Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Last Time

Maggie May's post made me think of this song. Take care out there.

Friday, August 27, 2010

I am in love with Grace Potter

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I swear, I don't even LIKE animals

Why I should not be expected to take the dog to the groomer:

Oooohhh, they have kittennnns... they're soooo cuuuuuuuute. Look at the black one... ahh.

What the hell am I talking about?!? I have enough mouths to feed already.

sleep and dreams, tears and vapor

I had one of those dreams this morning. The kind where you are walking through crowds and up and down stairs. Looking for someone you love but can't be with. In all the meanings of love and be with.

I woke up and cried. Cried about the dream. Cried about Lori. Cried about Austin. Even my dad and how he affected my ability to believe I am worthy of love.

Anyway, I'm behind on updates about Lori. I got a subpoena. They started jury selection. And then just like that, the judge pulled the rug out on the whole thing. Ordered a new psych eval as to whether she is competent to stand trial. (Actually, I think this is a good thing.) So depending on the psychiatrist's findings, things will either start over again at the end of September, or she will be held until I don't know when. I wouldn't have thought that was legal. To keep a person in custody for so long without being found guilty. But if she is a danger to herself or society... that's what they do I guess.

They changed her bail from $1,000,000 to no bail. That says something I think.


I've completely fallen in love with the cool mist humidifier we got for Austin. I can't believe we've never had one before. I'm going to get one for my room. Until then, I go into Austin's room and lay down on the bed and feel that nice cool moisture go into my nose and just rest for a few minutes. I lay there and look at that indian cotton thingy that hangs in his room. (I have them all over the house.) I lay there and I fill my bucket.

It seems to be doing him some good too ;). He has slept through the night in his own room for two nights now! He never stays in bed all night. He usually ends up climbing in with me. So, knock on wood, he's getting more rest too.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

as always, the exception to the rule

Hi. What day is it? Where am I? More importantly... where am I supposed to be?

My boy was in the hospital this weekend. Not to worry, he is home now and recuping. It started last week when he got the same cold that I had and that Maya had before me. For me and Maya, the cold turned into ear infections, 'cause we're special like that. For Austin, it turned into croup. Wait, now I'm getting ahead of myself.

Saturday morning, at the pediatrician's office. Doc says she hears wheezing and says maybe... MAYBE we are looking at asthma. She prescribes an albuterol inhaler and says that if he continues to have difficulty breathing with the use of the inhaler to bring him back to the clinic or go to the Emergency Room. (Insert foreshadowing here.)

Austin wanted me to lay down with him at about 8:30 Saturday night. Before his eyes were even closed, his breath was... I don't know, labored I guess. It was very noisy and he was doing a sort of mini crunch with every inhale. Scary. I called Dan into the room to see and we decided to take him to the hospital. Wait, now I'm over simplifying... we discussed which hospital to go to... decided on the closest (as opposed to the further Kaiser hospital, our HMO)... we started driving and then turned around to go home when he started sounding better... then turned back around when he started sounding worse. In the ER they take us in right away.

Albuterol. Steroids. Some other thing. A water/oxygen thingy. Trying to reduce the swelling that was constricting his airway. More steroids. Heart monitor. Chest X-ray. No pneumonia, but stridor. I had never heard that word before, stridor. Wheezing, no wheezing, wheezing. Each nurse and doctor has a different take on what they hear. This continues for 24 hours... the wheezing/no wheezing debate. Always followed by the question: Does he have a history of wheezing? To which I wanted to respond... YOU PEOPLE CAN'T DECIDE IF HE'S WHEEZING NOW. HOW THE FUCK SHOULD I KNOW???

Transport to Kaiser hospital in an ambulance somewhere around 3:30 AM Sunday, and the doctor there keeps correcting me when I say we went to the pediatrician "today." By this time it was yesterday. Nurses question why the ER didn't put in an IV. Nurses put in an IV after I warn them that he will fight them and he will pull it out. They gang up on him, 3 of them holding him down and 2 of them poking and sticking and finally taping the thing up with some sort of cap so he can't mess with it easily. More steroids.

Meanwhile, Austin has slept through much of the time in the ER, except when he was crying that he wanted to "get out of here," and slept in the ambulance, but damn it if the stupid blood pressure cuff at the hospital didn't push him over the damn edge. Oh, and the respiratory therapist at the ER scared the crap out of the poor kid. The X-ray tech on the other hand was a gem.

At this point I'm up to 24 hours without any sleep and they are still asking questions about his history of asthma and/or croup. Note, about croup, wikipedia says: Hospitalization is rarely required. Yeah, we're special like that.

Again... Does he have a history of wheezing? Why does he have a prescription for albuterol?

I ask them to explain to me (again) the difference between wheezing and stridor. I think maybe I'm beginning to understand BUT FROM ONE DOCTOR/NURSE TO THE NEXT THEY STILL CAN'T DECIDE IF HE IS WHEEZING.

Mind you... important note here: these are not stupid people. They all seem very concerned and want to be sure to use the right treatment and help him feel better. The key issue seems to be that with his upper respiratory system making so much noise, they can't hear his lungs all that well.

So, another dose of steroids. Another breathing treatment. Oh, hay, by the way... there's a play room down the hall. Awesome! Thank you! Play room to bed to TV to play room to bed to TV and so on.

24 hours felt like a week. Maya has been with my parents this whole time. She needs her backpack. Why do you need your backpack? For school. Duh. What day is it?

Dan brings me breakfast. Stays with Austin when I run home to take a shower. Brings me dinner. Falls asleep on the chair in the hospital room. I lay down with Austin in the hospital bed and he falls asleep. Silently.

Beautiful. Silent. Steady breathing.

They send us home in the dark of night. We all pass out. Get up in the morning. Watch TV. Pass out again.

Clean house. Vacuum. Wash sheets. Buy a cool mist humidifier. Sleep through the night. (Him, not me. Freaking full moon kept me up in spite of everything.) But he's home. Resting. When he's not bouncing off the walls.

How was your weekend? What day is it?


Some forgot-to-mentions:

X-ray did indeed show the steeple sign.

Some poor woman who must have been losing her mind was screaming and yelling the entire time we were in the ER. I was sort of afraid to go into the hallway.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

just because they make me happy

Some recent discoveries from the interwebs:

Give us a kiss, tattoo baby. Cute!

Apparently, like me, Amy Winehouse likes her 'nanas so much, she has to make a special trip to get some at night. I totally do that. Seriously.

Look at the little panda walking like a big boy!

What's not to love here? His Holiness with a rainbow umbrella. Joy.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


This sign was on the wall in my doctor's office. It reads:

"We have not succeeded in answering all of your questions. In fact, we have not completely answered any of them. The answers we do have, however, do serve to raise a whole new set of questions about problems we had not thought of previously. In some ways we are as confused as you are, but we believe our confusion is on a higher plane and about more important matters."

What the fuck? Problems we had not thought of? Is that supposed to be comforting?

Thank god I only came in for an earache.

Monday, August 16, 2010

August 16, 2010

Mother Nature hit the snooze button two months ago and then shot out of bed this morning swearing up a storm. Shit fuck goddamnitall. It’s supposed to be summer in Southern California and I overslept. Gotta get to work!

And suddenly she’s making up for lost time. That is to say: It’s fucking HOT out. And just in time for the first day of school.


New developments in the GAWden include:

We have a winner! The first of the wisterias planted last year reached the top of the patio cover! I am unreasonably happy about this. Shade coming soon to a patio near you.

The green! Like my extra fancy ties holding up the vines? They be cut up target bags. I think if you could sit here quietly for about an hour, you might actually see the wisteria growing.

The loquat so generously gifted me by a coworker is in the ground. Happily so far.

A Chinese Flowering Banana. I really wanted this up against the house on the south side, but the man at the nursery said the heat in the summer might be an issue. Poor baby needs shade. So it got exiled to the north 40, nestled under the neighbor's mini-forest. That neighbor is one of a small handful in the neighborhood who is trying to sell their property. I have visions of buying them all up and relocating my grandparents and cousins here. Apparently 2 houses, 10 acres, and me my kids and parents doesn't add up to enough of a family compound for me.

Since I couldn't put the banana against the house, I got a (cheaper) bird of paradise which allegedly wants the full sun (we'll see about the heat).

This sorry looking shot is shown as a point of comparison for when these few plants get filled in and added to and really green up this side of the house in a year or so.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The saddest movie ever made

I watched Grave of the Fireflies because it was put out by Studio Ghibli, the same folks that release all those Miyazaki movies I'm so fond of. This is the equivalent of watching Up just because it's a Pixar movie and John Lasseter is the fucking awesome. Which is completely valid by the way. Sorry, did I just geek out a little?

Anyway, I knew the basics about this movie. Japan. World War II. A brother and a sister making their way after an air raid (by the U.S.A.) destroys their home and... I'll stop there. Lest there be spoilers.

Saddest movie EVER. Period. I'm including Steel Magnolias and Life is Beautiful in this comparison. Shakespeare could have learned a thing or two about tragedy from this movie. Humanity is the worst experiment ever conducted by God or Nature or WHOEVER and deserves to wipe itself out if this is the kind of horrible thing it can do to itself.

And yes, I know there is just as much beauty in the world as there is tragedy and we are capable of doing great things too. But this isn't the movie to watch if you need to be reminded of that. It is a great movie. But I won't be watching it again real soon.


Nina Simone - I think it's going to rain today

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

on the lighter side

Some very good things:

  • I went back to yoga yesterday for the first time since the spring (I think it was spring) and it was great!
  • A coworker gave me a loquat tree she grew from a seed and didn't have space for (she has six and is only keeping two). Yay for free trees!
  • Going to dinner at my mom's house tonight to see my aunt who's visiting from out of state.
  • Listening to Michael Grimm


Switching gears here now people. This one ain't about pandas or cool houses. (Follow those links if you need the lighter stuff today.)

I've been quiet here, but there's plenty going on. Not the least of which is that I got a subpoena and may or may not have to testify for the prosecution and/or defense in a murder trial. I find I keep repeating the phrase "I don't know, I've never done this before."

There's a new article about Lori in yesterday's paper (brief backstory here). It uses some words that hint at the intensity of what happened.

Read this at your own discretion. I'm serious.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

the cute

Look who's a year old. These panda cakes tickle me. I like to eat ice too. In fact I've been thinking about writing a post about my favorite places in town to get ice. Yes, I am that weird.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

working hard

This is the sort of thing they get up to while I'm at work. I will NOT be posting the one of him wearing Maya's old Tinkerbell costume. (Note: that's a plastic hammer. No one in their right mind would let that boy hold a real hammer that close to them.)

good things

I feel like summer's coming to an end. And in some ways it is. Even though the heat isn't even in full swing yet. The kids will be back to school in 12 days. And this is my last week of the modified schedule we do at work during summer.

This is what I came home to a few days ago. He had bumped his head while horsing around on the couch. Dan said he disappeared, quietly, and reemerged a few minutes later with the bandaid on his head. Which was unnecessary, as there was no blood, but cute that he didn't want help (or permission).

Sunrise, yesterday. Are we noticing a pattern with these photos? He's so sweet when he's asleep. Awake he's more like a psychotic linebacker who got kicked out of the NFL for doping. Not really. Sometimes. Shadows on the curtain are from the rosebush outside my window. (Yes, he still climbs in bed with mama.)

Bonus late season wisteria bloom. This summer has been fairly mild (so far, knock on wood) and apparently this poor vine is confused. Confused and pretty.

This tree is down the street and around the corner from my place. There are a few pieces of what used to be a really kick-ass treehouse up there. I wish I had gotten a picture of it a year or two ago when more of the structure remained. I imagine it will all be gone soon. I like to think of the lucky kid who got to play up there.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

mama's tired

I usually don’t dwell on how hard life is. What’s the point, right? Life’s hard. It’s hard for everybody. I think.

But the other day when I was picking up dog poop and thinking about money, I found myself looking at my life objectively.

Can we step back a minute and take stock? Is that okay?

What makes [my] life hard?

My husband is chronically ill. He was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis about two or two and half years ago (there were A LOT of tests and back and forth to doctors). He has a great deal of pain and can’t work. Sometimes I worry that he is in too much pain to care for the kids during the day. He hasn’t worked in four years. He has yet to get approved for any social security benefits. He also has Meniere’s Syndrome and lost his Class A driver’s license because of it.

Both of our children have been tested by the school district and determined to be mild-to-moderately Mentally Retarded. You know that scene in Forrest Gump? When the asshole principal holds up a piece of paper and shows Mrs. Gump where on his chart “normal” IQ is, and then points below a line and says, “this is Forrest.” I've lived that scene twice now. This is not something I write about regularly for a couple reasons. First, I refuse to lower my expectations of them. They are kids just like any other so-called normal kids and have to learn to take care of themselves and watch out for one another and love and be loved. Second, I am in denial (still). Third, I don’t want this website to ever hurt either of them in any way, so in trying not to say too much I say nothing.

I have a good job with good benefits, but I also have a lot of responsibility. Just as I am the only bread-winner at home, I am the only person doing my particular job at work. If I’m out there is no back-up.

And what about you? What makes your life hard? I’m not talking about whining. (I don’t mean to whine here and hope it doesn't come off that way.) I’m just asking, honestly. Life is hard and stressful and it wears us down. It’s okay to look at it and realize the parts that are hard. Isn’t it?

Tell me. If you don't want to comment, feel free to email me. My email link can be found on my profile page.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tift Merritt - Mixtape

Haven't posted any music here in a little while. I had forgotten about this girl, to be honest. Hadn't heard anything from her in a while. And this seems less country to me than her earlier stuff, but also not. I like it more the more I listen to it.