Category Archives: iPhone

Making Good On a Promise

C.J. is ready to blow out the candle on his mini pizookie at BJ's.

C.J. is ready to blow out the candle on his mini pizookie during lunch at BJ’s.

Every so often, my ever-lovin’ though sometimes ornery younger son will look at me and say, “Remember my birthday last year? I still can’t believe we didn’t go to Dave and Buster’s.” Then cue the fake sigh.

As I cue my own real sigh, I must admit that I do feel bad about last year, even though C.J. and the rest of the Core 4 seemed to have a great time at Tilt Studio. Which is why I had promised him an eventual trip to D&B. Yesterday I fulfilled it.

The guys walk towards their world of fun.

The guys walk towards their world of fun.

Yep, my newly minted 19-year-old got to spend his birthday with his big brother and Ricky, Jared, and RJ at Dave and Buster’s in Houston. The Mister and I went along to act as chauffeur and ATM. Plus we always enjoy watching the guys have a great time. Which they did!

Sharpshooter!

Sharpshooter!

Most of their $20 Power Cards were wasted spent on a couple of basketball games that they played numerous times. All five of them love to hoop it up.

Lotsa tix

It’s a handful.

One of the best parts for them, besides trash talking each other, was racking up tickets. Once all the money was gone, it was time to see how much they had earned.

As a veteran mom, I knew that most of the prizes were going to be lame and cost lots of tickets. D&B, after all, is just Chuck E. Cheese’s with better food and games and without the rat. But the guys still enjoyed checking out the store and picking out their rewards (except for Jared, who is saving up his winnings).

Jared, Ricky, C.J., RJ, and Jake pose with Bumblebee.

Jared, Ricky, C.J., RJ, and Jake pose with Bumblebee.

As we were walking out of D&B, C.J. said, “You know, last year’s place was okay. But Dave and Buster’s was a lot more fun!”

Glad you had a birthday that’s as wonderful as you are, my sweet son!

Brace Yourself!

This is what my left hand looked like in the doctor’s office.

This is what my left hand looked like in the doctor’s office.

Oh, happy day! My Ace bandage wrap, which included a partial cast and enough gauze to make me think that someone had stock in the company, is just a memory now. It came off with a little pulling and tugging Wednesday, leaving me with a very stiff left wrist, a swollen thumb, stitches, and the purple pen marks that Dr. Hildreth had used as a self-guide. Picasso he ain’t.

Believe me, you will thank me for not subjecting you to the close-up photo of my thumb-joint stitches after the tape was removed; they really look gross. Hildreth easily pulled out the carpal tunnel stitches and told me that I’ll be gently scrubbing the others away. Plus I have several easy exercises to do twice a day, as well as run warm water over the area to loosen it up.

Black is slimming, right?

Black is slimming, right?

My new constant companion is this Bledsoe brace, which I have to wear almost 24/7 (except for showers) for the next four weeks while my thumb-joint fusion continues to heal (I still have intermittent pain, unfortunately). Two weeks after that, I’ll see Hildreth and, hopefully, I’ll be released to wait until my grip fully returns (in an expected six months to a year).

Of course, the best news for me was that I’m cleared to return to walking and jogging. Oh, how I’ve missed my somewhat daily constitutional! Naturally, the combination of the supposedly breathable material with Houston’s infamous heat and humidity probably will make for one smelly brace.

Friends, you might want to keep your distance!

One-Word Wednesday

 

Jake snaps a photo of himself, Josh, Chase, and C.J. at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. The boys (plus Ben and Brandon) went on a buddy trip to San Antonio and Schlitterbahn last weekend.

Jake snaps a photo of himself, Josh, Chase, and C.J. before going in to Six Flags Fiesta Texas. The boys (plus Ben and Brandon) went on a buddy trip to San Antonio and Schlitterbahn last weekend.

Broventure!

Giving Thanks to Our War Heroes

The flag panel partially obstructs the Remembrance Tower.

The flag panel partially obstructs the Remembrance Tower.

Ever since last September when I saw that an unusual-looking building had been finished in our nearby Memorial Park, I’ve wanted to check it out.

Yesterday being part of Memorial Day weekend seemed like the perfect opportunity to drive over with the Mister and finally view the Sugar Land Veterans Memorial.

The Mister is dwarfed by the Remembrance Tower.

The Mister is dwarfed by the Remembrance Tower.

There’s a much-bigger, better-known Memorial Park in Houston, but that doesn’t make our smaller version any less meaningful. Especially now that there’s a true memorial along the mile-long, crushed-granite path that surrounds a manmade lake.

The Army insignia

The Army symbol

The memorial is guarded by a concrete flag panel, which serves as a gateway to the 50-foot, pentagonal tower. Each wall features a branch of the military, with its insignia in the nearby sidewalk.

While the outside of the tower looks impressive, it’s what’s inside that truly matters. The entrance is on the lakeside, away from the potential hustle and bustle of the walking path. I was equally jarred by the imposing quiet and the names etched into four of the five panels (none from the U.S. Coast Guard), those from our small community who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country.

#7832-(marine-names)U.S. Marine Corps

#2397-(army-names)U.S. Army

#2399-(navy-names)U.S. Navy

#2400-(air-force-names)U.S. Air Force

I silently prayed for these brave men and their families, as I hoped that our Veterans Memorial never fills up with names.

Every time I pass by the stark flag and building, I’ll always remember that freedom is not free.

The Aftermath

Wonder how nice and neat this will look in 10 days.

Wonder how nice and neat this will look in 10 days.

As much as I realize that I don’t deserve a pity party, I can’t help but sit here typing with my pathetic party hat perched on top of my head.

Several days after surgery to fuse my arthritic left thumb joint and fix my mild carpal tunnel syndrome, I’m still in pain. My left hand and fingers are swollen (I’m waiting for my doctor’s nurse to get back to me to see if something needs to be done), and the part of my palm that I can see is turning purple. I’m hoping I won’t become Barney the dinosaur-esque any time soon.

Plus it’s really a drag to be one-armed when I usually use my left hand a lot. Yes, I know plenty of people have it so much worse, but that really doesn’t help matters right now. Pity parties don’t invite pragmatism.

Worst of all? I can’t exercise until I see Dr. Hildreth on May 28, because he says sweating can lead to infection. I long for the chance to clear my head and fast walk around the neighborhood, even for a mere mile. I am not a happy camper!

All of this has me counting down the days until I get this bulky wrap off and move to a removable brace, hopefully in 10 days. I can’t wait for May 28!

From Ouch to Ahhhh! (Hopefully!!)

Yeah, it hurt!

Yeah, it hurt!

Remember when I got that cortisone shot for my aching left thumb joint back in December of 2012?

The pain from the osteoarthritis returned after several months, unfortunately. It’s been hurting more and more since then, and I’m tired of dealing with the pain. So this morning Dr. Hildreth is performing a thumb-joint fusion (which actually sounds cooler than it is) while also fixing my mild carpal tunnel syndrome.

Cheesy, I know.

Cheesy, I know.

I hope everything will be a-okay. Please send along healing vibes!!

One-Word Wednesday

The boys and the Mister gave me lovely plants and a Chipotle gift card for Mother’s Day.

The boys and the Mister gave me lovely plants and a Chipotle gift card for Mother’s Day.

Mom!

Love my guys!

We saw “The Amazing Spiderman 2” and ate lunch at BJ’s. Love my guys!

Another Milestone Achieved

Why we’re in the Alamodome

Why we’re in the Alamodome

Something about “Pomp and Circumstance” makes me cry. Could be because of what it signifies.

You might think that after watching two emotional high school graduations that my eyes wouldn’t tear up when hearing that standard ceremonial march. But you would be very wrong.

Jake shows off his class ring Green Lantern style.

Jake shows off his class ring in Green Lantern style.

Of course, this time there was much more at stake, because it was Jake’s commencement ceremony from the University of Texas at San Antonio. After four years that seemed to be over in a minute and a half, my older son was set to graduate last Saturday afternoon in the immense Alamodome.

As I waited with the Mister and C.J. for about two hours (which did not fly by) before the start of the festivities, I reminisced about how far my beloved chubby, blue-eyed baby had come. I thought about when we got his acceptance letter from UTSA, orientation, and that painful moment when we moved him into his dorm. Talk about your emotional rides!

Jake seems to enjoy talking to a college official.

Jake seems to enjoy talking to a college official.

Even within a sea of graduates (Jake’s College of Business seniors joined those from the College of Architecture, which included his former roommate Ben, and the College of Public Policy), my eyes were focused only on my son. Watching him walk across the stage to accept his faux diploma (he has to wait a month or so for the real thing) was a moment of immense emotion for me. I couldn’t be prouder of Jake!

The smoke from indoor fireworks and streamers rain down on the graduates.

The smoke from indoor fireworks and streamers rain down on the graduates.

Plus our family added its third alma mater (after my University of Illinois and the Mister’s University of Houston). Go, Roadrunners!! We appreciate and value Jake’s college education.

We’re glad C.J. has long arms!

We’re glad C.J. has long arms!

Once Jake finally found us outside and we snapped a few photos, it was time to move on . . . literally in many ways (well, after we had spent about 20 minutes trying to get out of the parking lot). After dinner at Pei Wei, we put all of the graduate’s possessions in our cars and made the three-hour trek back to Sugar Land where we finally ended our long day’s journey into night and then into day again (we started at 9 a.m. Saturday and returned at 12:15 a.m. Sunday). Everyone was exhausted.

Definitely!

Definitely!

Now Jake gets to relax for a couple weeks before he becomes a working man. How will he handle the transition from school to the real world? All he has to do is remember the fortune he got!

One-Word Wednesday

We enjoyed lunch with C.J. at the Farmhouse Café last Saturday on the Sam Houston State campus. He has his last final today.

We enjoyed lunch with C.J. at the Farmhouse Café last Saturday on the Sam Houston State campus. He has his last final today and then returns home. Yay!

Love!

Living Large

Big Sam up ahead!

Big Sam up ahead!

When we drive to visit our beloved baby boy at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, one landmark along Hwy. 45 lets us know that we’re almost there: The big, white statue of Sam Houston.

Every time we pass Big Sam, I say to the Mister, “That’s on my Sam Houston bucket list. I want to see the statue up close and personal.”

Our final chance to check out Texas’ former president (chiseled concrete version, of course) was last Saturday when we made our last trip of C.J.’s freshman year to pick up most of his assorted knickknacks, paddy whacks, and gaming systems and haul them home. C.J. will follow with the rest of his stuff, which should easily fit in his Ford Fusion, when he’s done with finals Wednesday.

It’s a tiny visitor center.

It’s a tiny visitor center.

Once we were back on the road after lunch at the Farmhouse Café and warm goodbye hugs, it was obvious that the Mister either was up to something or missed the turn to get on the interstate (both of which are equally likely).

Happily, he had listened to me (it does happen on occasion) and was headed for Big Sam!

Sam gets a-head. This could be for photo ops.

Sam gets a-head. This is on the ground for photo ops.

It seems ironic that the visitor center, gift shop, and grounds are so small, given that Super Sam is 67 feet tall (plus another 10 feet for the base). But the statue is bound to dwarf most large parks.

We snuck up on Sam from behind.

We snuck up on Sam from behind.

David Adickes sculpted and donated the mammoth monument in October of 1994. It took about two years to complete.

Look up!

Look up!

The dapper giant really is breathtaking, especially on a cloudless day. You can’t help but be impressed by its magnitude and Adickes’ skill.

Lots of helpful info

Lots of helpful info

It’s also nice that there’s a handy plaque listing Sam Houston’s many accomplishments for those of us who haven’t taken Texas history at least twice (fourth and seventh grades for our sons, as well as in college).

I’m glad I was able to cross another item off my Sam Houston bucket list. More importantly?

The Mister was a tad grumpy having to look into the sun.

The Mister was a tad grumpy having to look into the sun.

The Mister and I snapped a selfie with Big Sam! Smile, Sammy!!