Posted in Family, Home, Personal

Cabin Fever

It happened on a whim. My husband picked me up from work on Tuesday and out of nowhere asked if we could get our cabin the next day. Our cabin (#5) known as the Freddie B Suite is the crème de la crème of cabins. It has 3 bedrooms with queen sized beds, ceiling fans, central air and heat, a huge kitchen, a rain shower in the bathroom, an enormous wraparound deck that overlooks the Guadalupe River, and wi-fi. One simple phone call and it was booked! We went to the market to grab our essentials.

After dinner, I got started making tuna salad, cucumber & dill dip, cut up cantaloupe, carrots and celery, and bagged up everything for our camping trip. The next morning, my husband dropped me off and said he would be back with the family around lunch. Perfect.

So, here’s the deal. We haven’t had significant rain in nearly a month. In fact, the Fire Marshall issued a county-wide burn ban last Friday, but around lunchtime, just as my stomach began to rumble, so did the sky. The gray clouds moved in swiftly and it got so dark outside, I was certain the apocalypse was upon us. Suddenly, the rain came down in sheets and didn’t stop. The thunder rolled and the lightning struck just like a bad Garth Brooks song. The kids were already in their bathing suits, but there was no swimming to be had. They huddled in one bedroom watching YouTube videos on the Kindle while my mother-in-law hunkered down in another bedroom watching over Olive like a hawk. Ollie had some sort of minor rash that didn’t seem to bother her, but we were still worried. I curled up in the other bedroom, draining my phone playing Ruzzle. Bummer. We stayed like that for several hours, bored out of our wits. We were hungry, too, and all anxiously awaiting my husband to arrive and make it better.

Just as predicted, Jose showed up and so did the sun. My mother-in-law and baby were happy to see him. The kids perked up and ran outside. He lit the fire on the grill, I got started chopping up the vegetable for fajitas, my MIL got started on the rice, and I sent the kids on a scavenger hunt. They did so good!

scaven

The kids finished their scavenger hunt just as Jose finished dinner. It was about that time that we noticed Olive’s rash had gotten significantly worse. We were all wrought with worry and without hesitation, Jose scooped her up to take her to the hospital. I wanted to go too, but he insisted I stay with the kids and his mom. He left in such a rush, he didn’t eat dinner and almost left without her diaper bag, insurance card, or her bottle. I chased after him, making him promise to call as soon as he heard something. DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE TO NOT GO TO THE ER WITH YOUR BABY?! I was stressed out, waiting for his call. His mom started cleaning up the kitchen and the kids disappered in their room, presumably to watch more YouTube. This wasn’t how things were supposed to go.

After what felt like hours, Jose called from the hospital to say she was diagnosed with Roseola Virus. My poor baby. I went outside to make s’mores over the still hot BBQ grill. The kids were pleased, I was exhausted. Olive was asleep when my husband got back to the cabin, my head was throbbing, the kids were “totally over it,” and my MIL was already in bed.
roseola

We had a restless night as Ollie was up quite a bit. I gave her a bath at 6:00 am and that helped calm her. She finally went back to sleep and I went to my work. Naturally, the rain has stopped and the sky is cloudless and blue. As I sit here in my office writing this, I am thinking about 5:00 pm – clock out time. I want to go home and relax in my cozy bed. I want to comfort my daughter…

Jose just called. We chatted about our plans for the day. He said he would be back to have lunch with me. Just as we were saying our good-byes he said,

“Hey Baby, want to stay another night?”

Posted in Home, Personal, Television

Ticked Off

When I was about 8 years old my older sister checked out a book from the school library. She read it, loved it, and insisted I read it too, so naturally, I did. It had witches, warlocks, black magic, and an eponymous clock somewhere inside the walls of the house where it eternally ticks, attempting to pull the world into magical alignment and eventually destroy it. This book wasn’t like anything else I had ever read. Sure, all the Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary books lined my shelf, the spines worn from having read them over and over, but this book was different.  It was called, “The House With A Clock In Its Walls.” I think about this book from time to time and how it affected me. In fact, I still check it out from the library and re-read it every 5 years or so just for kicks.

A few weeks ago I was awakened to the sounds of Baby Olive whimpering in her crib. I got up, fed her, and got back in bed. Usually I can go right back to sleep, but this time I was wide awake. The house was dark and quiet, even my husband was sleeping silently next to me, and it occurred to me that I heard a clock ticking somewhere…
…tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…

I tried to drown out the sound with my thoughts, but I swear it got louder and louder…
…tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…

Finally, unable to take it anymore, I threw the blanket off my legs and sat up in bed. I have a cute, little white alarm clock I keep on my nightstand. I was sure I had never heard it ticking before, but grabbed it anyway to power it down. Holding the clock to my ear like a seashell, I heard nothing. How strange. I crept down the hallway, hoping to not disturb Olive and made my way to the living room. I have an old-fashioned avocado green school house clock near my front door. It had to be the culprit! Do you remember sitting in class, taking a test in near pure silence, and all you could hear was the kid next to you deeply sighing with every click of the second-hand from the big clock on the wall? That is what this sounded like. I took it off the wall to remove the AA battery, but weirdly, the battery was dead. The clock was stuck at 11:13 and wasn’t making a sound. Frustrated, I got back in bed and turned on the tv, eventually falling asleep.

That Sunday, we got up and headed to church (AKA The Flea Market.) Within minutes of our arrival, I found a fantastic square shaped bright yellow plastic clock with a large round face. It was $2 and I had to have it. Later that evening, Jose put a battery in it and hung it above the sink in the kitchen. It was lovely. A few nights later, Baby Olive woke me up for her usual 3:00 am feeding. We did our thing and I got back in bed. After laying there for a few minutes I heard the sound again…
…tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…

One thing I have learned in life is that of you try to ignore something, there more apparent it will become. I swear, with each passing second, the louder the click became. Exasperated, I once again crept down the hallway in search of the nefarious clock. I turned on the little light above the stove and heaved myself up, my bare feet tip-toeing across the counter so I could reach my yellow clock. With one foot in the sink and the other on the drainboard, I reached up to silence. The clock read 3:35 am, the second hand was moving, and not a peep was heard. The Flea Market clock was not the culprit. Ugghhhh. Not knowing what else it could be, I got back in bed, but not before turning on the tv. I fell asleep to an infomercial about a nearly indestructible copper pan and if you ordered in the next 15 minutes you would get the most amazing potato peeler ever created as a bonus gift! (Just pay additional shipping and handling.)

Last night, right on cue, Baby Olive woke up for her middle-of-the-night feeding. After getting her taken care of, I climbed back in bed and cuddled up next to my sleeping husband, me being the big spoon and him being the little spoon. Just as I got myself comfy, I heard it again…
…tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…

Not knowing where any other clock in the house was, I grabbed my phone to light the way. I searched the whole house, even inspecting the digital clocks on the oven, microwave, and coffee pot to no avail. Where could this be coming from? After an exhaustive effort, I gave up, put my phone on the charger, got back in bed, and squeezed my eyes shut. Gradually, I began to hear it again and as the time passed, it got louder and louder…
…tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…

Suddenly, it occurred to me that I was living the book! Was there a mysterious clock hidden somewhere in the walls of my house, counting down to the end of times? Was I a good witch tasked with the burden of finding the clock and destroying it before mankind ceases to exist? Or was I just going insane, hearing something that was never there in the first place? Maybe I was just an exhausted 41 year-old mother of an 8 month baby, but yet, the clock kept clicking…
…tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…

I woke up earlier than usual this morning, just before 6:00 am. Luckily, last night me prepped the coffee so that today me could just press the start button. Once the sugar was added and stirred, I grabbed my mug and snuck into the master bathroom to survey my closet. I stood there trying to match a skirt to my new blouse (another awesome Flea Market find) and I heard it again!
…tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…

Now, I know there are no clocks in my bathroom and I had the door closed. Looking around, I tried to figure out where it was coming from and there, right in front of my face was the answer I had been searching for for weeks! It turned out, the clock I was hearing wasn’t a clock at all and the tick-tock wasn’t a second hand ticking. There wasn’t a clock hidden in the walls of my house, the end of the world wasn’t nigh, and I wasn’t a good witch tasked with facing the forces of evil trying to end the world…

…It was a drip… From my shower… Little droplets of water coming down in perfect one second intervals, hitting the plastic top of my Oil of Olay body wash just right so that it sounded like a clock.
…drip-drop, drip-drop, drip-drop, drip-drop…

I am, in fact, an exhausted 41 year old mother of an 8 month baby that also happens to have a very active imagination. Plus, I need my shower looked at.

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