Friday, May 23, 2014

Low Expectations

The deafening blog silence is attributable to a short but exhausting trip I took to Dallas last weekend & a few manic days of attempting to finish reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn before the book club met.  I will now fill the blog silence with a cacophony of all that has transpired in the past week.

Last Friday was a day I'd been looking forward to for quite some time.  Reagan recently received an invite to her first birthday party at Skatetown, & last Friday was the big day; one of us was overly enthusiastic about strapping on a pair of roller skates & whizzing around the rink to the best of the eighties.

Upon arrival, I eagerly shed my shoes & laced up my skates (taking note of the fact that most of the other parents were not doing the same), but despite having four degrees from institutions of higher learning between us, Trey & I couldn't figure Reagan's skates out.  Those of you who've spent more time at children's skating parties than I are likely looking at this picture below & thinking, She's supposed to wear her shoes with the skates, morons.

The mystery was eventually solved.  When I had to hand over my shoes in exchange for my skates while Reagan's shoes were not requested in exchange for hers, that was a major clue, I realized in hindsight.  

She knew we were doing something wrong.

Before I stepped on the rink last Friday, it had been years since I'd skated, & my goal was simply to look cool take a few spins around the rink & not fall.  I am happy to report that not only did I meet my meager goal, but everything came back to me with ease - - I was twelve years old again, & as I turned sharp corners on two wheels, my body was poised in anticipation of hearing the opening notes of "Ice Ice Baby," always a great song to skate to as you check out your limbo competition.  

Reagan skated a little, but was distracted by the small cars & one small helicopter lining the rink.  

The skating is just the tip of the iceberg of merriment.

My sister & Maisie spent a week at my parents' house.  The week included a sleepover at Nana & Papa's for Reagan, Henry, & me as well as a photo shoot in the wildflowers (yes, the same wildflowers where I had so much recent success photographing my kids).

I snapped this the morning after the sleepover.  Not pictured are Jessica & my mom; they are in the bed watching Frozen while the three grandkids lounge on the floor.  

The return trip to the wildflowers was not my idea, but I changed my kids out of their pajamas & went along so we could attempt some nice pictures with not two, but three kids this time.  I am over photos at the moment, as you might imagine if you read my last post.  I guess you could call the shoot a success in that everyone left in the same pants they were wearing when we arrived & not once did anyone utter, Do you smell that?

So here we go . . . 

My dad took this "behind the making of the photos" picture.  Note that I said I changed my kids out of their pajamas; the pajama shedding ended there.

And some with Nana:

Some solo shots of my kids (both were far, far from cooperative):

So that's that.  

As the week came to a close & the time for my mother to return Jessica & Maisie to Dallas drew near, I decided it was a good idea for the kids & me to accompany them.  Just typing that sentence makes me tired.    

Like the photo shoot in the wildflowers, I had zero expectations of the trip.  I used to travel to cities like Dallas with a few vague goals in mind.  You know important things like find a new bedroom rug or buy some new black wedges.  After I made my first trip to Dallas with Reagan when she was about three months old, I realized there was no point in setting myself up for disappointment & abandoned any shopping goals when traveling with kids.  After I made my first trip to Dallas with both kids in the sweltering heat last August, which you can read about here, it was obvious that with two kids, travel goals are reduced to things like make sure they eat & check that both children are in the car with you before you leave the mall.  If you happen to grab a shirt off a rack while you're maneuvering the stroller & quelling your children's cries, well, that's just gravy.

The first hurdle of the trip was cramming three adults, three children, an endless pile of bags, & three child safety seats into my mom's Tahoe.  I had decided the kids & I needed new scenery, & now that I am not teaching & we basically have no schedule, I thought the trip was a good idea . . . but not such a good idea that I was willing to drive there & back.

I took this group selfie right after we'd loaded everyone & everything up & were about to hit the road around noon Saturday.  You can't see the young babes because they're in their rear-facing car seats, but I will tell you that they were ecstatic about spending five hours in the car, riding backwards, while their mothers, their Nana, & Reagan sang along to The Sound of Music.

Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start . . . 

We stopped & ate at a Cracker Barrel in ______________.  It was in Texas.  I wasn't driving, & I don't recall the city.  I drank some good, hot coffee there, & that's the detail that matters.    

When we arrived in the DFW area, we immediately went to a TJMaxx near Jessa & Heath's house, which, upon unloading the kids & putting them in strollers/buggies, we discovered was not the best idea given that they'd been in a car all day & were tired & uninterested in their caretakers finding discounted designer purses.  We made a few quick sweeps of the Maxx, bought nothing, loaded everyone back up, & headed to Jessa & Heath's where, thankfully, Heath had prepared enchiladas, sparing us the ordeal of having to haul all the babes to a crowded restaurant on a Saturday night. 

Saturday night we all got a little sleep.  I don't think my mom slept much at all; I slept about as much as I do on any given night at home, which is not enough, but I can usually make do with coffee.  I should tell you that nighttime is kind of a circus at our house since Reagan's diabetes diagnosis, & I was nervous about taking the circus on the road without Trey, who plays an integral part in the balancing act we've been performing since January of this year.  The short version of the story (which I rarely opt to tell, as you know) is that we only go so many hours without checking Reagan's blood sugar number, & that includes during the night.  

Reagan ready to hit the town Sunday morning:

Henry still lounging in his pajamas Sunday morning:

Once everyone was bathed & dressed & the last diaper had been packed in a bag, we headed for a brunch buffet.  I cannot recall the name of the restaurant but they had good coffee & a warming plate full of cream-cheese-filled, berry-topped crepes on the buffet that made every hardship of the trip worth it.  

Post-brunch photo op:

After brunch, we wandered around one of the many posh outdoor shopping areas Dallas boasts.  At some point I checked Reagan's number, & she was running low, so I gave her some raisins.  For several hours we were waving all manner of carbs in Reagan's face attempting to keep her number up.  For some reason, despite my giving her minimal insulin at brunch, she was running low, & while it's usually easy to get her to rise, that wasn't the case for a few hours Sunday afternoon.  I got her up to a nice 96, only to check a little later to see she'd fallen back to 76.  This almost never happens; when she's not where she needs to be, she trends high rather than low unless I've made a glaring insulin error, but that wasn't the case Sunday.  We were forcing gelato down her throat, & still no significant rise.  If I haven't said it lately, it needs to be said that diabetes will drive you insane; I am four months in & while my admittedly limited math skills have improved significantly, my grip on sanity is slippery many days.   

In the midst of all the carb eating, I found two nice tops at Chico's.  Sanity restored, if only temporarily.  I am certain that had I purposefully set out to find nice tops while in Dallas, I'd have found nothing.  When you set the bar low, something as insignificant as a new shirt can make the weekend. 

This is what Henry thought of my new tops:    

We did a little more shopping before hitting the road Monday.  This is Reagan surveying what Gap has to offer in the way of hats this season:

I made a nice haul in Gap.  I was exhausted, hadn't showered, was wearing no make-up, & had a dirty diaper staring me down, but a $15 Gap sweater on clearance parted the clouds.  I also found another shirt & a scarf on sale - - all while maneuvering Henry in Jessica's overly large jogging stroller that was not made with indoor shopping in mind.    

Kudos is owed my mother, who does not enjoy driving but drove every mile of the trip while I attempted to read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn in order to finish the looooong book before the book club met Tuesday evening.  For the first time in two years of membership, I didn't finish the book before we met; I was two chapters shy.  I have since read those chapters, & I highly recommend the book.  It's a book best read at a leisurely pace, unless of course you have a book club deadline, in which case you'll have to chase your kids around the house while you read it on your iPhone.  

I returned home with the kids late Monday night to discover that Trey has canceled our cable. - - I'm going to channel Zack Morris & take a time-out here to tell you that I struggle with the word canceled.  Is it canceled, or cancelled?  I admit I sometimes avoid using it because I am unsure of which spelling is correct, & am further confounded by the fact that apparently, either spelling is acceptable.  I function much better with hard & fast grammar rules. - - Regardless, while I was out of state, Trey was engaged in one of his epic battles with Comcast, & Trey is trying to convince me that Comcast lost.

I am fine with the television situation at the moment.  I don't sit down during the day & certainly don't watch anything on TV, & when I finally make it to bed at night I want to read or write.  I am having some issues with the sudden disappearance of my DVR (which left a sad, thick layer of dust in its wake).  As Trey has repeatedly told me, I can watch Jack Bauer on the Internet, & I get all my news on the Internet . . . blah, blah, blah.  It's my prediction that summer will pass with no cable showdown, however, I am going to wake up one hot August morning & roll over in bed in search of my boyfriend, Mr. Kirk Herbstreit, & when I can't find him, the cable gauntlet will be thrown down in grand fashion.  I do not have low expectations when it comes to my relationship with Kirk.  Stay tuned. 


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Photo Fail Tale

Though it's been years since I was a student, I had two major tests last week.  The first was Reagan's appointment with her endocrinologist, specifically her first A1C number post-diagnosis.  As you already know (unless you've fallen behind on your blog reading . . . catch yourself up here), I passed the first test.

The second test came on Thursday.  Before I divulge the details, I'll tell you that I failed.  Large red letter F.  Like this: F.

On Thursday of last week, the Trey Zeigler family was scheduled to arrive at the church building at 8:40 in the evening to have our picture made for the forthcoming church pictorial directory. I know you're thinking, 8:40 at night, really?  Yes, really.  That's partly on me because signing up for a time slot during which to take pictorial directory photos was not at the top of my priority list, so when I got around to it, there were few options available.  I did think it was odd that an 8:40 time slot was even an option, but, okay.  We are all night owls, so I thought the 8:40 time might actually work out.  It may've worked beautifully; I guess we'll never know.

Last time we had pictures made for the church directory, Trey totaled his car on the way to meet Reagan & me for the photo session.  You can imagine what that did for my mood as I wrestled a six month old Reagan & attempted to follow the (often weird & nonsensical) instructions of the the two strangers the church hired to take pictorial directory photos.

At long last, the three of us finished posing in every possible formation & were mercifully allowed to wipe the phony smiles from our faces.  Then came the sales pitch.  I immediately & emphatically said no.  No we do not want to pay hundreds of dollars for copies of these 1985, Olan Mills throwback pictures.  After all, we were about to have to buy a car; I think I said that out loud.  We didn't have the official word from the insurance folks yet, but I saw the car, & I was pretty sure they'd total it.

Long story short, Trey caved & we ended up with a couple hundred dollars worth of horrible pictures of ourselves.  I haven't a clue where the pictures are today; we should have just taken the cash out of our wallets & burned it (along with the pictures!).  Also, Trey's Trailblazer was totaled, if you're curious.  When I have to drive his large, gas inhaling Toyota Tundra, I think about the expensive & awful pictures taken the day he totaled the Trailblazer, which, if you haven't already guessed, paved the way to his purchasing the Tundra.    

With these pictorial directory memories fresh in my mind, & with an additional person thrown in the mix of awkward poses this time around, I got out of bed last Thursday morning with an ominous feeling.  Thursday's schedule was packed with rage-inducing activities.  My mom was coming over around ten to watch the kids while I went to turn in my final grades.  That sounds so benign, right?  So simple?  Just turn in the grades.  The hoops of paperwork through which I am asked to jump during this process known as "turning in grades" would astound you.  I am to electronically submit the grades.  I am to denote the last date of attendance for any student who withdrew from the class, or failed the class.  These dates have something to do with calculating financial aid; I wish the government would just ask me any questions they have about financial aid.  In the case of 98% of the students I teach, the answer is simple: CUT IT OFF.  IMMEDIATELY.

Once everything is electronically submitted, I am to print a hard copy of every page I submitted electronically (this is required by the same people who complain about the amount of paper instructors use in the printers & copiers, & who discourage us from making copious copies of things that can be posted online for students).  I am then to sign my name to every printed grade sheet, make copies of the printed & signed grade sheets, make copies of my grade book, & make copies of my attendance roster, & disseminate these copies to numerous offices on campus - - numerous offices in the same building, but they all need their own special copy of information that is online, the place they encourage instructors to post items for students, thereby avoiding needlessly wasting paper.

Now that I've set the scene for Thursday, I shall forge ahead with the pictorial directory photo fail tale.  I guess the short version would be, "I was already frustrated when I arrived home to prepare myself & the children to meet Trey for the picture session."  I said my goodbyes to my mother & assessed the work ahead of me.  I hadn't given much thought to what we'd wear.  I sat down with a cup of coffee, mentally selected outfits, & hoped nothing was excessively wrinkled because I was not about to iron.    

When the coffee was gone, I changed the kids' clothes.  I packed all the bags - - diapers, wipes, bottles, baby food, a tiny baby spoon, insulin, alcohol wipes, sugar meter & strips - - we don't travel light.  The three of us met Trey at Outback, where we took our time & had a leisurely meal because, if you recall, we weren't expected for pictures until 8:40.  As I finished the last bite of my steak, I made a crucial mistake.  I thought to myself that I had pulled it off; no one had totaled a car, we had a pleasant dinner together, we all looked nice, we were running on time, & maybe, just maybe, we would take a nice family photo.

Fool.  I am a fool.  My optimism was short-lived (as were Henry's freshly washed khaki pants).  I don't want to get into the details both because I feel I should protect my son's dignity, & because it's possible you're eating as you read this.  It is sufficient to say that I had to make an executive decision: either Henry is forever enshrined in the church directory wearing only a diaper, or we cancel our 8:40 photo appointment.  I contemplated my options while changing Henry's diaper in the restroom at Outback, which was no easy task thanks not only to the mess on my hands (literally), but because the individual who hung the plastic fold-out diaper changing table on the wall in the ladies' restroom at Outback is an idiot.  Henry was level with my chin while I cleaned him up.  I hate to make a sexist comment, but it's apparent some dumb man who's likely never changed a diaper in his life screwed the changing table into the wall, & he missed the mark by several feet, unless of course a WNBA player traveling through West Monroe needs to change her child's diaper in the Outback ladies' restroom.

We all went home.  No pictures were taken.  I've been instructed to submit a family photo to the church secretary if we still wish to be pictorially represented in the new directory.  I just really do not care anymore.  Everyone knows who we are; you cannot miss my kids during services.  I don't understand why, in this age of iPhone cameras & digital everything, I have to dress & cart my kids up to the church at almost nine o'clock on a Thursday night to have strangers take our picture.  My campaign for a selfie church pictorial directory begins soon.

After the picture/non-picture incident Thursday, my Mother's Day weekend went pretty well.  Yes, the weekend would have been better had the news not been dominated by the ridiculous spectacle surrounding the drafting of the first openly gay NFL player, but, unfortunately, they don't let me control the news.  I mean really, who cares.  WHO CARES?  I don't care if he plays in drag if we could all just move on already.  For all the lip service they pay to the ideal of equality, the media wouldn't know what to do if they didn't have some perceived minority about whom to blather incessantly.  Equal means equal, right?  So if he's drafted, good for him.  If he's not, oh well.  Singling him out to such an extent that his draft status dominates the news for three days is not exactly treating him as equal to the other thousands of men hoping to be drafted.  *End rant.*

So, Mother's Day weekend.

Saturday evening Henry gave me a wonderful Mother's Day gift: quiet solitude.  He fell asleep rocking with Trey while I was bathing Reagan, & he remained in a state of peaceful slumber when I picked him up & moved him.  I gleefully settled in bed with my coffee & my remote & Jack Bauer.  It needs to be said that it is fantastic to see Jack Bauer back on television.  I'd forgotten what a bright day he makes of otherwise blah Mondays.

Sunday was a full day for the four of us.  We went to church (see, we're there, in our Sunday best, every Sunday - - take our picture then!  Ahhh!).  We sat down at noon for lunch with my parents.  I was too busy to take any pictures, so you'll just have to imagine us happily eating our Mother's Day lunch (in much the same way our friends at church will have to imagine us in the pictorial directory).  If it helps, present were the four of us, my parents, Jessa, Heath, Maisie, my grandmother, & our good friend Jim DeMoss.

Shortly after one that afternoon, we sat down for lunch with Trey's parents, his brother Lance, his sister Deni, & her boyfriend Dow.  Lucky for you, Trey's dad took some pictures.  I wasn't as busy during lunch No.2 since Henry had already been fed, but I was too tired to take pictures.

This is Reagan with the flower I was given at restaurant No.1.  Reagan immediately claimed it, & I let it go graciously.

Henry & his Grandmama:

Uncle Lance & Grandmama (& a sliver of Henry):


Deni & Dow (I think this is Dow's blog debut.  I'm sure his elation knows no bounds):

I'm sitting in bed typing this & uploading pictures & the thing is, a new hour of Jack Bauer is waiting for me on the DVR, so I am done here.  I don't think I had much more to say anyway.  After reliving the events of last Thursday, now is a great time for some Jack Bauer.  

Jack doesn't care about official paperwork, or pictorial directory photos, or gay football players.  


Friday, May 9, 2014

Drip by Drip

So I mentioned that this past Monday we travelled to see Reagan's pediatric endocrinologist.  In honor of a special man returning to my life this week, I'm going to take you through Monday's journey to Jackson hour-by-coffee-drenched-hour.

For you, Jack.

Our journey begins at the inauspicious time of four in the morning.  Feel the pain.  Sometimes I am up at four in the morning to fix Henry a bottle, or to check Reagan's number, but I typically go back to sleep once these activities are completed.  To begin the day at four o'clock is just absolutely awful.  AW.FUL.

4am: I hit the snooze button on the alarm for the final time & slumped out of bed.  I checked Reagan's number, which I'd told Trey I'd do in lieu of his usual middle of the night check since I'd be up at four anyway.  All was well with Reagan, so I took a shower & dressed sloooowly, because I just could not function.

5am: The first taste of coffee Monday came much, much earlier than usual.  I brewed a cup to drink while I finished my make-up (as if the make-up would help) & basically did every last thing I could think of before having to wake Reagan.

6am: We departed the house shortly before six in the morning.  In addition to my coffee, I'd made some toast because I was under the impression Chick-fil-A opens at six-thirty, & thus wouldn't be an option to us.  I mean who really knows when they open because why, WHY, are people up & milling about so early?!?  I was wrong, as Trey pointed out, & they open at six.  I opted out of a cup of coffee from Chick-fil-A only because I'd had two already (one at the house, & a second I'd fixed at the house to bring with me) & I knew Trey would not be persuaded by my pleas for a restroom break on the two hour drive to Jackson.

I snapped this picture below of Reagan while we were sitting in the drive-thru line, which was extremely short given that most of the good people of West Monroe have the sense to be asleep at six in the morning, or at least stumbling around in their bathrobe.

I managed to swap Reagan's pajama bottoms for her pants before we put her in the car, but she wore her Dora pajama top until we changed her out of it about one minute before we walked into the doctor's office.  She looked so cute, so I wanted to snap a picture.  I didn't realize my flash was on, & of course it flashed because it was still dark outside.

7am: I missed all but a few minutes of the seven o'clock hour.  I actually slept a little in the car on the drive over, so that's an indication of the fine job the two cups of coffee I'd ingested were doing of pepping me up for the long day.

8am: We pulled up outside the office right at eight.  I quickly changed Reagan's shirt, brushed her hair, & ran inside to the restroom, because, well, COFFEE.  

We were called to the back fairly quickly (it's not like there's a line of folks clamoring for the eight o'clock appointments).  They weighed Reagan, checked her blood pressure, height, etc. (she's tall, we learned).  They checked her number, which was fine, & then took an additional few drops of blood from the finger they'd pricked to check her A1C.  One of the main reasons for our trips to the doctor in Jackson, of which there will be roughly four a year for the time being, is for them to check Reagan's A1C.  This links to a good but simple explanation of what that number represents.  It's basically an indicator of a person's average blood sugar over the past two to three months.  The higher your A1C, the poorer your blood sugar control.

I was nervous about the A1C reading for a few reasons.  First, I had no idea all they needed was a drop of blood to conduct the test, so I was imagining a full out blood draw (although Reagan's had so many she handles them fairly well now).  I was so relieved when the nurse simply squeezed a small drop from the prick she used to check Reagan's sugar.  Whew.  I didn't want it to be an awful thing because it'd be an awful thing we'd be facing every trip over.

I was also nervous because her A1C is essentially the best indicator of how well I am doing managing her diabetes.  It's a predictor of the likelihood of future complications; what I do now can't be undone (cue the Garth Brooks Burning Bridges lyrics . . . it's all right, they popped in my head when I typed that). Until she's old enough to manage her diet & insulin regimen herself, it basically falls to me, & it is a considerable weight on my shoulders.  I was anticipating a number that would disappoint both the doctor & me, & then the rest of the day in Jackson, which we wanted to be fun for Reagan, would be ruined for me because I'd be obsessing over the A1C number.  Before I blabber on further, I'll tell you that her number was good.  We were told in January on our first visit that the goal for a diabetic her size & age is an A1C of 7.5; the target number will be tightened to 7 as she grows & we're able to, hopefully, more tightly control her blood sugar.  She's so small now that both food & insulin affect her drastically, but as she grows this likely won't be the case.  I was prepared for an 8.5 or 9; Reagan's A1C was a 6.8.  FIST PUMP!  That number did more for my day than any of the coffee I drank.

9am: By this time we were past the preliminaries & were chatting with Reagan's doctor, whom I love.  LOVE.  Do you know how wonderful it is to be a short drive away from a doctor who specializes in caring for diabetic children?  I am tempted to take a short break from relaying Monday's happenings & rail on Obama & his dismantling of American healthcare.  But I won't (this is me, not digressing).

Here's a pic I took of Reagan while we waited to speak with her doctor:

10am:  After I used the restroom (again), we left the doctor's office.  We were ready for lunch, because when you eat breakfast at six in the morning, you're starving before McDonald's has even put the smackdown on people wanting breakfast.  We knew no one would serve us lunch at ten in the morning, so we took Reagan to a Learning Express toy store.  That woke her up.

Considering it was ten o'clock on a Monday morning, we had the place to ourselves.  We were probably completely irritating to the salesgirl who likely takes a nice nap on most Monday mornings.  Reagan couldn't stop playing long enough to decide what she wanted, so as we approached the eleven o'clock hour, Trey & I started putting on the pressure for her to make a selection.  She showed a great deal of interest in the kitchenette on display, particularly the toaster.  However, the toaster came as part of a large set, & Reagan already has a kitchenette, so I directed her toward a selection of fake food (ketchup, mustard, a can of tuna, a box of spaghetti . . . you get the idea) that would be nice additions to her kitchen at home.  She was sold, & we were off to eat lunch. 

11am:  Fake food in tow, we debated our options, & settled on eating at a Broken Egg Cafe.  It was a good choice.  Gooooood choice.  Euphoric from the A1C, I went out on a limb & ordered a cream cheese filled omelet topped with lobster meat.  You're skeptical, I know.  It was amazing.  I ate it kind of fast, which is why there's no photo of it.  I also ordered some coffee, which was everything coffee should be: hot, fresh, & served in this fantastic mug.

And yes, I do realize that I could have eaten my lunch omelet at ten in the morning, & I would have, had we known we were so close to a Broken Egg Cafe.  Live & learn.

12pm: After lunch, we walked around the outdoor mall awhile before introducing Reagan to Barnes & Noble.  I walked in with her, her tiny hand in mine, & she said, "This is impressive."  I stopped, leaned closer to her, & asked her what she said, & she repeated, "This is impressive."  Impressive indeed, my dear.

While Reagan & I were strolling the outdoor mall & inhaling the paginated coffee goodness that is Barnes & Noble, Trey was at a Toys-R-Us nearby.  Reagan was not the only one determined to leave Jackson with a faux toaster.  Using his trusty iPhone, Trey discovered that Toys-R-Us sells a tiny plastic toaster, complete with two pieces of toast & a bagel for the bargain price of $9.99; he was sold.  He abandoned Reagan & I at the outdoor mall (one of my favorite places to be abandoned) & made a quick toaster run, returning to us in time to join me at Starbucks & place his order for a white chocolate mocha.

1pm: When we returned to the car for the trip home, Reagan's new toaster was waiting for her in her car seat.  She thought the car parked next to us had left it for her.  We had a few moments of toasty excitement standing there in the parking lot, & then we climbed in & buckled.  The moment my rear hit the leather, I realized how tired I was.  All the caffeine I'd ingested, the omelet joy, the toaster glee . . . vanished.

2pm: I think I slept a little on the way home.  I couldn't have slept much, because I was afraid Trey would fall asleep driving, & because Reagan was making toast for much of the drive home.  I'll give you one guess who was retrieving fake toast from the floorboard repeatedly as we headed for the Louisiana state line.  I happily scrounged for the plastic bread though, because when you count carbs all day long, you can't complain when hard, fake plastic toast makes your daughter happy.

3pm: As we neared West Monroe, I mentioned to Trey that we needed groceries.  Silence ensued for a few minutes as Trey determined how he'd return the ball I'd just lobbed him.  We both knew his options were, (1) we go home, see Henry (who was spending the day with my mom), & I return to the store later (ALONE!) while he watches the kids, or, (2) we make a detour on our drive home & Trey, Reagan, & I go to the store together.  Trey opted for door No. 2.  It worked out well.  He walked around the store with Reagan while I darted up & down the aisles attempting to summon coherent thought & purchase needed groceries.  It was nearing four in the afternoon & I'd been awake for twelve hours already, so the odds weren't good that I'd make it home with all the needed grocery items.  However, one benefit of rising at four in the morning is that if twelve hours later you find yourself in the middle of the afternoon grocery rush, you can be sure you won't forget to load your cart down with box after box of K-cups for the Keurig.

4pm: We made it home.  We unloaded all the groceries (the fake & the real food).  I made some coffee.  My sentences are growing short & declarative; you know the end is near.

At seven o'clock Monday evening, my DVR recorded the return of Jack Bauer.  I have yet to sit & revel in Jack's return.  Trey & I both knew there was no chance we'd sit & watch the two hour premiere in real time.  It was a reflective moment for me, as much one can have a reflective moment on about three hours of sleep.  When I first heard the name Jack Bauer, Trey was in law school; he was always talking about his new friend Jack.  I dismissed Jack as easily as I dismissed all the various forms of entertainment about which Trey gushed.  I grew to love Jack only after Trey graduated law school & was living in West Monroe again.  I'd heard Rush Limbaugh praising Jack, so I thought, okay, maybe I'll check this guy out.  When Trey & I were engaged, we had a regular date with Jack on Monday nights.  When Jack left us, I'd take a weekend here & there & sit & catch up on what Jack was doing during the time I so foolishly refused to meet him.

Today, I cannot even imagine sitting & watching an entire season of 24 in a weekend.  My goal is to watch last Monday's premiere before a new hour of problems befalls Jack this coming Monday.  To quote Ariel, I don't know when, I don't know how, but I will not rebuff Jack now that he's returned to me.  I imagine a late night cup of very caffeinated coffee will likely play a role in my reunion with Jack.

I hope everyone enjoys a wonderful Mother's Day.  Between Jack's return & the 6.8 news on Monday, my week has been made.  Six point eight, baby!  Happy Mother's Day to me.