May 12th 2008 7:45 am
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Friday, May 10
It's 4:30 in the morning. Mom can't sleep; she's been up for two hours. I followed her into the living room and am snuggled up in one of my doggy beds. Seriously, the woman needs to fix my papasan chair so I can snooze in it.
Saturday, May 11
Mom didn't get into the doctor yesterday. We will go Monday. She started coughing yesterday. Seems like it is worse than "Flu-like" symptoms. It is also keeping her awake. Botox side effects are nasty. Dad is worried she's getting pneumonia (from the way she sounds and looks). He took care of Bretta and I today. I stayed with Mom unless I needed something. I let her rest and made Dad take me out
Mom's aggravated because she wanted to get out.
Sunday, May 12
Happy Mother's Day, MOM. Actually, we didn't do much. She still wasn't feeling well. Dad did cook a nice pot roast with carrots, potatoes, onions, and mushrooms. I got a taste of the juice and some carrots. It was yummy.
Monday, May 13
We went to the doctor. Mom got something that (as of tonight) seems to be working. We couldn't get a cab (they were all in some sort of meeting about their strike), so we had to wait for the bus. Dad was on it. I got soo excited to see him, but we couldn't sit with him and I didn't understand why. We sat several rows behind him. He had a package for me. Mom has to call the company though. My cooling vest wasn't in it. The slip didn't show it at all (just my new harness) and said that Mom's sunglasses were out of stock.
We went out to play and while we were out there got a visit from the MPs. You can read all about that in Bretta's diary.
Mom had homework. To help her out, she's trying Dad's index card system of mini flash cards in an attempt to learn the alphabet. He's helping her some, but some of his pronunciation is different than what she's being taught and doesn't want to end up completely confused.
We have class tomorrow evening and Dad has a function tomorrow that we are going to attend with him. Mom has to figure out what she's going to wear since it will be a big meet and greet.
May 8th 2008 2:13 pm
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Big Hugs and a bigger Thank You to everyone who has sent me rosettes for being Diary of the Day. It's a great honor. We've enjoyed our chance to journal my adventures. All of my diary entries are actually handwritten first into a bound journal as a keepsake. My first one is almost full.
May 8th 2008 2:12 pm
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Wednesday, May 7
Mom and I had an early appointment to see the Physical Medicine doc. He's the one who shot Mom's shoulder up a couple of weeks ago. We won't be seeing him again. Since it made the shoulder worse and now that Mom has started on the Botox, there is no reason to go back. He did suggest Yoga. Hello, Mom does it. It hasn't helped. The range of motion is there.
We came back home and Mom and I snuggled for a bit. The Valium hasn't helped Mom sleep.
Thursday, May 8
Mom had planned on going to pick up some mail at one of the mail rooms that has some weird hours. We got on the bus and she realized she had forgotten her phone, so back to the apartment we went. We caught a later bus and managed to get by our regular mail room to pick up our normal mail. We swung through the shopette to grab a drink and head to class. Dad called to say he had gone to Osan and would be late.
Mom's pronunciation is getting better. Mom had to try not to laugh when the instructor was discussing how the Korean people (and even Asians in general) have problems with the "R" and "L". Mom kept thinking about Team America.
We got home and they discussed going to Osan over the weekend. Dad ran into a bunch of friends that want to meet Mom.
My previous post (To Anonymous) was prompted by a rosette that was sent my way. Seems someone took a bit of offense at my "Air Force Rules; Army Drools" badge on my page. Mom showed the rosette to Dad (who stays out of my diary and generally off of Dogster). His reply was to remind us of how many in our family who have served and of those the ones that have seen my page and 'Get It'. It is a running joke, after all, I've got an Uncle and a Great Uncle (different sides of the family) who were Army (WWII and Vietnam), Grandpa P. was a (pretty well decorated) Marine in WWII, another Great Uncle was an Air Force pilot in WWII, Uncle R. was in the Navy, and one of my favorite "Uncles" (actually one of Mom's cousins) is Airborne (and has been playing in the sandbox off and on since the first Gulf War). He thinks the badge is funny.
May 8th 2008 2:09 pm
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Sunday May 4
I can safely say that the first round of Botox hasn't produced the results Mom had hoped for. Yes, I had to alert. We both think that since her left side is kicking (and the injected areas are getting tighter and tighter) that has helped to kick off a migraine. Not a little one, but a full blown, first line meds haven't touched it headache.
Dad was ready to take her to the ER. Mom didn't want to go since all they will do is morphine her up and while it may make it stop for a little bit, it doesn't help the tightness and if by some chance she did drift off to sleep, they'd wake her back up. So we will most likely be going to the doctor tomorrow. The not sleeping isn't helping matters.
Monday, May 5
Mom finally laid down around 3AM. I decided at 4 that I needed to go potty and I was hungry. Dad was supposed to get up about that time so Mom decided to make him a pot of coffee after she fed me, then we laid back down. When he didn't get up, she woke him up; his clock got set wrong so he had to hustle. Mom got his coffee into his thermos and travel mug and got Bretta out. We then laid back down and just snuggled. Mom couldn't sleep and couldn't get comfortable.
She did get up and try to get some stuff done, but I kept herding her back towards the couch or the bed. She finally got dressed to go off and I tried to convince her that I didn't think it was a good idea. Once she told me we were going to the hospital to see the doc, I stopped bugging her soo much. Dad even met us there.
Mom's extra tightening is a side effect of the Botox. They estimate it will last about two weeks and warned it could get worse over the next couple of days. Regular muscle relaxers aren't going to touch it, so she is now Valium'd out. That makes me and Dad happier. We could tell when the first dose kicked in. It was like someone caged the beast. Maybe now she will get some decent sleep.
Dad got the kitchen finished while Mom worked on our bedroom closet and the bathroom. This place now feels more like home. At least that is what Dad said when he found me piled up on the bathroom rug watching Mom fold towels.
Our language class starts tomorrow. Mom hasn't heard back about the Jeep knock off that she wants, so she's started looking at other options. Dad has suggested that she and I go visit the National Museum (which is within walking distance from base). The down side is that every time we have passed it, there are always several hundred school kids out front. Mom wants to go to Osan AFB since they have a huge BX (like a PX). She and I will be getting out a bit more once my cooling coat gets here. After the hike Friday, she ordered me one.
Tuesday, March 6th
We met Dad at Subway and they had supper before Mom and I headed over to our language class. I was the invisible 800 pound gorilla in the room. Sometimes we just don't understand why adults can't act like adults. Just ASK.
The taxi strike is still on. Thankfully, there is a smaller company that also works on base. The drivers don't speak as much English, but they do understand the building numbers.
May 7th 2008 8:50 pm
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We support all the troops (and our Daddy the most). However, we (me and my big sister Bretta) get really sick and tired of hearing all of the elitism BS that comes our way because we are AF assigned to an Army base. Thankfully most of the biddies leave our Mom alone (maybe because of Bretta; maybe because they realize Mom isn't going to take any crap). The way they treat Marine wives is even worse.
So our pin is expressing our First Amendment rights...something our Daddy works to protect everyday....as a member of the USAF.
May 3rd 2008 7:35 am
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Friday, May 2nd
Mom and I had quite the hike. We were told (by Dad) that the MP station we needed to go to was in one building. He didn't realize that he was wrong about the building number nor that the building he told us was on top of a small mountain.
The guy at the desk had an attitude problem. Mom was very nice and polite even after the hike in 80+ degree temps. He really made Mom wish she had brought Bretta so B could give him "the look". We've seen his "type" before. He's unhappy with his job (and possibly his life), but due to the amount of time he has invested, he feels stuck. Seriously, he was almost too lazy to pick up the phone and find out what building number we we needed. He thought that telling us it was "down from the PX" would cut it. HELLO, there are tons of buildings down from the PX. Blocks and blocks of buildings.
Mom thanked him and we walked back outside and found a bit of shade. She tried to get us a cab, but they aren't taking dispatches (though they are running today). So after she gave me some water, it was a hike down the mountain. We caught a cab at the commissary.
We got to the right MP station only to find that the report isn't ready. So we walked to the ATM and the four seasons to get light bulbs then caught a cab to go talk to the Transportation people (who coordinate and hire the movers).
All of the workers are locals, so they don't quite understand #1 Why Mom has soo many guns. (Koreans don't own personal firearms.) and #2 Why Mom is pissed, frustrated, and upset that they are missing. It was a big dead end.
We did get the additional cable box then headed up to the Dragon's taxi stand. While we were waiting (and talking to one of the girls who works at the commissary; the one who thought Mom was blind) a Colonel came up and started asking about me.
Dad got home late since they had a little graduation ceremony for school. He's done with that. They did get a lot done on the place, and still managed to take me and Bretta out to play. I was tired by the time we came back inside and ready for bed.
Saturday, May 3rd
We (Me, Mom and Dad) caught the bus to the Dragon. They had some stuff going on the top floor of the parking garage. We cruised through to look then headed to the PX to get a bigger memory card for the camera, a new bag for it, and some extra batteries. We went over to the outside seating for the food court to change out batteries and cards and put the camera in the bag. Someone had an unleashed, uncollared mini schnauzer down from us. They had to pick it up and it kept fighting with them to get to me. Mom told me to "Ignore it", so I did, but I kept an ear cocked and Mom kept an eye on the situation.
We then walked out the gates and over to the Korean War Museum. We took lots of outside pics. MIGS, choppers, airplanes, anti-aircraft guns, and tanks; they have it all. Then we bought tickets to go inside. We were about to get hassled when Mom pointed to my vest. Once they realized I wasn't a pet, it was all cool.
The first part was flint-type arrowheads (Paleolithic) through Bronze Age arrow and spear heads. Basically the beginnings of Korean history and moving through warfare through the various Dynasties. Mom had to laugh to herself. The flint arrowheads are identical in size and shape to the various ones she use to find out at the lease where the Indians had permanent encampments by the lake. The only difference was the color. No matter where you go....it is the same. Even the saddles from 1200(?) are very similar to our Calvary saddles. Even one of the bits from the 1600's is the same (other than material) as the snaffles used today.
We finally got to the actual Korean war stuff. They also had stuff from Vietnam (they fought with us) all the way through present day. Some of the model stuff (dioramas) was set low enough, behind glass, that the little kids could see it. I did my merekat stance so I could see too. I didn't even touch the glass.
Mom needs to post the pic of me sitting in the Harley sidecar. There was an inside section with stuff we could climb all over.
The down point of the day occurred in the gift shop. Mom and Dad were a little engrossed in trying to find a replica of a turtle boat and Mom wasn't being on guard. I was standing in front of her facing Dad who was on her left. This 3 or 4 year old BRAT came up (before Mom knew it) and whacked me with a box (that contained a toy) right on my back end. He did it on purpose. Mom stopped short of yanking him up. For a second, I thought she was going to take his toy and hit him with it. She went off on him and his father. Some things translate well even if neither party speaks the language. It really pissed her off that the Dad didn't even apologize.
Mom checked me out. I was startled, but ok. She apologized to me for her lapse and she's taking it hard. We came home, washed off my feet, and she and I laid down so I could try to get her to relax while Dad did come kitchen clean up.
I had fun today. I'm looking forward to going to the aquarium maybe next weekend.
The gun situation is leaving her anxious. The section of her neck where she got Botox'd is tight. Tighter than the rest of her shoulder, which, even with the injection last week, is still like a rock. It is starting to get her down. She had hoped the Botox would be a little miracle and give her some immediate relief. It hasn't. She's still getting the headaches and in a lot of ways it seems to have made things much worse (just like the injection last week).
Mom's down mood has her questioning lots of stuff. When is enough, enough? How long do the bad days have to outnumber the good? How much more screwed up does her sleep cycle have to get before the doctors "get it"? I know it is a headache trigger; she knows it is a headache trigger and she's told them that.
May 2nd 2008 12:42 am
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Wednesday April 30th
Oh My Dog! We've had some drama. First, men came to take all of the temp furniture. Mom put me in my crate (and put it in the kitchen) since the door was going to be propped open. Bretta was confined in the spare room.
Then our stuff got here. Dad went downstairs to inspect the crates while Mom put Bretta in her crate (in the kitchen). Dad then called Mom on her cell to say they had one box of her guns. So she and Dad traded off. That is when her stress level went through the roof. She came running back upstairs about 30 minutes later to get her sunglasses, some meds, and a drink. I went ballistic. I could tell she was going to be really sick, really fast. She told me she'd be ok and went back downstairs.
Her long guns arrived ok. The Army-Customs liaison guys were getting all of the information they needed when it became apparent that the other two boxes were missing. She stayed with the one box and sent the guys upstairs to check the stuff that had already gone up. No boxes. Dad called the MPs. Mom had to write out a statement detailing how she and the head guys from the moving company in Maryland inventoried the stuff and how Mom helped carry the boxes out, watched them be loaded into a crate, the crate was secured, and she watched them leave. After the MPs left, the movers tossed the apartment looking for the guns. Mom and Dad were pretty ticked. All of the boxes got unpacked and left strewn everywhere. Huge mess. That made Mom's head worse.
Plus, while Mom had been downstairs, Dad was checking boxes off the lists and they put boxes in the kitchen with us. Mom couldn't get to the fridge or to get Bretta out of her crate. She could get to me, thankfully.
Mom was ready to cry. Between the missing guns, her head, and the mess, she felt like she was banging her head. I stayed with her while she got the bed cleared off, found the sheets, and made the bed. I stretched out on it while she put the room back in order. Dad told her to take a hot shower and lay down. So she did. We snuggled.
Dad went downstairs to take off some boxes full of packing paper when the doorbell rang. The MPs were back. Mom had to find something decent to throw on to answer the door. She must have looked rough because the guy was really apologetic. They had some more forms for Mom to sign since she had given them cd-rom of pictures and a text file of the serial numbers and descriptions.
We went back to sleep after they left. You guys just don't know how much I've missed my big bed!
Thursday, May 1
I woke Mom up at 12:30 to go potty, then at 4:30 for breakfast. We then slept until Dad's clock went off. We needed to catch the 8:30 bus since we never know about the taxis. I tracked where Dad had walked on his way out the front gate.
We got to the hospital early, so we had a bit of a wait. Then we found out the Doc was earning those big bucks...he had an in-patient who really needed his attention. We waited it out. Mom did a good job of keeping her anxiety in check. Mom finally got her long-awaited Botox for her headaches. I don't know why she let him stick her with all those needles. I know it hurt; I could hear her breathing change.
We walked out of there with Mom looking like she had lost a fight with a bunch of bees.
We grabbed a taxi home. I napped while Mom started cleaning up. She finished the bedroom and worked on the kitchen. Mom's language class was supposed to start today, so we caught the bus back to the base and got off at the Dragon. We were going downstairs when we ran into my "little buddy". Mom needs to take a picture of us together. She can title it "Two Little Guys". Mom grabbed something to eat and we headed over to the building where her class is at. Found out they had wrote the wrong day on her slip. It starts on the 6th. We caught the bus home.
Mom fed me a nice plump chicken leg (Dad had already fed Bretta). Then they got busy. Between throwing stuff out (including Dad's old futon frame) and putting stuff up, the living room looks reasonable. Now to finish the kitchen and then tackle the spare room.
We've got another big day tomorrow. We need to go get a copy of the MP report, go talk to someone at transportation to discuss the situation, get another cable box, check the mail, and get some light bulbs.
Mom is trying really, really hard not to dwell on the sentimental side of what's missing. Of the 7, 5 are hers and the other 2 are Dad's. One of Dad's belonged to his Dad when he was a police officer before Dad was born. Most of Mom's have a lot of personal significance as well. Her 21st birthday present among others.
It is also weird that stuff that left our Maryland apartment in boxes, came off the truck not in boxes. Mainly books. We are also missing some other stuff; Mom's got a list.
May 1st 2008 7:31 pm
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Monday, April 28
I woke Mom up at 4:30AM to alert. She took some meds, took me out, and fed me. Her neck and left side was bad. The first line meds knocked the right side migraine down a bit. Enough to make it tolerable.
Between her alternating between hot and cold showers and laying in the dark with ice packs, I stayed curled up with her all day. She was in bed when Dad came home. She got her neurology appointment moved up to tomorrow. I was happy that she managed to keep food down (with the help of some meds). She's been complaining to Dad that she's felt dehydrated since Thursday, even though she's been drinking pedialite.
She was up and down all night and finally told me to just stay in bed with Dad. I still got up to check on her.
Tuesday, April 29
Her head wasn't any better and she was out of meds. We also found out today that the taxi drivers are on full strike now when we called to get one to take us to the appointment. So we had to call the doc and say we'd be a few minutes late.
The bus ride was rough on Mom.
The Botox is in and we go back Thursday for it. Mom told him about how she thinks the shot kicked off the left side and that she has felt "dry" since she got it. Since Mom's head had been hurting for more than 24 hours, it was decided that we would be sent down to the ER. That was a first for me. Mom generally has Dad be her Service Human since she's always gone to civilian ERs (except for the last dual headache when her doctor at Ft. Meade sent her and Dad straight to Walter Reed) and sometimes they can get a little weird about us SDs.
Mom dangled a leg off the bed so I could lean on her while they started the IV. Then the nurse said I could get in bed with Mom. Since she couldn't lay on her side with the IV in her left arm near her elbow and the BP cuff and oxygen sensor on her right, I laid between her knees. I did have to get up to sniff her head several times, but I was very careful to avoid the lines. I did sniff the IV line when I first got in the bed since I see them put it in. Plus I could smell the blood. I was very careful not to touch and looked at Mom to say, "I'm sorry you got a new ouchie." Plus this explained why she's come back from the ER with ouchies before.
I was very still while the ER doctor checked Mom out. She gave me a good ear scratch and told me how much of a good boy I was for being soo still. I laid there and watched the RN put the drugs in Mom's IV. It took a few minutes because she pushed it in slowly. First some stuff to keep Mom from being sick to her tummy, then morphine. When we finally got done, five hours later, Mom had been given 18ccs of Morphine (almost 2 vials). The migraine was gone, but the left side headache was down to about a 5. The cabs were on strike, so we had to catch the bus.
Mom had texted Dad while he was still in class. He called her and made arrangements to come to the hospital since they wouldn't let her leave on her own. It was almost 8PM when we got home. I was hungry so Mom fed me while Dad took Bretta out and fed her. Mom ate a little then got to work emptying out drawers. Our household goods will be here in the morning.
Mom's exhausted and I'm tired. We've got a full day tomorrow.
April 29th 2008 9:21 am
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Friday, April 25
Mom's shoulder hurt so we snuggled most of the day and just hung out.
Saturday, April 26
Mom didn't sleep well and her shoulder and neck were still hurting pretty bad.
Sunday, April 27
Mom was sick and tired of being sick and tired. She decided she had to get out of the house or go stir crazy. I almost got to watch the Olympic Torch Run. A bunch of people from the pound were swarming around the front gate. Lots of Riot Police were out and we had extra MPs all over the place. Mom had suggested we get the taxi to meet us outside of the back gate (it is entrance only) so we could avoid the mess out front, but Dad didn't listen.
So, on the ride out we got to see a bunch of protesters holding up Pro-China signs and waving Chinese flags in front of the university across the road from the pound. We just had the taxi drop us at the PX. Mom picked up some new files for my mani-pedis. We then walked to the Dragon and the parents had a nice dinner at the Mexican restaurant. I dozed.
They stopped off at a desert shop inside the Dragon and got some goodies to take home. Mom got a piece of death by chocolate, Dad got German Chocolate cake, and I got a piece of cheesecake to share with Mom. Then we took a taxi home. On the way, Mom saw a funny sight but couldn't get her camera phone out quick enough snap a pic.
It was some sort of Pom mix. It was shaved. Rat looking tail with a pom-pom on the end and a squared off collar. He looked like he was playing Shakespeare with that collar. It was hideous.
We got home and Mom fed me before we headed back out and walked. It was crowded. Dad did a good job blocking. We had one close call with an out of control pup. Mom wasn't paying attention, but she got me picked up quick enough. I hate it when dogs come out of nowhere.
Mom kept hearing the same Hangul word being thrown about while we were walking (in reference to us) and was wondering what it meant as well as the awkward laughing. She knows the Hangul word for SD and that wasn't what she was hearing. The word was "cute" and the awkward laughing happens when they read my vest and realize that they shouldn't be making noises at me. I've become accustomed to their noise of choice. It is a funny click noise.
We were waiting to cross the street and all of a sudden we were surrounded by at least a dozen Riot Police. I LOVE those guys. Total Seven Heaven moment for me. I wish the parents would have brought the camera. I strutted across the street in the middle of the group which made them smile and made Mom just shake her head. For some reason I'm most at ease when surrounded by Military or Police uniforms.
The parents tag-teamed me to wipe my feet. That was funny.
Mom has found the vehicle she wants. In the early '90s, one of the Korean car companies cut a deal with Chrysler to make a Korando Jeep. It's a Wrangler with a diesel engine. Mom has found 2 that she likes and she's trying to get the info on them so we can go look at them and decide which one we are going to buy. If she gets it, she plans on taking it back to the states as a knock around toy. Mom just wouldn't be happy with a "normal" car. I'm use to having a Jeep too, so I wouldn't have to learn to look for something different.
Mom is going to call in the morning to try to get in to see the doc. Her shoulder is much worse and the left side headache is about to kick her butt. She's wondering if she's allergic to the stuff in the shot.
April 24th 2008 9:28 pm
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Wednesday, April 23
Mom is sore. She had afternoon PT. The tech asked her to schedule an appointment with the Doc since the PT isn't helping. So we have to go back in the morning to see him.
Took a taxi over to schedule our household goods delivery. (Hot dog, our King size bed. No more being crowded) Then walked to the Dragon. It was really windy and not as warm as it has been. Mom got a hot chocolate and I took a nap while she made some phone calls. We went out to the bus stop to catch a bus home, but got off at the commissary since it was open and Mom wanted something in particular for supper.
The cashier thought I was a guide dog. She was convinced Mom was blind until Mom pulled off her glasses.
There is a bit of a taxi strike going on, but until today, Mom wasn't sure of how it was working. We found out how inconvenient it is. Basically, between 4 and 7PM, they won't dispatch to your location if you call (they will tell you that and why). Instead, you have to catch one at a taxi stand. Problem is, the commissary (and the hospital) are in corners. One finally showed up and we got a ride home.
Mom has decided to make me a seat cover out of a sheet that will fold up small for my bag. She's going to make it big enough to fit the bus seats, so it will also work in the taxi. The bus seats do have lap belts and we are going to start using them (because we've had too many close calls riding it as well; those brake "checks" are brutal when some idiot pulls out in front of a large bus).
Oh, the big surprise of the day was that Dad fed me supper while Mom cooked. It was a little strange, but he did a good job. He made sure I took my time and that I chewed everything really well (just like Mom does). He also fed Bretta. After the pawrents ate, Bretta and I both got Mani/Pedis while Dad did his homework. I don't LIKE getting my nails done, but Mom tends to make it worthwhile for me to sit there and take it. She has learned how to shape my nails so that it helps with the way I stand. I also get the full service file and buff job.
Thursday, April 24
I woke Mom up at 4:30AM hungry. I was a little starvin' marvin. So, she feeds me and tells me to come back to bed. Her clock then goes off before Dad's. WOW. She actually ate breakfast, dressed, brushed and dressed me, then kissed a sleepy Dadddy goodbye (after reminding him to take Bretta out and feed her). I took care of business on the way to the bus stop.
Mom has been letting me climb onto the bus by myself. She still won't let me walk off because the steps are rather steep. We walked over to the concession stand outside of the hospital so Mom could get a drink, then we went inside.
Mom likes the PT receptionist. Her hubby and Daddy are both in the Air Force and are the same rank. With all of the elitist BS some of the Army wives toss out, it is nice to know someone else who is in our boat.
Mom talked to a guy who was waiting to get into PT. He has a Lab and a Corgi puppy. Then it was our turn to see the Doc. I'm not his biggest fan. He's okay. Gives a good chin scratch, but because he hurts my Mom, he's on my "poop" list. I watched as he stuck Mom with a huge needle right in her back/shoulder. She didn't yelp, but she jumped when he moved it. We have to go back and let him do it again. Mom told him that we were waiting on the Botox. She's really hoping the neurologist calls before then so she doesn't have to do through that again. We caught a cab home.
Mom decided to keep track how many times we heard, "He's soo cute." We were gone less than 2 hours and heard it 8 times.
Mom has taken some ibuprofen and we are going to take a nap.
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