Friday, August 24, 2012

Whistle while you work!

Not quite sleepy enough to get neutered yet.  We like to take pictures of cats when they're mostly drugged.
Ok, I've been back at work for two weeks now, and all told, it's going much better than I anticipated.  Every time someone asks me how it feels to be back and not have Reagan with me all day, I respond, "I'm just so lucky I really like my job."

And it's true.  Thank you Jesus.

There are several other things that get me through the work-hours without my sweet girl: first, the lovely people I work with (they smile and gush over the cell phone pictures of Reagan no matter how many times I show the same ones over and over again) and second, the ever-amusing clients I talk to daily.  Are you ready for some new work-related stories?  Oh good, 'cause I've got a couple for ya.

Sometimes, I like to pretend I'm a receptionist.  I know this bugs Tammy (our actual receptionist, who is amazing at her job), but I do it anyway.  I answer the phone and talk until someone asks me a question that I can't answer and then poorly explain the issue to Tammy, upon which, she graciously talks to the client and gets things settled like they should have been in the first place.  Maybe the most fun thing I do when I answer the phone is, when someone asks to speak to Dr. Tompkins, I say, "can I put you on hold for a moment while I go get her?"  It cracks me up every time.

Anyway, I answered the phone the other day and had this conversation:

Dr. T:  "Twin Oaks Vet, can I help you?"

Lady on the phone:  "Hi, is this the Alleghany Animal Shelter?"

Dr. T:  "No, this is the vet hospital, but we're associated with the shelter, can I help you with something?"

Lady on the phone:  "Well, I was watching this here Alleghany County Television Station, and I had a question about the show where they put on the pictures of the animals up for adoption."

Dr. T:  "Sure.  Were you interested in adopting one of the animals?"

Lady on the phone:  "No, honey.  I just wanted to know why on earth all these here dogs have a red 'kerchief around their neck.  Now, I'm 82 years old and I've had animals all my life and I have never felt like I needed to put a red 'kerchief around one of their necks.  Why on earth do you all do that?"

Dr. T:  "Well ma'am, the bandanas aren't on the dogs all the time, they just put them on for the pictures.  I guess some people think it's a cute thing to do."

Lady on the phone:  "Well I don't think it's cute, but that's just my opinion.  Of course, nobody asked for my opinion, but I just thought I'd tell it to you anyway.  Ok, that's all I wanted to know.  You have a nice day, honey.  'Bye."

Today, I answered the phone and got this one:

Dr. T:  "Twin Oaks Vet, can I help you?"

Elderly man (yelling into the phone):  "Is this Twin Oaks?!?"

Dr. T:  "Yessir.  Can I help you with something?"

Elderly man (yelling into the phone):  "Yes!  Well...first I have a question, then I'll tell you what my problem is."

Dr. T:  "Ok, what's your question?"

Elderly man (yelling into the phone):  "Where in the sam-hill is ya'lls phone number listed in this here phone book?!?"

Dr. T:  "Well, that depends.  Which phone book are you looking in?"

Elderly man (yelling into the phone):  "In this damn Alleghany County Phone Directory!  I've been looking for the dad-blamed phone number nigh thirty minutes!  When I didn't find it, I had to go search for one of my damn receipts from you all 'cause I couldn't find the number in the phone book!"

Dr. T (pulling out the phone book):  "Ok, lets see.  In the alphebetical listings, the number is there under 'Twin Oaks Veterinary Hospital' and in the business listing the number is under 'Veterinarians'."

Elderly man (yelling into the phone):  "What's that you say now?  What page are you on?"

Dr. T:  "Um, well, it's listed on page 49 and page 96."

Elderly man (quieter now):  "Well I'll be durned.  There it is.  Been there the whole time."

Dr. T:  "Yep.  Now, is there something else you needed?"

Elderly man:  "What?  Oh, yeah.  I need to make an appointment to board my cat.  Well, it's not my cat, I don't even like cats - it's my wife's cat."

Dr. T:  "Ok!  Tammy can help you with that, can you hold for a moment?"

PS.  I read this today.  Nearly peed my pants from laughing.  Read it, you'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

"A good wife always knows her place."

You may have been wondering how my somewhat ambitious resolutions have been going.  For this week at least (a.k.a. my last week at home before I go back to work), I've been doing quite well, and feeling pretty proud of myself.  I've even accomplished a few of the projects I had on the list for August, which is a bonus, considering that I get this sinking feeling knowing that once work starts back, I'll never be able to do any projects around the house ever again - at least until Reagan hits high school.  This probably isn't true, but I still keep having a sense of foreboding anyway.

Oh well, I can always hire a handyman.

At any rate, getting up around or before 6am has actually been a blessing; I can definitely see how adding that extra hour and a half to my morning will make me feel a lot more grounded for the rest of the day, and seeing as I had been used to getting up around 4 every morning to feed Reagan up until a couple of weeks ago, sleeping until 5:45 feels great, especially since Reagan doesn't really wake up until 6:30 nowadays.  There is that moment, however, over the course of the day that I do feel like going back to bed - upon which, I fix myself another cup of coffee and find an activity that will keep me going until the exhaustion passes.  Today, that moment struck early - at about 8 am - so I took a couple more sips of my favorite brew, and decided to take a quick shower while Reagan was playing on the bed.

Now, I really just think I had my mind on other things, it wasn't like those first few days of motherhood where my mind left me altogether (one morning, I came rushing into the living room in a panic and kept asking my mother where "the other one" was.  She responded by telling me that everything was ok, she was holding a sleeping Reagan, but I kept screaming, "but where's the other one!!!?!?"  Apparently I had dreamed that I had twins and that the second baby had rolled under the bed and I couldn't find it.  I even went back into the bedroom and searched under all the sheets and pillows before I finally woke up.  It was terrifying.).

No, what I was thinking hard about this morning as I hopped into the shower fully clothed was being a "Good Wife."

(Yes, you read that right.  Fully clothed.)

I had been dusting ARay's nightstand and found an article from a 1959 edition of Housekeeping Monthly that I had totally forgotten about.  Way back when we were engaged, I showed it to my betrothed after I received it as a joke from someone at one of my bridal showers; I still think it's hilarious, so I'm going to share it with you today:

photo credit
 "The good wife's guide"

1.  Have dinner ready.  Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return.  This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs.  Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.

2. Prepare yourself.  Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives.  Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking.  He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.

3.  Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him.  His boring day may need a lift and it's one of your duties to provide it.

4.  Clear away the clutter.  Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives.

5.  Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc. and then run a dustcloth over the tables.

6.  Over the cooler months of the year, you should prepare a light fire for him to unwind by.  Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too.  After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

7.  Prepare the children.  Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair and, if necessary, change their clothes.  They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.  Minimize all noise.  At the time of his arival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum.  Try to encourage the children to be quiet.

8.  Be happy to see him.

9.  Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.

10.  Listen to him.  You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time.  Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

11.  Make the evening his.  Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner or other places of entertainment without you.  Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.

12.  Your goal: try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.

13.  Don't greet him with complaints and problems.

14.  Don't complain if he's home late or even stays out all night.  Count this as minor compared to what he might have been through that day.

15.  Make him comfortable.  Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom.  Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.

16.  Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes.  Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.

17.  Don't ask him quiestions about his actions or question his judgement or integrity.  Remember, he is master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness.  You have no right to question him.

18.  A good wife always knows her place.

...I have only one thing to say about all this.  Where is my "good wife"?  I need one more than ARay does!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Back on The Juice

I cleaned my coffee maker last night in preparation for starting my new, "going-back-to-work" resolutions this morning.  I feel like I'm a college kid again, getting ready to go back to school after a busy summer - except - much to my inner-child's chagrin, I don't have a good reason to buy school supplies this fall.  Bummer.  I can't wait for Reagan to start school so we can do the annual Wal-Mart school supply run together...if we're feeling adventurous, maybe we'll even go on tax-free weekend.  Oh man, the excitement is brewing already.

Anyway, I have a whole slew of new resolutions in anticipation of going back to work.  Just a couple of days ago, I was talking to my mom about how I'm feeling a little bored, how I'm ready to be doing something more, to which she replied "oh man, I was bored way sooner than you are.  I'm really impressed, honey, I figured you'd get tired of this stay-at-home-mommy thing a lot earlier than you did."

In reality, I'm not tired of it at all.  But thanks, mom, I didn't realize how boring the early days of my life were for you (just kidding, I know they were the best days you've ever had).  Quite the contrary, if I could strap Reagan to my back like a little injun and tote her to work with me every day, I absolutely would.  I'm sure someone could give her a pacifier if she fussed while I was doing surgery with her hanging around on my back.  Maintaining sterility wouldn't be that hard, surely.

Well, I guess all my dreams for our lives once I go back to work can't come true, but some of them can, and I've been working on them this week.  I'm going to post a list so you can know and be my accountability partner.

First, I plan to get up when ARay does (around or before 6 am) and get the house straightened up and do my "housewife chores" before Little Miss even wakes up.  Today, I was spared the trouble of my alarm going off because Little Miss was rearing to go at 2am.  I don't think she slept more than 45 minutes straight from 2 until 6...and incidentally, neither did I.  Thankfully, the timer was set on the coffee pot and the gorgeous smell of my hazelnut brew staved off most of the grumpiness.  Did you know, according to recent Alzheimer's research, adults should get no more and no less than 7 hours of sleep a night?  Getting any more/less increases your chances of getting the disease later in life, so my new resolution may save me from a terrible fate when I'm older.  Unfortunately, I'm accustomed to 8-9 hours of sleep in a row...fortunately though, Reagan has been working toward a 7-8 hour night for a few weeks now, so I'm going to consider last night an outlier and look forward to tomorrow.

Second, I am doing to start making to-do lists again.  In college, I stuck to these with alarming tenacity.  I even kept a ledger and balanced my checkbook religiously every night.  Woah.  It's time to get back the organization I lost the second I stepped onto the Vet School campus.  I started a new list when Reagan and I came home from the hospital and, perhaps unsurprisingly, it contained all the projects I hadn't accomplished in the 2 years I've been living here already.  Again, unsurprisingly, those projects didn't quite get finished in my time at home as a new mother (who had just had abdominal surgery), either.  Oh well.  There's always room on August's list.

Third.  I'm going to plan our family suppers ahead so I can spend less time at the grocery store/cooking and more time with ARay and LittleRea.  This means I'm actually going to go through the grocery store fliers on the weekend and go shopping weekly instead of grabbing something to fix on my way home from work every day.  This is something I've never done, and it's going to be interesting to see what kind of plan-ahead meals I come up with.  Ideally, I'd like to have dinner prep started in the mornings when I'm up at the butt-crack of dawn.

Fourth.  We're going to take loads of pictures of Little One.  My mom never did this (she never had the benefit of a digital camera, either) and these memories are ones I don't want Reagan to miss out on.  Photodocumentation is such a gift.

Haha.  We like to take pictures of Reagan when she's doing something she'll be embarrassed of when she's older.  First nose pick, 7/31/12.
Fifth (and most ambitious)!  I'm going to start exercising again.  Back in college (this seems to be the a recurring theme - I was super-busy in college, but apparently I had my act together) I would go for a run daily, somewhere between a 3 and 5 miler.  I wasn't training for anything, or trying to impress anyone with my jogging skills, I was just trying to keep my body and my heart healthy.  Unfortunately, my bum knee, getting older (and more arthritic) and going to medical school crapped on my dreams of ideal physical fitness.  SO!  I'm going to spend some quality time with Reagan in a jogger while I trudge up these mountainous roads or on the back of my bike while pedaling hard on the parkway and do something good for me that will make me feel good.  There.  It's in print (sortof) and other people know about it, so now I'm going to do it, for realz.

Phew.  I think those five resolutions are enough for anybody, so I'm going to stop there and get going on some of them.  I can't wait to launch myself into the exhausting and what I'm sure will be the uber-rewarding task of being Dr. Mom/Wife.

Ready, set. Go!

Look at those cheeks!  When she sleeps, I swear she looks just like ARay.

When she's smiling, I can't help but imagine she looks just like me. :)