Wednesday, January 31, 2007

In olden days of yore..........

I used to look this sweet. Heck, I used to be this sweet. I was the sweet little preacher's kid that no one could figure out -- not out running the streets, not strung out, not thumpin' my Bible, either. Just a normal kid whose daddy happened to be in the pulpit.

I'm a little more jaded these days, but that's not a bad thing. Twenty four years as a nurse means I've been around the block a time or two -- I've held new babies in my arms, and held dying ones too. I've put my hands in brain matter, and kept intestines from spilling out, all before breakfast. I've gotten spit on, barfed on, peed on, and everything else. I've been called b*tch and angel in the same shift. And I've gotten hugs from patients, pinches from patients, and been chased around a bed by a doctor -- who later got called in front of the state board for a series of inappropriate behaviors with patients -- guess I wasn't that special. LOL

I've helped dry out drunks, and helped get 'em drunk with an alcohol IV -- and that's no joke. I've pumped their stomachs and worn the results. I've seen blood hit the ceiling from every angle. I've seen Xrays of teeth in lungs, and ones with the outline of steering wheels on someone's ribs. I've put people to bed, and gotten them out of other people's beds. Heck, I even caught one couple in an intimate moment, within hours of their premature baby's birth. Yep -- I've been around the block.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Throw a few back and get married.

The other night, my hubby and I got on the topic of our engagement, and how he asked my father for his baby child's hand in marriage. He claimed that he and my father went in the bar, and after two vodka gimlets, a couple of shots, and a beer, that he agreed to let him marry me.

Yeah, right.

More likely the dh was the one throwing 'em back. Heck, I would've, if I'd been marrying me. The poor man had proposed something like six times by then, and I always either laughed at him, or told him no. He first proposed a few weeks after we met. No way, Jose -- I told him he was crazy, cause I didn't even know him.

Months later, he mentioned that one local restaurant was "our" place. When I asked him why, he said it was because it was the first place that he had proposed to me where I had said maybe. Well, ya gotta give the guy hope, I guess. I just figured that no one could live with me for any period of time, so I didn't want to put him through that.

That crazy man didn't give up. Kept at it, every chance he got, but I kept hedging. Then one night, we went down to the neighbors' for drinks. Hubby was lamenting that my parents were coming to visit (we lived in Florida) and that they wouldn't stay with us, because we were living together without benefit of matrimony. Our neighbor, who was in his 70s, said, in all of his wisdom, "well, she is their baby, and they are trying to watch out for her."

Hubby said that fatal statement. Something you do NOT want to say when the girlfriend has had, for the first time in her life, a couple of the neighbor's whiskey sours: "well, it's not like I'm not going to marry her."

"Oh yeah," says my half sotted self. "Hey Jeanne, get me a calendar." She did, and I proceeded to toss onto his lap saying, "pick a date."

And he did.

I went upstairs and fell asleep on the couch. Woke up a couple of hours later thinking "did I really do what I think I just did?" Then I realized that there were roses and a card on the table in front of me.

Yep, I did.

A year and a half later, we got married, in a wedding that could've made a full hour on Oprah (see the archive post "Save it for Oprah.)

I never had one of the neighbor's whiskey sours again.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Never at a loss for words..............

I'm a talker. I have always been, and will always be, gabby. I talked in my sleep when I was a kid, and now I get PAID to talk. Of course, the most important part of my job is listening, but I do talk a lot too.

I talked in my sleep when I was a kid. Walked in my sleep, but that is the stuff of family legends that I will not go into here. I know I talked a lot though, and my kids have followed suit. DS17 doesn't talk when he's awake, much less asleep, but the other two do. Of course dd mostly walked in her sleep, but you can catch her talking once in a while.

DS12 is totally different. You can have whole conversations with that kid when he's asleep - and he won't remember a thing about it in the morning. One night, when we were on a cruise, he sat up, looked directly at his brother and yelled "I don't know what it is, but it's REAL ketchupy." Laid back down and went to sleep, whilst the big brother was still laughing. We never did find out what it was that he was talking about, but it was real ketchupy.

On that cruise, the kids played a lot of poker. Not in the casino, mind you, but in the library, where they would play for pennies, or just for their honor. On the flight on the way home, ds12 was wrapped in his blanket, snoozing away next to me. Suddenly, he let out a loud sigh and said "I fold...............again. I guess he was disappointed with his hand, but it sure did make me laugh. He's a nut.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Mr Guapo

My hubby goes on a mission trip every year. Usually to Mexico, though last year, he went to New Orleans. This year, he'll be heading off to Mexico to build a house for a family in the colonia in Reynosa. He really has a good time.

Now, hubby can't speak Spanish. French, oui. He's actually half fluent in French, and did really well in Paris, when we were on our honeymoon. But Spanish, no way, Jose. He does occasionally try to speak something unintelligible, and pass it off as Spanish, but you know, Mrs Glimka, my German junior high Spanish teacher, taught me better than that.

Each year he has learned a little more though. The second year he went, I came along for the week. I was asking our interpreter how to say Nurse in Spanish, because I always got it mixed up with pregnant (go figure). She laughed and said "Enfermera is nurse. Embarazada is pregnant." I wondered what was up when hubby turned bright red. Turned out, he had tried to tell the ladies at the job site that he was embarrassed, and ended up telling them he was pregnant. And he didn't realize what had happened until that moment.

I'm sure they didn't mind though, as they thought the hub was "muy guapo." That, for your information, means that they thought he was a hottie. One of the women, a beautiful girl named Lupita, invited him to ride in the back of their truck with her, every day, when we went to lunch at the church. Our translator said maybe I should make my wedded-ness known, but I just laughed. The man comes home with me, so I don't care -- he can be their little boy toy for a week.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Across a crowded room...........

I met hubby in a bar. Yep, I really did. Not exactly a romantic thing, but there I was, sitting there whilst all of my friends danced. Well, I wasn't exactly sitting alone, but the only other person there was a guy I had dated, and did NOT want to dance with. So he didn't count. And along comes a total stranger who asked me to dance, and the rest is history.

Not love a first sight, mind you. The kids and I are reading "Romeo and Juliet" this week -- THAT was love at first sight, but ours wasn't. I kind of thought he dressed like a burglar, cause he had on corduroys and a turtleneck -- pretty weird for inside a club. (Even if it was a dive. And this WAS a dive.) But I found out that he has no interest in fashion, and the burglar look wasn't really that unusual for him. Nonetheless, he's very cute, so I'll keep him.

My inlaws met on a blind date. Actually, he was with her roommate, and they both ditched their blind dates to meet up with each other. MY parents met on a blind date too. I can't remember who set them up, but my dad said he knew that night that they were going to get married.

My mom thought he was nuts.

And now they've been married over 50 years. There's just no accounting for when the fireworks will go off, or how it'll happen.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Step away from the kitchen

I hate cooking for my family. Don't get me wrong -- I love to cook, I just hate cooking for my family.

DD is vegetarian, and has been for six years. It's not a fad for her; it's a way of life. DS17 is a devout carnivore. On the day he found out his ds wasn't going to eat anything related to Babe anymore, he said "she's not eating that pork chop? Give it to me." He doesn't care if a vegetable ever passes his lips, just give him a hunka man-meat (see archived posts). DS12, God bless him, will eat almost anything you put in front of him.

And the dh never stops eating. He's eating an apple next to me, right now.

And they hide food from each other. Fearful that, OMG maybe someone will eat all the Poptarts/cupcakes/peanut butter crackers before they get to it, they hide food all over the place. It's not at all unusual for me to open dh's sock drawer and find Twinkies or candy. It's actually more unusual that I don't find any food there.

So today, when I was at the store, I decided to buy a little treat: some onion rings, for our cheeseburger dinner tonight. DD immediately became concerned that the ds17, who has been sick and thus, not eating, was going to eat dinner tonight and OMG maybe we wouldn't have enough onion rings to go around. This set the mother into a hissy fit over how much she hates to cook for the family.

I think they understand it now. And maybe the neighbors too.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The long and shorts of it.

Hubby's doing a new play. He did one last year, and played the psychiatrist. Yes, I see the irony of that. this year, he's playing a character role, as the town bum. I don't know much about the play, but I was told one thing: he has to strip down to his longjohns on stage.

Like that's anything new.

Granted, the man has never done it onstage, but most people who've known him for any time become familiar with his bum. It's a commonly known fact: hubby likes to be known. I had a Pampered Chef party one time, and he wandered out in a towel right in the middle of it. The girls just shook their heads -- they know how he is.

He used to go on a bike trip with church -- five days on bicycles, biking anywhere from 30-60 miles a day. Oh yeah, heaven on wheels. And most people are on tandems, too. Not us. I decided very early on that our marriage wasn't going to survive it, so I didn't go. Well, there was one year that I drove him there, cause he couldn't start when everyone else did. I drove him to where they were, then got a bed at the local B&B. Stayed the night by myself, then met them for dinner at the next stop. Two nights alone, whilst he sweated on the bike. I had a great time. So did he. And we're still married.

The group on the bike trip used to say that the trip wasn't complete until they'd all seen dh's bum. One time, when they were back home, they did a head count to see how many people had had The View.

Everyone in the room raised their hand.

So there they are, making a pit stop in the middle of southern Indiana somewhere. Dh is out in a bean field that's up to his waist. The girls look over, and suddenly he is dancing around the field, swingin' his shorts over his head. They started cracking up and shaking their heads, when one of them decides to record it for posterity. But when she raised her camera up, posterity slapped her camera right in the lens -- she snapped the pic just as he leapt up to show his posterior.

And it got recorded on film, for all time.

In that picture, a car is just coming into view. Wonder what THEY thought.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Eternal mysteries of life Part 2: Football

Well, you all know, if you've read my blog at all, that the hubby is the #1 Broncos fan east of the Mississippi. LOVES them. So imagine how odd it was at my house last week. Hubby came home on Wednesday and told me that on Saturday night, we were going to have about 20 people over for the Colts game. Greaaaaat, cause I was working all day on Saturday. And the game was to start at 4:30. And the house was a pit. And the hubby is an OCD housecleaner. When the kids were little and he wanted to clean the house, I would take them and leave the house whilst he went nuts cleaning. Kept everyone happy.

When ds17 found out what was happening last week, he immediately said he was going to work all day Saturday. No matter that they didn't need him, he was going to be out of the house, whilst the maniac cleaned. The other two kids ran for cover in their rooms, and I left for work, with threats of all sorts of evil if he drove anyone nuts about the cleaning, because he had invited everyone over without checking with me first.

So, once people started arriving, I looked up and realized that there, in the middle of our living room, right over the mantle, was a COLTS poster. I about dropped dead. Everyone thought I was nuts, but I've lived with this man in this house for 14 years, and have never, ever seen anything but Broncos stuff here. Including the 8 foot high Broncos helmet painted on the boys' bedroom wall, when they were little.

And that poster is still up, cause he invited everyone over again tomorrow for the game. Tonight, we went downtown with the dd to see all the blue and white lights. Reminded me of the night that we drove around Monument Circle -- actually, it was Christmas Eve -- playing KC and the Sunshine Band full blast on our radio. We had the windows rolled down and were singing "Do a Little Dance, Make a Little Love, Get Down Tonight" at the top of our lungs, with the three kids, who were 6, 10 and 11 at the time.

They still talk about that one, and it still give me a giggle, thinking of us passing limos and shouting disco music at them on Christmas Eve.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Eternal mysteries of life, part 1

It's cold here in Indiana. I think that we forgot that it was winter for a while, because ds12 was running around in shorts as late as last week, but now it's in the 20s -- not frigid, mind you, but not shorts weather.

No snow though. My theory about winter is that, if it's cold, by golly there'd better be snow. The snow gods aren't listening around here, because we have only had one snow -- enough to make people drive like idiots, but not enough to get the kids out of the house.

I've always enjoyed winter, and the kids are no different. They like to hook our two dogs up to the sled and have them pull them down the street. It's a pretty funny sight. And my dogs are so dumb, they seem to actually enjoy it.

I remember the first winter we homeschooled. The weather was really cold, but they wanted to go out and play in the snow. Who am I to argue when the kids want to go outside and leave mom in peace for a while? So we bundled them up, and out the door they went, happily trolling around in the white stuff for probably at least 1/2 an hour.

Then suddenly, they all came flying in the house, and ds (now 17) was sobbing hysterically. Figuring he'd taken a snowball in the face, I asked what was going on -- then I realized that he had blood all over his chin and the front of his snowsuit. And his tongue was hanging out.

Yep, you guessed it. My "gifted" child had decided, in all his brilliance, to see if that eternal mystery of life is indeed true: does your tongue really adhere to metal when it's cold outside?

The answer, in short, is YES.

He paid a bloody price for that one, and couldn't eat for days after he yanked that poor tongue off of our metal front doorknob. I ended up laughing, bad mom that I am, and calling my friend. She sold first aid supplies at the time, and any time we were out, if someone got any type of injury, she'd say "I have something for that," and magically the necessary supplies appeared. It was kind of a joke between us. I called her and said "I want to see if you have something for THIS," to which she just started cracking up and saying, "nope, I can't carry popsicles. They melt."

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Day at the Museum

I took the kids to the children's museum here in town today. Actually, I just took the youngest two, because the oldest is far beyond that now. They've been bugging me for weeks to go, since we usually go either in the first week of September or the first week of January, when its the quietest. Well, we had too much going on, so it was better late than never.

I was admiring the wonderful new sculpture they have in there, called Fireworks of Light, by Dale Chiluly. It stretches up from the basement to the top floor, and it is fantastic. I particularly loved being underneath it. They have a glassed area beneath it, on the lowest level, where you can view some of his work while leaning back on seating that revolves, so you can view it from different angles. Really cool! Of course, the kids couldn't appreciate it, so I told them to go ahead and I would catch up -- they are 16 and 12 now, so they don't need constant supervision, just the threat of a parent catching them in the act, and they'll behave.

Kind of reminded me of the time that I took all three kids there, when ds12 was about 3. They had a Lego exhibit at the time that was really cool, with an underwater theme. We went straight there, and I got all three kids comfortably entranced in the activities in the room, and turned to sit down. It was literally two seconds that it took me to sit, and ds was gone.

::sigh:: I wish I could say that this was unusual, but no, it wasn't. But it was that fast.

I looked around the room and couldn't find him anywhere. The exhibit was on the second level, with an overlook to the entry to the museum. I went out and looked over the railing, and there was my kid, being pulled in a wagon by a volunteer, up to the Information desk. I reflexively shouted down "SETH DANIEL" to which he responded by looking straight up at me, and looking down the index finger now pointing straight at me and yelling "YOU GOT LOST!"

::sigh:: I went flying down the stairs to collect him, and found the volunteer absolutely cracking up. He told me "normally we ask for some identification or someone else to verify that you are indeed the parent, but I guess he just did."

Yep, that's my kid.

Create Your Own Countdown

Friday, January 12, 2007

He is not worthy....he is not worthy.........

I have had these shoes for months. MONTHS. I love them -- seriously. Red is my favorite color, and I just think that they are fantastic.

But, reality being what it is, I have come to realize that they will never fit my feet. Maybe in 6th grade they would've fit, but I have, as my hubby says, duck feet, and these will never fit me. ::sob::

So, they have sat on my desk for months, where I have admired them from near and far, as well as the vintage 40s Mary Janes that I bought at the same time. I just look at them and sigh, I love them so much.

Fast forward to tonight. I'm sitting on the couch, laptop on my lap, measuring tape around my neck. Hubby is next to me, watching basketball. I set one shoe on the edge of my laptop, sighed, and informed hubby that if these shoes fit me, they would never leave my feet. I would sleep in them. I'm serious - I love these shoes.

To which hubby looks at me blankly, and says:
::gets the look from the wife::
Him: "What are they?"
Me: They're 40sfauxreptilevintageREDpeeptoeslingbackplatforms. And I love them.
Him: "Who would WEAR them?"

At which point, I snatched it away and told him he wasn't allowed to touch them. He is not worthy.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Some guys have all the bull

I've never quite understood a man's fascination with certain things.

Take, for example, Viagra man. He used to chronically call us at work, daily or even more often, to report that he had taken Viagra that wasn't prescibed for him and now, what went up, won't come down. Never gave a name, like we couldn't figure out who he was. ::sigh:: EVERY day. Multiple times. We would try to scare him off occasionally, telling him exactly what the would do to rectify the problem. Nothing helped, till the day my friend said "you've called us before, haven't you?" He hung up and never called back. Of course, when I switched jobs to another call center, there he was, but we got rid of him the same way.

And when I worked in the hospital, we used to have a guy who would call on a fairly regular basis, claiming he was in various stages of labor. Sometimes it was twins, sometimes he was in active labor and could see the head coming out. Buddy, step away from the crack pipe.

And yeah, there are the guys who like to get their jollies, telling us every little detail of the family jewels. Just the facts, Mack, and I'm off the phone.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Smoking or non?

Hubby quit smoking on Jan 1, and I am so proud of him. Of course, he quit when ds17 was born, when dd16 was born, when he turned 30 (for three years), when ds12 was born, when he turned get my drift. He's a habitual quitter. But he's cute, so I'll keep him.

He doesn't smoke much, but he works with his best friend from high school, and their smoking has a heritage on it. Of course, his friend doesn't smoke unless he's around dh, and doesn't buy the ciggies -- he bums from dh. So why in the world do they smoke, when they both want to quit? It's one of those mysteries of life.

DH is evil when he quits. OK, maybe not EVIL, but it's not pretty. So this time, when he was getting, shall we say, FUSSY, about six hours into the "I'm quitting smoking" thing, I told him that either he was getting a patch, or he was leaving, or I was moving out. Cause I was not about to go through that again.

"Nope," he said, "I'm doin' it cold turkey." "Nope," I said, "I see a patch in your future." He wanted to argue, till I told him HIS definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.

He didn't argue.

So I found myself standing at the CVS counter, buying the patches, when it occurred to me: this is an ego issue. The man just couldn't bring himself to buy the patch, but he'll wear 'em if I buy them. And he has. Granted, I make sure that they go on every day, but he wears them, and it's working, so far.

Only problem with the patch: it gives him weird dreams if he leaves it on too long. The first night, he left it on all night, then complained about nightmares and weird dreams. He started taking it off, and was doing fine, but the other night he forgot and left it on. And I woke up with him bicycling madly in the air, with all four extremities. I have no idea where the man was biking to, but he was going FAST.

This morning, he got up and complained again about weird dreams, after leaving the patch on. Said he dreamt that he was singing on stage with Bono. I don't get it -- THAT's a problem? Hubby sat back and thought for a minute, then agreed -- we should all be so lucky as to sing onstage with Bono. So fuggetaboutit. Just don't smoke.

And ten days into it, he's cheery, and hasn't smoked. Those patches are great.

Monday, January 08, 2007

All that glitters is not gold

I'm not a huge movie person. I go in fits and spurts. Find a movie I love, and I'll watch it over and over. Buy the soundtrack. Study it on IMDB. But most of the time, I can take 'em or leave 'em.

I don't usually go to the movies with the dh. He complained once that he'd see my movies, but I wouldn't see his. Darn straight and tootin', big boy. I don't like movies with weapons, and very rarely watch them. Hubby, on the other hand, requires a certain explosion:car chase ratio, or it's not worth his time. I see mostly chick flicks with the dd. Those are much more my speed, though most of them, I can take or leave.

That's what irks the hubby about me. I don't see a lot of movies, yet I am excellent at picking Oscar winners. It all started several years back, when I was standing in line at the video store. Don't ask me why I was there, cause again -- I don't watch movies. I think I stopped by to get the kids something. In either event, the line was long, and I noticed a little pad of paper, sitting next to a box on the counter. The pad of paper was ballots for their "Pick the Oscars" contest. Figuring what the heck, I grabbed a pen, took about 8 1/2 seconds to fill it out, and threw it in the box.

I won. Ten free rentals. Hubby was appalled. He goes to see as many of the Oscar nominated movies as he can, and makes his own opinions about winners. I hadn't seen a single one of the movies, yet was almost 100% spot on, and won the contest.

Hubby, being the competitive person he is (he can't lose Candyland to a 3yo without fearing for his Y chromosome), decided that it was a fluke that I won. The next year, he came home, tossed the ballot on my lap and said "Here. Fill it out. We'll just see who can pick 'em." Took maybe ten seconds, gave it back to him, and he turned it in.

I won again. This happened three years in a row, then the video store stopped having the contest. Now, the dh and I pick them in the privacy of our own home. He hasn't beat me yet. Don't ask me why, because again, he tries to see the movies. I read the buzz, watch the interviews, and draw my own opinions.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

What's in a name?

The kids are starting a study of Shakespeare on Monday. Romeo and Juliet, to be exact. Remember the line in the play? "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." That's so true.

We had a heck of a time naming our babies. Had a girl name picked, but couldn't decide between two boy names for the oldest, so hubby posted a ballot sheet next to the time clock at his job, and let his employees pick it. Yep, my kid was named by a bunch of teenagers at McDonald's.

For dd, we had a boy name, but not a girl name. When I went into labor, we had kind of settled on Hillary. When she came out, she turned into Valerie. Hubby called everyone we knew to tell them that little Valerie was here. Three hours later, they wheeled me out to my room, where hubby was half asleep on the couch. He looked up and said, "I think her name should be Jillian." "OK," I said, "who said they didn't like the name?" (A friend of mine had told me at one point during my pregnancy that Valerie equated with vomit in her book. Thaaaaanks.) Anyway, he denied that anyone had persuaded him, saying that the oldest would've been named Jillian, so that's what we should do. Didn't matter to me, cause I liked them both, so, right as I agreed to it, my boss came running in the room (I delivered at the hospital where dh and I worked). She said that Valerie, a nurse I worked with, was so excited because she'd never seen a baby named Valerie, and was coming right over.

Hubby and I looked at each other and said "uh oh." He said that maybe we should change it back. I just asked him for a quarter. Ended up tossing a coin, and she became Jillian. Not Gillian, as I wanted, cause the hub thought people would call her Gilligan. Whatever.

When I was pregnant with ds12, we had a horrible time coming up with a name. Finally, a friend at work suggested, on a really slow night, that we read baby books. She liked the name Seth, so I suggested that to the hubby. "Oh, I like that," he said. "What would her middle name be?" I gave him the look. "What? Oh, is it a boy name," he asked. "Then I don't like it." ::sigh:: Back to the drawing board.

Three days later, he came up and said, "his name should be Seth Daniel," and it stuck. Of course, I mentioned that maybe we should pick a girl name, just in case. Hubby scoffed, cause, as he said "it's not like I don't know what I gave you."

I'd laugh, except he was right, with all three kids. Maybe he really DID know.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Pothead and the House of Utter Chaos

We have three kids. I gave birth to three children, but I actually say I have five, most days, because God knows, the dh should count as one. Our fifth one is literally the boy next door. The neighbor kid has spent almost every Friday night at our house for the past three years, and a lot of Saturdays. Nice kid, goes to the hoity toity rich kids school, as I call it, then comes to our house to be deprogrammed.

He shall be hereforth known as Potter, cause that's what we call him. Well, somedays I call him Pothead, but that's because of dh. He'd been hanging at our house for a couple of years before hubby heard us calling him Potter, at which time dh pulled me aside and said, with a concerned tone, "is that cause he's a pothead?" "No, dear," I responded. "Have you not looked at him lately? He actually looks a lot like Harry Potter." Blank stare from the dh.

If I'd told him he was an NFL player, he would've known who HP was, but he's not, so it took a while to explain it.

Potter is an only child -- very, very protected, and raised in a quiet house. Our house, in case you wondered, is anything BUT quiet, so I think he comes over to let his mojo run free. DS and he head off to the store on Fridays, load up on energy drinks and junk food, then play computer games all night. You can tell how much caffeine Potter's had but the vibrations on the living room ceiling -- he can get pretty darned riled up and will, at some point, start some combination of head banging, screaming, dancing, or leaping around, going a million miles an hour. They've actually done a couple of videos -- I think one is on youtube -- just to prove that this side of Potter exists. I don't think anyone actually sees the kid like this, except us, and he is quite entertaining.

He doesn't come over alone. He travels with his computer. Takes two trips to get it all into the house, but he does it, week after week. There was a point at which he started bringing his office chair too -- that was the point at which I told him that, if he was going to start bringing furniture over, we were going to either a) start charging rent or b) start claiming him on our taxes. He just grinned and sat down.

Of course, then there was the week that ds actually went to HIS house. Took HIS computer over, then half an hour later, he came back in. Few minutes later, he walks right across our field of vision (we were watching the tube), carrying a 27" TV from his room. Ummmmmmmmm.....NO. I do have my limits. Don't know why they felt they needed two TVs, but that one never left the house.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Blinda and the exploding heart

One more tattoo post, then I swear I'm done!

After yesterday's post, I remembered another memorable patient with skin art. This particular patient came in, in labor with her sixth child. I was doing her admission, whilst another nurse would be caring for her during labor.

This woman was very country -- as one of my friends said, she "looked like she had been rode hard and put away wet." One of the River People, as she said, whatever that means. With her hillbilly river person hubby with her. Sweet, but very unrefined.

The nurse who would be caring for her, on the other hand, only liked to take care of the 1% of patients who came in married, employed, with insurance. This was not a match made in heaven.

So, here I am, asking the admission questions, part of which is how many pregnancies have you had, did you have any complications, etc. Sixth pregnancy, she said, but her last baby died. After expressing my condolences, I asked what had happened, as it had bearing on how we'd care for her and the baby.

"Her heart exploded," she answered. You know, fifteen years later, I'm still trying to get the visual on that.

Shortly afterward, her nurse asked for help doing the IV on Mrs River Woman, because she had no veins, and was less than cooperative. I told her I'd give it a try. Looked at her right arm: nothing. Went around to the left, pulled up her sleeve, and was face to face with a half done, obviously amateur tattoo of God knows what. "Oh," I said, "you have a tattoo." "Yeah," said Mr River Person, "if you think she's screamin' now, you shoulda seed her when I was doin' that tattoo."

I'm so sorry to have missed that little bonding experience.

So, labor progresses, then totally stalls. Her nurse is frustrated because the patient is not cooperative. She comes out and flops herself into a chair with a cup of coffee. Suddenly, a blood curdling scream comes from the direction of the River People's room. We went charging in there like the cavalry, only to find that she was delivering. Right now. The doctor who had been sleeping in a call room down the hall totally missed the delivery, that's how fast it happened.

After all the madness calmed down, I wrapped the baby up for her mom to hold. I had a premonition, but asked the question anyway. "What are you naming the baby?"

They responded in unison: "Blinda."

Yep. B-L-I-N-D-A. No E. And somehow, the premonition I'd had whilst bundling the baby up was spot on. I guess that was my bonding moment with the River People, but it was bizarre. Never had that happen before, or after -- only with Blinda. And if you knew what her last name was, you'd really laugh, cause it was a really crazy combinations of names.

Skin Art, Part Deux

Yesterday, I talked about tattoos in the hospital. Well, I've also had calls about them at my present job.

I got a call one night from a girl who was calling about her boyfriend. He'd just had a tattoo done the day before, and now it was looking red. Actually, it was sounding pretty ugly -- red, swollen, hot and draining ickiness. After listening to the story, I told her he needed to be seen. "Well," she said, "that's pretty much impossible." After reinforcing how important it was to have him looked at she said, "ma'am, there's no way to do it. He is currently incarcerated."

(Why they don't just say 'he's in jail' is beyond me -- they are always 'currently incarcerated,' but I digress.

So how did he get a tattoo while he was in jail? Turns out that his cellmate had graciously accommodated his desire for a tattoo by sharpening a ballpoint pen on the floor of their cell, then used it to give him a permanent souvenir of the Shelby County Jail. Yep, straight off the floor of his cell.

I didn't ask what the tattoo was, and I've always wondered.

Boss, the pain, the pain!

I find tattoos interesting. I don't have any of my own, though I did have the kids convinced, at one point, that I had one on my butt. But nope, no skin art at our house.

I've seen a lot of tattoos over the years, especially when I worked in the hospital. Took care of a girl in preterm labor once, and when I rolled her over to give her a shot, there was the Rolling Stones tongue, staring back at me. Kinda surreal, getting ready to deliver a baby and having that big tongue there, but I've seen weirder things.

Like the girl who was in active labor when I first started attending deliveries. Went back to take care of the baby when it was born. One of our residents was with me. Ilya just happened to be Russian. We were hanging out, getting equipment ready for the big event. Every once in a while, we'd look over to see how things were going, and this patient inevitably would be pushing, causing her huge dragon tattoo to lunge out at the doctor like it was going to eat her head. It was truly the most bizarre thing I'd ever seen in a delivery. Ilya looks at me, and in a thick Russian accent says, "remind me to tell my wife not to get a tattoo on her belly." No problem, big guy.

And then there was the guy I took care of in ICU. He was on the losing end of a motorcyle/car accident, and was in a coma. My friend was in giving him a bath, and suddenly pokes her head out of the curtain. "You HAVE to see this," she says, to the respiratory therapist and me. RT heads in, figuring something's wrong with the patient's ventilator.

Nope, not even close.

Here laid Mr Patient on his bed, hooked up to eleventy thousand tubes, and when Mel pulled down the sheet, there it was: KISS ME, tattooed very nicely, right on the end of his ego. RT (a male) says simply "more of a man than I am," and wanders back out.

I will likely go to my grave wondering how much alcohol was involved when that tattoo was done, but I am always interested in seeing if anyone can oneup that one, but I've never seen one.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

We'll always have Paris............

We went to Paris on our honeymoon. We considered a lot of places before settling on it, but we wanted to go somewhere that neither of us had ever been, and would likely never get to, once we had kids. So off to Paris it was.

We almost didn't get there, though. A couple of weeks before our wedding, our passports were lost in the mail, when being sent to the French Embassy for our visas. We had to make a quick trip to Miami (we lived in Florida at the time) and got them replaced in a day. Finally got the visas, and we were good to go.

We spent about a week in Paris before heading south, to the Mediterranean. DH's grandmother had given us a week of her timeshare and we had swapped it for a condo on the beach. Nothing fancy, mind you -- they tried to give us bunkbeds, for heaven's sake, and hubby did everything but kiss his ring to try and explain that we were married, and wanted to sleep like married people.

Our condo had a balcony with a view of the beach. I would wash our clothes out in the sink, then hang them on the balcony to dry while we were swimming and sunning. One morning, I was running a bit late, so I told hubby to go on down to the beach and I'd meet him there. Washed the clothes out, and when I was hanging them up, saw that hubby was talking to some sweet young thing, down on the sand.

When I got down to our spot, she had disappeared and hubby was in the water. I took a quick dip, then saw that the mademoiselle was back, talking to the (new) hubby again. When I got out of the water, she was gone again. "What in the world is she doing," I asked the hubby. "You're not gonna believe it," he said.

"She doesn't speak a word of English. I had my headphones on when she first came up, and she wanted to listen, so I gave them to her. She sung U2, With or Without You, word for word, in English. Then she asked me French." I guess hubby's four years of high school French were paying off in dividends. He said he told her he was married -- NEWLY married, and she responded that he was in France, and in France, no one cared if you're married.

I can think of at least ONE person who cared. And the chick must've thought I was gonna do some kind of driveby, cause every time I showed up, she disappeared. Guess at least TWO people cared.

But oh well, it's all good -- if you knew the hubby, you would understand that it doesn't really matter how many chickies hit on him, cause he comes home with me. And he's gonna take me to Paris again in 2012 -- maybe we'll find his friend there. And maybe she knows some English now. If not, I guess he'll have to play her "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp."