2010 has been a year of ups and downs for us.
Unfortunately, so far, the downs have tended to be downier than the uppitiness of the ups.
The last month has been a little different, so here's a rundown of where we stand.
A few of the ups:
1. It previously looked like Caroline's family would not be able to come to Disney World with us because none of Paul's job possibilities would allow it.
Then, as if arranged by Walt's frozen head, a job appeared, right up Paul's alley in Baton Rouge and he landed it. Yay for ups.
Then we realized that because Liz works for a major retailer and we are going between Thanksgiving and Christmas, she wouldn't be able to get time off. Well that's fitting.
Then as if Walt's frozen head got bored again, she was granted the time off. Yay for ups.
Then we called to book them a room at our hotel, and there were no rooms left. Well that's fitting.
Then as if Walt's frozen head bankrupted a family from Minnesota, when I called back to make them a reservation at another hotel, a room had opened at ours.
Aside from the fact that my Dad obviously won't be going with us as originally planned, the trip is now as complete as nature will allow it to be. I'm super pumped.
2. Having a big yard and two grand kids who will be around for a while, Joan's Mom bought a playhouse for her backyard that we assembled. The set up is made by Step 2, a company whose products have impressed me.
But the final product (not pictured above) looked like a nightmare to mow around, so we built an enclosure and filled it with rubber mulch and it came out looking great.
Fortunately, I picked up some skills from my Dad over the years and I'm pretty capable of doing these things. I also picked up a predisposition to overbuild things which I always have to battle. It took me 10 minutes to figure out how to build it, then 30 minutes to work backwards from overbuilding it, but I'm happy with the finished goods.
3. Our Goodnight NOLA weekend (see next post)
4. A few weeks ago Melissa Stevenson & The Dill Pickle Band played a show at the Acadiana Center for the Arts. Hers is the only real kids' music, aside from classic Disney stuff, that Riley has listened to. It took him a while to warm up, but eventually he and his pal Anna got into the show.
5. Festival international was a mixed bag this year. Riley was sick but got to have fun with his cousins.
6. Office crawfish boil. Riley had fun, rode his bike, made friends, ate a lemon and splashed in the pool.
7. I went to the cardiologist who said my heart sounds good, and, at least for now, i don't have to worry about having the same problems my Dad did.
1. The day after I dumped all of our photos from New Orleans, our computer died for the third time this year. Unfortunately this time it was a hard drive. Unfortunatelier, it was the hard drive that had all of our photos and videos, that I hadn't backed up since before Riley was born.
After a sickening, sleepless night, we were able to get the equipment that allowed us to get everything off of the drive, and it is now backed up in two places. But, for a while, the office was a war zone.
2. The lorakeet feeding at the Zoo of Acadiana is not as much fun as it sounds. They are more interested in eating you and fighting with each other while sitting on you than they are in the sticky cup of food spilling all over your hand.
Granny seemed a little amused, but neither Riley or I enjoyed the experience. I've never considered birds scary, but when they are on you and you can't see them, it is a bit unnerving.
Especially so with the second hand smoke stained Zoo of Acadiana birds. With the crowds that they see all day, I'm surprised they haven't learned to tie little birdie nooses out of grass just to end their misery.
3. As I write this, I feel like I've been beaten up from the inside because, well, essentially I've been beaten up from the inside.
Despite not being symptomatic for a couple of months, all the tests showed that my gall bladder was shot.
The doc said he couldn't believe I wasn't hurting with the numbers I had, but then I flexed for him and he understood what he was dealing with.
Ok, only half of that was true.
But since it sounded like removal was inevitable, I went ahead and had a laproscopic cholecystectomy last week.
Four incisions later and I have one less internal organ than I was born with.
Warning, you can't unsee what you are about to see...
That's like a self esteem booster for 95% of guys out there. Pretty good gut for a skinny guy, huh?
I'm bouncing back now. Some soreness still, but I ate crawfish and chips and salsa yesterday without any additional pain, so I'm pleased with the results. And I didn't say anything too embarrassing under anesthesia, so I'm happy.
The hardest part really was the mental weight that came with showing up on a cold, early morning to a hospital in the same parking lot as the hospital my Dad was at. Felt too familiar, but even more personal knowing I would be the one with the bracelet on this time. But that's in the past now, and you've all seen my sexy bruised belly, so I expect the hit count to skyrocket and make it all better. Electronic ego is a wonderful thing.
4. While I was building the playset at Joan's parents' house, she and Riley were playing here. At some point, she stepped over him just as he sat up, resulting in a cut on his forehead. He took to explaining to everyone that , "Mommy walk on my head." often adding that she went to time-out and that it was not nice. No scarring involved.