I have no pictures to post today because I'm sitting in a waiting room. More on that later, but for now I'll tell some stories and then add some photos to back it all up later. Here's the low down on my week, in handy dandy list format....
I BE NEEDIN' A VACATION FROM STAY-CATION
The idea of vacationing at home is super fun, until the realization that no one is staying in the house doing laundry and cleaning up hits super hard. We've been on the go-go, and what started out as a sincere quest for fun and memories quickly spun into a deep seeded need to escape the chaotic mess at home. Where are we going next? We need to leave in a hurry or else I'm going to feel the need to conquer the growing pile of dishes in the sink, wet towels in the bathroom, or even - heaven forbid - make a bed. None of those things lend themselves well to the vacationy feel I'm really going for, so we just keep leaving the house. Often.
We polished off last week with a trip to a new place in town that is a combination pizza buffet/movie theater/arcade/indoor amusement park with go carts, bowling, rock climbing, bumper cars, and enough blinking lights and loud noises to permanently fray my ability to process complete thoughts in a rational manner. Since the price of admission required that I take out a second mortgage, I was determined to set up camp and get our money's worth. That involved plying my kids with pizza for a late lunch, a mid afternoon snack AND an early dinner. I chased after Emma, who spent many delirious hours bouncing from place to place like a pinball racing through a machine, while the boys relished their version of a Utopian environment. Sensory overload times one million, and the kids could not have been more pleased.
Surely I earned bonus points that day.
Friday I took the kids to the public pool, which was the only place I could even imagine being as I seem to recall temperatures reached 147 degrees. Or thereabouts. Even Emma, the anti-water princess, surrendered to the heat wave and willingly chased her squirty penguins around the baby pool. You know it's hot in Texas when you pay money to sit in the pee pool with your toddler and consider it refreshing. I do believe in the power of chlorine, and can even convince myself, when temperatures reach a certain level, that pool pampers provide a solid barrier of leak guard.
PAPA DIDN'T SHARE THE BIRTHDAY PIE
Saturday we went to the family farm to celebrate Papa's birthday, where I learned that my sister-in-law made him her world famous coconut cream pie. It is the birthday pie to beat all birthday pies, and it makes growing older rewarding in a creamy, caloric, coconutty kind of way. She's never actually baked ME one on MY birthday, but I have been the fortunate recipient of heaping portions in the past when she spoils Papa on his birthday. This year, my creepy little nephew Will swept in and ate the very last piece of pie right before I got to the farm. And then explained to me for seven hours how delicious it was. I have a brand new least favorite little nephew. :-) Will and I struck a deal that he would consider asking for coconut cream pie on his birthday in October, and that he would share two pieces with me. My birthday is ten days before Will's birthday, so if I play my cards right I figure there is an outside chance I could have my own entire pie, plus two extra pieces ten days later.
We went to a hot air balloon festival on Papa's birthday and enjoyed a fireworks show afterwards. The city really goes all out when Papa has a birthday. :)
I'M JUST LIKE FLORENCE NIGHTENGALE...ONLY I PANIC AND GET VERY QUEEZY
I spent the better part of Monday self motivating and promising myself a hundred and fourteen ways that I was NOT going to watch the ten year recollection of Jon and Kate's marriage on TLC. The split has me so worked up. I can't believe how emotionally invested I am in this family that I don't even know. I couldn't bear watching a recap of happier times when Jon and Kate toted their adorable brood around town and made parenting an army of children look like an eternal trip to Disney Land. Every Monday night for three solid years I have begged Buzzard for four more children. And my own TV show. It's become tradition. I just can't bear the sadness, and with my flair for throwing myself into a total state of depression as a painful homage to complete strangers, I felt it was wise to steer clear of TLC. My willpower lasted until approximately 8:04, when I flopped on the bed with Emma, grabbed the remote, and dedicated a solid ten minutes of my life to a horrific form of remorse over the fact that I had missed the first four minutes of what is still my very favorite show.
After my sob fest, I put Emma to bed and headed in to take a shower. Buzz was at the nature preserve on a hike with the boys, breaking in some new hiking boots. I got the shower running, laid out my pj's, took out my contacts, wiped off my makeup, and took my hair down. I could hear the phone in the bedroom ringing, and it suddenly dawned on me that it seemed to be ringing continually. I stepped out to grab it, wondering if something was wrong, and I'm so glad I did. My Mom was on the line. She sounded breathless and told me I needed to come RIGHT NOW before she hung up quickly. Praise God Buzz pulled into the driveway that very moment as I flew out the door with a non-hairdo, mismatched clothes, and mascara circles under my eyes. I only live a few minutes from Mom, and when I raced through her door I found her holding her arm, which was bent in the wrong direction and had raw bone poking through the skin.
One urgent prayer and three deep breaths later, me and my 6,000 stomach butterflies suggested we call 911. I wanted her to have proper help, and was highly in favor of someone calm being there to take over if and when I passed dead away. She wanted me to drive her to the hospital, and while I was completely freaking out over the mere thought of it, I made the snappy decision that it might just be better than sitting around and coming up with clever conversation while we waited for a handsome EMT to arrive. So we headed out, me feeling relatively certain that Mom, with her dangling fingers and exposed flesh, would certainly be providing adequate distraction for my late night un-loveliness. She was definitely scarier than I was. I could not for the life of me shut up for even one half second because apparently, when I get really nervous I talk a blue streak.
Turns out, I may not be the one you should choose to be by your side when your bones are showing. Now we know.
Here's the deal. Mom has been doing a bang up job of getting in shape. She exercises like an olympian and I'm so stinking proud of her. She was out for a power walk when she tripped over a glob of concrete on the street and really hit the ground hard. Thank goodness, after walking over a mile, she fell right across the street from her own house. I can't even believe she managed to get herself home, change her clothes, and wait for me to arrive.
I definitely had a Grey's Anatomy inspired anticipation of what our arrival to the ER would be like. My visions involved lots of rushing and urgency and doctors and nurses who carve out time from their passionate affairs to whisk my Mom away to surgery to put her wrist bones back inside skin, where they belong. I plum forgot to imagine the two inch stack of paperwork and the examining rooms which are the desolate Siberia of the medical community. The nurses really were attentive, but time crawled by at an alarmingly slow rate. They set Mom's arm in an inflatable splint, propped it up on a can of disinfectant wipes, and then left her with nothing to do but stare at my mascara circles. Things were a little bleek. I helplessly followed her little stretcher down to x-ray and offered cheerful sentiments along the lines of, "You're going to be all fixed up here in no time."
....just as soon as they contort your poor disfigured arm on a metal table to take pictures of it.
The ground breaking results from the experts were that she broke her arm. It was official.
She headed into surgery about 1:00 in the morning. I cornered two poor security guards in the waiting room and relieved myself of that ridiculously nervous need to blabber incessantly. Then I curled up on a vinyl couch and fell asleep while they beat a hasty retreat. I dozed in and out, all alone in the waiting room, feeling oddly like I was trapped in a movie scene. I was all alone in a vast expanse of open space. The waiting room overlooks the main entrance and foyer of the hospital, which was all dark and still. It was like I was the only living soul around, and I felt like I was a little kid stuck somewhere I shouldn't be. Surely there were bustling areas somewhere around, but the movers and shakers were certainly not hiding out in the second floor waiting area.
RULING WITH AN IRON FIST
My Mom has never been one to rule with an iron fist, but now she could if she wanted to. Literally. My Mom went back into surgery this morning (Wednesday) to have several metal plates inserted in her arm. I am in the waiting room once again, although this time it is highly populated. I seem to be manufacturing nervous energy quicker than I can spend it all, and since there is no one here to talk a blue streak to, I'm typing one instead. Typing while watching Shirley Jones on a daytime talk show, remembering how in love I once was with her son Shaun Cassidy, and humming "Da Do Run Run" in my head.
Mom is a trooper and I know she'll bounce back from this, but I do believe she has quite a road ahead of her. Hopefully, it will be one with no more globs of cement.
I'll post photos soon...