Saturday, January 31, 2009

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back...

Well, just as I was starting to get convinced that 2009 truly WAS going to be much better than 2008... we got a phone call this afternoon.

My great-uncle in Roscommon, MI, passed away early this morning.  We are basically the only family that he had left, and none of us had seen him since March 5th, 2005, when Ralph and I drove up there from one of his shows in Ohio on the way home to pick up a car that he GAVE me... a 1988 Monte Carlo LS, in mint condition.  For nothing.  And then he mailed us a $1000 check a couple weeks later as a wedding gift.

He was up there - in his 90s - and the typical "Latvian age" temper and such had gotten to him a bit... but growing up, he was nothing but generous.  It was hard seeing him, even 4 years ago, because it was obvious had had at least a mild stroke already at that point.  That on top of a heavy accent that never left, and Ralph honestly understood almost none of what he said to him.

I feel like SHIT.  I was an absolute slacker, and hadn't gotten a letter or photos to him in FOREVER, and now it's too late.  I'm trying to be comforted by the fact that most of it probably wouldn't have registered much anyhow, since he had had a few strokes, and wasn't always "connected" - but then I am smacked by the fact that, whenever the chaplin at his nursing home would call us so that he could actually talk to some family, that the chaplin would relay the fact that "I love you"s brought tears to Uncle's eyes... I should have done more.  I just SHOULD have.

So the family has just been cut down by one more member... and like another member of the "family" said... all the Latvians that she and my mom grew up around are gone now, and it's like the torch is being passed down to them, and how much that scares her.  I can't even begin to tell you how much that scares me, too.  Because I have had to dance with my dad's mortality way too many times than I care to remember, and the fact that I see him in his bed everyday, in the same spot he was the last time I looked at him, doesn't help solidify anything other than that, either.

So, 2009 couldn't even bother to let us have a death-free first month.  If you all only knew how much I'm hoping that means that the rest will be spotless since it came on early...

Friday, January 30, 2009

Looking Forward to A Doctor's Visit?

I'm SO tired of this... the insomnia is back full-force, as you can see by my random before-dawn postings. I have an appointment at noon with my psych to discuss meds and such, and SO desperately need sleep medication AGAIN. The biggest problem is that none of the "traditional" sleep prescriptions work for me - never have - and with the last meds I was put on while at the pain clinic, I was adjusting to the doses at an alarming rate, having to increase the dosages and add "extra" meds every week to two weeks. It's unreal. It's like my body just plain doesn't produce the chemicals needed to sleep, normally, all on my own AT ALL anymore. =(

So, I've been doing a bit of research, mainly for fibromyalgia, and found one that is actually on the recommended list for people with fibro to take for sleep disorders, even though it's typically given for narcolepsy. I know, I thought, "Why the hell would you give someone with narcolepsy a tranquilizer?" but I guess it works somehow... and it's supposed to work well for fibro-related insomnia and such. I guess we'll see what the reaction is by the doc tomorrow when I bring that up to her. Maybe I should print out the article...???

So, the point is, I can't sleep. I'm back to living on about 20 hours of sleep a WEEK again, and on top of it all, Greyson's behavior and being PMS-y is NOT a good combination. My cycle is ALL jacked up, even with being on Seasonique, and I've NEVER had this problem before.


So, I wound up with a 16-day period. Seriously. In the middle of a three-month pack of Seasonique. And now? I'm on the "placebo pill" week, and PRAYED that maybe, I wouldn't get it since, hello? More than two weeks of bleeding that only ended two weeks ago? But no... sadly, I'm bleeding, and rather heavily.

So, I'm also trying to find any medication interactions that may have caused this, and have found NONE. Zip, zero. I had a COMPLETELY normal pap and such done about 3 months ago, so I have no idea what is jacking my system up, other than maybe a new symptom of the fibromyalgia - it's just that I haven't found ANYTHING to back up this suspicion.

And now... my right eye is clouding over. There must be something stuck to my contact.

I suppose I should head to bed now - after washing out my friggin' eye. LOL

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Step in the Right Direction

As many of you know, my Dad is a quadriplegic.  He suffered a devastating fall, here in the house, in June of 2006, fracturing three vertebrae in his neck, and compressing his spinal cord.  Within three days, he underwent two surgeries to stabilize his cervical vertebrae and to release the pressure on his spinal cord, after being airlifted to Milwaukee's Spinal Cord Injury Unit at Froedert Hospital.

He spent three months in the hospital, undergoing rigorous physical therapy in order to restore as much function as possible.  He came home able to walk short distances with assistance, but unable to do many things such as feed himself without assistance - the fine motor skills just weren't up to par.  Sure, he had some, but the technical aspects of many tasks never really were restored.  Plus, he tired very easily, and suffered from severe muscle spasms as a result of his injury.

As of today, he has spent the last two years completely bedridden.  Not long after returning home did his injuries take a turn for the worse, with instability prompting a couple very minor falls.  After being hospitalized one time and not receiving the physical therapy he needed, things got worse.  He wound up in a nursing home for approximately a month, and received NO therapy while there.  He came home, got into bed... and never left.

For this reason, I have been an advocate of stem cell research, and its promising studies on repairing spinal cord injuries.  On January 23rd, the FDA finally approved the first clinical trials of stem-cell injection for spinal cord injuries in human studies.

Nature: Stem Cell Research Gets the Go Ahead

Though most likely, this development will never impact my Dad and the prediction of his condition, it may very well be the precursor to many, many others never having to suffer the absolute collapse of their world, in our case, from a trip and fall in a narrow hallway.  This is one area of the world that I will be keeping a close, excited, but still weary eye upon.


Why is it that I actually fell asleep, only to wake 3 hours later feeling like it was *really* time to get up?

How is it that my Criminal Law professor thinks it's okay to have an essay due every two weeks... including the week before midterms?

WHY oh WHY do I have to complete ANOTHER interview for school, the second term in a row?

My migraine is gone.  At least *that's* a bonus.

Greyson is making me want to either put him in a closet or bury myself in a snow drift.  God knows there enough snow to accomplish the latter, but I'm not sure on room in a closet for the first part.

Lately, Grey has found ALL the right (WRONG) buttons to push.  He honestly has been acting like a completely different child, and brought me to TEARS earlier, all because of how horrible his behavior had been all day (and the previous few days).  While he watched me cry (which I honestly HATE, but my GOD, he was bad!) he told me, "You're not a very good actor."  WTF?!?  I then folllowed up with, :So you think Mommy isn't really feeling this sad?  Doesn't it make you feel bad that you made Mommy cry?"  His response:  "Actually, I feel pretty good right now."  Gonna strangle him.  Not really.  But I can in my head, right?

He is *seriously* plagued by cabin fever, or SOMETHING, because the mood swings are just BEYOND anything I've ever seen come out of this boy.  He has taken on an alter-ego, "Greysop", taken from an accidental name-typing on one of his games.  Greysop is the BAD child, while my sweet little Greyson would NEVER act this way.  I wish I knew where GreysoN was hiding.

Ugh... it seems to be a once-a-month thing, like the child has PMS.  One week out of a month, he is a holy terror, hell-on-wheels demon child.  No remorse, no pre-thinking, just all mouth and attitude.  And then, he returns to his original, sweet self.  I think I might share some Midol.  Heh.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Feel Like I've Been Beaten...

So, we went to see Metallica last night.  The first time I've seen them live in, literally, 10 years almost to the DAY.

Is it wrong (or maybe just even pathetic) that when "Ecstacy of Gold" started playing, I teared up?  It is?!  Oh, hell.

Anyways... my opinion that James Hetfield has only gotten better as he's gotten older has been solidified.  Seriously.  That man's voice was ON last night, and I couldn't have been happier with a return to the live viewings after so long.

We took the Munchkin.  Yes, I know.  A three year old at a Metallica concert.  But, HEY!  He was a two year old at an Iron Maiden concert, and a one year old at a Ted Nugent concert, so why not?  At  least this time, we actually let him have a SEAT, instead of just migling amidst the crazies down on the pit floor. =P

Apparently, the highlight of the show for him last night is "the guy who was playing his guitar so much that he fell over and DIED."  Yeah.  At one point, Rob Trujillo was the sole member on stage, in the dark, with a spot on him, while he played and played and slowly... collapsed... to his knees... and then flat onto his back, bass splayed out across his torso.  And at that point?  Greyson grabbed my arm and exclaimed, "OH MY GOD MOM!  He DIED!"  Riot.  He had a blast all around... until he fell asleep a minute from the end of the third-to-last song, and completely slept through Nothing Else Matters (OH!  Was I happy they played it!  C'mon - the notes and lyrics from the song decorated my wedding cake for God's sake!) and half of Ralph's "all time favorite" (snicker) Enter Sandman.  At that point, it was 11pm, and I knew they'd be wrapping it up, so I decided, well, let's beat the crowd WHILE CARRYING A SLEEPING DEAD WEIGHT OF A CHILD and just leave now.

Yep, hit the lobby, and we heard them close the show.  Now, I'm not stupid, and I know that they did an encore... but beating out the swarms to be able to actually leave the parking lot within five minutes of getting in the car?  Worth missing.

GOD, I'm such a MOM.  LOL

SO, to the part where I feel like someone kicked my ASS at the show?  I am SORE today.  Even with having seats, of course, everyone was standing... so that meant Grey hopping from parent to parent in order to see better, and a full-on course of "Nooooo!  Don't LIFT him!!!" on my screaming back.  Add to that the fact that Walgreens for SOME reason couldn't (or more like just plain DIDN'T) contact my doc for a refill on my Effexor for two days, and I'm just hitting the beginnings of withdrawls...  Thankfully, I got to pick them up TODAY, but they of course have yet to hit my system and tell it to wake the hell UP because, HELLOOO?  Drugs in system again, k?  =P

Needless to say... no matter how much I feel like hell today?  It was SO worth it.  Being able to see my overall favorite band on the planet perform live again after so long?  Check.  Being able to share the experience with my mini-me of a rocker son?  Check.  Having one more awesome experience to file away so that I can say I really *didn't* have a completely lame life when I look back from my 80s?  MAJOR CHECK.  Heh.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Ohhh, am I pissed!  I decided to work on changing my blog up a bit, a little at a time (y'all can see the beginning of the progress - LOL), and it transferred everything over BEAUTIFULLY...


The *title* was still there... but there were no links.  No blogs.  NADA.

So, if you read here, PLEASE leave a comment for me so I can re-add you...  You have no idea how LONG it took me to compile that *special* list of blogs that I read faithfully... and now, except for a VERY select few (real-life friends, for the most part), I don't remember the exact web addresses to save my LIFE.

GAH!  All this and I *still* have to finish my PowerPoint on evidence collection types and collection, do the grocery shopping tomorrow, clean MASSIVELY for dinner company coming on Saturday, bake a from-scratch cheesecake, make a MASSIVE version of my 100%-from-scratch Stuffed Chicken Marsala for dinner Saturday afternoon for dinner that night, we're going OUT that night to see the Hubby's old band play, Sunday I'm supposed to bake a recipe that I'm entering into the Betty Crocker dessert contest (DUDE, 1st prize is 5K!), and we're going to Metallica on Tuesday.

I think I need a drink just re-reading all the SHIT I have to get done in the next handful of days.

Fuuuuck.  Good thing Xanax is my favorite palindrome.  Heh. =P

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Doing a Little Happy Dance...

Well, a sleepy one, at least, since I only slept from 2:30-4am, and Greyson decided that it was perfectly OKAY to only sleep from 9pm-6am.  And yes, this is STILL with no nap.

BUT!!  Ha ha!!  I finished my DAMNED Criminal Law paper - ON TIME!  Hooyah!

Now I just need to have a PowerPoint presentation done by this coming Tuesday on various types of evidence and the techniques utilized for collection of each... but it's NOT. A. LAW. PAPER! =P

I am so ready for the nap that I *guaranteed* Greyson he was taking in, oh, about an hour... especially since this afternoon needs to be one of accomplishment with a trip to Kmart and then some grocery shopping.  *sigh*

Monday, January 19, 2009


At 9pm, Greyson asked me to make him ANOTHER grilled cheese sandwich. That's what he had at lunchtime today.

Oh, and did I mention that the child ate all but ONE rob from an entire half-rack? YEAH.

Growth spurt here we come!

He looked HILARIOUS before bed, though because his torso looked like this:

( ) <-- shoulders

<-- chest
( )
( ) <-- BIG ol' BUDDHA belly
<-- hips and legs


So today's meals were comprised of:
*4* pancakes and 2 sausage links with a glass of OJ
A juice box and a handful of pretzels
3/4 of a whole grain grilled cheese sandwich with a glass of milk
2 more friggin juice boxes LOL
Almost an entire half-rack of ribs, a portion of green beans, a *little* bit of mac & cheese, and a small salad with a glass of water

I obviously did NOT give into making a second sandwich RIGHT before bed! LOL

I think someone else's child traded stomachs with Greyson's!! =P

By the way... I realized as I changed him for bed (after looking at the tags in his Scooby Doo pj's TWICE) that, yes, even though I had to TUG the bottom edge of the shirt down to cover his tummy and his pants needed NO pinning whatsoever... they are, indeed, a Boy's size 4. *sigh* This on a child who wore PREEMIE clothing and diapers for almost the first month of his life after being born FULL TERM with no complications. Yikes.

This is What Avoidance Results In...

So... I *really* didn't want to work on my paper anymore quite yet... and I think I'm finally happy with a new logo / signature THING.

Graphic design - 1. Criminal Law doctrine discussion - 0.

Pretty, yes? =P

I Can Finally Take a SMALL Breath...

Last night I was able to plow through all but the introduction, my *opinion* section, and conclusion of my forsaken law paper... oh, and the STUPID APA references page.  But!  I have the general "meat" portion accomplished.  Hooray!

Greyson has been a bit of an eating machine since yesterday... which, if you've followed any of my previous entries that have contained commentary on his eating habits (I think my CATS eat more than he does on any given day), is UNREAL.  Yesterday?  THREE ACTUAL MEALS, plus a few *tiny* snacks.  BUT!  THREE MEALS!  It's completely unheard of, and I honestly don't think he's eaten anything even closely resembling that much food in one day in MONTHS.  Eek.  If he's entering a growth-spurt period, I seriously hope that it's an "out" spurt, and not another "up" spurt... because seriously y'all?  He's over 3'3" and only weighs (at the beginning of December) 28 pounds.  Yeah.  My life as referenced to his wardrobe consists ENTIRELY of praising the people that created those nifty ass adjustable waistbands for toddler sizes and the smaller of the actual boys' sizes.  Because, honestly?  I'm not bothering with anything smaller than a boy's size 4 anymore... especially since I've discovered more and more places that offer *4 SLIM*.  I owe them much praise because it saves me money (and punctured fingertips!) since I no longer have to safety pin the HELL out of the back of his pants anymore.

Well, unless we get track pants... then, it's a WHOLE other story.  *sigh*  Why oh WHY do they not have drawstrings?!?!

Anyhow, the boy must be growing again.  And his mood has been pretty consistent, hovering in the "pleasant zone" for about a week now, which is allowing the small patches of hair that I'm SURE I ripped out during his absolute insanity phases to grow back.  Heh.

Actually, one more thing in regards to the Munchkin... I was pretty much called a LIAR when I posed a question to a group of other moms of children born within a month or so of Greyson regarding reading and writing.  The fact that I stated that he has been reading and spelling words for a few months now, and has begun *really* getting into CORRECTLY and LEGIBLY writing his letters was essentially attacked, as the woman who responded "highly doubted that ANY child this age can actually read, and especially not spell, unless it's a case of memorization."

Hmm.  Well, let's see.  A trip to the grocery store has him reading the labels on boxes, cans, and signs.  Spending time on the computer consists of him either typing out words entirely on his own, or eliciting a very small amount of help to break down the sounds within a word in order to spell it, again, himself.  He showed nothing less that ecstacy when he wrote the word "MOM" on a piece of paper for me, with no prompting whatsoever.

But I'm a liar, apparently.  But she DID follow up with a comment on IF he IS actually able to do those things, then BRAVO - especially since he's a BOY.  And then I was "scolded" to make sure that I was not PUSHING these things on him.  Thank GOD it was not an in-person conversation... I think SOMEONE would have been tasting pavement.

WTF.  YES, I know, "statistically," boys are a bit slower to pick up on the language aspects of life.  But C'MON.  Because MY son happens to have these abilities at this age, does it really have to be approached with scrutiny and sarcasm?!  THIS is the reason I rarely discuss what he can do... because, y'all, I've been there myself.  In Kindergarten, I was told, FLAT OUT, by the woman doing the screenings that I COULD NOT READ.  And yet, at that point in time, I had been taking over for my TEACHER in circle time reading because she had come down with laryngitis.  Bah.

I think I'm done complaining... for now.  I have *never* intended a single word regarding what my child can (or canNOT) do as bragging.  Hell, he's still not potty-trained.  Getting there?  Yes.  In underwear?  HELL NO.  I guess I just don't understand why some people feel that they are friggin' experts regarding what everyone ELSE'S kids abilities are.  *sigh*

On a slightly different note, I feel like we have been hit by a heat wave here in Chicago - merely because the temps are above zero, and have actually reached the double digits here and there.  We've seen the TEENS, people!  LOL  After LAST week's plunge into -237941 degree weather, you would have thought that the deep freeze was gonna hang around for a lot longer than just a week.

I suppose I really *should* return to working on finishing up that fantabulous waste of brain cells called Criminal Law.  For some reason, I just wish the universe would hear me whenever I announce that I only want to be a peon CSI - not a FRIGGIN' attorney.

Dear god... I may be able to argue and debate my way through almost any topic, but the education for law school?  Yep... can't argue worth a damn when all that's left of your head is an exploded stump of goo.  Heh.


BY THE WAY!!  I am currently trying to come up with a new "signature" deal for the end of my posts, since the recent redo just isn't quite living up to my standards.  Good idea in my head, looks like crap on screen, IMO.  So, if anyone has any ideas, feel free to leave them in the comments!  THANKS!  *muah*

Friday, January 16, 2009

My Brain is Twitching From TOO MUCH LAW.

So... this term for school I have Criminal Law and Criminal Investigations. Not only did classes JUST start on the 7th, but I already have an essay due on Tuesday for Law. On statutory rape. And mens rea. BUT! Mens rea doesn't APPLY to statutory rape statutes because it qualifies as a Strict Liability charge.


This class has me spinning in virtual circles every. single. time. I log in to class, whether it be to simply check the message boards, or to actually ATTEND a seminar. I have just been notified that, apparently, the sheer presence of a controlled substance in your vehicle, home, aircraft, WHATEVER, does NOT necessarily qualify for a possession charge. Huh. Who knew. So, from this information, I'm guessing that I could go purchase a pair of shoes, hide some pot in the soles, and then claim that I had NO idea that it was there, since I just bought them. And quite possibly WIN. What a frickin' riot.

Anyhow, I have NO clue as to how to even APPROACH this paper. ME. Who is typically known for my absolutely verbose and detailed essays on any given topic. I'm LOST. How do I explain the details of mens rea (and WHY!?!) if it really doesn't even have anything to do with the specific charge I am supposed to be discussing? And I cannot for the life of me figure out what, if ANYTHING, is the actual classifier for strict liability, other than the fact that it makes certain charges "stick" better than if they were processed through the more traditional mens rea.

Have I made YOUR head spin yet?

Maybe I'm lucky enough to have a lawyer as one of my readers?

WHAT AM I THINKING? What lawyer would read THIS drivel? Heh.

So, off I twirl back into the land of holyfuckincrap because this is due in T-minus 4 days. JOY!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Tribute... to my distant relative via marriage, and his final song which summarizes SO much it brings me to tears...


Oh..... How glad am I that I go to college online? And that the house is pretty well stocked?

Words cannot describe how desperately determined I am to NOT leave the house for ANY reason in the next week.

Why? Because currently, not only are we under a blizzard warning - not so much because we are expecting THAT much snow, but because of the brutal einds anticipated to make it a near white-out condition - but it is also -14 DEGREES OUTSIDE. And I'm not including wind chill.

Tomorrow? Somewhere around -18.

Thursday? -24.

This trend is going to continue through NEXT THURSDAY. Meaning I have NO choice but to deal with Greyson's severe cabin fever because HELLO?!? I am NOT venturing out into this arctic CRAP unless under serious duress. Like I or someone in my family would have to be DYING. Eek.

So, to toast to feeling like I have teleported from Chicago to the Arctic Circle sometime as I slept, here's my new buddy, the penguin. I have a feeling I just might see one waddling through my backyard in the next few days.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


It really bites the big one when you burn the bejeezus out of your wrist while attempting to take one of the world's largest pizzas out of the oven. Mmm. Burnt flesh on the inside of the oven door. Bravo.

It bites EVEN MORE when, in the middle of a sleepy haze, you reach over and scratch said burn WITH LONG FINGERNAILS to the point of scraping half the burnt skin off of a burn that is literally the size of a LARGE thumbprint.

Now it not only looks like someone with hands o' fire grabbed my wrist and left their very own, patented thumbprint scorch mark right about where the face of my watch would be (could I actually WEAR one with this mass of damage), but there's a big lovely RAW patch right smack in the middle of it all. YUM! (gag)

Not only is it just as painful as it was the moment it happened all over again, but it woke me up from the wonders of sleep since I decided to go all Freddy Krueger on myself while only half-conscious. Now THAT'S what I call fun!

And the kicker of it all? Just last night before bed did I remove the "I look like a suicide attempt" gauze bandage from around my wrist. Irony, much??


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

In Stitches!

If you have any time to waste... any at ALL... You need to check out The Hillywood Show!!

I have been in absolute PAIN from laughing so hard... These two girls are a riot, and manage to make a show seriously competitive even with the likes of MadTV and SNL. Honest.

Helps if you are a fan of Johnny Depp, as well... seeing as though a VERY large number of their shows are based on various Depp movies and characters.

Not only that, but the next episode looks to be a Dark Knight parody. Also in the making is, as seen on the main page, a Twilight episode. NICE.

So, go! Check them out already!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

2009! What a Difference the Date Makes!

I have gunning toward 2009 forEVER now, it seems.  Nothing could be a better idea; let's change the year and hopefully, in return, change the streams of bad luck that were not only bombarding myself and my family in torrential distress, but also those surrounding me.  Everywhere I turned, it seemed as though something about the otherwise harmless numbers "2008" simply had it in for anyone and everyone within my territorial bubble.  2009 just could NOT have come fast enough...

And now it is here.  Maybe it was the mental preparations, or the simple determination that, OH no, 2009 would NOT be as terrible as the past year had been... but so far, so good.  Even the APPROACH to the new year was lighter and happier than the previous, say, 360 days.  Even though we have all been relishing in the distinct difference surrounding our personal situations now as compared to a month ago or so, I am catching myself feeling like a dog who has been kicked one too many times - even when in good hands, any sudden movement quickly causes a severe flinch and duck response while waiting for that constant abuse to sneak its way in from just beyond my peripheral view.

The last Monday of the year, Ralph got not one but THREE envelopes in the mail from the Department of Unemployment Security.  Hmm.  Since we had been waiting on pins and needles for over three months while fighting out the appeal process regarding his denial of unemployment payment, I decided that, hell!  He could kick my ass about opening his mail later that day - three envelopes (two of which were identical) from this specific place warranted me intervening on the sealed envelopes in my hand.

After opening the first one, I got almost adrenaline sick... the appeal process had FINALLY gone through, and I was staring at a *great* deal of money.  Well, it was a large sum to *us*, especially considering that we were completely incomeless for a good, solid two months, anyways.  Needless to say, I was on the phone calling Ralph at work within minutes, leaving him a voicemail about how he needed to call me NOW when he didn't pick up.  Heh.

And just a few days previous to this?  My mom got a bit of a chunk from the school district (seeing as though she is *officially* on unpaid leave until her disability CRAP goes through) after they re-calculated her salary according to contract and the exact number of days across the year that she worked.  WhatEVER the reasoning, though - didn't matter much around here!  All it meant was that she actually had a bit more money again, something that was a BIG sigh of relief - especially since she, too, was extremely stressed due to Ralph's job loss and the financial implications that trounced on top of my entire family because of all that junk.

We were able to catch up with the car payments.  We found ourselves able to actually buy Greyson some pretty kick-ass Christmas gifts (even if it WAS after Christmas *officially*).  He actually still has one BIG one coming via the friendly UPS man sometime within the next few weeks.  We have been able to purchase tickets for the three of us to go see Metallica later this month (without the "extra" money, there is NO WAY we could have afforded it - and by golly, I was BENT that I thought I would have to wait even MORE time beyond the 10 years that it has been since I have seen them in concert last!).

In general, things just plain haven't seemed as dire as they did less than a month ago.  We were even able to have a *good* New Year's Eve together, as a family, for the first time since Ralph and I have been together - all because he didn't have a NYE show for the FIRST time in four years, and the fact that WOW!  We could actually relax a little and enjoy ourselves and the company of others without first having to worry about whether or not we'd even be able to afford the gas to not only drive TO Chicago, but home again later that night.  We took Greyson along with us to spend time with "the BAND" outside of an actual "work"-type setting, where everyone could just kick back and play music and not have to worry about what impact it was having on, say, the income of the night.  Greyson got to sing his little Metalhead heart out to some crankin' Iron Maiden and Judas Priest tunes (though I have to openly admit that he knows and loves Iron Maiden MUCH more than Priest... SO much so that I'm thinking I may have to stage an intervention for the child).  All in all, everyone had a blast, and it was nice to be able to just get out and have a night without worries.

I've also been enjoying the little stretch of "vacation" that I have had from school... though it ends Wednesday evening already.  I made it out of last term carrying a 4.0 GPA, but next in line are courses in Criminal Investigations as well as Criminal Law (and might I add that my Criminal Law textbook?  DIRE.  lol  The thing is PACKED front to back with case after case, scenario after scenario... who would have thought that I'd be going into the field of LAW in any respect anyways?!?).  I've revelled in knowing that I didn't have an essay waiting to pounce on me lurking around the corner, or an interview that I had to complete, or a proposal that didn't need finalization creeping up on me.  As much as I honestly *love* being back in school, a bit of breathing room was definitely needed after returning from such a long, unexpected stray from my secondary education!

While things have been easier, I can't say that it's all been a walk in the park.  I have been sick pretty much since Thanksgiving, with a little bit of let-up between two MASSIVE colds, the first of which turned into walking pneumonia.  Ralph had his dose of this latest bug, and Greyson is still wrangling with his own little mutation of it, as well.  Luckily, he has started rebounding enough that I didn't have to take him into the doctor... there really wasn't anything that I was sure they would be able to do differently than I have already been doing in regards to him being sick.  Fluids, Delsym, and some lovely Triaminic... pretty much all it's taken.  That, and him sleeping for *14 hours straight* a couple nights ago... BOY, I didn't see THAT one coming!  I think that's a feat that's only been accomplished *maybe* twice before...  even with him giving up on naps, he still generally only gets around 10-11 hours a night.

The cold weather is NO friend to my fibromyalgia, and I have been discharged from physical therapy, seeing as though progress had definitely plateaued.  Nothing but surgery will eliminate the herniation issues in my back, but I *did* get x-ray confirmation, at least, that there isn't anything structurally "off" going on in my neck... well, other than an extra cervical vertebra.  Nice!  LOL

I've also been having a... WOMAN problem.  Heh.  Not that it's ANYTHING to laugh about.  See, now with the birth control pills I am on, I should only have to deal with Aunt Flo visiting me once every three months... fabulous, right?  NOT when she shows up six weeks early and hangs out for... let's see, it's been *17 days* now?!?!?!?  OHHHH yeah.  She and I are NOT on good terms anymore.  I'm starting to think that I'm gonna be dealing with her nonsense all the way through to the end of this friggin' pill pack.  Which would mean a good, oh, MONTH long fiesta?  SO need to get my ass into the doctor on that ALONE... not to mention the fact that the medication I take to make me sleep is no longer working as it should, and I need to transfer the management of my insomnia into the hands of one of my other doctors now that I am no longer going to the Pain Clinic.  Whew.  Too much medical crap to deal with... like always.  At least I have insurance to deal with all the behind-the-scenes nonsense that would otherwise come out of it all!

So, that's the last... um... TIME SINCE I BLOGGED LAST in a nutshell.  While SO many things have at least a touch of a silver lining, some still just haven't changed.  The good part of that is that with the medical stuff?  It's pretty much to a point where no news is GOOD news, so the fact that I'm not typing this from a hospital bed somewhere post-op is a breath of fresh air.

How has 2009 been treating you?!?!  I've missed everyone!!!