Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Goat Selfie Project: first two days

Turns out, I don't really know how to take a proper selfie.

I hadn't given the matter much thought. Actually, I hadn't given it ANY thought. My last couple of years have actually been pretty happy. But. There's this thing in our lives, a bit of medical mystery misery caused by Curly having a weirdo medical condition (which is almost diagnosed but still noooot quiiiite and also the reason for no posts for years). It kind of sucks. And it doesn't really make the mind wander to: Am I Being My Best Selfie Taker?

So. Monday I was hanging out with the goats (Olive and Abelard). As one does. And Olive was being marvelously snuggly, as he pretty much always is once he remembers to stop being perversely goaty and cuddle up. He was making great Blue Steel. My phone was in my pocket  because I was waiting for a call back from the Children's Hospital (Curly's medical condition - which we call Darth - has been misbehaving a little bit). And I thought: selfie with goat! We'll both Blue Steel, Olive with goat face, me with duck face. This is what happened:

Turns out, it's a fail. That's not really a duck face, and it is absolutely NOT Olive's best Blue Steel, although obviously he is giving good goat. Curly threw some shade. And somehow, I decided to embark on the Goat Selfie Project. Because when your teenage daughter throws shade about the quality of your selfies and your duck face, it's time to behave in a childish and immature way?

Day 2 went little better. I kind of love snuggling Olive. Abelard... well, he's sweet, but often decides that the way to show he's happy about lying down and being petted is to hoof me in the shin really hard. Repeatedly.

Turns out, it can be hard to make Blue Steel and/or duck face when feeling content.

And retakes with goats can be a little tough. Because the goat wants to check if the phone or camera is a snack (dude. NO). And then the goat drool needs to be removed, and then the talent (Olive, obviously) gets huffy about the lack of total devotion to him and wanders off.

But someday, I'll have a selfie with Olive that both does justice to Olive's AMAZING Blue Steel, and in which I manage to give decent face.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What Do You Say, Dear?

I'm terribly sorry it's been so long?
I've had so much to say, but my heart has hurt just trying to type it?

I think I'll stick with "I'm terribly sorry that it's been so long." Although it has been some time (a year and a half-ish) since one of my kids wavered painfully between life and death, I suspect anyone who still checks in will understand that it hurts my heart just to type about her illness, her wellness, and everything in between. A strange result of her catastrophic illness has been to sometimes make me shrug at anything, as if "meh. Nobody DIED," and other times to be near tears over eye-rolling crap, like tampon commercials. Ugh. I would like to find myself a tiny bit more predictable.

At any rate, picking back up again on the whole blogging thing would be nice. I've done all sorts of cooking - my boy has been giving me a hard time for buying a cookbook that's all about vegetables. He's calling it my Veg Manifesto and my Little Green Book, and generally eyeballing me as if I might try to sneak kohlrabi, kale, eggplant or beets into innocent-seeming dishes. Which is totally fair, if we're going to insist on being truthful, which I hope we're not, because I might then be forced to admit that I will listen to almost anything to get me through a run on the treadmill. Although I haven't been on a treadmill in ages, because the weather has been absurdly wonderful, and I refuse to hit the Hated Treadmill until the prospect of jogging outside is even less palatable. So, you know, November.

The picture is of the Warner Valley, in northern California.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Perils of Pauline, Part Zillion and Three

It happened and was fixed so rapidly that I sort of forgot to mention it. Curly fell at basketball a little while ago. No biggie, right? Kids fall.

There just happens to be a thin ribbon of concrete rimming the edge of the basketball court she practices on. Naturally, she fell onto that.

Face first.

Chipping off a goodly portion of her front tooth.

We have an awesome dentist, who reassured her that night that it was an easily sorted problem, and sorted it the next day, while telling her how he broke HIS front teeth (bike crash in which he went over his bicycle handles to the ground, face first). It is remarkable to me how quickly it was repaired in a way that only Curly can tell, and I wonder if she just doesn't want to admit she can't tell, either.

It does seem as if my daughter is a walking opportunity for betting: what will she injure, and in which sport? I don't want to know. But I do want a flask.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Kid: Alive. Sense of Humor: DEAD.

We’re coming around on the one year anniversary of Curly almost dying. And by “almost dying,” I don’t mean she scared me. 

I mean Curly was a hospital in-patient and a code was called on her because her lungs were collapsing and her heart was struggling to beat (not-so-fun fact: staying in the ICU with her for extended periods also allowed me to see that the ICU staff actually RUN when a code is called). 

I remember watching a nurse grab the intubation kit that’s in each room as I sat holding Curly’s hand. She was struggling for every painful breath. My eyes must have been as big as my face – there were about fifteen people jamming the room, and another dozen, at least, waiting outside – and the nurse said, as reassuringly as she could, “it’s just in case.” 

When your kid is being toted to the ICU before an emergency surgery, you’ve kind of passed the point of “just in case.” And it was clear that asking anyone “how much worse can it get” could yield some awful, awful answers. All I could really do was nod, wait until the emergency surgery team told us what their plan was, and hold on tight.

So. Good news? Curly is alive, wiggly, and happy. She just donated 14” of her hair so that kids with cancer can have wigs. Not surprisingly, after a debilitating and painful illness, she’s deeply sympathetic to wanting a semblance of normalcy in the midst of something decidedly outside of the experience we think of as a normal childhood. She’s hassling me about taking her skiing, again and again, and again (although she laid off slightly on the when can we go skiing again how about tomorrow after wiping out HARD just after I told her she was going too fast for her skill and the conditions on the mountain. Maybe I should have refrained from saying, dude, I told you to fucking slow down?). She is not the hunched, flinching child we brought home from the hospital, webbed with pain. She is not wavering painfully between life and death - she is alive, and well.

The bad news: I think my sense of humor died in the ICU. I am hopeful that it will reanimate eventually, so that I can at least have a grunting zombie of a sense of humor. Better than nothing, right? Because this ridiculous level of earnest sincerity that I keep sporting is GETTING ON MY NERVES.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Perils of Pauline, Part XXVIILC#$%^!@***%#&!

We've had several tough weeks in our house. 

Curly started having pain right before Thanksgiving. Because it was so very like the pain that started her ordeal, we started trudging back to her various doctors and surgeons. 

They weren’t quite sure if there was something good (but painful) happening, or if she was heading for Ordeal In The Hospital, Part II. 

After a couple of weeks of nerve-jangling worry, a trip to the ER (what’s more fun than the ER in the middle of the night? Lots of things!!) and a bucket of medical appointments, there was finally, finally clear evidence that Curly’s body was doing something good. Painful, yes, but good for her short and long-term health.

So... yay. I mean, really, yay. You might understand how my hallelujah or yay might sound rather wilted after several weeks of worry and an extended middle-of-the night ER visit (in which I briefly fell asleep seated, my head against her bed rail, which left an impressive dent in my forehead).

So how did Curly celebrate?

Why, in a flying trapeze show. With a theme of home-made superheroes. She was SuperGoat (superpower: ability to chew through anything).

As one does.

Also an event in which she BROKE HER HAND (clearly, her true superhero identity is as Danger! Mouse!).


The yay: this is motherfucking outpatient shit! And (excepting the "flying trapeze accident" part) totally normal childhood crap! And also, after about half a million bucks in ordeal-fueled medical bills (let's all shout an extra yay for insurance!), we won’t be paying out on the deductible!

The boo: notice the swearing? I AM SO READY NOT TO SEE ANY MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS FOR A LOOOOOOOONG TIME. I PROMISE I WILL NOT GO INTO WITHDRAWAL IF WE GO COLD TURKEY. No hold-me-down Haldol shots necessary if I don't chat about scans, labs or pain scales. Promise. Crikey. I have already met a significant number of medical professionals working at the local children's hospital. Booze donations accepted at my home (screw-top only, pleeeeeaaaase).

Friday, November 9, 2012

Coffee Messiah Was Right: Caffeine SAVES

My favorite coffee shop that I never went to (not in my neighborhood or usual haunts, and terrible parking) was Coffee Messiah. Actually, my favorite thing was their name, and the neon sign they had in their window: CAFFEINE SAVES. Sadly, they went belly up, and the sign went elsewhere, to bring a ping of happy agreement to someone else who goes past it.

The Smithsonian just ran an article noting that in addition to delaying the onset of Alzheimers!, reducing the risk of skin cancer!, and generally fighting crime!, a coupla cups of coffee improve one's verbal processing. I should probably wax more poetic about the truth of this (to demonstrate my improved! verbal! processing!), since my kids call me The Coffee Zombie (affectionately... mostly). However, we are in a different, darker red portion of my day in beverages. 

So I'll just say: Amen. Caffeine saves.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Keepin' On, But Quietly

It's been a funny summer. Curly's health recovered; as we entered July she finished her last major medications. As her pain receded, her zesty ambition surged - for camping, swim teams, a vegetable garden, designs on a trip to Yosemite next summer (ack, but... hantavirus. still, less than 10 cases. although our 1 in 1 million luck has not been so hot... so, we'll see), and on.
Stumpy and I have been slower to recover from her ordeal, wringing our hands and fretting over every milestone that represents a return to normal life. We have been by turns full of leaping, almost painful joy just seeing her alive and happy, and prostrated by sorrowing worry.

At the beginning of August, Curly had a return of the same sort of pain that dragged at her as she declined over the winter. So while I admit, "sorrowing worry" is kind of melodramatic, it's also just the way things are right now. It would be nice to be a little more even-keeled (or a lot), but that doesn't seem to be in the cards right now.

So we remind ourselves that we have two living, happy children, and carry on as best we can. The pictures are from Glacier National Park - we went zooming through the Selkirk area in Idaho and then into Glacier. Nobody got eaten by bears, although we did get eyeballed rather intently by a trio of them, which reminded me that we were in the rather awkward position of not being at the tippity top of the food chain just that moment.