Saturday, January 30, 2010

Surviving the DMV and MRI

Weeeeehaw! I'm off work for a week. I'm planning on road tripping to a couple of zoos in Indiana on Tuesday and Wednesday, but have no other plans for the week. I'm going to try to go through lots of toys and junk and clean the house. Good times.

I had an MRI on my foot this morning. The cortisone shot did nothing for my pain. The larger dosage of my painkiller did nothing but give me headaches. I certainly don't want to have surgery or wear a cast or do anything that will inconvenience me in any way, but I suppose I hope something is found and my treatment can be adjusted and my foot "fixed." I'm tired of my stupid foot running my entire life!

I learned a hard lesson this morning. I realized at 11:15 that I needed to go to the DMV today or my license sticker would be expired before they are open again. Me and 100 other procrastinators! The line wound around the established queueing barriers and then halfway around the building and down a hallway. I arrived at 11:30 and took my place in line. By noon (closing time) I was about 5 people from the front. The clerks promptly closed down their stations. The line was like "No Way!" Then about 5 minutes later, two more workers meandered over and slowly reopened ONE of the two lines. One said she was going to open a line but then disappeared. The line behind me was now even longer than when I arrived. I was finally called and since I had my check filled out and my form signed, it took about 20 seconds to get my sticker. Normally, I send in my renewal within a couple of days after I receive it. For some reason I forgot this time. Then I've put off going the past two weekends because I hate the DMV so, so much. I will not make this mistake again! At least for a couple of years...

Yesterday Tiger the cat turned one. The kids are getting ready for a big party this afternoon. We bought a pack of ice cream cupcakes from Cold Stone Creamery and Kaylin is making a banner. We bought Tiger a crinkly kitty tunnel for his present. Poor cat isn't actually enjoying all of the extra attention and hugs and carrying and smooches and squeezes. The neighbor kids are also in on the loving Tiger action. He is so tolerant of abuse. I think they could dress him up and he'd just sit there. A good kitty for sure!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I was shopping the clearance tights and gloves in the girls' department at Target yesterday when a mother and daughter came up on the other side of the rack. The girl had apparently just dropped a part of her cookie and the mom refused to allow her to eat it off the floor. The girl whined and complained for a few seconds and then dramatically stated "This is the worst day of my life!" I couldn't actually see these people because of the rack, but I snickered loudly. The mom heard me and then in a voice that was obviously trying to restrain her own amusement said "Oh, it is not!" The girl then countered in an even more whiny voice about all the "horrible" things she had already had to endure this terrible morning. And it was only 9:30 am!

I moved on to look at some of the other clearance racks and was completely shocked to find the girl wasn't the 6 or 7 year old I had assumed, but was probably 3 or a really young 4, riding in the baby seat of the cart! I was shocked at how young she was! How does a child that age come up with such drama? How does the mom tolerate that kind of crap? Kaylin has a bit of flair for the dramatic, but at age 9 1/2 I don't think I've ever heard her say it was the worst day of her life! And the whining! I don't allow it. I mean, of course my kids whine, but I put a stop to it. I have no tolerance for whining. Over the past two years I've even majorly curbed the neighbor kids' whining. If they whine, they are sent home immediately. I do NOT work hard and then spend what relaxing time I have listening to whining. From anyone!

This got me thinking once again about different personality types and how they affect our lives. I started studying Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) a few years ago in an attempt to figure out some differences I was having with a coworker. While I think MBTI is an inexact "science" and majorly based on stereotypes, it does offer some amazing insights on how people can be so similar, yet come to completely different conclusions or how people can use completely different processes to reach the same conclusion. This knowledge has helped me be far more open-minded and more understanding of why certain people think the way they do. It has also helped me understand some of the communication mysteries of my marriage and helped me be more patient with some of my husband's quirks that used to drive me crazy :)

I first concentrated on Introverts v. Extraverts. Everyone knows obvious examples of each. Recently I've been concentrating on the differences between Thinkers and Feelers. Everyone thinks and everyone has emotions. The way one is categorized is by how they make most of their decisions. Feelers (F) make most of their decisions and come to conclusions based on emotional response and gut feeling. Thinkers(T) use fact and logic and mostly leave emotion out of the process. I am a strong T. A large majority of women (and I believe the majority of the population) are Fs. A good example of my T is my decision to have Brady-dog euthanized. I made my decision completely based on fact (not eating or drinking, not walking) and not at all on emotion (I don't want my dog to die- can the vets do something else for him?) I was completely confident I made the right decision, but no less sad than someone else who would have agonized over whether he was suffering enough to actually end his life. However, I admit that "maybe" X-rays and steroids (or whatever) would have bought me a bit more time with my dog. An F probably would have at least explored that possibility. I have no regrets.

A close coworker and I have recently had some misunderstandings based on our T-F divide. It's amazing to me that we can both be equally upset about the same big picture thing, but what we're actually focused on is completely different. I'm upset that A + B does not equal C. She's upset because her feelings are hurt. Or because of jealousy. I've found that I have to ask EXACTLY what's bothering her or I could literally never come up with it on my own. She is equally confused by my reaction and had assumed all along I was hurt or (add any emotional response) as well. I've found that if we have differences she takes them very personally and holds them against me. She sometimes even perceives them as an attack and will attack back, leaving me completely stunned as to where she is coming from. It's very, very confusing. I'm working to figure out a better way to communicate overall. In the end, we obviously want the same big picture thing, we just have majorly different approaches at how we get there.

So, does my cold-hearted T intolerance of drama prevent my daughter from becoming the drama queen she was destined to be? Or does it prevent her from becoming a complete snot like the little girl in the store? I can see "Target girl" growing up and allowing drama to take over her life. Every little thing will be construed as a huge deal and every day will be a battle. Yawn. I think we all know people like this and (at least I) want to slap some sense into them. But that's just my T talking.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Stupid foot

The neighbors came to my rescue and helped push the car out of the yard. I salted the driveway, dug out the snow under my car and used cardboard for traction, but I just couldn't pull it over the small drop from driveway to yard without a push. The kids were thrilled for a day off of school. Gene was happy he didn't have to leave work early. I was happy to get to my doctor appointment on time and in my own car.

My foot has been flaring up for the past few weeks. No amount of stretching, taping shoe changes, rest, ANYTHING is helping. I finally agreed to a cortisone shot. I had read that a cortisone shot can break down the fat pad in your foot so I held off, thinking temporary pain was better than whatever pain I'd experience from losing my fat pad. The doctor rolled his eyes at my "internet knowledge" and said that in his 30 years he'd never had that happen to anyone and that only a prolonged series of injections would cause that to happen. Fortunately, seconds after this conversation he asked me to "remove my shirt" and I got a good laugh at his slip-up. (He of course meant sock.) He was soooo embarrassed and it was fun to tease the pompous old know-it-all :) I really like the guy, but like most doctors I've encountered, he's a pompous know-it all.

So anyway, I agreed to the shot. The nurse brought in a small syringe (is there such a thing as a 2cc syringe? It looked bigger than 1cc and smaller than 3cc) with a long, long needle. The needle was small in gauge, but looong. I have heard so many things about how painful a cortisone injection is I was pretty worried. I knew from the syringe size and how much liquid was inside that it was going to be a slow injection. I looked at the syringe and needle for another 10 minutes until Dr. Dirty Old Man made his way back into the room. The nurse had already scrubbed my foot, but Doc sprayed something all over my heel and arch area. I have no idea if it was just alcohol or something to numb it? He tried reclining my chair so I couldn't watch, but I sat up and watched anyway. He pushed the needle all the way in! I thought it would exit through the top of my foot, but apparently my weenie mind was embellishing the actual needle length. The injection didn't hurt at all! I felt a tiny needle prick, but no stinging or burning or anything from the cortisone. I asked him when it was going to start hurting? I was serious. I was waiting for some delayed reaction of extreme burning or pain. Nope.

I felt an immediate difference in the plantar fasciitis pain, but I now have a different kind of pain that's hard to describe. It's a weird pressure that's more annoying than painful. I didn't sleep well last night because I couldn't rest my foot on anything without being bothered by the pressure. I even tried lying on my stomach with my feet hanging off the bed, but the weight of the blanket triggered the pressure sensation. I now have that weird tension in my back from clenching my body in weird ways all night. The pressure pain in my foot is the same and I have that strange "nervousness" that goes along with the back tension. Ugh. Hopefully this weirdness will wear off today! I have another appointment next Thursday and if everything hasn't improved from the shot, I'll be sent for an MRI. Ugh again. I do not want to end up having surgery!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Crazy Week!

It's been a tough week at work. Some minor changes have everyone in an uproar. Morale is low and frustration high. I was relieved to have today off to use up my final remaining vacation day before my anniversary date next week. Hooray! A three day weekend! Plenty of time to relax and get stuff done. I had a great plan for today that included sweet tea, catching up some computer stuff, paying bills and cleaning Logan's room.

I walked out the door to take the kids to school and nearly fell on my butt. I slipped and slid to the car. The doors were frozen shut so I almost fell several more times getting them open. Then I had to scrape the windows. It was so slick that the force required to scrape the window was pushing me away from the car. I had to hug my body against the filthy car and scrape one-handed while my feet kept slipping out from under me. Finally! Ready to leave. I backed about 10 feet, slid off the driveway and my car was buried to the bottom of the doors in icy snow.

I tried reverse, I tried the lower gears. It was so slick I didn't move at all. Meanwhile, Logan Freaked. Out. He was screaming and bawling like we just got plowed by a semi! Kaylin and I were laughing because I had been going so slow we didn't even feel ourselves going off the driveway, just knew we were stuck. There was absolutely no bump or jarring event of any kind. Just whoops, we're stuck.

It was now 10 minutes before school started. There was no possible way to be on time. I came inside and tried to call Gene but he didn't answer. I thought of several people I could call for a ride, but decided pfffff, I'll just call the kids off of school and not worry about it. That cheered Logan a great deal. They spent the morning playing Wii and playing with the cats. I spent the morning messing around on my computer. No sweet tea, but maybe I can get that tomorrow. Now I have to decide whether it's worth my effort to try to get the car out of the yard or if I should just call a tow truck. I'm leaning toward tow truck but it seems dumb to not even TRY to get it out myself. Such a dilemma...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Lamest post ever

Logan discovered that if he globs on lotion and wears socks on his hands all night, his hands and wrists are much less dry. No more cracks or bleeding, no more scabby wrists. Yeah!

That was about the most exciting thing that happened in the Turner household this week. Work, school, lots and lots of Mario Kart. Kaylin finished reading the first Harry Potter book. We watched the movie. She's really excited about it and started on the second book. I love Harry Potter so much, but can't even imagine how great it must be for Kaylin, who pretty much lives in a fantasy world :)

My foot is flaring up again, so I'm planning a boring weekend of relaxation. I finally got a haircut this morning. Yep. I'm even boring myself. I think the cats and I will go take a nap.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Winter Animal Enrichment

With all of the cold and snow, my work tends to be much easier. In the warm months I spend up to 45 minutes washing windows every morning. When it's below freezing I spend a couple of minutes removing monkey fingerprints and hog noseprints from their respective day room windows, but that's it. Also, of the animals I care for only the zebras have been going outside. That saves me a lot of time on cleaning yards. It's a very nice break from the nonstop rush of the past nine months.

One way I fill my extra time is by providing enrichment for the animals. Stuck inside, they have less room to run and play, not as much to look at or watch, etc. I provide enrichment year-round, but I try to kick it up in the winter months. This week I took advantage of the snow. I made small mountains of snow in the hog, monkey and lion stalls. The lions were very excited when I was moving the snow into their stall, but once they had access to it they just sniffed it and walked away. I threw some apple and sweet potato chunks into the monkeys' snow pile and the two young boys had fun digging for it. Mom and Grandma monkey opted to skip the snow in favor of the other produce I had scattered around their exhibit. The hogs had by far the best reaction. All six immediately started rooting with their snouts. The piglets took turns climbing on top of the pile and rolling. Best of all, they had the entire pile CONSUMED in about 20 minutes. It was hilarious!

Other fun things I've done recently were a baby pool filled with ball pit balls for the monkeys. (I found the balls when I was going through the kids' old stuff to donate to Goodwill.) The monkey boys had a blast playing in the balls and throwing them around. I also removed a log from the hog day room and gave it to the lions. They loved the scent of hogs. The hogs like to tear up empty feed bags. I gave the lions a phone book they ripped into a jillion pieces. Ooh, I think I'll give one to the hogs tomorrow! My favorite lion enrichment was a huge new "Boomer Ball." It's a giant, supposedly indestructible ball. Lizzie went crazy for it! She carried it around, rolled it all over the place and even brought it up on her bench to guard it from Arthur. Poor Arthur wanted to play too, but Lizzie wouldn't let him. Ball hog! They've had the ball for about a week now, so Arthur has had plenty of time with it. It was fun to watch Lizzie hogging that ball, though.


The kids and Gene went back to school/work this week. The three of them were very unhappy that Thursday wasn't a snow day. I was happy since I had to work regardless and better a day in school now, following two weeks off, than in June! We decided to not take the kids out of school for vacation this year, so we're all looking forward to spring break. At the moment we're planning to go to Ohio (of all places) to the Cincinnati and Colombus Zoos as well as (yet another) waterpark resort. We're also considering Atlanta and/or Knoxville and the Smokey Mtn National Park. I have to check out probable weather, etc. for all locations. I'm sort of surprised that I'm not sad to be skipping Disney World this January/February. Even the kids want to see other places!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Chipmunk lover

I was apparently wrong about Kaylin not having a virus. By early Friday afternoon Logan was lying flat on the kitchen floor in obvious misery. He spent the afternoon and evening vomiting. I'm extremely glad we skipped the Belsley Christmas on New Year's Day because we would have exposed at least a dozen kids to the puke virus. The puke virus that likely would have hit during their plane/car rides home the following day. You're welcome.

Anyway, Logan woke up the following morning bouncy and happy and begging to go out to breakfast because he was so hungry. NO! Take it slow and easy on the food and drink! He was completely fine, though. Both kids still have lingering colds, but are way past the stay home from school point.

For reasons I'll never understand, Logan turned the freezer off. There is a switch inside the fridge that adjusts the freezer temperature and Logan turned it all the way to off. I'm assuming this must have been Thursday evening when we got home from Chicago because by Saturday morning when I was making a grocery list and checked the freezer, nearly everything was ruined. Over the past several weeks I'd been making an effort to empty the freezer because it had been crammed full, but I still pitched plenty of food. At first I assumed the freezer had just gone bad and I called Gene to check it out. He said "Oh, Logan told me he turned the freezer off, but I ignored him." Um... C'mon! He didn't say he was having a tea party with unicorns in his room! I would rank "I turned off the freezer" in the same category as "The toilet's overflowing!" Oh well, I guess we'll add this to the Mysteries of Parenthood file. I'm pretty sure this won't happen again, but who knows?

And finally, my secret confession... I took the kids to see Alvin and the Chipmunks, the Squeakquel and I liked it. I didn't fall asleep, I laughed, I actually liked it. Even Logan, hater of movies, who only came along because he wanted popcorn liked it. He wants to see it again. I wouldn't go that far, but yep, I liked it.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Home again, home again, jiggety jig

I can't believe it's 2010! Kaylin will turn double digits this year. Wow!

Yesterday was our final day in Chicago. Logan and I got up early and went down to breakfast. We had a great window view of a busy pedestrian corner and watched the crowds of people on their way to work. We poked around and took our time. When we got back up to the room, Kaylin was still sleeping. I got her up but she seemed unusually tired. Kaylin and Gene eventually made their way down to breakfast and she returned perked up and ready to go to the museum.

Thanks to the holiday the traffic was minimal. We got a great parking spot and walked right to the ticket counter with no line. Our Lakeview membership was accepted and we started our museum adventure walking through the vast collection of mounted animals. The kids were both really interested and enjoyed it. By the time we finished and were in front of the Egypt exhibit entrance, Kaylin began complaining of being tired and uncomfortably full from breakfast. She dragged through Egypt and the dinosaurs and then really enjoyed the mineral and gem exhibits. The rest of us were starving so we went to the museum McDonalds. Kaylin got a fruit and walnut salad and when finished she felt much better and wanted an ice cream cone. Sure! Except that after the ice cream she felt awful. She was completely miserable. We tried to "walk it off" but it soon became obvious she was actually sick. We headed out and started home.

The traffic on I-55 was shockingly non-existant! We stopped at the Wal-Mart in Pontiac and it was only a little over an hour after we left the museum lot. By this time Kaylin was coughing horribly and her nose was incredibly congested. We got some medicine that did nothing. The exciting event of the Wal-Mart stop was finding the two fairy dolls I never found for Kaylin for Christmas. She was at least happy about finding Fawn and Iridessa :) We made it home in good time and spent the evening (hee hee) playing with Legos.

This morning we all have nasty colds. I'm assuming Kaylin's upset stomach is/was due to excess mucus since she never vomited or had diarrhea. Neither kid wants to eat anything this morning and both are pitiful and puny. At least we're all off work and school anyway.