Archive for November, 2008

Please stand by.

We’re going on week three over here of at least two people in the house being sick.

A few weeks back, the day after we went to a very large Halloween party, my 8-year-old came down with a cold. We hunkered down and kept it quiet, so as to make sure she’d be well enough to go trick-or-treating. By the end of that week, RegularDad had come down with it. By the following Monday, my 5-year-old had it.

I spent those 10 days or so making a hell of a lot of homemade chicken soup, trying to keep up with the laundry, and doing a little school here and there, gauging daily, just what activities we were actually healthy enough to do. On Thursday morning, I woke up with the damn cold myself. Ah well, I lasted almost two weeks. It was only a matter of time.

On Saturday, my mother arrived to babysit because RegularDad and I had a college reunion to attend. I can’t believe she actually showed up, and without a biohazard suit on at that. She’s never been all that great about how generous little children can be when it comes to GERMS. I can’t really believe that I had her over to babysit at all, now that I think about it, but the problem is, there’s no one else left at this point. My mother-in-law is in Colorado, my step-mother-in-law is sort of busy recovering from having her entire chest cavity replaced last week, and my father-in-law is busy watching her do that. RegularSis is busy moving to Texas, and my brother-in-law is busy navigating the end of his marriage.

So, it was my mother or nothing.

She did okay. We set it up so that she only had to sit on the couch and watch the kids watch TV until it was time for them to get themselves ready for bed. How hard could it be?

We got back from the reunion around midnight, just in time for my 5-year-old to wake up moaning that her ears hurt, and hurt BAD. By 2:00 am, she was howling and I called the after-hours nurse who told me to give her Motrin and have her rest her head on a heating pad, and if that didn’t do it, then to take her to the ER, (Motrin being, of course, pretty much the only children’s medication I did not currently have in my arsenal of over-the-counter cold remedies).

So off RegularDad went to the CVS at 2:30 in the morning while I gathered both girls into our bed and kept them calm and smiling with some quiet conversation that only happens between Moms and their girls in the middle of the night when Dad’s Out Getting The Medicine. By the time he got back and we dosed our youngest up and everyone was back in their own beds, it was after 3:00 am.

The girls were, of course, up with the sunrise and downstairs preventing my mother from getting any useful sleep whatsoever. I joined them at 7:00 and got a large pot of coffee started. My mother left by 9:00. I called RegularSis to tell her we wouldn’t be coming up to her place after all. We were supposed to go up there to celebrate RegularNiece’s 3rd birthday, but considering the events of the previous wee morning hours, we decided to give her the ever popular WE’RE NOT GONNA SNEEZE ON YOU BEFORE YOU GET ON A PLANE FOR TEXAS birthday gift. They’re on sale at Target right now. You should stock up.

So we stayed home, except for me, that is. I went out for coloring books and crayons, and some Legos, and a copy of Kung Fu Panda — things to keep us occupied. I also went to the grocery store and stocked up on more soup and other such items. And we spent the day NOT GOING TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM. Lots of Motrin. Lots of laying around on sofas drinking juice. Lots of building Lego airplanes.

Yesterday I took my daughter in to see her pediatrician, explained the events of the weekend, and it turns out she’s got a seriously nasty ear infection in both ears. We stopped at the CVS to fill a prescription, and we’ve been home ever since.

I’d like to say we’re over the hump on this one, but RegularDad’s at his doctor right now getting checked out. He’s not getting over it quite yet, and since one of us needed some Amoxicillin, he might need some too. He’ll call me soon, and how much do you want to bet I’ll be making more chicken soup this week? In the meantime, I’m drinking gallons of green tea, popping Advil and Sudafed, and schlepping around in here trying to stay on top of the laundry, the dishes, and the used tissues.

Schoolwork and postings may be light for the next week or so.


Miraculous: exit 2 miles.

Not too long ago, I told you a little bit about my step-mother-in-law, and how she’s been waiting for a double-lung and heart transplant for almost a year now, and how we were so afraid that a match would never be found, and that she’d die this year, of lung failure caused by breathing beryllium dust in the factory job she held for over 20 years.

Well, late last night, a perfect match came down the pike. And they said she’s well enough to go for the surgery. So, they ambulanced her down to the University of Pennsylvania’s City Hospital, and she’s in the O.R. as I type this.

If she survives the surgery, she’ll have a long road of recovery work ahead of her before she’ll actually be released from the hospital. But I guess I’m gonna go ahead and do a little hoping. Because honestly? I didn’t think she’d get this far.

She’s 51 years old. And sweet and harmless, if not a bit odd. And yes, she can drive me utterly batshit on occasion, with her inability to understand sarcasm, and her incessant need to give me the gritty details regarding her menopausal situation, and other such tiresome personality traits.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t love her. Because we do.

And she’s good to my children. Which means I love her silly.

Keep your fingers crossed, everyone. And if you’re a prayin’ kind of person, by all means, I encourage you to do your thing, whatever it is. We need all the good karma we can get.


As of 5:30 pm, eastern whatever-the-hell-it-is-now time, she has survived the surgery, and is in the ICU. She probably won’t wake up for a day or so.

Thanks for all the well wishes and all that fabulous karma.

Updates to follow soon.

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