I had to go to the hospital yesterday for some blood tests, and my new doctor called last night with less than desirable results.

So, I'm adjusting.

The news is not tragic. Hopefully, with some little changes here and there, life will be able to resume a new normal pace. But I feel like I'm dangling a little bit. Like a playground swing whose chains were twisted and now needs to unravel itself before soaring once again.

Just thought I'd write. It helps.
Flap, flap, flap.

I stopped walking down the street, and the sound stopped with me. I started walking.

Flap, flap.

I must have paper attached to my shoe. I carefully lifted each foot and examined the soles of my shoes. Nothing. My purse strap fell from my left shoulder, and I tucked my day planner firmly under my armpit freeing my right hand to lift the strap back into place. Morning sunlight filtered gently through trees overhead, and a bird sang joyfully nearby. I juggled my lunch bag, purse and day planner back into order and began walking towards work once again.

Flap, flap, flap.

I stopped and turned around to find the source of the noise. My cell phone holder flapped along on the ground behind me, still attached to my purse by a rapidly unraveling thread. "Oh no!" I bent over, squishing the baby and my bladder, to pick up my now filthy holder. I brushed off the road dirt as best as I could and pondered over the emptiness of the small pouch. Then I remembered I had left my cell phone in the van, now a block away. I considered walking back to the van to retrieve my phone, but the pressure on my bladder convinced me to continue on to work...and a restroom. A day without a cell phone would not be a huge problem.

I continued forward.

Three hours later the phone on my desk rang. "Good morning, this is Melissa, how can I help you?" I spoke pleasantly into the receiver.

"Where's your cell phone?" the groggy voice of my husband rasped out at me. He works from 4 in the afternoon until 3 in the morning, so this hour of the day was the middle of the night to him.

"In the van," I responded, puzzled that he was even awake at this hour, let alone trying to call me.

"No, it's not. It's outside," he mumbled with great effort.

"What?" I questioned.

"Go outside. Someone has it."

I quickly deduced that my husband was trying to surprise me, and I joyfully jumped from my office chair, hanging up the phone in the process. I ran outside, fully expecting to see Jeremy's truck parked in front of my office. A quiet street presented itself to my view, no little gray trucks parked anywhere nearby.

Then I realized what must have happened. Earlier, I must have put my cell phone into the pouch after all and not remembered doing it, so when the pouch fell to the ground, the phone must have fallen out. When I continued walking, not realizing that the flapping sound belonged to me, I distanced myself from wherever my cell phone had landed. By the time I finally realized the holder was dragging on the ground, the cell phone was not nearby so I decided that I must have left it in the van when I really had not.

Someone must have picked up my phone and called my husband. With this new idea in mind, I looked around for a promising contact trying to return my phone to me. A few doors down, a woman walked towards me. I smiled at her meaningfully, wondering if I could make up a code word to identify myself to her that she would understand without having agreed upon it previously.

The duck flies at midnight? No, too cryptic.

Phone? No. Simple enough, but too rude sounding if she didn't realize it was a code word...and anyway, what kind of code word would phone be, if the object of our discussion was the phone? Way too obvious.

I finally decided to ask her, "Are you looking for a mystery cell phone owner?" As she approached me, I continued to make intense eye contact and smile broadly. At first, she met my eyes and smiled in a friendly way, but I soon realized that her body language did not spell purposefulness to return a cell phone or hesitancy to wonder if I was a cell phone owner. Instead, she walked as though she knew nothing about a missing cell phone. I stood planted in my chosen spot on the sidewalk near my office door and waited for her to draw near enough to speak. Two doors away from me, she turned and entered a shop.

Oh.

I guess she wasn't my mystery phone rescuer after all. I stood on the quiet street, waiting for another person to stroll past. No one did. I walked to the corner and looked down the cross street. No one stood looking for a missing owner.

I hesitated, wondering what to do. Then brilliance struck!

I walked back into my office and dialed my cell number. It rang several times before a pleasant sounding voice answered, "Hello?"

"Hi, this is my phone," I said happily.

"Excuse me?"

"You're holding my phone," I clarified.

"Oh! Where are you?"

"I'm at work; where are you?"

"At the police station."

Well, that made sense! "Okay, I'll be right over." I skipped across the street to the police station where the same young, blond receptionist, Chris, from my previous visit welcomed me warmly. "Hi! I'm here to pick up my phone."

"Oh! That's your phone?" she turned to the desk and picked it up. "I spoke with your mom," she told me. "She seems really nice! She said she would contact your husband."

"She got in touch with him," I assured her with a smile, "and he called me. So here I am."

The receptionist slipped the phone into the slot under the Plexiglas and said, "You must be relieved."

But the echoes in the old building translated that phrase into "This must be released," for my ears. I stood on the other side of the Plexiglas, looking at my phone.

"Oh." I nodded and waited expectantly for her to ask me a question that would identify me as the real owner of the phone, or for her to slide out a form that I needed to sign in order to release my property from her care.

She stared at me with a half-smile on her face, obviously expecting an enthusiastic response to her inquiry.

My brow wrinkled as I looked back at her. She did not move to find a form. "What was that?" I asked her after a short silence.

"I said, You must be relieved," she paused. "To get your phone back?" Her blond eyebrows elevated slightly.

"Oh! Yes! Yes, I am." I smiled at her, hoping that I looked relieved as I picked up the phone from the counter where it had been lying. I probably would be relieved if I had known that my phone was missing, I thought to myself. Instead, I was just enjoying the adventure.

I turned and walked towards the door, "Thank you!" I called to her from the entrance. Her puzzled face greeted my eyes when I looked back at her. As I pushed open the heavy front doors, I imagined her rounding up policemen to surround me once I left the building. She probably thinks I'm an impostor since I couldn't muster up the relief that an owner ought to feel. I guiltily left the station, waiting all the while for a shout to call me back.

I did feel relieved when I had crossed the street unhindered and entered my own place of business once again.
For Kimmie's birthday this year, I decided to throw a surprise party for her at a local restaurant where she works. A reasonably simple task, I thought. But I did not plan on all the things that could go berserk.

It all started with Kimmie's friend Ashley.

I contacted Ashley through Facebook and told her about the surprise party. I asked her to call me when she got out of school. That night, I did not receive a phone call. The next morning, I found a response on Facebook from Ashley, "Surprise parties are so cool! I can't wait to see her face!"

I sent her another message telling her that I needed her help with planning. I gave her my phone number and asked her again to call me. That night, I did not receive a phone call.

The next morning, I found this reply from Ashley, "I love surprise parties! What can I do to help out?"

I decided that Ashley did not want to call me, so I sent her a message asking for a list of friends that Kimmie hung out with the most at school.

The next morning, she had responded, "This is so awesome!"

But she didn't send me any names.

I tried again. "Ashley, who does Kimmie hang out with the most at school? Also, what is your email address. I need to send the invitation to you, but I cannot attach it to a Facebook message."

By this time, I had already invited seven people who did not attend her school, and three friends from school that I knew she was especially close with.

The next morning Ashley sent me a list of ten friends, but she did not include her email address.

I tried again, "Ashley, what is your email address?" I figured if I didn't clutter up the message with any unnecessary words, then I would have a better chance at communicating my need.

Ashley messaged me back with her email address. I attached the invitation and sent it off to Ashley's email, requesting that she print it off and distribute it to the list of friends that she had mentioned to me.

It bounced back to me with an error message.

I messaged Ashley again. "My email came back to me. Can you tell me your email address again?"

Ashley did not respond.

Two days later, with Kimmie's birthday fast approaching, I looked up Ashley's phone number and called her. I got her voicemail. "Ashley, this is Missy. Please call me back about Kimmie's party. It is urgent. I tried to email the invitation to you, but it bounced back to me. What is your email address?"

Ashley did not return my phone call.

Another day passed. I reserved a table at the restaurant under the name George Brown so that Kimmie who is a hostess there would not recognize the name.

In the meantime, Kimmie decided that I had nothing extraordinary in the works for her birthday so she took matters into her own hands. At school, she cooked up some plans with a few of her friends. She did not tell me about these plans until a few days later. "My friends and I are going shopping on my birthday," she informed me as we drove home from school one afternoon less than a week before her birthday.


My mind raced. I didn't want to say no, because I had no reason prepared for them NOT to shop. "Uh, who's car are you going to use?"


"Yours!" she blithely announced.


"Oh, well, I don't know if I'll have enough gas money to run you guys around to different stores," I offered weakly.


"Don't worry about that; I'll give you gas money from my paycheck," she quickly responded.


"Hmm, who did you invite?"


She listed five girls, and I mentally scribbled their names on my brain so that I could call them later and inform them of the real plans. Every name she mentioned was already on the list that Ashley had given me. When I arrived at work the next morning, I checked my Facebook messages and my emails. No response from Ashley.


I decided to email her again. Maybe this time the invitation would go through. Then I sent her a Facebook message letting her know that I had emailed the invitation again and to please check her emails and let me know if she received it.


That afternoon she wrote back. "Cool."


Cool? Does that mean that she got the invitation, or just that she got my Facebook message about the invitation? Is she going to print it and pass it around to the girls at school? I groaned out loud, and Craig came in to see what was wrong. He laughed heartily as I lamented my communication barrier with the teenagers in my life.


Every afternoon when I picked Kimmie up from school, she announced to me a new birthday plan that she had cooked up with the girls from school. I listened in silence, wondering if any of the girls had gotten the invitations from Ashley. Then one day Kimmie informed me, "I think Ashley is planning something for my birthday. Either that or something is wrong. Because she was passing a note in class today to all of my friends, but she wouldn't pass it to me. And then I saw my name at the top of the note, and my friends all looked at me and laughed. When I asked them after class what was going on, they wouldn't let me see the note and they wouldn't tell me anything."


"Hmm," I sympathized. "You didn't have anything stuck in your teeth or in your hair, did you?"


"No, well, I don't think so."


Together we checked her teeth and hair to find a possible wayward item. I suppressed my laughter. At last I knew for sure that Ashley had gotten my invitation, and she was passing them out...during class! Not exactly what my instructions had been, but oh well!


I received a message from Ashley. "Kimmie says we are all going to the park for her birthday party. Is this true?"


I immediately emailed her back, "NO! Do not listen to ANYTHING that Kimmie says. She is planning her own party, and it has nothing to do with what is really going to happen. Spread the word!"


Kimmie's Monday birthday approached. On Saturday, Kimmie changed all of her previous plans and wanted to call all of her friends to let them know of the changes. Jeremy and I exchanged worried glances and wordlessly worked together to keep her occupied the entire day. A very sad Kimmie went to bed that night without having found any time in her day to call her friends and notify them of the change in plans.


"Oh well," she told me as she walked to her room, "I'll just have to call them all tomorrow. I've decided to invite everyone that I can think of to the park, and we'll have pizza and cake and stuff."


I panicked. Everyone she can think of???? This has got to stop!


That night, Jeremy placed his cell phone in his truck and I placed mine under our bed. We purposefully did not charge them so that we could tell Kimmie our phones were dead the next day. Several times on Sunday, Kimmie mentioned calling her friends, but she did not follow through with it.


Finally, that evening, she began searching for the phones. "My phone is not where I usually put it," I complained to her. She assumed that I did not know where it was. She had no luck finding Jeremy's phone either. I gave her free reign to search for my phone, and wouldn't you know it, the little stinker FOUND IT! She handed it to me, "Here it is! It was under your bed!"


Sigh.


I checked the bars. It was still charged! Another plan foiled.


I casually rested my thumb on the power button as I spoke with Kimmie, then I pretended to be startled as it shut itself down. "OH NO!" I cried out. "MY SCREEN JUST WENT BLANK!"


"Let me see," she offered.


"No, I'll see if I can fix it myself." I fiddled with the buttons while carefully keeping the keys out of her direct line of sight. I was sure she had seen me turn it off myself. "Oh well, I guess it needs to be charged."


"I'll get the charger," she offered and raced off to my bedroom to get it.


"Wait! I'll just plug it in there."


"But I wanted to use it while it was plugged in," she told me.


"Oh...well...I really want it to rest a while," I mumbled in desperation.


"What?" she questioned, but then seemed to accept that explanation. I hoped that would solve the problem. She only had a couple hours left until bedtime. When the subject came up again, Jeremy rescued me by putting his foot down. "No, it is too late to call people. You can just talk with them at school tomorrow."


Oh great! I hadn't thought about who she would be able to invite while she was at school tomorrow! I began imagining thirty high-schoolers gathered at the park waiting for Kimmie to show up, while the real party took place at the restaurant. I had to come up with a way to prevent her from inviting more people!


The next morning (her birthday!) on the way to school, she excitedly chattered about who she would invite and what presents they would probably give her and how much fun they would all have.


What do I do? What do I do?


Then brilliance struck!


"Kimmie," I said very hesitantly, "I'm kind of sad."


"What? Why?" she questioned.


"Well, because you're doing all of this planning yourself, and I really wanted to be involved in your birthday party. So I feel a little left out."


"But you are involved," she pointed out logically. "You're buying all of the food."


Oh yeah, she saved the best part for me.


"I know, but I really wanted to be part of the planning and the inviting and all that. I'm just a little sad, that's all."


"Oh." Kimmie sat back in the passenger seat and quietly watched the empty corn fields sweep behind us.


I glanced at her out of the corner of my eye. She looked so sad. Then I felt bad. I didn't want her to feel sad on her birthday!


"Well, don't feel sad, Kimmie. It's okay. But can I just ask for a favor? Since I am paying for all of this, I really can't afford to feed lots of people. Can you just invite these people?" I listed five names that I knew for sure were already coming to the restaurant party.


"Oh. Only those five?" she asked. She looked like she was about to start arguing.


"Yes, I mean, at least I will get to have a small part in the party planning by helping you choose who to invite, right?" I pretended to be a little sad still.


"Yeah, I guess so," she lapsed back into silence. "I'm sorry you didn't get to plan anything. I didn't know you wanted to."


"I know, Kimmie."


She looked so sad! I felt bad for her.


I cheered my voice up, "But I never said anything to you about it, so there's no way you could have known. Don't worry about it! Be happy! It's your birthday!!!!" Then I began singing happy birthday to her in a very off-key and crazy sort of way.


She laughed and cheered up so much that I was worried she would ignore my advice on who to invite. When I dropped her off at the school, I repeated, "Please only invite the people that we talked about, okay?"


She agreed and closed the car door. I waited until she was about five steps away from the van, then I rolled all the windows down and began singing at the top of my lungs HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KIMMIE! I honked the horn repeatedly and did not stop until she had disappeared into the building. She glanced embarrassedly at the noisy van, then ducked her head and scurried away, but not before I saw a smile tugging at her lips. Several people nearby hurried up to her and hugged her, saying "Happy Birthday!"


I grinned, the day was off to a great start!


At work, I checked my emails and found several from Kimmie's friends wondering which party was the real party. I quickly called Ashley's cell phone and left a voice mail telling her to spread the word one more time about when and where to meet. I told her to repeat to everyone to ignore ANYTHING that Kimmie said about a party. Then I prayed like crazy that we would not have any people who did not get the word!


That afternoon, I got off of work early, Jeremy took off of work, and we picked up Liberty from the babysitters. We arrived at the restaurant with decorations in hand and quickly decked out the table with kazoos and banners. One by one, her friends arrived. When Kimmie and Ashley finally pulled up, Kimmie's friend Lexi who was the hostess on duty, ran out to hug Kimmie and tell her happy birthday. Ashley ran inside while Kimmie was distracted and joined us at the table.


Kimmie and Lexi walked in the front door together, and Kimmie looked around for Ashley. When she spotted our table full of seventeen people, we all held up the HAPPY BIRTHDAY signs and began singing. She stood rooted to her spot. Finally she whispered to herself, "But, I don't understand."


Lexi hugged her and said, "It's your surprise birthday party, silly! Happy Birthday!"


Kimmie slowly began walking towards us, and she said to herself, "But, I didn't even know..."


I laughed out loud! The dumbfounded look on Kimmie's face was beyond what I had imagined, and then to watch her slowly snap out of it and begin enjoying the attention was wonderful! She did a perfect job of being the birthday girl. She told me afterwards that she had worked very hard to be sure to include everyone in the conversations and introductions. She did a great job, and I am very proud of her.


Afterwards, several of the friends headed off to the park to climb on the equipment and to take pictures. The rest of the party headed home. Jeremy, Liberty and I stayed at the restaurant to clean up, and then we drove over to the park to play for a while too. Finally, Jeremy had to return to work; he had taken only a few hours off for the party. The rest of our group broke up and went our separate ways.


All the way home, Kimmie chattered happily, and I reveled in the beautiful smile on her face. It was so much fun to surprise her!


Next time, though, I'll let her plan her own surprise party...it's much easier that way!
Our family now has a new rule when entering a restaurant. No more highchairs!

On Mother's Day, we called Texas Roadhouse immediately after morning church to be put in line for a table. They told us it would be an 80 minute wait. No problem. We live 45 minutes away, so we stopped off at home to change our clothes and to pack up a snack for Liberty. 70 minutes later, we pulled into the parking lot at TR, willing to wait another ten minutes to be seated. We checked in, and the hostess told us the wait would be approximately 15 minutes. Not a problem.

Liberty perched on a nearby saddle and bounced up and down for three minutes. Then she ran over to the jukebox and pointed emphatically at the wonderful, amazing, incredible, brilliant flashing lights...for two minutes. Then she tripped over to the hostess station and began making friends with the girls on duty. This lasted a very long time because they paid attention to her.

She then decided to make friends with the diners. She ran off amongst the tables, happily scattering her smiling "Hi"s to all who glanced at her. I stayed pretty busy, running after her and trying to keep her distracted. So I did not realize how long we had been waiting.

"Two hours," Jeremy informed me when he heard my tummy grumble over the background noises.

I approached the hostess station with a smile and explained to them how long we had been waiting. "Oh, I know," the hostess replied, "but we haven't had a table come available that had enough room for a highchair to be placed with it."

"Pshaw!" I replied. "We can eat without a highchair. Do you have a booster seat?"

It turns out they did, and we were shown immediately to a table. "If you had requested a booster seat from the beginning," the hostess explained, "we would have been able to seat you right away."

Too bad they didn't tell us that in the beginning!

Jeremy and I looked at each other in disbelief, and a new family rule was born.
A big girl bed. This should be a milestone of some sort, but so far, it has only been a source of sleeplessness for momma. How many times can one child fall out of bed in the night? How many cries of panic can one child let loose in her sleep causing mom to leap from her own bed in panic?

On Saturday, May 10th, Daddy got out his drill and his wrench. He dragged pieces of a metal bed frame from my van, and we commenced work. Liberty was thrilled with the new jungle gym in her room. She climbed from metal bar to metal bar in delight. She willingly "helped" Daddy by handing him his wrench when he asked for it, and she gruntingly attempted several times to hand him his drill. But alas, it proved too heavy. Mommy helped her carry it to Daddy. She finally found a special perch in the corner of the bed frame and clapped her hands gleefully as she watched the jungle gym take shape.

When it was time, Kimmie and Jeremy lugged the mattress and box spring into the room and carefully placed them on the frame. Then Daddy ran joyfully from the room calling, "Just a minute! I'll be right back." He returned, a blue Star Wars sheet flapping along behind him. He had been saving this sheet for years. He triumphantly wrestled it onto the mattress and then lifted his daughter into her new bed. She squealed and began jumping up and down. Then she discovered the characters on the sheet. She dropped to her tummy and loudly pointed out C3PO, her favorite Star Wars personality.

Daddy was proud. He and Liberty beamed at each other in complete satisfaction.

The satisfaction lasted until it was naptime. Then the torture began. Liberty looked at us in disbelief. You mean, you expect me to stay on this trampoline? There are no bars. I need my freedom!

Two weeks later, she has become proficient at staying in her bed...and quite frankly, I'm surprised (and thrilled). But several times in the middle of the night, I will rush into her room after hearing panicked crying to find her stuck under her bed. In her sleepy state, she cannot figure out how she got there or how to find the way out. Kimmie came up with a great solution the other day. She stuffed cushions all along the outline of the bed, so that Liberty cannot accidentally roll underneath in her sleep.

This morning, I found one cushion pulled away from the bed, and Liberty's feet sticking out of the hole. She was asleep under the bed once again.
Liberty has pink eye again so I've been home with her for a few days. Today is my first day back in the office, and I've got a lot of catching up to do. I may or may not post anything today. We'll see.
Since I don't blog on weekends, I have several posts stored up for you. They include:

What Happened on Friday ... Bedside Manners
What Happened on Saturday ... Night-Night, Liberty!
What Happened on Sunday ... No More Highchairs
What Happened on Monday ... Partido De la Sorpresa!
What Happened on Tuesday ... Lost and Found

So obviously, I need to have a really boring Wednesday, Thursday and Friday so that I can catch you up on my weekend.

We will commence with "Bedside Manners."

**************************************************

I have just begun my seventh month of being pregnant, and I visited my doctor once again for the routine monthly checkup. Now, I am not intending to doctor-bash, so I will just tell you that I have never felt the warm fuzzies with this doctor. The only reason that I began seeing her was the fact that our regular family doctor no longer covers OB, so I needed to find someone. I called the hospital, and they told me that since Dr. X was new in town, she was looking for patients. I didn't know her, but I also didn't know any of the other doctors, so why not.

I now know why not.

After our first visit, Jeremy told me that he did not like her. He wanted me to return to the doctor that I had used with Liberty, but that doctor's office was 50 miles from my work, and after we moved when I was eight months pregnant with Liberty, it was incredibly inconvenient to drive all that way for a weekly appointment. (Not to mention the fact that the distance to the hospital made me hyperventilate when I thought of it.)

I am very thankful that the small hospital in our new town is only two minutes from my work and fifteen minutes from my house, so for that reason alone, I chose to stick with Dr. X. And I really liked her nurse.

Every month, I met with Dr. X, and it felt like we had never met before. Some people just have colder, stiffer personalities, and I assumed that was just her style. Plus, she had just graduated from medical school. I decided that she must be concentrating very hard on her job and establishing herself, so she did not have much effort left to pay attention to her patients as people. (Now that I typed that sentence out, I sound really stupid, but that really is what I thought.) I figured that she would gradually loosen up as she got more comfortable in her position, so I kept cutting her slack on her "bedside manner."

Jeremy lost it when she told us that she had never done a C-section before, that mine would be her first. We had an intense discussion at home. My argument was that every doctor has to have a FIRST at some point in their life, and if I refused to be her first, how would she ever get to second? Jeremy's argument was nobody is doing a first anything on HIS wife. (Which made me feel loved and special, but did not make me look for another doctor...although I was nervous. I'm not eager to be a guinea pig, after all.)

This month, at the beginning of the appointment, I asked her for Jeremy's FMLA paperwork that I had given her the month before to fill out. Last month, she had told me that she was too busy to fill it out at that time, and that she would have to give it to me at my next appointment. When I asked her this Friday for that paperwork, she looked at me blankly. I explained what I was talking about, and she told me "Oh, I must have lost it. Have your husband pick up another one from work, and I'll fill it out for you." She didn't even apologize or seem bothered. I sighed, but did not see any point in arguing with her.

We were halfway through our appointment, when I asked her conversationally, "When do we get to schedule the C-section? Is that something that can be done now, or do we need to wait until closer to the time?"

She mumbled something that I did not catch, so I repeated my question.

"When are you due?" she asked me.

Now, I don't know about you, but that is information that I expect my doctor to know. I mean, seriously, she was the one who gave me my due date in the first place. She was the one holding my file in her hand. I can understand if she forgot it, because she probably has lots of patients and why should she have their charts individually memorized, but when she is in my room, checking out my progress, I expect her to have brushed up on my chart.

Rebellion raised it's head, and I said, "In July." I didn't want to just TELL her the date. I wanted her to work for it...what am I paying her for?

"Oh. What day?" she responded.

"It's probably in my chart," I answered in a calm tone of voice as I nodded my head towards the folder in her hand.

"Hmm," she read the chart, "July 31st."

"Um, actually, last month you changed it to July 29th," I informed her, my confidence in her knowledge plummeting.

"Oh, 31st, 29th, I'm not worried about a few days. You're not very far along, anyway," she commented breezily.

Oh really?

"And I'm going to be on vacation at that time," she continued.

I waited for her to let me know who would be filling in for her while she was on vacation. She did not continue.

"So, will I get to meet the person who does my C-section beforehand?" I asked nervously.

She shrugged. "He'll probably call you." Her nose remained buried in my chart this entire time.

"Okay," I hesitated. "So should I set up my C-section through you, or through him?"

She closed my chart decisively, "Let just listen to the baby's heartbeat right now. We can talk about that later." She pulled the microphone from the nearby counter and approached my belly with a tube of jelly in her other hand. We listened together in silence to the heartbeat. "Sounds good," she said brightly as she wiped off my belly. I pulled my shirt down and watched her gather her things and walk towards the door. "I'll send Jenny in with your paperwork, and I'll see you next time."

"Wait, are we going to talk about the C-section?" I wondered.

She sighed and walked back into the room. I got the distinct impression that she had hoped I would have forgotten. "If now is a bad time to schedule it..." I began.

"No, no," she interrupted, and she sat down on the swiveling desk chair in the corner of the room. She pushed off with her foot, and the chair rotated until her back was facing me. She picked up the phone on the desk, dialed a number, and covered her mouth with her other hand. In a low pitched voice, she spoke into the phone, "Hi, this is Dr. X, and I have a patient here who insists on scheduling her C-section right now."

I listened in disbelief. Two thoughts popped into my mind (I just typed two thoughts pooped into my mind, which is what it seems my thoughts have been doing to me recently, but I corrected my spelling just for you. You should feel special.) 1. I did NOT insist! 2. Does she think I cannot HEAR her?!

She paused while the person on the other end spoke. "I know," she answered sympathetically, "But she just has to know. She's not even due until July 31st." Her tone of voice was distinctly snide.

I thought about leaving the room completely, disgusted and amazed at her rudeness, but instead I got up off of the examining table and walked over to where she was sitting. I sat in a chair so close to her that our knees were almost touching. She swiveled her chair so that her back was to me once again, and she spoke into the phone, "I know. I know." Her voice indicated that if she had to bear with my ridiculous request, then the other person would have to also. I do not know what the other person was saying, but judging from Dr. X's tone of voice, they seemed to be comrades in this burden of having to patronize me, since I was the PAYING CUSTOMER!

HELLO!

At that moment, I decided to switch doctors.

"Well, I'll make sure she understands that this is tentative." She emphasized the last word and glanced over her shoulder at me, then she hung up the phone.

A bright smile appeared on her face, and she warmly told me, "Your C-section is scheduled for July 25th." Her quick change in personality and tone of voice surprised me, and I wondered again, Did she think I couldn't hear her on the phone?

I thanked her and watched as she quickly left the room. I sat back in the chair, completely amazed at the rudeness I had just witnessed, and at a loss to explain how someone whom I had expected to show complete professionalism had turned into a high-school snot before my eyes.

The nurse, Jenny, walked into the room and sat down at the desk. She smiled at me and made conversation while she looked at the papers left for her by Dr. X. "Oh," she said in a puzzled voice, "It looks like you are scheduled for another glucose test. Did something happen?" (I just passed a glucose test last month.)

We discussed the fact that I had no clue what she was talking about, and she decided not to pursue the fact that she did not understand those orders either.

After leaving the hospital, I called the receptionist and asked her how I could go about switching doctors. My next appointment is in two weeks with Dr. Y. I've heard good things about him, so I am hopeful.

Honestly though, Dr. Y won't have to work hard to be an improvement!

And yes, Jeremy, you were right. This is the sentence that he has been waiting for, you know. :-)
I've mentioned before how I'm meandering my way through the Bible, and I have FINALLY broken through to Hezekiah.

I am so glad!

Every night, I read about one king after another who either ignored God in their lives or blatantly thumbed their noses at Him even to the point of sacrificing their children in the fire to an idol. How disgusting and horrible! Night after night, the kings parade past my eyes, "and in the fourth year of what's-his-name, so-and-so became king, and he followed in the ways of his father and did not follow in the ways of David before him...and he killed fifty thousand people who may or may not have been aspiring to the throne...and he did evil in the sight of the Lord...and he led the children of Israel away from God...and he died...and everything else that he accomplished in his lifetime is written somewhere else."

But Hezekiah! Oh, Hezekiah! He loved God. He had a real relationship with God, not just an I'll-do-right kind of thing going on. And how happy I felt as I read his life. I loved how he brought the bad guy's letter to God and spread it out before Him. He didn't just say, "Hey God, I've got a bad guy on my back, and he said this." No, he took the letter to God and said, "Here, You read it. What do You think about this?" They were friends.

I loved it!

I know I've got books and books ahead of me involving horrible captivity and abused prophets. But for now, Hezekiah made me happy!
Oh.

My.

Goodness.

My mom just called me. A movie called The Informant starring Matt Damon is being shot in my home-town, Decatur, Illinois RIGHT NOW! My dad is doing some construction work at the mall where some of the scenes are being shot, and someone asked him to donate his truck for a scene because it was made in the 1980's, the time-frame that they are shooting in.

My brothers and sisters were at the mall this weekend, and they reported that it is all dressed up for Christmas, including a real Santa Claus village for the movie.

My youngest brother, Pete, asked my mom yesterday if there would be any shooting and car chases, and she said, "That's probably not how it really happened, but it's a movie, so they could put some in if they thought it was too boring." Today, my sixteen year old brother, Zach, reported that they are in fact shooting a car chase scene today and have several streets blocked off.

My oldest brother, Nate, bears a startling resemblance to Matt Damon. The resemblance is so strong that Jeremy and I had trouble concentrating on the Bourne movies because we kept exclaiming over Nate/Matt's facial expressions that are so familiar. Nate's wife Suzy also struggles with the similarities between her husband and Matt Damon. Mom and I laughed over the fact that thankfully, Nate and Suzy live in Ohio, so there is no danger that Nate will be mobbed for his autograph while walking down the streets of Decatur, Illinois!

The movie is all about intrigue and deception that occurred years ago at the biggest employer in town, ADM, where I worked for two summers. So I am excited to see if I can find my office, or recognize family members or former co-workers as extras!

Seriously, how cool is that?
Instead of Tulip Timing, I spent the weekend nursing Liberty back to health. When I picked her up from Chris's house around noon on Friday, I discovered gunk oozing from both of her eyes. Yes, I thought you'd like to read that.

I took her to our doctor, but his office was closed for Tulip Time. I took her to the clinic that operates out of the local hospital, where I was informed that all of the doctors had taken off for Tulip Time. A float nurse was on call, and Liberty and I waited patiently in the seating area for her to arrive.

Well, I waited patiently; Liberty climbed onto every available chair, then began joyfully stepping from chair to chair. Thankfully, all of the other patients had also taken the day off for Tulip Time, and we were the only ones in the entire hospital it seemed.

By the time Jenny arrived to see Liberty, my supposedly sick daughter was turning somersaults in the middle of the floor and laughing hysterically every time she landed. She appeared on the verge of death, really.

Jenny gave me a questioning look, "Are you sure she's sick?" She asked.

"No, but I thought with the fungus growing out of her eyes that she might be starting pink eye, and I wanted to catch it quickly."

Jenny nodded in agreement and proceeded to check Liberty's eyes, ears, nose and throat. "Wow!" she commented after peering into one of Liberty's ears. "This one is severely infected."

"Hmm, so is this one," she stated after looking into the other ear. She frowned thoughtfully as Liberty attempted to monkey walk up my body. Perched on my shoulders, Liberty grinned happily at Jenny. "You'd never guess that she was sick just by watching her!" Jenny observed in amazement.

That's my girl.

A double ear infection and double conjunctivitis diagnosis later, we stopped at the Pharmacy to pick up our prescriptions. Liberty entertained the ladies behind the counter as we waited, and they told me when I picked up the prescription that she was their favorite customer.

In the checkout line, three different cashiers called out "Hi, Liberty! It's good to see you again!"

My 18 month old waved back and cheerily greeted them with a wave and a happy "Hi!"

It seemed a shame to miss out on the Friday and Saturday festivities for a child who looked like she would love it all, but I'm glad that we were able to do a lot of activities on Thursday and that she got to watch the lighted parade Thursday night.

Now, if I could only get another chance at the homemade root beer. Oh well, I'll just have to wait for next year...and this time, I will know to visit the Market first and often!
All these years (four) of Tulip Timing, and I have never been to the Market! Most of the Tulip Time activities are centered around the Town Square, and although many people have recommended that I visit the Market three blocks west of the square, I have never done so.

Yesterday, while Jeremy, Liberty and I ate supper (Kimmie was off gallivanting with some friends), our pastor walked by with a bottle of "Grandpa's Homemade Elixir." I asked him what it was, and he informed me that it was HOMEMADE ROOT BEER!!!!!!

Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I cannot pass up homemade root beer! "Where did you get that?" I eagerly inquired.

"At the Market."

I looked SIGNIFICANTLY at Jeremy, who immediately understood my non-verbal communication. MUST GO NOW!

I left my cheese-fries and beef burger behind and jumped straight up off the picnic table bench.

Just kidding. I would never leave cheese-fries behind.

Once we finished eating (and hosed off Liberty) we walked waddled to the Market. When we arrived three hours later (What? You don't eat fifty different fried foods when there's a party in town?) we were astonished at all of the booths, activities and FOOD that we had never found before.

Jackpot! Jeremy hissed to me as we passed a CHEESE CURDS booth. There aren't ANY cheese curd booths on the Square (and they call this Iowa)! We had been puzzling over this missing booth for FOUR YEARS, and now we find out that it has been in the Market all this time. We did more wandering, finding more and more wonderful booths, until without warning, many of the tents started tying down their flaps.

"What's going on?" I asked one owner. "Closing time," he responded.

"Closing time?" I turned to Jeremy, "But it's only 8:00! The night is young!"

"So is our daughter," he pointed to Liberty who had been running non-stop all day long. She was leaning back in her stroller, content to view the world through half-closed eyelids.

"Impressive. Now, if we only had Tulip Time every day..." I wished. "But I haven't found the homemade root beer, yet."

I stopped to ask a nearby booth-manager if he knew where the root beer was. "Oh, somewhere off that way," he gestured vaguely. "At the complete opposite corner of the Market."

"Oh well," Jeremy gave up quickly. "We'll never get there in time."

"Oh yes we will!"

I waddled faster.

We arrived at the booth just in time to find a cleaned off table and tent flaps going down on all sides.

"Wait!" I cried out, and reached imploring hands towards the proprietor. "I heard you had homemade root beer."

"That's right," he said proudly. "And we even have a homemade song to go with the root beer."

"What size would you like?" his wife chimed in.

Jeremy and I looked at each other. "Give me the biggest size you've got!" I stated boldly.

"Oh no!" I heard Jeremy groan under his breath. The lady laughed. "We have a two gallon jug for $32.25. Are you sure that's what you want?"

"Oh. Uh, no." We ended up buying two large glass bottles with really cool stoppers for $5.00 each. And while the lady and her brother filled the bottles from a keg, the husband serenaded us with an opera-like rendition of his homemade song and its several verses. His voice had great projection, and many passers-by stopped to stare. I loved it!

We are definitely going back today for a re-fill on our bottles and to explore the rest of the Market that we've missed out on all these years.
Tulip time has finally arrived! So many food items call out to me, so I have developed a plan of attack:

Vetbollen - 9:00 AM mid-morning snack with Craig
Brought lunch from home to save money.
Off work at noon.
Poffertjes - 2:30 PM mid-afternoon snack with Liberty
Supper - 5:30 PM with Jeremy, Kimmie and Liberty (I haven't decided what I'm going to eat yet. Too many choices, and the baby hasn't made up her mind.)

Tomorrow
More Vetbollen - 9:00 AM mid-morning snack with Craig.
Something on a stick - Lunch
Off work at noon.
Frozen cookie dough - 2:30 PM mid-afternoon snack with Liberty
Poffertjes to go - on my way home

Saturday
Garage sales! (The city-wide garage sale is also this weekend in a nearby town...what were they thinking???)