Thursday, August 23, 2007

Random Acts of Kindness

Some days I start to think there can't be much kindness left in the world. I'm not talking about being polite or simply getting along with others. I'm talking about the sort of kindness that requires self-sacrifice, the kind that comes from the true part of a person that puts another's needs before his or her own.

One might think that because I am a nurse I would see these acts of kindness every day. Don't think me heartless, but I feel that what I do each day at work, while it comes from a need to make the experience of my patients positive, doesn't really count. I am being paid to do it. Would I come here each day and bust my butt to make patients happy if I wasn't being properly compensated? Uhhh, that would be a No.

Today, however, I witnessed a powerful scenario that made me believe once again in the concept of self-sacrifice.

I rode the bus to work today. As I was walking to the bus stop, thunder boomed all around me. The nanosecond I stepped onto the bus, the sky opened up and a great deluge began. Fortunately, I came prepared, and walked the block from the bus stop to the hospital under my umbrella. My head was protected, but it was raining so hard that the rest of me got pretty wet. I didn't really care about the rest as I get to change into scrubs when I get to work, but I was having a great hair day, so a dry head was pretty important.

As I approached the hospital, I saw an ambulance parked about 20 feet away from the door I use. The back doors were open and 2 paramedics were just coming out the hospital door with a patient that they were going to load into the ambulance. The patient had a blanket over his body, but no protection for his head, and the paramedics had all their hands full trying to maneuver the loaded stretcher from the doorway to the ambulance. Just as I was thinking, "That poor patient, he's going to get soaked," a woman in front of me went running over with her umbrella to hold it over the patient's head. She followed them all the way to the ambulance until the patient's head was in the vehicle. It took probably 20 seconds, and the woman ended up absolutely drenched!! I caught up to her as she ducked back under her umbrella, and told her with great admiration, "That's the nicest thing I have ever seen." She just smiled and said, "Well, I couldn't just let the poor guy get poured on. He's probably not having a great day as it is!"

As we rode together in the elevator, I wondered if I would have done the same thing. I'd like to think I would. Then again, I hate being wet when I should be dry, and I was having a really, really good hair day...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Fair Fun and a New High Score on the Grossness Scale

I've been going to the State Fair in my home state for my entire life....really, I have only missed maybe one year of my 34 years on this planet. It's a HUGE fair, and we always have a great time. I now live an extra hour and fifteen minutes from the fair, and have two young kids to tote around, so the motivation to attend each year drops a bit...and this year it was going to be hotter than snot (does snot qualify as hot?, it's really more body-temperature...but I digress). 96 degrees with 96% humidity is not my idea of fun, and I actually was planning to just skip it this year.

Funny thing is, JeepMan loves to go. Of all the things I would think he wouldn't want to do...but sometimes he surprises me. So we went.

We got there when the gates opened and took advantage of the cooler morning temps. We walked through all the animal barns first: cows, pigs, sheep, horses. Lulu loves animals and would have stayed in the barns all day long. Plato had lots of questions about the animals, mostly concerning their oversized genitalia. We then had an Elephant Ear (huge piece of fried dough with butter, cinnamon and sugar all over it) and a smoked turkey leg for breakfast. Ahhh, eating at the fair. Where anything and everything goes.

We then went to the Ag building and stood in a long line to see the Butter Harry Potter and the Butter Cow. The kids loved it! We perused the exhibits and scored free samples consisting of a hard-boiled egg on a stick and Soy Chocolate Chip Cookies . Then it was back to the pig barn to see the Farrowing exhibit: that's where the newborn baby piglets can be observed, and petted if you are lucky. Lulu was lucky, and now she wants a "pig-o-let" for Christmas!

After the farrowing display, the kids wanted a snack. Here's a picture of them:

It must be noted that the time of the cotton-candy chowdown was approximately 9:30 am. JeepMan and I had a little corn-dog fix at the same time (we shared).

The rest of the day was filled with excitement, sweat, and a gradual degradation of Lulu's mood to whining and cranky. We stopped for lunch, and as we waited for our food to be procured (a-la JeepMan), Lulu was getting restless. She kept putting her feet up on my (bare) leg, and I told her to stop it, that was gross. I said there was poop and pee on her shoes from cows, sheep, horses, and pigs.

Next thing I know I look over and she is LICKING the bottom of her shoes, looking at me out of the corner of her eye the the whole time to see what my reaction would be! UGH! This kid!!

A quick stop at the cake display, the kids getting soaked running through the water fountains, temper-tantrums in stereo about not getting to go on the oh-so-safe-looking midway rides, and it was off to home.

They were both asleep before we left the parking lot.

We did it, another year of the Fair!

Oh, and JeepMan is thinking he wants to go back next weekend......ugh.

Friday, August 10, 2007

General Update

Well life has been busy around here, to say the least. My medical woes have reached a sort of tests for all the bad things (carcinoid tumor, adrenal tumor) have come back negative, and I am currently being treated for panic attack. The medicines I am on seem to be doing the trick, so maybe there IS something to this whole psychotic business. My friends can tell I am on the meds, they tell me I am even more mellow than I used to be, and seem surprised that it is even possible. About the only difference that I notice is that I don't get worked up as easily as I used to about things like my house being a sty, or JeepMan being crabby, or the kids beating each other up...And hey, that's kind of nice.

JeepMan is in the process of getting the Jeep and Jeep accessories (trailer, 3/4 ton pickup) ready to sell. Yes, sell. As you may recall, we just bought the Truck back in, like, March. Well, he has come to the realization that we own (make payments on) too many boy-toys. He is oblivious to the fact that I have been telling him this for over 3 years, but it has not escaped MY attention! And lest I get my hopes up that we could maybe go from 3 car payments/month to one....oh, no.....the motivation for this is whole wacky plan is that he wants to buy another JEEP. One with 4 doors, that will not require trailer-ing. Oh joy, oh rapture. Will the car payments never end?

Plato is in the midst of his own anxiety. He is going to start first grade in a couple weeks, and has begun to worry about it a lot. He thinks he is not ready to go, worries that he might have to read chapter-books, thinks he is going to have homework....and on and on. No amount of mommy-reassurance is helping. I hope this child doesn't grow up to have panic attacks, because I will know whose genes he inherited.

Lulu is having her own mini-traumas. We started her at a new daycare last month, so she is now in the same daycare as Trent. For the first couple of weeks she did very well...almost TOO well. Now we are seeing the backlash. My formerly brassy, confident little girl has turned into a whiny, clingy, sobbing little monster. Every day she cries when dropped off for daycare, often while clinging to JeepMan's leg. He has NO patience for this, it drives him nuts. Every morning she asks me if it is a "school day," and when she finds out it is, she dissolves into tears. It doesn't help that I have been working late a lot this week, so I haven't been able to pick her up from school lately or spend as much time with her as I would like. Even the littlest thing will send her into dispair. We are sort of at our wit's end...I am hoping it is a phase and will pass. I would hate to have to switch her back to her old daycare because of this.

I remember Plato at this age going through something like this. What I mostly remember is thinking, "My goodness, my 3-year-old cries more than my infant!!"

I guess that about covers it; doesn't really sound like all that much but it is certainly keeping us occupied.