April 23, 2011


have you seen those mayhem is coming commercials for allstate insurance?
they are the most hilarious ads ever.
there is a whole series of them...but here's a compilation of them:

mayhem is coming...
sometimes i feel like that
i'm just not sure whether I'M the mayhem or i just attract the mayhem.

at any rate, this week mayhem followed me at every turn.

i know i should have packed it in and gone into hiding after the packing peanut incident.
at the very least, it should've been my first warning that things were about to go from bad to worse.

it started with the side table in our living room breaking. okay. that one can't be solely pinned on me. i didn't do it. my husband did. he says he only put one finger on it - oh, sure...one feathery light touch and whoosh... the whole table collapsed.

naturally, the big glass hurricane candle holder that was on it didn't survive the crash. and the lamp that was on it is no longer working.

so there is a pile of rubble in my living room and while i'm not the one who did it, i was in the general vicinity when it occurred. therefore, it is plausible to conclude that i am somehow culpable.

it should come as no surprise then that later that day, a hundred pound counter top happened to land on my foot. (bizarre sounding i know...but that is mayhem for you)

it put a hole in my favorite pair of boots
broke 3 of my toes.
yes, i'm more concerned about the hole in my boots.

the following day, i started to see stars.

were the stars just a delayed response to my smashed toes?
just the warning aura that i was getting a migraine headache.

the following day, someone in texas went shopping with our credit card.

i'm sort of glad this week has come to an end.
the weird thing about it is that i've actually felt pretty good.
i think the cold and flu thing has resolved.
and my lyme symptoms have simmered down to a dull roar.
so despite the destruction of some living room furniture, the hole in my boot, my broken toes, a migraine headache and the pain in the butt credit card fraud, i actually feel the best i've felt in a very long while.

and i'm thrilled to be well enough to head out to my friend's birthday party tonight.
girl's night out!
i haven't been out with a gaggle of girls in EONS.

5 hours til my ETA...
watch out girls, mayhem is coming.

April 16, 2011


oh wow.
you are not gonna believe what happened to us

in a nutshell, we went dumpster diving in a 100 cubic feet of packing peanuts in the middle of the mailbox international post office.
oh yes!
isn't our life just so entertaining?

i dare you to hang out with us a for a few hours - you may or may not survive - it's likely you would die of embarrassment.

last week we had to head south of the border to pick up some meds. we have a post office box just south of the border where are USA medical orders come - in our house, we've termed these little jaunts south of the border, "drug runs". really dumb, I KNOW - can you imagine if we happened to have a freudian slip of the tongue at customs!? i'm paranoid about that happening!

generally speaking, our drug runs go off without a hitch. we have nexus passes that expedite our border crossings and our post office box is literally a 5 min drive from the border so we're over and back in a flash. the part that takes the longest is actually crossing the border - the US customs guys tend to be very conversational - and so is my husband. sigh. if the kids are with us, they often beg him, "dad, don't develop a personal relationship with the border guard."

i should have known the day was heading for disaster when we pulled up to the border crossing and graham got all tongue tied with the border guard. that is highly unusual.

"what is the purpose of your trip?"

"oh, ummm, we're picking up some ummm, ahhhh, packages."
graham babbled

***(PACKAGES? i silently screamed. heavens, that sounds super sketchy. i plastered a smile on my face and demurely folded my hands on my lap)***

"packages? really." came the reply dripping with suspicion, "where are these packages?"

"ummm, at ohhh, just over the hill and around the corner from here."
stuttered my husband

(meanwhile, i'm quietly dying in the passenger seat.)***

"uh, yeah, at um the mailbox...what is it called?" he turned questioningly to me.

i just blankly stared back. my mind doesn't work so well under pressure. i speak very eloquently in my head...the problem is nobody else can hear me.

i don't even know how we got thru the border without getting strip searched. or maybe we did and i just don't remember it. all i know, is that somehow, we made it to mailbox international. i waited in the van as graham popped in to pick up our "packages". i was just starting to unwind from our stressful cross country entry, when all of a sudden graham bolted out of the post office and flung open the van door and shouted,

"you have to come in and help me - i just dropped a bottle of meds into a box of packing peanuts."

normally, my first thought would've been that he was just pulling my leg (he LOVES to get a rise out of me) but he was in such a flap and looked so stressed, i knew he wasn't joking - even though what he was saying sounded preposterous.

i got out and followed graham in to the post office;
the very busy, very crowded post office.
then i saw this ginormous cardboard box
"pls tell me you didn't drop it in there?" i gasped, knowing full well that the med we were picking up was in a tiny vial.
a very tiny vial.

as you might imagine, we made quite the spectacle of ourselves, crawling head first into that ginormous box of peanuts. there was no way to gracefully go about it. head first, butt facing the growing crowd, we sifted thru piles and piles and piles of peanuts. we ended up having to transfer the peanuts into garbage bags to get the volume down enough to even sift thru the peanuts.

we drew quite the crowd of dumbfounded spectators. folks just stood around staring at us.

finally, what was lost was found
we made as dignified a retreat as possible.

as we were driving away, i just had a sneaking suspicion that something more was amiss (can you blame me?), so i double checked the invoice that had accompanied our order and then i looked at it in disbelief.
i blinked hard and looked again.
3 meds listed on the invoice;
2 meds in hand.
i blinked hard and looked again.
"concentrate, shan." i thought as panic wafted in thru my haze...numbers are challenging for me so i must not be processing this correctly.
i swallowed hard and eyeballed the figures once again.
then i started to hysterically laugh and laugh and laugh
then i turned to my husband and chortled, "we have to go back. we're still missing a bottle. you must have dropped two."

back to the post office...and a new set of folks to watch us sift thru a 100 cubic feet of packing peanuts.

at this point, all i can say is that i think mayhem is my middle name. i'm surprised i'm not certifiably nuts yet. as i ping pong from one preposterous predicament to another, having this blog has been my saving grace; it is my antidote to keep from going nuts. yup. as i surfed thru that box of nuts, not once but twice, the ONLY thing that kept me from losing my mind was the thought,

"this is gonna make one great story for my blog."

and that is why, in the midst of this preposterous predicament, i had the presence of mind to snap a couple of pictures.

April 12, 2011


i figured i'd get a lot of blogging done while we were away at the cottage.
that didn't happen
a bad head cold derailed my little plans for writing
at least, i finally wrote my little tale about the fan debacle
and just in case you thought that my little tale was exaggerated or that i had stretched the truth a bit for the sake of entertainment, i've now got the photo to back up my claims.

epic shot - the bullet and the 2 socks

you now, seriously, what are the chances?
(thank you to dave (taylor's bff) for forwarding me the photo)
what are the chances this freaking virus/flu that just won't go away will actually go away sometime this decade?
i know
we're sick. again.
what are the chances?
we should win an award or something.

i came down with a cold the night before we arrived at the cottage. or i had an inkling it was brewing anyway. it started with a sore throat. i had just finished an intensive 5 day detox the day before we left and so i was hoping that the sore throat was more related to that than a cold.
turns out, it wasn't and by our third day at the cottage, i had a full blown head cold. the kind that makes it hard to swallow, hard to breathe and hard to hear and hard to think.
writing is not something that comes easy for me. it is cathartic and i enjoy it and i always have a ton of thoughts running through my head, but actually getting them from my head to paper is a major long process. even on a "good day", i'm a little fuzzy in the head. add a head cold into the mix and the the whole "my head feels like it's stuffed with cotton sorta feeling" isn't exactly compatible with writing. such a bummer - i was really looking forward to holing up and writing - after all, a "cabin" in the woods is like a classic place to write, isn't it? what are the chances that when i'm in a setting most conducive to writing, i end up with a head cold. nice. bummer, really as i had quite the story to tell about that 5 day detox. what an unearthly adventure that was.

on our drive up to the cabin, the dog barfed.
all over the van.
we chalked it up to car sickness, after all, it's a long and winding drive. it's by far, the longest he's ridden in the van.
then he barfed on day 3 of our stay at the cabin.
(fortunately he wretches just like me, and there was much prelude before he actually upchucked - so i had plenty of warning and made sure he barfed on the hardwood and not the carpet)
the dog randomly barfing was weird
but then again
over the past 4 months, i've made barfing a near daily event
at our house, on the side of the road, at the cabin,
in a walmart, in a ross, in a marshalls
is it really that strange that the dog would follow suit?
i'm not the only one that's wondered that
a friend suggested that the dog is empathy barfing
what are the chances?
that's a stretch but hey in my world ANYTHING is possible

sick little puppy

upon our return from the cabin.
i barfed.again.

then the dog barfed. again.
we have laminate flooring in half of our house
but of course, he barfed on the carpeted area.
the least he could have done is barfed in the same general area of carpet
but nooooo
he barfed in two different spots

then avery got sick. again.
what are the chances?
we've just had a 2 week break from school - spring break.
i was hoping that that'd be enough time for this whole monstrous viral package to close up shop and go pick on another school district.
evidently, it has not.

so avery has been home for a week now
fever, nausea, stomachaches, endless diarrhea
the other day she said she was peeing fire
figured she must have a UTI
naturally, the peeing fire thing started 10 minutes after the drop in clinic by our house closed
what are the chances?

the debate became do we wait it out or take her in to the ER
obviously we leaned (heavily) to waiting it out
we're exhausted and
my head cold hasn't let up
graham's run down
we've got parker's IVs to run
that is an endeavor that takes 3 hours every night
how do we factor in a trip to the ER amidst that?

oh, we would have figured it out - if we had too
and actually, as we were trying to figure out how to juggle it all
her pain kinda settled down
her peeing simmered down
advil brought her fever down
so we decided to sit tight
legs crossed
wait it out

the next morning, i dragged myself and avery to our local clinic
in i walked,
grandly announcing our bedraggled arrival by hacking up a lung
yipee, my head cold has now become a chest infection

this clinic has some really wonderful doctors on staff
it has one not so wonderful doctor on staff
what are the chances that we got that doctor?
i cringed when he walked in the door

sure, he has a brutal 'bedside' manner
is totally lacking any semblance of empathy
or any sort of emotion period - aside from a smattering of grumpiness
but aside from that,
i have a history with this guy
oh me oh my
he's the doctor i saw the day before we left for SF to see DR H
i probably shouldn't admit this
but here goes
i lied to the guy
oh that sounds so bad
maybe i should sugar coat it and say it's kinda more like i omitted a ONE thing
that time i saw him
he diagnosed me with the double ear/sinus infection
he prescribed me antibiotics for that
as he was writing the rx, he asked me if i was on any meds
ah, yeah, a laundry list
my pill list is so long, is it even possible to remember every, single last med?
so, ummm, i "forgot" to tell him i was already on antibiotics
i know, i really had a mental war going on in my head
do i tell him or don't i?
i have never, ever not told a doc exactly what i am on and why (if they care to even ask)
the bottom line, is i just did NOT want to get into explaining anything to this guy
certainly not the lyme thing
i was not there for that
i felt so sick, i just didn't have it in me to deal with any crap
i know, again, i'm rationalizing it
i was only on ONE antibiotic at that time
it was an IV one
so big deal
i chose to omit that
after all, i was only on ONE antibiotic at that time and it was an IV one
there is only the slightest, minutest chance that he'd actually prescribe the exact same antibiotic

i'm sure you can guess by now what happened
walked out with a prescription for the oral form of the IV abx i was already on
what are the stinking chances?

so, back to doctor no personality and avery
he thinks she just has the flu.
but he wanted to get a urine sample just to be sure
she was horrified to hear she had to pee in a cup
i told her it would be okay and i would help her
thankfully, she managed to pee in the cup and not on me
(thank you lord for small blessings)

we're still waiting on the urine culture results
avery is still home sick
that's day 7 for her
feels like day 700 for me

she's perked up a bit
a new pair of justin beiber jammies helped put a smile back on her face
of course, now the boys are complaining of nausea - altho that is most likely the result of their exposure to justin beiber paraphernalia
at least that's what i'm hoping
you know....
oh look, the dog just barfed
avery just stepped in it

what are the chances?

April 2, 2011


so we've spent the last several days hibernating in our friend's "cabin".

ha ha
i get the giggles every time they refer to it as a cabin.
to me, the word "cabin" conjures up images of a pretty primitive, bare basics sort of dwelling.
this is not that. not by a long shot.

it's more like a palatial cottage
even that description somehow falls short

this is our second stay at the palatial cottage...and after the first time, i'm surprised they let us come back. i'm actually just surprised by these friends period. profoundly. can you believe that the first time they sent us to this beautiful place we were mere strangers to them? yes, really! we had yet to meet when they opened their palatial cottage to us.

The Nagy Family
Lisa, Kerry, Julia, (avery) and Oliver

lisa and i first spoke via telephone 2 or 3 or so years ago (neither of us can exactly remember when.) but we do remember why and how we were brought together) lyme brought us together. lisa has lyme too. and she found my name and number listed on an internet lyme support group site. and she called to talk. about lyme, doctors and the whole debacle. if i recall correctly, we just spoke that one time. i guess at some point during that one time conversation, i ended up giving her the address to my blog. and that was pretty much it. we'd exchange emails here and there. just short little blurps of 'thinking of you' and 'praying for you' and from time to time, lisa would send me the most encouraging devotionals. but with both of us being sick and all, our contact was pretty limited and sporadic. somehow, it was enough to just know someone else was out there and knew what it was like to be a mom and have lyme.

then last spring, just after the boys got diagnosed, lisa emailed me.

"we have a little cabin and we'd love for your family to go spend some time up there"

wow. we couldn't believe it.
i mean who offers their (essentially) home to virtual strangers?
heart attack

this was no cabin. more like the home of my dreams. and it was nestled in the midst of a whole little community of "cabins" complete with a magnificent clubhouse and 2 pools and a fishing pond.
and these folks entrusted us with this?

clubhouse and pool deck

wow. we were totally blown away and in an instant, i transformed into a nervous nellie.
seriously, the place was gorgeous. the "cabin" was pristine and looked like something out of a magazine. i was PARANOID we would wreck something. keep in mind we had also arrived with 2 extra kids in tow. taylor's girlfriend, mara, and dave, his BFF. ok, so they're pretty much more adult than kid (at least mara is) but at any rate, more bodies increased the odds that something would end up broken.

the fishing pond

sure enough.
not even 5 minutes into our stay - avery ran through the screen on the front door. i nearly had a coronary.
this launched me into full fledged,shrieking nervous nellie mode;
"take your shoes off at the door!"
"no food allowed out of the kitchen - better yet, just eat outside."

"sit on the floor not on the furniture."
"and don't use the glassware"
"and for pete's sake, try not to drool on the pillowcases while you sleep"

i think i may have just stopped short of
don't eat, don't drink, don't play, don't breathe, don't touch anything. period.

what happens the minute you are paranoid about something happening?
IT happens
that's life
especially when teenage boys are in the house
nerf guns
ceiling fans
that is a recipe for disaster

and what, just exactly what are the chances that a nerf gun suction-cup bullet is going to land top side up on top of the blade of ceiling fan that is 25 feet off the ground?

only in my world would that happen

and so began the task of trying to get it off.
asinine as it may sound, at first we tried shooting it off with more nerf bullets
admittedly, even i got into that action
how could i not?
i was determined to show up the boys as the marksman to beat
after all, girls can be nerf gun snipers too
it ended up turning into a 2 hour epic battle between parker, taylor, dave and i
no one hit the mark
(altho' I came the closest)
in fact, our poor marksmanship only created another problem...the rest of the stupid nerf gun bullets were now stuck on the wall - the way up high, out of reach sort of stuck on the wall

so the boys starting throwing balled up socks at them
and then IT happened
a balled up sock ended up on top of one of the ceiling beams
what are the chances of THAT happening?

only in MY world

look carefully and you'll see the sock on the beam which is adjacent to the ceiling fan the bullet adhered to

the boys tried getting it down by throwing another sock at it
that one ended up perched beside the first one
only in MY WORLD would THAT happen

now i had a bullet stuck on the fan
two socks perched on the beam
i just stood their staring up at it all, alternating between hysterically laughing and hysterically shrieking,

"you guys, we have got to stop. i have a feeling something bad is gonna happen"

as i stood there giggling, i thought that it looked like the light fixture in the middle of the fan was the tiniest, teensiest bit askew
i told myself i was just being paranoid and imagining things
i had a very bad feeling about it
you know, mother's have a 6th sense about things

"stop" i said, half laughing, half serious, "that fixture doesn't look secure!"

"oh, mom, you're so paranoid." came their reply and they took another shot at the stubborn bullet stuck to the fan.

disobedient brats! - ok, i don't suppose that's totally fair - after all, i'd been playing right along with them up until that point.
"no, really." i said
trying to sound authoritative above the mirth in my voice. "stop."

"no, guys, really, i'm serious. stop. no more." i screeched, with almost a straight face, "stop. enough already. there is a bullet on the fan, 2 socks on the beams and the fan does not appear stable - and neither is the mother anymore."

i only hoped that lisa and family wouldn't notice when they came up for a visit. yes. that's right. we were finally going to meet them, this precious, unassuming family who loaned us their palatial cottage were due to arrive. the very next day.

and then IT, the very thing i'd had the bad feeling about, happened
dave and taylor were lying on the area rug (who told them they could be on the rug anyway?) and the light fixture portion of the ceiling fan came crashing down
it nearly landed right on taylor's head...missed by mere inches

i nearly burst into tears
not because my kid nearly got beaned on the head by a 5 pound glass projectile falling from the sky

i screeched for graham
started ringing my hands
pacing the floor

fluke of all flukes of all the flukes of that day, the glass fixture didn't break
but how in the world were we going to get it back up there, wayyyyyyy up there
we only had 24 hours before the nagy family were due to arrive

i thought i would die
even graham, who is rarely ruffled by anything, turned into a nervous nellie
we needed a ladder
and quick
but where on earth do you find a telescoping ladder?
that's not exactly something folks keep on hand

we tried procuring a ladder
graham ran to and fro
asking at other cottages and asking the maintenance guy at the pool
but no ladder could be found
we had to accept defeat
we knew we'd have to fess up to the owners we had never met

nervous nellie nearly had a nervous breakdown

can you imagine?
we already were wondering how this first epic meeting was going to go. i mean, we'd never met before and here we were having them for dinner at their house!
that alone had the potential to be pretty awkward
now, we've got to run damage control?
how do you tell someone you've just met that you've wrecked their home?
do you just casually mention it or keep quiet and just hope that they never notice that their fan fell out of the ceiling and there's a multitude of socks on the ceiling beams?

i had visions of them kicking us to the curb that night
"pack up your bags and just go" they'd say in a shell shocked haze and we'd all ashamedly file past them our heads hung low, shoulders slumped

so they arrived
a funny thing happened

the instant we met, we felt like we had known them forever
kindred spirits or something like that
warmth, fellowship, and easy camaraderie aside
it still took awhile to tell them about the fan, the socks and the bullet
i thought it best if we served them several glasses of their wine before we fed them the line,
"by the way, we have a funny story to tell you..."

eventually, we 'fessed up
they just laughed and took it in stride
amazing people
really amazing people
amazingly enough, they've let us come back!

and this time around,
no nervous nellies were to be found

i've totally relaxed and let things just fall as they might
guess what?

no ceiling fans were shot down,
no light fixtures dropped out of the sky,
no socks have gone awol,
no nerf gun bullets have gone array

of course, we've still got one more day before we leave...
one of my slippers has gone missing...