Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bucket list

U2. I have loved Joshua Tree for-evah. Most of their albums are good, but Joshua Tree defined some things for me way back when. Someday I'd like to get to hear them live.

Funny thing about the whole Bucket List concept. I used to want to drive an Ultramarine blue wee little Porsche down the Autobahn. I used to think that would really be cool. Yes I did. Then I met this guy and I could somehow see babies, marching up behind him, just as clear as if they'd been standing there. And I haven't given a rat's patootey about the Porsche scenario since. Not that it wouldn't be cool, of course. Too cool for school. But... I'll take the minivan that I once fretted over (image, you know), stocked with things like extra diapers and Q's liquid supplement/meal, because we like to think of ourselves as spontaneous and want to be prepared for whatever he needs. I'm only too happy to be cleaning out a sometimes sticky eight passenger vehicle. There's really not much left that isn't all about those babies, including the one who's taller than me. And I'm so good with that. I always knew that I wanted to be wife and mom, embracing hearth and home and beloveds, but I had no clue until I had them how much a person is willing to let go, completely without regrets, in order to do what the family needs.

So yeah. U2. After the next round of braces and shoes and stuff. Or not.

(Not that we should all jump up and find ways to eradicate our grown-up wants and needs, our personalities. Nu-huh. I've got plenty to say about that. The G-rated portions I've already written about, so I'll just let you imagine what details you may...)


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sweet water

I've been hiding.

I'm kidding. I've just been very busy and heavily annoyed at my fallible self, physical and otherwise. Mostly the physical parts. Let's just say that I could use a tune-up that involves actual repairs to my cranky parts. Moving on.

My favorite quote this week: The high road is often a pain in the arse.

The kids have had their piano and violin recitals. Q will be up for his next neuro appointment soon. Two girls go in for their orthodontist check-up on Monday (looking for timing).

We tried to have a really cool geology field trip yesterday, but ended up with something more like a nice road trip which the kids turned into an impromptu swimming excursion. "Plan Z" indeed. The best part was not finding that the bridge was closed after we'd driven nearly three hours. It was not that we had along only enough food for a marginally acceptable picnic (if they were starving they could have had carrots or apples or cheese or crackers). It was that everyone kept a healthy sense of humor (Why advertise an overlook if the trees have grown so high that there's nothing to see? Hmm? Because that did not happen overnight and you could have removed the signs five or six years ago.). Yes we did. We had plenty of potty stops, the nice lady let all twelve of us into the park for free so we could salvage the day with a handicapped-accessible beach and play equipment, the coin-op showers were warm, the hand dryers efficient, and it was just about 85 degrees. There were logs to float around and play make-believe with, big fish jumping, and grape-scented bubbles to blow. Miracle of miracles, almost everyone had almost completely dry clothes by the time we found food again. And I got to drive through miles and miles of rolling green-ness, grasses that looked like they'd been groomed for their cover shots, huge gorgeous trees both deciduous and not, nursery fields of iris and baby Christmas trees... It's been eons since we were out and about like that. I think K was a baby last time.

Spring has about taken us prisoner here. But no one really wants to escape. The days are long and sunny, warm enough to send us looking for cool drinks and sprinklers. The tomatoes are mostly in the ground, all eighteen of them. Well, we're down to sixteen. We'll see how many hang on now. The Sweet One Hundred plants already have blossoms on their tops, so we should have home-grown tomatoes to go with our fat and fluffy basil plants by the fourth of July. (How would I know? I'm totally guessing.) The glads all returned this year, despite not being dug up for the winter. I stuck Cherry-blossom nasturtium seeds in between them and sprinkled a packet of rosy pink alyssum seeds in there too. Should be fun to see them all come up and take over: a potential riot of pinks.

A friend and I were reminiscing about the things we missed most about California, she having been born and raised there, I having spent about six years there. We both miss the predictability of the sun. I started thinking about this back yard we had there. It was a funky little place, part of the house being actual dirt walls. I loved that little house. Very cool. The living room carpet was G's learning to crawl place, thick and comfy looking. I painted the master bedroom with a blue wash that made it feel like one was maybe under the sea (sing it!). Never mind the high speed chase that ended with a wheel bouncing up onto the front lawn. Lizards would get in and freak me out (any reptile over about nine inches suddenly appearing in my kitchen might have that effect). The flower beds in the front were darling, really. Sort of English garden on a smaller scale: they had more shade in the heat of summer, plus huge miniature rose bushes. Well, huge for minis, anyway. It was lovely. But the best part was the backyard. Not the part where a kid was dumping medical waste over our fence. Ignore that. Let's focus instead on the little hot tub that someone repaired well enough that we could use it. And then we did.

It seemed like there was about a three week period where the lemons and oranges and grapefruit trees in that little yard were blooming. It was heavenly. And then, sort of simultaneously, there was the huge jasmine, all eighty square feet of it, bursting little pink buds into the sweetest, lightest perfume... It was followed almost immediately by the roses, hot and honeyed, and then the actual honeysuckle, so big that it eventually pulled down it's large and solid support built of four by fours. Being out there in that little hot tub surrounded by those wafting scents was surreal. Impossible to explain. The closest thing I can think to compare it to is maybe being bathed in a warm vapor of perfume, almost more light than scent. Wild.

That little yard saw a gigantic white dog, G learning to walk, the death (by silenced gun) of several possums, and a birthday cake with a conglomeration of little plastic figures on it: a tiny scuba diver, an itty-bitty rattle, booties, plastic fish...

Seems like a lifetime ago. But every once in a great while, I'm flying along, minding both my own business and that of the five offspring, when suddenly there's that scent of something like warm honey, oranges, jasmine, gardenias. That smell that's hard to pin down, but instantly familiar. And I'm back there again, head back, eyes closed, floating and smiling in the dark.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

It's May

Well, that part is over. The EEG went really well. He did not fuss, at all, unless you count the part where he did not especially like the leads being removed. After a record of almost twleve straight hours of sleep, you would not expect that he would nap, right? Wrong. Ha! I can hardly believe it myself, but thank you for thinking good thoughts and offering prayers on our behalf. I'm sure the very active PT session immediately preceding the trip into the lab helped. When it was time to go, the EEG guy (so incredibly nice) told me that "it was a real pleasure." Aw. Way to make a mama's day. Q was smiley and obliging and cooperative and it really was a good experience, especially for something that involves that much measureing and marking and adhesive on a little head.

Which is a really good thing, because he's got another one scheduled for Monday afternoon. My only concern at this point is that he's got a tiny little raw spot in the middle of his forehead where the adhesive caught. I'm hoping it will be healed up in time for the next session. It's almost too much to hope for, but maaaybe Monday will go as well as today did? Again, prayers are appreciated.

On to other things, then.

We're finally getting better! I kept feeling like I was about to kick the nasty bug and then having another wave of nausea, vertigo, and even feeling anemic or as if my electrolytes were wonky. I'm glad that has mostly passed. The girls with ear infections started to feel better almost immediately, but had the same sort of general low-energy icky feeling. The last one with antibiotics is nearly done -- two more doses? So we'll make a trip in to the pediatrician next week for the pneumonia recheck, but she's looking pretty good. I have wondered if that horrible pneumonia she had at 19 mos. set her up for this and perhaps some future reoccurences, but we'll just be grateful for now and worry about that when/if we get there.

In the middle of all this, Q's walker is now here, he'll be getting a feeding chair I think, and I must order him tiny little knee splints -- to support his legs while he's learning to use the walker. Have I mentioned that it's Electric Lime in color? This cracks me up.

School keeps moving on. Wahoo. I wanted to share a couple of things that we have just loved using this year. First, the Lyrical Life Science series. (Thanks, M, for finding this and sharing.) The songs are a hoot and exceptionally well done, the workbooks just enough for what I wanted to cover this year (while not poking at me for leaving part of them undone, as if one should offer a BS in Biology to eleven year olds), and now even Q knows all about Monotremes and Marsupials. Another really great book has been George Washington's World. Formerly OOP, it is offered by Beautiful Feet, along with others in the series. As much as we have loved these, I wish someone else were still writing exactly this format of book on more modern figures and historical timelines. It's made for great doctor's office read-alouds, as well as using it at home. I know there's more, but it will wait until I both remember and have time to type again.

I've been slowly catching up on things which fell behind while Life took over. I've got a couple of writing projects to wrap up and then a syllabus and supply list to write. Just so you don't think I'm running out of things to do. (insert eye roll here)

I've been reading about zoogenic flu and Cytokine Storms this week. It rather makes a person's head spin: to boost one's immune system or not? Anti-virals or no? Herbals? Homeopathics? Vitamin D? What? I had the incredible opportunity of eavesdropping on a conversation which included someone who researched and wrote on zoogenic flu for her PhD. Very interesting stuff. The code H1N1 is now burned into all our brains, I'm sure. Thank God it appears that the genetic material that created such losses in 1918 is lacking in this go round. It does create a good opportunity to think about food and water supply. Do we have enough band-aids and diapers to last us if we needed to be house bound for awhile? How's that earthquake contingency plan, all us Ring of Fire dwellers? Hmmm? Emergency and disaster preparedness is always a good thing to have in the back of your mind -- those with a basic plan and supplies in place will have relatively little trouble modifying to suit whatever specific situation might take place.

How are you? Well, I hope. And washing your hands. And coughing into your elbows. Got alcohol-based gel hand sanitizer?

Q's out so I'm off. Rest deeply and thoroughly this weekend, people. Remembering always that His eye is on the sparrow. XO.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Popping in

EEG scheduled tomorrow. It's supposed to be a sleep sample, so I'm hoping the fact that he did not nap today, dropped off in his tiny recliner about nine this evening and is still sleeping now means that he's getting up at about seven, raring to go, will vroom through PT at eleven, and be flat exhausted just as they finish attaching the electrodes -- sometime around one.

Q falling asleep early afforded me about three hours of general tidying, laundry folding, sorting, and sweeping, done at a dead run. Housework, when performed properly, makes for a great workout. Especially when begun with a haircut for a squirming punkin and a bath for the same, with repeat washings of the newly trimmed hair so the leads will stick properly.

I know I had more to tell, but I'm about done in. There's more to finish in the morning before therapy and the dash to the lab, so I'm turning in.

Prayers, please, that they'll get what they're looking for tomorrow, so we don't have to do an inpatient study. Thanks much. Hope you're enjoying a good sleep now and will have a lovely Friday. Extra hugs for those littles and their mamas and/or papas.