Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Left You Hanging


Didn't mean to leave you hanging. A variety of things have intervened that kept me from updating, but count that as your good fortune as it means more chapters in the saga...

Check out The Davis Report for Chapter 4--Matt and Davis Do the Microplex

Chapter 5--The Household Changes Sizes

Part of the surprise of Thanksgiving was that my sister, Katherine, didn't make it down to Bryan. She succumbed to a violent stomach bug and stayed at home in Sacche weathering the storm. She did, however, send my niece Emma to enjoy the holiday festivities. Emma stayed when the rest of the family went back to Dallas on Sunday afternoon, and Erin and I got to enjoy "the little parrot." Emma is at a very cute age (22 months), where her vocabulary is expanding exponentially, and she likes to try out every word she hears (since I save cursing for very special occasions, this has not been a problem, so far). For a variety of reasons, it looks like my mom and I will have Emma at least through the 15th, and perhaps through Christmas. What I have forgotten about caring for toddlers could fill Reed Arena, but I remember the main rules: love 'em, feed 'em, rest 'em, change 'em.

Chapter 6--'Tis the Season to Be Germy

Sharing and caring. That sums up Erin's philosophy of ordinary childhood illness. Don't have a germ? Get one. Have an extra germ? Pass it on to someone who might not, through no fault of their own, have enough.

Erin's head cold lingered through the week after Thanksgiving, but blood sample evidence, taken on that Thursday, indicated that she was getting better (ANC up a full 1000 points from pre-Thanksgiving levels to 1700). I, on the other hand, found myself host to an increasing number of cold symptoms (sniffles, phlegm, sneezing, lethargy), none debilitating, all irritating. The tiredness and under-the-weather feeling persisted for both of us. Erin even had the nurse call home on Friday with a request that I pick her up early. Of course, when I got there, she had learned that all her buddies were staying at the park after school, and she was no longer rearing to go home. A little head cold didn't stand in her way to see the Live stage production of Scooby Doo on Saturday afternoon either.

Saturday night, Sunday, and Monday were a different matter. Erin somehow picked up the stomach bug circulating in the neighborhood, despite multiple layers of protection from the carriers. We stopped giving her Celebrex when she stopped eating, since it tears the stomach up pretty bad if not taken with food, and Erin wasn't willing to risk eating anything that was going to come out the other end in an unrecognizable format. True to form, she shared with me the gift that just keeps giving.

Through it all, Walter has stood like a rock, but today it looks like chinks are beginning to appear. He stayed home this morning to read in his chair. I wish him a quick recovery. I should have warned him to beware red heads bearing gifts.

Chapter 7--Putting the Semester to Bed (short and sweet)

Those of you used to the circadian rhythm of the semester may have noted that the goings on in the Buenger household of the last couple of weeks have coincided with the end of the academic year. Walter and I have been grading like beavers, holding students' hands who now wish they had studied and attended more when they had the chance, and listening to litanies of unsolvable personal crises.

I also had to confront cheaters.

I can't give you the details but let's just say that the Aggie Honor System Office is now on my Buddy List and my speed dial.

Chapter 8--What's Next?

The Buengers are ready to embrace the Christmas season, as soon as we can get it all together. Erin has another week and a half of school, with a routine clinic visit to Houston on the 14th. We will drop by Davis's that day and pick up anything he won't need during finals but wants to have in Bryan over the holidays. Walter and I should be done with finals and (fingers crossed) grading before then. Davis's has four finals, including Organic Chemistry on Saturday morning, December 16. He'll be done on the 18th, and we will retrieve him then and officially begin Christmas!

Chapter 9--Lunch for Life

It's that time of year again!


Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation has launched this year's Lunch for Life. Once again, we are getting into the holiday spirit by asking folks to give up their lunch to help find and fund a cure for neuroblastoma.

Here’s how it works: Each child has his or her own virtual giving tree, and your donations will decorate those trees with ornaments and (ultimately) presents. Every donation you make on Erin's behalf has three effects: 1) her tree receives one ornament for every $5 you donate; 2) every donation generates a Giving Code that gets Erin bonus ornaments if you pass it on to a friend to use; and 3) each ornament creates one entry for that child into our Disney World giveaway. For example, if I give up lunch all week ($5/day) and donate $25 to Erin's tree, she gets 5 ornaments on her tree and 5 contest entries. I also get a Giving Code to pass along. (PLEASE NOTE: Erin's Giving Code is 21147) When a tree is full (500 ornaments), those ornaments transform into a present underneath that tree, and the decoration process begins all over again.

I just visited the link and it took less than a minute to give up my lunch! If you're skeptical, spend some time on the Lunch for Life website. ALL FUNDS raised through Lunch for Life go directly to support neuroblastoma research and initiatives. Erin might not benefit from the research, and it might not save her life, but we hope it will. We want to wipe neuroblastoma off of the face of the earth!

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