Monday, January 31, 2011

You Know Your Too Stressed Out When...

No Wonder They were called "The Greatest Generation"

After the funeral today, we had a lunch.  My gran told me a story about how she picked blueberries and sold them for $0.10 a gallon.  She saved for TWO years to buy a $60 piano.  Wow....we are not even used to that kind of work ethic anymore.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Time to Mourn

Ok....updated with actual text in the post.

My BIL passed away late last night.  My mom called to let me know.  HH and I went to the hospital.  My sister did get to be there when he passed (which was a huge worry to her that he would die alone).  He took two gasps of air, and then stopped breathing.  It was very quick and peaceful.  My mom didn't even notice that he had stopped breathing until he looked over at my sister and saw she was crying.  I'm glad I got to be there with her until the end. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Love Cosby!

We have a completely unexpected snow day.  I am wide awake though. I am watching another episode of Morgan Spurlock's 30 Days.  This episode involves a hunter going to live with a vegan family who works for PETA.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

NYC Cabbie Wisdom

Read on a blog (sorry no credit, I forgot where!)...

He told me we all juggle many balls. Some of these balls are made of crystal. Others are made of rubber.

If you drop a rubber ball, it bounces. It’s not a big deal.

If you drop a crystal ball, it either breaks or it gets scratched. It’s a super big deal.

The art of living a good life, he said, is to know which balls bounce and which balls break. Most of us, he said, get it wrong.


Here is an excellent guest post from Fooducate, "I'm a Qualitarian."  I think this certainly sums up my post-WLS philosophy.

Consequently, if you find yourself agreeing with the above article, you won't be going to Taco Bell anytime soon.

Taco Bell's "Meat Mixture" lawsuit.  35% beef?  Really?  I told HH that I may not be able to buy this crap for him anymore after what I read.

HH Made For Me...

We were not able to work with AWANA on Sunday night, since we were at the hospital, but HH had his creative genius game on (we brought in the materials since I was supposed to teach) ....

After all that hard work, who wouldn't think that HH deserve some "UDAMAN" Chocoate bars?  I sure did!  I had these printed at Staples.  Here is the link to Jeanne Winter's Inspiring Idea's Blog where you can get this awesome printable!

I took today off work.  I am exhausted.  I got to work this morning, and seriously felt like every scrap of energy in me was GONE.  My BIL has not passed yet, and emotionally and physically we are drained.  I am happy to be there for my sister, but today I had to take off and rest.  HH was worried enough about me that he said he would be our representative at the hospital tonight, and that I was not allowed to go.  I needed to stay here and rest.  I love that man!

Monday, January 24, 2011

And the Answer is NO....

Ok....sample taken from Google for the funny story.

On Sunday, I could not get enough salt.  I drank four containers (12 ounce) of tomato juice.  I woke up TWICE and ate pickles.  HH says, "Maybe your pregnant."  I have never had such an intense craving for salt in all my life.  It was on my tongue, and I needed it so badly. 

So this morning, I made him stop at Walgreens so I could get a test.  I shove it in my purse, and say I'll take it at school.  I am at school early, and as I'm unlocking the door, I hear a small clink.  I didn't think anything of it.  I get to the classroom and start rummaging through my purse to take the test.  I can't find it.  I call HH to see if I left it on the seat of the car.  No dice.  Then I remember the sound of something dropping.  I go back up front and our security guard is talking with our only male teacher in the building, and I shoot the breeze with them.  I then try to be discreet and go pick it up.

Take the test.  Negative.  I'm very close to my period, so I guess it was just intense cravings.

Our security guard is a big talker.  I love the man, but things get around.  I go up to him at lunch and say, "By the way the answer is NO."  He tries to play it down like he doesn't know what I'm talking about, and I tell him the whole story.  He was in stitches over it.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Celebrating the Second Anniversary of Our Engagement

Two years ago on Monday, HH asked me to marry him.  I happily said yes!  We went out to celebrate that special day, and here are our pictures.  We went to Del Frisco's, which is a restaurant known for their steak.  I've wanted to go to this local eatery for a long time, and can now check it off the list.  It was some FINE dining.

HH holding the jar of Jelly Bellys I got him.

First bite of steak.....

Two years after I said YES!  (Wearing the same shirt I wore when we got engaged!)

Best Creme Brulee I have ever had too!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Banner Day

To say that work has been tough lately would be quite the understatement.  I have felt constantly brow-beaten, and am given new forms to fill out on all my kids weekly (and none of the old paperwork going away).  The compliments have been few and far between.  Today they came in a major way, and it felt DARN good.

The first came from a professor.  Our principal had a major visitor (not going to go into details about the visitor, afraid it would link this blog to my work), and she said he spent half an hour talking about me and things that were going on in my classroom.  That was awesome.  Then at faculty meeting today, we were supposed to bring samples of some work we had done, and I didn't have anything.  It was one of those informal things, yet formal things.  Where you are "strongly encouraged" to do so....The professor who was teaching the faculty meeting used MY materials to give her entire training.  That was pretty awesome.

A classroom victory: my kids scored a 42% on their fractions pre-test six weeks ago.....and we now are at a 94% on the post-test.  WOOO HOOO!!!  Math is my weakest teaching subject, and I've been working hard to make sure they get this stuff.

Best of all:  HH called his mom and my dad and bragged all about it!  It was nice to have that!  :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Father and Baby are Doing Fine....

* Shared with HH's permission*

Apparently father and baby are doing fine.  YEP.....HH had a baby on January 15th.  HAHAHA!

We were at the hospital, and HH was filling out the big packet for his health insurance renewal.  After he finished it, I was looking over it to make sure he didn't forget anything.  Then I busted into laughter. 

Question 27 reads:

If recent delivery, please provide date of medical release (post-partum checkup) from obstetrician/gynecologist:

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Saturday Recap

I had HH take my picture in the lobby of the hospital.  FRESH AWESOME HAIR!  WOOT! WOOT!  I love my stylist, who is the parent of a former student I had.  I cried with her some over things with my sister, and it was very therapeutic. 

HH and I went out with some friends from school to celebrate the birthday of Chris, one of my fab co-workers.  We were total table hogs for almost three hours.

This is Tyrell's cousin.  They have a very close family, and he is going to flip out when he sees that I met her.  I want the ability to accessorize like she has!

Teacher friend Beth, and the birthday boy Chris.

I took a nice nap today, and went to the hospital with HH.  Amber sent me a text message to tell me that Matt had started the "Death Rattle."  She didn't want to say anything out loud, because Matt's mom was there and she would freak out.  I didn't notice anything different when Amber said that, but she was sitting right by his bed, and I'm sure there are many things that she notices because she is a Respiratory Therapist.

Info Graphic

The State of Unemployment
Via: UniXL

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Had to Share...

After school I am talking with another teacher about a kid from my room.  She taught him last year.  I was telling her how I was really concerned about his diet.  He is a MAJOR junk food eater.  She shared this story with me!  She has taken him and a few other students back to her room for lunch.  He pulls out a bag of generic oreos and starts scarfing them down.  She says, "Erion, is that all you are going to eat, cookies?"

His reply,"It's OK Mrs. Kemper, they are generic."

Apparently he thought generic equals low fat!

On the Town...Field Trip Style

Friday, January 14, 2011


I needed a night that didn't involve the hospital.  BADLY.  I told HH about this earlier in the week.  He did not disappoint.  We went to The Cheesecake Factory, and then to see Etta Mae at a local comedy club.  It was just what I needed.  At the comedy club I did decide that I wanted to stop by the hospital for a few minutes.  We went for about forty minutes.

Update on my BIL:  He has been moved to another hospital into the Hosparus (Hospice) unit.  This happened on Wednesday.  I LOVE it there.  It is very peaceful and the staff really want to help people who are in their very last stages of life.  His breathing is super shallow.  I've seen infants take deeper breaths than he is.  My sister is doing ok. 

We went on a field trip today.  I'll post pictures this weekend.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow Day

I knew there was a chance of a snow day, so I brought a TON of stuff home to work on.  Last night, I broke down and had to work at the hospital.  Before my sister turned off the machines, she didn't seem to mind that I graded papers and did school work while visiting with her.  Last week, I really felt that it was inappropriate to do anything but visit.  This put me way behind with work stuff though.  I was getting home at 9:00, trying to eat a late dinner, and work on school stuff for 2-2 1/2 hours.  ROUGH.  I have a bunch of deadlines approaching, and I knew I couldn't do that again this week.  I busted tail at the hospital last night.  I was marking papers, so it was easy for me to social and mark at the same time.

Last night on the way home I had a new experience that I'd rather not repeat.  We were going to a place about five minutes away where I had placed a baked ziti order.  Yeah, sadly, she knows my voice.  I've called her several times this past month.  The road by our condo is very curvy.  It's almost like we don't live in the city.  I was grading papers on the way home, because I was DETERMINED that my bag was NOT coming into our house last night.  HH was talking on the phone to his best friend.  We went around the first curve pretty slow, and all of a sudden I was DIZZY as all get out.  I think I experienced my first bout of motion sickness while reading.  I had to lay my seat back, close my eyes, and rest for about fifteen minutes.  I've always been a big car reader, and hopefully that is my last experience with motion sickness!

My BIL has not passed yet.  He was having bladder spasms for some time on Saturday night, and they have upped his morphine and adavan accordingly.  This seems to have helped quite a bit.  Yesterday wasn't without some good old DRAMA BIL's ex wanted to bring the kids up (6 and 9) to see their dad.  She wanted them to be able to grieve, and to see their daddy take his last breath.  (I can't make that up.  She is so messed up.)  Both facilities he has been in have strict under 14 visiting policies.  (He has always been in the ICU area.)  His ex told the nurse manager that they had been coming up each week to see their dad, so she approved the visit.  My sister found out, and went off.  There was a storm of loud pone conversations and text messages back and forth.  She didn't end up bringing them.  Chase (the boy who was in the car accident) is VERY observant.  He would want to see every tube, and ask a million questions.  Matt is also at the point where he looks gray, and is very much at death's door.  If this were going to be done, it should have happened before now.

My sister has requested that Matt's parents stop saying "see you tomorrow Matt."  While no one thinks there is ability to recognize voice, etc left (he is not responding to any noises), she just thinks it is time for them to stop saying that "just in case" he is hanging on somewhere deep inside.

In lieu of flowers, my brother, his wife, HH and I are getting a military flag display box that is personalized for my sister.

Here are some pictures that I've recently taken...

I discovered Cake Flour on Market this summer at the Farmer's Market.  They made amazing scones and Rosemary Foccacia bread.  I noticed they were not far from the hospital, and HH and I stopped in last week for some treats.

Here is my "mini" me:  She wanted to start teaching her own Guided Reading Group, and has been asking me for some time.  So, twenty minutes two times a week, I am letting her go to a third grade classroom and teach.  Here she is with her Vera Bradley bag I lent her, inside which contains her real plan book, and materials.  Love. This. Girl!

Some other faces that make me light up each day...

Going to go back to bed.  Later on we'll be heading over to the hospital.

Friday, January 7, 2011

We Are Going to See

the PEKING ACROBATS in February!!!


Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers.  We've been up at the hospital every evening, and HH has been up for a majority of the time during the day. My BIL's vitals are slowing down.  He looks like he has lost ten pounds in the past few days.

He looks very peaceful.  I am very happy about this for him, and especially my sister.  We've even been able to share a few good laughs in the midst of a whole lot of serious talk.

I'll be back to regular posting before too long.  Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Almost Time...

4:00 AM the phone rings....

It is my sister.  Matt has had a horrible night.  She is sobbing, and she has finally decided to sign the paperwork to end her husband's suffering.  (His blood pressure shot into the 300s, then went into the 200s, and finally stabilized.  This caused several strokes.  My sister knew you can't recover from that.)  She signed the Do Not Resuscitate order, stop the feeding tube (other than pain medication, which will be plentiful), and is stopping the vent too.  The doctor who has been treating Matt signed off, saying he felt that her decision was in his best interest.  To cover themselves legally, the hospital has an independent doctor (with no ties to Matt's case) evaluate and sign that he agrees with the other doctors findings.  At 6:30, we were still waiting for this doctor to come in.  Once he has, everything will be disconnected.  His doctor anticipates with how stressful the last 24 hours have been that he will pass pretty quickly.

HH will be doing the funeral.