Monthly Archives: August 2009

Bye for now

Well, the drama has come to an end. more more accurately, time has run out on it. The lice appear to be under control (please, oh, please, oh, please) and even though I’ve had an incredibly busy week at work, I have finally put everything into as good a state as I can. My boss was even very pleased with what I handed over to him at 4:30 this afternoon that he told me about at 10:30 this morning. I’m pretty proud of that. Not really what I was planning on spending my day doing, but it all worked out (it nearly always does!).

We are flying out early tomorrow morning, meeting friends in Florida, and then going on a 7 night cruise in the western Caribbean. These are our dear friends who we vacation with every year. Between our two families there will be 10 of us – Belle and Krystal are the same age as my friend’s two youngest daughters, and then she has 3 teenagers (and a husband). The cruise should be a nice combination of family and adult time for me, since kids’ activities are built into the cruise prices, and we all love food! Krystal is particularly excited about eating whatever she wants – both my kids are fairly adventurous eaters and I expect they’ll be ordering from the adult menu . They have no idea how big this ship will be though! We were visitng my mom who lives near the ocean a few weeks ago, and had lunch in the harbor. When the boats would sail by they’d ask, “Is that how big our boat will be?” and I had to laugh at the sailboats and dinghy’s they were pointing at. Trying to explain it will be like a floating hotel is just not clicking with them!

I’m relaxing with a beer while I flip between the Red Sox (currently beating Toronto) and pre-season Patriots (they’re losing, but so what, it’s pre-season). Bed awaits soon, since the alarm will ring very early tomorrow.

Wishing us a Bon Voyage, and be back in a bit.

Closing out with some photos, just cuz.

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pierced ears

That’s Krystal on the right with her friend (who will be on the cruise with us), just after they got their ears pierced two weeks ago. Don’t they look beautiful?

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Just a quick, stress-filled update

We booked a family vacation, with another family, a year and a half ago. Ever since it’s seemed so far away that it would never arrive. Now that we are 3 days away from leaving, there is suddenly not enough time left to deal with everything that needs dealing.

Belle’s lice situation is not under control, as I had hoped. On Sunday I pulled 10-15 live ones out of her and am starting to freak out. I called the doctor to ask for a prescription treatment, since the OTC one obviously did not do anything. They did give me one, after much begging on my part, but I must say they were way too nonchalant about it all for my taste. It would be one thing if we were going to be home, but I am not dealing with this on my vacation!

Things at work have taken a sudden and dramatic turn for the well, dramatic. Call it Murphy’s Law if you will, but many of my projects are in crisis and need my full attention. Which is so nice since I’m blogging about it during working hours. Like how I do that? I need some sort of release, or at least that’s the story I’m telling.

I have to find time to mow the lawn, do laundry, get to the bank, pack (!), get the dog to the sitter and all the other little things that need to be done before you go away. Newspaper and mail have already been stopped. Our flight leaves very early Friday morning, so I am oh-so-quickly running out of time!

I swear, if the lice would disappear I think I’d feel a lot more in control….

Another Call from Camp

I’ve been keeping this from you. No good reason, really.

On Wednesday I had quite literally just stepped into a meeting with my boss when my cell phone rang. This is highly unusual on three counts. One, I rarely am physically present for meetings these days. Due to our team and business partners being located all over the country, and in some cases, the world (Ireland and India specifically), we have conference calls. A lot. Second, an in-person meeting with my boss is a thing of some note. I go months without seeing him, as he and I work in different locations. But on Wednesday he was at my work site, and we had a one-on-one scheduled. And third, my cell phone really does not ring all that much.

I looked at the number and it was the same familiar unfamiliar number from a few weeks ago, only this time I knew who it was right away. Camp was calling.

“Hi, Mrs. Ragtop Day?”  Quick aside here – I hate it when people call me Mrs. Anything. I’m not a Mrs. and I hate the assumption that I am. I know the camp person was trying to be respectful, but honestly I’d rather be called by my first name. Aside over.

“Yes?”

“I’m calling from the First Aid area of Camp-Where-Your-Kids-Go and I have Belle here.” At this point two things were running through my mind. Was this a repeat of Belle just needing to talk to me? Or is “First Aid” a clue that she is hurt? And if so, how seriously?

“Belle has been scratching her head and we did a check and found some lice. Well, a few nits anyway, no live ones. You need to come pick her up.”

%*#)$*@#@)(#_!@* was the only thing I remember thinking.

We went through this in two separate episodes a year ago (I think I only blogged about one episode). It completely took over my life for two weeks the first time, and a week the second. I finally gave in and shaved Belle’s head the first time (only Krystal was affected the second). Belle’s hair is exceedingly thick and lice probably think they’ve landed in some sort of Nirvana when they find themselves on her head.

There have also been several cases at Camp. As awful as this is for us, it’s not really a surprise.

I brought her home and started in on the routine: laundry (oh, yes, the laundry!), shampoo, lice comb, nit comb, manually nit picking, and laundry.

The good news is that I think I got them all. At least she went back to camp on Thursday and Friday, and Krystal says they’ve been checking her hair 4-5 times a day as well. I check them both too and will every day, since we leave for vacation in less than a week and I am not dealing with this on my vacation!!

Home

A few weeks ago we visited my mom for the weekend, and brought along Tessie, our one year old dog. I’m sure she enjoyed being with us, but she was extra hyper the entire visit, never stopped panting, and couldn’t seem to get relaxed. As soon as we got home, she splayed out in the middle of the floor as if to say, “It’s good to be home.”

This past weekend we took a longer trip to visit friends. We were in the car for 7 hours in each direction, and spent 3 nights away. In addition to the 5 kids in their family, our friends also have 2 cats (which Tessie has not had much experience with) and 2 dogs – one about Tessie’s age, and another older dog. They’d all met before, but it’s been nearly 8 months. Tessie and the other dog her age had an absolute blast playing with each other, and she was put in her place a few times by the cats. Good times were had by all, pooch and person alike.

Tessie is a bit of a high maintenance dog. She is still in the throes of puppyhood, which has overstayed its welcome just a bit in my book. I have lost count of the number of socks, underwear, shoes, bathing suits, stuffed animals and books I’ve thrown away since we got her. She is definitely a chewer. I also keep a baby gate at the foot of the stairs to prevent her from going upstairs if we are not with her because of that chewing, and I have yet to leave her uncrated in the house alone. House training is going well…..except for a few notable exceptions. She’s over a year old now, so I’m expecting this to be done. Also, she does not consistently make it through the night without having to go out. Which means I am frequently taking her out at whatever time she starts to whine and scratch.

All that said, we left all the animals with my friends’ teenagers and her mother while we all went to another friend’s house for the night. We came back the next day to reports that Tessie had had diarrhea all over the carpet at 4:00 in the morning (the mother had fed her some different food!).  I got all that as we pulled into the driveway, one eye on the dog who proceeded to poop out liquid in 3 different spots on the yard. And then roll in it. Although I didn’t see her roll in it – I found out when she ran up to me for a pat and my hand stunk afterwards. I am thankful to my friend’s 17 year old son who graciously gave her a bath. And paid for it by Tessie wanting nothing to do with him the rest of the visit!

That evening we all went out to dinner and left the dogs home. It was the first time leaving Tessie uncrated, but I figured since she was with the other dogs maybe she’d be OK. Also, one of my friends’ sons was staying home, but he was pretty much in a computer game trance, and I knew better than to expect much pet care from him. Well, uh, we came back to diarrhea in one of the bedrooms and the living room, and a pee spot next to the couch. I can’t really blame the poor dog for the diarrhea, but the pee has me more than a little frustrated. We really were not gone that long, and I had taken her out just before we left.

We had an all day drive back home yesterday. After throwing up once after we got home (I’ve now determined she gets car sick), Tessie is relaxed.

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She is home.

Pudding Proof

It was just after lunch and time for me to dial in to a meeting I was the organizer for, when my cell phone rang. It was an unfamiliar, yet familiar number. I’d seen it before but couldn’t immediately place it.

Since my cell phone also doubles as my work phone during business hours I answered it, “Ragtop Day.”

“Hello, this is Annie at Camp-Where-Your-Kids-Go. Belle has not been herself today. All day. She’s been having a rough time and wants to talk to you. Would that be OK?”

“Sure, put her on.”

Belle gets on the phone and in the littlest voice ever says,”Hi Mommy. I want to come home.”

“What’s going on? Are you sad about something?”

“No.”

“Does anything hurt?”

“No.”

Hmmmm. Now I’m scrambling for something to say that will make this all better. I don’t think anything is really wrong. “OK. Well how about we have some pudding tonight after dinner. Would you like that?”

“Yeah!”

“OK, go have fun and I’ll see you in a little while. I love you.”

“OK Mommy”….”I love you too,” I hear much softer as she’s already handed the phone back to Annie.

Annie comes back on and I tell her that I’ve promised her pudding later on and she says, “The pudding seems to have done the trick. She’s happier already.”

If only all problems could be solved so easily.

Lost and Found

When my ex and I were separating there was a lot of anger. Emotions were running high and a lot of things were said and done in anger that were not kind. At the time I can remember thinking that I still felt like the same person, but that I thought that some people he cared about (namely his parents) would absolutely cringe to hear some of what he was saying or to learn of what he was doing. I’m not saying I was perfect, but I was certainly (far) less awful than he was.

One of the worst things he did was to come in one day to pick up some of his things when Krystal and I were out. That had been agreed to. When she and I returned home my eyes went right to where the video camera, case and tapes were kept on the bookshelf in the living room. What stared back was an empty space. Rage and sickness took over. I didn’t care so much about the camera, but the tapes were everything I had of Krystal from the moment I met her. In my opinion the tapes were hers.

Over the next few weeks and months he used those tapes as leverage whenever he could. He threatened to destroy them. While we used a mediator to handle the divorce rather than hiring attorneys who would take all our money, we probably weren’t very good candidates for mediation. He was very angry, which was how I now realize he expressed pain. The marriage, if not the actual divorce, was quite expensive for me. It wasn’t until we were divorcing, a process we started before our third anniversary, that I realized marriage is a legal blending of two people. You basically form a corporation with another person when you marry. Silly me had thought it was about love. I do not know if I will ever marry again, but if I do, it will be with that knowledge, and I do not rule out a pre-nup. It’s not unromantic, it’s business.

As far as the video camera and tapes go, he showed up unexpectedly at Krystal’s final gymnastics class that year with the camera, took some video, and then without fanfare handed me the camera and case, with tapes inside. My heart was pounding so loud and hard I was sure he would see it through my shirt, and my mind was spinning with how I could run off with it before he grabbed it back. But he didn’t. They have been mine, and will be Krystal’s, ever since. He did remove the tape of our wedding, but I didn’t care. I assume he took a hammer to it, or ran over it with his car, or tossed it in Lake Ontario as he drove by one day, and whatever happened to it is OK with me. I got what was precious.

A few other things relating to our marriage seem to be missing too. While he got the engagement ring in the split (even the mediator was shocked he would ask, but I was stupid and didn’t care), our marriage certificate was mysteriously unable to be found after I moved. I might not have noticed except I changed my name back after our divorce and needed it during the adoption process for Belle. I was able to get another copy, but the lingering question to me was why? Why would he take it? My wedding band has also been missing since even before the move. I’ve never been a jewelry person, but I did like wearing a wedding ring. When I realized the ring was missing I actually bought myself some costume jewelry rings that I occasionally wear on my other hand. What he wanted with the inexpensive band I wore is beyond me.

When Krystal was little, and before we got married, two of his family members gave her savings bonds. They were issued in her first name with his last name, which was never her name. My mother has offered to help get them switched over to her correct and legal name, but the bonds are missing too. I did ask him several months ago if he might have run across them – I have learned to let things be his idea – but he said he didn’t think he’d seen them, and so far he has not produced them. I am willing to believe he doesn’t knowingly have them, and if he does come across them in the future, he will give them back. Four years ago I would not have felt confident saying that.

This morning Krystal was poking around with the myriad of things on my dresser. One of these things is a small wooden box that closes with a buckle. I’ve had it since I was about 9 or 10, just a tad older than Krystal. I keep old money in it – some $2 bills, Kennedy half dollars, silver dollars and the like. I don’t think I’ve opened it in years, but it’s not something I’d ever consider getting rid of. She was fascinated by the money “They make $2 bills!?!?” and wanted to know where I got it. Then she pulled out a gold ring. My wedding ring. What is it doing in there? I’m reasonably sure I never put it there. Did he hide it there? Or did I and promptly forget about it?

The inside of the ring has an inscription: Love is in the details.