Sunday, March 30, 2014

Annals of 10

Shef: Mom, you know that episode of Magic School Bus when they go inside the human body?

Me: Yeah.

Shef: I wish they had gone up the guy's butt. That would have been awesome.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

I'm Getting Up Early to Run

With the crazy facial infection and corresponding hospital stay, I missed an important week of training for the Boston Marathon, which is on April 21st.

I'm a week late on my 18 mile run, which I now have to do tomorrow morning. The good news is that there's been a lot of melting here, and I can run outside for the first time all winter. Because of my irritating plantar fasciitis, I haven't been able to run on uneven surfaces (i.e. outside) at all, especially with the unrelenting tundra we've been experiencing.

I'm a little nervous about being unprepared for the marathon, but in my defense, I've done a LOT of treadmill hills and all of my long runs at varying speeds and levels of (treadmill) elevation. I'm counting on adrenaline to carry me through the race. Adrenaline, and my last two long runs, which I'm doing OUTSIDE.

Friday, March 28, 2014

On the Mountain

It was a red letter day here, even though it's the last day of vacay. First and most important, Pronto turned 40. Happy birthday, Pronto! You're in the top 2% of skiers everywhere! You're practically as fast as Lindsey Vonn, and 100% as attractive. 

Another great thing that happened is that Mac got poles for the first time AND also went down his first Black Diamond. The run is called Lindsey's, named after Ms. Vonn. 

Lindsey didn't take this photo, but I bet she would like it!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

I'm In An Awful Way

Today, I got clobbered by both of my sons while skiing down a perfectly nice run. They ski faster, braver, and more responsively than I do. They do jumps and laugh while performing difficult tasks.

Basically, they're better than I am, even though they're ages 5 and 10.

I'm glad for them, to tell you the truth. They rock. And they're handsome, too. Photo credit by fab grandparent, Jane. Good work, Jane!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

10 Out of 10

Today, Mac says I should write about "a really good book that I like." Good suggestion, Mac! I set a goal to read 52 books this year. I've already read 15, which is a good number.

Here are a few of my faves so far:

The Accident by Chris Povone. This is Povone's second novel, a follow-up to one of my faves from last year, The Expats. Povone likes to write sentences with lots of ands. Like this - and this is not a direct quote - She rummaged through her top drawer, pushing aside her compact and her blue silky underwear and her spare passport and her cold, grey handgun. I rather like these long sentences, and I like Povone's exciting spy thrillers. Lots of stars. Please write another, Chris! I'll read it right away.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simison. This was delightful and laugh-out-loud. Most of the reviews I Googled were positive, and it's been optioned for film, just as The Expats has. I was a little concerned that my love for this book revealed some insensitivity on my part because some reviewers on Goodreads accuse the author of exploiting Autism spectrum disorders. I'm not sure about that. I do love the main character a lot, just as he is.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. Not my usual type at all - biography, WWII survival story, blah blah blah. HOWEVER, this book is compelling and unbelievable. The hero is, like, a total Boss. Louis Zamporini. He's still alive, after so many horrible things happened to him. He found Jesus after the war, which saved his life. Thank you, Jesus, because this guy is really something else, and he lived to tell the tale. Now Angelina Jolie is directing the movie. I'm not sure if I can watch it. There are sharks and sadistic prison guards and plane crashes. Reading it was just my speed.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Where Them Girls At?

Another great day of vacation. I'm ready for bed right now, at 7:30 because I skied a million miles today.

I couldn't think of anything to blog about, and yet I promised to blog every day of spring break. So, I asked Mac what I should write about, and he said, "Camp Foley."

I do have something exciting to say about CF. It's this: in the summer of 2015, both of our kids will be going to Camp Foley for two weeks. Do you know what this means? It means we'll be FREE! FREE for TWO WEEKS!

I've started saving money for a fab trip. I also have to pay for college in 8 years, so there are limits on the trip. But, where do you think we should go?

I was thinking Belize, but it'll be August. Will Belize be miserably hot in August?

Please advise on trip ideas, please. Post in the comments below.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Tween Town

The fabulous Shef is ten years old today. TEN! That kid is a trip, and I'm super lucky to have him around. He spent his birthday skiing down insanely difficult runs. Then, we went out for pizza. The kid is flipping fantastic. That's just the way it is.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

It's My Birthday, Too

It is, in fact, my birthday. 36. It'll probably be a good year. I mean, why not? I'm an optimist. It's unlikely that I'll contract another disfiguring facial infection this year. So, we're off to a good start.

An especially auspicious sign for a good year was that I greeted Lindsey Vonn this morning in Lionshead Village in Vail. You know Lindsey, right? Olympic champion ski racer?

We shared hellos and the kids enjoyed glimpsing her. She seemed cool. I didn't ask her about her questionable choice to become involved with Tiger Woods, but she did seem happy. Also she was perfectly made-up and wearing space-age boots.

Lindsey Vonn sighting and interaction. Good start, 36! Good start.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I'll Turn the Lights Out

We've arrived in Vail. I started reading Divergent today (yes, late to the trend), and I'm going to read it more now.

In other news, Mac crushed everyone but Dan in Wii Sports wakeboarding. Dan relished his victory over our FIVE year-old.

Mac relished his victories over everyone else, marching up to each unsuccessful opponent, holding his hand like a claw in front of his visage and yelling, "FACE."

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Face Problem Has Been Good for My Blog Stats

I'm trying to glean some lessons from The Epic Face Infection of 2014.

First of all, I have to thank the wonderful Pronto for dropping everything and taking care of all the details. Today, he told me he didn't even have time to enter his March Madness bracket competition because of my face. What a bummer. Also my wonderful mom took care of the kids during most of my hospital stay. Holla atcha, Mom!

Now, I'm pondering some ways to avoid immuno failure in the future. It's possible that I'm running just a tad too high and chillaxing not quite enough. This is slightly reminiscent of the Toxic Migraine of 2011 and The Raging Stomach Bug of 2012 and the Mono Blast of 1998 and a dozen other examples. I go and go and the second I can't go anymore, I become horribly ill. I need to think about this a little more and decide if I'm ever going to change my ways.

In the meantime, let's all be grateful that I no longer look like that fun house photo up there. I'm back to looking like plain old overtired me.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Thousand Rubies, Sometimes More

It appears as though I might be sprung from the hospital today. My face is recognizable, so that's nice. A lovely PCA came into today, looked at me, and said, "Are you the same person as yesterday?"

"Yes," I said.

"I don't recognize you! You're so much more prettier!"

So, I'll take that as a good sign. I also don't have neck rolls today, which is nice.

What I do have is a lingering headache and desire to go free and prosper.

What we're waiting on is a visit from the infectious disease doctor. It appears I might have MRSA, which has implications for future treatment, according to the hospitalist. Is that a word? What kind of doctor is a hospitalist? Internal medicine?

Anyway, it looks like I might recover my looks, so there's something.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Hosp It Up

Just hanging here at the hospital. Things are getting better, it seems like. The swelling has migrated from the cheek area down to the neck area, which the doctor says is because of gravity. The hook my IV up every eight hours to give me a dose of treatment. Everybody seems to think the issue here is staph, which is gross, but which is not fatal.

I do, however, have to be in the hospital to get the IVs. Poor Dan and my mom, who was in town to VISIT us, have been taking up all the slack. I feel like a total load. A total ugly load who hasn't showered.

I'm staying here again tonight, and then god help me, I better get to leave and also to look better. This is getting ridiculous.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I'm So Not Kidding

You probably thought I was exaggerating about the hideousness of my face. I totally wasn't.

You see what I'm dealing with here, and it's extreme hideousness. 

I am feeling better however, and even though I'll likely still be ugly tomorrow, I'm headed to the MIA to see a fabulous Matisse exhibit. Matisse won't mind my deformity because he's dead.

Also saw some beauty on Sunday. Psaligraphy by Karen Bit Vejle. She makes the most lovely pieces by cutting and sometimes folding and cutting paper. Here's a sample: 


I'm sorry I couldn't blog yesterday. It's because I fell horribly ill. On Sunday, we went to the wonderful American Swedish Institute to see the wonderful papercuts. (Photos later). While there, my ear and right neck started hurting. I was also having body aches.

Later, when I got home, I realized the side of my neck was swelling to epic proportions. I look like John McCain on that side of my neck. I also got a fever, if you really want to know.

So, come Monday morning, I head to the doctor's office. Do you know what's causing this ghastly swollen skin infection?

It's psoriasis! Apparently, the bacteria from the broken skin on my ear has shoved it's way down into the surrounding tissues, and now I'm a hideous monster. I started an antibiotic, and later the doctor called to say, "Oh hey! You also have strep throat!" Awesome.

Then later, I think because of the pain and pressure in my neck, I also got a migraine. This one is causing me to hear weird sweeping sounds in my head when I move. Apparently, this is a migraine thing. I'm not really sure.

I asked my family if they thought my neck could explode from swelling, but they all agreed that was unlikely.

So, there's my excuse. And I think you'll agree, it's a good one.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Wah Wah Wah

I'm blogging every day of Spring Break starting now. That means two weeks of blog entries because YES, a major perk of working at my wonderful, yet crazy intense, school is that we get TWO WEEKS for Spring Break.

My joy is tempered at this moment by my psoriasis, which has turned me into a hideous monster. I'm not exaggerating. The psoriasis has leaked onto my face. I'm basically beside myself. Because of vanity.

Although I don't want to continue to slather myself with steroid creams, I'm willing to do that to prevent myself from scaring and scarring the children. However, when I tried to refill the steroid cream at Target, it was going to cost FOUR HUNDRED AND FORTY SEVEN DOLLARS. I'm not exaggerating.

I decided to hold off because I'm seeing a homeopath on Friday. I'm hopeful that together we can find a cure. In traditional medicine, there is no cure for psoriasis. It's triggered by cold weather (OMG, we had the coldest winter in more than 35 years with an average high of only 10 degrees) and anxiety (my natural state), among other things like smoking (which I don't do). It's helped by sunlight, but we didn't have any this winter, I'm afraid.

The homeopath said the psoriasis problem is probably a few layers deep. That's find with me. If she wants to also help with my anxiety and any other surface problems, I'm totally open to that. She won't have to help me quit smoking because I've done that naturally.

In the meantime, I can't promise not to discuss psoriasis on my blog. If you don't want to read about it, I totally don't blame you. Just don't. Skim, or something.

Friday, March 14, 2014

You Can't See the Captain

Because for some reason, the orange glow stick people didn't show up on video. So I'm a smudge in the front row in this video because I was orange. Bad luck for my internet fame.

But you get the idea:

Dance Captain

My family guffawed this morning when I did a final run-through of my dance moves for the talent show.

"That's my Dance Captain!" said Dan, between giggles.

Last night, I realized there was some confusion about my status as Dance Captain.

"I'm not really a Captain," I said.

"Well, do the other teachers look to you for guidance?"

"Yes!" I affirmed. "I'm in the front row, and I know my steps!"

"So, you're in a position of authority?"

"Well, it's kind of an unofficial title."

"No one knows you're the Captain?" Dan clarified.

"Well, LYNNE knows I'm a captain," I said, referring to the star choreographer and bang-up science teacher.

"So, she calls you Dance Captain?"

"Well, no."

"So, you're not really Captain?"

"It's kind of a self-appointed thing, okay?!"

But it's important, and it's a role I fill.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Live For the Applause-Plause

On Sunday night, we were just talking about how the kids never get sick anymore. Then, the school nurse called on Monday about Mac.


Dan picked him up. On Tuesday, I thought he seemed better, so I took him to school. 10 o'clock rolls around, and he's back in the office with a low-grade fever. Dan took him for the strep test, and the rapid was negative.

Today he seemed fine again, but there's no way I can be the mom of the kid who gets sent home from school THREE DAYS IN A ROW. So Dan and I split the day. Sure enough, overnight strep was positive.

Chances that one kid gets strep and the other is spared? Very, very low. So, stopped by the doctor's on the way home from school to get Shef swabbed.

Rapid was negative.

Bets on tomorrow? This is probably my fault for saying they never get sick.

Monday, March 10, 2014

OMG, Becky

It's time to watch The Bachelor finale. These are three hours of my life I'll never get back. Still, as much as I want to walk away, I'm drawn to the carnage.

I wrote those last two sentences two hours ago, and I'm still watching.

I hate myself, and I hate this show.

Friday, March 7, 2014

You Better Move, You Better Dance

It's TALENT SHOW time again, which means I'm once again a dance captain for the faculty number. Once again, my colleagues appreciate me very much, while my family laughs and averts their eyes while I practice in the kitchen.

I'll totally show them next Friday. You mark my words.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Thank You for Your Childhood

My sixth graders are reading The Giver as part of our Human Rights unit. I love The Giver a lot, and I keep telling Shef, "Shef, this book is soooo good."

And he says, "I'm not going to read it."

How contrary!

In the meantime, we're reading Timmy Failure. I think that book is kind of stupid, but I'm respecting his choice, as one should.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mary!

It's my little sister's birthday. She's just a tiny little baby, really. With a really cute haircut. If I had a pic, I would post it. She cut off a million inches, and she says the most common response to her new style is, "It looks so mature." She thinks that means, "You look old," but I disagree with both this translation and the implied assessment. I think she looks hip and now.

Of course, I'm not hip and now, so there's a danger in taking stock in my opinion.

Anyway, tonight we're headed out to a fancy fundraiser for my school, which is also the kids' school. The posters say "Your kids. Your school. Your night." This is not the kind of thing we like to go to, probably because of the less-than-hip-and-now issue. Still, it's what we're doing, we're going to enjoy ourselves and our overpriced drinks.