Thankfully, my mother and father are both doing well and are at home.
With Dad, his stroke was very mild. He woke up one morning and had blurred vision out of one of his eyes. He was admitted to the hospital for a few days and has since regained full sight. When I spoke with him today, he sounded chipper and loved the joke that I had received from my friend, Lorie.
"If you had purchased $1,000 of Delta Air Lines stock one year ago, you would have $49 left. With Fannie Mae, you would have $2.50 left. With AIG, you would have less than $15 left. But, if you had purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year ago, drunk all of the beer, then turned in the cans for the aluminum recycling REFUND, you would have $214 cash. Based on the above, the best current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle."
(Thanks, Lorie. It's a very rare thing when my father laughs out loud.)
With Mom, after spending 24-hours in the hospital and undergoing a series of tests, it was confirmed that she didn't have a heart attack. Mom has been under a lot of stress and although I talk with her every day, I am so busy rambling on and on about what's happening in my world, I have been oblivious to the challenges that she is facing. Right now, Mom needs prayers and love. If you have her address, please drop her a note. (If not, drop me a line and I'll send it to you).
I'm reminded, once again, that it's really difficult living so far away.
If only I could be a little closer to help.
So within the past 24-hours, Charlie and I have extensively researched real estate from South Carolina to Vermont. And then we looked at the approximate value of our home and nearly wept when we realized that the nice chunk of equity we had established has almost completely vaporized over the past year. And then I received our third quarter financial statements yesterday and choked when I saw that the children's college education fund has dropped by 25% and both of our 401Ks have dropped by 35%.
No, we don't need that money any time soon, but GAH.
Drink heavily and recycle, indeed.
I've been really struggling with varying degrees of sickness for the past few weeks. I think what happened is that I caught a cold from the kids - and then - was hit with another bug (from the kids) before the first bug was fully out of my system, and because my immune system was suppressed, I'm having a very difficult time recovering.
What is up with these lethal preschool germs?
Sweet Camellia! If they bottled this stuff up and blasted it in to enemy territories, we'd be seeing white flags everywhere. This is biological warfare. And to think, I'm paying good money to be this sick - every single week!!
On Monday, I went to the doctor and was prescribed an antibiotic that four days later, has done nothing. Clearly this is a deep-seated (seeded?) viral infection. I don't think I've ever experienced anything like it ... as in ever in my entire life have I been this sick. Or maybe I have, but the sinus pressure being exerted on my brain is blocking out all memories of any previous illnesses.
I've had to cancel all of my appointments and have left the house only once since the beginning of the week. If I hadn't had my tonsils taken out 25 years ago, I would be thinking that I had a severe case of tonsillitis. My days have consisted of taking taking pain medication every four hours, blowing my nose, sipping Green Tea with honey, and looking for some place to put my head down.
Thank God for Charlie. If not for him, the children would be eating Club Crackers and drinking water that they'd have to get for themselves. At least he is staying on top of the laundry and grocery shopping. And cooking. And dishes. And bathing. And teeth brushing. And dropping the children off and picking them up from school.
Charlie told me earlier this week that he was starting to feel sick. But I immediately went to bed and moaned, "Only ONE of us can be sick and MY sickness trumps YOUR sickness. TAKE A VITAMIN." Tomorrow, I have another doctor's appointment. I don't know what they are going to tell me, but I hope they tell me SOMETHING. More importantly, I hope that they DO SOMETHING. Otherwise, I fear this whole survival of the fittest thing is working it's way in my life and I'll be gone soon.
The children turn four next week.
As part of the Montessori tradition, on the day of their birthday, they will walk around a circle of their peers - carrying a globe - completing a full rotation for each year that they have been alive.
The teachers informed me of this tradition when I went to pick the children up one day last week. They told me that they would be having three separate "parties" for the children - since they are in three separate classes and I needed to come to school with snacks for all 24 of the children in each class with drinks, cups, plates and napkins and a goody bag (optional). Considering there are 24 students in each class times three ... I need to provide enough snacks, drinks and associated equipment for 72 children.
And for the first time ever, I wish that they were all in the same class.
What I have figured out is that the school our children attend is largely Hispanic. And I think that although goody bags and sugary treats are 'against' the Montessori method ... they are very much in line with Hispanic traditions. Think of the piñata, right?
Seeing as the children are all in separate classes and they will be out of town with me next week at a business meeting in Palm Springs (because Charlie has declared that there is NO WAY he is staying home by himself for four days), they were scheduled to have individual parties in each of their classes, this week. William was due to have a party on Wednesday; Elizabeth on Thursday; Carolyn on Friday.
All of last week, I brainstormed what kind of snacks I would provide during the parties - and what - if any, goody bags I would supply. Since personally, I am opposed to giving children too much sugar and a bunch of cheap trinkets, finally, it came to me.
I took the children to a local pumpkin patch and we carefully selected 72 gourds which would represent the treats. This took me ten times longer than it should have, because when I was counting them out, "One, two, three, four..." the kids were also counting, showing me that they have learned numbers in school. But they weren't counting in any particular order. "Fourteen, Nineteen, Twenty-Eight, Eleven, Thirteen, Fifteen, Forty-Four." I must have restarted at least twenty times before I wised up and handed them pieces of gum to keep their mouths busy.
Then the next day, I took the children to an apple orchard, deep in the local mountains, and we hand picked organic apples. These would be the snacks - to accompany the fresh carrot and banana muffins that I had planned to make the day of the parties.
But seeing as I am so sick - I had to reschedule because there was no way I could carry off three separate parties, three days in a row. And just today, I noticed that the THREE BOXES of carefully selected gourds which have been in the back of our car in the blazing heat are rotting. I have since precariously stacked the remaining gourds on a very small table in front of our house in an attempt to "aerate" them.
Whether or not they last for the two weeks until the children's parties remains to be seen. In the meantime, I'm sure any one that walks by will think, "That lady is out of her gourd."
And they would be correct.
The one outing that I took this week, aside from visiting my doctor's office, was to the grocery store to pick up a mere three items: Omega-3, lettuce and bacon for a BLT that Charlie had been craving. The children were with me since it was the one time all week that I had picked them up from school.
My mother had seen something on Oprah earlier in the week and said that because a woman's brain shrinks during pregnancy (I had heard that before), it is really important that we take an Omega-3 supplement for our neurological health and memory. Or something.
So off I went to the store. With the triplets.
Carolyn is riding in the cart, stealthily pulling apart the leaves of lettuce that I had neatly put in the cart next to her and dropping them on the ground as we walked through the aisles. I only noticed this later when I was circling back and saw all of the Red Leaf Lettuce strewn about. William and Elizabeth are walking. They are touching everything. They are throwing random things in the cart. I am taking things out of the cart and placing them on random shelves.
I wander over to the vitamin aisle in a daze. My head is throbbing, my throat is raw, my nose is running and I have no tissue. I stand there for an eternity and I cannot remember WHY I am there. I know I need something but what I absolutely cannot recall. It was only by the Grace of God that I overheard someone ask a clerk where the Omega-3 was and my memory was jogged.
I follow my fellow customer to the Omega-3 source, pick up a bottle, make my way to the checkout, pay for my groceries, load the children in the car, drive home, get all the kids in the house, unload the packages and Charlie sees that I forgot to buy bacon.
The first and most critical component of the BLT. But alas, I did purchase, thanks to my children, a Kakakiki KombBrush for African American hair care.
"Charlie, sure I forgot your bacon. But here's a nice brush to untangle your not-quite African hair. Because I am so on it."