply cannot get hold of him. And today, current location Algeria (in Algiers for those who flunked geography or thought it was a math class subject) is one of those times evidently.

As much as Mike travels, I'm always comforted by the fact that 99 times out of 100, I can phone him at a moments notice on my trusty iPhone and be able to get him. Back in "olden times", I was lucky to get a phone call, albeit brief, once a day from him in a foreign location. I even started keeping a journal for him in one of the kid's spiral notebooks, recording what was going on with the kids day to day lives so he could catch up when he got home.

Then came the Internet - I could get that one call (shoot, sounds like I was in jail or something - my "one phone call") PLUS email the days events in a more newsy, less time constrained manner. When the boys were younger and were, well, "being boys", I could email all the particulars of their misdeeds, wait for the phone call knowing he'd been "briefed" and had all the "background information", and he'd have a little chat with them - not sure how they do it, but stern warnings from daddies, even over the phone, have greater effect on the pubescent male than all the threats, rantings and ravings of a mother. Peace would once again reign in the home without precious "one call" time being taken with dealing with what happened, how to deal with it, blah, blah, blah.

So the advent of the any time, any place mobile phone call has been a GREAT progression in the lives of those married to the Frequent Business Traveler. Except when it doesn't work. Like today. While he's in Algeria. And I want to talk to him. Grizzle and Gripe...I can understand not connecting when on rigs out in the frozen tundra of Siberia, or in remote islands of the South Pacific (where the only signal he probably gets is something connected to the Dharma Initiative - and all those Lost people are so frustrated because he connected and immediately hung up after a quick "Sorry, wrong number") But Algeria? They are in the 21st century as far as I know! They are mainland at least - not some remote island in the middle of nowhere.

So today I feel like I'm on an island - cause I want to talk to him but he really seems far away. Funny how a little handheld device can make the difference between feeling connected and feeling 6000 miles apart.

Technology - can't live with it; can't live without it. And Mike, if you read this - CALL ME!!

23 February 2008

And then he's gone again....

Mike left for "the stans" as we call them (Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, you get the picture) followed by trips to Algeria and Saudi last Tuesday for about three weeks. His travel schedule seems to have been ramped up more than a notch but at least THIS time (a) I'm not sick as a dog and (b) I'm up in Keller with 3/5 of the grandchildren, getting to see the other 2/5 both weekends leading up to Mike's departure. It's always a good day/week/month when we get to be with the kids and grandkids!

I did have a "blip" on the scale following my breathing treatments last month. I woke up early Thursday morning following Mike's return on the 5th to an irregular heartbeat - just woke me up around 2am. My heart was doing the waltz when it SHOULD have been doing the Two Step! I went into my PA on Thursday morning and she got me into a cardiologist that very afternoon. To say we were a wee bit concerned is an understatement. But by the time I went to the cardiologist, after hearing about how I wasn't able to travel anywhere for at least a month, possibly a hospital admittance for 3 or 4 days, a whole slew of medication I was going to have to take, blah, blah, blah, they ran another ECG and shockers, the rhythm was back to normal!!! All on it's own, it went back into normal rhythm. So they are pretty sure it was a side affect of the albuterol in the breathing treatments I was having 3 times a day for over 2 weeks. To say we were relieved is, again, an understatement.

As soon as we left the PA's office, Mike got on the phone to put me on the prayer list at church. When my appointment with the cardiologist was over, I lost no time calling my friend Marilyn at the church office to say that I wanted to be the poster child for the quickest response to a "News Flash" prayer request in history! (A "News Flash" is an email sent out to members with important information rather than waiting till the next service.) So thanks be to God and the brethren who prayed for me!

Now they are just monitoring it for awhile with some prophylactic meds to be on the safe side and I am able to travel - I think the possibility of not getting to see the Austin Drennon's that next weekend bothered me as much as possibly having a heart issue! But once they ran that ECG, it was business as usual except for no caffeine, which has been harder to adapt to than I originally thought (no iced tea, no green tea, no coffee except decaf which does NOTHING to jump start you in the morning - I had no idea how much I was having throughout the day - a good wake-up call???) I just can't have albuterol anymore which is FINE WITH ME! It made me fidgety and an insomniac as well. Between the bronchitis and the heart issue, I was beginning to feel like I'd mortgaged my body and foreclosure was imminent! :) I went back for a recheck before heading up here to Keller and everything checked out fine. I don't even have to go back for a couple of months. I just have to get some lab work done periodically to make sure the meds they put me on are the correct dosage.

We spent our Valentine's Day in low key fashion opting to go to Beck's Prime for a burger and Caesar Salad over a more "romantic" (read "expensive") venue. We were not alone - the place was full of couples in their jeans, companionably eating dressed casually in their jeans, enjoying each other's company and a basket of the best fries in the universe (if you've never been to Beck's in Houston, you HAVE to go when you are there - they do homemade fries that are amazing! Mike likes their shakes but they are too rich for me.) It was perfect.

So ends my soliloquy. Nothing funny nor profound. But it's my life of late so there you have it. Oh, and if you've never seen an abnormal ECG, it sort of looks like a Spirograph drawing rather than the peaks and valleys of the normal ones. An interesting observation now that the drama is over!

06 February 2008

Mike is FINALLY home!

Mike arrived home Tuesday night after being gone more than two weeks. And considering all the time changes and the grueling schedule, he has quite a bit of energy! And I'm feeling a LOT better - the chest seems to be clear finally - I'm so happy I could dance a jig.

Well, perhaps I just will...

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04 February 2008

You gotta see this!

Chris did a photo/video montage from the Disney trip on their blog. It has music with it, so if you're in a quiet room, late at night - be prepared! But it's cute - very Chris.

02 February 2008

Who is this?

Just a little contest to see who can identify the person in this photo. :)

Happy Birthday to our THIRD son!

Today is Jason's birthday. I didn't give birth to him - but he is our son just the same. Almost 10 years ago, he married Jennifer. But earlier than that, we knew he'd be a part of our lives. He is, essentially, our 3rd son...and the eldest (a conundrum of sorts). He is also father to Benjamin and Luke as well. And the big brother Tim and Christopher got later rather than sooner. But he's also our son. And it's his birthday. A "big" birthday - 33. Which isn't bad considering:

He has a masters degree
He has been married almost 10 years - to his FIRST wife!
He has two adorable sons
He has a great job
He (along with Jennifer) owns a house
He has GREAT in-laws
He has wonderful taste in women
He is a Christian

So, Happy Birthday, son! We love you!! And for a trip down memory lane....