Sunday, November 30, 2008

Don't promise an ambulance sighting or you will get 8 hours of hospital fun :-(

I think the Vinson family is carrying on the curse of the Hendricks family of seeing the inside of an Emergency Rooms related to vacations. I could write a book of all the ERs I went too seemingly always on vacation with my family.

Starting last night Ben was very lethargic, running fever, and in general all he wanted to do was lay on us while we watched Wall-e. We packed up and left Kure Beach early this morning and decided on the way home to take him to the Quick Med instead of waiting until morning for the Pediatrician to open. We thought he only had a bad cough and maybe the start of an ear infection. In the middle of unloading the car I got a frantic call from Bill saying "get up here now" Ben might have pneumonia.

It is never good when you pull up and an ambulance is sitting out front and a nurse is waiting for you at the door. "Oh God, it's that bad", I asked as she took me by the arm and lead me to the hall where Ben is on a stretcher. Bill visibly shaken by what has gone down in the last hour (IV antibiotics, bloodwork, chest X-rays). They take us by ambulance and directly into the Peds ER at Big Wake Med across town. On the ride over the EMT is telling me he might have to be admitted or at least it will be a late night while they run more tests. Surprisingly enough the EMT knew me from my old high school where she was a student. I am WAY too old!

We get there and true to form they run more tests. By 9 pm they are satisfied with Ben's progress and we won't have to stay the night. Ben was awesome! I don't know if it was being doped up or watching endless hours of the Thomas and Pooh videos they had in his room, but he did the best job of the 3 of us. It's funny that as he was pulling down the driveway I told Ben maybe he would get to see an ambulance while at the doctor, never mind ride in one before the day was out.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Turkey in the Rec Room

I got back from my mom's just a bit ago. It was a good trip with much accomplished. My brother and I were talking last night about crazy family holidays of years past. This one from Thanksgiving 2001 is worth sharing. I am thankful that we proceeded with our plans despite it turning into a chapter from Running with Scissors.

It had started out as a good plan over the phone with my brother. The idea was to cook an entire Thanksgiving dinner and then transport it to SC. It had been a really hard few months for our family. We were in the midst of a layoff post 9/11, I was a first year teacher, Brian was in his last semester of college, our sole remaining grandparent had been diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer, my dad had been in and out of the hospital with diabetes related illness over the year, and then on Nov 7th my mom had fallen over dad's wheelchair and broken her leg in two places. No one felt festive nor wanted to plan some giant meal of days of yore.

It seemed the right thing to do given all the miserable circumstances. So we planned in secret to surprise our families with a traditional meal at mom's rehab hospital.

I had arranged with the nurses to use the floor rec room for us to celebrate. Everyone was surprised we had pulled off Thanksgiving even if it was at a hospital. Then I started pulling out the food- or the lack therof. I had forgotten the Turkey as well as half of the food I had made along with the plates and utensils. Brian and I resorted to raiding the nurses kitchen and rounded out our meal with crackers, heat and eat soup, and ice cream.

It was the last time our family was together on a holiday and it was one of the best meals ever. I am thankful that all things considered that day jello never tasted so good.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Heather is.... Bill is....

It has been a long, long week. Both I and the majority of my freshmen students have hit a wall. I'm frustrated and tired of fighting the good fight.

On that note, greeting from Easley, South Carolina. Once again I have ventured south to the land of no shirt, no shoes, no problems. This weekend here is what I will be doing compared to Bill.

Heather- Drive to SC and back home(12 hours roundtrip), cook-a-thon to help my mom put back some freezer food, general help out and give my brother a much needed respite with cleaning and errands, potty training, attack a stack of scholarship letters to write for students, write test for AP, contact a bunch of parents of failing kids and document an action plan for each child. I have 21 of these to do before Thanksgiving.

Bill- go to see Zach and Mimi and to a bar with Matt Friday night, sleeping late and lounging on the couch by the fireplace, putting together: Ben's train table for Christmas, 2 step stools, a jumping thing my mom is giving Ben, sleeping in the afternoons, probably eating pizza, likely watching any of the following movies: Punisher, Serenity, or something involving the prerequisite sci-fi goo-pod,and likely staying up late playing video games.

He was awesome helping me get out the door for this quick trip and in general as gets best husband ever with events during the last couple of weeks at home.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Put it on the To Do List

I am counting down the days until we leave for our Thanksgiving beach trip. In typical weekend fashion we stayed busy. I have started my weekend house chores when I get home on Friday from school so I don't spend most of Sunday night doing the load of laundry 'til midnight.

I met my AP kids on Saturday at a local university to work on their public policy project. Bill was gracious to watch Ben (and Cars for the millionth time). We met up with the Pressley family for dinner and 3 hours of boys under 6 chaos. Chrissy helped me bag and decorate the Webkins NHS is raffling off. I always show up at her house with a project in hand. I think my definition of true friendship involves going along with my hair-brained plans of perfection, even when you know I am nuts.

Sunday we had breakfast at Cracker Barrel and then to Southpoint mall for me to pick up the remaining items for a basket my BUNCO group is giving a friend as well as let Ben play in the kid zone. I also managed to get our hotel booked for our Christmas Atlanta trip, coordinated with Bill's mom about going to the GA Aquarium and King Tut exhibit while there as well as a unit on the Federal Budget planned for class.

What did I not do? I never manage to stay awake as soon as I sit down to watch TV with Bill. In typical fashion I was out before the Word of the Day on Colbert Report. Maybe I need to actually schedule relaxation on my daily to do list. How predictable would that be?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tales from the Little Potty- Vol 3

It has been a good potty week! Everyday Ben has gone at least once after asking to sit at school and home. This morning I awoke to a frantic "mommy go potty" on the monitor. Bill had mentioned that his nighttime diaper had not been soaked through most mornings this week but just wet. Ben marched into the kitchen and sat and filled up the potty! We had a monumental potty dance!

I had been thinking about using a little personal timer to latch onto his pants as an auditory reminder. Instead I found the following watch that you can set to go off as an alarm. I ordered it earlier this week and mentioned it to his teachers to possibily use once it comes. They agreed it will help remind Ben without them needing to remember among all the other potty-training kids. They too are being very supportive and are sending up a daily note for all the kids including potty progress. For what it was worth, talking to the Director accomplished exactly what I had hoped to. Update next week on using the watch.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Don't drink the Kool-aid

I have a weird fascination with Jonestown. I remember watching the really bad made for TV movie with Powers Boothe as Jim Jones in Junior High. I made my mom take me to the library and checked out a book on the Peoples Temple. I also remember being intent on getting the librarian to help me find articles on the microfiche machine to read at home. I think she thought I was nuts.

My fascination is probably in part due to being raised in Southern Baptist household that instilled a healthy fear of cults. When I saw that a 2 hour special was coming on tonight on CNN called "Escape from Jonestown", I was all over it and dropped my typical Thursday night of watching CSI. As expected, my fascination is being quenched. I am the first to admit it is odd in some sick way. Want to weigh in?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Like I was suprised

I had the holiday off from school today and you would have thought that I would spend it relaxing at home. NOPE! In my typical "pack a week into a day" mindset I got the following done:

1. Slept in to see a 6 on my alarm clock
2. Relieved Bill from Ben am duty including taking him to school
3. Went to the dentist to have 2 cavities filled-ouch!
4. Worked out at the gym
5. Went by Micheals, AC Moore, Barnes and Nobel, and Kolhs
6. Took Vegas to the vet. They gave me a discount for our long wait (I didn't even have to ask)
7. Sorted shoes and clothes to be passed on to a friend and delivered them to her
8. Made 3 pans of homemade mac and cheese for the freezer
9. Picked up prescriptions at CVS and signed up for a prescription benefit club
10. Picked up ben in time to talk to both teachers. He had a great potty day :-)
11. Made dinner, unloaded the dishwasher, put up clean laundry, and played with play dough with Ben
12. Went to monthly Bunco with my neighbor and WON THE POT!

I ROCK and get the efficiency award today.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Dreams of Driving the Zebra Bus

Great weekend that didn't involve school work until now, so I am procrastinating.

We got together with Larry and Heather last night for dinner and a Settlers of Cattan rematch part 3 and I redeemed myself by pulling out a win from nowhere, sorry boys!

Today, we decided to head to the NC Zoo in Asheboro one more time before the weather turned cold. It was an absolutely beautiful fall day. We hit all the things we really wanted to see and hopped on the tram bypassing the rest. Having a family membership has really paid off. We have been 3 times this year plus we have been to all of the NC aquariums. Check out some of our pictures from the day as well as my "in depth" interview on the Zebra bus with Ben. Notice that his favorite thing is riding on the bus not the animals. Great weekend from start to finish!

Ben and Heather try to lift a baby sea lion from Waking Badger on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

E pluribus Unum- So possible!

Bill's post yesterday got me thinking about what I hope to see happen as the Obama administration takes office. It is so very telling what industries we work in as I read his list and now draft mine. Some similarities though:

1. Work with both domestic and foreign agencies to rebuild confidence in the global economic markets
2. Consider consumer bailouts for the consumer credit market and US automarket(not a forgiveness of debt, but a way to prevent further meltdown)
3. Make the first 100 days about implementing incremental change (passage of expansion of Children's Healthcare for example). If you get the public buy-in on something small, real change for bigger issues will be more attainable. Learn from the mistakes of Clinton 1st term
4. Pose real options for healthcare reform to allow more people to gain coverage
5. Work to ensure that families have reproductive choice
6. Work with Congress to overhaul No Child Left Behind. States need money if expected to comply. Everyone wants kids to succeed, don't tie our hands in red tape.
7. Restore US standing on the world stage (this is not a 1 term expectation, just the groundwork). Diplomacy is a sweet word!
8. Work to reduce troops overseas and evaluate where we truly need to be stationed
9. Lead the effort for the US to reduce greenhouse gases and curb global warning by pushing for alternative energy sources
10. Help us keep this feeling alive. Help us find common ground as parties as the next few years will truly test if change mantra can result in tangible, measurable results.

Our Gov't can't do this alone, this is a mandate for us all to step up to the plate and find individual ways to say "YES WE CAN, and WILL"

How did we do Tim?

It's over!!! Earlier than I predicted (and without calling bellweather Missouri and even NC), the Obama presidency begins. Wow! As I kissed ben tonight I said a prayer that in his lifetime he will benefit from what I hoped would happen tonight as millions of Americans voted for real change. Thanks Laura for the ongoing dialogue as we watched the states come in. Thanks Bill for watching beside me as well as my celebratoy flowers and Obama T-shirt you went ahead and got me last week.

So tim, did we get it right? Only the next 4 years will tell. How many times did I think about you today. Sad but true but it wasn't the same without you. I would have done anything to see you with whiteboard in hand doing the electoral math. Watching the celebrations around the world was awesome! oh so much good it to come. Just watch, and I know you are Tim :-)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

V Day!

So at Casa Vinson today is a big day. this marks the FIRST time in a 14 year relationship that bill and I voted for the same candidate (I think for most any election, state or local either). We always have said it we could cancel each other out even on holly springs water commissioner, we would.

So today is V day (Voting day, Victory day, but it will also go down as Vinson Day)to mark the end of a long election season we were together for most of the way in our support of change and an end to the bush dynasty. Has bill seen the light? I doubt it, I don't think he is going to join me when I renew my teacher membership in the ACLU, but he has changed and no longer will only consider the Conservative choice for future elections and to be able to say that, that is REAL change!

I am taking the workday off to spend it with ben and bill. I cannot think of a better way to spend this personal holiday!