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2007 Can Bite My Butt

Of all the holiday gifts I got, 2007 is the one I like least. I think I'm going to box it up and take it back for something that fits better.

Okay, so what has this year brought me? An unexplained painful medical mystery for myself, business trips every other week (or, in the case of this month, every week for three weeks in a row) for Eric, and for the boys? Chicken pox.

PoxGabe is spotty, though his spots are now starting to crust over and clear up. He wasn't really all that itchy, save for what seemed like only a couple of brief spells, but he was feverish, runny-nosed, and cranky as a starving lion. It would have been convenient for both boys to have the pox at the same time, so of course that's not what happened; as Gabe recovers, Sam today came down with a fever and a dramatically worsened cough, so it appears that spots might be around the corner for him.

Did I mention that Eric's out of the state this week? Yeah, I thought I did.

So Gabe's fever and snottiness have prevented him from sleeping since, oh, about Saturday. Nighttimes are stretches of tossing, turning, moaning, sudden yelling, sitting up and whining, and generally remaining and keeping everybody else in the family in only the very lightest stages of sleep all night long. Naps just don't happen, or not for any longer than ten minutes. I knew things were getting better when he spontaneously crashed for a two-hour nap yesterday morning, and I guess it was predictable that Sam, then, would cough us all awake all night last night.

My eyes are so droopy, I look like I tried to apply eye shadow and missed my eyelids by an inch beneath the target. I'm so exhausted that I can barely sit without swaying back and forth, and there's no chance I could get a nap myself, because the moment I do, somebody will suddenly start gagging as if to vomit, or they'll shriek, "Ma-MAAAA!" in my ear, or, worst of all, they'll wake quietly and decide that what would make them feel better is to go get a drink of water from the sink, splashing water over the entire bathroom. (Looking at you, Sam.)

GrandparentsMy parents were here this past weekend, accommodating the fact that we haven't been able to go visit them as we had really intended to do in the days following the holidays. Good thing they did; Mom was holding Gabe on Saturday and was the one to notice and correctly identify his first spots for what they were. I suck at that sort of thing, and my confidence about it has gotten no better in recent days (see: unexplained painful medical mystery). Also, if they hadn't come to us, I have no idea when things around here are going to improve to the level where we could consider traveling. Let's keep our fingers crossed for, say, Easter? Feh.

And! And, and, and! Do I get to just hang out around the house, focusing on nursing my boys back to health? Well, that's what I intended to do; I cancelled the babysitter I'd hired, with Eric being away, to watch the boys while I attended a board meeting for the family club this week, and I prepared to settle in for the long, isolated haul.

The universe laughed. I don't know how to explain it without either writing a novel-length entry or else just sounding like I'm living a particularly far-fetched storyline on a prime-time drama, but one of the members of the family club - somebody who was previously an outwardly sane, positively contributing member of the group - decided it would be a grand idea to hack into our forum.

GrandpaYeah, that's how I reacted, too. "What? Why?!" But ours are minds ruled by logic, and apparently that's not a universal condition. Suffice it to say that an individual, through means that are not entirely clear (in my opinion, despite what others have said), either hacked or got somebody else to hack into the forum; went on a fishing expedition through the private section in which board members discuss such scintillating topics as dues payments and for what room the upcoming meeting has been scheduled; and then, in final proof of her lunacy, went complaining to the director about it. She stated what she'd done, what she'd seen, and then tore into the director for daring to keep this information private.

So, at the director's fervent request, I rebooked a second sitter and dragged my sleep-deprived butt out of the house to the board meeting to play my part in dealing with the thing. It's all very dramatic and super-serious, and my brain just doesn't want to operate on that level right now, but nobody seemed too overtly concerned about my mental well-being as I burst into uncontrollable laughter as the director started to explain to everybody just what had transpired. Just couldn't help it any more; the whole thing is out of a bizarro-world. Hacking a parenting forum? Does not compute...

So we dealt with that, wearing our Most Serious Faces of Stern Disapproval, and it's all been put to bed now, hopefully. The "hacker" has been booted from the group, and should be darn grateful that we're not going to follow up further, as when I explored the matter, it became clear that what she did is potentially a misdemeanor-level crime under Wisconsin law. I won't even get into whether or not I actually even believe that things happened the way she said that they happened; her story is bad enough, and if she wants to claim that that's the way it went down, well, that's her business. I'm too tired to think much more about it anymore.

And in the course of all that, some other people got jumpy about forum security (and, despite how I just said I wouldn't get into it, let me just say that after more digging, I'm pretty sure that the current version of our forum software is quite secure, despite (ahem) stories to the contrary), so I had to take some added steps to make everybody feel better, and I hate working on Windows servers, even when I'm topped up on sleep and feeling good. Which I'm not. So now I'm a very cranky person, but everybody else is reassured, so I might be able to sleep well at night, under other circumstances.

Ninety-nine percent of my participation in this group has been awesome; every once in a while, though, there are these weird bumps in the road that just leave me standing in almost literally open-mouthed bewilderment at the craziness present in large groups of women. I got home after that board meeting, paid my teenage babysitter, and could not stop myself from sending her off with words of doom: "You spend your teenage years thinking it will all be better once everybody grows up, but high school behavior never, ever seems to go away entirely. Never."

I don't think the coffee is working anymore. My brain needs more than just its current level of caffeine to continue to operate in an effective manner. Plus, I can feel my throat itching and my nose starting to run, and it's just poetic that I would get sick in the middle of all this. Well, perhaps more predictable than poetic. Heightened stress, lowered levels of self-care...well, duh. At least I've already had the chicken pox, so I know I'm not getting that.

Eric's coming home tomorrow night, and I tell you this: on Saturday, I'm sleeping. He's going to get up with the boys, and I don't know when I'll convince my body that it's time to awake, but I'm going to let it take as much as it needs. In the presence of another adult in this household, I'll take the time to feed myself something appropriate. I may even get to leave the house for something other than a bizarre crisis.

It makes me feel like crying just thinking about it. Or maybe that's just my brain breaking down again, manifesting in spontaneous leakage from the eyeballs.

Table fort

previous one year ago:
I don't think he'd object even were we to enroll him in a Kiddie Military School, complete with rock-hard cots and rifle drills, so long as he could make crafts and carry a lunchbox.
two years ago:
Dear Bravo channel, I hate you for Project Runway. Not because you created it, but because you made me like it.
three years ago:
My son likes trucks and baby dolls.
four years ago:
I'm too timid to confess to the cashier, though: "I don't know how to buy makeup; please let me have a second chance!"
five years ago:
I can't listen to Sarah Maclachlan without flashing back to pillar candles and MUDding late at night in my first college apartment.
six years ago:
Mom heard my footsteps, smelled the smoke, and came to the rescue, thankfully in time to save the house but not to save the carpet.
seven years ago:
It was the first sunrise I had ever seen in my life, and I woke up with it shining brightly in my eyes.
In the ears:
Milwaukee public radio

On the Bookshelf:
The Price of Paradise

Photos, old and new,
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©1999-2006 C. Richmond.