Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Meet my new "sister" Georgie - she is my mom's pup... arrived today - 8 weeks old! TOO cute for words - very rambunctious and playful. Mom will have her hands full with this one! Jury is still out on us getting her sister, but I am hoping we will!! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The mind is a terrible thing to waste... or have waste away!

They tell you when you are expecting that your brain will likely not work as it did prior to getting pregnant. They tell you this with the tone of voice that leads you to believe that once said infant is born, all neuronal pathways will once again lead to Rome and you will return to your former, highly functioning self.

They lie.

And, it seems to only get worse and worse with each successive child. By the time this one heads off to Kindergarten, I may be reduced to a drooling lump in the corner. My own ineptitude is really beginning to piss me off! Parker's birthday party is coming up on July 8th. I have the invitations printed and ready to mail. I got the list from his Kindy teacher with all the names and addresses, including parents names and phone numbers. I can see the sheet of paper the teacher wrote all this valuable information on clear as I can see my hand, and yet - I cannot find it. I have searched high and low, in pockets, purses, drawers, cabinets, piles, garbage cans, etc and have come up with squat! I wanted to mail these invitations as I did not want to invite the ENTIRE class, as would be required by leaving them in the kid's cubbies, and seeing how Parker is not actually attending camp at his old school as are most of the kids from Kindy, getting said invitations to the students is that much more challenging. Crap.

I also cannot make up my mind lately. From the very simple, such as what do I want to eat for breakfast, to the more complex, such as timing the arrival of a new puppy into our midst, I find myself deferring to Steve, or taking the path of least resistance.

At the top of this blog rests my main quandry right now - these little balls of fluff. See, we plan to add a total of 6 feet to our family ths year - four furry ones and two that pitter pat. We could have one as soon as July 10th, or wait until October. I cannot decide what I want to do - if it makes more sense to bring one in now when I am home, before the baby, or wait until after. I go back to work in October, so that's a downer, but I cannot go up and down the stairs now, so that's another downer.

UGH. Crap... Someone else make the decisions for me... I'm clearly incapable!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

33 weeks pregnant... only 7 weeks left We see the doc again tomorrow, so hopefully things will still be going well. I swear, I was not this big with Matthew at 40 weeks!! EGADS! Posted by Hello
Matthew, who clearly enjoyed a summertime treat - my famous creation Banana Split Milkshakes! Posted by Hello

General Ramblings...

Well, at least for now the wicked heat has "broken" and it was only about 104 yesterday. The fact that I can use "ONLY" followed by "104" should tell you that I've just about nearly lost what little mind I had left!

The latest in my quest to see how many places can empty my wallet in less than a nanosecond, I took my car in for service yesterday. This makes the 5th or 6th time the car has been in for service of one kind or another in the last 2 months! Here's the chronology...

May 4th, bust tire going to work. Buy new tire...
May 9th, take car in for service. Said brakes and battery would need attention soon.
May 16th, battery in car dies on way to work. Buy new battery (covered under last batteries warrenty, luckily!)
May 18th, Check Engine light begins to flash. Call Honda, find out that is supposed to come on at 50K miles, they forgot to turn it off.
May 25th, begin to notice car not shifting gears correctly. It feels like my first car did when I was learning how to drive a stick and would pop the clutch too soon... Also brakes are squealing loudly!!!
June 10th, Service Engine Soon light comes on.
June 25th, take car in for service, again! Diagnosis?? My poor car needs new front brakes, new engine block mounts (three of the four are cracked!) and a NEW TRANSMISSION!!

The good news in all of this is that Honda has an extended warrenty to 100K for transmissions, so mine is covered. However, I won't be able to get my car back until Wednesday!! In fact, Steve just called from my parents' house asking for me to bring this and that over to him. I had to remind him that HE had the car, and the boys and I are stranded...

On the upside, Dad is doing well lately. He is still confined to the wheel chair, and probably will not get out of it... but, he has had NO pain at all for about the last week! Its been I think 8 days since he has taken a pain pill at all - so for that we are all really grateful!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

6:15 AM and already 95*... Its going to be another one of those days...

Parker is supposed to have tennis lessons this morning. I've been up for about an hour and its already gone up about 4* just in that time, so I am thinking we may just skip today. When there's a heat advisory out for children and the elderly, running around a hard tennis court is not what I consider a good idea... I am sure Parker will have something to say about that, but hey - I'm the one with the keys!! :-)

I am still singing the praises of Mr. Eddie, my AC Angel, for his astute handling of our situation - and for returning my house to the zone of relative comfort! It will be very curious to see what our electric bill looks like next month as we are finally running "efficiently". The skeptic in me can't help but wonder if there is not some small conspiracy brewing between dear old APS and the local contractors who handle systems - since clearly the only ones who benefit from such shoddy work ARE the electric companies!! Keep 'em running as ineffeciently as possible, and we make the big bucks!!

We've been able to spend quite a bit of time over at Mom and Dad's lately, and that's been very nice. Dad can certainly get around the house very well in his wheelchair - and is much more active on 4 wheels, or perhaps mobile is a better word, than he has been on two feet in a long time! His attitude remains good, although I know it is very hard for him to accept his limitations now. He is so used to being the "IT" guy, on all levels, for our family, and he has had to hand over some of those responsibilities to those around him. But it is nice to see he and my mom being much kinder and far more gentle with one another than they have been in a long time! And, the bright spot, at least for right now, is that there is no pain for him. He is not even taking his pain pills - right now he feels pretty good!

I was talking with Steve the other night - Father's Day night, I think, about what a blessing it is in many ways to know in advance of an impedning end-of-life situation. It has bothered me for a long time that someone famous, take Audrey Hepburn or even Ronald Regan, who is in the public eye, and then drops out, dies. We have not spoken of that person in ages, and then they are gone. Everyone comes out of the woodwork to sing their praises - and that is how it should be. But I cannot help wondering if folks bothered to say these wonderful things to the person when he or she was still ALIVE??!! I mean, it is good to remember them with fondness and respect, but did we take the time to tell these things to the person who needs to hear them most??

If there is a blessing in this prognosis for my dad it is that people from all areas of his life are reaching out and letting him know how much he has meant to them, how he has touched their life... be it by giving them their first job, being a good neighbor, or just a wonderful friend. And while I surely dont' want anyone speaking ill of him once he is gone, I am so glad to know that people are willing to tell him NOW how important he is and has been. That, for me, is the most precious gifts we can give...

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

112* today, 113* for tomorrow....

Can you guess my mood?? "nuff said!

Monday, June 20, 2005

110*, but its a "dry" heat...

Well, its officially started - the ungodly heat of summer that I've dreaded for so long is here to stay. Today we topped out at or near 110 and tomorrow will bring much of the same. I've gotta wonder how the weather folks actually say, with a straight face mind you, "there's a cooling trend starting Wednesday that will bring temps down to 105". No, my dear misinformed news professional, a "cooling trend" and "105*" do not belong in the same thought!! Cooling means, oh, going from 110 down to 85. Wishful thinking on my part! Poor Parker - I dropped him off for tennis lessons today at 8am. By 8:45, the temp had reached 100* already! When I picked him up, he resembled a tomato!! A wet tomato! Good thing we go from tennis to swimming...

Father's Day went well around here - we all went over to mom and dad's for dinner. Mom spoiled the guys and ordered a lobster bake from Legal Sea Foods. The gals and kids had burgers. Dad had a good day and evening. He may be relegated to the wheel chair for all time to come, but he gets around the house better in that chair than he has on two feet for years! He's moving all the time...

Baby J still has no name. He's growing like a weed - last week measuring at about 5 lbs already, so he's probably close to 5.5 now. I feel like the Michellin Man most days and am quite thankful for the pool. The boys are getting super-charged excited over the idea of this kid coming soon. Guess eventually we will have to name him!!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Is that an artic blast I feel??

AHhhhh, the joys of a properly functioning air conditioning unit cannot be underestimated, especially when you are late into a third trimester and summer is here in full force! Eddie, my angel, came back again last night (to the tune of "Just take the money and don't tell me about it!") and admitted that he probably should have looked further into why our system was not functioning properly. But heck, the thing kicked in quite well after replacing the fuse, so I sure can't blame him.

Wanna know what he found when he went looking?? Mind you, Eddie is not the first set of eyes on this system. The house is 17 years old. One can assume that it has been inspected quite a few times, at least 2ce since we've been here. AND NO ONE SAW THIS PROBLEM... So Eddie goes up into the "attic" to check again on the filters. We take them out, clean them, and as we are hosing them down, he comes down stairs laughing.

Evidently, there is an access panel that has been missing SINCE DAY ONE!! He said its most likely never been there! This access panel acts much like a door on a flying airplane. Remove the door while in flight and it unleashes a whole lotta hell. Things get sucked out to places they were never meant to go. Well, this is what has been going on with my poor AC since I was a High School Grad!! Evidently this means the unit has been going on, freezing up, defrosting, trying to start again, and repeating the cycle. No wonder we never can keep it cool upstairs!

Eddie, bless him, replaced the access panel, added some freon, and said that he sure hopes he does not have to see me again any time soon. Me too Eddie.... Me Too!!

Friday, June 17, 2005

My very expensive first child... At least with the younger two I have health insurance! Posted by Hello

Just call me Uncle Moneybags...

Ok - so those of you following my AC troubles may not believe this, but the dang unit is OUT again today!!! It worked well through the night, but then went kaput sometime around 2pm. Eddie, my angel, will be back out before dark to see if he can diagnose the trouble. Another $175 service call.... Says he thinks it could be the compressor. Add about $2500 to that bill...

And then today we took our beloved first born, our furbaby Madison, to the vet for a removal of what is most likely a skin cancer on the end of her nose. $560. This is on top of the $277 we paid about 10 days ago for a battery of xrays and some medication for her hips. Actually, to be specific, its her elbows. Didn't even know dogs had elbows till I had this one... but they do, and hers are bad. Could do reconstructive surgery on her elbows - akin to ACL surgery. That's about $2000. Nope - we will drug her to our best ability and spare her the cutting! She IS 7.5 already - Berners average life span is 8 - 10.

So, the brilliant idea I had for Steve for Father's Day will just have to wait. Again. I swear, I feel like I am living in the money pit!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Update on matricidal mania..

Ok - he gets to live through this one. An angel by the name of Eddie came by my house at the urging of my dear parents - and evidently the filters were clean enough and the problem was NOT directly related to poor household maintenance on my husband's part. Evidently a $2.73 fuse went out. Mind you, this is a fuse that the system does not even USE in the summer, but yet when the fuse goes out, so does the whole kit and kaboodle.

Sort of reminds me of the Murphy law that states your $1000 new television will vehemently protect the $2.00 fuse by blowing first.

There is once again air flowing nice and freely through my upstairs. It might take the better part of 8 or 10 hours to combat the heat that has accumulated, but I know the system will still run, and my dear husband can go right on living!!

Its Africa Hot, and I'm gonna kill someone...

Just as an update. The temp upstairs where all the bedrooms are is warming up about a degree every 20 minutes. Called American Home Maintenance, our contract folks, and they said it is probably the air filters that are clogged and have thus iced up the unit. Iced up an air conditioning unit when it is 106*?? Are you kidding me?? Well, low and behold when I go out to check said unit, the fans are sitting still (as opposed to the downstairs unit whirlling away like a jet engine) and there is water around said unit. Yup - looks like its iced up.

Now, if only I had not had CLEAN AIR FILTERS on DH"s TO DO list for the last two months...

Guess whose head might just roll about all of this.....

Its Hot... Its Africa Hot!

Steve's away today and tomorrow selling down in Tucson. The mercury today is going to hit something like 106*. I can hear you all saying - yeah, but its a dry heat, right? Well, yeah - relative humidity is about 12%, so I'd agree its try. But is also pretty damn hot. We are getting to the time of year I just hate - where you can't even go outside at night and hope for relief because it is still 94* at 11pm!!!

Add to that misery, I think the compressor that runs our upstairs AC unit is not working. I've cranked the thing down to 72, and there is not one ounce of cool air coming through the vents! The thermostat is currently reading 81* upstairs in the hallway - our room is comperable to that, but the boy's room, babies room and the guest room are all OVENS. We are still about 3 hours away from the heat of the day.

I wonder where Steve stored the Air Bed mattress. .. Maybe the boys and I should just plan on bunking downstairs. Maybe I should just plan to ship myself to the Arctic for the remainder of my pregnancy...

Monday, June 13, 2005

Necessity truly IS the mother of invention.

Getting my children to help around the house has become even more important now that bending over is something I'd really rather not attempt. The tallest of my children is something like 4ft 3in, so generally anything and everything they play with ends up at that height or lower - like on the floor. I've tried the money route - You get a penny or nickle for everything you pick up, or a quarter for a slightly or significantly more challenging chore. It works, but there's always the whine accompanying the task. "Do I hhhaaaavvveee to??" or "Mommy, he's not helping me" or something akin to that line...

I've also tried the yelling, threatening, the removal of toys, time out, and the occasional tantrum (mine) again to very little avail.

Tonight I tried something completely different and it worked! The family room was a mess. Papers, pens, markers, capri sun containers, pillows, and other crap-ola had been strewn across, around, underneath, inbetween... and I'd had enough. We happen to have two containers of RediWhip whipped cream-stuff in the fridge. Why? Blame it on pregnancy hormones - it looked good at the time. Well, the makers of this product were really truly ingenious in their design. When "poured" from just the right angle, it makes such a great hissing noise, straight up and down dispenses the treasure.. but just about anything to do with this can of white fluff produces unstoppable laughter with my boys. The fact that the dog likes to "eat" from the can also cracks them up - and she narely spills a drop!

So, that was my plan for tonight - they picked up something, threw something out, put something away, and were able to come into the kitchen for a "quickie". Just enough to get the taste, possibly with the "THHHHH" sound, and then back into action until the room was clean.

And I'll be gosh-danged - it worked!!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

This blog is NOT for the faint of heart, or stomach!

Consider yourself fairly warned. Truly. This post is being written at 2:30 in the morning by a wickedly uncomfortable pregnant woman. Why am I wickedly uncomfortable, you might ask? Well, other than the fact that there is a 3-something-pound human being crushing my insides and playing the xylophone on my ribs, I decided to try to be more "healthy" tonight and did NOT have a soda with my dinner.

No biggie, right? Water = good, soda = bad. Wanted water. Usually have soda, usually sleep ok, overlooking the three or four trips to the bathroom. Had water tonight. And Chinese food. 8 hours ago. Its still VERY much with me....

Why, I've found myself asking, is a dinner I ate a full work-day ago still with me? Why am I still pounding the chewey rolaids at this hour?? Well, I just woke up to one of the most unusual and unpleasant experiences I've had while being pregnant and I think I can trace it all back to NOT having a soda with my dinner... Imagine, I'm more or less asleep, dreaming away... when I involuntarily burp in my sleep. OK - 31 weeks pg, weird things happen, but this burp had a lovely layer of acid on top. YUCK - not a nice way to wake up.

So now I am certain I've been terrifying my children... they will be convinced that the boogie man is here and alive and well and roaming our house, when in fact its just their poor mom, walking around at ungodly hours, trying to burp, and probably sounding much like a very drunk college kid. There is enough gas in my stomach to power a rocket. And, enough acid to burn a hole through, oh, fort knox!

You may be asking yourself what this has to do with soda. Well, soda seems to work well at helping all the excess gas that is produced when you are pregnant move its way OUT sooner. Sort of like a fast-forward button on discharging noxius fumes from the body. Its not terribly pleasant for the rest of my family, but then neither is just about anything when it comes to 3rd trimester pregnancies. (Other than the end result of a very cute and loved and yet un-named child. ) Water, on the other hand, just sits. Gas forms, water sits there, mixes SO nicely with the acid, and evidently can sit on top of, underneath or next to escaping gas bubbles.

If I could sleep standing up, at this point, I'd try it. Oh, to be a horse!! Heck, I already feel as big as one, why not... just slap some hooves on me and let me lean against a nice cool stall door.

I swear to you - forget sex ed. Just have any poor teenage girl who is even THINKING about having sex spend a day or two in the body of a pregnant woman with acid reflux or morning sickness or both. The human race would come to a quick halt!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Here is a photo of my dad, Steve and the boys from DC... This was taken in late April of this year.  Posted by Hello

An update on my dad...

For the uninitiated, my father is in the last stages of Prostate Cancer. It has moved into his bones. We received this diagnosis in March of this year, though we had suspected it with all his aches and pains a while back. We were able to help grant one last wish back in April with a trip to Washington DC: a bit of background here... Dad went to DC when he was a child with his father. He then took his son, and then took me when I was a child to see our Nation's Capitol. Well, he had hoped to be around long enough to take his grandkids to see Washington, so we made that happen. It was truly a wonderful trip, one that will last for a lifetime.

Lately, Dad has been in a steady decline, physically. He lost the use of his legs this week. It was strange, on Wednesday he could walk, and then by Thursday, he could not. He is managing to get around the house in his wheelchair as though he'd been doing this for years. Evidently, paralysis is common with bone cancer - would have been nice for someone to tell US that this is common. I suppose even the most common events are not common when it is happening to YOU for the first time.

The good news is that his spirits are still up, and he is enjoying each day as it comes. Some days, its harder to do that than others, but I think he still sees the glass as half full. I hope he can continue to see it that way for a while to come...

Friday, June 10, 2005

Here's Parker - my Karate guy!!! His class took pictures a while back, and while this is a picture of a picture and the quality is not the greatest, you get the idea... This kid went from a white belt to a white belt, purple stripe in one test! (I think that's 3 jumps in levels!) He LOVES Karate! Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Here's me - 30 weeks, 2 days Posted by Hello

9 weeks, 5 days and counting!

I am currently 30 weeks and 2 days pregnant with our third son. This means that, should I actually have him on my due date, I have 9 weeks and 5 days left to go. Roughly 68 days. In the middle of an Arizona summer!! Yes - I am looking for sympathy here!

For those of you who have never lived through a summer in the Grand Canyon State, let me share with you what I read from a very wise woman on my July 99 playgroup board... go preheat your oven to 500*. When it is up to temp, open the door and put your head in the oven. That's a fair represenatation of what summers are like here.

Ice does not exist. The fabric strap of your seatbelt will actually burn bare skin. Asphalt does have a melting temperature, and yes, frying an egg is most definately possible. It is not unusual for you to see folks driving around with gloves on when it is 119* in the shade because you cannot touch the stearing wheel, or the side of your car door. Heck, I've seen folks with their oven mits out just trying to get into their car!!

How folks lived here prior to residential air conditioning is beyond me. My feet and fingers are swelling just thinking about it!!

Parker lost his second tooth on Monday of this week! He got tired of it wiggling, and did not want to swallow this one, so he pulled it out! Posted by Hello

Here is Parker at his Kindy graduation. Each student had a bible verse (or two) to read during the ceremony. He looks SO big - I was one proud momma! Posted by Hello

Matthew, my hunky kid at 4.5, enjoying the luxuries of having a pool! This kid has become quite the little fish this year. He and Parker are taking swimming lessons, and in one short year, Matthew has blossomed from barnacle to swimmer! Posted by Hello

The Jensen Family

The Jensen Family

We are two full weeks into Summer Vacation! What a relief it is to not have to go to work every day now - I think the stress would have gotten to me in a rather unhealthy way.

The boys are in tennis and swim lessons, and Parker is going to be going Karate once a week. So far, so good!

The summer has been kind so far - just flirting with 100* but not actually making it there. Next week will be different, with forcast highs of about 105*. UGH. I can feel my feet and fingers swelling just thinking about it!