Life as a reformed Zookeeper. Now living a life as a working mother who dabbles in karate, scrapbooking, and Coors Light!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bowling Antics...

...of course, I was not in on them, nor did I get any pictures (ahem!), but I thought I'd share a funny that Aaron passed on to me yesterday. He went with a group of teachers/friends to a bowling alley yesterday. They had the bumpers up, and even had a ramp that the smaller kids could sail the ball down (since Erin's weight is almost directly proportional to a bowling ball...hehe...kidding. She was using a 6lb. ball). Well, Erin, though tiny, has to be the strongest and most stubborn kid of her age and stature. So, she wasn't going to use the ramp. Aaron said she tossed the ball the first time and got three pins down. The second time she tossed the ball, it went into someone else's lane, where it slowly rolled down and she got a STRIKE! To finish up her frame, she tossed the ball in her own lane and picked up a spare.

...Should I enroll her in bowling league now? She could be my retirement!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


....I have been getting very little of it lately. The holidays make it a bit difficult. Hard to fit it in with all the eating, drinking, and visiting. And my back hurts now. Need to fit in going to the gym, etc. My back so desperately needs it.

....I drug Collin to karate class with me last night. We are learning a new weapon called the tonfa. Basically a tonfa is like a police officer's billy club. Is made of wood. You can buy foam ones, but I feel like foam ones will inspire laziness in me. So I train with wood. So we're just now learning the tonfa. And the sensei hasn't really given us much as far as the extreme basics to work with. Is a bit on the frustrating side, because the older I get, the more step-by-step instructions are needed for me. And lots and lots of repetition. Why am I droning on about the stupid tonfa, you ask? Well, I keep clocking myself on the elbow and the head with it. And it hurts! Hopefully I will gain some better skill with this thing. Otherwise, it could prove very dangerous for me!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas. A Bullet List....

...OK, so I did promise the good points of Christmas, so here it is....

  • Getting lots of hugs and understanding from my in-laws when I got in the door on Wednesday afternoon. I am so appreciative of the kindness they showed to me when I needed it most.
  • The before-Christmas-Eve-Mass shot with my SIL. Raspberry vodka this year! Is a bit of a tradition now....
  • Getting to see my friend who actually lives close to me at Christmas Eve Mass. Is fun to catch up. And feel guilty that we don't see eachother more often.
  • Watching the kids open their presents. We left the DS's for last, but the twins opened up things like DS holders, DS styluses and screen protectors, and DS games before opening the real deal. Was wondering if they were going to be able to deduce what they were getting.
  • Cracking up because they still had no clue.
  • Watching the look of confusion on Collin's face when the box containing his Colts coat was a beer box. Santa has a sense of humor in our house.
  • Feeling loved by my family as we all gathered together to celebrate Christmas without Gran and Grandad.
  • Hanging out with Joshua (brother), Ashley (Josh's wife), and David (baby bro). Along with my cousins. They make going home a huge joy.
  • Watching my parents open the presents we'd gotten them. We got my mom a lighthouse egg timer and my Dad the government mug from
  • Hanging out with Joshua and Ashley in Evansville...we had a relaxing dinner with them at Lonestar restaurant.
  • Coors Light on tap at Lonestar!
  • Hearing the twins and Collin rave about getting to spend time alone with my mom.
  • Lunch with Aaron's Grandpa yesterday. He's such a sweet man.

So there you have it. Not as happy-go-lucky as I should be, but my brain is still fried from all the vent settings, dialysis, and heart rates of Grandad.

Thanks for all your thoughts and loving that you've given me over the past few weeks. You've no idea how much that means to me.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Back In Town! we just got back from our trip to Southern Indiana. It's with a guarded heart that I report that Grandad is making good progress. The new hospital has tried some different things (dialysis...tweaked vent settings.... cleanliness, etc) that have gotten him a lot further than what he was. To go from saying good-bye in my heart to seeing him exhausted from rounds of tests and on lower vent settings has gotten me confused and not knowing what to think. Part of me feels like if I get too excited about his progress that I'll have to take it all back again. So he's doing better, and I'll be the first to do the happiest dance ever when he's getting OUT of the hospital. Until then, I'll remain cautiously optimistic. I keep thinking that if my heart can't take much more, that my Gran, Mom, Aunt and Uncle must really be having a tough time. So, at this point, they've brought him out of his sedation and my Gran reports that he's tracking her voice with his eyes when he hears her. This is good progress. I'm just sorry that when I went in to say good-bye yesterday and give him a kiss on the forehead that I would have known for certain that he knew we were there. mind is still on that part of Christmas. I'll tell you more about the GOOD stuff. Swear. But for now, I'm home, doing loads of laundry, and trying to get toys in kids' rooms rather than in my living room.

...oh, and go tell Judy how awesome it is that she has unlimited texting! WOOT! Another person to stalk!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas! I'll be MIA until Monday. Possibly longer, depending on what happens with Grandad. We were given the "We're doing all that we can." speech yesterday. So it's a matter of time, and hopefully Grandad will help us make the decision of what's next as opposed to Gran having to make them. She did sign the DNR. And as much as I'll miss him, my heart breaks for Gran and my Mom. The longer you know someone, the deeper your love is for them. And love runs deep in their family. My Mom (you all know she's my step-mom, right?) has been one of the most important and influential people in my life. And she is who she is because of those two special people she calls Mom and Dad. So watching our family go through this, in addition to my own sense of loss is so very hard. At this point, I want Grandad to be in peace. And if that means I have to miss him for a bit, then so be it. Suck as it may.

....I'll post when I get back with the happier points of my holiday. The twins just opened up Nintendo DS's (Aaron squeezed that one in cos he knows I'm so very weak and not caring at this point!), Collin got a Colts coat and Guitar Hero for his DS (Don't think that we don't spoil him throughout the WHOLE year. He makes out like a wallet is open to the joys of Boy Scouts and karate!). Aaron got me tickets to Disturbed and a necklace (poor guy...I picked them out myself!). I got Aaron Colts PJ bottoms, a Reggie Wayne jersey, and Cubs cups.

...Soon we're off to Southern Indiana. I want to be with my family. But I also want to crawl under a rock, go to sleep, and wake up when this is all over. Good deal that my family is so awesome. We'll all prop eachother up.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I *heart* Stress!

Here's a brief synopsis of my afternoon:
  • Listen to colleague tell me how she nearly wrecked her car due to slick roads.
  • Watched aimlessly as the cars stack up in front of my window, which provides me a nice view of the interstate.
  • Receive call from Aaron stating that he's fallen on ice and thinks he has a concussion.
  • Beat a path out of work to clean my windshield and park my car on I-465 between the I-69 and Keystone interchanges.... for 45 minutes! With a dying cell phone! On the last quarter of a tank of gas!
  • Use precious cell battery to text two dear friends to call Aaron (thanks, Katie!) and to go over to the house (thanks, Melissa...who doesn't read this so won't know she's getting a shout out!).
  • Call Grandad's room for an update, only to get no answer. Try not to panic.
  • Get home to determine that, while the doctor said she didn't deem it necessary to take Aaron in to ER to be seen, I kind of do. Call in to on-call doctor and leave message.
  • While waiting for on call doctor to call me back, I get a call from Mom to let me know that they'd moved Grandad to another hospital in a bigger city. Whew!
  • Talk to on call doctor, who gave me some reassurance that Aaron's head would, indeed, not explode. Get instructions on how to take care of Aaron.
  • Talk to mother-in-law while I make dinner.
  • Feed kids.
  • Give kids bath.

All that, and I still need to wrap presents tonight. *sigh*


...thanks to Katie, who provided me with paper, my presents will get wrapped tonight. Probably sooner than I thought, as we've gotten an icy/messy storm during the day, and I think that I'm going to stay inside instead of do karate tonight.

...talked to my dad this morning and Grandad's kidney function is suffering. This is quite the rollercoaster... and I want to get off the ride. The ups and downs of the past few days are so very tiring. I wish him peace. I don't want to lose him. But I don't want him to be going through all this, either.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Ain't He Cute?

Strange.... Saturday morning as I was taking Gran to the hospital, I saw an owl sitting on top of a street sign.

....this morning, as I drove in to work, I saw a rainbow. When it wasn't raining? Am sure it's just caused by the flurries blowing about, but it was strange to see nonetheless.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been....

....Thursday evening I got a call that part of me had been dreading, but anticipating. My Grandad went to the hospital and was not doing well at all. Since he had an infection, he wasn't able to get the pace maker put in, so they'd been giving him blood thinners to help his heart work better. Four different kinds. I still wonder if that was a good idea, but it's a moot point now. Long story short, he bled out. He had so much blood in his abdomen that it was putting a lot of pressure on his lungs and his right one collapsed. And he was in intolerable pain. And his vitals were dropping pretty quickly. They opted to put him on a vent, and he agreed.

....I threw some clothes in a suitcase, grabbed my pillow, flew out the door, and sped home alone. The ride seemed unending as I pictured so many of my family waiting together to figure out what was going on, and I was stuck alone in the car.

....The past three days have been spent at the hospital and at my Gran and Grandad's house. We've watched over Grandad with guarded hearts, everyone trying to be strong. We've watched as the numbers on the monitor have risen and fallen. We've tried to not look at my Gran as she's teared up over the possibilities that lie ahead. There have been good hours and bad hours. And at this point, we're taking them one at a time, for that seems to be how quickly everything can turn around.

....When I left to come home this morning, Grandad was doing better than at any point of the last three days, save the fact that he is on fairly high vent settings. It's almost as if he was telling me that it was OK to go home. And when I called a little while ago, Gran let me know that they've lowered his vent settings and is still doing pretty well.

....So please keep my family in your thoughts as we go through the holidays. All is not terrible for us, though. We are connecting as a unit to be there for our two favorite people in the universe. And we're finding out that we don't have the monopoly on that feeling. I hate that it takes something like this to make us feel so bonded. But bonded we are. Bonded to helping our Gran in any way we can. And bonded to helping eachother deal with the stresses of what lies ahead.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Griffin Four-Eyes... Griffin failed his eye screening at school earlier in the year. I find out that he should have had an appointment in 2006, but we'd moved and they didn't follow us. So we didn't show up. Fast forward two years, and the child fails the screening. So, we make an appointment. For today. Which felt like a lifetime away back when I made it. So he goes with Aaron today. Yep. He needs glasses. The kicker? His left eye (same as Erin's) is ALSO lazy. So we will be patching his eye for 2-3 hours a day now, too. Joy.

...Part of me cannot help but feel like a derelict mom for not getting him into the eye doctor sooner. He WAS a preemie, for crying out loud! I'm trying to console myself with the fact that parents of full-term kiddos would not likely have eye exams for their kids until this age anyway. But I still feel horrible. *sigh*

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday Warbles....

  • These guys are worth a listen. You would think since they're touring with Disturbed that you wouldn't like them unless you're a heavy rocker. But they're not really. It amazes me how different they sound recorded than live.
  • My drive way rivals Rockerfeller Center right now. Thought that perhaps the roads were as bad, so I wore jeans to work today in case my car went off the road (and tennis shoes so that I wouldn't look like the crooks from Home Alone and fall on the ice). But alas, the only parts that are icy are the drive ways, side streets, and parking lots.
  • Went to a schwanky restaurant for our company holiday dinner last night. Am a certifiable redneck at heart, so I felt a bit out of place. The food wasn't all that fantastic, either.
  • My back is telling me to get on the wagon with hard-core exercise again.
  • My ears are still ringing.
  • If someone is so health-conscious as to use the toilet seat cover, don't you think it a bit odd that they wouldn't do the next health-conscious user the courtesy of ensuring that it flushes down? Seriously. Ew.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Wicked Fun..... I had a blast tonight. Just polished off a venti Peppermint Mocha so am a bit on the non-sleepy side. David made it in plenty of time for the concert. I beat a path out from work and went downtown, calling him on the way to check and see where he was. He and I made it downtown right about the same time, which worked perfect. Not so perfect? My brother's inability to know what direction he was going. North, South, East and West mean NOTHING to him. Which does not a lot for the girl who knows only enough about downtown to visually get myself where I need to be! I talk him through to where we want to be. I don't think I laughed harder in that fifteen minutes (or more?) alone. But I FINALLY got him to where I was. So we decide that it's colder than crap outside, and head to the nearest restaurant...the Rathskellar, which just so happens to be across the street from the Murat, the concert hall. Sweet! Not so sweet? We sit down to order, and they don't serve sandwiches after lunchtime? WTF? We wait HALF AN HOUR for them to tell us this. But they decided to go ahead and let us order a sandwich anyway. So we do (cos seriously? Didn't feel like spending fifty bucks on dinner!).

....we catch up over dinner, and David seriously makes me laugh throughout the whole thing. Then, we wait about ten or fifteen minutes outside and freeze our asses off to get patted down before going in (it's seriously about 20 degrees F out!). We get inside, and have an absolute BLAST. We see my friend Kelly very briefly (he was on some hot date... lol), but spend the rest of the time just the two of us. As you can see by my accumulated pics, we were quite close to the stage.

....for a bit of the show, I believe I was behind the tallest man in the room. Seriously, the dude was at the very least a foot taller than me. But with time, he migrated a bit away from us, so I got a fairly unobstructed view of the stage, save the Fists in the Air (You Disturbed Fans will understand! *winks*). One of the funniest happenings of the night was this older woman who decided that she would dirty dance behind me.....David decided that at least I wasn't as old as her, but if I EVER started molesting young girls the way she did me, that he would NEVER go with me to another concert. The other funny happening is the fact that David has Spidey-Senses and could hear the conversations around us after the show. All of a sudden, I do smell pee, which I proclaim in my post-concert-I-think-I'll-never-hear-again gymnasium voice. He cracks his shit up, takes me away from the people we were just standing beside, and tells me how he overheard a guy telling someone that he wet himself a little.....crack my shit up.

...So am so happy that I got to spend this time with my brother. I love him dearly, and can't wait to see him over the holidays and spend more time with him. He's awesome.

....A small funny before I go. Griffin likes to bring a stuffed animal with him to the bus stop in the mornings. Not sure why. He just does. I usually drive us to the end of the cul-de-sac and then beat a path out when the bus comes. So whoever comes with us to the bus stop goes with me to work. Well, I realize after the bus is on its way that Brown Doggy is with me in the car. I warn Griffin that I wouldn't make it home in time for bed, and that Brown Doggy would be going with me to the concert. Thanks to Guitar Hero, Griffin knows Disturbed, and since I like them, likes them, too. So I told Griffin that Brown Doggy would let him know what happened at the concert. He seemed to like that idea.


Am so very stoked. Tonight's the concert! You shall find me (stone-cold sober) in the mosh pit with my baby brother!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Too Funny....

a bullet list of funny things said in my house this weekend...

  • "Dad, I wish I was you," says Griffin in the car yesterday while we were out. "Why's that?" we ask. "So I could have Peppermint Mochas any time I want." (Yes, am bad mom who's let my kids sip on my coffee drinks)
  • "I like Erin"....what Griffin wrote on his notebook this morning in church. Am looking to snag that shit to give to him at a moment, later in their teenage years, when they're getting on eachother's last nerve.
  • "Happy birthday to God." sang Griffin in the car on the way home from church. "Not God's birthday, it's Jesus' birthday!" replies Erin. "Well, I think his last name is God," was his response.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tee Hee... this afternoon, I made sugar cookies with the kids....while watching a Disturbed video that I'd purchased thinking it was a cd....while drinking a Coors Light. There is something very twisted about me. I will not deny it.

Friday, December 12, 2008


  • my baby bro is not coming up until the concert on Monday and will have to beat a path out directly after the concert. Knew that it would be too good to be able to spend the weekend and entire day on Monday with him. But he needs to keep his job, and part of it is not taking Monday off.
  • Despite going to the med-check and being told I don't have strep, I have spots at the back of my throat and am feeling achy/headachy/feverish. Joy.
  • Dealing with familial stress of the extended kind. The mail's just taken a letter to my brother. Because we can't just pick up the phone and call to discuss how we feel.
  • My knees and hip joints are unhappy with being forced into duty with my stairs boycott.

What's your biggest beef right now? Come on. I can't be the only one to complain!

Oh, and someone, and methinks it's Judy, left a beautiful golden Christmas wreath on my porch yesterday. Is very pretty. Thanks to my fairy!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thursday Already?

...just seems like the week began and now it's almost over. *sigh*

... I think that I should take off karate tomorrow, and perhaps scale back a bit. On one hand, I don't want to lose out on the exercise. Is so very good for my back and my soul. On the other hand, the twins seem to really be missing their momma right now. And, well, I miss them, too. Especially when they snuggle on my lap and love on me. Last night before karate we watched part of the Disney's Christmas Carol. Priceless moments with them. Priceless. Sometimes I wish we had a room in our house that we could devote to karate. I would just work out at home. I can't really do many of the things I want to at home, though, so a dojo rat, I shall remain. It just stinks that the classes that I would want to go to are all in the evening. What to do, what to do? Typically I go to class Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Am thinking that I shall drop the Monday class for a bit. At least until the twins decide they give to cares whether I'm home or not. *winks*

... In a bit of a funk today.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Tuesday Tidbits....

  • It's pissing it down outside. Don't mind it if I don't have to get out in it, but such is life.
  • The elevator broke down on Friday...with one of my colleagues in it. Someone said they'd overheard the technician say "This elevator is in bad shape and needs to be replaced." That's incentive enough for me to be totally converted to taking the stairs. Perhaps this will counteract my holiday-inspired sumo-wrestler diet.
  • Erin had blue toothpaste in her hair this morning. Try as I might, I couldn't brush it out, so I put her hair in a pony tail after a fight. She wanted a partial pony tail. Which I couldn't do because I couldn't get around the blue snaggle in her hair. *sigh*
  • Peppermint Mocha Twist from Starbucks is the holiday bomb-diggety. Sadly, am through my gift card, so they will be in limited supply for me now. *sigh*
  • A few songs on the Linkin Park Minutes To Midnight disc sound like Jack Johnson is singing them. Someone else has agreed with me, so it must be true. My new philosophy? Hard rock bands should not be allowed to do anything like fall in love or procreate. They go completely soft when that happens. *winks*
  • This time next week I will be in complete recovery mode from the Disturbed concert. It will be just my baby brother and me. And I'm looking forward to it like none other.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Update... I (finally) talked to my dad today about my Gran and Grandad. No real update on Grandad, but tomorrow should be the surgery for his pacemaker, provided that his infection is cleared up. The real update was about my Gran. Not only have her blood sugar counts been high (270-480), her carotid artery (the one in the neck) is 80% blocked. She'll need surgery before the holidays. Positive thoughts, please! Again, I feel like a pansy, since I've had all this time with them, and most kids don't get to have this kind of relationship with their grandparents. Most kids, like Collin, don't get to meet their great-grandparents, let alone have real memories with them. I'm so fortunate in this regard. But positive thoughts, anyway, k?


...I know you won't believe me, but there are new things up in my Scraps of Steph blog!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Christmas Spirit.... I have been having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit this year. Dunno why, but I have. But today broke that trend, and now am feeling it a bit more. The reason? Getting together with the girls for Homemade Christmas exchange. I got all the final things together this morning, and something snapped in me. Prior to today I'd even gone so far as to tell Aaron we shouldn't jack around with a tree this year. But after getting everything together, it just changed. Am finally in the Christmas spirit. Leave it to a relaxing afternoon with the girls to get me in the right frame of mind. Everyone seemed to love their stuff, and we just had a good afternoon together. Love my girlfriends. Before I left, I told Aaron to wait for me to do the tree. Glad I did.

....My booty! *grins* The Santa Ornament and Cookie mix are from Rebecca. The scarf from Stephenie. The wallet from Katie (which matches my purse! woot!). And the picture from Judy. I'm so blessed to have such a great group of women in my life.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Nothing Like Family.....

.... OK, so I get a call from my Dad last night, saying that both my Gran AND Grandad are in the hospital. Both with heart-related stuff. Gran was feeling off-kelter at Thanksgiving, and we all pushed her to see someone about her heart. So, she did. And they admitted her from her doctor's appointment for testing. That's all the news I have about that. Grandad, on the other hand, has been dealing with his heart issues for a while now. He's on oxygen most often now, and his heart has so much damage that it falls out of rhythm. Apparently, unwittingly to me, had a surgery scheduled to have a pace-maker put in. I know that this is a fairly routine procedure. But when I asked Dad to call me to let me know as soon as he found out what was going on, he said "I dunno, it's going to be a pretty busy day...." He has stuff going on. He's got some meetings to attend. But come the fuck on.

.....So I've just gotten off the phone with the hospital. They transferred me to Gran's room where no one answered. The waiting begins....

ETA: I just called the hospital again and talked to my mom. Apparently Grandad got an infection around the IV site in his arm, so they're shoving the surgery off until that is cleared up. They ran tests on my Gran, and the arteries in her heart are clear. Going to check the one in her neck and also investigate more into the status of her diabetes (hasn't been checking her sugars like a good girl...hmph! She's a nurse! I could beat her with a wet noodle!). *sigh*

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Spoke Too Soon.... we had a bit of a rough morning this morning. Not the worst it's ever been, mind you, but we did have a bit of a scuffle. Over the color of Griffin's plate. You see, as Star Student this week, he filled out a survey. Yes, the aforementioned survey where he listed me as his Hero? Well, he also listed his favorite color. Which is green, by the way. So I dole out waffles this morning for breakfast (Bless Kroger and their fake Eggos!). Now. In the past, the only color that was argued over is when I gave Griffin the pink plate by mistake. Not. Any. More. Tears were shed, attitudes unleashed. All because I gave him the blue plate, which before had given no offense. The coveted green plate went to Erin.

....Damn, am worst mother ever. Katie? What would Momof4 do?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Tuesday Tidbits....

  • shout out to Judy for pre-emptively calling Aaron to schedule watching the Terrifying Trio on early dismissal Friday. You're an awesome friend, and too good for me.
  • shout out to Katie for introducing me to Campbell's Chunky, Sirloin Burger and Country Vegetables. Has been longer ago than I care to admit that you told me about this soup. But it makes for a good lunch on a cold, snowy day like today. Is cheap, too!
  • Someone gave me a free Tall coupon for an Espresso Truffle drink from Starbucks. Was very yummy. Will definitely get that one if I get gift cards! Am having trouble parting with nearly five for a drink that doesn't contain alcohol, so will wait until it's free! *winks*
  • Am hating being a girl right now. 'Nuf Sed.
  • Got the day off on Dec. 15th to be with my brother. There shall be no end to the fun we're going to have.
  • Another great morning with the twins. Though they did want to wait OUTSIDE the car this morning and shuffle around in the snow. Too cold for that noise! But no tears. Which is fabby.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Happiness.... a bullet-list....

  • Griffin is Star Student this week at school. They had a little "About Me" survey to fill out. Aaron helped him this morning, and one of the questions was "Who is your hero?" Yes, folks, he said "Mommy." God, I do so love that boy.
  • Had a good morning with the twins. I do not believe there was one raised voice or tear....*happy sigh*
  • Two weeks from today, I'm hoping that I'll get to both spend the entire day with my baby brother and then see Disturbed that night. So looking forward to it!
  • Seeing my brothers and being able to laugh with him. Am still on a high from that.
  • Getting my driver's license and debit card back. Left them behind on Wednesday night! Yikes!
  • It's snowing today, but it's not sticking to the roads. Love to watch the snowflakes melt on my car windshield and see their different shapes.