Sunday, July 26, 2009

I have to learn to think these things through before I open my mouth. . .

Ting Ting loves for me to tell her stories at night, after we've read some books and turned off the light (yes, I realize she's stalling).

A couple weeks ago, desperate to tell a shorter story than her oft-requested "princess stories" (which, of course, require me to remember every detail of the Disney movies), I offered to tell her about Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

I started telling the story, off the cuff. I had difficulty recalling details, and I couldn't for the life of me remember how it ended -- although I'm sure it was frightening. So I just made up a happy ending.

She loved it. Now she often asks for that story, and I just make up a different ending every time.

The other night I finished with the bears finding Goldilocks and waking her up.

"She sat up in bed, and said, 'oh my goodness! I'm glad you're home,'" I told Ting Ting. "Goldilocks apologized for eating their porridge and breaking Baby Bear's chair, and she said,
'how about I make you a nice big breakfast?'

"So they all went into the kitchen, and Papa Bear and Mama Bear helped Baby Bear fix his chair while Goldilocks made breakfast. Then Goldilocks brought in big platters of bacon and eggs and they all sat down and ate it together!" I finished, triumphantly.

Ting Ting didn't miss a beat.

"Where did Goldilocks sit?" she asked.

(I had been smart enough to realize they needed to fix Baby Bear's seat, but I hadn't realized that that meant they still had only three chairs. Darn that kid.)

"Oh," I said. "They had a little stool in the kitchen, so Goldilocks brought it into the table and sat on that."

"Noooo," said Ting Ting.

Uh oh, I thought.

"I think she should sit in Mama Bear's lap!" Ting Ting said.

Fine with me. I'm just too busy worrying about how we're going to pay for law school.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Family tea

OK, we're rewinding a bit.

Ting Ting and I went to Tennessee to spend Mother's Day weekend with my family. We celebrated with a tea party.

Aunt Kay poured us some "tea."

We had lovely little sandwiches, too.

Pre-tea entertainment was a race between Cousin Chad (in wheelchair)* and Ting Ting (on wild-eyed pony purchased at a yard sale).

I don't remember who won the race, but I know who won points for style.

We taught Ting Ting to drink with her pinkies out.

We finished with some amazing cupcakes.

Had to look at those again.

A good time was had by all.

* P.S.: Chad is having the same surgery on the other foot Friday, so he'll be back in that wheelchair for awhile. Good luck, buddy!

And the answers are: We don't know

Don't leave us guessing, what happened to TingTing's eye? What did she get in it? And how was Lauren's finals? What was making Cyrus sick? Or did I miss something? ---Rambling Mother

Sorry, didn't mean to leave everyone hanging!

We don't know exactly what happened to Ting Ting's eye. My best guess is that she had a mosquito bite around it somewhere. She had the same thing last year, and the doctor gave her antihistamine, and we had to wait just a couple of days. So we did that this year, too. It took a little longer this time, but after swelling up and turning bright red and looking absolutely awful for a few days, it slowly returned to normal.

Lauren's finals are still hanging. She's taking two of them Thursday and the last one next week. She couldn't take them at first because her eye was too sensitive to light, then we went to Florida. Then she went to Arizona with her Mom when we returned, then when she came home she spent another week at her Mom's house. So now the summer is half over, and she's just getting around to it. And, yes, that is driving me crazy.

We don't know what was making Cyrus sick, either, but he's slowly getting better. All we know, really, is that he did not have a blockage, which might have required surgery. We've been trying to keep him quiet, but that's hard when we have a 3-year-old who wants to hug him all the time. He's still reluctant to eat on his own, but we've gotten some liquids into him and even a little food. Keep your fingers crossed . . . by the way, we freaked out about 4 a.m. today when Lauren's dog started throwing up, too. But fortunately, she stopped. Looks like she just got into something that upset her stomach.

The drywall has been repaired and today the ceilings and walls were painted. Now we just need to get the carpet replaced and we'll be done . . . as soon as we get all the furniture back in and everything put away. Whew!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Welcome to our world

OK, I'm not going to spend a lot of time making up excuses for not posting. I'm just going to give you a little glimpse into life at la Casa de Ting Ting the last few weeks.

First of all, Lance lost his job at the end of May. We'd rather he hadn't, but it's sort of a good thing that it happened when it did. The first evening, he was sort of at loose ends -- in a good way, though. He sat down and started flipping through the channels on the TV and I suddenly realized I had not seen him do that in months. Really, months. And he looked sort of . . . well, relieved. I don't think either of us really realized the kind of stress he had been under and the toll it was taking on the whole family. Anyway, he and I were chatting about how weird it was to have him home and relaxing when all of a sudden we heard Lauren call up from downstairs, "Dad, we have a leak!"

Boy, did we. We didn't just have a few bad shingles; we discovered later that we had a huge hole in our roof, courtesy of some raccoons (Helpful bit of trivia: Homeowners' insurance covers damage caused by raccoons, but not "vermin" like squirrels). Before long we found that water had poured into Brandon's bedroom, ruining his ceiling, walls and carpet. Then that water had traveled down into the space below his floor and on into the ceiling below, where it was leaking (actually, pouring) into our family room.

Well, you know what life was like for Lance the next couple of weeks: Calling people for remediation. Talking to insurance adjustors. Getting roofers out to climb up and give us estimates (we had planned to replace the roof this year anyway, but losing one of our jobs was not in those plans). Getting estimates for new carpet. Remembering specific paint colors. Picking out shingle style and color. Picking out gutter colors. Arranging for roofers to come. Arranging for drywall people to come. Figuring out when the carpet can be installed and who should do it.

Brandon's room has been a construction zone for several weeks, but it's nearing an end. Thankfully it was the one bedroom not in daily use, although I'm sure he's tired of sleeping on the couch on weekends.

And that wasn't all, of course. The first week or two Lance was home, Lauren was preparing for finals, and Lance was helping her study geometry, get her projects done, run her around. Then the morning of the last day of finals she injured her cornea and had to go to the ER instead of to school. Except they had to go to school anyway to turn in her part of the final English project. Then they had to pick up medications (and get the drops into her eyes several times a day). Call teachers and counselors about making up exams. Visit the opthamologist several times. Go to the optometrist for new glasses (old ones were, well, old, and she couldn't wear her contacts for several weeks). And now she has to go back to school to take the tests she missed.

In the middle of all that, we took our annual beach vacation (woo hoo!). Most of it was already paid for, so what the heck. We needed the break.

Before and after the beach trip, we had company from out of town. And somewhere in there Lance had to apply for unemployment, get his resume ready, network and post. And he had to catch up on his own medical appointments.

We withdrew Ting Ting from her day care/preschool beginning with our return from Florida. So now Lance and Lauren are running after a 3-year-old all day (and LOVING it, too). And my job hasn't let up, although, frankly, last week, I was glad. Here's what I left each morning:

MONDAY -- guys pulling in the driveway as I'm leaving, wanting to leave stacks of shingles and other supplies. They cart them up to the roof, waking Lauren (Waaaaahhh).

TUESDAY -- guys start hammering on the roof and will be at it all day.

WEDNESDAY -- Lauren wakes us up by sharing the news that Cyrus is throwing up . . . Oops, again . . . Oops, there he goes again. Lance and I are running around with cleaning supplies for the carpet and trying to tend to him. Guys are due to estimate materials needed for repairing Brandon's room. Lauren calls up from downstairs, "he just threw up again -- and it's red."

THURSDAY-- Cyrus, who had spent all Wednesday at the vet's office, wakes up and decides to have a bite to eat -- oops. More throwing up. And it's bloody again. Lance prepares to drive him back to the vet. We try to clean the carpets. Guys due to install the gutters. Guys due to deliver materials to repair the damage to Brandon's room. Some family members coming over to bring a cousin to play with Ting Ting.

FRIDAY -- Cyrus had to spend the night at the vet, so he's not vomiting on our rug today, but we're waiting on word on whether he needs surgery (thankfully, no). Guys are coming to repair the drywall. Ting Ting wakes up looking like this:

"I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam."

(Actually, it looked a lot worse in the following days. But don't her bangs look great? Thanks, Aunt Gloria).

I know what you're thinking, and you're absolutely right . . . Every morning I tried to keep the concerned/sad/worried look on my face just long enough to get to the car so I could peel out of the driveway and yell "Yahoooooooo!" all the way to my nice, sedate job.

Oh, and did I mention that I think I broke my toe? Cyrus is better, though. And he's home with us again.

Hmmm, still want pictures, do you? I'll try tomorrow.

. . .

Well, OK, one to tide you over: