Friday, April 23, 2010

A Much Needed Break

On Tuesday, I flew to Chicago for the Blue October concert that Mike gave me tickets to for our anniversary. It's been a long 3 month wait, but it was well worth it. Mike worked it out so that I would stay with Emily while I was there. It was so awesome to actually spend a little time with her. Okay, so 2.5 days. :) Mike, for Valentine's Day, made us reservations at The Signature Room on the 95th floor of the John Hancock building for dinner before the concert. The view was amazing. These pictures were actually taken from my seat at the table.

Navy Pier

Lake Michigan

Emily pointed out my fear of heights, and I was actually okay because I didn't feel like I was going to fall. Stupid, but true.

After a wonderful dinner (I've honestly never had this swanky of a dinner in my life), we headed over to the House of Blues for the Blue October concert. Yay!

The stage
One of the opening bands had some of the Blue October members come and play with them. The guy on the far left is Ryan from BO. The next day, this opening band (Hurricane Bells) blew out their engine in St. Joe, not far from us. I would have gone to pick them up. LOL!

And then, Blue October took the's a small venue, so we had a good view.

I've actually got this one up as my FB profile picture. LOL!

Anyway, the concert was amazing. The average age was probably around 35 and we were all acting like college kids. I think that annoyed the college kids that actually were there.

Wednesday, we drove to the suburbs to visit with an old friend, Amy. Amy moved from Peoria when we were in 5th grade but up until that point, she and I would walk home from school together. I haven't seen her since 7th grade, about 22 years ago. Wow. It was awesome to catch up over lunch. What was really nice is that it wasn't awkward and we've vowed to make it, at least, a yearly thing.

I also made a stop to see Bobbi and Ed. We couldn't stay long, though, because of the wonderful Chicago rush hour traffic.

That night, Emily and I grabbed a bottle of wine (or two or three...I don't remember) and stayed up talking until 4 am. It is so amazing to have a friend that you can go forever without talking to and when you do, it's like nothing at all...there's no "why haven't you called?" or anything like that.

The trip length was perfect, but I was sad to go back home on Thursday. However, it was really nice to get back to the routine and my own bed. The kids gave Mike an excellent report and Mike did the same. I really think he liked being "in charge." LOL!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Who Said Jacob Could Go To Middle School?

I was so excited because I got to have coffee with my dear friend, Shanna, this morning. She was my MOPS coordinator when I was involved and her sister passed 3 weeks before Mom did, so we formed a tight bond pretty quickly. I've chatted, briefly, with her over the past year but I haven't been able to really talk with her. What was supposed to be an hour long coffee thing turned into 2 1/2 hours. We decided to go for pedicures next Wednesday. I'm so excited. I've really missed having her around.

Tonight was parent orientation for middle school. I am so not ready for this. It was, however, very nice to see many familiar faces from our elementary school there. I have a feeling I'm really going to like Jacob's new principal. She is a riot. She tends to go off on random tangents, but the stories are hysterical. She was even showing us about how to use the parent portal to check grades and told us about how, last year, she pulled up her son's grades and it showed he had an F in band. She said she was horrified but was proud to show us that he'd brought it up to a C this year. LOL! Nevermind that it took her three tries just to get into the parent portal because she couldn't remember her password. She actually reminds me, a bit, of Mrs. Burroughs.

There are several core classes that they have daily: Reading, Communication Arts, Math, Social Studies and Science. They also have an Explo class. Each area is 7 weeks. The areas are Visual Arts, Family/Consumer Science, Integrated Technology (explained as shop class), Speech/Drama and Technology Education (computers). In 7th and 8th grades, they'll get to choose two of those as electives, running a semester a piece. They'll also have Spanish, PE, Guided Study (study hall) and Music (strings, band or choir). Jacob is really excited because he'll have strings every other day. Stings alternates days with Spanish. PE alternates with Guided Study.

Jacob seriously can't wait for middle school. I'd be thrilled if I could hold him in 5th grade forever.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

The Weeks Just Get Stranger and Stranger...

Jacob's well into his baseball season. Well, baseball practice season. His coach said he and another boy have the most natural talent on the team. Nice. Jacob has reclaimed his love of baseball and all seems to be well. Hannah started soccer and even had her first game last Saturday. Her team lost but her team won as well. Clarification...they split the team into two so the one team becomes two and they play on 1/4 of the field. It gives each girl a ton of playing time. Hannah's told me that she never wants to quit soccer. Finally, a sport I can actually help with! I know the rules, I know how to help. Yay!

After Hannah's game on Saturday, Mike took Jacob to baseball practice while Daniel, Hannah and I headed to the grocery store. While we were there, I noticed they had a sale on these really pretty spring flower bouquets, so I picked one up. We also ran into an old TKD friend while we were there and it was nice to catch up in person instead of the occasional Facebook post.


We get home and put everything away. I put the flowers in a vase on the kitchen table and we all eat lunch. As I was cleaning up, I see Bella munching on some of the flowers. I shoo her off the table but a red flag raises in my head. Hmmm. I decided to Google lily plants and find that they are the number one most toxic thing to cats. Like, 100% of cats that eat them and are left untreated die kind of poisonous. Awesome. I call the vet immediately and they ask me how fast I can get her in there.

30 minutes from when she ate the three ends off the lily plant, we're at the vet and Bella's whisked away as soon as we walk in the door. The vet comes out to tell me that she's hopeful that they've acted in time. They've pumped her stomach, given charcoal and started fluid diuresis. They also did some baseline bloodwork so they know where she's starting. She can't guarantee anything but they're doing what they can to protect the kidneys. Oh, and if she pulls through, she could be looking at a lifetime of dialysis. Also, they close at 4 (it's 2pm) so she'll need to be transferred to the Emergency Vet to continue IV fluids for the next 24 hours. Ummm, okay.

So, I go home and wait for 4pm to come. At about 3, Hannah comes in, crying. She has a massive bruise, already, on her right cheek. Apparently, Jacob's knee and Hannah's face met on the trampoline. Really? Are you kidding me? Fortunately, she was fixed up with an ice pack and some Motrin.

Mike volunteers Hannah to go with me to transfer Bella from our vet to the ER vet, which I wasn't happy about because I had no idea how long it was going to take, but whatever.

Poor baby Bella, she looked so confused when I picked her up. They'd left the catheter in and the vet said that they'd given her a sedative. I'm seriously hating this. At the ER vet, they whisk her away and the new vet explains that it's not 24 hours of fluids, it's, ideally, 72, so we can't pick her up until Monday but we have to do it before 8am. Now, did I want to sign a DNR for Bella? (How stupid is this...I said no. That I wanted them to do kitty CPR. I've become THAT lady)

I was able to talk to the vet several times on Sunday. Each time, he told me that she was doing well but wasn't eating but not to be worried. And don't forget that she needs to be out of there by 8am Monday morning.

I arrived at the ER vet at 6:10 Monday morning. The tech told me that she was more than ornery that morning and that she was requiring the attention of everyone at all times or she'd scream. When the tech brought her out, she was doing crocodile death rolls in the carrier. Bella also decided to rip the catheter out while they were unhooking her. Fantastic.

We get home and she won't stop screaming. Jacob did what he could to console her but it wasn't good enough. She wanted out of that carrier. I didn't want to because I knew I'd never get her back in. *sigh*

So Bella goes back the the regular vet. I tell them what the tech told me and she's still screaming. They take her back and tell me that they probably won't put in another catheter unless her bloodwork comes back wonky. They'll give me a call when they know more.

Two hours pass...

The vet calls and says her bloodwork looks good and I can come get her. I'm out the door before I can even hang up the phone. At the vet, she shows me her results and says the ones that are high and low are completely normal for a kitty that's been stressed and on IV fluids. She told me that Bella's not completely out of the woods and won't say she's completely recovered for a week, but she feels that Bella's well on her way. I'm given a list of things to look for and told that this is the best possible outcome. She also makes sure that I know that had I waited another hour, things might have been very different so, kudos to me for recognizing it when I did.

Bella was completely back to her normal self this morning, tripping me on the stairs and following me from room to room as I woke the kids up for school. Let's hope this is completely over.

On a side note, I went to our school board meeting on Monday night...the one where they're looking to cut $6.2 million from the budget next year. I was concerned because 4th and 5th grade band and strings was on the chopping block. Fortunately, that program is staying (for now) but our fees are increasing 100%. Freaking awesome. Because we don't already pay through the nose.

I wasn't anticipating the TV crews that were there...NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox...I wish I'd thought to do my hair and makeup because two of the channels, Fox and CBS, decided to do long up-close shots of me. Multiple times. ABC tried to get me to do an interview after the meeting (she actually grabbed my hand and pulled me over) but I declined. I lose too many IQ points when you stick a mic in front of my face.

I can't tell you how many texts from friends I got today saying they saw me on TV. LOL!