Wednesday, November 28, 2012

the toe

Despite antibiotics and more attention than any big toe deserves, the consensus at the doctor's office this morning was that my toe was not better.  So a betadine soak and 2 anesthetic shots in the toe later (ouch!), I got a sliver of my toenail extracted.  I wish I'd thought to take a photo of what came out so you could see my fine pedicurist abilities.  NOT.  There was a perfectly straight cut down one side where the doctor cut through the nail and on the other side was a little jaggedy bit sticking out.  That would be my handiwork.  And that was the part that was burrowing into the side of my nail bed, where the infection was.

Because I believe in sharing my misery with you, I give you the photographic evidence of the toe, some 7 hours post-procedure.

After removing the gauze, this is what I found stuck to my toe.
The doctor did ask me if I took aspirin because the blood was flowing so fast.

The little gauze square finally came off after Epsom Salt soaking.

A fuzzy photo (intentionally fuzzy for your benefit).  The red is the missing toenail.  It's an attractive look, right?
I can't wait to go to Hawaii for our R&R with that good-looking toe.  Nice.
I have learned my lesson.

Monday, November 26, 2012

no more home pedicures

One of the great benefits of living overseas in a place like Colombia is inexpensive in-home manicures and pedicures.  For awhile, I had our lady come regularly to give us all manis and pedis.  These appointments kept everybody's hands and feet looking nice.

And then I got off-schedule because Mac had a Friday afternoon birthday party when I had our appointments scheduled so I had to cancel.

And then I didn't reschedule because we were in the Halloween/Marine Ball rush and I was at the salon every weekend and could get my fingernails done.

But I neglected my toes.

So last week I wore heels and my ingrown toenail started hurting from the downward pressure in skinny toed-shoes, so I decided to take care of business.  Taking care of business meant basically ripping out the cuticle on one side of my big toe.  The toe hurt like crazy all week and then on the weekend, I noticed it was getting redder and the red was expanding.  I soaked in Epsom Salt all weekend and coated it in Neosporin, all with little to no effect.  So today I took myself to the health unit and I am now taking antibiotics for the infection that has taken up residence in my toe.  I will never give up my day job to become a manicurist.

I go back to the doctor in two days and we shall hope it's much improved.  If it's not, I've been promised we're moving to Plan B, which is to remove part of the toenail.

Stay tuned for the rest of the story...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

one more post-Thanksgiving musing

Jimmy and I are rice people.  Our people do not eat mashed potatoes and gravy for Thanksgiving or Christmas or almost any other occasion.  We eat rice and gravy.

We have learned that we are in the minority.

Most of the world are mashed potatoes and gravy sort of folks.  This is not negotiable at the holidays for most of the world.

We learned this the hard way when we hosted our first real Thanksgiving 9 years ago and we cooked about 30 cups of rice (to accommodate the rice-eating capacity of "our" people) and only we and the one Puerto Rican in the crowd ate rice.  The rest of the people were looking under pot lids for the non-existent mashed potatoes.

Now we cook mashed potatoes for these important holidays and just dream that the potatoes are rice.

The Pioneer Woman came through for me this year. She blogged last week about make-ahead mashed potatoes. Who ever heard of such a thing??  Making mashed potatoes a day or two before the event is a game changer, people.

So I made the potatoes on Wednesday night, put them in the fridge to wait, and heated them in the oven on Thursday.  Oh.My.Gosh.  These were the best mashed potatoes ever.  I will be making these early and often.  If you need to make mashed potatoes, but would like to avoid the stress of last-minute mashing and then keeping them hot until serving, check out the Pioneer Woman's blog.  You will not be disappointed!

random musings

1.  We are currently watching the Clemson-Carolina football game.  The highlight for me?  The wings Jimmy made.  He cooked the best wings he's ever cooked and the three of us ate 39 wings.  Un.Be.Liev.A.Ble.  We will eat nothing but vegetables tomorrow.

2.  We had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  After my threat to boycott after last year's Thanksgiving (in my defense, I'd just returned from a month of training in DC, I had just returned to work full-time for the first time in nearly 10 years, we had a houseful of company, and we'd invited even more people to TG on top of our houseguests), we hosted a very manageable Thanksgiving and I loved the whole thing from start to finish.
the table setting for Thanksgiving
3.  The dessert highlight of Thanksgiving was a turkey cake made by my friend Suzanne.  No, I am not kidding. It was complete with stuffing and fondant peas and carrots and Rice Krispie Treat wings and legs.    It was nothing short of brilliant.  I give you photographic evidence:

4.  I had to work on Friday after Thanksgiving.  It was a very long day.

5.  On Friday evening, I took Mac and three of our young friends to see Rise of the Guardians.  It was excellent, even though the "scary" bits ended with one girl in my lap and another with her arm wrapped around mine.  It was a great message and I highly recommend it.  

6.  What I know for sure after taking 4 children aged 10 and under to the movies by myself is that I'm not meant to have 4 young children at one time.  It's a bit like herding cats.  Everybody goes in a different direction, it's hard to make decisions at the popcorn line, there are decisions about "to go or not to go" when confronted by the bathroom, and there's just a lot of concern over whether everybody can get to their seat without spilling their popcorn or drink. Whew.

7.  Between Thanksgiving, Friday work, and the movie on Friday night, I was pooped.  I went to sleep at about 9:45 last night and slept until 8am this morning.  This moma was tired.

8.  We decorated for Christmas today.  We didn't put up nearly the decorations as we normally do, but we do have two of the smallest Christmas trees known to mankind up and lit and decorated.  I've tried to restrain myself since we're going on vacation soon after Christmas and I know I have to take down whatever goes up now before we leave.  There's definitely a feeling of Christmas in the house and that will be enough until December 25.

9.  We're now at half-time in the game and I'm not 100% sure if I'll make it to the end.  There must be post-Thanksgiving tryptophan still in my system or else the wings are narcolepsy-inducing.

Hope you're enjoying your Thanksgiving weekend!!

Happy Thanksgiving from us to you!

Mac's Birthday Party

On Tuesday, Mac turned 10.  This means that for one decade of my life I've been a parent.


This is shocking to me, namely because in my head I believe I am still 27 and there's no way possible that I could have been a parent for a decade.

Regardless, this kid is so awesome.  He's smart and funny and has an incredibly developed sense of sarcasm for a 10 year-old.  I appreciate sarcasm in a human being.

For his birthday, we celebrated with a group of friends at Laser Shots, the local laser tag joint in Bogota.  There's nothing like a bunch of British school boys playing laser tag after school.  They were adorable in their uniforms.
The birthday cake.  Chocolate cake with vanilla icing.  As requested.

The birthday party room at Laser Shots.

Getting ready to make a wish.

The laser taggers.

The scores.

The Red Team.  Jimmy's bodyguard had to pinch hit when one child didn't show up.  He was happy to pinch hit.

The Yellow Team.  AKA The Rock-n-Roll Team.

The Green Team.
All in all, I think the party was successful.  If success is measured by fatigue, then I can tell you from my point of view that it was a tremendous, resounding success.  Here's to the next decade with my sweet boy.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

random musings

1.  Mac turns 10 on Tuesday and this depresses me.  How has a decade passed since he was born?

2.  Mac had his birthday party at the local laser tag place on Friday afternoon.  Eleven boys around the age of 10 is a lot of energy.  I was pooped and I didn't even play.  Photos coming later.

3.  I made a carrot cake this weekend to freeze for Thanksgiving.  You know my luck with baking at this altitude so I decided to do it early in case I needed a Plan B.  Mac also requested layers instead of a sheet cake, which I believe has something to do with more frosting coverage. At this altitude, I got 3 layers instead of 2, so it's a tall cake (or at least taller than a sheet cake).  I had bought canned cream cheese frosting (in case the cake turned out horrible), but the layers came out so nicely that I decided I couldn't ruin this cake with canned frosting.  So I went all out and used American butter from the commissary (instead of Colombian butter from the grocery store) because American butter really does make it taste better.  The cake is now frosted and in the freezer.  I have named it the Leaning Tower of Carrot Cake because it has a distinct tilt, but I think it's going to be yummy.

4.  Jimmy and I attended the Marine Ball a couple weeks ago.  I wore the same dress as I did two years ago  (and yes, somebody pointed that out to me at the ball) because I love this dress more than any other formal dress I've ever owned or worn.  It's comfortable and I feel like a queen in it.  I also got my hair and makeup done and that was really special.  A photo at home and then at dinner:

5.  Every woman of a certain age should own Spanx.  I am a woman over that certain age but I do not own Spanx.  I will remedy that situation when I am next in the US and have access to Spanx.  To make do for the Marine Ball, I put on a pair of control-top pantyhose and cut off the feet.  The control-top part worked out great, but the legs rode up higher and higher as the evening went on.  By the time we got home, the leg parts that had been around my ankles when we started out were now up around my thighs.

6.  Going back to October now, Mac chose to go as a werewolf for Halloween.  He was insistent about the costume that we had to buy as soon as he saw it online.  So I ordered it and had it shipped to my mom's house so they could either return it or bring it back with them after their trip home in October.  Mac didn't want to return it when he had the chance, but nearly as soon as he returned to Bogota, he announced that he was having second thoughts.  Sorry, werewolf boy, that ship sailed when you got on the plane headed south.  So he put the costume on for a photo at home on the day that they were celebrating Halloween at school.  By the time he got to the embassy that same afternoon for the embassy's Halloween festivities, he didn't even have the mask or the shirt with the furry chest.  He went from werewolf boy to hairy arm/hand boy at the embassy and then again at a party the next day.

7.  Jimmy and I have not dressed up for Halloween in years, namely because we've not had a reason to dress up.  Well this year, we had invitations to three different parties, all of which required costumes.  Jimmy was gifted clothing that looks like Juan Valdez, the coffee guy.  Juan Valdez's dress is typical (or stereotypical) of male paisas, who are from the area around Medellin, Colombia.  Well if he was going as a male paisa, I needed to go as a female paisa.  Female paisas are stereotypical big-chested, big-bottomed, long-haired, tight-clothed, high-heeled, overly made-up ladies.  Sort of like the Colombian version of the Jersey Shore.  We called ourselves Don Julio and Cristina (the first party) and Don Julio and Ana Maria (the second and third parties).

So this is bad lighting and a frontal view so you can't see my padded underwear (which you can buy at any store here - they're that common!), but you'll get the gist of Cristina (this was week one), the paisa.

Again, a bad photo from a Blackberry camera, but you get the idea... Jimmy won Most Original and Funniest Costume Prizes at the third party we attended.  I think it was the mustache and unibrow that pushed him over the competition!!

8.  I also needed Spanx for this costume.  I do not wear leggings without sufficient coverage (like down to my knees).  But my Colombian coworker/friend who took me shopping for this get-up said that there could be no coverage.  I wasted another pair of control-top pantyhose by cutting off the feet.  The money that I wasted in pantyhose that I ruined over three consecutive weeks would probably equal whatever Spanx costs.

9.  A message from Mac's teacher the other day:
"We were discussing goals and I was giving the example of wanting to be the world's best ping pong player by the time I am 40. One of my boys chipped in with - Aren't you already 40? As I was picking my jaw up from the floor and preparing myself to speak, this little voice said "Of course she's not and don't you know you don't ever ask a lady her age!" Bless that boy of yours!"

I asked Mac about it later and he said "I remembered your telling me you never ask a lady her age when we were in Bariloche." We were in Bariloche, Argentina in the summer of 2008 so he's been listening to me for longer than I thought!!  Bless that boy and his sweet manners.

I hope as we start this most meaningful of holiday weeks - Thanksgiving - that all of our blessings are abundant and that we take time to appreciate each and every one of them.