Saturday, June 6, 2009

Summer, ah summer...

I am a public school teacher. I teach music for grades K-5. At work, I try to adhere to the high standards of my profession. (See figure below.)

Friday was our last day. Now is the time when I get to "let my hair down," so to speak. Until 2005, my lifestyle changed drastically each summer. (See figure below.)

What happened in 2005 to change this relaxed, Transylvanian lifestyle? (See figure below.)

And again, in 2007, my wings were clipped even further. (See figure below.)

Farewell to the days of sleeping until 10:00 a.m., eating microwave popcorn or cold pizza for breakfast, and wearing the same clothes all day. I became a mom. We all know where this ends. (See figure below.)

But, being the kind of upbeat, go-get-'em gal that I am, I prefer to list the positive things that being a mom has added to my summer:

1. I am no longer in danger of missing a single episode of Spongebob Squarepants. I strongly identify with Patrick. He's good people. (See figure below.)

2. I now officially have an excuse to buy clay, chalk, watercolors, felt, and glue. It's for the children.

3. I now officially have an excuse to eat peanut butter every day. Sven can roll his eyes all he wants.

4. I now officially have an excuse to have a membership to the zoo, and can visit weekly, if I so desire. (See figure below.)

5. Kool-Aid.

I think I got a great deal.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Adventures In Surgery

Today, my little baby Dexy, my boy, my prince, had surgery.

Yes, it was outpatient surgery, "minor" surgery, if you will, but that begs the question: is any surgery performed on your 18-month-old son and heir "minor?" I would say not.

Dexy suffers, as many children do, from inadequate eustachian tube development. (His ear canal-thingy is too short.) This causes him to get fluid buildup behind his eardrum, which causes him to lose hearing and delays speech development. It also makes him more likely to get ear infections. To remedy this situation, the doctors cut tiny holes in the eardrum, drain the fluid, and place eensy weensy tubes in the holes to allow future fluid buildup to drain. (See image below):

If you're anything like me, hearing this caused you to nod wisely, then hyperventilate and pass out. They intend to CUT MY SON'S EARDRUM to fix some piddly little ear infection? Really? After all of the literature you've given me telling me how I will go to jail for child endangerment if I use a Q-tip in his ear, you're going to CUT MY SON'S EARDRUM to fix his ears?

Fortunately, I'm married to one of the most level-headed men in the world, Sven (see image below):

Sven wisely reminded me that the doctor knew what he was talking about (since, technically, a degree in music doesn't make me an expert on the ear), and we had this same procedure done on Princess over two years ago, and she's fine.

All would have been well, except the doctor continued his sentence. They also planned to remove my son's androids. (See image below):

Androids are part of the "useless system," a group of organs that exist solely to become infected so that surgeons can practice procedures that end in "-ectomy." In addition to the androids, this little-studied group of organs includes the tonsils, the appendix, the spleen, the glossary, the nostril hair, the bibliography, the third nipple, and Perez Hilton (see image below):

{Edit: I have just been informed by Sven that the doctor actually removed Dexy's adenoids, as pictured below:

This means his androids are still intact, exploring strange new worlds, seeking out new life and new civilizations, boldly going where no one has gone before. I apologize for the confusion.}

As I have learned in recent years, part of the price one pays for quality medical care is time. To prove you are really serious about obtaining whatever procedure you have been instructed to receive, you are required to arrive a ridiculous amount of time before the procedure and sit, useless, quivering with tension, until the idea of cutting open your eardrum seems pleasant. The amount of time you will spend waiting is directly proportional to the seriousness of the procedure. We were instructed to report at 7:15 for Dexy's scheduled 9:15 procedure, an outpatient surgery that actually took about 30 minutes to perform. We then had to wait in recovery until Dexy's doctor had time to discharge us, so we actually left the hospital around 12:30. I consider us lucky. If they had decided to remove his tonsils, we would have been required to report sometime in March.

But seriously, the hospital (see image below) was great.

Texas Children's Hospital is truly top-notch. Our doctor, who I will call Dr. Donuts, was a gentleman and very reassuring. Proving to me that we made the right choice, he called us at home around 9:00 to make sure Dexy was doing well. That makes up for at least 4 hours of useless waiting.

Also wonderful was the small toy Sven purchased at the hospital gift shop to "cheer the kid up." (See image below):

(When I say "small," I am lying. This stuffed dog is substantially larger than Dexy. He refused to let it go once he regained consciousness, meaning I carried him, clutching this giant dog, through the hospital and to the car in Houston humidity. Also ironic is that this dog was purchased at the insistence of Sven, who gives me the fish eye every time I buy something for the kids, because "we don't have room for any more stuff." I called him a softie, to his face, and he didn't deny it.)

The surgery went well. Unfortunately, the doctor found that the adenoids were larger than he expected, and the infection around them was more severe than the thought, so Dexy was in quite a bit more pain than is typical for these sorts of procedures, necessitating additional morphine. Also, the adenoid removal makes his breath smell like nothing I've ever encountered, and that is saying something. However, in signature Dexy style, he has been playing and babbling some tonight and has consumed respectable amounts of applesauce, vanilla ice cream, and macaroni & cheese.

It has been quite a day. I'm off to bed, next to my snoring, stinky little prince. Our hope is that in a few short days we will have a healthier, happier Dexy, and thus a healthier, happier family. Have a great summer, everybody.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Confession: I'm Not That Shallow

Throughout my bloggy adventure through blogland, I have repeatedly referenced several points:

What could be more shallow, I ask you, than a 34-year-old mom of two who has crushes on Zac Efron AND Rob Pattinson? And I'm okay with that, really. I wouldn't mind being so shallow that I would sigh over the dreamy blue eyes of Orlando Bloom in Return of the King, even knowing that they are contacts and his eyes are really a deep, chocolate brown.

The problem: I'm really not that shallow. I genuinely think these people are talented.

This is why I haven't jumped on the following bandwagons:


So, here's the truth:

I think the Twilight books are good. Not "guilty pleasures," or "fun if you can stand the bad writing," or any other qualifiers: I think they are good books. I THINK TWILIGHT IS AS GOOD AS HARRY POTTER. There, I said it.

I think Rob Pattinson is a really good actor and a great musician. I think he is very handsome, but that really is secondary. My crush on him is totally artistic. I don't want him to kiss me, or bite me: I want to sit with him at a piano and write a song together. [hangs head in geeky shame.]

I think Zac Efron is also very talented. I think he's funny. Just naturally, effortlessly, very funny. I want to write a movie for him. Or, failing that, a Funny or Die sketch.

But Deb, you may ask, if you are so "not-shallow," why are all of your artistic crushes beautiful young men?

Answer: they aren't. These are just the ones I admit to so that the blogoverse will take me seriously as a shallow commentator on pop culture. Here are some of my non-bloglitically-correct artistic crushes:

1. Steve Martin

2. Joel McHale (okay, borderline)

3. Jim Gaffigan

4. Jon Hodgman

5. Will Ferrell

What do the five men listed above have in common? They are all very funny, very witty, good writers, and (except Joel) not sexy-cute at ALL. Number six would have been Paul F. Tompkins, number seven would have been Phillip Seymour Hoffman, number eight would have been Tilda Swinton (prove to me that she's really a woman!) get the idea.

So when I say I love George Clooney, don't misunderstand me. I would love to work with George someday, give him pointers on his love life, cook a meal, write a movie, win an Oscar...whatever. Just so you know it's not a shallow, pointless crush based only on George's good looks, which I hardly ever notice.

Of course, whatever we'd be doing, George would be shirtless. I hear he works best that way.

Monday, June 1, 2009

I Like Mondays: End of Year

Here are the five reasons I like Mondays this week:

1. Today is the last Monday of the 2008-2009 school year. Yes, I am still teaching this week. Today some of my very special students earned a Cheeto party. The scent of corn, powdered cheese, and puberty is a pervasive, compelling odor that I'm sure to be scrubbing from my nostrils in the days to come.

2. Though I am suffering from one of the all-time great sinus infections this world has ever known, I have found a smell that breaks through to my long-abused odor receptors: corn, powdered cheese, and puberty. Ahhh.

3. Dexy is having surgery this week. I am intermittently crying and shaking at the prospect, but I'm being assured by parents, doctors, teachers, virtual friends, and strangers on the street that his health will improve greatly once the surgery is over. (Dexy is having tubes placed in both ears and his adenoids are being removed.) His surgery will be Wednesday morning, please think of us!

4. The MTV Movie Awards contained what I felt to be the appropriate amount of Robert Pattinson exposure. And who knew Jim Carrey could still be funny? Surprises all around! Except for the awards, of course- everybody knew who was going to win.

5. Princess helped her daddy make supper last night. Macaroni and cheese. Kraft. Blue box. Classic. Princess helped pour in the macaroni, stir up the "cheese," and ate FOUR BOWLS of her handiwork. Sven, showing amazing initiative, heard on the radio that one way to encourage picky eaters to eat more was to have them help prepare the food. Miss Picky ate enough for Sven to declare the experiment a rousing success.

For her part, Princess told her daddy, "This is the best macaroni and cheese I ever had!"