Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bev's week from hell/my nest is full again.

So, how was your week?
This was our week over here at Bad Luck Central:

My daughter started and ended college this week and was in an Earthquake, and a Hurricane.  I was a Full-time Day Care Provider for a teething 2 year old during a Chicago heat wave with my thermostat stuck on heat and set to 90.  I was a  mentor to my son on his bad, first day back at school.  I was the driver of my injured husband to the new Hospital, which, of course, was on fire & I failed my CDL tests.  

So I haven't written in a few weeks because its been a stressful time, lots of tears, not much to laugh at.  My daughter made it into the college of choice but I didn't know how we would get her to D.C.  I figured, maybe if she's away from us she'll be spared the family curse that seems to be upon us.  I WAS WRONG.

Wednesday was so stressful, that as I was dropping off my husband at the Emergency room at 8pm, I shouted into the sky, "IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE THAT CAN POSSIBLY GO WRONG TODAY?"  Big mistake.  By 10:00 pm, the fire in the hospital had been contained and I started to laugh as I thought about this week, it had been a total Bev/Lucy bad luck week.  Maybe I should start from the beginning....

MONDAY, 8/22/2011:
Monday, my husband and our daughter flew to D.C. so she could start college at one of the most expensive private colleges in the U.S.  Even though we're poor, she's extremely talented and gifted and was awarded almost $45K in scholarships to attend so we thought she could go.  The airline tickets were made possible thanks to our niece Aimee.  She used her airline miles from her new job in Texas to get two tickets.   When Lorens got back from D.C. Monday night, we started looking for smaller apartments so we could send Jen spending money each month.

The next day, Tuesday, less than 24 hours after she arrived in D.C., I was watching T.V. and they interrupted  for a special announcement.  The largest EARTHQUAKE to hit D.C. in over a hundred years had just struck.

I was shaking as I dialed her cell number.  I got a constant busy signal.  I was hysterical until I finally got through to her an hour later.  She said she was in her dorm room when the earthquake hit.  She's OK, just a little shaken, they evacuated the college and they were all standing outside.  I was way more freaked out than her.

Being the major smart ass that she is, and trying to make light of it so I wouldn't worry, she said, "Don't worry mom, the hurricane will put out any fires from the earthquake."  

I said, "HURRICANE?!!!"
That's the first time I had heard about the 2nd disaster 
that was about to hit D.C. this week, Hurricane Irene. 
That was my Tuesday.

WEDNESDAY, 8/24/2011:
I had to babysit our terrible two Grandniece Grandniece and their dog, and agreed to babysit them as long as necessary.  The 2 year old is getting her molars in and it was very hard to make her happy.  I'm usually funny, silly, Auntie Bev to her, but nothing was working this morning.  I was stressed out, tired and feeling way older than 45, running after her all day.  Lorens promised me he'd be home by 5pm to take over for me until she fell asleep.  She was like a terrible 2 on steroids over tired.

Then the phone rang.  It was my daughter, crying, "Mom, I'm not going to college here anymore, please get me home NOW!"  She talked to financial aid, bottom line, it will be 4 times greater out of pocket than what her award letter indicated for her to attend this University.  Turns out it's about the 8th most expensive University there is, and we're poor.  And Jennifer doesn't want thousands of dollars in student loans when she finishes college, not that we could ever get them.

I was still on the phone with Jen.  My mouth was hanging open but I didn't know what to say.  My head was spinning with the thoughts I had only a few days ago, that my child had made it out, she was getting away from this life.  Now those hopes and dreams were fading away, all in a phone call, it was over, she was coming back to this life, back to nothing.  

Just then, Michael walked in the door and slammed his books down and went up to his room.  He said he had a bad 1st day back at school.

So, hoping Jen wouldn't hear the tears in my voice, trying to hold it together for 1 more minute, I told Jen I needed to call her back.  I was having major family drama at home today on all fronts and needed 10 minutes to gather my thoughts and call her back.  She asked if she could come home before Irene.  Oh yeah, I had almost forgotten about Irene.  
You know Irene, she's the 
 that is expected to hit D.C. on Saturday.
My daughter goes to D.C. for less than week 
and she is going to experience 
an Earthquake and a Hurricane?  
Oh yes, she's definitely Bev's/Lucy's daughter.

I finished giving my Grandniece her bath, turned off the chicken/oven, dressed her and laid down with her in my daughters room.

I was quietly crying, looking around at all Jen's awards.  Years of working towards making something of herself, to get out, to get away.  Now I knew she's not going to go to this University, which accepted her, her #1 choice for years, something she's worked towards her entire life.  Pondering my next move, I wiped away my tears, still feeling guilty because I didn't have the time or money for either of my kids at that moment.  

But the baby wouldn't fall asleep, it was too hot.  I had to get up and deal with it.  Why was it so friggin hot?  Then I remembered I caught the little ninja my Grandniece, an hour ago, standing on the stairs, next to the thermostat (to reach the top of the fish tank) pouring the entire open bottle of fish flakes in. There was fish food EVERYWHERE, and it smelled like dead fish in my house.  Lorens hates fish and I haven't cooked it in the house in 20 years, unless I'm mad at him.  He's not going to be happy when he gets home.  OH WELL.  I could see she had actually pushed the lever DOWN to "HEAT" and the little lever had snapped off.  It was set to 90.  No wonder it felt like heat was coming out of the vents, IT WAS!  I used a pen to snap the broken lever back up to A/C and turned the temperature down to 72.

With the A/C now on, my Grandniece FINALLY fell asleep and I went upstairs, checked on Mike, tried to give him words of comfort and wisdom and then I called Jen back.

Jen was over the initial shock and tears, so was I.  She said, "Mom, I can get a degree in Anthropology at a school in the Chicago area, I'll be able to volunteer in the inner city and just live at home.  There are great colleges in Chicago.  A college education is a college education.  I'll be fine."  

The baby woke up 20 minutes later when the doorbell rang and the 3 dogs started barking like a pack of wolves.  Just enough of a nap to make her more cranky, great.  I was ready to kill whoever just rang the doorbell.  It was Lorens.  I opened the door, wondering why he didn't use his key.  He said he got hurt helping his friend.  I thought, yeah right, likely story.  It was probably just an excuse to get out of babysitting.

I thought,  I'm going to do a hand off with her like a professional football player and run for my room.  So I gave him 2 Tylenol P.M.s.  Then I said "here you go!", and I put her down like I had dreamed of for the last few hours, hand off complete.   He said "Bev, I can't move my hand or shoulder!"  I said "OK, GOODNIGHT," and ran upstairs.  Bad wife, I know, but I really, really needed a few minutes alone.  So after a 5 minute break upstairs I was calm and already feeling guilty.  So I came downstairs thinking, we'll just tag team with the baby the rest of the night.  Lorens was gagging from the smell of fish, giving me a dirty look, assuming I had cooked some.  He said "drive me to the hospital right now or call an ambulance."  I looked at him, his hand and shoulder were swollen to twice their normal size.  So, OK, I guess he wasn't faking.  I felt dizzy myself, my high blood pressure was probably through the roof by now.  Maybe the hospital was a good idea.

But I didn't have a car seat for the baby and our Niece was already at work.  I finally got a hold of her fiance' to come pick up his daughter, told him I had an emergency.  They weren't the only ones with drama today.  He was 5 minutes away and came over to get her, 14 hours after we picked her up.  That was the best part of my day.

I rushed Lorens to the emergency room and went to park the car.  I parked and just sat there for a minute, cried a little more and shouted into the sky, "IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE THAT CAN POSSIBLY GO WRONG TODAY?"  Then I went inside.  When I asked why there was such limited seating, they said it was because they had so many exam rooms in this new E.R., more seating was unnecessary.  They were wrong.

During hour 2 in the supposedly "new and improved" waiting room, with nowhere to sit, I thought, once again, can this day possibly get any worse?  JUST THEN, the lights all started flashing, and an alarm was going off and on.  Then an automated voice came over the intercom "CODE RED, CODE RED, CODE RED".  And I thought, Lucy, what have you done now!!!  You should have kept quiet and stayed in the damn car.  

So I went up to the receptionist and said, "Is there a fire?"  She said "Yes there is", as if she was saying have a nice day, and went back to her work, she was going to leave it at that.  I said, "Soooooo,  should we evacuate the hospital?" as all the lights were still flashing.  She said, "No, they're working on containing it, just don't open any doors."  GREAT.   The automated lady on the intercom  made an all clear announcement about 15 minutes later.  By that time I felt a migraine coming on from the flashing lights.  Lorens said he'd had enough of this "new and improved" E.R.  He said the Tylenol P.M's were starting to work and he just wanted to go home and go to bed.  He woke up every 2 hours in pain which means so did I.

THURSDAY, 8/25/2011:
I spent Thursday figuring out how I was going to get Jen and all her stuff home in the next 48 hours before Hurricane Irene.  I swallowed what was left of my pride and borrowed money for a train ticket and to ship her belongings home.  Hurricane Irene is scheduled to hit D.C. on Saturday afternoon, right after Jen's train is scheduled to leave with 100mph winds pushing it towards Chicago.  Great.

Then our other niece (the mother of the 2 year old) called and said I may need to babysit her daughter full-time, 5pm-1am, second shift.  I held back the urge to scream and laugh like a crazy woman and said as calmly as possible, "Sorry, no freakin way.  The starting time for my new job is 6am."  Now she's mad at me.  She can join the club.  I really hope I get the job tomorrow, knowing my new, other option, is watching a 2 year old full time.

FRIDAY, 8/26/2011:
Well, its currently Thursday night, 10 minutes to midnight in Chicago, so by the time I post this it will be Friday.   I was offered a job as a school bus driver if I can pass the CDL test.  I have my truck driving test at 7am.  I had planned on studying all this week, and then all of this happened.  I'm afraid of all the things that could go wrong with me driving a 40 foot, 2 ton vehicle.  I don't want to have to add anything else to this week from hell post.  I need to go to sleep.  Goodnight.

UPDATE:  IT'S FRIDAY AFTERNOON:  I thought I had studied enough for my 3 tests.  On the way there, I was pretty confident I would pass....UNTIL I GOT THERE AND FAILED.  You get 3 chances.  On my second attempt, they were all new questions, luckily the ones that I had studied, and I passed with flying colors.  I got my CDL permit and I start work on Monday at 6am, training behind the wheel.

Nothing catastrophic happened to any of us.  Maybe this week of bad luck is over.  I got home and checked my e-mail, I have some new followers on Twitter, a screenwriter and publisher from L.A, Lawry's Steakhouse in Chicago (Yummy) AND BEST OF ALL, an anchor woman from CNN!!!  Maybe someone will say, hey, I know someone that can help this chick get published.  Where's some wood, I need to knock on it, quick, because I still have my nieces damn dog and Michael came home sick from school today.

And my daughter made it home, safe and sound.  The earthquake and hurricane only caused minor damage.  She may not be at American, Princeton, Stanford or Yale like a few others in her graduating class, but the students that were, along with her entire senior class, voted HER "Most likely to rule the world".   She was also voted Best Actress, starred in the Improv Troupe and Speech Team, winning 1st place and the most points ever earned in speech team.  She is in the National Honor Society, has won countless ribbons and trophies, broken records, and is a gifted writer and a natural comedian.  She was accepted into several top universities, but now,  it's to late to start anywhere else this semester.  She will start community college in Chicago in January.  She's saving up to go to Kenya for 2 weeks next summer to volunteer in an orphanage through Daniel Radcliff's (actor who plays Harry Potter) volunteer program (  Then she plans on transferring to University of Illinois at Chicago.  Their Anthropology program is highly regarded.  She wants to volunteer in the inner city.  She'll be fine.

It's D.C.'s loss and Chicago's gain.
They're just lucky I live 800 miles away.
Signed, Mama Lioness