Tuesday night, I went in for a sleep study at UAB Highlands Hospital. Even though I was home to eat dinner and help AJ get ready for bed, she went into the full-on "I WANT MY MAMA!" mode. This was not a pleasant evening. I think she had too much warning that I'd be gone. She made me artwork to say goodbye at school and when we got home.
This is the one she made Tuesday night at home - she told me it was how I was going to look when I woke up the next morning. I've lost an eye, though - it looked better before.
"From Anna June and Dad"
It turns out that I do NOT have sleep apnea as we all feared. I just snore loud enough to wake the dead. We'll be putting up an extra bed or learning to love earplugs while I lose 50 pounds, which may or may not help. My poor, poor husband.
As a precaution, I took Wednesday off, hearing from everyone who'd ever had a sleep test done that you can't sleep at night. To be honest, as I jokingly predicted, I slept better than some nights at home. It was a mini-vacation for me: cable tv, room service, and absolute quiet when I wanted it. Not even daylight and birds coming through the window. Actually, it was kind of nice.
But I went to the house and did a little bit of work, then out to lunch at Zoe's in Homewood with my friends. I was even early (relying on my brain instead of my calendar), so I went over and bought Radar some healthy dog treats at the dog spa (Generation Dog) across the street. While we were eating, who should walk in with his co-workers but my sweet husband, who also was coming off a night of mini-vacation with no snoring wife next to him. What a coincidence! He was on his way back from a funeral, which made it less fun, but it was still good to not have to wait until after work hours to see him.
Zoe's sells student's artwork as a fundraiser for local schools.
Then, I went home to take a quick nap. Then Radar and I picked up AJ at school. The kids in her class loved meeting and petting him. He was a little overwhelmed, but he was a good sport. AJ and I then took him to Avondale Park to walk him briefly.
AJ says that she's outgrowing this playground, but she still loves it.
We saw the Ramsay Rams about to take on the Woodlawn Colonels in softball, but the wind and the fact that we were out of plastic bags propelled us onward.
Lady Rams and Lady Colonels
We concluded we were hungry, so after we took Radar home we hit up a yogurt place to get our sweets on. This is our favorite mother-daughter activity, as Ben thinks it's a huge waste, but we think the fun is worth it.
Her face is weird because she's chewing a gummy worm.
We came home and I checked the mail from the car (I'm lazy like that, but you'd forgive me if you saw how steep our driveway is). What do you know? I had a note from the State of Alabama that my driver's license was expired. I couldn't foresee another weekday I'd have off, so I just turned the car around and headed for the courthouse with AJ in tow. We were in line for approximately 30 seconds before she started asking to go home. It took us just under an hour, which in Jefferson County is not considered all that bad. Thank goodness for our iPhone and the nice guy behind us to keep us entertained.
We got home and made dinner (this is worth noting because it was possibly the only time all week we've eaten at home). I fixed baked fish. My friend Pam stopped by to give me a goody bag from the sorority alumnae meeting I missed on Saturday during AJ's Day of Fun.
Thursday morning, I was trying my best to get back into the swing of things. I was at work all of 45 minutes when my cell phone rang. Mid-phone call on my work phone, I hung up on my co-worker, seeing the call was from Avondale, and recalling that AJ had complained that her stomach felt weird when I took her to school. Sure enough, it was the call that every parent dreads: come get your child - she's thrown up.
At least she waited until they weren't in the lunchroom. She was in line for the restroom, bless her heart!
I made arrangements, canceling lunch and emailing those who needed to know I'd be "working from home" which actually turned out to mean "finishing reading the novel I started months ago." Who knew? Of course, this only made things worse, but I was glad to finish one dang thing!
Because something was wrong with our TV setup (although I figured it was just me!), AJ mostly played on her Kindle until it ran out of battery, but we also read books and she colored. Since she was feeling well enough to want and to keep down some saltine crackers - which she has declared her favorite kind of cracker, just so you know - we decided to choose an activity out of our box of fun. She selected painting with shaving cream and food coloring. It was just swirling the colors around on the tray. Of course, Ben asked as soon as he heard, "Did you leave me any?" My answer was, "Yes, AJ insisted!"
Good clean fun, with a conservative amount of shave cream.
The 24-hour-puke-free rule is always in effect, so she's not at school today either, although she hasn't thrown up since she was at school. To other moms, this sounds like something she ate rather than a bug or the flu. Which makes me mad...the one time I actually cook something (baked tilapia), it makes her sick! The rest of us were fine, though, so I am hoping it wasn't that.
Tomorrow is AJ's dance performance. We're really excited to see her dance on stage for the first time. We'll have to charge up the video camera!
In other exciting news, my other "job" as social media marketing coordinator for Rusty's BBQ has been really busy. There are several things going on.
First of all, Indy Car drivers came to Barber Motorsports this week for time trials. They also came to Rusty's. It was exciting to have celebrities spotted at our favorite restaurant, whether or not we follow the sport.
Secondly, Sunday is Swine and Wine. This annual charity event has already gotten press coverage from Magic City Post, The Birmingham News, Magic City Made, and Southern Living. We're hoping for a huge turnout this year. Rusty is in charge of the details of the pig roasting (even though he's not yet 30, he's a veteran pig roaster), and Beth is handling a lot of the responsibility "inside" at the serving tables. I know that with their help, the event will run even more smoothly than last year.
Finally, a big Facebook contest is going on right now. If you "Like" the Alabama Board of Tourism's page "Year of Alabama Food" you can play along. The top 32 BBQ restaurants in Alabama have been given bracket seeds, March Madness-style. Rusty's made the cut! It's the only restaurant in the area that has only one location. It's up against Saw's BBQ, another relative newcomer to the B'ham BBQ scene, but Saw's has tons of great press and media attention, being that American Idol winner Taylor Hicks is now one of their investors. It's going to be tough. The voting for Rusty's vs. Saw's begins Wednesday March 20. Write it down. Join our Facebook event to remind yourself. It's a huge deal - winners as the brackets progress get free television time, something we've never had.
There have been so many other changes, little and big lately. AJ has started tying her shoes. She's started answering the phone (although she's not particularly good at either thing). She has started taking Radar out (sometimes) by herself - only in the back yard, and only when it is daylight. It is such a delight to be around her at this age, learning every second and trying her best to be a big kid. So forgive me if I've been too busy to write daily - I'm just trying to soak it all in.