Friday, March 24, 2017

Cone Making

I had a mammogram today.   I know it’s not a lot of fun for many women but I’m built in such a way that it’s not much of a discomfort to me.    The procedure went fairly quickly and when I was done I called my husband to see if he, the children and my mother (who was over visiting) had decided where to go for lunch.

They had just left the house and were headed to Chick-Fil-A, one of the favorite restaurants of the children.   I’m fond of their market salad as well so I said I’d meet them there.   It was lunchtime on Friday and this particular restaurant is close to the hospital and always full.  

I didn’t see my husband’s car but since I couldn’t find a spot either I parked in the grocery store lot.   Inside the restaurant I found them in a corner, just beside the edge of the food ordering counter.  I quickly ordered my meal and say between my children, listening to what they’d been doing with Mimi while I’d been having my breast tissue scanned for signs of abnormal growth.

One of the things about Chick-Fil-A’s kid’s meals is that the toy/book/game included with the meal can be kept and used or it can be turned in unopened for a child’s ice cream.   Without fail, our children are more interested in the ice cream.    This time I told them to walk to the counter’s edge and hold their toy bag out.   I said the staff would know what they were there for and would ask them if they wanted a cup or a cone and they could tell them.

Sure enough a nice lady came up to the children and asked if they would like some ice cream.   They said they did.  She then said would they like to do something very special and come behind the counter and make their own ice cream cone?  

Yes, they would like to do that.  Yes, they were very excited.   They made their cones and came back all smiles to the table.    And then, perhaps because they had been empowered with the whole making their own cones thing, they branched out, trying new things, tempting ice cream catastrophe. 


My son ate the bottom clean off his cone, saying his cone had “two tops”.    His sister poked her finger into the cone at various locations, making it look like one of those cactus planters.    I was wary ice cream would be everywhere except in their mouths. 

But they’re older, which in this case mostly means they’re faster, and when you’re faster at eating ice cream, you can beat a melted ice cream mess with sheer speed. 

The Big Boy Update:  My son got lost today.  He was up in fifteen minutes for his music lesson at the house and then he was just gone.   We looked for him, messaged neighbors, rang the gong and nothing until we realized one of the neighbors had gotten a new dog.    Excitement of a new dog is a good enough excuse to forget your music lesson is about to start.  

The Tiny Girl Chronicles:  In Detroit we were sitting on the third floor of the mall, finishing our dinner.   I had forgotten to bring my daughter’s pennies for the fountain so I hedged, and said to her, “I’m not sure the fountain is on right now.”   She sat up, got quiet and said, “shhh…”   Then she said, “yep, the fountains are on; I can hear them.”    And she was right, if I stopped to listen, I could hear them too.  

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Missing Sword Saga

My son and daughter ask to carry something in the car with them when we go to school sometimes.   They aren’t allowed to carry the items into school and we usually say no, but yesterday we were headed to the chiropractor so I let my daughter carry, “Stinky”, her Pink Panther stuffed animal, and my son carried a Lego Batman character.

We weren’t two minutes into the drive when my son announced he’d lost the (small) sword somewhere in the seat or the car.   I told them we’d have to look for it later because we were tight on time to get to the chiropractor and then to school before drop off was over.

They insisted on looking for a minute when we got to the chiropractors and then a minute when we got done with the chiropractors, all to no avail.   The blind child said she saw it twice, but we’re not sure what she saw and it definitely wasn’t a tiny, silver Lego sword.

We missed drop off and I had to send them in via the office and a late pass due to sword searching.   I looked when I got home and found, interestingly enough, another tiny sword but not the missing one. I forgot about it after that.

Today after school on the ride home I asked my son if he’d checked in his school purple bag because it was close and the sword might have fallen into it.    I turned around to find my son dumping out his bag, piles of mulch and all, into the back seat of the car.   I cringed.  He yelled.  “There it is!” I heard him saying as I tried to survey the debris damage while staying on the road.

My son went in and happily told dad about the sword he’d found in his bag.   I stayed in the garage because there was car vacuuming that needed to be done.  

Not two minutes later my husband came outside with a large glove on his hand.   He said, “our son lost the sword again…into the toilet, after he’d used it.”  

I told my husband he was the best kind of dad to fish it out and disinfect it.   He told me if the sword got lost one more time he wasn’t helping find it.

The Big Boy Update:  Since there is no school tomorrow my son can finally play the video game that the Batman (and sword) Lego character goes with.   He had to patiently wait for a large patch update to install and then played up until dinner time and had to be dragged away to eat.

The Tiny Girl Chronicles:  Out of the blue tonight, and because I have no idea what prompted this question, my daughter asked me, “mom, why haven’t you farted in a long time?”

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Not Paperwork

I don’t know what to call it anymore.  I use to have to do, “paperwork” from time to time.   I’d like to say I pay every bill the moment it comes in, respond to every correspondence as soon as it arrives and file all things at the point I receive them, only that’s not what happens.    I don’t let things pile up too much, because I don’t like having hours and hours of work to do to catch up, but when I’m traveling or are overly busy I let things slide until I have some uninterrupted time at the computer to get things done.

And “at the computer” is really the point here.  It’s so much less “paperwork” and more “electronic work” that needs to be taken care of.   Is it, “inbox work”?  I don’t know what to call it anymore.   Today I spent several hours getting anything and everything done so that I have zero email waiting to be handled across three accounts, no paperwork that hasn’t been handled and filed and all other matters on my electronic “paperwork” to do list handled.    And it feels good.

I like being caught up.   Sort of lifts a weight off, knowing I’ve punted communications back to any senders and scheduled things that need scheduling.  I’ve returned things and filed things and overall taken care of things.    Tonight I think I’m going to sleep extra soundly.

The Big Boy Update:  My son has a new Lego Dimensions character pack his sister brought home from our drip to Detroit.   He’s built the Lego characters but he hasn’t been allowed to load the game (screen time) to see what the characters do until this weekend.   Since Friday is a teacher workday, he’s doing the best he can to wait without complaining.

The Tiny Girl Chronicles:  My daughter is losing her mind right now.   She ate a lot but for some reason she’s unhappy about anything and everything.   I’m going to go put her to bed right now if she can’t calm down and stop whining (this is what we’re telling her as I type this in the hopes she’ll change her behavior).   She’s saying, “I can’t stop crying and I don’t know why.”   She’s been pushing us with tantrums like this lately and when she ultimately loses, she turns suddenly into a very normal and happy child.  

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Developmental Plane

The Big Boy Developmental Plane Update:  My son has been having some unsettling issues lately.   Let me give you some examples:

  • He wants to crawl back into the guitar case of our music therapist, something he’s not done for some time but initially did.
  • He wants to sleep in his sleeping bag in his bed to make him feel more secure
  • He talks about an upset stomach at night and needs ginger ale to calm him down so he can sleep
  • He has mentioned looking at the block of knives and thinking about using them
  • He likes to have the demo song playing at full volume in the bonus room so he can drown out other sounds and focus on playing with legos
  • He likes putting his headphones on with or without music so he can ignore everything around him
All of this (especially the knife part) sounds scary.   I talked to our play therapist today and she said the exact opposite.   She said he’s entering into the next developmental plane as a child and his world has been opened up mentally to a bigger world.   And with my cautious fearful child, this means worry.   This means he is unable to plan and figure out what he’s going to do with all the thoughts in his head.   

We’re going to have him see Dhruti, his play therapist, a few times so she can help us help him through this new change.   The good news, the great news, is that Dhruti says this is completely normal for him and is a sign of maturity.   She said any time this happens to him we’ll need to support him and help him and he’ll work through it with our help.    I’m glad he’s okay. 

The Tiny Girl Chronicles:  My daughter and I came home from Detroit today.   She wanted to call her brother as soon as we were in the car on the way home.   What did she want to tell him?  She wanted to tell him the exact Lego set we got him.  Had she seen it?  No, I selected it via a phone call with my husband.   But she listened and she remembered and she told him just what she had picked out for him and she was happy, because she likes doing nice things for people. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

EUA No Action

My daughter had an Evaluation Under Anesthesia (EUA) today with her retina surgeon.   We weren’t sure if he was going to do something, nothing, a lot, a little.   We didn’t know if her pressure was maintaining or if he’d have to artificially increase the pressure in her eyes with Healon again.   We didn’t know and weren’t sure because she can’t tell us what’s going on by what she sees so we just have to wait and find out when we see her doctor on these visits to Detroit.

The short story is Dr. Trese decided to do nothing today, mostly in part because nothing had gotten unexpectedly worse in either eye.   This doesn’t mean things got better, but no downhill progression had happened either.

Her right eye has tissue growth.  This tissue growth has closed off her field of vision before and he’s opened it up before and it’s still happening.   At this point he says it’s like looking through a 1mm pinhole camera.   He wants to open her eye back up to 2.5-3.0mm but he wants to pick the right time to do so, waiting for the tissues to mature so that the scaring response wont be to close the opening back off again.   To compare, he said my eyes, in the light of the waiting room, given my pupil dilation, would be about 1.5mm, so opening her up beyond that should give her a good amount of visual field.   He suggests we come back in three months to have him do that procedure.

The left eye has what appears to be an attached retina, something Dr. Trese thinks has been the case in most part for some months now.   How much the retina is functioning is an unknown though.   Her lens is clouded, otherwise known as a cataract, and will have to be removed at some point but for now he thinks it hasn’t changed much in the last four months.   He’s giving a lecture at Duke next Friday and plans to speak to my daughter’s pediatric ophthalmologist, Dr. Grace, at that time about plans for removing the cataract and replacing it with an artificial lens.  We don’t have a date or timeframe on this, but considering it will significantly upset her functional vision we’re waiting until they think the time is right.

Tomorrow we fly home and plan on a return trip in three months for surgery on her right eye and hold on plans for the left eye until we hear more.

The Big Boy Update:  My son likes to go to Dave and Busters as a special night out with the parent who is home with him when his sister goes to Detroit (a trip he thinks is fun as opposed to hospitals and surgeries).   Tonight he apparently won the jackpot on one of the ticket games winning over eleven hundred tickets.   Knowing the relative ticket to value ratio at these places I bet he could get a pencil or a noise maker when he checked out.   I wonder what he selected?

The Tiny Girl Chronicles:  My daughter told me in the car today, “I love only daddy.”  I said that daddy was certainly a good person to love.   She then said, “I love you too.”

Sunday, March 19, 2017

26.2 To Detroit

We did some scheduling wedging this weekend.  On Saturday we had our school auction, an event I typically would arrive at before lunch for setup and stay until cleanup was done around eleven o’clock in the evening.   I did do setup, but I came home for a few hours to prepare for Sunday, today, which involved running a marathon followed by flying to Detroit with my daughter so she can have an evaluation under anesthesia with her retina surgeon Monday morning.

I left the auction early, went home and had to get more things done.  I should have been asleep early so I could be rested for my 4:30AM alarm, but things didn’t go to plan.   I had more to do than I anticipated and when I finally got into bed I wasn’t able to go to sleep.  I woke up in the middle of the night and then again just long enough before the alarm would have gone off that I didn’t get back to sleep.   I think I got just over three hours of sleep last night, which wasn’t ideal before a marathon run.

The marathon went well—better than the one two weeks ago—but not what I had hoped for.   We paced at 4:40 for over ten miles and then we started to lose speed.   We came in at 5:12, which for us isn’t bad, but wasn’t what we were hoping for.

We crossed the finish line and headed straight for the car.   I got home, cleaned up and got ready for the flight to Detroit.   My daughter was excited, I was tired.   We’re here now in the hotel room at 9:30PM and she’s not tired at all, but I’m sending her to bed soon.   I hope to follow her shortly.  

All in all, it’s been a good day.   The weather for the marathon was ideal for this time of year, we had no travel issues and Detroit isn’t covered in dirty snow remnants.   Hopefully tomorrow will continue in this vein with positive news from our retina surgeon.

The Big Boy Update:  My son likes to play quietly by himself with Legos.   He’ll pull out the characters and various attachments like swords, flashlights, hats, capes, and make up all sorts of scenarios in his head for so long sometimes I think he’s not even in the house but visiting a neighbor child instead.   Today when I came up to tell him I was leaving and wanted to say goodbye he jumped up, hugged me and told me he loved me the most, and then immediately went back to playing with the Legos.

The Tiny Girl Chronicles:  We got into Detroit after dinner time this evening.   I saw a McDonalds as we were headed to the terminal and suggested we eat there, to which my daughter happily agreed, saying she wanted to eat there instead of taking the food with us   As we were finishing our meal I said, “this was a good idea you had to eat before leaving the airport.   She replied, “told ya.   That’s because I’m a genius.”

Another Marathon:  Today was the sixteenth time I’ve run a marathon distance run.   I’m not getting any faster but at least I’m persistent.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Velvet Cloak Inn

I was going to set up for our school’s annual auction this morning and as I was driving down one of the older streets in the city I noticed a freshly torn down building, or rather what had been a building that was no longer there, leaving all signs that demolition had only recently been completed.

I wasn’t sure, but as I drove back by later it did turn out to be where The Velvet Cloak Inn had stood for many, many years.   My parents were married a short few blocks away over fifty years ago and I remember my mother telling me on occasion that they stayed at The Velvet Cloak Inn on their wedding night…and then went back to work the next day because their honeymoon wasn’t until later after school let out (they were teachers).

I’ve been to the hotel a few times in my life, more than once for a wedding or reception.   It stood there through renovations and demolition of many things around it as it was a landmark of sorts, but it appears its time had come.  Good times, good memories.

The Big Boy Update:  My son said the other day, “don’t let poison ivy kiss you!”  I thought it was a rather clever saying until I found out Poison Ivy was a character from D.C. Comics—a bad guy (girl?).

The Tiny Girl Chronicles:  My daughter was eating pasta last night for dinner and was apparently enjoying it a lot because she suddenly said, “mmm mmm mmm, shake your bushy tail.”