Sunday, September 14, 2014

Working Up Some Thankfuls

I'm too tiiiiiiiired to write a Ten Things of Thankful list! I don't know what's wrong with me this week, but I am EXHAUSTED to my very core. Last Saturday, we were at a volleyball tournament all day in another town. Tuesday night, volleyball in another town. Thursday night, volleyball in another town THREE HOURS AWAY. This Saturday, volleyball tournament in another town.Why does riding in a car and sitting in bleachers watching volleyball exhaust me so much?

Gratuitous picture of Ruby, because I love her.

This is also one of those weeks where it isn't as easy to find thankfuls as it is in other weeks. And instead of a traditional list, I'm going to use the Sandy Ramsey method and incorporate my thankfuls as they come along in the story of my week. 

Last Saturday, Emma had a volleyball tournament in Springfield, an hour away from home. The girls have certainly played better, but they still got third place and had a fun day. My son also goes to college in Springfield, so I picked him up from his dorm and forced him brought him to watch his sister play a few games, then we went out to eat. My baby boy is really growing up; he bought dinner for the family (he actually has more money than any of us, as he is being paid to go to school and then some).

Monday evening, my daughter was dealt a crushing blow. I picked her up from volleyball practice at 6:00. I could see something was wrong when I saw her face as she approached the car, and the moment she got in, she burst into tears. It seems a girl on the varsity team wasn't playing well, so the coach moved her to junior varsity. That seems fair enough, but in moving her, they gave her Emma's position. Now, if Emma hadn't been playing well, I could understand it, but she has worked hard and played very well; in fact, her stats have been so good, they have been in the local paper after every game. One of the coaches told her it wasn't anything she had done, but somehow, she is the one being punished. She is now sharing a position with another player, which now punishes THAT player as well. It's very difficult to understand, for her and for us. And when my child hurts, I hurt. And she hurts.

Tuesday night, though, while playing her new position, even though she was sad and hurt, she got out there and rocked it, including getting 14 service points in a row. IN A ROW! And her stats made the paper again. But still, she doesn't have her position back and is only playing half the time, through no fault of her own. It's really hard.

One thing positive occurred for her this week in volleyball; she and two other friends on the jv team were asked to play in a varsity tournament on Saturday. Now, the reason extra players were needed was because over half the varsity team was taking the ACT and couldn't be there, but the good news is she was one of three asked to play from her team, so perhaps this whole debacle of losing her position will all turn out okay.

Pancaking to get the ball. Not sure it worked this time.

My dad had surgery in August to remove a (recurring) growth from inside his bladder. What at one time was something that was not terribly concerning took a turn when the doctor told him there were some cancerous cells within the growth. Treatment will be in the form of immunotherapy with a drug containing a live virus related to the germ that causes TB inserted by catheter directly into the bladder, at which time the body's own immune system will attack the cancer cells (I Googled it). The drug is kept in the bladder for two hours, then the plug is pulled, so to speak. For the next 6 hours, anytime he goes pee pee, the toilet has to be cleaned with bleach, due to the live virus. This will be done weekly for six weeks, and my 82 year old mother gets the joy of wielding the bleach bottle. (I recommended he work on his aim, and he said he would be required to take care of business from a sitting position.) Hopefully, he will sail through this, especially since the poor man has been diagnosed with type II diabetes and pancreatitis within the past two and a half years.

Emma was nominated for sophomore homecoming attendant. She was also nominated last year for freshman attendant. It was a wonderful honor to be nominated not once, but twice, especially since there are approximately 300 girls in the class to choose from, but she didn't win. And while she is not devastated, she is a little disappointed, especially given how the rest of her week has gone. 

Holy cow, that's a gloomy week! I sound like such a Sad Sack. Let's see, I went to my monthly oncology appointment this week, and all appears well. I got to don the beautiful paper gown for a breast exam, and who doesn't love doing THAT? (Me, that's who.) 

What could be better than a
 selfie in a paper gown?

I rode to Rolla for volleyball Thursday afternoon with the parents of one of Emma's teammates. We had a great time, stopping at the World's Largest Gift Store (I call bullshit on that one, but we still had fun poking around in there). Their daughter got hit in the eyebrow with another teammate's elbow (total accident) five points into the first game, splitting it open and causing much blood to spill. Luckily, there were two doctors and a nurse practitioner in the audience, and she was butterflied together and seems to be healing nicely. And has a great story to tell. 

I leave you with what was supposed to be a video of a bat flying down the hallway at preschool. I spotted it hanging from the ceiling right outside my primary classroom, which is located right across from the sanctuary. I kept to my usual M.O. of running down the hallway screaming "BAAAAAAAAAT!!!" until Mr. Doug comes to the rescue. But rather than the bat being knocked down with a broom (GENTLY - don't get your animal cruelty panties in a wad) and swept outside, this one decided to fly down the hallway, stopping on the floor outside my pre-k classroom. An unsuccessful attempt by Mr. Doug to sweep Mr. Bat into a bucket caused the bat to take off and fly up and down the hallway while I peeked out my pre-k classroom door, slamming it, screaming, every time the bat flew towards me. I THOUGHT I was videoing Mr. Doug as he swung at it with the bat, unsuccessfully, as the bat mocked him by dodging the broom, but it seems I forgot to push the "on" button. When I thought I turned it OFF, I actually turned it on, recording a video of the floor and lots of audio of me arm chair quarterbacking Mr. Doug's attempts to capture the bat. He was finally successful, and Mr. Bat was released outside (where he probably flew right back up to whatever hole allows them to get inside the attic and then, occasionally, find their way into the building). 

It's not too late to link up YOUR Ten Things of Thankful. Or there's always next week....

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  1. Oh crap. I forgot you approve your comments. Good chance I'm not actually first.

    Ack. So sorry for Emma. That really stinks. Really, really stinks. Glad she got to play with varsity, though. That's a positive sign! And 14 points in a row!?!?! That's HUGE! Good for her.

    Bryan and I always collapse on the couch when we get home from a day of watching soccer. It is EXHAUSTING to be a spectator!

    Love the bat audio/non-video. Poor Doug. Your laugh is exactly as I remember it. Makes me wish we lived closer all over again.

    I'll be praying for your dad. And your mom. It's not going to be an easy time for either of them.

    1. You're really, really first! May be last as well, since posting at the end of the hop is a sure way to get no readers.

      It's been a horrible week. I almost called you. They got their butts kicked in the varsity tournament, but a lot of it had to do with the pool they were in; it had the three top teams in it. Had they been in the other pool, they might have at least made it to bracket play. The 14 points at the Carthage game was fantastic - thanks!

      Part of being a volleyball spectator includes avoiding being creamed by the ball, so it is far from relaxing.

      Doug looked so funny swinging the broom at the bat. The bat was flying towards my room, and I would slam the door, then open it after it made a u-turn and headed back towards him. Was cinematography genius, had I only pushed "on".

      Thank you for the prayers. The next six weeks aren't going to be fun, and being an hour away, I can't go up there and do the disinfecting for them. Which might be a little bit of a thankful....

      I wish we lived closer together, too :(

    2. Call anytime!
      I hate it when we get put into the most difficult bracket. Tournaments aren't nearly so fun when it happens. (Your uniforms rocked, though!)

    3. We did totally out-uniform that team, didn't we? They KILLED us. And took great joy in doing so.

  2. OH and I forgot to say...You're feeling sad because you don't have any puppies to make you cheerful. It's OK. I miss the cute little things, too. :)

    1. Ohhhh, I DO miss the little poopers. I mean, puppers! Feel fonder and fonder for them as time goes by and I forget what little mess makers they were!

  3. How many comments can I write before you approve one? I know you're on your computer. I just talked to you.

  4. The first time John ever met my parents, a bat got into their house. John and my dad were chasing the bat all over the house, while my mom and I sat on the couch and ducked whenever it flew by. So your stories of bat chasing make me fall in love all over again! :-)

    1. Aww, Kristi! How sweet! I love that bats conjure up thoughts of love for you, because they don't so much for me :)

    2. Well, it isn't actually love of bats! :-)

  5. I am not sure about the exhaustion thing (when did this start)- lately I am so exhausted that I cannot fall asleep, last week was on of those weeks too. so sorry to hear about your dad and mom too - its hard watching them get old and dealing with sickness and such - I love that your daughter didn't choke and showed them her talent to play well...sorry that she has to go through that - The bat video is funny - you are very brave. LOL
    Although the paper gown selfie is adorable next time bring Sharpies and draw on it while waiting - then take a selfie. :) glad to hear it went well, :)

    1. I haven't slept well in two and a half years. Wake up several times a night, sometimes awake for hours. But two nights this week, I slept for six hours straight without moving.
      My parents soldier on really well.
      I'm always proud of how my daughter handles herself in public. She may show her emotions at home, but when she needs to put on a game face, she can do it.
      Wasn't I BRAVE?! And fast at slamming the door?
      SHARPIES! Great idea! I never remember when he's going to do the breast exam. I think it's every 6 months. Or is it 4? Maybe I should keep a Sharpie in my purse....

  6. …hey it doesn't sound like a person afraid of a bat. Sounds more like a person amused by the efforts (successful and otherwise) of another person to capture a bat.
    well, if anything, the experience of playing in the tournament will add to Emma's skill set.

    1. Bats wouldn't be that scary if they didn't fly right at your head. Am I good at slamming a door before a bat flies in or what?
      She nearly experienced a volleyball down her throat. That last team was just plain vicious!

  7. Always keep a Sharpie in your purse...(I have about seven of them in different colours) and a peg and some tissues and an elastic band and some plasters and .... surely everyone does this, right?

    Sorry to hear it's been a tough week. I hope things look up for you soon, and that you manage to get some really good rest.

    It SUCKS about your daughter's position on the team. Has the coach explained, or offered any shred of WHY this has been done to her? That's just rotten :( But it sounds as though she's playing really well, so GOOD FOR HER.

    Such a nice thing that your son took you all to dinner.

    Sorry to hear about your dad, though. That's another sucky thing, but I'm glad they caught it, and that he'll be having a useful treatment. I hope it works really well for him. And I hope your screening gives you the all-clear.

    *sigh* Well done for these. You have a lot going on :/

    1. I should go to my doctor's appointments better prepared.
      The whole vb thing is so upsetting! No explanation from the coach.
      Hoping things start looking up soon!

  8. Why hello there! Sorry you had a rough week. Even though Emma got a huge blow, it sounds like there was a silver lining after all. Win or lose, being asked to join varsity is a HUGE deal. Congrats to her.

    Sorry about your dad. Cancer sucks, bottom line. Thankfully you live close enough where you can see him often. I know it is hard to even be an hour away, though.

    Confession: I didn't watch your video at first because I was afraid it would have bats in it. I am terrified of bats. But once I saw your description, I knew it was safe to view. In college, about 20 bats lived in our house -- in the walls, ceilings, vents, you name it. And damn things are on the protected list. Yes, I know, bats are good for the ecosystem, but not when they are in MY ecosystem. To make matters worse, it was winter but since they were in our house, it felt warm and cozy, so they never hibernated. 3 am shrills were the worst. One time, my roommates and I decided we had enough and were going to try to capture them ourselves. We put on some ridiculous gear (i.e. chemistry lab goggles, gloves, raincoats) and marched our butts into our attic. One roommate was the catcher, one was the transporter and then my other roommate and I carried them outside and set them free about 2 blocks away. I was a carrier because when I was in the attic one flew right across my face -- I felt its wing flap my hair! FREAKED me out.

    Bottom line: Our adventurous hunt was pretty much for no reason. There were either too many, or they found their way back home. It didn't help that our landlord was terrified of the bats too - so we lived with bats for two years. I learned to sleep with headphones on.

    Here's to hoping you have a better week! <3

    1. Even though she didn't get to play much, being asked to go to the varsity tournament did help boost her spirits a little bit.
      I still haven't talked to the doctor myself, but from what I googled, I'm pretty sure he has Stage 0 cancer. Hoping, at least!
      I can't believe you went on your own bat removal expedition! How very brave of you! And yes, they do seem to come right back. Why do they fly at your head? If they didn't do that, they wouldn't be QUITE as creepy! I can't believe you stayed in that house for TWO YEARS!

    2. Glad it helped some. It is just an unfortunate way to learn that life isn't fair, and as much as we can try our best, there are always others who can make decisions that greatly impact our lives. She shows great maturity to be able to hold her own while facing others. She will gain great respect.

      Well I hope he has stage 0 too. And God bless your mom for being the bleach lady.

      I don't know how I did live there for two years. I account it to the fact that despite this issue, our landlords were the best ones in town. One roommate and I rented from them for three years in college. When we moved into that house, our tub was leaking, so they decided they would just redo the entire bathroom while we were gone on Thanksgiving break. Also, I knew three of us simply did not want to have to move again. College laziness played a factor I am sure.

      I have no idea why they like to fly at our heads. It's quite terrifying.

  9. I like your style. The Sandy Ramsey method. Congrats on the good breast visit. I know how great that must feel. The girls are wonderful athletes and citizens, and your son is on his way to becoming a caring man. What more is there to be thankful for? I don't do bats, lol.

    1. I can see why Sandy uses this method! It's especially useful when you're fishing for thankfuls!
      I still hate breast exams, and I can't even feel anything in mine! All I feel is the pressure from his fingers, but it's still weird.
      Thanks for all the kind words, Val!
      Did you watch the video? You can't see the bat, because I screwed up. Just a lot of floor.

  10. congrats on the exam ... megacool! LOVE the bat uhhhhhhh video.....hey did you know that if you or your boss holds an old window screen overhead and kind of gently shake it the bat will cling on to it and then you carry it outside... it works! We used to do that at home...big bat problem. I had looked it up online and who knew it worked!

    1. I will pass your bat catching wisdom on to Mr. Doug, but I can assure you that I WILL NOT be the one holding the screen. I will be too busy running and screaming while trying to video the whole thing.

  11. This was a tough week. I am glad that Emma was askedto play for the varity. Now a lot of people will see her awesome, too! Bats are nasty rats with wings and I would scream too if one was in my hallway. Here's to as better week for all f you. Except for the bat.

    1. You're right. Bats are rats with wings. Nasty creatures, even if they supposedly eat mosquitoes.
      The week has been bat-free so far!

  12. Sorry you've had such a rough week - but you did indeed dig up the good stuff, too!
    All of that shifting of teams, losing of spots, blah blah is precisely why I hope my kid prefers to stick with non-scholastic sports and activities. What crap! Glad your girl got the opportunity to play up to varsity, though - good for her!
    Can't offer a whole lot of anything but prayers for you, your parents, and all of your family. But I'll do just that. Hang in there!
    As for bats, well, they're just plain awful. I came home to my single girl apartment years ago certain I saw movement in the apartment from the outside window, but assumed it was the fish in the aquarium doing funky things in front of the light. When I opened my apartment door, however, something flew RIGHT AT ME so of course I screamed bloody murder. I called the on-site maintenance dudes who promptly showed up carrying - of all things - BUG SPRAY. I have no idea what they thought I said on the phone but I used the words "could be a bird; could be a bat" so why they thought a can of Raid would be effective, I'll never tell you. They did capture it, though, after some very confused looks and then a trip to procure the proper tools.
    Glad your exam went well and I definitely agree you should draw on the gown. Totally doing that next time I get stuck waiting in the GYN office forever...always there. Never anyplace else.
    Hope this week ahead is less exhausting for you!!! Hugs to you!

    1. If she had played poorly and deserved to play less, I would completely understand. This is not something I can comprehend.
      Thanks for the prayers, Lisa! Hopefully, all will go well.
      Bug spray? Really? Maybe they thought they could throw the can and hit the bat?!
      My doctor is actually pretty snappy about getting into the exam room. I seldom wait more than five minutes for him, so I'd have to be really quick to get something drawn before he came in and caught me!
      Thanks so much, Lisa! You always have a way of making me feel better!

    2. I do??? Aww...I'm so glad. :)