Sunday, June 29, 2014

Who was on time for church this morning?

This girl! It's amazing how fast you can get out of the house when you don't have to yell at anybody about getting dressed, brushing teeth, etc. Of course, I felt a little lonely when I actually got there but it was a quiet morning for sure.

The kid caught a flight to Maryland yesterday. She's hanging out in Ocean City with my dad and his girlfriend. She'll be gone for 23 days total. We'll be there with her for a week in the middle so I'm hoping she won't get too homesick. When we leave the beach, we're handing her off to my sister, who has all sorts of plans for her niece - including a trip to the American Girl store.  Both of my sisters got the kid AG gift cards for her birthday and now she gets to use them to buy a doll. 

After she boarded the plane yesterday, her dad and I didn't know what to do with ourselves. We went to dinner at a funky place that has multiple vegan dishes (I'm in my third week of trying this thing on for size). Then we went to Trader Joe's and picked up some goodies.  Then we had a two-hour drive home, which we completed in relative silence.  When we got home, we watched an episode of Breaking Bad (we're currently up to the third season). 

We compared notes on what the kid would have done had she been with us. For example, we stopped at a gas station so that I could pick up some juice because I was thirsty. I was in and out in about 90 seconds. "If the kid had been with me," I said, "that would have taken half an hour. First she would have demanded that I buy her some ice cream. Then, just as we'd be headed for the door she would have said, 'Wait, I have to poop.'"

We're enjoying a little break from parenting, but we do miss our tiny boss. She and I chatted via video several times today. I can see that she is having a great time and that she is getting spoiled rotten. It will probably take weeks to reprogram her when she gets home.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Coaster Monster

My daughter is on a mission to ride the same roller coaster 100 times this summer. She's currently at 18, so just 82 to go! The coaster is located in a local amusement park. The ride requires you to fork over four tickets each time you climb aboard. The tickets are only a quarter each. So, just in case math is not your thing . . . it's a buck a ride.  When I told P about the kid's goal, he exclaimed, "THAT A HUNDRED DOLLARS!"  I shrugged.

A couple weeks ago, she and I went over there on a Tuesday night and the joint was almost deserted. She was able to ride again and again and again - eight times in all. I rode it with her the first two times and then I was done. I like the ride but it maketh my head hurt after.  It's an old-school wooden coaster so it's very bumpy.

I sat below the coaster and waited for her. One time I'd see the cars go by and she'd be in the middle, the next time she was in the front, and so forth. And then she discovered the back car. In the back car, you go airborne over the last big bump. For the next few times, I saw her only in the very last car (even if she had to wait longer to get that seat). She's so short that I could really only see her arms as she flew by.

See, her dad might think it's an outrageous waste of money but what if she comes to me when she's 30 and says, "Hey, remember that time you let me ride the roller coaster eight times in a row?  That was the best day ever."  I mean, probably not - but you never know!

Last Sunday we went back with a friend of mine, her kids, plus a couple extra youngsters that belong to another friend of hers. My kid added a few more to her tally that day.  I don't know if she's going to hit 100 or not. She's leaving Saturday and will be out east with my family for three weeks. Then we'll be on vacation for a week in August, too. So, she'll really have to push if she wants to get it all in by the end of summer. But, like they say, anything worth having . . .

I took a couple of shots of the kids on the roller coaster on Sunday.  If you peer at it verrrrry closely, you can see two little arms in the very first car. My little adrenaline junkie.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Back at it (+ workout playlist)

After three weeks of not being able to exercise (because of my foot surgery), I was getting a little depressed. And I was gaining weight, which caused me to get even more mopey. Finally, three weeks after my surgery, I was able to get back into my routine. My left foot is still a bit swollen (it kind of looks like I just have one slightly fat foot and one normal foot), but it does the job.

Last week I went biking twice, hit the gym twice, did one yoga class, and walked the dogs a few
times. The foster pup chewed his leash for the entire walk, which was exactly as fun as it sounds. I did find that my incision was bleeding a bit after my first workout at the gym, so I've loosened my laces as much as I can without the shoe actually falling off. For the yoga class, I went to a gentle class because I wasn't sure my foot was ready for planks and downward dogs. It went pretty well. When you do a balance pose, you have to grip the mat with the foot that's not in the air. I had a hard time with that because I don't have the flexibility in my big toe yet. But, it will come. I am going to go back to the regular class on Tuesday.  

Anyway, being back at the gym made me realize that I needed to freshen up my workout playlist.  So, I added a couple new songs. When I post on Facebook periodically that I need new songs . . . people suggest songs and then I usually tell them that their songs kinda suck. So, now no one responds when I ask.  However, I thought it would be only fair that I share my playlist. Here ya go:

Ain't a Party (feat. Harrison) [Radio Edit]        David Guetta & Glowinthedark
All the Small Things        Blink-182
All You're Waiting for        Classixx
Apple Of My Eye [Explicit]        Big Boi
Around the Bend        The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
Asleep at the Wheel        Band of Skulls
B.O.B.        OutKast
Back In Black        AC/DC
Bang Bang Bang (Explicit Version)        Mark Ronson & The Business Intl
Bangarang (feat. Sirah)        Skrillex
Barely Standing (feat. Datsik & Sabi)        Diplo
Barracuda        Heart
Bawitdaba        Kid Rock
The Beautiful People        Marilyn Manson
Best Friend        Drums
Big Mouth        Santigold
Big Talk        Conway
Black Skinhead        Kanye West
Boy Oh Boy        Diplo & GTA
Brand New Lover        Dead or Alive
Brass Monkey        The Beastie Boys
Breakn' A Sweat        Skrillex & The Doors
Brimful of Asha        Cornershop
Bucky Done Gun        M.I.A.
Butters Theme (feat. Billy the Gent & Long Jawns)        Diplo
Cars        Gary Numan
Cayucos        Cayucas
Come With Me        ceo
Crazy Train        Ozzy Osbourne
Crucified        Army of Lovers
Dance With Me        Ra Ra Riot
Dance With the Devil        The Sounds
Dancing Choose        TV on the Radio
Dancing On My Own (Radio Version)        Robyn
Dancing With Myself        Billy Idol
De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da        The Police
Default        Django Django
Der Kommissar        After the Fire
Devil's Courthouse        Jim Van Cleve
Din Daa Daa        George Kranz
Domino        The Cramps
Dragula        Rob Zombie
Everybody Wants You        Billy Squier
Express Yourself (feat. Nicky Da B)        Diplo
Feel Good Inc.        Gorillaz
Filthy Gorgeous (ATOC vs Superbuddha Remix)        Scissor Sisters
Fine Time        New Order
Fire        Jacob Plant
Flutes        Hot Chip
Forever        HAIM
Freak (feat. Steve Bays)        Steve Aoki, Diplo & Deorro
Fresh        Devo
Get Lucky (Radio Edit) [feat. Pharrell Williams]        Daft Punk
Get Some        Lykke Li
Gifted (feat. Kanye West, Santogold & Lykke Li)        N.A.S.A.
Girls (feat. JD Samson and Fat Tony)        French Horn Rebellion & JD Samson & Fat Tony
Go Down        Dyro
Gold On The Ceiling        The Black Keys
Golden Years        David Bowie
Groove Is In the Heart        Deee-Lite
Hang Fire        The Rolling Stones
Happy Hour        The Housemartins
Happy With Me        HOLYCHILD
Heart It Races        Architecture In Helsinki
Heart to Tell        The Love Language
Heavy Mood        Tilly and the Wall
Here Comes the Hotstepper (Heartical Mix)        Ini Kamoze
Hey Boy        Mark Ronson & The Business Intl
Hey Mama        Mat Kearney
Hey Ya! (Radio Mix/Club Mix)        Outkast
High School Lover        Cayucas
Hma (Happiest Man Alive)        Machel Montano
Horchata        Vampire Weekend
I Beg Your Pardon         Kon Kan
I Know What I Am        Band of Skulls
I Love It (feat. Charli XCX)        Icona Pop
I Touch Roses        Book of Love
I Want Your (Hands On Me)        Sinead O'Connor
I Will        Langhorne Slim
I Wrote the Book        Beth Ditto
I.O.U.        The Replacements
I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You        Black Kids
I'm Only Joking        KONGOS
Immigrant Song        Karen O, Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
Immigrant Song        Led Zeppelin
It Takes Two        Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock
Jai Ho        A. R. Rahman, Sukhwinder Singh, Tanvi Shah, Mahalakshmi Iyer & Vijay Prakash
Jump In the Line        Harry Belafonte
Jungle Love        The Time
Keep the Car Running        Arcade Fire
Kondaine (feat. Seye)        The Very Best
Kyoto (Feat. Sirah) [Explicit]        Skrillex
L8 CMMR        Lily Allen
LA Calling        Crystal Fighters
Let It Burn        The Orwells
Let It Whip        Dazz Band
Let the Music Play        Shannon
Let's Go Crazy        Prince
Let's Go Surfing        Drums
Let's Groove        Earth Wind And Fire
Lies        CHVRCHES
Little Numbers        BOY
Live Like a Warrior        Matisyahu
Lonely Boy        The Black Keys
Lose It (In The End)        Mark Ronson & The Business Intl
Love Me Again        John Newman
Mama Told Me [Explicit]        Big Boi
Mandinka        Sinead O'Connor
Matangi        M.I.A.
Mickey        Toni Basil
Mirror In The Bathroom        The English Beat
Month of May        Arcade Fire
The Most Wonderful Girl        Lords of Acid
Move Around (feat. Elephant Man & GTA)        Diplo
Move in the Right Direction        Gossip
My Girls        Animal Collective
My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark (Light Em Up)        Fall Out Boy
No Problem (feat. Flinch & My Name Is Kay)        Diplo
No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn        The Beastie Boys
Now That We Found Love        Heavy D & The Boyz
Obsession        Animotion
The Odds        Jake Bugg
Odessa        Caribou
One Thing Leads to Another        The Fixx
Open Heart Surgery        Beth Ditto
Paris (Aeroplane Remix)        Friendly Fires
People Are People        Depeche Mode
Percussion Gun        White Rabbits
Pon de Replay        Rihanna
The Power        Snap!
Pretty Boys and Pretty Girls (Single Version)        Book of Love
Pump Up the Volume (UK 12" Remix)        M/A/R/R/S
Rehab        Amy Winehouse
Relax        Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Right In        Skrillex
Right On Time        Skrillex, 12th Planet & Kill The Noise
Rock Lobster        The B-52's
Royals        Lorde
Run Right Back        The Black Keys
Run Runaway        Slade
The Safety Dance        Men Without Hats
Satan Said Dance        Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Saved By Zero        The Fixx
Second Chance        Peter Bjorn and John
Set It Off (feat Lazerdisk Party Sex)        Diplo
Shattered        The Rolling Stones
She Sells Sanctuary        The Cult
Shock The Monkey        Peter Gabriel
Show Me Love        Robin S.
Shuffle (Acoustic)        Bombay Bicycle Club
Situation        Yaz
Sleepyhead        Passion Pit
Somebody Told Me        The Killers
Soothe My Soul        Depeche Mode
SOS        Rihanna
Sound Gun        Aceyalone
Spiralling        Keane
Stereo        IAMDYNAMITE
The Story In Your Eyes        Fountains of Wayne
Strangelove        Depeche Mode
Strangelove        Friendly Fires
Strike It Up        Black Box
Stronger        Kanye West
Suicide Blonde        INXS
Summit (Feat. Ellie Goulding)        Skrillex
Super Bass        Nicki Minaj
Surrender        Angels & Airwaves
Take Me Over        Cut Copy
Take Me to the Dance        Freshlyground
Take Ya' Dancin'        Say Hi
Tangerine        Big Boi, T.I. & Khujo Goodie
Temptation (7" Edit)        New Order
This Head I Hold        Electric Guest
This Is How a Heart Breaks        Rob Thomas
This Town (2011 - Remaster)        The Go-Go's
Thunderstruck        AC/DC
Tightrope (Feat. Big Boi)        Janelle MonĂ¡e
Tongue Tied        Grouplove
Tonight        Saint Etienne
Touch It        Busta Rhymes
Train In Vain        The Clash
Tubular Bells        Book of Love
UK Jamaican        Tricky
Valerie Loves Me        Material Issue
The War Song        Culture Club
Water Fountain        Tune-Yards
The Way We Are        Kate Boy
The Way We Move        Langhorne Slim, The Law
The Way We Touch        WE ARE TWIN
The Way You Move (Club Mix)        OutKast
We Care A Lot        Faith No More
We OK (feat. K'naan)        The Very Best
We Turn It Up        Oh Land
What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy)        Information Society
When a Fire Starts to Burn        Disclosure
Where Will We Go        IAMDYNAMITE
Whip It        Devo
White Wedding        Billy Idol
Who Needs You        The Orwells
Wolf Like Me        TV on the Radio
Work Is Never Over        Diplo
World In My Eyes        Depeche Mode
Y.A.L.A.        M.I.A.
Yeah Yeah Yeah        The Sounds
You Dropped a Bomb On Me        The Gap Band
You Gave Me Nothing        Mark Ronson & The Business Intl
You Hands (Together)        The New Pornographers
Your Love Takes Me Higher        The Beloved
Zol!        BLK JKS

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The experiment - got an early start

I had planned to start my "can I do this vegan thing?" experiment at the end of the month. However, over the past few weeks I've been stocking up on vegan food items and last week I decided I may as well get the party started. I began my little journey on Friday the 13th. Since that time, the only non-vegan item I've eaten is a Boca veggie sausage (vegetarian but not vegan). Anyway . . . so far, so good.

Will I ever call myself a vegan? No, I don't think so. I've been doing some reading and from what I can tell from a lot of the message boards (as well as comments from vegans on various articles I've read), a lot of vegans are downright militant. It seems like no vegan can be a good enough vegan to satisfy the other tribe members. Vitamin D, for example, can be animal-derived or synthetic. Also, sugar is usually filtered with bone char. For a lot of vegans, if you consume sugar or D3, you may as well put a bullet in your own head. I just don't ever want to be in a position of having someone looking at my plate and telling me what I've done wrong. I have enough stuff in my life causing me anxiety.

So, I'm nine days in and I must say I feel good. My conscience was really starting to bother me when I'd buy so much cheese at the grocery store.  My plan is to continue to eat a vegan diet as much as I reasonably can. The bad news is that I typically have to cook two meals - one for my family and one for me. But, that's not the end of the world.  I love this time of year, too. I can really stock up on good stuff at the farmers' market every week.

One thing I was missing is a granola bar-type snack. Most of the ones you find at the grocery store are not vegan.  So, I found this recipe and made my own. They are really good. If you make them and want to make sure they are vegan, be sure to check the ingredients on the chocolate chips you buy. I found some super dark chocolate ones that don't contain any milk/butter.  Good stuff.  Mine don't like as purdy as the pictures on the baking site, but they taste really good.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Mama Needs a Break

Now, I love summer as much as the next girl, but in most respects . . . nothing really changes for me. I still have to be up at 5:00 a.m. on weekdays. I still have to make the kid's lunch every day. I am still obligated to drop her off at day camp every morning and pick her up again on my way home from work. I have to feed the dogs, do the laundry, go to work, buy groceries, pay bills, clean the house, pick up poop, and so on it goes. The only thing that really changes is that we do funner stuff on the weekends and I walk the dogs a lot more.

I am having a particularly unfun kind of week. I most definitely dropped my daughter off for day camp yesterday with my zipper firmly in the down position. Then today we got almost all the way there and I remembered that the thermos in her lunch bag was . . . empty. She likes the crispy tenders from Gardein (they are meatless) and yeah, I forgot to cook them this morning and actually put them in her lunch. So, we stopped at a convenience store and she picked out a salad (which she agreed to eat as long as ranch dressing was part of the equation). Seriously, though, I think I might be losing it. I need a vacation like I don't know what.

Next Saturday, the kid boards a plane to go out east and visit her grandfather at the beach. I know this sounds terrible, but I'm sort of looking forward to it. I love my daughter to pieces but I could go for a few days where I don't have to yell, "PLEASE GET DRESSED!" fifty times every morning. A little break from picking up shoes that are, inexplicably, in the middle of the living room floor. A respite from the nightly "but I can't sleep!" which then leads to a brutal morning the next day.

For adoptive moms, I think there is an unspoken sentiment that we should never express frustration with being a parent. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I love being a mom. No one knows better than I do how precious a gift I've been given. However, that doesn't mean I don't want an occasional day without running the washing machine.

And so, I shall drop her off at the airport and will try to hide the little skip in my step. No doubt, as I drive home in silence, I'll start to miss her desperately. But, I've got plans! I'm planning to clean out her room while she's gone. I purged a lot of stuff while she was in Oklahoma last summer but the little hoarder has managed to accumulate a lot more junk since then.

While she's gone . . . I'm sure that one minute I'll revel in the beauty of watching TV without hearing Katy Perry songs ("Baby, you're a fiiiiiire wooork . . . ") floating down the hallway and the next minute I'll wonder how I'm going to make it a whole week without my little sidekick (although sometimes I think it's more like I'm her sidekick).

Monday, June 16, 2014

Wow, it's amazing . . .

. . . how industrious a girl can be when you take her iPad hostage. After dinner she asked for ice cream, so I let her have it. After she was done, she simply walked away and left behind the half-eaten container of ice cream, her utensils, dinner plate, etc. So, I took her beloved iPad and extracted a chore in exchange.  I even threw in a "get your pajamas on and then maybe you can have it back." 

The darned iPad was expensive but seriously, it's the best bargaining tool of all time. God forbid she should go a day without watching Minecraft videos or playing with an app that features a talking cat.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Costco and stuff

It was a pretty quiet weekend. Normally I have our little family scheduled to within an inch of our lives, but I didn't have anything planned this weekend. On Friday, the kid and I biked to the park and hung out until the mosquitoes were alerted to our presence. Is it just me or are the mosquitoes unusually relentless this year?  I keep finding them in my house. Normally I'm not a fan of killing anything (for spiders, I just pretend I don't see them) but I've been killing mosquitoes left and right. And they are always full of blood. Blech. I always think, "Who's DNA is that?"  I have a feeling that the dogs are donating blood pretty regularly.

On Saturday, P went to a nerd fest out of town, so the kid and I went to the farmers' market and then hit the trail with our bikes.  Gone are the days with her kiddie bike and her little training wheels. Now she has a big bike and it's all I can do to keep up with her. After biking, we grabbed some lunch and then went to Costco. We just got a Costco locally last year. A couple weeks ago, I went with my friend Sarah to see what sorts of wondrous things are in Costco. When A was a baby, we belonged to Sam's Club. I joined so that I could buy diapers and formula in bulk. Once she turned three and stopped pooping herself, we no longer needed the membership and let it expire. Anyway, I picked up a few things when I was there with Sarah. I couldn't decide if I wanted a membership, though.  We are a small family and since I'm the only one in our house who eats fruits and vegetables, I had my doubts about being able to plow through a massive container of strawberries before its contents go bad. However, a rescue friend recommended I give Costco's dog food a try so I decided to go ahead and get a membership. If it turns out we don't use it that much, I'll let it expire.

I have to say that the chick at the membership desk was hardcore. I almost walked out - I was that annoyed. They have a standard $55 membership so that's what I wanted.  She gave me a hard sell to buy the upgraded $110 Executive Membership instead. I understood the benefits of the fancier membership, but I had told my other half that the membership is $55 and I wasn't about to go back and tell him that it's double that. This twat would not let it go, though. "Most of our members get the Executive Membership," she told me. 

"Yes, I understand, but I just want the $55 membership."

She whipped out a pamphlet so that she could explain the executive one to my feeble brain. I could feel my jaw tightening.

"Is the $55 membership not available or something?" I asked.

"It is, it's just that you wouldn't get the benefits of the Executive Membership." Oh. My God. I scanned the counter for sharp objects.

She finally agreed to give me what I asked for. After getting my card, the kid and I poked around in there for a while. I bought some dog food, a pair of shorts for my husband, a pineapple, a book, and a bag of apple chips.  It was all very exciting.  Oh, and when I checked out, the cashier announced that she wanted to tell me all about the benefits of upgrading my membership. "Sometimes they don't explain it that well at the front desk," she told me.

"Oh, she explained the heck out of it, but thanks."

After Costco, we stopped at the mall to get a couple more things for P for Father's Day. I got him some three-dollar flip-flops from Old Navy because, you know, nothing is too good for my guy.  When we got home, he had returned from the comic book show and was seated at the dining room table, fondling stacks of new comics. Honestly, I don't want to hear a WORD from that boy about how I waste money.

The kid and I decided to give P his Father's Day gifts right away. We got him: a Green Bay Packers folding chair (it has a cooler built into one arm, which is kind of cool), two apple pies (small ones) from the farmers' market, the Dockers shorts from Costco, a photo of A&P made into a curved glass thingie, the flip-flops, this shirt from Dog is Good, and a hat.  I think he liked the stuff, but he is not one to exhibit outward excitement so it's hard to say.

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. We tried to watch American Hustle after the kid went to bed. I'd heard it was good but I couldn't really get into it. I went to bed and left him to finish it. He will always honor his commitment to a movie even if it is really bad. I am reading "Carsick" by John Waters so I fired up my Kindle and read for a bit before succumbing to sleep. I'd had some sangria so this may have contributed to my lack of stamina (or at least wakefulness) at that point.

We didn't really do much for Father's Day today. The kid and I went to church and stayed late so that my friend Annette could give the kid a sewing lesson. She has the skills and the patience and I'm eternally in her debt. After church, the three of us just hung out for the afternoon. P didn't really want to go anywhere, which was fine with me.  The kid and I took one of the dogs for a nice long walk.

In other news, this weekend I tried to see how many vegan foods I could eat. I went entirely vegan Friday and today. Saturday was really close, but I ate a Boca sausage with my breakfast and they are not vegan. It's no small feat, knowing what is vegan and what is not.  I keep taking photos of packages and sending them to my sister to ask if the item in question is vegan. According to some of the vegan message boards, almost nothing is really vegan. Apparently some vitamins are sourced from animals and it's hard to know which ones fall into that category and which ones are synthetically-derived. I can see how one could drive him/herself crazy.  I guess you have to draw the line somewhere, though.  I've really been trying to get a handle on my eating. Seeking out vegan stuff just makes me very cognizant of what I am putting in my body. It's surprising to learn of some everyday stuff that is vegan. Ritz Crackers for example. I don't know where the buttery flavor comes from, but it ain't from butter. Fritos and Oreos are also vegan. Not that I plan to eat a ton of those things - I'm trying to focus on eating better in general.

That's all the news for now.  The summer is starting off with a bang. The kid finished school on Thursday and starts a summer camp (day) program tomorrow. On the 28th she is flying to Maryland to spend a week at the beach with her grandpa. As soon as she leaves, I am going to clean out her room. Anyone want to take bets on whether I find any living creatures in there? Or dead things even?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Weekend with a Traitor

Last weekend, the kid and I headed out of town to volunteer at a pet expo (held about two hours south of where we leave). We headed down a day early so we could make a weekend of it.  We went to the farmers' market, did some Father's Day shopping, stopped for ice cream, and just generally had a good time. My still-swollen foot held up better than I feared it would. I would like to have done more shopping after the ice cream but by then my foot was over the whole scene.  I decided that we'd just head back to the hotel and the kid could go swimming.  We stopped at Trader Joe's on the way there. I don't have a TJ's nearby so I have to go when I can. My youngest sister lives in the middle of nowhere and said she'd give up her firstborn for an hour at Trader Joe's. I'll be sure to mention this to my nephew when he gets a little older.

I'm still on track with my plan to go vegan for a week later this month. Now, as a side note to my vegan friends . . . I know that being a vegan is more of a lifestyle and not something that you try on for size. I mean, I get it. I just don't think I'm ready to go for it full-bore quite yet. However, I've been buying more and more vegan products with the aim of reducing animal products in my diet and in my home. I switched to Vegenaise for sandwiches and stuff and I do like it. I also switched to Earth Balance spread, which is a vegan alternative to butter. Also very good. I am trying to buy only vegan cereal now. A couple of items have been less of a hit with my taste buds. I bought some frozen vegan pockets a couple weeks ago. While the pastry itself was okay (perhaps a little dry), the contents tasted like sawdust. I have never eaten sawdust, but I have to think this must be pretty close.  I also tried a vegan Kashi meal - Black Bean Mango. It's edible but I wouldn't buy it again.  So, it's been hit and miss so far. Conveniently, Trader Joe's makes a list of vegan foods available on its website so I printed that and took it with me. I picked up some goodies and then we headed to our hotel room.

After we got checked in, the kid immediately fired up her iPad and tried to get online. I didn't see any information about WiFi in the guest guide so I told her that maybe the hotel doesn't offer it for free. Well, let me tell you . . . she put her shoes on and marched straight down to the lobby to ask. God forbid she should live for five minutes without internet access.  She bitches at me all the time about my failure to install WiFi in my van (yes, I know I could use my phone to create a hotspot but she doesn't know that and, if I have anything to say about it, she never will).

We spent a fairly quiet evening at the hotel. A fellow volunteer was staying at the same hotel so she
was nice enough to sit by the pool with me for a couple hours while my kid befriended various strangers (I asked her not to invite anyone back to our room this time). We ate our Trader Joe's snacks and whatnot. Later, I watched a really dumb movie on HBO GO while A played Minecraft.  The next morning, we got up and headed to the pet expo. While I was unloading bins and setting up our booth, my kid disappeared. I could not find her anywhere. I thought she would turn up after the expo opened to the public at 10:00 a.m., but she didn't. I wasn't super worried because she's old enough not to run away or get into a stranger's car, but still, I thought she would at least turn up to ask for money.

Eventually, one of the other volunteers spotted her a few aisles away (the festival was held in a park and the rescues and vendors were set up in rows).  "She's volunteering for Shih Tzu Rescue," she told me. What the heck?  She was supposed to be in our booth, handing out flyers and running a kids' game.  I limped on over there to see if I could find her. Sure enough, she was standing next to the Shih Tzu booth, holding a leash with a little fuzzy dog at the other end. She loves small dogs, so I guess I wasn't that surprised.

One of their volunteers came over to me. "Oh, she has been SO helpful," she told me. In my head I was thinking, wow, she can't even flush the toilet at home. Anyway, I dragged her back to our booth and gave her some spending money . . . on the condition that she would agree to hike to my car to get my sunglasses for me.

I keep telling her that we are "big dog people," but I guess she just prefers the little fuzzballs. Later in the day, I found her spending all of my money at a kissing booth run by a French Bulldog rescue. She kept paying buck after buck to make out with a little dog. Once again, I rounded her up and brought my little social butterfly back to our booth.

All in all, it was a good weekend. We stopped at Johnny Rockets on the way home for some dinner.  She waved to a guy behind the counter and the next thing I knew he was bringing her ranch dip for her fries (blech). And you wonder why I am worried about the teenage years????

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Progress (or, gross stuff about my foot)

Yesterday was the best day ever - I got rid of the sexy surgical shoe. I can't wait to see the medical bills when they start rolling in. I'll bet you that stupid shoe was a thousand dollars or something.

I also got my stitches out yesterday, and ditched the bandages, too. They bandages were pretty gross. I stepped squarely in dog pee the other morning, so that was fun. One time I also spilled chocolate syrup on them. I thought the nurse was going to have to call in a  HAZMAT team to dispose of the bandages after they were removed from my foot. My podiatrist said he was really impressed with how well I healed. I felt kind of impressed with myself for a second there, until I remembered that I have no control over that. My foot is still swollen, but not horribly so. It currently looks like so (but less blurry):

Here is what my foot looked like five days post-op (I took this shot during a bandage change at the doctor's office). The photo isn't THAT gross, but I'm hiding it behind a link in case you have a delicate constitution (Dad, do not click that link. I know how you get.)

I'm walking pretty well, though steps are still a challenge. The doctor gave me some physical therapy instructions ("bend it this way until it starts to hurt, then do it the other way until it starts to hurt"). I have to say that I really like my podiatrist. He's down-to-earth, he's easygoing, and he doesn't treat me like I'm stupid. I've had some run-ins with iffy doctors, as you may recall. I even thanked Dr. D for being so nice. I'm sure he thought it was odd - I mean, it's like thanking someone for not being a racist or a homophobe or something. I mean, why wouldn't my doctor be nice?  I don't know - ask the ones who weren't, I guess.

He did give me a frowny face when I told him I want to go swimming this weekend. My daughter and I are going out of town and the hotel has a pool.  My doctor starting blathering on about why it's a bad idea to swim right now.  "Incision blah blah blah bacteria blah blah blah." Party pooper. I am packing my swimsuit in case I decide to defy doctor's orders, but I will probably behave and stay out of the pool. The kid can still swim.

I have to go back to the doctor for a re-check in a month, which is right before I leave for a beach vacation. I am looking forward to doing some serious beach-walking so I hope to be back to "normal" by then.

Don't worry, this should be my last foot post for a while.