Sunday, March 24, 2019

Not a Registered Nurse

We'll continue on with our California adventures in the next post, but real life is intruding as it is wont to do so I figured we'd catch up here first while California waits, frozen forever in my box of mental happy places.

We returned from our trip a little after midnight on Sunday night/Monday morning. Our already-late evening flight out of LA got delayed and the two hour time change didn't help. We walked in to a hurricane of dog hair and two fresh pee accidents in the playroom and on the couch. A couch that was COVERED in fur as Maggie had clearly made it through our barriers and snuggled up on the cushions for much of our time away. James jumped on the accidents while I got out the vacuum and attacked the floors, carpets, and furniture. Somewhere in there the kids ate dry cereal and were in bed about 1. I unpacked (I can't go to bed without unpacking after a trip; it doesn't take long and I just can't stand not being settled), vacuumed one more time (so! much! hair!), took a bath to unwind, and tucked myself in bed about 2:30 a.m. That was only 12:30 California time, so not too terrible, but the alarm going off at 6:45/4:45 was BRUTAL.

Maggie proceeded to have three more accidents during the early part of the week, and Tara told us she'd had a few while we were away. I think our leaving was very traumatic for her. She feels badly though, I'm sure of it, and with LOTS of love and treats, a return to routine, and a potty training re-set, we're on Day 4 of no accidents and I anticipate smooth sailing from here.

Judges us punished appropriately

The week is a bit of a blur. Work is really busy right now. Busy to the point that I keep having dreams/nightmares about things I need to have done. My 7 year anniversary at the SEC came and went while we were in California. I can't believe it's been 7 years at the Commission and in Fort Worth. It's frankly not a great or inspiring time to work for the federal government, but I've been so very blessed by both this job and this town and right now I feel very committed to both.

Speaking of commitment. We paid off the last of James's MBA loans this week!

That means that after taking out $205,000 and paying close to $300,000 over the last 10 years, we have ZERO student loan debt. I am so delighted by this I could cry. I possibly did. I can finally retire the sad tired Excel spreadsheet I have used to carefully track and update each of our loans (at one point we had 9 separate ones; banks kept going bankrupt and consolidation wasn't an option during the financial crisis we graduated in) every single month, watching the numbers barely move for so long and then suddenly actually finally go down little by little and then by more and more. I'll almost miss the routine of it. Almost. I will not at all miss the larger-than-our-mortgage payments we were making each month and I am looking forward to the raise that will come with getting them gone. (After we do some boring stuff like pay off the balance of both cars and set aside funds for the two new HVAC systems and totally new duct work we need throughout the house. And the new windows. There's always something- but what there aren't are student loans!)

Landon on MBA "Grabadation" Day

We celebrated this longed-for financial feat by staying on our weekly meal plan of Vegan Winter Lentil Stew and finishing season 4 of Catastrophe (SO good; I adore that show). On Thursday we did go out, but that's because it was James's last meal before his gum grafting surgery (the real celebration of paying off those loans - $6,000 of periodontal work! Huzzah!). It was a gorgeous evening and we were able to eat on the restaurant's patio and it really was lovely.

Friday morning was the surgery. The kids went to school and I drove James to the surgeon. He was under anesthesia for just over 2 hours and came out in a wheelchair, high and loopy as a kite on a windy day. James rarely drinks and hasn't been drunk in about 15 years, so this was genuinely deeply amusing. He INSISTED on my taking a picture of his bloody smile, attempting to say "CHEEEEESE" through his swollen, stitched up mouth. Many hours later I showed him the picture and he was shocked and horrified I would have taken one of him in such a state. "You made me!" I reminded him. He flatly denies it.

We needed to stop at Walgreens for his banquet of prescriptions and he reminded me no fewer than 12 times about this errand on our 15 minute drive home, reminding me once while we were in the drive-through line at Walgreens, and once again right after we were done and the meds were in his lap. Many hours later, once he'd woken up a bit more, the very first thing he said to me was - "did we go to Walgreens?"

Other things of great concern to him- the location of our children (school), the fact he was going to swim later (no), and the fact that his RBF (resting bitch face) looks "even tougher now." Apparently a mouth of bloody teeth will do that.

He went to sleep at home and woke up disoriented, in quite a bit of pain, with a big pool of blood surrounding his head and covering his face (three cheers to these pillow covers I have on all our beds because the blood washed right out and didn't touch the pillow itself). Our bed looked like a murder scene. It was a rough afternoon. There was enough blood pouring out of his mouth to put me off vampire novels for at least a week. Neither of us are excited about the fact he will need to do this again in 6 months for the other side (they graft skin from the top of his mouth to put on his gums, so he has to wait for that to grow back to do it again; it is quite the mess up there right now).

Once he was stable and able to text, I took the kids out for a quick dinner with friends and then we ended up back at our house because the kids thought they wanted to swim. Since it was outside and wouldn't bother James, I figured why not, even though the water was FREEZING and the outside air temp wasn't exactly hot either.

They insisted it felt great. They were definitely lying.

Maggie was lifeguard and it was such a joy and relief to have it confirmed that she is not a particularly engaged one.

She's happy to hang out with you, but she is not concerned about the kids in the pool and the splashing and screaming don't bother her in the least. She remains, simply perfect.

James was able to have a pretty good sleep Friday night, waking up every 4 hours for his pain meds. On Saturday morning Maggie came with me to get his third giant 1300 calorie smoothie from Smoothie King and I noticed her eye was gloopy.

Off to the vet we went for an emergency Saturday visit. The girls came with her for comfort and we had to convince Landon to stay to keep an eye on our poor human patient.

Mags was diagnosed with bad allergies (the shedding!) which had caused double eye and ear infections, poor girl.

We got 4 more medicines to bring home, so between my two patients we have 8 on criss-crossing 2, 4, 8, and 12-hour time tables. IT's the Lag Liv house of human and canine rehab.

My patients spent most of yesterday afternoon sleeping between dosings of various things.

The kids and I took a walk to a friend's house before dinner and Cora took a flying tumble off her scooter, landing on her elbow, and giving herself QUITE an impressive bloody boo boo. Cleaning out the gravel was traumatic for both of us, but our friend had a giant chocolate bar to ease the pain and we both survived. Cleaning the wound again last night was also tough (and loud; girl can scream), but now she's firmly on the road to recovery. No one else is allowed to get hurt, sick, or have surgery. My nursing hours are full.

On we charge to the week ahead with all its activities, work deadlines, and mushy room-temperature meals (an exciting upgrade from the liquids he's had so far). On Saturday I fly to Denver to meet my new niece and that will be lovely- fingers crossed that my house stays on their paths to recovery so I can enjoy the relative ease of cuddling an infant that doesn't belong to me.


  1. Ugh, I had gum grafting surgery (although sounds like not quite as intense, mine was over about 5 of my back teeth and I wasn't put under which was an unpleasant experience) and the recovery sucked. I did have the option of using 'donor tissue' (aka gums from a cadaver - just don't think about it) instead of my own gums, which I chose after discussing it with several others who had the surgery and I've heard the recovery is better because you aren't dealing with 2 open wounds, just the stitches. I'm supposed to do the other side of my mouth but I've been avoiding it for 18 months now :-/

  2. Umm, I think your home address is kind of showing... on Maggie’s prescription bottles. You might want to fix that.
    The instruction sheet for James is amusing, though. I hope everyone feels better soon!

  3. SO EXCITED FOT YOU AND YOUR LOANS!!!! You give me hope. Now wishing speedy recoveries to all <3