So anyway I’m posting it three weeks late, but here is the latest shot of our delightful baby: Voldemort.
Last night he was really active and kept his Mommy, and by extension his Daddy, up most of the night. I guess we’d better get used to that.
This has been a pretty good day. Jimbo is still around, so all of us are happy: me, Murphy and Rowdy. They will be increasingly sad when they are inevitably left alone much more than they have become used to.
Poor UltraDad is pretty much stuck in Ruby Valley and this week is working the night shift patrolling roads for snow or drifting. He is missing Jim time, but I think we will try to make the Ruby Valley trek this weekend if he can’t make it out by then.
I was recently able to view an Ultrasound photo of my fledgling grandson, and was amazed to actually be able to make out head, hair and features. Ultra refuses, however, to reveal his name, and claims they will call him “Voldemort”, but I must say “He who must not be named.”
I had my second day of school for the new semester. I am taking a Certified Nurse’s Aid class just to see if nursing might possibly be a direction I want to take. More than half the students in the class already work at Highland Manor, the nursing home where we will be doing clinicals. It is a little alarming hearing them talk about some of their patients, particularly those on “100”, the Alzheimer’s unit. But I have decided to stick it out, and I think it will be good for me and provide valuable experience even if I decide (as I suspect I will) to NOT continue down that road. My Drugs in Society class will be interesting I think. It will be a bit problematic as I will not physically be able to attend classes very often since I am working at the time they are held. But the teacher is willing to work with me and meet with me, and I have the class Syllabus. A handout showed pictures of brains after they had been exposed to various drugs, including alcohol. It was a poor, rather grainy copy, but many of the drug-brains rather resembled Swiss cheese, As poorly as my brain and memory function NOW, I shudder to think what I would be like if I had ingested large quantities of cocaine and marijuana. I am also taking Tai Chi just because I have long wanted to learn it. This class is held at the Senior Center, and it takes me about 5 minutes to drive there from the college. It is rather a large class, and seems to be full of senior citizens, if you can imagine. And yes, I know what you are thinking, and no, I am not myself a senior citizen, at least not yet. One helpful thing I learned in my CNA class today is that age demographics and classifications have recently been changed. Young adulthood is now age 18-40, and middle age is 40-65. Jim claims this was done by old people to make them feel better about themselves, but I maintain it is because we are living longer, healthier lives. Hopefully I will like Tai Chi. The instructor seems knowledgeable, but he spent half our time today just talking.
I was able to get home in time to have lunch with my son, and since I didn’t have to work, was able to have an afternoon nap, a rare luxury. Tonight we went out to Chen’s, the local Chinese Restaurant with sis-in-law Pat, and had a very nice time. Afterwards I inveigled Jim into a little game of Casino, my new favorite card game. That was when we received the phone call from Tennessee.
It was Johnny and he had some great news. His team, consisting of himself and Mr. Goldman (what is his first name, Johnny?) had just gotten the news that they had won their semi-final match and would be advancing to the finals in the Moot Court Competition at Vanderbilt Law School. This is a very big deal. I think they start with 30 or more teams, and your team must win a lot of competitions to get this far. You must argue your case in front of judges, and must represent the side you are assigned, which can change with each competition. I believe it always involves a First Amendment right. Feel free, Johnny, to correct all my inaccuracies as well as add further enlightenment.
Jim is heading to Nashville to spend a week or two with Johnny very soon, and he will be able to attend this final competition; I am, of course, very jealous.
So join me in wishing this very bright, articulate law school student moot court team the best of luck, lack of nervousness and soundness of speech for February 8th, and stay tuned for a special announcement of results.
My cabinet is done! It looks SO terrific, and it fits perfectly it its assigned place in the back hallway. With the castors, UltraDad (who is home for an overnight) and Jimbo were able to wheel it back with ease. It just needs magnets inside to keep it closed tight when I don’t want it open. I don’t have it full yet, but that will be coming soon. I have to say, with the adverse conditions and lack of competent help, my son did an amazing job. And materials, for this rolling cupboard about 8 feet high, nearly 4 feet wide and about 3 feet deep ran less than $200. Outstanding. Pictures will be posted soon, though its kind of hard to take ones that do it justice. I have to open the bathroom door, crouch behind the toilet and try to pan out to fit the whole cabinet in the camera lens.
We also had a very nice birthday dinner for sis in law Pat tonight. UltraMom actually cooked (I know, I know; hard to believe, but true), and we had an awesome meatloaf and chicken and crab stuffed manicotti with broccoli. Angel food cake with cool whip and canned strawberries for dessert. This was the first time I had had canned strawberries. They looked kind of weird, but I thought they tasted fine, though Jim said they tasted like canned peaches. So, happy birthday Pat, and many more.
Okay, kids, that’s it for tonight. Tomorrow I’ve got a busy day ahead of me filling up that cupboard.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Again. I guess we’ve got to accept that this will be the pattern of UltraMom posting, despite my numerous promises to do better. Anyway, I’m here now, and it’s time for a little segment I like to call “A Day in the Life of UltraMom.” (Wed, Jan 16, 2008)
I awakened early, as usual, and as usual of late, went back to bed where I alternately dozed, played Yahtzee on my new hand held game,(courtesy of sis-in-law, Pat) or progressed in my current, recommended-by-Johnny-read, Tai-Pan. When the pups and I finally did venture from the bedroom, we found Jimbo, my current much-welcome houseguest, at the computer and fully dressed, apparently having risen an hour or so ago.
Signature Ultramom Sidenote and Digression: Jim is inbetween employments right now, and had arrived last Saturday in Ruby Valley, which was also my destination for the day. UltraDad has been unable to leave his little hideaway for several reasons, the chief of which is the weather. The second reason is that his work crew is a little short-handed for the present, and somebody has got to be able to plow snow and maintain the roads in these very wintry conditions. I actually arrived after Jim, as I stopped and shopped, bringing with me a bucket of KFC, courtesy of Uncle Dave and Aunt Jane’s generous Christmas gift certificate. Sunday morn, Jimbo and UltraDad left to do a little rabbit hunting. I had already filled my quota on the roads, so I opted not to go. I know that sounds bad, but the rabbits are so incredibly thick that they are impossible to miss as they dash back and forth across the road, seemingly intent on committing suicide. If I swerve to miss, I’m as likely to hit as if I’d kept on going straight, and not swerving is a lot safer way to drive on icy roads.) I did an exercise video or two and decided to get the wiggle worms out of Murphy and Rowdy by taking them on a little walk along the highway, after which I planned a nice relaxing bath. What I did NOT plan on is locking myself out of the house. This is not quite as idiotic as it sounds; almost but not quite. The doorknobs on these homes will turn from the inside whether they are locked or not, so it’s very tricky. Of course I had nothing with me. No car key, no cell phone. But fortunately for me, Chick, the guy who lives in the only other inhabited house in this 2-house complex, drove in on the snow plow just about that time. I waited for him to shut her down and climb off, then presented my plight. Without a word, he headed for the time shack, me following behind. He went straight to the key box and began taking some down. Ah, this was good. There was an extra key to the house in there .or was there? There was an extra key to HIS house, lots of keys to the vacant house, and lots of keys to .other stuff, but not to UltraDad’s. It seemed I had three choices. I could wait in the warm time shack, and if I got bored, pick up a broom. I could walk around some more and hope the guys didn’t stay gone too awfully long. Or, I could go to Chick’s house and meet his wife. I selected #3, and put Murphy and Rowdy in my mercifully unlocked car, as I did not think they would like to meet Chick’s four “cat” hunting hounds, cat in this case referring to Mountain Lion. Mary was very nice and offered me a cup of tea. Our conversation was a little strained at first, but before long we were chatting amiably about our daughters’ cats. Before I finished my tea, Chick saw a red pickup pull in next to our house. The hunters were home. They were a little puzzled as to why the dogs were in the car, and the house was locked. I soon enlightened them and strongly suggested to UltraDad that one of his two keys be strategically hidden outdoors. After a lunch of leftover KFC chicken, we sat down to watch The Simpsons movie, and all managed, at various and diverse times, to fall asleep. Jim and I drove back to Carlin on Monday morning after UltraDad went to work.
Okay, back to the present (at least for now). Jimbo had, in a moment of weakness, agreed to build me a storage cupboard for my back hallway. In that area, where two bedrooms and a bathroom converge, is a block of wasted space badly in need of a storage solution. Jim was coming fresh off a cupboard building victory, having just completed a super one for his Aunt Joy’s bedroom. There he had a spacious shop, handy, convenient tools, and occasional uncles for lifting assistance. Here he has the frozen outdoors, scattered, haphazard tools, and a wimpy mom for lifting assistance. Anyway, we needed to go to town to get the rest of the necessary lumber. The kid was in too deep to back out now.
Jim’s little Ford Ranger is a nice ride. Not very new, but very well maintained, and capable of carrying a board or two. We did a few errands first- the campus bookstore for UltraMom to get her remaining texts, the library so Jim could check out the latest Harry Potter book for a reread since Umom had sent her copy to Japan, and a stop for lunch at Chef Chengs, where for $5.50 you can get a choice of three items from such delicacies as steamed rice, Kung Pao Chicken and Beef in Broccoli. You also get noodle appetizers, an egg roll, soup, and for dessert, an orange half and a fortune cookie. After getting groceries and the lumber, we were back home just in time for UltraMom to change her clothes, bid Jim, Murph and Rowd farewell, and head back into Elko to meet her friend at Cowboy Joe’s. She and Peggy had met in Professor Gonzales’ Political Science class, where they competed for top grades. They had discovered they had much in common, both returning to school after long absences and nearly of an age. It was nice to get together and compare schedules and talk about the world at large, while sipping on Chai Tea and Mocha Frapacino. Unfortunately, no classes in common this upcoming semester. We chatted for nearly two hours; then it was off to Weightwatchers for Ultramom, where she led an awesome, inspirational meeting of 50 or so members, including 11 first timers.
Okay, truth to tell, it is now actually the next day, the next evening to be precise. I just couldn’t finish this yesterday, and the only thing that prevents me from putting if off until tomorrow, is the mindboggling logistics of trying to keep all the time sequences in their proper order and tense. Right now, sitting in my living room, is a nearly completed storage cupboard. It is going to be every bit as wonderful as I had imagined. And now, I am off to bed, visions of spare clothing, paper files and Christmas decorations dancing in my head.
UltraBob and UltraGirl probably saved my life last night, or at least my toes. One of their Christmas gifts of chemical “foot warmers’ helped me ward off possible frostbite and/or uncomfortably cold toes at my Tuesday night Weight Watcher meeting. I have been meaning to write a lengthy heart felt thank you to them for the fun and thoughtful Christmas box, and decided, while enjoying my nice warm feet, to make my thanks public in the form of an inimitable UltraMom post.
Two large boxes arrived a week or more before Christmas. The gifts were wrapped in stylish silver and white paper, each with a witty to-from tag attached. Also included was a wide assortment of pouched culinary delights, such as hashed beef, Japanese curry, and 8 kinds of vegetables and egg. The microwave rice had my name on it, but I shared anyway; I’m just that kind of person, when threatened. Johnny and Jim had great fun divvying up the spoils.
One of my favorite parts of gifts from the Ultras is reading the tags, presumably written by UltraBob when he has been staying up way too late and is on some sort of mind enhancing substance, such as green tea. As I type this, I am wearing a warm, soft, pretty robe. I love it, and it has pretty much relegated my other robe to a permanent post on the hook behind the bathroom door. The tag that accompanied this great gift read “To Mom, for your pro-wrestling debut. From Bob, Tomoko and Tomoko Jr.” I have arranged a few matches, but so far the poodles always win. Another of my gifts proclaimed: To Mom. Everything you need is right here in this box. ..Disclaimer: This box may not contain sufficient items to meet all of your requirements. From Bob, Tomo and Cadbury” Inside: Green Tea, A mesh bag for “washing your delicates. Place in the bag, zipper it up and toss in the washing machine. NOT dryer safe; may or may not be microwave safe.” AND “Foot Warmers!!! Stick to the bottom of your socks after unwrapping. You can also stick on before unwrapping, but you’ll have to use your own tape. It’ll make crinkly noises and will not put out heat until you wear a hole in the wrapper.” When I got home from work, wearing my stylish, heeled boots, my toes were very cold. Since I wanted to continue wearing said boots that went so well with my outfit, until my WW meeting was over, I elected to take a pair of foot warmers out of the wrapper, stick them to the bottom of my socked toes, replace my not so well insulated boots and enjoy the instant warmth. They work great!
I don’t really remember what everyone else got. Heather and Heath’s gifts got sent on to them, unopened. I seem to remember Jim getting a cool umbrella that he “can open in the house, because in Japan it’s not bad luck” and Johnny getting some of his favorite chips in stick form. UltraDad got a cool “Happy” coffee mug. When wrapped first in newspaper and then gift-wrap, it was easy to see why the tag read, “To Dad; Hope you enjoy this small ham as a token of our esteem. From Bob, Tomoko and Wilfred.” I do know that on each tag, the unborn Ultra got to try out a different moniker. I’m really hoping they have come up with some better ideas by now, frankly.
Anyway, UltraKids, a very heartfelt and belated thank you for making our Christmas so special. While not the same as having you with us, while opening your very personal and thoughtful gifts, we felt very close to you.
PS A special thanks to UltraBob for writing so much of this post for me.
Happy birthday, UltraBob! Of course I know that January 5th was actually yesterday in Japan, so I thought about you on that day as well. It seems like only yesterday I was writing a post to commemorate your 31st birthday, but it was actually yesterday and a year ago.
I know this is where I am supposed to wax nostalgic and tell you all how wonderful UltraBob is and what a great job we did raising him, etc, etc, but I’m just not in the mood. Besides, I’m not sure we did all that well.
Lets go back to the beginning and see if we can figure out what went wrong ..
First of all, there are the scars, one under each armpit. I have no issue with the reason for the incisions. After all, breathing without turning blue is a basic right that should be denied to no man or infant. But you would think a surgeon, someone whose living involves knives and precise cutting, could have made them somewhat symmetrical. And so, the doctor must bear part of the blame of the trauma leading up to .
I love long holidays, especially when days off combine with weekends to create stretches of closed offices and suspension of life as usual. I always have a list of things I should be doing, calls I should be making and WW meetings I should be preparing for. So all of these things get put on hold with only a modicum of guilt. Never mind that I could and should have done them weeks ago. Now, at least for a little while, I am unable to do them and can decadently sleep in, eat junk and avoid all manner of constructive thinking or activities. To further aid in my indolence, I have a couple of kids around for a limited time, and want to spend as much time with them as possible. True, I do a bit more cookery and laundering than in my normal, to all intensive purposes, state of living alone , but we have finally reached an understanding wherein they will play pinochle, canasta and cribbage with me until one of us simply cannot take any more. Add to that a little TV and a few outings for shopping, dining and movies, and hopefully it is a nice break for all of us, and about as far removed from my normal routine as can be imagined.
Of course it would not be possible or even desirable to live this way all the time, but I think I could stand it for another, say month or two. Unfortunately for me, I get less than two more days.
Lazy and loving it,