Archive | July, 2011

Makes your heart melt

31 Jul

We all know how crazy things get when the firefighter is working and you are home alone, making sure the ships stays righted. But, then you have to take a step back and look at who else is involved with this cruise.  The muppets.

Tomorrow Daddy comes home.  Our firefighter has been working 48s.  He is paying back trades from when D needed surgery and O was in the hospital and I had to work, but the kids did not have school.  So he is pulling a lot of 3 out of 4 shifts.  He is working 72 out of 96 hours.  I think we have one more.  It makes my life crazy…but also the kids’ lives.

Tomorrow is also one of the most important days of the year.  13 years ago I married the love of my life, in a beautiful music filled ceremony.  9 years ago I brought another love of my life into this world.  I spent my anniversary going through the roughest of my 4 deliveries.  I will spare you the details, but I remember them vividly.  And it was all worth it.

Today, while I am folding laundry to pack, B came up to me.  “Mom, I am getting the best birthday present tomorrow.” Me, “Oh yeah, how do you know?” B,  “Cause Daddy can only work 48 hours in a row by law.”  I had to grab him and hug him, he made my heart melt.  The kids miss him when he is gone, too.  B – thank you for reminding me.  Happy Birthday, baby.  You were the best anniversary gift I could have ever asked for!



28 Jul

Glasses are a huge part of our daily lives.  “D, where are your glasses?”  Shrug of the shoulders.  “O, where did you put your “eyes”?” Shocked look – “Someone STOLE them!”  (In terribly adorable toddler speak!) “B, please go find your glasses – NOW!” With a goofy grin in response.  We have had three kids in glasses for a few years now.  You would think we have this down to a science, but sadly, we do not.  D’s glasses were eaten by the monster under the bed.  With all of this packing, I have yet to come across them.  B’s glasses were destroyed and O can’t live without hers – snot, smudges and all. Solution – eye exams and new glasses.

I made the appointments – all three back to back.  I was smart this year – I did it when J was off!  Last year, they put us in the last appts. of the day – ending at 8:30 pm (not smart with a 2 year-old!).  And of course, it was while J was in the academy – don’t think he was home even after we got home from that traumatic experience.  We did the exams this afternoon and that was AMAZINGLY smooth – even the Doc was surprised at how well it went.

Then came the hard part – ordering the glasses.  First crisis – D doesn’t need them anymore, her astigmatism has corrected.  Sounds good, right?  WRONG!!  She had the most adorable glasses picked out and was HEARTBROKEN that she was not going to be able to get them.  NOT FUN!  B’s eyes have gotten even WORSE.  And O’s are still pretty far off from one another – one being significantly worse than the other. Then, came the ineptitude of ordering them.  I have vision insurance.  It should not be this hard.  But instead, the lady – not sure of her title – pushes me to go for their in-store special.  Never running it through my insurance.  When I point that out, she does the math – WRONG – and is a bit insulted that I questioned her judgement.  REALLY?? I requested their scripts – and that fell on deaf ears.  I left SO frazzled.  We got home and I started looking for another place to buy the kids glasses.  I do, call them.  Give the girl a heads up, tell her she will have to call for the prescription and we head in.

By this time we are nearing the witching hour.  O is DONE trying on glasses.  B just wants to be his usual chatty self.  The girl  at the 2nd Optical Center can’t get anyone from the first to give her the prescriptions – after being accidentally hung up on – TWICE – there is a refusal to answer the phone on the end of the original store.  It is MISERABLE.  We get a pair for each picked out and Brittany – the lovely patient girl in the optical dept – says go home, I will call them and then call you.

We get home, get the 2 muppets fed – yes, they had not had the chance to eat through all of this craziness.  Get the girls to bed, the phone rings.  She will have to call me in the morning – out of spite, the girl at the original place got the approval from the insurance – which she told me she “could not get” with her computer program, hence the suggestion of their program.  It would have to wait until morning.  SOOOO, we are going back in tomorrow.  With just O.  I have some glasses picked out, but it was too hard to tell if I liked them or not.  We’ll try it again.

My Crazy Life

28 Jul

Things have been absolutely CRAZY around here. Sorting, packing, loading, unloading. Just NUTS. Last night we had some nasty t-storms roll through and somehow I ended up with a child next to me, I thought about banishing her back to her realm, but no.  It is kind of refreshing to have her just BE here with me.  Woke me up early, but that is okay.  I have missed the cyberworld.  It has been nice.  No tea parties, not packing, not playing with Strawberry Shortcakes – just being.  Today, my FF goes to work.  My oldest and youngest will be hanging out with me.  I think we will find the kitchen, pick up the family room and the dining room and then just chill.  There is laundry to be done – A TON of it!  I am SOOOOOO behind on laundry.  I might try and sneak some of that in, too. J works a 48 this weekend as well, I am certain I will be pulling my hair out over that by Sunday – especially with all that laundry calling my name.  But through all of this craziness, I think we have forgotten to just BE.  That is my goal for today. JUST BE!

Tomorrow – back to the craziness….

It is NEVER the answer

27 Jul

I just got a Facebook message from a teacher, who was originally in J’s class at the academy.  His wife, is friends/co-workers, with the mom of some former students of mine.  He let me know that one of the girls took her own life last week.  My heart sank.  My kids have hardly recovered from the suicide of one of their own over a year and a half ago, and now we lost another. The surviving sister, took her friend’s suicide, hard.  I cannot even begin to think of what this will do, knowing it was her own sister.

Please know suicide is never the answer, there is always another way.  Everyone, please let your friends and family know that you love them, especially if they are having a rough time with life.  The simplest gestures have the biggest impact.

Cookie, take care of her…

Nothing like having life come at you ubber fast!

22 Jul

WOW! I just feel like someone hit the fast forward button, but doesn’t actually know how to use the remote.  My last post was a tribute to my Curly boy, the vet brought him home a few days ago.  I am odd that way.  All of our dogs are cremated and brought home with us.  They will all be buried with me.  Some people think it is crazy, which is why I don’t ask their opinions.  His beautiful urn should be here today.  I feel like a slacker because I didn’t have it when he came home.  But the last service our vet used sent them home in a beautiful rosewood case.  This service, however, did a paw print and curl clipping – that was sweet.

The day after my last post, I left for Memphis for a 1 to 1 Laptop Conference.  It was GREAT!  Some presenters were stronger than others, but overall, it really got the batteries recharged.  One of the other teachers – we both came from the same school district and were new this year – we really have plans going for the conference next year and a student mentoring program.  It was great!

Beale Street was also the best medicine.  I LOVED going out every night.  The music was great.  Adult conversation was needed.  It made it so much easier to come home and deal with life.  I hate to say it, but the timing could not have been better.  J did not have to do the heartbreaking alone and I did not have to feel guilty because I did not say good-bye.  I am still not sleeping well – I had the same thing when we put our Riley boy down, but I am hoping that I will be so bust that I won’t be able to NOT sleep!

Property Image 1So, my flight came in at 9pm and 12 hours later, we were signing the papers for our new house.  The bedrooms are bigger, there is a living AND a dining room.  I don’t have to turn one into the other to fit my children around a table.  Best part – I am a hop skip and a jump from my school, as opposed to an hour plus!   I can’t WAIT for the first to come.  They are painting and cleaning it for me as we speak.  WHICH MEANS – I have been packing this house up – ALONE.  My hubby has been working or on jury duty.  He is on day 2 of a 48.  Yesterday was CRAZY for our MFD.  Fire after fire after fire.  J did not get to sleep until after 5am.  He is compressed air today.  It was funny to hear him on the feed today.  Makes for an easy morning for him.  All of this is during the 95-105 degree days we have been having.  NOT FUN!  So, my hubby will be able to sleep tomorrow when he gets home, the muppets are going with me to hang out at my dad’s house.  Dad is working, so he won’t be bugged by the crew and daddy can sleep for the morning.

I am back to packing and trying to sell of my hubby’s classroom off so we don’t have to move that with us!

Happy Friday.  I think my hubby will be able to help me after he gets a nap in tomorrow.  Wish me luck!

My Curly Q

8 Jul

It is 3am. I just came off of 42 hours without sleep, you would think that I would be out like a light.  Instead, I am laying here in bed, wide awake, with a nasty headache feeling heartbroken.

We are dog people, through and through.  They are such a part of our lives.  Last night we lost an amazing part of our life.  We lost our Curly.  Mind you, this is my self pity, my greediness coming through.  But, it was his 18th birthday. 😦  He made it to 18 – how many goldens can say that?

New Year’s Eve – 2002
He instantly fit in with our pack!

Curly was our last GRRoW adoption.  Aside from our female golden, all of our k9 units have come through rescues.  I don’t need a cute little ball of fluff to fall in love.  A simple wagging tail and pair of big brown eyes should suffice.  Curly was one of special needs adoptions.  I ALWAYS seem to go for poor pup with the most heartbreaking sad story.  Riley was one of those and then came Curly. Curly was a 9 year-old golden – with a beautiful red curly coat.  He was deathly afraid of loud noises – fireworks and t-storms and the like (a fear which I got him to get over!).  He ran off during the 4 of July celebrations of 2002 .  When they found him, he was heartworm positive.  One treatment is hard enough, Curly needed, and amazingly, survived two.
                                                                                He was amazing right from the start.  His foster mom even tried to scare us off with how much work he would be.  (I have to call her and let her know.) He really wasn’t much work at all – no hard food, if he got a hold of any, you had to dig it out of his throat.  Ewwww.  So, we made Curly Shakes.  Curly out-lived, I don’t know how many blenders!  Curly had a misshapen throat, it was at a 90 degree angle AND he had mega-esophagus – essentially, he couldn’t swallow properly.  In December of 2008, he was diagnosed with Stomach cancer that had spread to his liver and lungs.  We prayed that he would make it through the holidays.  He did, and two more sets after that.

Curly just wanted to be loved and to give love.  He worked in both of our classrooms.  With J’s classes, it was “Curling up with a Good Book” where reluctant readers would read to him.  In my classes, the goldens just hung out. One of my biggest, bad-a$$ thugs would make sure he was in school – in my class – when Curly was there.  He reached some of those kids in ways I could only imagine.  (I will get some of those pictures on here once I get into my classroom and bring them home.)

J brought up the recliner in the middle when I was pregnant with O
It gave me a change of venue from the couch.
You can see who was making use of it.

I can also say that he and I had a very special connection.  Without any training, he became a seizure dog.  Curly could tell before I knew that my seizures were coming, big or small, he knew.  He would come, nose at me and bug me until I sat down.  When my seizures were 100s per week, this was not a small feat.  It took me a bit to realize what was going on.  Not sure if it was the change in electrical energy he picked up on or perhaps there is a scent – no clue.  But my Curly boy knew.  We were bonded in a way that I have not experienced in all my life of k9s.  He got me through some rough times, just by hanging out with me.  He just knew.

A few months ago, I woke up to a horrible sight at 12am – Curly having a violent seizure.  It was a Blue shift, I was all alone and up for the rest of the night.  Curly lost his sight for a bit that night, was scared out of his mind and paced up and down the halls.  We got him on some meds, but the vet was very clear – seizures this late in life are never good, it is a sign of major neuro issues, not simple k9 epilepsy, which we were already familiar with.  Curly’s seizures were violent and draining and all but one came in the middle of the night.

Wednesday night was one of those nights.  He woke me up with a violent thud – as he propelled himself off my bed.  I ran and got the ice packs, got those placed on his lower back (not sure why, but it helps shorten the duration of the sz.).  When he came to, I got him his vanilla ice cream (helps revive the blood sugar) – this time he wasn’t interested.  Not a good sign.  We would repeat this at 2am, 3am, 4am and at 5am he started clustering.  As soon as my Curly would come back from a seizure, it would suck him back in.

I was so tired, so scared and so alone.  I got the kids up, my oldest got everyone fed so I could stay with my Curly Q and the boys went off to the day camp program in the neighborhood.  I was so thankful when J came home.  We called the vet and had the talk.  It was time.  Today was Curly’s 18th birthday.  I guess he just had to make it to that milestone!  We celebrated with a peanut butter and vanilla ice cream shake during one of his more clear moments of the day.  Not the k9 party I had planned for the day, but we celebrated his life as we prepared for his passing.

Hangin’ out with Willow after we lost Riley.  It hit him hard. 😦

Dr. Waters is an amazing vet.  We have been with her, essentially since she graduated from vet school.

 She left the clinic where we met and opened up a mobile vet practice.  She comes to the house with her specially equipped RV and is wonderful.  This is especially appreciated when it comes time for everyone’s annual check up.  Try holding on to two 70+lbs. k9s and a 120 lbs. ball of fluff while other dogs come and go.  NO FUN!  She was able to make it out last night.  I am especially appreciative, at times like these, to not have to walk out to the waiting room like a blubbering idiot, after saying good-bye.  We discussed if this was the right time – if there was anything else.  Dr. Waters simply said, “If he was mine, it would be time.”  She will bring him home to us next week.

We called him the grandpa dog – his age, his personality, his love,
his patience – all made him who he was.

I am ETERNALLY grateful that J made a trade a few months ago.  It sucked having to go through all the seizures by myself, but it would have sucked so much more, having to say good-bye to Curly alone.  It was after all, a Blue shift.  J was supposed to be working.

Curly will be missed like crazy.  I can’t sleep because he is not curled up in the crook of my legs and his collar is simply not enough.  There are a lot of tears in our house right now, but the joyous moments definitely outweigh any amount of tears.  Goodbye Curly Q. Your pawprints are tattooed on my heart. I know Riley was waiting for you on the other side of the rainbow bridge.  I will see you guys again someday.  Look for me.

July 7, 1993 – July 7, 2011

Independence Day

4 Jul
The Blue Shift is notorious for hitting holidays – not sure what it is and the Fourth of July is not different.  For me, that was okay.  The big fireworks in our area are on the 3rd, so we could go out on the lake and watch the fireworks.  Life was good.  Then a last minute family picnic came up, with my hubby family is first.  So, I was a bit saddened.  I love fireworks.  Not sure why, I just do.  I think J knew that, even if I didn’t say anything.  He made good.  The opening night of Summerfest is the Big Bang, probably just as big, if not bigger than our 3rd of July fireworks.  We took the sailboat out, dropped anchor and enjoyed the lake while waiting for the light show to begin.  Daddy hailed the Trident and got to show off his fireboat to his kids and his sailboat to his colleagues, it was a win/win a that moment.  And AMAZINGLY, all 4 kids stayed awake and were BEAUTIFUL for the fireworks. 

Yesterday was the family gathering – the muppets had fun.  Family got to bond.  And my FF still found me some fireworks – with a nice view, on our drive home. Today, my firefighter is off to keep the world safe from themselves and the scary combination of booze and gunpowder.  He took care of his family and now he is taking care of others. It is his willing sacrifice for the community he serves.

Freedom Isn’t Free

So, as you celebrate, grill, drink, enjoy the various light shows – please remember what it is we are celebrating.  We are celebrating freedom from tyranny and oppression.  Freedom from taxation without representation – our voice deserves to be heard, no matter how quiet.  Freedom to practice our beliefs without persecution.  Freedom to love and associate with whomever we choose.  Freedom to live, work, study, wherever our lives and talents take us.  And most of all, please remember that freedom is never free.  There are sacrifices which must be made – sometimes the ultimate sacrifice – all for the greater good.  Take a moment to remember that the Continental forces took on the supreme power of the age and WON!  But, not without cost.  There were lives and limbs lost to battle and weather, to hunger and disease – all to ensure that future generations would be heard.  Please be sure to remember and to be thankful.  Thankful to those who won us our Independence and  those who continue to fight for that Independence.

So, instead of Happy 4th of July, how about Happy Independence Day!