Monday, February 13, 2006

Catching up

After being AWOL for awhile because of sickness I figured I need to catch up with my blogfriends on what's been going on here in my world.
First, the hospital stories:

1) While we were hospitalized, our first roommates were an LDS (that's Mormon) couple who had five kids, two of whom were adopted and one of whom was in the hospital with the RSV. That one was our roommate, his name was Simon. Simon was three, but developmental delays left him mentally an infant. Simon screamed every waking minute of his time there. He even screamed a bit in his sleep. I was glad when he got better and left.

2) Simon was replaced by another LDS family's kid this one was 15 months old and named Gabriel. Gabriel only screamed whenever a nurse or doctor would look at him or think about him or think about looking at him. Nevermind what howls emanated from this otherwise sweet child when a medical professional actually TOUCHED him.
Gabriel came into the hospital with his mom and a guy I (incorrectly) assumed to be his dad. Turns out, the guy was the mom's Internet boyfriend and they were supposed to meet for their first date in real life on the night that the kid got sick and ended up in the emergency room all night long.
Mom and Internet Boyfriend would make out on their side of the curtain all day, all night, while Gabriel, who had a nasty case of RSV and a fun side dish of ear infection, would whimper and whine and cry. When the pair of four-star parents wasn't slurping on each other, loudly I might add, they were on their cell phones. They both had those very loud and very irritating real song rings, and their phones were set to ring differently for all different callers. Too much time on their hands.
Gabriel's grandma came to sit with him one day and dished all the dirt to me on her daughter and her string of internet romances. Turns out, the kid's dad, her soon-to-be ex husband, was also an internet boyfriend but he ended up being a shady jerk and beating her. Surprising that she went back to that well for at least three other cyber boyfriends.
Needless to say, they were creepy, and I was glad when Gabriel improved enough to go home with his serial cyber dating mom and her psuedo Brad Paisley cowboy virtual boyfriend. I give them three months, despite the fact that he told her he would "never love another woman again" GAG.

3) Roommate number three was a young gal who spoke no English at all and her little baby girl with RSV. That baby girl had so much friggin hair, I swear I thought it was a puppy under the blanket at first.
This pair was pretty chill, quiet, the mom was nice. Poor thing couldn't communicate with the medical staff (in Phoenix no less) who didn't speak a lick of Spanish, like not even "Como estas" not even "Todo esta bien?" not a damn word.
I was glad that they finally got a bilingual doc up to talk to her, he discharged her daughter and they left soon after we arrived.

4) They were followed by a peculiar couple and their son. The baby was listed as a one year old, but I suspect he was 23 months and 29 days. He was a big feller.
The mommy, like Maricela before her, spoke no English but daddy was bilingual. How does that work out? Wouldn't you think the husband would teach his own wife at least A WORD of English? Not in this case.
Anyway, the nurses were similarly stymied by this family and kept asking mom questions over and over, as if repetitions of increased volumes would suddenly snap her into understanding a foriegn language. After hearing the nurse ask the poor woman for the fifth time if the baby (Kevin, oddly enough) was thirsty, I told her, look, I speak Spanish if you need help.
She curiously refused, saying that she would get an interpreter to visit the mom. OK, EVERY time they came into that room they would need an interpreter, and based on MY personal experience at that hospital, I'd estimate that maybe 50 percent of the parents didn't speak English or only spoke limited English. That's one busy interpreter.
Eventually I started thinking, shouldn't the interpreter teach the nurses some basic Spanish like, "Do you have any dirty diapers?" - "Tiene panales sucios?"
"Is the baby thirsty or hungry?" - "Tiene sed o hambre el bebe?"
"Do you need anything?" - "Necesita algo?"

The first gal that was our non-English speaking roommate was so alienated from the staff that she didn't even ask them for blankets or a pillow when they checked in. I had an extra sheet that I gave to her, I felt so bad! How hard is it to have a sheet of basic Spanish phrases at the nursing station??
Especially in a place with demographics like Phoenix, as in, there are lots and lots of Spanish speaking people there.
It sort of irked me.

Halfway through our adventures in healthcare, my mom came out to help with Elizabeth. As much as I appreciated it, my mom is kind of pushy and opinionated and repeatedly tries to tell us what to do with our kid.
She is always telling us to put her on a schedule, put her on a schedule. As if I have the time or inclination to figure out a schedule and then have the presence of mind with a newborn in the house to stick to it!
My mom is really big on bedtime routines, whereas we just kind of let her fall asleep watching TV, or whatever. Sometimes she goes to bed in bed, but mostly she falls asleep on the couch and we move her to bed. I say, sleep is sleep, who cares where it starts. The answer to that is my mom, she cares very deeply.

When we got home we were forced one day to all ride in my mom's car, which is a barely big enough for one person Mitsubishi Eclipse. My mom drives a sporty car despite being a non-sporty 57 year old woman who mainly drives from home to work to the stores and back home. Sporty!
So, we crammed (and I mean crammed) two car seats, two kids, my mom who is 5'8" and myself into this like one cubic foot passenger area of her car. I had to drive because the baby's car seat prevented the drivers seat from being fully pushed back. And even though I'm a short shortie, 5'3", I was smushed up against the steering wheel myself and prayed that we wouldn't hit anything as the airbag deployment would have likely knocked me unconcious at that distance. My mom, the tall one, had her knees pressed into the glovebox because Elizabeth's car seat was in the way of HER seat moving back. She surely would have splintered both legs if there was an accident, but the kids would have been fine.
Now, I have a regular car, a good sized sedan. I drive a Mazda Protege. I bought this car in 2001 anticipating that I would likely have a family at some point in the five-year duration of the car loan. I was right. My car however, is a standard transmission, aka a stick. My insane mother, who didn't even learn to drive at all until she was almost 30, flat out REFUSES to learn how to drive a stick shift. She always HAS refused, and I am beginning to see that she always WILL refuse. Even though we both could have been seriously deformed from riding in her car, she wouldn't even ATTEMPT the stick shift after I had Dylan and couldn't drive at all and had to be chauffered around in her tiny silver killing bullet of a car. My mom is crazy.
Though my first two cars were automatic, every car I've had since those broke apart has been standard. We're talking 10 years of me driving a stick shift and my mom refusing to learn. Weird. And I used to drive a very cool Mustang.
You'd think that such a control freak would rather drive a standard, but no.
I say, whatever! Get a bigger car mom! Please, I beg you! My knees can't take the pain of riding shotgun in that death wagon!

Meanwhile, back at the homestead, we've finally decided to evict our renters. They've occupied our singlewide trailer for maybe six months (I hesitate to call them renters or say they rented the trailer since they NEVER PAY RENT!)
In any case, we've tried to be cool and give them discounts for fixing up stuff and let them pay late and pay partial payments during the month but we're now fed up. A couple of months back we asked them to remedy a little plumbing problem in exchange for $100 off the rent that month AND we would supply parts. They are plumbers by the way. They agreed. They then proceeded to NEVER FUCKING DO IT! We're talking a pre-Christmas request and it's still unfixed. What is the problem you ask? Well, blogfriend, I'll tell you, but you'll get ill.
See, the trailer was not hooked up to our septic tank. However, the renters insisted on using the toilet facilities regardless. Do you see where this is going? As an interim solution, the monkeys dug a trench from the trailer to the septic tank. Yes friends, a trench.
That trench then conveyed their shit and piss to the septic tank, but of course, some of it remained in the trench. THAT'S RIGHT FRIENDS! There's a river of shit and piss in my yard.
Despite that fact that ALL the pipes and fittings they would need have been sitting out there for months and despite the fact that we essentially PAID THEM $100 bucks to put the pipe in, they have yet to do it.
So, after asking them 400 times to get it done and after the sixth month of them just not paying rent on time or at all, we made up a notice to pay or quit and taped it to their door. Here's hoping they quit and get the hell off my property before the health department condemns us! Updates on that will follow for sure!

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