Revised Thanksgiving Shopping List

Originally, my shopping list was "Posterboard, cat food, and beer."  Awesome, right?

Well, errands ran a bit late this morning, and I ran out of steam (read: needed lunch) before I got to picking up the beer.

And that turned out to be O.K., because when I checked in with my parents, it turned out that the conversation we'd had the other night that ended in my dad's tossing off a slightly irritated, "It makes no sense for you to get it, because [Older Brother] can get it from work!" somehow made him actually ask Older Brother to do so. . . only no one mentioned that part to me until I happened to comment today that I'd planned to get the beer after dinner, because I needed to put gas in the car, too.

I guess I got what mattered most, then.

New steroids shot = Super appetite (and even catnaps make her hungry)



School, Kitty, Bedtime

School: I spent the morning hanging up art projects, then wound up missing the show in the afternoon because after I taught my afternoon sixth-grade class, a seventh-grader came in for help with a Social Studies project.  And then I got sidetracked with other things to do.

Actually, it was kinda nice to be able to get things done with nobody in my hair for an hour.  Besides, there's an encore tomorrow.

Kitty: The Cat had a check-up with the vet today, because she has been me-yowling every morning,  and earlier with every passing morning to the point where I am just plain tired. . . and I think time was up on her steroid injection.  She's been fussy about food and had the barfing episode last week.  It turns out she did lose about a quarter of a pound.
We've been trying to extend the times between injections, but she seems set on about five weeks.  Oh well, we do what we can for as long as we can to keep her comfortable.
I'm pretty sure she was a second away from biting the doctor tonight.  (Whereas before she was Cute Timid Kitten at the vet, now she is Super Cranky Cat.)
It turned out that the other two cat patients at the same time as The Cat also were hyperthyroid kitties.  Two tabbies, actually.  I chatted with the one tabby owner about medication and I mentioned that while I used pills and Pill Pockets, I knew someone (Rob) who had success with the ear-application stuff.  (She said her cat would run the minute she put on the rubber glove; The Cat was the same way with the chemo.)
Oh, and the key to post-vet-visit forgiveness?  Baked Chicken.
And we shall see if The Cat lets me sleep past 4 a.m. in the next few days. . . otherwise, I will have to adopt this as my lifestyle and make coffee at 4 a.m. to keep her company while she eats her breakfast.  And go to bed at 9:30.

Bedtime: Well, you did read the School and the Kitty sections, didn't you?  This gal is tired.  Good thing tomorrow's Friday.



A Somewhat Quieter Saturday

I dunno, I just feel as if I've been running all week.  Maybe it was just my brain on overload.  Or that darn clock change.  That just throws everything off.

Last night, I stopped by my parents' house to see everybody and see what the plans were for getting the kids back home for normalcy's sake (and giving my parents a breather).  I also was bringing my mom my copy of the WSJ--I guess she can do the crossword when she's up for it--and a couple of videos from my library that I thought the kids might like, in case they'd gone through everything my parents had by then.

They were watching The Brave Little Toaster when I came in.  (My word! Is that really 20+ years old?  The appliances must have been mystifying to these tykes.)  Well, Middle Nephew #1 was.  Niece was roaming somewhat wearily and Middle Nephew #2 (also tired) was raving punchily.  He was excitedly telling me the name of the baby; most endearingly, he referred to his new brother as "our baby."  Too cute.

After that, I went to the gym, came home, had the other half of my dinner, watched "The Soup," and promptly conked out thereafter.  I'd had no idea I was that tired, but man, I was way mad I missed the "DC Cupcakes" wedding episode.  I'll have to catch it when it re-airs this week.

Speaking of this week, I will be teaching a total of two classes.   That's right: TWO.  (O.K., also helping out with seventh grade's research one morning.)  One class got bumped by the Thanksgiving Mass, and then three more (all my fourth graders) got bumped by practice for and presentation of a special show towards the end of the week.  I'm so bummed I don't get to read them Thank You, Sarah, as is my tradition before Thanksgiving.  But what can I do?

Get other stuff done, I guess.  I've got grades to get in before the rapidly approaching end of the trimester and a librarian visit to plan (which is actually pretty exciting and I hope the kids will think it is, too).

Now I'm off to do some more mellowing out.  Today I heard that Bunny doesn't need his oxygen tube anymore, so I think a celebratory glass of wine is in order.


Grade My Day

5:45 a.m. Cat puke.  Post-breakfast.

7:55 a.m. Made it to school on time.

8:05 a.m. Was pulled into meeting in assistant principal's office over bizarre claim by a student that a woman pretending to be a library volunteer took her book purchasing money Monday morning. . . which was impossible because no such woman existed.  Not to mention we had no volunteers that day and despite student's allegations our secretary was indeed present in the library at the time it supposedly happened.  So weird and I hope it just fades away or the kid finally admits she lied.  I just want the book sale to go away for 11-1/2 months, now.

8:20 a.m. Read e-mail from parent contesting demerit slip for student's failure to take care of overdue fines after four notices to do so.  Concessions were made, but in the end I will get what I want--this kid has to give me a plan detailing what the kid will do for the rest of the year to make sure account is on the straight and narrow.  I'd rather rehabilitate than discipline where possible.

10:30 a.m. The students I taught how to do research last year did pretty well on their research for a history assignment.

2 p.m. Fire drill that shot my lesson plans for my only class of the day.  Complete with little girl who was obsessively anticipating it and opting to keep whining as a response to anyone's attempts to reassure her (in spite of her repeated begging for reassurance).  And thanks to an event next week, I won't see this class again until after Thanksgiving.

2:30 p.m. Mom forwarded a new photo of Bunny.  So cute.

2:35 p.m. Read note from yet another parent contesting child's overdue fines because they were on vacation. Realized that this issue was from a month and remained unresolved ago because said parent took it upon herself to e-mail the library secretary instead of me. . . and library secretary felt she had authority to respond instead of referring matter to me.  Renewed annoyance over the whole thing.

7:00 p.m. Spontaneous, uninitiated (by me) Cat snuggling.

8:00 p.m. Discovered giant hole under the arm of my Sting concert t-shirt.  Granted, it's something like 15 years old and too big, but still.  *sob*  Am now wondering if hole was present when I wore it to work out at the gym about two weeks ago. *YIKES*

8:55 p.m. Discovered delicates bag's zipper gave out in washer, and stockings were knotted around everything else.  Took me a good ten minutes to untangle, carefully.

10:00 p.m. Cat did not sneak out and tear down the hallway (as is her usual M.O.) when I came back with laundry from the dryer.  Good kitty.

Right now: folding laundry and watching Top Chef.  Still need to load and run the dishwasher.  Bed's a ways off.

Long day--long week.  Can I make it to Friday???


Random Things from Today

I taught two of my sixth-grade classes today.  There's no chalkboard, so I put my notes/assignments up on PowerPoint slides using my laptop and a projector.  Then I was showing them a citation website to help them with their science projects.  As I'm typing in the address, I hear a student declare, 

"You type really fast!"

Without missing a beat, I replied, "That's because I've been doing it for a long time."  No need to tell the class about my previous (working) life.  I don't think they'd understand.

I never think about how fast I type.  A long time ago, I was tested at something like 72 wpm but I think it's in the upper 70s to low 80s now.  (And we all know what happened to Lappy's keys.)  But it's kind of funny to see something I don't think about, be fascinating to the kids.

Hey, there's a proposed bill to "make fraudulent maple syrup selling a felony."  I do love maple syrup.  The REAL stuff.

My parents took the kids to the hospital for a visit today.  The kids couldn't see the baby, but while they visited with Mommy and Daddy, "the grown-ups" (as my parents like to call themselves) were allowed to go see him.  Mom said Bunny was stomping his feet on the edge of his bed--probably itchy to get out of there and away from the tubes and monitors and that nurse who keeps coming around to draw blood like a clockwork mosquito.

When everybody got back to my parents', Niece received some help completing a school assignment.  (School was closed for elections but Niece and Middle Nephew #1 are going tomorrow.)  Niece needed to do some sort of collage of family pictures, so Mom just scanned and/or printed some that she had.  Niece insisted on including the family cat, however, so Mom--not having a photo of their tabby--had to improvise.

She had Niece color a photo of one of my parents' cats.

My family is nothing if not creative and resourceful.


The Maiden Aunt's Little Bunny. . .

. . . BOY.

Yeah, he's got a slightly funny name, as per his parents' M.O.--although familiar, because somehow Older Brother forgot one of our cousins' boys has the same name.  Oh well, it's all good.

I went to bed around 10 p.m.,  not having heard anything since my mom relayed that message about induction.  (I later found out my mom had tried calling and e-mailing me while I was getting ready for bed, because she hadn't heard anything, either.)  It was just so nerve-wracking, but I was worn out and had to sleep.  So off to bed I went, with my cell phone on my nightstand.  I don't normally do that in case a wrong number or an errant text comes up in the middle of the night.

And of course, a text alert wakes me up at about 1:00 a.m.  It's Older Brother, messaging both me and Younger Sister (I think, because he said "Dear Aunties") to tell us our new little nephew was born at about 10:30 p.m., and promising photos.  He probably had no idea what time it was at that point!  (Two words: failed induction.  And two more: inevitable c-section.)

Now, Bunny's a little small, being so early, and he's having some help with his breathing, but don't let that fool you: He is just a shade under FIVE POUNDS.  Apparently the nurses have given him a nickname alluding to his size, because he is the "big guy" of the NICU.  (Like, seriously, if he'd gone to his alleged due date, he probably would've been a butterball.)

Right before I left work this morning, I checked my home e-mail, and sure enough, there was a photo.  (If you're sensitive or easily freaked out by medical stuff, you might want to page past it.)

He's got a nice head of hair, don'tcha think?

They're saying he might have to stay three weeks in the hospital, but I'd really love to have him home for Thanksgiving.  You know, so we can pass him around more times than a bowl of stuffing.  I forwarded the photo up to my work laptop, so he's my background photo now, and I asked our Religious Ed coordinator to announce him as a prayer intention.  I figure 500 people "praying him home" might work.

The kiddos are excited about their little brother, but they seem a bit homesick from being at my parents' and not seeing Mommy and Daddy for so long. . . and now we have no idea how long that's going to go on.  I hope not long, for their sake and for my parents'.  It's exhausting, and Mom had to miss book club tonight.  I am going to try to steal her away for the gym tomorrow.

I, too, while a happy auntie, am quite tired.  But totally eager to meet this little one.



Definitely Something

The doctors decided to induce labor--which I find odd, because my previous two nephews arrived via C-section (car accident precaution for first one, failed induction for very late second one) and also because I would think high blood pressure would not be a fan of labor.  But what do I know?

So there should be a new arrival later today.  My parents probably have the kiddos for another day at least (Older Brother's going to get them excused from school), and Oldest Nephew I think will be staying with his dad, who will get him to school.

Of course, my SIL's parents are not able to come right now--mother's got bronchitis.  It's always something.  (Seriously. Last time around, she came around the time of the supposed due date and then left because she got tired of waiting--so Easter weekend, my parents had their hands full.)  And it's always my parents.  So far the kids are doing all right, but of course they were left to pack their own bags (seriously? kids under 7 know what to bring?) and the cats are all freaked out because they want to be left alone and the kids are a little rough with them.  Everyone's a little out of sorts.

I did help keep Youngest Nephew occupied during Mass while the other guys drew pictures, and then I took Niece to go pick out bagels for brunch.  (Hey, she knows what everyone likes.)  They ate like champions and hopefully after a bit of playing/helping my dad rake leaves, they'll all take a nap.  I think they need it.  I know my parents do!

We're all excited, nervous, tired, and praying a lot that everyone comes through O.K.



Might Be Something. . . Might Be Nothing

I thought it a little odd when I phoned my parents at about 8:45 to ask Mom about a cake I had in the oven that wouldn't bake (seriously, it was still soupy in the middle after 30 minutes; I think the temperature was misprinted in the recipe) and no one answered.  Then again, Dad tends to ignore the call waiting if he's on the phone, and then he forgets to check messages afterwards.  I needed to make a decision about the cake, so I didn't bother to leave a message.

About an hour later, my dad called me.  Apparently his main goal was to talk to me about tomorrow's responsorial psalm for Mass, but he led with, "We've got the three little ones here because [SIL] went to the hospital earlier today."


She's had to monitor her blood pressure during each pregnancy, and it seems the readings were too high today, so she had to go in.  On top of that, she's had problems with her back for a few weeks now, which is why she missed my cousin's wedding.  That probably did not help things.

Supposedly the baby is due in January, but for whatever reason my SIL is notorious for having wrong due dates.  The baby sounds developed enough to be O.K. with an early arrival if need be, but let's hope things go as well as possible.  The kiddos seem to be doing all right at my parents' so far, but it's been only half a day.  If it doesn't have to get dragged out a long time for the family's sake, that would be very good.

I'd be grateful for any prayers you can spare for my SIL and the little one.