The last two weeks, summarized.
When I left off last time... I was on a train, headed for Greenwich, CT, in the company of my sister-in-law. We arrived to see my brother waving, and jumped in the car for the quick drive to his workplace.
My brother is a Fish Guy - he's always loved fish of all stripes. He manages the team at House of Fins - which is a very cool store. First of all - it's located in the charming town of Greenwich, which I understand is where Old Money mingles politely with New Money, but very few people have Little Money. We did a quick drive around the town and it was full of large homes, lush, rolling lawns, beautiful trees and an adorable downtown.
The store itself has every type of weird fish you can imagine - eels and giant trigger fishes and some fish that was brought up from deep water and was like $6,000. All the employees were super chipper, too - and they seemed to know about this blog OH MY GAH so, um, hi, everyone at House of Fins! I liked your store!
After a brief tour of the store, my SIL and I ran down to a deli in town to get some sandwiches. The employees all seemed shocked that my brother was planning on eating a *gasp* turkey sandwich. Apparently he only eats bagels and cream cheese, normally. It made me laugh - some things never change... my brother and food? STILL THE SAME.
After a nice lunch in the showroom side of the business, and some insider scoop on which celebrity tanks they service, we left my brother to his job, and headed out for their house.
The drive took about an hour, with the crazy afternoon traffic, but still - it was so beautiful and green and lush. I was really happy to see that they were living in such a beautiful place.
When we got up to their very cool A-frame cottage, I called home to check on the kids. Turns out, my son was still sick, and getting worse. This is where parents that travel for business (or pleasure) get stuck between a rock and a hard place. My husband was leaving on a business trip (planned after my ticket was bought, mind you) on early Sunday morning. My flight was scheduled to arrive Sunday mid-afternoon. The kids were scheduled to spend Saturday night with my parents. But NOT if they were sick.
And my kid was sick. After a little "you change your flight" and a little "No, YOU change your flight" I got on the phone and changed my departure for the next morning. I was a little bummed, but motherhood called.
We went out to eat, and had awesome hamburgers at this little red and white checked joint. Then, we passed a really relaxed and enjoyable evening playing with my brother's dog, Hippo. Hippo is possibly the cutest dog EVER. Instead of walking along behind my brother, he jumps every other step. He's just a happy little dude, and I was so glad to finally get to meet him in person.
The next morning, my brother dropped me off at JFK in time for my 9:15 am flight. As we boarded. I noticed that the flight attendents were giving each other silent looks of "OMG!" I took my seat, and looked up to see Meryl Streep was sitting across the aisle, one row up, with a friend. How hilarious, right?
Everyone was totally playing it cool, and no one bugged her, so I didn't want to be the one throwing myself across the aisle and going OMG I LOVE YOU MERYL! so I just took a few poor photos with my iPhone and stared at the side of her head for a good 15 minutes. And then I watched a bunch of Top Chef episodes.
Back at home, the family was understandably relieved to see me - and after handing over the giant lollipops and starting a load of laundry, we spent a relaxing afternoon catching up on everything.
Sunday morning, my husband left. By Sunday afternoon, I knew I was getting the cold that had felled the kids. It's allergies, I told myself. No, not the cold.
TOTALLY THE COLD.
Sore throat, aches, fever, congestion that hurt my face and made my eyes gummy... and three kids who also had it. And no help from my spouse, who was in Rhode Island or something, eating steak and watching HBO.
The week after I came home was sort of a pivotal week at my job, too - lots of unfinished bits to put the spit-polish on, and I just couldn't check out and lay in my bed and moan. I find it really hard to take a sick-day anyway, what with the kids and all. If I'm able to sit upright, I'm happier keeping my mind off of how lousy I feel by forging ahead.
On the pinnacle day of the cold, I picked up the healthish kids from school, and lay in my bed. The cat flailed down the hall with a snake in her mouth and I made the kids take care of it. I was tempted to let them eat cereal for dinner, but decided that I could have a pizza delivered. So I ordered it, and then hauled myself out of bed and to the mirror, where I discovered that Jenny sick = Nick Nolte Mugshot.
So I cleaned myself up a bit, and met the delivery lady at the gate to spare her the infestation and the dog jumping on her. The kids fell on the pizza like ravenous beasts and I went back to laying in bed.
I'm finally feeling pretty much normal, although I do have a headache and slight congestion thanks to our sycamore trees. These last two weeks aged me, though, and I had the birthday to prove it.
I started the morning of my 37th year by turning off the CPAP machine, yanking off the "nasal pillows" and swallowing my thyroid medicine, all before my feet hit the floor. My mom asked me (as she always does) if I had birthday sparkles. I did not. Nick Nolte, remember?
But I got flowers and calls and well-wishes from all corners, and by mid-morning, I had a subtle luster, if not a downright glow.
We headed out to a casual dinner at a local restaurant, and then I got a stack of new books at the book store as a gift from my husband, and all-in-all? It was a lovely birthday. Just want I wanted.
I've got about 7,000 other things to write about, and yet I have this idea in my head that I should do things in a linear fashion. First coffee. Then more blogging :)