Saturday, October 30, 2004

Saturday, October 30, 2004 - The ShadowAngel Has Returned!

Howdy hey, folks! I decided it was time to stop letting jet lag be an excuse for not posting and to get back into the swing of things. I still do have jet lag, sort of - I've been conking out at 8:30 PM and getting up at 4:00 AM - not the schedule I'd prefer.

I still do have some more work to do on The Hong Kong Follies, so if you were reading it check back on it in a day or to see the conclusion of the text. I'll put up more pictures once Ironwolf gets back in another week since the pics are all on his laptop.

I took the kids to one of the local malls for trick-or-treating. They look so cute in their costumes, Rascal as Harry Potter, and Zipper as, well, a little Chinese boy (I bought one of those "traditional Chinese" outfits for him in HK). The mall of course was packed, and I was lucky to find any parking space at all. It's a long walk through the mall for 2 little boys, but they got lots of candy and were happy with the whole thing.

Hey, I tried to carve one of those fake foam pumpkins that I posted about some 6 or 8 weeks ago. They are hard to carve! I can't get through it at all with the Pumpkin Masters tools, and even a knife was pretty difficult. Carveable my butt.

I've got friends coming over in a couple hours, so I have to dash off now and make the place spic and span. Ok, it won't get that clean - how about just not a pig sty? See ya later!

Friday, October 15, 2004

Friday, October 15, 2004 - Up, Up, and Away!!!

5 hours until Hong Kong!!!

And what am I doing? Staying up all night, cleaning, packing, and blogging!

This will be my last post for a bit, since it's going to take some 16+ hours to get there and blogging will be the last thing on my mind. So don't panic if I disappear for a few days.

Let's tie up a couple loose ends, shall we?

  1. Rascal is doing fine following his incident. He does have a small bruise on the side of his face, but that's it! I'm still amazed he emerged unscathed, and I'm very thankful that we had help from our friends. I don't know what would have happened if I had been home alone when this happened (maybe I would have summoned up SuperMom strength). It did keep me up for much of the night last night though. The thought of one of my kids being badly hurt plus the anxiety over this trip was just too much.

  2. Hey, I got that suit I ordered from! Yay! It looks ok, although I really, really wish I had less of a stomach (or maybe just a longer jacket on the, no, less stomach, definitely).

  3. The house is almost, kind of, completely clean and ready for my MIL to live in! I feel like I've been cleaning for weeks.

  4. I didn't manage to get a haircut or have my nails done. :-( Well, maybe I can spare some time to go to so fancy salon in HK!

  5. I've already filled 2/3 of my IPod...(bad shadowangel!)

So I'm off on "The Adventure Of A Lifetime!" Don't forget to check out The Hong Kong Follies for updates!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - The 2nd Scariest Parenting Moment In My Life

I was here in "the study" working on the computer with Rascal and Zipper playing nicely nearby in the room, when my reverie was shattered by a shriek and a crash. We have a library card catalog in the room filled with various kinds of cards, and Rascal pulled it down on top of himself. It was too heavy for me to lift back up by myself, but I held it up with one hand while clearing away drawers with the other and screaming for Ironwolf and his friends to help. In moments we freed Rascal from the wreckage, and thankfully he was fine. Not a scratch on him, thank God!

The resulting mess is quite intimidating. Thousands and thousands of cards everywhere to start, assorted game pieces, and worst of all, the liquor bottles we kept on top of the card catalog. A few broke (thankfully not the Blue Curacao!) so there was glass and booze everywhere (not unlike the end of a good party, huh?) Some of Ironwolf's cards were ruined (and some of his cards are worth a lot of money), but we haven't been able to assess the damage yet.

But none of the material losses matter, because my little boy is alright. This could have turned out much, much worse.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - Anxiety Is Setting In

I was awake much of the night worrying about the trip. Not so much the actual being in HK, which I am sure will be very strange and exciting but manageable. But the flight just terrifies me.

God, I hate flying. The thought of being on a plane for 16 hours is just not fun. I know, I know, it'll be fine (especially with the help of some sleep aids). It's just the lack of control of the situation that bothers me. Pretty typical stuff.

Well, I'll have Ironwolf's shoulder to whimper on during the trip there, so I'll take some comfort in that. Of course, I'll be returning alone, so....

I am going to miss my babies so much. I've never been away from them longer than overnight.

I'm just going to start blubbering soon if I continue, so for now I'll push it out of my mind and get on with things. What else can you do?

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Tuesday, October 12, 2004 - A ShadowAngel Improvement Update

59 hours until Hong Kong!!!

This last 1 1/2 weeks has not gone so well in the fitness/diet department. Ironwolf has been out late so many nights or out of town entirely that it has been nearly impossible to get out to the gym. I went on Friday and now today (and worked my butt off, let me tell you), so if I can get there at least once more before the trip I'll be happy. The HK hotel has a nice gym so I'll probably manage to get a workout there every day!

And I haven't lost any more weight the last two weeks - at least I'm not putting it back on.

I tried to put highlights in my hair using the Clairol Herbal Essence stuff. It didn't work out very well. It's very chunky in spots, and I just don't like it. I had better success once before with Loreal Colour Experte. Neither one of these really works well on very long hair like mine because you can't get even coverage down the entire length of the hair.

I suppose I should get my hair cut. It has been a year, after all. I suppose I need to look professional for all these HK business types. I'll probably get my fingernails done too - the full acrylic shebang. I bite my nails, and I guess it's a particularly loathsome habit over there. I did the nails once when I got married, and it just did hell to what little real nails I had.

BTW, I have managed to control my IPod addiction for today, but one of my friends is coming over to dump a bunch of songs on tomorrow.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Monday, October 11, 2004 - Oh, I've Wasted My Day...

putting tunes on my IPod. It still amazes me that I have taken a stack of CD's taller than me and reduced them to such a little device.

Unfortunately, I needed to get things done around here and it hasn't happened. So after one more CD (really, just one more, I can stop whenever I want to!) I'll put the IPod away and really start preparing for the upcoming trip.

Blast, my suit from better get here soon. All right, no more delays. Back to work! (now with a well-stocked IPod, of course...)

Monday, October 11, 2004 - Heaven Is...

A Lindt Excellence 85% Cocoa Solids chocolate bar.


Still uploading CDs to the IPod....

Monday, October 11, 2004 - The Hong Kong Blog Is Up

I made a separate blog under a separate Blogger username for the HK trip. It's called The Hong Kong Follies. I decided to do that because I really don't want my relatives to be reading this blog. I'm sure you understand. If there is anything sensitive I'll post it up on this blog still.

We leave Friday morning! I'm so excited. Woo hoo!

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Sunday, October 10, 2004 - Children of the Red Eyes

My kids caught my cold (usually it's the other way around). And now both of them have an eye infection. Ironwolf is howling that it's pinkeye, but I don't think that's actually the case. It doesn't seem to be bothering them too much, so I'm not terribly worried.

A minor complication to the cold thing is that Zipper fell yesterday and gave himself one heck of a bloody nose. (Ironwolf freaked out - he doesn't handle the blood thing very well). So Zipper doesn't just have a stuffed up, runny nose, but a bloody, stuffed up, runny nose, and he is continually at it, making it bleed again and causing no end to the aggrevation.

It heralds one of the typical "mom-truisms":

"It won't get better if you don't stop picking at it!"

Sunday, October 10, 2004 - Not To Gloat, But...

I got an IPod! I got an IPod!

(sorry Wendy, I know it's on your wish list)

Oh, yeah, I'm hooked. It's going to be all too tempting to be plugged into my life soundtrack all the time. I'm already loading up a bunch of CD's onto it.

My hubby got it for me for my b-day, of course. I think that he knew that I was going to beg for one for every gift-giving occasion until I finally got it, so he saved himself from listening to my begging.

It's so kewl!!!!

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Saturday, October 9, 2004 - Happy Birthday to Me!

Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday dear ShadowAngel,
Happy birthday to me!

Ironwolf and I and one of Ironwolf's friends went out bar-hopping last night to celebrate. It's probably the first time I've actually gone bar-hopping. We had a great time!

No hangover this morning either, although Ironwolf woke me up when he screamed during a nightmare. Eeek! Good morning! Rascal surprised me with a card he made, and my MIL is taking me out shopping later.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Thursday, October 7, 2004 - Did I Say Housing Was Ridiculous?

I meant insane. Check out this article I found regarding extreme low-end housing in HK. It's scary. With all the government regulation of the housing market, you'd think they'd do something about this.

I also read in another article that the average size (in usable space) of a new HK flat is 370 sq. ft. O--M--G--.

Thursday, October 7., 2004 - Hong Kong Koncerns

8 days until Hong Kong!

Ironwolf forwarded me an email detailing a basic expat package. I've got to admit, it would be tough to turn it down if it came to it. The actual base salary stays the same, but there's a housing allowance (housing costs are absolutely ridiculous in HK - we'll probably pay five times as much for a place that's a couple hundred sq. ft. smaller than what we have now), a transportation allowance, and a goods and services differential.

In truth, the proposal as it stands wouldn't be acceptable. We would have to maintain residence in the U.S. as well, pay HK and US taxes, and provide schooling for the boys (private school for Rascal, at least - I think it would do him a disservice to throw him into the public schools when he doesn't know the language at all), and there is no travel allowance for trips back to the U.S.

I'm not saying that we need all of these things in the package, but if we are going to leave the country it needs to be worth our while to do it.

Ironwolf is going to be mad that I said even this much. (If he reads it, anyway) But I needed to unload myself so that I know what I want when we reach the bargaining table.

Thursday, October 7, 2004 - A Little Better

Ironwolf came home from his trip last night, made some concerned cooing noises over me, and sent me to bed. I love that man.

Actually, the kids were very kind to me too last night when the migraine was at its worst. They kept offering me stuffed animals and hugs. How sweet! I hope they understand when their mommy is a little short with them that it isn't their fault. They probably just think I'm psycho.

The migraine is gone, though I still have the sinus portion of the headache. I suppose I should give in and take some sinus meds because I need to be able to function today. Problem is that they make me tired (which might make me non-functional anyway). Oh, well.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Wednesday, October 6, 2004 - Ugh, Make It Stop!

I'm miserable today because I am in my typical once-a-month state of a migraine and general crankiness. But I suppose in a strange way I should be happy about it, because it's earlier than I expected, meaning that I won't have to deal with it in Hong Kong. (yay!)

I also noticed that I have this tendency to want to clean a day or two before I get my monthly headache. Weird. But if I'm inclined to clean at all, I'd better make good use of the time. I did spend all day yesterday cleaning, but I feel like I have so much more still to do.

I've had a cold for a little over a week, and I'm still feeling run down. It's not helping my mood one bit.

BTW, if these jerks keep sending me multi MB spam messages I'm going to throw my computer out the windows! I'm still on dial-up, dammit!

I'm sure I'll feel (a little) better tomorrow.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Monday, October 4, 2004 - Storytime (Part 2)

Jade's post mentioned in my previous post was the story of her pregnancy and birth of her eldest child. I remembered that I submitted my own first birth story to Before you read the rest of this post go read my story here. (don't go through the main page, the link to my story is broken).

Ok, got it? I have a few revisions to the story, because when I wrote that I didn't have all the details and I was strung out on painkillers and lack of sleep.

1. Yes, the total time from start of induction to birth was 38 hours. Yes, I was very tired and hungry.

2. There were more doctors present than what I recalled. There was the delivering doctor, the resident OB on duty, all 3 of the other doctors from my OB-GYN's office, and the anestheiologist (all for me), plus a doctor for the baby. Plus the urologist later.

3. The hemorraging was the most important issue, but my later research indicated that I was in serious risk of heart failure from the amount of Pitocin I had in me plus the blood loss.

4. My husband was with me at the birth, and he told me later that after I was given the Demerol that I started acting really strange, and apparently I talked about baseball at length (LOL I don't even watch baseball!). No memory of it at all. (btw, yes, I did get to see my baby before my brain went off into La-La Land)

5. Yeah, they cut my ureter during the C-section. Oops. That healed fine, but let me tell you, having the stent removed was one of the most painful things I have ever gone through. Think about it - having a foot-long plastic tube pulled out through your urethra. Didn't take too long, but not fun.

6. One of doctors was talking about the birth with me a couple days later, and she told me that if it had been 10 years earlier, I would have died. Thank goodness for medical technology.

Maybe I'll put up the story of Zipper's birth sometime, though it's not nearly as interesting as Rascal's birth (thank goodness!)

Monday, October 4, 2004 - Storytime (Part 1)

Apparently I've inspired a couple people (namely Wendy and Jade) to share some personal stories as a result of my post yesterday about when my eldest son went walkabout. I have stories in response to both of theirs, so first here is a story relating to Wendy's post:

For his 3rd birthday, Rascal received an inflatable activity center from his uncle and aunt. He loved it. A week later, late on a Sunday evening, Rascal is bouncing on the toy in the living room (an intended purpose of the toy). He launches himself off the toy and crashes into the corner of the doorway of the room, resulting in a large gash above his left eye.

It's Sunday night, so the doctor isn't really an option. Ironwolf and I debated taking him to the emergency room, but the bleeding stopped quickly, so we decided to wait until the next morning to call the doctor's office.

I take him to the doctor the next afternoon, and she agrees that the wound needs to be closed. She decides that the best way to do in is to seal it with cyanoacrylate (whatever medical brand name it was doesn't matter, the point is, the stuff is superglue). So she goes to apply this stuff with a swab, and Curtis, being 3 years old, unrestrained, and very wary about someone touching his boo-boo, squirms.

And there goes the superglue swab, right across Rascal's eye. Yes, folks, Rascal's eye is glued shut. He's screaming bloody murder because he can't see (thankfully it didn't seem to get in the eye itself though). I'm trying to comfort him and the doctor is flustered. She and I work at it for 10 minutes, first trying to get it off with water and petroleum jelly, and at the end when we couldn't do anymore with that we were literally prying eyelashes from his face.

In the end no harm done. Later I spoke with several nurses in my acquaintance, and they all agreed on these two points: A child under 5 should have been in a restraint before the cyanoacrylate was used, and it is never supposed to be used near the eye.

Rascal still carries a significant scar above his eye from the accident. (my poor baby, 3 years old and scarred for life!) But I think it will be far less noticeable as he grows.

Monday, October 4, 2004 - Shop, Shop, Shop, Shop...

I took the kids to the mall today because I was looking for a suit to take to Hong Kong. It looks like I am going to need more business wear than I had anticipated, and my blue and white suits/dresses are out because they are colors of mourning there and considered to be inappropriate for a social situation.

I found myself in a sea of polyester. Yuck! Natural fibers, man, that's the only way to go. Ok, so I've been influenced by Queer Eye For The Straight Guy. So sue me. Anyway, I found nothing there to my liking.

So I tried looking on the Internet and found that had what I was looking for. If you go through their search function it allows you to search by fabric type (among other things). So I have a lovely cream-colored Bill Blass silk/cotton suit on the way, and at 78% off regular retail. I'm a happy camper. It should get here before I leave. I hope it looks good, but that's the chance you take buying clothes online.

Monday, October 4, 2004 - Miscellaneous Schtuff

Zipper is sitting here next to see with his new stacking toy - a spindle full of blank CD-R's. (everyone knows that the best toys aren't toys at all!)

Ironwolf is out of town again for the next few days, so it's loneliness for me again. I think I'll dye my hair tonight. Maybe I'll get some highlights done (or chance doing them myself) this weekend.

12 days until Hong Kong! I have a ton of cleaning up to do because my mother-in-law will be staying here to watch the boys while we are gone. She's not the best housekeeper in the world either, but I feel a certain obligation to make sure the house isn't a total mess.

My crop (i.e. scrapbooking gathering) went well. None of my neighbors were there, but the other ladies at my table were very nice. I didn't get as much accomplished as I'd hoped, but that's par for the course. I used the time to work on Rascal's art scrapbook. Instead of filling boxes with his artwork, I take pictures of them and put them into the book. It saves a ton of space and I don't feel guilty about throwing the originals away.

Rascal wants a drum set for his birthday. Oh boy....

Autumn is here. We turned the furnace on yesterday because it got down to 40F. Boo!

That's it for now, folks!

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Sunday, October 3, 2004 - The Worst 5 Minutes Of My Life

After I posted earlier this evening I took a couple minutes to look at a couple other blogs and read about Lioness's encounter with a lost little 2-year-old boy.

Now I am awake in the middle of the night because I keep thinking about a similar situation that happened to me in one of my moments of less than ideal parenting. And when Rascal fell out of bed a few minutes ago (and I was up and in his room in a microsecond), I decided that it would ease my mind to tell this story to you. So here's the story:

Rascal was 20 mo. old at the time. It was a lovely August day, and as usual, we were outside. I was sitting out in front of the garage reading while Rascal played nearby. He wandered off behind the garage, and I thought nothing of it until I realized that several minutes had passed without my seeing or hearing him. I walk behind the garage and there is no Rascal.

OK, he couldn't have gone far, right? I run around my house and then through the yards of the two neighbors next door (who do not have fences, so it was a real possibility). I look up and down the street.

No Rascal!!!

At this point I am in panic mode, screeching his name out at the top of my lungs, trying to compose myself well enough to decide what to do next. Of course all the worst case scenarios are running through my head - he'll try to cross the street, we're right by the elementary school and if someone's looking to kidnap kids, that's where they'll be, what if he gets down to the other end of the street (where there is a very busy road).

My screaming draws my (other) next-door neighbor outside, and she inquires as to what is wrong. I told her that Rascal was gone but don't wait for a repsonse because I have decided what to do - to go to the end of the street and see if he went around the corner, then call the police and enlist the neighbors' help.

When I get to the end of the street, much to my relief I see a couple walking Rascal back toward me. He had wandered around the block, not crossing the street (good boy, I trained him well) and was on the next road over, and this kind couple who were out walking saw him and followed the panicked shouts back home.

I can't remember if I thanked the couple (so, thank you, whoever you are!), but I do clearly remember them asking me what Rascal's name was. I replied, "You mean you couldn't tell from the screaming?" They said, "No, not really, but we figured he was yours."

After that I whisked Rascal inside and cried for the next couple hours. I am still affected deeply by it.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Saturday, October 2, 2004 - Family & Work & Hobbies

I had a very nice visit with my parents. To my surprise another grandson was already there when we arrived. Apparently my sister dropped him off at 9 AM that day because he wanted to visit. Not a bad idea, *except* that my folks had just driven 13 hours overnight and had been awake since the morning before. What was she thinking? Not my concern. Besides, I know we were imposing too (though I had expected that they would have napped in the afternoon - didn't happen, obviously). A little later my brother arrived with his wife and son to do the routine house check - they didn't even realize our parents were coming home for the weekend. (maybe if he picked up the phone once in a while...) Still, it was a pleasant surprise, and my parents were happy to be able to see all four grandsons at once. They ran and played and ate cookies and occasionally misbehaved until I decided to call it at 10:30 PM. It was a good time.

Reactions were mixed on the family blog thing, partially because my mom is a technophobe. So I think I'll get it started and invite the others to join and see what happens. And they definitely won't get access to this blog!

Today Ironwolf's company held an open house. They had tours of the building followed by a luncheon, and Ironwolf was doing a cool demo in the electrical lab which involved melting paper clips with an electric current. It was very popular - people like to watch things burn!

Now this tour was supposed to be about an hour long. Ok, that's fine, so I brought the kids with me. After 2 hours, with a couple stops still left to go on the tour(including the mail room, oooh...), and my back aching from carrying Zipper, I had enough of it and left. I know that people like to talk about what they do, but it was just getting ridiculous! There were so many young children there, and they were all unhappy. And the food at the luncheon stunk too, but that's not the company's fault. If I had known it was going to turn out the way it did, I would have just stayed home. But enough griping, because...

I get to go out all afternoon tomorrow to pursue one of my favorite hobbies, scrapbooking! (You can see some of my work in ShadowAngel's Cacophony if you are so inclined. Or not. I don't care.) I haven't touched my scrapbooking in months, so I am really not prepared for this event. I am going to end up bringing so much stuff with me to the banquet hall (the same place where I had that crappy lunch today, btw) that I won't be able to carry it in one trip. I hope that some of my neighbors are there this time so I have someone to talk to - there's usually a couple there.

Well, I told myself that I wouldn't spend more than 20 minutes online, and that time is fast approaching. CYA later!

Friday, October 01, 2004

Friday, October 1, 2004 - Off And Running

I don't have much time for posting today - it's been pretty busy. My folks are in town for the weekend so we are going to see them tonight. Maybe I'll propose a family blog to them (hey, if Blogger's hosting, why not?) and see if they are interested. It would be a good way for everyone to keep in contact. Maybe I'll have time to say more later tonight, but for now...

Zip! Off we go!!!!