Saturday, December 26, 2009

I HATE Hyundai!!

And I will be sure to tell that to anyone who will listen, and possibly to some who don't care to hear it!!

We submitted the paperwork to the Better Business Bureau for the arbitration process with Hyundai; they complied everything and sent it to Hyundai for review - and Hyundai came back and offered to look at the vehicle. How f'ing generous of them!

So, they are going to schedule their regional rep to come down to the local dealership and check out my POS vehicle... though I strongly suspect that s/he will find nothing wrong, since they seem to think my car is just fine. If they say that the car is fixed, or that there is no problem with it, then we have the option to escalate to a "real" arbitration - where we would meet with a BBB rep and a Hyundai rep and go over the vehicle's history - then the BBB rep would likely "test drive" the vehicle and later make a recommendation that is considered binding. SO, IF s/he says that Hyundai needs to replace my vehicle, then they have to do so; BUT, if s/he doesn't "feel" the problems and judges the vehicle to be "normal", then we're SOL.

My thought, at one point, was to "park" the Veracruz and let the car catch up with the miles that I've put on it. I am planning on buying a "beater" anyway, for Middle Child to drive and to put the majority of my miles on in my travels to work (40 miles each way) - BUT, as I considered this, it occurred to me that I will pay approximately $15k towards the loan in a 2yr period, and who knows if that will "save" me any money in the long run. If I trade the car now, with the mileage it is carrying and the negative equity rolled in from the Envoy, I'll probably have to buy my way out of it to the tune of $8k or so, but then at least it will be GONE and DONE!! I think that's the way we're leaning right now. We'll see the arbitration process through, I guess, since we went this far already, but neither B nor I hold out much hope for any relief from Hyundai... B said he'll write the president a "thanks for nothing" letter and then another to the National Transportation Safety Board (just to be an ass), and then we'll never buy another Hyundai. Live and learn... I guess sometimes you just get screwed.

Now, I have to find not one but TWO cars... I'm still thinking Q7, though we'll see... any Audi I buy will have to be used and I know that Audi repairs = BIG bucks... so there is that to consider. It's either a used Q7 or a new Highlander. Geez, I love that panoramic roof! LOL

On a sad note, Gama has not been doing well. She went downhill rather quickly and we have no idea what to expect from here on out. On Wednesday, she refused to get out of bed, was incoherent when she tried to speak, refused to eat or drink all day and only seemed to be able to stay awake for 20-30 seconds at a time. The same on Thursday... on Friday, she woke up much more lucid, got out of bed (though she is too weak to walk and has to use the wheelchair), and even managed to eat a litle breakfast, though she then refused anything further throughout the day. We went up to see her yesterday afternoon and she knew who we all were (even Baby Girl who she called by name as soon as she saw her); some of the conversation was lucid, some was very strange (like when she asked me if I'd been able to grow any eggs yet, and this seemed to make perfect sense to her) - God bless the boys for just rolling with it and not asking what Gama meant by the ramblings...

We left there finally and went to Mom & Dad's for a little family celebration/gift exchange. The kids had a great time - and the adult conversation was nice, though M and I did a fair amount of case-related talk which I think annoyed B a bit. The conversation drifted, at one point, to the inevitable task of cleaning out Gama's house when the time comes... not something that I want to think about, though I guess it's something that I'll have to face eventually as I will have to decide what I want to keep and help get rid of the rest of it. I am grateful, for now, that she made it through Christmas and pray that she'll make it into 2010 - though if she doesn't, I am thankful that she doesn't appear to be in any discomfort or pain, even though she's not eating and I was told that the 2 days she was sleeping, she had a perpetual smile on her face - so wherever she was in mind/spirit, must be a good place.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

So... tapering my caffeine intake wasn't really working for me

The original "plan" was to taper my intake through November and stop completely before 1 Dec. It quickly became apparent to me that this wasn't going to work - I just like Diet Coke too much! LOL So, then I had the absolutely BRILLIANT idea to stop cold-turkey, and I've been paying for it all weekend...

Now, I know that some people would say "well, DUH, of course you're going to be miserable... withdrawals... etc." BUT, I would argue that I've quit caffeine (always abruptly) at least 6 times in my life and the effects are variable. At times, I have been totally incapacitated, sometimes there have been NO ill effects, most of the time the results are somewhere in between. This is one of "those" times. I had a headache all day yesterday - not blinding, but enough to impair my vision and make me miserable. I stayed in my pjs all day... even took a shower and then got into clean pjs! LOL

Today, the headache is all but gone, but I've been absolutely exhausted all day. I was going stir crazy, so I took Doo out to Lowe's and then McDonald's. We were only gone for about an hour, but when we got back, I had to take a nap!! And then I didn't want to get up! I am praying that, since I feel better today than I did yesterday, that tomorrow will be even better! 2 days without caffeine and counting...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Baby Girl is 1 today!!

OMGoodness! I can't believe that a year has gone by already!! Baby Girl has really grown up! She's gone from being a helpless newborn to a fiesty little toddler in the blink of an eye!

She's walking and babbling and signing - and she has 10 teeth now (4 top/bottom incisors and her top 1yr molars). She's eating "real" food and learning new things every day.

I am so blessed and grateful to have her, even if she does drive me nuts sometimes! LOL

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hyundai SUCKS!!

I'm about fed up with the crap about my car. Hyundai's attitude seems to be 'sucks to be you"! Nothing that I can do about it, really... they're too big for me to fight. We've been talking to the Consumer Affiars Rep for Hyundai Motor Corporation, and while he seemed to be helpful at first, it appears that he was "assigned" to scope out the situation, perhaps to insure they were prepared for any legal action that we might try to bring.

I don't really expect them to give me a new vehicle. I just think that they should "help" me get out of this one bacause I'm only getting rid of it because it's jacked up! I haven't owned it long enough to have any equity in it; I'm upside down because I just bought it 2 yrs ago! I think they should pony up some cash to help pay it off. We're going to continue to pursue that until they flat out tell us to screw off, and then we will wage a letter-writing campaign that will include a report to the NTSB. It may end up as nothing, but at least it will make them sit up and take notice because they WILL have to address the NTSB issue!!

Baby Girl has been sick... runny nose = ear infection; she's been running a fever, panting like a dog when it spikes. It finally broke today and we're thankful for that! She is such a bear to medicate though!! I have to hold her down and pry open her lips! Poor baby boo!! Sick babies are NO fun. She's up to 23# 4oz and is 30" tall!! What a big girl! She'll be 1 next week - I can't believe it! Where has the time gone??

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Now I'm going in a whole NEW direction...

Yesterday afternoon, B decided we all needed to "go for a ride" - we ended up in F'ville, car shopping. We stopped at the Toyota dealership to see if they had any Highlanders. They had a single Hybrid out front - I was hoping to locate a gas version to drive. The salesman, who had a wet-mop personality, drove us around back where I spotted a Limited non-Hybrid, but... he couldn't find the key. Oh, well...

We left there and headed over to Carmax. B's idea there was to look at different types of vehicles "side by side" instead of hopping around between dealerships. To be honest, I wasn't too excited about this idea; I went along to be nice, since he did drive all that way just to look for a new car for me. As I expected, they didn't have much that I was willing to consider, BUT they did have a Volva and an Audi. The Volvo - well, it was a Volvo - not exactly my style. The Audi, on the other hand... OMGoodness... I just loved it!! Not as "flashy" as the Highlander, but still had all the "bells and whistles" and as B pointed out, the "Krautmobiles" are built solidly and built to last!

We left there and B was even energized anew. He couldn't believe that I was willing to consider a used vehicle; he just assumed that I would insist on new. I let him now that I'd had plenty of used vehicles and had no beef with them; in fact, in I have my druthers, I'd rather buy a 1-2 year old version of a more reliable/higher end car than a brand new cheaper version. B agreed wholeheartedly.

We got the Baby Girl some lunch at her favorite place - McDonald's - she had a meltdown at the end of the Audi test drive - and then stopped by the Mercedes store. We were actually looking for an Audi dealership, but the closest one is in the Raleigh/Cary area. Anyway, the Mercedes place just happened to have one GL450 on the lot. Uh, WOW!! Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous... an luxurious as can be! It just doesn't get any better!! These things go for $80+ new!!

Well, after much discussion, we decided that the Mercedes might be a bit of a stretch. I mean, I CAN afford one if it's what I truly choose to buy, BUT it's going to be a house payment and higher insurance, etc., etc. End result, it seems that the Q7 is the better choice for us at this time.

Once Baby Girl was settled for the night, we both pulled out our computers to see what we could find online. The Audi at Carmax had 47k miles and they were asking $33k for it (and the price is non-negotiable). B went to ebay (surprise, surprise) and I went to I found a bunch of great deals!! Much better than B came across. He actually switched over to see what I was looking at!! LOL

At the end of the day, I found 4 very good possibilities... all of them are 2007 models; all of them have less than 18k miles (!!). My very favorite of them, by far, is pearl red, with black leather interior (I actually prefer the 2-tone beige leather, but... I guess in used cars, you have to make concessions); it has the auto start feature (button start) and the nicer rear seat accessories (seat heaters, 4 zone cooling, wood trim arm rest). It also has a back-up camera that comes on automatically when you switch into reverse! And, the steering wheel is heated! The panoramic moonroof is absolutely beyond compare and no one else has anything like it! I think it's the coolest thing I've ever seen in a car!! It extends over both the front and middle rows and has a retractable shade (powered); the front half of it also lifts up and slides back in varying degrees - there are a dozen or so levels that it can be opened. It can be operated from the front and from the 2nd row as well. There is a separate sunroof over the 3rd row seat, which pops up; it has its own sunshade, though it is manually opened/closed.

For all that's "right" with the car, it isn't perfect - the Nav system isn't activated, but that can be done by a dealer (needs a module installed, I believe); and it didn't have the DVD system like the one at Carmax did, but to be honest, in all of our searching, in the dozens of vehicles that we looked at, we only found TWO that DID have the DVD players. I spent some time online today looking at options, and will likely get that done after-market. For a couple thousand $$ I can get headrest DVD players installed so the kids can each watch their own movie!! B even suggested putting one in one of the 2nd row headrests so that the 3rd row passenger (the times that there IS one) would have his own screen. I LOVE that idea!! The other wicked cool thing we both loved was a wood steering wheel (and a matching shifter knob)... again, we only saw it on a couple of the vehicles we looked at. In fact, this isn't even offered as an option on the Audi website, so it seems to be after-market. But, it's something that I'll consider; I should be able to get it done for no more than $500 but it adds SO much to the "richness" of the vehicle!! B found a place that applies the matching wood to your own steering wheel - you have the dealer take it off and ship it to them; they revamp it and send it back to be reinstalled...

Of course, once I settled my mind on the Audi, B started pushing the Mercedes. WHAT?!? He's the one who kept saying "it's out of reach" and convinced me to be satisfied with the Audi!! The problem is, there are just too many to choose from, and they all have "cool" features... but I can only afford ONE vehicle!!

The Mercedes is, well, a Mercedes - and it has powered third row seats (push a button to sit them up or lay them down); but... it looks kinda like a Suburban (superficially speaking, 'cause a Mercedes will NEVER look like a freakin' Chevy!!). It's also quite a bit more expensive, and I really don't want to go older than 2 yrs or over about 25k miles.

The Audi is the most stylish, externally speaking. It has indoor/outdoor type carpet which is awesome because it doesn't show the wear like "regular" automobile carpeting. It also has the awesome and incredible panoramic moonroof, which I LOVE, LOVE, LOCE!!

The Acura MDX looks a lot like the Q7, but it's a rice-burner, and I think I've had enough of those for the time being. The Volvo is nice, but it's a Volvo - all boxy and hard angles; just not "me". The Lexus only has 2 rows; same with the Nissan Murano. The Mazda CX-9 is a bit "crude" - their attempt to keep it "sporty" rather than more luxurious leaves it feeling "cheap". The Hyundai... hahahahahahaha!! Like I'd get another one of those!!

So, where do we stand right now?? Early this coming week, the Hyundai people are supposed to get on the phone with the dealership and start figuring out what to do about this situation. I'm sure there are endless possible solutions they could offer... I can't see them doing nothing since we've already established that this is a "safety issue" - that would leave them WIDE open for legal ramifications! I suppose they could "fix" it, but we've been there, done that many, many times over the last 16 months, so there is NO way they will EVER convince me that that car is fixed for good. They could buy me out of the car, which would be fine; they could offer me a new Veracruz, which also would be fine, as long as they let me keep my existing loan - with a brand new car and only $24k owed, I'd trade that bitch in so fast, it would hardly have time to gather dust!! Offering me a new car with a new loan would NOT go over well, and I do believe that I'd have to veto that offer! Right now, the anguish is waiting for them to decide. I hope they'll be expedient as I'm without a vehicle, and they can't really give me mine back, for the aforementioned safety concerns.

Well, tomorrow is Monday; keep your fingers crossed that it brings GREAT news on this front!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Some potentially good news...

B got home late last night - actually, it was about 2am today - anyway, after we got up and got Baby Girl off to daycare, we picked up the green Jag then stopped by the dealership to drop off my car, AGAIN. We talked to the service manager who said that he was going to drive my car himself to see if he could replicate the problem. I told him a couple of things that I have noticed over the last week - (1) it doesn't happen when the car is cold; it works fine in the morning, but by the time I get to the boys' schools, it's lagging, so you have to drive it a good 20 mins before you can expect to experience the joy of my vehicle; and (2) you have to accelerate from a complete stop to get the lag. I got B to take a quick look at the Highlander; he's still very skeptical about the hybrid feature, but he likes the car a lot. He even liked the mossy green color of the one on the lot!!

We stopped by the Mazda dealership and they happened to have a CX-9 out front; it wasn't the top of the line model, but we drove it anyway. I thought it was okay - not fabulous, but consider what I've been driving... B wasn't much impressed; he says that you hear too much road noise, and that that will increase as the car ages; he thinks it's "cheap" even though it would be about $37k for the model that I like.

We decided to rule out the Buick Enclave altogether. I think it's a beautiful car, inside and out, BUT I've already had one GMC which was a piece of shit, and the Enclave isn't a cheap car - it's a good $40k. I don't to pay that much for another POS!! Been there, done that, still stuck in it!!

Now, with these latest issues, B has been calling Hyundai to try to get some type of satisfaction from them. He has been getting the run around like always happens with customer service centers. They don't call him back, and when he calls them back, he ends up with a new "rep" who wants the whole story from the beginning again. He even asked for the name of the "head honcho" and was told "I don't know."

So, B went to the Internet and got the name of the president of Hyundai and his mailing address; he wrote a letter, which I still haven't read in its entirety, and sent it off. It first went to the service center, I guess, and they forwarded it to the corporate office. They told him that it was forwarded on Wednesday and that we would get a response in 4-5 business days. Their "guy" called this afternoon.

According to the Hyundai guy, he received a letter from the president of Hyundai himself, telling him to look into and resolve this situation; B spent about 45 mins talking to him, giving him the rundown on the situation, beginning to end. At the end, he promised to look into it and get back to us. He did tell us that the dealership should have called in the district rep early on given the nature of the problems. That was their screw up... As a result, he says, they have no "baseline" and don't know if the original problem was ever corrected or if this is just still part of it.

At any rate, it's nice to see that they responded so quickly and are taking things seriously. B says it's because of the "safety" issue here... if we report the problem and they don't act on it, and then there's an accident... the NTSB would be up their asses like white on rice.

I'm going to keep looking around; I figure I'll be in a new vehicle by the end of November, and that will be fine. We did a lot of talking while we were driving around today and as a result, I've ruled ou the Hybrid Highlander. I've agreed to keep it under $40k. That's really plenty for me to spend on a vehicle right now... I'd really like to keep my car payment LESS than my house payment!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Did I tell you how much I HATE my vehicle??

OMG!! This car is the biggest POS ever!! The lag is back, and it's most annoying. I guess the only positive things I can say are (1) it's not breaking down (at least not yet) and (2) it lags, but it's not surging forward like before - when I press on the accelerator, half of the time, it works perfectly normally; the other half of the time, nothing happens for a couple of seconds and then the car speeds up normally... but the lag is a little scary. What if I'm making a turn and don't have that extra 3 seconds to hesitate?? I've become a very cautious driver since it started - which I guess isn't a bad thing, but it's annoying.

I'm leaning farther and farther away from another Veracruz as the days go on. I know it might still be the best deal we can make, BUT I just hate this vehicle so much!! I know it's probably the ONLY crossover that I will be able to find, but I'm willing to go back into an SUV at this point. The Highlander Hybrid is looking pretty fine right now, even with the higher price tag!!

If I have the time, I may go check out some vehicles tomorrow... I need to actually see the SUVs and drive them to make any kind of informed decision. As much as I hate the idea of increasing my car payment - it's already $603/month - at this point, if that's what it takes, then so be it... The Highlander hybrid gets an estimated 27 mpg compared to 15 for the non-hybrid version (the Veracruz is about 17); seems that the improved gas mileage would more than make up for the increase in car payment... if I like the way it drives/handles. We'll see... God I hate this!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What was he thinking?!?

So, today, my darling nearly 13 yr old son was suspended from school - for one day - for SELLING those Ambesol Q-tip things to his classmates. He got in trouble for distributing medication... I can't begin to fathom what he was thinking. Apparently, neither can he.

We didn't yell, we didn't smack him around (though the thought DID cross my mind briefly) - right now he's at my house, so the computer/TV are off limits for the rest of the week (he goes back to his dad's on Friday), he'll have to go to work with me tomorrow (that should be a blast), and he has to pay me back for the things he gave away, since I bought them.

Sometimes I swear I just don't get it... but then, I guess I just can't think like a 13 yr old boy!!

Changing gears -- I've got to try to figure out what type of car I want. Unfortunately my choices are very limited - looks like Hyundai, Toyota or Nissan, actually. I like the Murano but it's much smaller than the Veracruz (no 3rd row), and B says it's "cheap" on the inside. The Pathfinder has the 3rd row, but it's an SUV, not a crossover. I also like the Santa Fe, but primarily because it's available in pearl white - probably not a good reason to buy a vehicle. I'm pretty sure it's also on a truck frame... I used to love my Veracruz!! Now I see pictures of the interior and just feel "ick"!! Though I'm thinking of going with the brown saddle leather this time around which gives it an entirely different look! The Highlander is a nice looking vehicle too (probably a truck frame) and it comes in a hybrid, which is pretty cool... Even my very limited selection seems to be too much for me to handle!! I suppose I'll have to go down there and actually look at the vehicles and drive some to make a final decision. B is leaning towards the Veracruz.... I'm not totally convinced.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The owner of the Hyundai dealership called today

He wants us to come down and try to work a deal to get out of this defective vehicle. He says that he recognizes that this car is a safety hazard and that he's spoken with Hyundai - they are hopefully going to work some kind of deal with HIM for taking it from us. I figured that they would... wouldn't be too good for a major car manufacturer to say "uh, yeah, we realize that that is one of 3 truly bum vehicle, but you're just gonna have to suck it up". We're going to go down there when B gets back home - end of the week, probably.

B is leaving tomorrow a.m. for Idaho to check on the status of the airplane hangar for his Nigerian client, Mr. S... money is money, right?? Mr. S is paying him a goodly daily wage to fly out there (by the way, there appears to be NO good way to get to Idaho!) and have a look around. Oh, and to pay the balance left on the hangar so they'll get it ready to ship. Of course, I suppose it's much more cost effective than sending one of his guys over from Nigeria... It seems that, even though the contract specifies that final payment is due when the item is ready to ship, the company won't produce the hangar doors until they get final payment -- now, me being me, I'd argue the point with them -- a contract is a contract, after all. But, Mr. S has agreed to go ahead and make final payment, but he wants B to do it in person.

And, as if going to Idaho ONCE isn't enough, after they get the hangar doors ready and get the pieces to the shipper (who is somewhere on the west coast - Washington, maybe??), B will have to go out THERE to make sure that things are copacetic prior to them loading it all up on a ship for Africa. Again, money is money... it just seems kinda silly to me... but money is one thing that Mr. S has plenty of.

I signed up with the Jillian Michaels' site this weekend; started the meal plans yesterday and the exercise plan today. I felt GREAT today (I'm tired now and have a headache...) and didn't totally hate my time at the gym - LOL. I'm just not very motiviated when it comes to exercise - this is nothing new... Having a detailed, step-by-step plan is amazing - I can make myself work through it - it's when I'm left to my own devices that I wuss out!! And, it's common knowledge that I'm not much of a cook - so having pre-planned weekly menus (complete with recipes and shopping lists!) is a God-send!! The food I've made so far has been quite good... certainly as good as anything else that I've managed to come up with by flipping through recipe books on my own! And, it requires NO thought on my part!! Woo hoo!!

Basically, all of MY meals are planned; the boys and B are free to have whatever they want, or don't want, for breakfast and lunch; we all eat the same thing for dinner. It's not so much "low fat" as it is just healthier food - tonight we had whole wheat pasta with sauce made from scratch, with turkey instead of beef. I wilted spinach for me and B; Middle Child had a salad; Little Man had green beans. All in all, the meal was a success... remarkable for this family!!

Anyway, I don't feel hungry so much, I don't feel totally deprived because the food is good - let's see how long I can stick to it!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009


is increasingly disappointing to me.... so many of my neighbors are too freakin' lazy to even give out candy anymore, and since I live kind of on the outskirts of the neighborhood, we get very little traffic anymore.

Why am I ticked about this?? Because this year we went "all out" - I spent a small fortune (okay, so it wasn't really a fortune, but I DID spend hundreds of dollars) on decorations - we had the witch and her cauldron, complete with fogger; the apothecary of witch's brew ingredients; the rodents (rats) and birds (crows and owls); spiderwebs and spiders; the grim reaper with scythe, chain and lantern; the graveyard; severed limbs; the skeletons climbing the front tree; a dozen hand-carved Funkins with flickering lights; I was right proud!! I even bought myself a costume (I made a rather cute vampire, if I do say so myself... the teeth were totally bitchin'), bought the kids nice costumes, bought a bunch of decent candy, etc.

Well, the boys decided to go to a haunted house instead of trick-or-treating - and that's fine, they ARE getting older... I handed out candy to the few people that showed up (most of them don't even live in our neighborhood), then I got annoyed and set the candy on the front porch and shut the door.

Next year, I'm going to find a costume party to go to -- somewhere, anywhere.... I don't care if I have to go out of state to a friend's party!! LOL Damn! What a waste of time and energy Halloween was this year... such a shame!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My car is a huge P-O-S!!

Arrrgggghhhhh!!! I am SO done with my car!! The damned thing had yet another major problem.... this time it was lagging (seriously) when I pressed the accelerator and then jumping suddenly, and sometimes jerking when I was driving at a steady speed - it's hard for me to describe because I don't know the appropriate mechanical terms, but it felt like I was driving along and rhythmically letting up on the accelerator, causing the vehicle to slow briefly and then accelerating back to speed - only I wasn't making it happen... I took it to the dealership because it was driving erratically as described above, and because the "check engine" light had come on.

We left the car, then called that afternoon to find out what was wrong... their answer? "The "check engine" light isn't on and we the codes the computer is bringing up are nothing." Uh... okay... it's still f'ed up, even if you can't figure it out.

So we took it home, and I drove it for another 2 days until the "check engine" light came back on, because it always does... and we took it BACK to the dealership and this time left it running until the guy came out and saw it lit. They hooked it up to the computer again and this time supposedly got a whole different set of codes. The called Hyundai and decided that a "software upgrade" was required after the throttle body was replaced the 2nd time, and they had neglected to do this, and THAT'S why the car is jacked up now. The throttle body was last replaced over a year ago - wouldn't you think that, if it was a software incompatibility issue, it would have manifested a little sooner?? Especially given how much I drive in a year?? I guess not...

When we went to pick the car up, the service manager told B that Hyuandai told him that I apparently have one of three Veracruz's in the US that are totally jacked up... Hyundai keeps track of all of this in great detail it seems. Now, as much as I have bad-mouthed Hyundai in recent months, I don't truly believe that they are ALL pieces of crap; I have always believed that I was unfortunate enough to have gotten a real "lemon" of a vehicle - now I know that this is a fact. And while it might be nice to know that they are capable of manufacturing quality vehicles, it doesn't make it any easier to stroke that check each month, as I'm waiting for the next huge problem to rear it's ugly head!! My car cost just as much as any of the ones that are functioning properly!! I didn't get a discount because mine is f'ed up!

On a possibly positive note, the service manager also told B that he would go with us to the dealership owner to discuss cutting a "deal" to trade my car in for something new (I have to think that he's already broached this subject with the owner, as he would look incredibly stupid if he went in there with us and the guy said "hell, no"). I am very anxious to see if we can work this out - I figure that, at the rate I put miles on the car, I have less than a year left on my warranty (I currently have 65k miles on the car; the drive train warranty is to 100k) - this is the 4th major defect we've had to have repaired; thanks to the warranty, I haven't had to come out of pocket for any of them, but that will all change when the warranty runs out next year and I am NOT going to be happy about putting out hundreds, or possibly thousands, of dollars to fix a car that has been jacked up since the day we bought it. I imagine that Hyundai will make some sort of accomodation for the dealer should he cut us a deal, as they know that the car is dysfunctional.

Because I rolled the negative equity from the Envoy into this car, I'm currently upside-down in the loan,or I'd have already dumped the damned thing. I'm not totaly keen on getting a new Veracruz, though I doubt a new one would have these issues - so we're looking at what other options may be available. It has to be something that this guy has at one of his many dealerships, and we're not totally sure what lines that encompasses. B is supposed to call the service manager tomorrow to find out. I may end up with a Veracruz anyway, because that might be the best deal. B says if they offer to take the car and $5k for a new one, we're all over it.

We tried to look at some options today, but there are a pitifully small number of crossover vehicles in this area. The Hyundai place had ONE Veracruz in white (we wanted to see a black one - not a huge fan of black, but the Veracruz is not supposed to be a flat black, supposed to be metallic and dimensional, so I want to check it out); the Mazda place didn't have a single CX-9; they had several CR-7s, but those are smaller; the Buick place had one (used) eggplant colored Enclave (it really was a purple-brown color).

Now, as car's go, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the look of the Enclave... BUT -- it's an American car, which I am NOT a fan of... the pieces just don't "fit" together right - there are gaps and irregularities... and they are quite a bit more expensive than the Veracruz (start out at $5k more for the base model) - my car payment is currently just over $600/month; I really don't want to end up paying even more!! Now, since that one Enclave IS used, it might be more affordable, and I don't care about it being used.... but it's still an American car... so I just don't know.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My gripe about Hilton

We're staying at the Hilton in Springfield this weekend - it's a nice hotel, but... when we checked in, and went up to our room, the door was propped open and there was some plastic thingy lying on the floor. Guess they were doing some re-wiring and the plastic stuff is what they use to hold the wire against the wall. Anyway, they send one of the workers in to "fix" it, which was fine...

I get us all unpacked and B is entertaining Baby Girl in the window. We're on the 8th floor, facing the highway, so there is plenty for her to watch and she's loving it. She's standing on top of the air conditioner unit and I notice that there is a window there... walking over, I reach out and push and the damned thing slides open!!

So, I call down to the desk and explain the situation to them; the guy seems stunned but he finally says that he'll send maintenance to check it out. B went to buy some shoes for the wedding, and Baby Girl and I hung out waiting for the maintenance guy - 4 hours later, as we come back from dinner, and I'm trying to put Baby Girl to sleep... he slides the curtains open, makes a big show of putting in a screw with a power drill, and then closes the curtains and leaves. I think "problem solved" and go on about the business of settling our daughter for the night.

As is the norm for her, Baby Girl is up and about at 7am. She goes immediately to the window, reaches up and pulls out the screw because it's WAY too small for the hole!! I call the desk and report this; they promise to send someone to fix it correctly. As we leave the hotel for breakfast, we stop at the desk and reiterate the issue; again, they promise to correct it. We return to the hotel and Baby Girl takes her morning nap; I head to the "health center" for a run; we all shower and dress for the wedding, and no one comes to repair the window. We are gone from 2pm until nearly 9pm, and return to a room with a window that still opens! But, Baby Girl is exhausted and I don't want anyone screwing around in the room so we let it go for the night.

We check out of the hotel at 8am to head for home, again reminding the front desk that the window in room 805 is not secured. Wouldn't surprise me to find out it can STILL be opened! I sent an email to Hilton about it - wonder if I'll even hear anything back. From now on, we'll be staying elsewhere...

A Thai wedding

was this weekend - a LONG time coming, as I understand it. They've been together for 10 years!! It was nice, even if I was one of only a few falangs there... and even though it meant that we had to make another trip up to DC. Of course, I'm the one who gets to tend to Baby Girl for the 6 hour car trip each way. If she just didn't hate car rides so much!! I'm really hoping that things will improve once we can flip her seat around forwards next month!!

Anyway... they got married at some historic "mansion" in Maryland - about 45 minutes from Springfield. B was the officiant - he was SO nervous about it - but he did fine. They were already legally married - did that on 09/09/09 - so this was just for show. It was quite cool (a good 20 degrees cooler than just last weekend!!) and had rained cats and dogs on Saturday, so I wasn't too optimistic about it being outdoors, but the weather held and it actually wasn't all that miserable out there by the fountain.

They had a ton of hor d'oevres and then a buffet dinner - the Thai have a tight community and people seemed to be coming out of the woodwork to put this thing together! There were "guests" arriving left and right with trays of crackers and these strange gelled cubes rolled in coconut (which were pretty good, by the way). There was an open bar and I put it to good use! LOL Made chasing Baby Girl all over creation much more bearable!

We left right before they cut the cake; it was way past Baby Girl's bedtime and she was having a meltdown. I hated that we weren't able to stay, but it was just too late... the wedding didn't even start untiil 4:30. I know that many people don't understand why we can't just "keep her up a little later" but she is so regimented when it comes to naps and, even more so, for bedtime!! Just being up that extra 90 minutes tonight will make the rest of our night difficult - if she doesn't go to bed on time, she is up and down all night!!

We're up and out early tomorrow morning - I need to be back home to pick the boys up after school... I'm actually looking forward to just being at home for a while.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

This weekend was the continuing education conference -

the ACVS (American College of Veterinary Surgeons) Symposium in Washington, DC. We drove up on Wednesday afternoon and checked into the brand new Residence Inn in Springfield, VA. It's about 1/2 a mile from the Springfield Metro Station (end of the blue line) which made it very easy for me to head into the city - I took the blue line to Metro Central, switched to the Red Line and took that to Woodley/National Zoo - come up from underground, and you're directly behind the hotel hosting the conference. Normally I prefer to stay AT the conference hotel, BUT the Marriott Wardman Hotel thinks very highly of their lodging and charges upwards of $250/night... more than I felt like coming out of pocket this time around!! We got a very nice place at a very new hotel for $75... $4.50 each way for subway fare, but we still came out on the very positive side in this equation, no matter how you spin it.

Of course, part of the rationale for staying in Springfield is that B's family lives there. We got to spend a bunch of time with D & S/D and S's family. It was a pretty nice visit, but poor Baby Girl did suffer a bit. We were ill prepared for her "normal" regimented napping schedule and she missed much sleep - making her cranky and downright unpleasant - but we couldn't do much complaining as WE created that monster! In more ways than one...

We left early this afternoon to head back home - of course, I have to go back to work tomorrow... *sigh* and then, lucky us, we head BACK to Springfield on Saturday for R & A's wedding which is Sunday afternoon. Hardly time to get unpacked and get the laundry done... but, family is family and this is a huge deal for them of course, so... whatcha gonna do??

Monday, September 28, 2009

This is my last night of work for a while

and I am grateful because I am EXHAUSTED! I have had very little in the way of sleep, and precious little that has been restful or quality sleep. I should be thankful that work is busy and steady - and I am, to an extent - but, damn!, I'm tired! LOL

So, the guy with the dane finally decided to have the exam, and then consented to the diagnostics after the tech told him that refusing to do so was just stupid and a waste of the $80 exam fee. Even though his abdomen felt "normal", we decided to do an x-ray - something about that heart rate of 180 just didn't seem right to me... The x-ray was a perfect "reverse C" - textbook presentation of a GDV. Thank GOD he didn't just decide to go home!! So, at 1:30 am, into surgery we went.

This one was a little easier in that I was able to decompress the stomach with a needle - it was primarily gas. However... things soon became trickier! He was SUCH a deep chested dog that I had to stand on my tiptoes to reach all the way down underneath his stomach, and it felt like it too ages for me to determine the direction of the torsion - but once I finally gave the appropriate amount of tug in the appropriate direction -- the stomach derotated and fell right back into place - the feeling was amazing... better than sex! Well, almost...

Everything looked good, all organs pink and "happy" - I pexied him, did a quick gastric lavage, ran a liter of warm saline through the abdomen, and we were ready to close him up. Surgery took just under 2 hrs; not too bad, all in all. He looks great today, really - though he'll only eat if hand fed (most danes are such big babies!). So far, I'm 2 for 2 on this - and I like it that way!

Tonight we've had another string of snakebites. I guess when the snakes are out, they're ALL out! And then all the dogs end up here! LOL We even had a CAT in for snakebite this weekend! And a bengal at that! Who lets their bengal wander around outside?? Of course, one of the other snakebite victims was a 9 week old yorkie... that was an interesting case...

The owner and her friend brought the puppy in. They'd had him less than 24 hrs and swear he was bit on the nose by a rattlesnake - they claimed to have seen the snake and swear that it was positively ID'd as a rattler! Of course, they also said they tried to shoot it... so I guess someone had time to run inside and get a gun during the melee, but - whatever... So, anyway, I give them the "standard" estimate - hospitalization, iv fluids, bloodwork, pain meds, antibiotics, diphenhydramine, etc. Mom says "so, you're going to promise me that she's going to be okay?" I said, "no, ma'am, I'm not. There aren't any guarantees in life." I then added, "but the only snakebite victim that I've lost in the last 10 years was the one who refused to leave the dog with me." She then tells me that "if this puppy dies, you and I are going to have a huge problem." What am I supposed to say to that?? I bite my tongue and tell her that all we can do is supportive care and observation, but that's the best treatment for the puppy at this time. She continues to flap her lips with "well, if something happens to her, then I'm bringing the kids up here and you can explain it to them; that's what I'm saying." And all I can think is "the first thing I'd tell the kids is that I didn't let their dog get bitten by a damned rattlesnake!" as I turn and walk out of the room. Luckily, despite elevated coag values, the puppy did quite well...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Even though I don't work that much, it seems like it's all I do! LOL

I guess the truth of the matter is that the days in between just fly by so quickly!! I've been back in the gym, which feels GREAT! I also registered for TRX classes started next Tuesday; hopefully that will go well - I just realize that this will be the first classes that I've gone to in the 4+ years that I've had a membership at First Health! I've been meaning to go to classes... just haven't quite made it yet.

Didn't make it to the gym today, which was a bit disappointing, but that's because I worked last night, then had an appointment this morning for another panorex - it was 10:30 by the time I got home and I spent the entire day (literally) putting together my new Scrap Box - which, by the way, is TOTALLY awesome and I am SO psyched that I got it - can't wait to load all my junk into it!! Then I hopped through the shower and headed back to work.

Hopefully I'll get to sleep soon... I'm pretty beat and I DO want to spend at least 45 mins at the gym tomorrow so as not to ruin my latest streak. I've been following an iPhone application called "C25K" for "couch to 5k" to get back into running; I hate it, which is expected, but I'm doing it anyway - and it makes me feel good, so it's not all bad.

My current case, the one that is preventing me from catching some "Zzzzs" is a 3 year old great dane who is delinquent on his vaccines; he's been vomiting non-stop since 11pm (per the owner), and has a fever of 104.7. The owner isn't sure, however, if he wants to spend the money tonight as the dog stopped puking on the ride over. Uh, hello, idiot... there's STILL the matter of the nearly 105 temperature to address!! The world is just FULL of morons, and unfortunately most of them own pets -- I try to take the positive approach and remember that for me it means job security!

On a much, much more pleasant topic, my Baby Girl is about to start walking, I do believe! She spends a lot of time standing now and balances quite well; she can reliably take 6+ steps before landing on her padded butt or dropping to her knees because she crawls much faster than she walks and she knows it! She is an amazing joy and I am grateful every single day that we have her - yes, even when she spits eggs directly into my eyeballs, even when she dunks Pink Berry into the poopy diaper, even when she wakes me up at 5am because she wants to play, I am thankful.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Shopping Diva!!

So, my new "thing" is scouring consignment shops for designer clothes... and I will say that with just 4 trips to various shops, and about $350, I have totally re-outfitted my wardrobe!!

I decided recently that I needed new clothes - you know, B likes me to dress up more and I honestly feel better when I do (strange, but true...) but just didn't have the wardrobe to really support that. And, I like nice stuff... I tried shopping online, with varied success. Ended up on ebay looking at designer lots of clothes - which is great, but... you just don't know how something is going to look on you until you put it on - I've had my share of returning items after I bring them home!! So, instead, I found "looks" that I liked on ebay and took pics of them with my phone! Hahahaha!! Figured that I could take the pics to the store with me and see if I could duplicate it reasonably.

Anyway, somehow I got the idea to hit Fifi's and - what do you know? - I found lots of nice stuff for VERY reasonable prices... I got a new looking Ralph Lauren purse that is TOO cute for just $14!! I was too thrilled to see a price tag of $28, and more than willing to pay that, BUT... anything that has been in the store for over 30 days is HALF OFF!! Who knew??

All in all, I've gotten quite a lot of things - I've gone to Fifi's in So Pines, and the one in P'hurst, A Bit of Couture in P'hurst and Champagne Taste in Raleigh. I've gotten an ivory leather jacket, a Liz Claiborne 100% silk jacket, a brand new Talbot's blazer in a gorgeous blue (yes, I know it's for spring, but it was SUCH a deal! LOL), Ralph Lauren pants, Talbot's pants, Liz Claiborne pants and tops, lots of shirts, a couple of sweaters (including 4 darling 100% silk sweater tanks that will be great under other things), a few jackets that are lightweight enough to wear almost as shirts, several skirts, a cute dress, etc. I couldn't be happier!! I've been pulling some of my older, more pedestrian stuff out of the closet to go to Good Will... I've always envied the local "soccer mom" look and now I can look polished and sophisticated all the time, too!! LOL

I got my hair done today - still have high lights and some low lights, but darkened the overall hair in between. I really like it... got rid of the brassiness that was getting on my nerves. Tomorrow morning I'm getting my nails did - they I'll be PHAT! Hahaha!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

This "day work" sucks!

How in the world do people get anything done when they work all day?? I've been doing relief for Dr. G this week and, while I enjoy the hospital and the people, I feel like I haven't gotten anything done this week!! But, I have a purpose/goal for being here, and I keep reminding myself of that!

Since we are not planning on moving any time soon, and since I have no room for all my stuff, I am going to buy myself a "craft box" - yes, it's $1200+, but it will be AWESOME... it will hold all of my stuff and give me a workspace so I can get back to the scrapbooking!! I am SO psyched now that I've made that decision! I also just bought a used Husqvarna (sp) sewing machine to replace the ancient one that I struggle with now... again, totally psyched!! Life is good...

The Doo beans is working hard at the walking stuff!! Oh to be so trusting that you just let yourself fall!! Childhood is beautiful - too bad real life doesn't match!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Once again, it's been a while... so I'll try to summarize what's happened in the last few weeks...

B and I took our kids, and my sister and her kids to Orlando for vacation - a week in July - WHAT the hell was I thinking?? It was miserably hot! The kids still had a great time, but the weather damned near did the adults in!!

We drove to Georgia the first day, and stayed overnight; got to Orlando just after lunch time, but the house wasn't available yet (grrrr.....) so we piddled around, ate lunch, and decided to check out the Magic Kingdom. We left there about 5pm and went to get the house information, went to the grocery store and got moved in. It was a nice house... we had a little issue with the dividing up of the rooms because 2 rooms had twin beds, 4 rooms had kings and 1 had a queen... the problem was primarily between Little Man and my oldest nephew, who were BOTH trying to claim the room with the queen bed... I finally told T that he could have it for the first 2 nights and then he'd have to trade rooms with Little Man (who had twin beds) - Little Man was a little mollified when I explained that at least he'd have the room to himself - having 2 beds did not necessarily mean that he had to share the room.

The pool was a huge hit as was the game room - it had a full sized pool table and an air hockey table. Each of the bedrooms had its own TV also, which the kids loved, though they seemed to watch most of the TV on the big screen in the living room. Mere and I spent over $200 at the store, but we got food for pretty much every breakfast and dinner - so in the long run, it saved me a ton of money! I spent nearly $100 each day just for LUNCH at the parks!! The one big downer about the house was no wifi - you just get so used to always having it available... there was a phone in the kitchen that had dial up access, but that meant you had to (1) have a phone cord - which we didn't and (2) stand at the kitchen counter. What was up with that?? For that much money, we should have had better options...

For the most part, B stayed at the house while we went to the parks; M and I took all 7 kids. We did Animal Kingdom on Wednesday - I'd never been there before, and it was better than I had expected. We left fairly early (4pm) because the space shuttle was set to launch (weather permitting - it had been delayed 5 times already). B and I took Middle Child and T (the only 2 that were interested) down to Titusville where we found a spot in the median of the road, directly across from the launch site, a mere 12 miles across the water from us. It was really cool to watch! As B said, it was a once in a lifetime kind of thing (even though this was HIS 3rd time, but then, he's done a LOT of things that other people have never even dreamed of!) The boys loved it and are looking forward to bragging about it to their friends!! LOL

It was Sea World the next day, and Hollywood (formerly MGM) Studios the last full day. For the most part, we let the older kids do their own thing - they kept in touch via texting and it worked out really well. That allowed me and M to cater a bit to B and sometimes L (though she often rode the rollercoasters with the boys); Baby Girl was out of luck on most things, though she did get to ride a few of the tame rides.

We had to leave the house Saturday morning, and we all (B included) went to Epcot, which was the only park he was really interested in. We were pretty disappointed, however, to find that the country exhibits didn't open until 11am!! We were there when they opened, trying to get in a short day and beat the heat - but it got all screwed up... By noon, it was smokin' hot and he was ready to go - so we packed up the kids and left.

We drove into the edge of South Carolina and B decided that he wanted to stop for the night; M and crew went on home - I think they got in shortly after 11pm. It worked out well for us, though, because we were able to go to dinner and then settle down in the rooms so that Baby Girl could go to sleep and stay on a semi-normal schedule. We didn't rush out Sunday morning, but took our time, and got home early afternoon - not too bad, really.

Everyone had a good time, but we all agreed on 2 things - the next time we go should be several years from now, and it should be in the fall! We'll see what happens with that!!

Oh, yeah, almost forgot... my little punkin' cut her first tooth while we were on vacation -- the TOP right one! I had been carefully watching her bottom gums for any sign of teeth and my sister casually said one evening - "uh, you know she has a tooth, right?" WHAT?? The little bugger cut an upper one first... She has 3 teeth right now... the first was the upper right, then the lower left came in (making her a real snaggletooth!), then the upper left; you can just begin to see the lower right making its way to the surface. No wonder she's had all those ear infections lately...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Last week was rough!!

WAY too many clients/patients and WAY too little sleep last week!! It took me several days to recover, especially since I got some type of virus concurrently which had me pretty wiped out, but now I'm feeling fine.

Yesterday, the boys and I cleaned out the pantries... 3 garbage bags later, it looks great and there is room for Baby Girl's food (without worrying about jars of baby food crashing down on your head or feet every time you open the cabinet door!). Today I get to tackle the refrigerator and freezer (can you tell I'm procrastinating??).

B and I looked at bottom drawer freezers today at Lowe's; he knows how badly I want one, and I really think that I'll get one next big sale at the BX - he said he's going to ride out there and talk to the lady that hooked us up with the washer/dryer last Veteran's Day!!

We're gearing up to leave for Orlando; 36 hrs and counting... I went up to see my grandmother on Thursday and was planning on dropping off the stroller and pack 'n play for M to transport for us since she has more cargo space. Well, I got all the way to Cary and realized that I didn't put the damn things in the car! So, I have to go to M's tomorrow to take them. Way to waste time and gas...

So, not much else going on right now... doing laundry, dishes, etc. Tomorrow is packing and finishing up... and then we're off! Mickey Mouse, here we come!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Home at last

I had a great time and it was wonderful to see my friends again, and to meet the ones that I knew only online, but I am so glad to be back home!!

At Fiesty's urging, I gave Baby Girl a small dose of Benedryl before we got on the first plane, and the sweet girl slept pretty much the entire flight!! She was awake on the 2nd flight, but was happy and cheerful so it was okay. She wasn't too happy about the drive home - she started crying and was inconsolable, once we passed Cary, and finally fell asleep just before we got to Sanford. Travelling is difficult for her... poor baby.

Daddy was very glad to see his bitty girl and she was all smiles for him!! He says that I can never take her away again because she got sick! Of course, she got sick the first time when I left her with him... hmmmm....

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The good and the bad

Yesterday had it's good points and it's bad ones...

The good -- Baby Girl had a GREAT time at the water park; once she got over the coolness of the water, she splashed, laughed and played! She was her usual fearless self and actually tried to get away from me - she flipped over onto her belly and kicked her legs/feet, trying to CRAWL through the water!! The older kids had a good time, too, in the arcade and at the water park. Emmy Smurf came over with her 4 and they joined in the fun. We all went to dinner at Cheeseburger in Paradise - and here's where the fun ended --

Near the end of dinner, poor little Baby Girl vomited all over my dress - she hadn't been eating well - last ate baby food on the plane on Friday and had been refusing it ever since. She had woken up with a small spot on her right cheek (smaller than a dime) and by the end of dinner, it had spread to completely cover her cheek. She was very restless and weepy, crying hoarsely after she vomited. Since she had been vomiting small amounts earlier, I decided to take her to be checked out. We spent 3 hours in the Urgent Care Dept of Children's Mercy Hospital here in KC. They were very nice, but slow, slow, slow. The end "diagnosis" was a mild ear infection (left) and Enterovirus. I was given an antibiotic for her ear and told to offer her clear fluids until she stops vomiting.

She wouldn't sleep last night unless she was on my chest, and then she shifted, coughed or fidgited every 10 mins, so I was up all night. Today has been more of the same - she has already had 3 naps and acts like a 4th might be warranted. That is totally unlike her. She wakes up happy and smiling and it lasts for about an hour, then she degenerates into a weepy, crying mess until she falls asleep. Her fever is up also - 101.5 at last check. She is still vomiting up most everything - she can keep down small amounts of Pedialyte, but vomits if she drinks too much or if she gets solid food/formula - this has been AWFUL!! I expect tonight to be as bad as tomorrow.

Fiesty told me to give her 1/2 tsp of Benedryl about 30 mins before we get on the plane - to make her drowsy and help open her sinuses and clear her head to make her more comfortable during the flight. Thankfully Bugabee had some Children's Benedryl in her car 'cause the store here at the result had none.

The boys are acting crazy and Little Man just fell and got hurt... this is going to be a LONG night... I expect it to be worse than last night as we're the only ones still here, so there is no one else to distract them. God help me... I'm ready for this "vacation" to be over!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A "new" adventure...

We left this morning for a brief vacation - 4 days in Kansas City, KS. Why Kansas?? you might be wondering. It's not exactly a vacation mecca... it's hot and flat and... well, it's just KANSAS, for crying out loud.

This weekend is a get together of a group of friends - I'm sad to say that the entire group wasn't able to make it, but more than half of us did, so that's not all bad - 10 adults and 18 children in all. We came from all across the US - California, Iowa, North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois, Michigan, Georgia, and Idaho - descended upon the Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City yesterday afternoon and just took over! LOL

This lodge is alright - the girl who checked us in was rather rude, and it's rather expensive, but the room includes access to a huge indoor waterpark, Magic Quest, mini golf and a huge arcade - you don't have to ever leave the place, which is good, because we're in KANSAS!!

The boys came back from the arcade with 5' tall inflatable aliens in noxious shades of blue and green. Five of 'em. Yes, FIVE. Because apparently ONE alien wasn't enough!

They played in the water park, too, and seemed to have a good time. We're rooming with Google and her son, which is nice because it gives her son someone to hang out with so he can roam the hotel without his mom.

We didn't go to dinner until about 8pm local time (so 9pm for us) -- poor Baby Girl was SO exhausted she was just about sick. She fell asleep in the stroller in the restaurant, but was fitfull for the rest of the night. I can't keep her up this late every night. She had a rough day today, too - the flights were fine, but she had trouble sleeping and probably got less than 2 hrs total nap time in between 6a and 10p, so she was fit to be tied!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Back to life as usual...

I'm back in the swing of things, though I am finding that it takes a lot more energy to deal with Baby Girl now that she's more mobile! LOL I am SO glad to be home though - I sure did miss her little face!!

Of course, I had to go straight back to work - the very day after I came home - but June is almost over and I will be able to get back to a "reasonable" schedule! I guess I should just be grateful for the extra income since we're going on vacation in July, right?!?

It has been crazy at home lately, trying to get everything done - unpack from AT and get all my gear cleaned and stored back in the attic, wash all the clothes and get them put away, catch up on all the personal issues (had my eyes checked on Monday, got my legs waxed yesterday, and getting my hair done tomorrow), visit my grandmother (today) and get ready to leave on Friday. Amazingly enough, I did manage to pack ALL of our clothes (4 days for all 4 of us) into one medium sized pullman using the rolling technique Maj R taught me... I was shocked, to tell the truth!! Packing the "normal" way, it would have only held MY clothes!!

Anyway, I'm back at work tonight, praying that it will be an easy night, but not counting on it given the way this week has been... what a reintroduction to my work!! Gloriously, I am OFF tomorrow and I am going to ENJOY it!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

An update on what's going on at home...

B is angry at me for (1) being in the Army and (2) being away from home. I know that this last 12 days have been very difficult for him with his being sick, Baby Girl being sick, and all the stuff going on with my grandmother leaving him without ANY help or relief at all.... He has vascillated being between concerned about my well-being and being a complete ass to me... I finally told him not to bother to call if all he was going to do was make me feel bad about being gone - so he's been primarily texting, which is fine.

I talked to M late yesterday morning while we were out at the HEAT training - the pathology finally came back... Gama has lymphoma AND colon cancer. The primary goal right now is to get her feeling better and back at home - and then they might consider some form of chemo, possibly something mild and oral... as the oncologist said, "It's not so much a matter of what we CAN do, but more a matter of what we SHOULD do at this point." With Gama being 91... they feel that it's unlikely that the colon cancer will be the culprit at the end. Recurrence rate over 5 yrs is approximately 50%. So, while the diagnosis sucks, I guess it's not bad for someone her age. If she can recover from the surgery, that is... that's the area of most concern right now.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I received some very sad news today

I'm currently in Georgia for my AT (annual training) - we're set up in a "tent city" on Fort Gordon, pretending to be elsewhere... B is alone for the first time with Baby Girl and it has caused us some issues across the distance... it seems like so much has happened since I've been away.

B and I talked a few times and texted intermittently today -- Baby Girl spiked a fever today and had to be taken to the doctor; besides the teething, she had Roseola -- which means swollen lymph nodes, a fever, general malaise and a headache. Great... The best part?? It's a VIRUS, so there's nothing to do but moderate the fever, keep her hydrated and wait for it to break.

Herbie had an eye infection of some sort, and possibly a retrobulbar abscess judging by the way his globe is deviating laterally, but for now, he is eating normally and there is no pain on opening his mouth, so he's on Cephalexin, Pred and Tobramycin. If there is no improvement I'm a few days, he will have to be reevaluated... Elvis' hot spot seems to be drying up --B says the horrible odor is gone, so that was at least a bit of good news amongst the bad.

B told me that he was having a little sinus drainage, but apparently he is much sicker than he let on - he's about as bad off as poor little Baby Girl!!

So tonight I offered to call my mother - have her come down for a few days to help out. "She can't do that," he informs me. "Of course she can," I argue. And we go back and forth until he finally admits what he's not supposed to tell me...

Gama is in the hospital - she had surgery for an intestinal blockage and they found what they believe to be cancer. I sat on my bunk and cried for quite a while - but there's nothing I can do right now... I ended up telling Maj R everything and she called my father tonight to tell him how to officially inform the Army if they receive bad news and they need me to come home before the end of the exercise. Because we are in the midst of a simulation, he would have to put in a Red Cross call - just as if I were in Iraq. I spoke to him later tonight and he assured me that he doesn't feel if will be necessary, but I'm glad that he at least has the information on hand - it will definitely expedite the process in the worst case scenario..

I talked to M tonight - she actually talked to the surgeon after the procedure - seems that there was a stricture or some other type of narrowing of the lumen (nearly complete - barium wouldn't pass) near the ileocecal junction - the surgeon did a resection there; there was also a mass effect type of issue near the sigmoid flexire that he removed, and he did a colostomy (Gama will HATE that); he also found what appear to be small metastatic tumors in her rectum/pelvic inlet as well as some "strange spots" on the body wall adjacent to the ileocecal area of concern. He told M that he has no guess, no prognosis, no clue at this point - so we're waiting on path, which should be in on Friday or Saturday; she is supposed to call me as soon as she knows anything -- not that I will necessarily get the message in a timely fashion...

So all I can do now is wait... and pray; I doubt I'll sleep much tonight, but the Blackhawks are running night ops anyway, so I was doomed to be awake regardless.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Time truly does heal all wounds...

Things are so much better now. I admit to still having "moments" where I wonder if I can do this, but most of the time I would say that I've put it behind me. Funny, that... considering that 6 weeks ago I didn't think that I'd EVER be able to move forward! Guess that just goes to prove how resilient we truly are...

Baby Girl is doing wonderfully!! She is nearly 6-1/2 months old now!! We started her in daycare last week - she goes every morning for a few hours - primarily to help B cope with my impending AT committment, but also for the socialization aspect. She needs to spend some time with other babies, to learn to play together, to share, to handle conflict, to stand up for herself etc. I also think that she'll learn new "tricks" faster from watching other babies. I have noticed that she is a bit developmentally delayed compared to my boys, but then, they were raised in daycares. I am SO grateful that that will NOT be the case with Baby Girl, but I also admit that daycares DO have some benefits. It has been difficult for me to have her there - but at least she's just right across the street (quite literally -- we can walk out the back door, straight out through the yard and across the street to the daycare parking lot!!)

We went to my mother's house yesterday to visit with my grandmother who turned 91 on Saturday. She was SO happy to see us, especially Baby Girl. We put Doo on the living room rug, she pulled up onto her hands and knees and for the very first time, made some forward progress!! I have a feeling that she will be fully crawling by the time I return from Georgia, and that makes me a bit sad. I have been able to be so much more involved with Baby Girl than I was able to be with the boys and I hate the idea of missing a single milestone! I can't really talk to Bill about it, though, because I already know how he feels about my being in the Reserves.

The koi (and the stupid shubunkins) are growing like crazy; the parrot-feather is spreading over the surface of the pond as are the 2 water lillies. Our original water lily has just put up a 2nd flower, and it's just beautiful. Too bad that they only last for a few days. When I get back from Georgia, the boys and I are going to pick out a few new koi - I want some butterfly finned ones. We also need to consider getting a catfish... or some more snails... we have algae galore! But, at least the water is clear and the fish are visible! Now, if I can just get them used to human presence so they'll come to the surface for me!

Monday, April 27, 2009

It's been a while -

I've been staying busy; trying to sort through the issues alluded to in my last post -- as with anything, I have good days and bad days. Some days, I hardly give it a second thought; other days, like yesterday, I obsess on it for the better part of the day and it totally ruins my mood and everything else that I try to do. B is making efforts, and I appreciate it... I think we'll make it through this - I'm just still processing and dealing with it myself.

Today I went to the Patsy Aiken outlet in Raleigh... I spent almost $300, but I got Baby Girl some really cute outfits, and some stuff for my niece and great-niece, and gifts for WIM babies as well... not too bad overall. I bought Baby Girl her first swim suit - and it is SO darling! I can't wait to go on vacation!!

Work is alright - same ol', same ol'. Yesterday we lost the pathological liar, so that was a relief! Now, if we can just "lose" my nemesis... *sigh*

I still need to post the before and after pics of the pond - and I'll get to it. Recently we've had an algal bloom and you can no longer see the fish or very deep into the pond... it's very aggravating! I just spend nearly $4k and still have a green, opaque pond. I called D (our pond renovator) and she said to "seed" the pond with the bacteria - too bad she didn't tell me that I needed to do that when the pond was first established. I got new plants, too - another water lily, a parrot's feather and a couple of floating ones; I also put some Japanese Trapdoor Snails in there so hopefully all of that will work to clear the pond. Dawn said to give it a week and if it's no better, she'll call the guy at Tramway and find out what I need to do. It's just so frustrating!

Friday, April 10, 2009


Well, it looks like they've let Dr. C off the hook -- and I do understand part of the reasoning here since the primary witness is a known pathological liar.... it wouldn't be "fair" to convict her based on what that one person says. They were supposed to still have a serious talk with her, but who knows if that even came about. At least she has been leaving her stupid husband at home lately. That's something. I still hope, since their baby is due right about the time that her contract expires, that maybe they'll either (1) choose NOT to renew it or (2) let me have her contract and give her mine. We'll see what happens there...

On other fronts, B and I had a serious issue arise and I am still dealing with it, though not as well as I would like; I'm not comfortable getting into the details, but suffice it to say that there was consideration of ending our marriage. I do love him though, and despite what he did, I do believe that he loves me. There have been many tears shed (by both of us) and promises made, he swore that it would never occur again and that he'd make it up to me. I just feel so disappointed in him, lied to, betrayed, duped, etc. I trusted him completely and he violated that... now I find that I am obsessing about the events and causing myself a great deal of additional stress. Perhaps we DO need to seek counseling to deal with it - he offered to go... I need to get through this so I can move on, or we need to go our separate ways - I just can't keep living like this... it's almost like I'm WAITING for him to screw up again, and that's not good for either one of us.

And then there is the issue with the freakin' pond. It's not going so well and I am totally frustrated and pissed off... I'm not a landscaping or pond expert by any means, but I'm currently already in for twice the money that I ideally wanted to spend and we're not nearly there. The issue with the leaking liner was a simple matter of physics and I insisted that the proposed solution would NOT work, but no one wanted to listen to me, so they filled the damned pond and, guess what?? IT STILL LEAKED!! So, there goes another 300 gallons of water that I have to pay for. They already wasted about 700 on the weekend when they filled the pond, discovered the leak and then emptied it. Then another 700 or 800 in, and at least 300 out!! I can't wait to see the next water bill! I think it will look GREAT if it's ever done, but in the mean time, I'm hemorrhaging money and my fish are dying in 50 gallon drums that they have been living in for nearly 2 weeks now. Overall, a most unsatisfying situation. When it's finally done, I'll post the pics - right now, I don't want to think about it too much....

As if I needed MORE to worry about (because you KNOW how I freak out over financial issues), my accountant is estimating that we'll OWE about $12k this year. I have NEVER had to PAY taxes!! But, B did make that money with his company last year and has to pay self-employment taxes on it; and the Army paid $20k on my school loans and then 1099'd me for it so I have to pay self-employment taxes on that (thanks so much, Uncle Sam!!), and then I know I did a little relief work between the time I returned from El Salvador and when I started working full time at AUC, but I didn't think it was enough to generate that much in taxes due!! And this is all with claiming 4 kids and all the medical expenses!! When she gets it figured, I'm going to have to go sit down with her and go over it, because I really need her to explain it to me -- it just doesn't seem possible. She says that we had $168k in income, and I think that's too high - but who knows?? I know what B made last year and just don't think there's any way that I made as much as she seems to think I did, even WITH the $20k from the Army. I'm trying not to panic, but failing miserably... with the taxes due next week - and I don't know where I'm going to get all of that money at this point - then there is a couple thousand that will be due on the pond stuff, and I still have the majority of our summer vacation to pay for - I honestly don't know how I'm going to manage it all. And I am totally stressed over it! Not that stressing helps, but it's the way I am...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I know I shouldn't take any joy in this...

but you know how I feel about Dr. C!! And the fact that she just screwed up BIG TIME and may well get fired because of it... while the situation is serious and I AM treating it as such, there is still a little part of me that is doing the **Happy Dance** (oh so quietly) inside my head!!

The final disposition still remains to be seen, but if she continues to work here, I'd be very surprised (and disappointed in management)... I probably shouldn't go into details right now - it would be inappropriate. But, it was a 2-Phase Fuck Up, one part bad judgement, one part malpractice...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I'm officially "done"

Breastfeeding, that is... I know I've waffled back and forth for the last month or so, but we were down to nursing only once or twice a day, and now it's been over 48 hours and I can hardly tell it's been that long! I guess that means that most of my milk has dried up...

There's a part of me that is sad - because Baby Girl is only 3-1/2 months old, because I worked SO hard to induce lactation - but, in all honesty, breastfeeding is often a pain in the ass!! I was tired of swollen, leaky boobs, and Baby Girl is more content on the bottle anyway - it takes more work to induce the let down than it does to get milk or formula from the bottle, so she would get impatient with me...

Maybe if I had produced more... maybe if I hadn't been so quick to supplement with bottles... maybe... maybe... maybe.... but none of that really matters. I had a fleeting, stupid thought this morning that I could probably bring my supply back up with intensive pumping, BUT I have a mandatory drill coming up... and that will just leave me stuck pumping irregularly, like every other drill, and result in a decrease in supply...

Ah... I'm done. A little sad, but I think I will be just fine.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Today A from CCAH called me about the tech mentioned in my last blog entry - apparently she's applied for a job at CCAH and, A said that she knows how anyone I don't like just doesn't last at CCAH!! I did tell her about Sunday's drama, but I also added that the event was totally unexpected of this tech and that, except for that day, I had never had a single complaint about her - she is terribly efficient and very skilled, she's fun and easy going... I have always just loved working with her and would have no issues with working with her again.

In hindsight, after thinking on it for a while, I wonder if what happened was a result of her just being mentally "done" with AUC, kwim?? Because of Dr. C, she lost an option for her daughter and she had had to "call out" for Sunday night because her husband was flying out Sunday morning and she would have no one to watch little K Sunday night, and now she couldn't just bring her along...

I glossed over whacktard tech, when L had asked me about her, because I felt bad being too honest (especially as Dr. S gave her a glowing endorsement)... and that didn't work out at all, and now I feel stupid for not being totally up front with her at the appropriate time, especially given my history with them - I didn't want a repeat - but as soon as I told A about the drama, I realized that that wasn't "typical" of this other tech, so I did expound on my feelings about her.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Another crazy weekend -

at work... I knew one of the techs was leaving... since the "ban" on children at work (you know how I feel about Dr. C and her stupidity... I'll leave it at that, this time!), and the fact that this tech's husband is often out of town, she decided to find a day job that will allow her to better care for her daughter. Not too surprising... But this weekend, what she did was beyond anything I would have expected from her!!

On Friday, she brought in Kasha - she's a husky owned by an elderly woman; the dog is epileptic and a poorly controlled diabetic, possibly has other health issues... anyway, she had apparently developed pneumonia. Dr. C took her in and started her on treatments, to which she was reponding wonderfully. On Saturday, she was twisting up and pulling out her IV lines; she had completely stopped coughing; and that evening, the tech said that she would take Kasha home on Sunday.

I came in Sunday morning and went to treat Kasha, and we had only 7 units of insulin left... she needed at least 10. We called and called, but the tech wasn't answering. We finally got her after lunch and told her that she needed to come pick up the dog or bring more insulin. She argued that we should just use whatever was in the fridge, but Kasha is on U-40 insulin and what we had was (1) U-100 insulin and (2) EXPIRED. So, I refused to use it and told her she would have to bring some. Which she finally did, mid afternoon.

As she was walking out, I said, "I thought you were taking Kasha home today..." She turned and snapped, very loudly, "she's TOO SICK to go home!" I just turned away from her because I didn't want to get into a shouting match. She stomped out.

A couple of hours later, I get a call from Dr. W who is Kasha's regular veterinarian as well as this tech's old boss and one of the owners of AUC - he questioned me as to what had been done and what treatments were being done. He told me that the tech had called HIM and expressed great concern as to the treatment Kasha was receiving and asked him to call and check on her... WTH?? I was PISSED!! He seemed fine with what we were doing and made no recommendations as to additional treatment, but I was still mad that she would go around trying to make trouble like that -- because that was ALL she was doing!!

Our head tech was furious!! She called and reamed the aforementioned tech a new one because kept saying that we were deliberately neglecting Kasha because of her (the tech's) "special relationship" with the dog. Uh... right... if anything, she was better taken care of. Said tech also insisted that Kasha had been continually coughing, even though apparently she was the only one who heard it - everyone else, myself included, swears that there was NO coughing either Saturday or Sunday...

So, when Dr. C came back Sunday night, I let her know what had happened. And, in turn, she talked to management on Monday morning. Our manager was also FURIOUS!! The tech had overstepped her bounds totally by going to Dr. W. Now, the tech claims that she was just "venting to a friend" but that's BS - Dr. W is not her "friend" - they don't get together for dinner, they don't hang out at the club, they're NOT friends!! He was her boss, he is Kasha's primary veterinarian, she was trying to cause trouble for us... end of story.

End result -- management told her that she would not be working out the rest of her shifts this month and she was taken off the "call" list for fill in techs. She made all of us look really bad, though I have to say that I attempted to return the favor when I talked to Dr. W. I told him that the dog was doing GREAT and that the technician had felt she was ready to go home on Saturday so I didn't understand why things changed on Sunday... Management did tell me that, if he felt we weren't treating the dog appropriately, he would have said, "why don't you add this..." or "do that..." and he had nothing of the kind to say, so he must have agreed with our treatment plan. And, the manager also looked over the flow charts and couldn't see where the dog was not well taken care of, so the tech is the only one in trouble. But, she's gone now...

On another note, our manager also told me that she had talked to Dr. C finally and told her that Mr. C is NOT welcome in the treatment area, and that, in the instance that he has to wait for her, he can wait in the waiting room... hopefully that problem is solved! (I had told the manager that I was trying to talk to a client on Sunday night and Dr. C and Mr. C were talking about something totally innane - while she had clients waiting - and I had to ask them to leave so I could finish my conversation.)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

We had a nice visit this weekend...

B's brother (D) and sister-in-law (S/D - as seems to be Thai tradition, she has a formal/given name and a familiar name) came down on Friday and stayed the weekend; this was a monumentous event as in the entire time B has lived in NC (over 5 yrs now), D has only come to visit once, and it was when he came HERE last year for a couple of days. He's like B's BFF G in that they are always wanting to visit with us, BUT they want US to make the drive up there -- and we have, many times. But since Baby Girl came along, B's attitude has become "you want to see her, you come to us" since we're the ones with a small child which presents its own difficulties in terms of travel.

So, they did come and we did have a nice visit, except for the fact that I was sick Friday night and most of Saturday. I had a debilitating headache -- not sure if it was a migraine (I've only ever had 1 before, but my sister and mother both have them, so it wouldn't be unusual or unheard of for me to develop them) or possibly caffeine withdrawal, because that can be pretty awful as well!! I vomited every time I ate and did little but sleep for 2 days - not much of a hostess!!! But, I was feeling better Saturday evening and was able to join everyone for dinner, and then we just sat around and talked until 11pm.

They brought gifts, mostly from B's neice... a soft pink teddy bear (called a "pancake bear", that we named "Pink Beary" 'cause that's what I call Baby Girl at times), bunches of adorable clothes from The Children's Place and some Polo shoes (pink, of course); D and S/D got her a Teddy Bear Factory Bear named "Golden One" - he's SO soft!! She'll love that as she gets older! And they brought food - Thai noodles and the awesome spring rolls!!

S/D is difficult to understand at times; for having lived in the US for over 40 yrs, she still speaks broken English and though she's using OUR words, her Thai accent is SO heavy that understanding her is hit or miss!! But, we muddled through!! One time, while the guys were out on the front porch (D smokes cigars and B was out there with him), S/D told me how B used to bring his girlfriends to her to get her opinion... yes, he brought several of them, she said - and they were always pretty girls - "the pretty girls always like B", she said. But, she didn't approve of any of them; they were no good or "two-faced". She told me that he had asked her about ME, after he took me up there for the funeral - "but he had already made up his mind about you" she said, with a laugh. She told me that he's a good man, that he never wanted or liked children until me (called them "rug rats"), and that he loves his daughter and will be a good daddy. I know all of this, but he is so gruff sometimes - she agreed, wholeheartedly, but assured me that he was changing, just couldn't do it too fast - "just a little bit at a time"!

S/D just loves, loves, loves children and spent hours talking to and cooing with Baby Girl, dancing around the room holding her and loving on her. Baby Girl took to her right away. She followed me around all weekend, watching what I was doing and critiquing - B apologized for her the first day, but I know she didn't mean any harm; she knows I already raised the boys, but she was just trying to be helpful! She helps S with the babies (C is 6, R 2-1/2 and T 1-1/2) every day and says that she's exhausted when she goes home, but I'm not surprised, watching her with Baby Girl!! All I can say is that S is DAMNED lucky -- no doubt she will come to realize this for herself when her mother is gone for 5 weeks!!

She's going to Thailand soon and is supposed to be bringing back some gold bling for Baby Girl, according to Thai tradition - a gold bracelet for each wrist and a gold necklace and Budda charm like she brought to me when she went 'home' last year.

Whatever else they may be, whether or not they are actually related by blood (a story in itself, that one), they are B's family and I am very fond of them as well.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Thank GOD it's over!!

Whew! I made it through the 10 nights of work and now I have 12 days off!! Well, kind of! L called and asked me to do a surgery day at CCAH and I agreed; but I'm only working that one day...

Things at home got, surprisingly, much better as the week went on!! B adjusted to taking care of Baby Girl and stopped bitching about it, which was nice. He even let me get in a couple of naps! Yeah, I was as shocked about that as anyone could be! LOL

The situation at work... well, THAT was different. Honestly, the only issue I have is with Dr. C. I just don't like her, which is fine because we don't ever have to work together... if we did, I'd have to quit - just like I left CCAH because of Dr. K. I know that may seem "childish" at first glance, but the truth of the matter is, jobs for veterinarians are far too easy to come by to stay in a position that is miserable. And, if I had to work side by side with Dr. C, I would be miserable.

Dr. S called me about 2 weeks ago to give me a "heads up" about the new policy at work regarding spouses, children and friends... the memo stated (and I quote) "IF YOU ARE ON THE CLOCK, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ARE YOUR SPOUSES, CHILDREN OR FRIENDS ALLOWED IN THE TREATMENT AREA". Color me simple, but that didn't seem ambiguous... I thought that maybe my kids were the reason for the new rule - but they were only there maybe 2-3 days/month since I normally don't work when the boys are here. I found out, first from the techs, and it was then later confirmed to me by management, that the true reason for the ruling was Dr. C's husband, who came with her every single shift (that means 14 times/month or more) and stayed for hours at a time, taking up space, distracting Dr. C from doing her job and getting in the way, making work for the girls difficult because they didn't feel like they could tell him to move. (The techs actually told the manager that I always made sure that the clients/patients were taken care of before I did anything for the kids, even telling her about that day I had Baby Girl there and we had to put that dog to sleep -- and when the owner apologized from taking me away from my daughter, I apologized to HER for my daughter being there, and told her that the patients were my priority... I can't believe that they actually remembered that and told management about it, but it kinda gives me warm fuzzies to hear it!!)

Anyway, back to my point - since the memo was put out, Mr. C has continued to come to work with her and is there at the beginning and the end of every shift, though now he is staying more like 30-40 minutes, not 4-5 hours. I know they have only 1 car, and I can understand (I guess...) him showing up at 8p to pick her up and waiting for her to finish up, even though he could certainly sit in the waiting room until she's ready to go, but no matter what, I can NOT see ANY reason that he has to come inside at the beginning of her shift... he can drop her at the door and go on home. In my opinion, her actions are saying "the rules don't apply to me" because the memo didn't say "please try to limit their presence" - it said "don't do it AT ALL". So, this was one source of irritation.

Another thorn in my side was her determination to leave right at 8pm. Well, that's a nice idea, but it rarely works on the weekends; we're just too busy. As long as she's been working at AUC, she just dumps whatever isn't finished on the doctor that is taking over (somehow that is usually ME). I've been letting it slide because I remember how overwhelmed I was at first, and learning when to stop seeing new clients so that you can finish up what is already waiting in the back takes some time... but she's been working for nearly 6 months now -- it took ME less than a week (2 shifts, actually) to figure it out!! Part of the "problem" is that she hasn't even been out of school for 2 years so she's SLOW on a good day - that can't be helped. She's also, in my opinion, completely unqualified for the job she's doing because she CAN'T do some of the more complex surgeries, and she HASN'T had all that much in the way of EXPERIENCE to draw on, but that wasn't my call. I'm not saying she's a bad vet, just too new... I couldn't have done this job (at least, not well) when I first graduated!! The manager DID tell me that she usually leans away from new grads for the aforementioned reasons, but at the time, they were down to just 1 permanent doc (Dr. S), I had not yet signed a contract and they weren't sure that I would, and she was the only other one interested - e.g. they were desperate... and now we're paying for it.

Anyway, when I came back to work this past Saturday night, Mr. C was there (as usual) and both the waiting room and the hospital were full; we went to do rounds and the theme of the night seemed to be "I'm leaving this for you to finish up" ("this cat was attacked by a dog and has a deep laceration under her front leg" "so, you're going to sew that up?" "no, I thought I'd leave that for you to do; and then this dog was also attacked and has a laceration that needs a drain, so I'll leave that for you; and this dog hasn't eaten in a week and has been vomiting, I did bloodwork and x-rays already and I'll leave that for you to finish up" etc., etc.) -- and that just didn't sit well with me since there were at least 5 cases in the back that needed procedures and 6-8 in the waiting room that hadn't even been seen yet... so I told her "if you've quoted them to stay overnight, I'll take care of it, but if they're going home, then you need to finish everything that you started." I will give her credit that she didn't argue with me -of course, if she had, I would have raised holy hell; thankfully, she sent her husband away and told him she'd call when she was ready (apparently they only have 1 car right now), and she did finish up. However, when she punched out at 10:30p, she mentioned to one of the techs that she was circling her finish time on the time card because she hoped to be paid extra for staying late. Another case of wishful thinking... what about "salaried" does she not understand??

Well, as if that weren't enough, it turns out that one of the things she left for me to "finish up" was a Cane Corso with a GI foreign body - she DID look at the rads with me and then called the owner to tell him the dog needed surgery, but only because she was still there doing other things; turns out that not only did he need an enterotomy and a gastrotomy, but he also needed an intestinal resection and anastamosis... now I didn't mind her leaving the 3 hour surgery for me, because quite honestly I don't think she's qualified to have performed it as it was difficult for ME to do, but the dog had come in at NOON and she was just getting him x-rayed at 8pm! She hadn't done a damn thing except draw blood and throw him into a run in 8 freaking hours... and even that, I had breezed over, thinking they must have been slammed all day and he got overlooked, UNTIL one of the techs told me that she had been scheduled to work the swing shift Saturday (4p-12a) and they told her NOT TO COME IN BECAUSE THEY WERE SO SLOW!! So, what in the hell was going on all day??

When Dr. S came in Sunday morning, I told him that he and the manager had better do something about Dr. C because I've about had it. I told him the basics of what had occurred and apparently he called higher ups about it, because when I came back in Sunday night, he told me that she (our manager) would be in early Monday morning to talk to me. Which was good, because I had planned on waiting for her to get there anyway!!

Well, the manager showed up about 7:45a, and we sat down to talk. I told her about the Cane Corso and that the tech had told me they were slow until about 6p, but that I didn't know if the fault lay with the doctor or the support staff since I wasn't there; I told her that I felt Dr. C wasn't qualified for the job but that was HER (management's) call and I respected her decision; she then told met about her own concerns about Dr. C and the desperate situation that led to them offering her a job... I told her that Dr. C was not only slow but that she hadn't learned to balance seeing new clients with finishing up patients that were already in hospital; I also told her about Mr. C still hanging around despite the new policy -- she said she had NO idea it was still going on and that she never thought she'd have to explain "UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES" to a doctor...

Anyway, she said that she was going to talk to Dr. C about what's been going on and then we are going to get together for another doctor's meeting... the manager is seriously limited in terms of what she can do (though she CAN enforce the threat outlined in the announcement of the new policy - first offense you will be written up and warned, 2nd offense is termination of employment); nothing but time and experience can make Dr. C fast enough to keep up with the weekend pace at AUC - my fear is that this pregnancy (yes, she just announced that they're expecting in the fall, coincidentally just about the time her contract is up...) will make her even slower and that will be a nightmare... I'm just praying that either (1) she'll elect to not renew the contract or (2) they won't offer to renew it. That's bad, huh?? But, the truth of the matter is I LOVE my job, but can't stand her...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It's been tough, and it's not getting any better!

My 10 days straight started last Friday... it's only Tuesday and I'm exhausted. 4 down, 6 to go! This wasn't a very good idea... not only am I working a lot of back-to-back shifts, but we've been busy (which is great, but it means that I can't get any sleep at work, and I'm not getting to nap at home because I have to take care of Baby Girl all day -- don't ask... that's a long story). Tonight is night 5; it's quiet (quick! knock on some wood somewhere) - I have to pump again in 2 hours and then I'm going to bed. I'm worn out.

Baby Girl is, I think, getting sick again. She's been sneezing more than usual and today I had to keep cleaning some crusty schmoo off of her nose. B called tonight after I left for work to ask if I had noticed the rash all down her chest - apparently it's bright red. Well, it wasn't there when I changed her last... she went down for a nap earlier today and woke up with splotchy cheeks - I guess maybe the rash started then?? She wasn't down too long so she didn't get changed when she woke up - then she went down again just before I left... Poor little girl! I sure hope she doesn't end up with the skin issues (eczema) like Little Man has. I hope it's just more "new baby rash"!

Anyway... I can't wait for this week to be over. Never again will I agree to do my entire month's worth of shifts back to back! I've been doing SO good going to the gym every day, but right now I can barely function at work; I'm not even attempting to exercise... of course, the exhaustion is killing my appetite; I only ate 1/2 my dinner and I'm stuffed. Maybe something good will come of this after all! LOL

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Remind me to just be thankful for the good nights!!

It seems that Baby Girl alternates bad nights with good ones... the bad ones are usually pretty bad... she goes down for the night about the same time regardless , and for the most part, the first waking is at about the same time, around 2a, but this is where the 2 paths diverge.

On a good night (which, to give her credit, is her "norm"), she will get up again about 5:30a, sleep until 7 or 8a, and go back down for a morning nap by 9:30a. She will also take a midday nap and an afternoon nap. We haven't managed to work in an evening nap, because of her early bedtime, so she tends to get grumpy around 5 or 5:30p, so instead, we created a "bedtime routine" of a bath and some snuggle time! Then, we just vary her bedtime according to her "mood" - she gets put down anywhere between 6:30 and 8p.

On a bad night, once that 2a waking, she is up every 60-120 mins, and she is usually up for the day by about 6a; to compound the problem, she then refuses to nap, except very briefly. She is much fussier, and more demanding, and often times nothing pleases or suits her. It's very frustrating... today has obviously been a "bad day"!!

On a more positive note, she is trying very hard to sit up - when I sit on the bed with her in my lap, leaning back against my legs, she strains and leans forward until she is sitting upright. Of course, her balance isn't well developed, so she wobbles and will fall over unless supported, but she is really progressing!! I'm already amazed at how much she has changed since the original helpless newborn stage. I know I've been through it before, but it's been so long... it's like being a new mom all over again and I am again in awe of the developments that occur during the first year!!