Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Where does the time go?
Seriously. I turn around, and a day, a week, a month, a YEAR goes by.
Faster, and faster and faster.
Intellectually, I understand that the sum of my life can be represented by a pie graph, and if you keep subdividing that pie by inserting another year, each year represents a smaller and smaller piece of the pie.
I get that.
But seriously. Right now, I feel like time is winning. I feel like life is going by faster than my ability to 'stay on top of it.'
Can you relate?
I feel like there is just this endless sense of running to keep up with the latest 7 commitments coming down the pike, whether it be for Ang's or my work, for Ali's school, for family, for friends, etc. I am feeling like life is moving faster than I am and I can't seem to keep up.
Ever feel that way?
I want to simplify. I want to STOP. Or so I think. Sometimes I feel like I'm not cut out for this fast paced life. Yet, in order to earn more, so my kids have more options for school and extra-curricular enrichment, I feel like I am not moving fast enough. I want to slow down when the world is saying, "KEEP UP! In fact, SPEED UP!"
I know you know what I mean.
How do you cope with it all?
In local news, Julian got his stitches out on Friday. Good thing I have been to hell and back with Bella, because getting those stitches out was nothing short of awful.
Yeah, that sucked. I asked the pediatrician, only half joking, "Got any versed?"
"So... what would you say you DO here?"
Yeah, yeah, don't get all up in arms... I know it's a doctor's office and they don't have an onsite pharmacy... I get it. I'm just being funny here. It's funny to me that the stitches go in in the emergency room where you are lucky to have access to meds to make your kid mellow... even then, we had me singing to him, the Child Life Specialist playing a Thomas the Train video on the iPad she held over his head, a baby-straight-jacket, and a nurse holding his head steady... all on top of the meds!
In the li'l old examination room, to get those buried stitches out, we had, a dusty baby-straight-jacket, me holding his head like a grape while singing, and a nurse failing totally at holding a book up for him to see and reading to him... oh, and no drugs.
I used to have to disassociate emotionally during Bella's wound care and genuinely NOT see my baby girl, but just see 'an arm' or 'a foot' in order to cope. Well, as Julian screamed so hard the bridge of his nose started sweating, I had to do it all over again and just really focus on one suture at a time and try to anticipate his jerks and pouts so the doc had a clear shot at these diabolically tight sutures.
Hey, it's a good thing on the scar/no scar front that there were 6 of them and they were really tightly sewn, but unfortunately the skin had grown over the knots, so it was crazy hard for the doc to dig her way under them... imagine having a big cut on a really sensitive part of your face where the tweezers are plucking your eye brows accidentally while the scissors are literally digging into your freshly healed wound. Then imagine you are 20 months old with three giants hovering over you, and then throw in the baby-straight jacket and board he was on.
All in a day at the office of having a little boy, right? :-o
In other news, the weekend was busy catching up with old friends - my last roommate before moving in with Ang, whom I've only seen once in 9 years, and that was at Bella's AZ memorial. He lives in NorCal and brought the family down to Disneyland for two days, and we caught up with them for brunch before they hit the road back north. His daughter is 6 and his son is 2, so it was a perfect play date at the fountain!
We also celebrated a baby shower for two dear friends who are having their second this summer. I officiated their wedding in Hawaii in 2007, and since then, have married off or are marrying off just about all of the rest of the couples in their friend circle by this summer. Some of them have kids of their own now, so it was really sweet to see these growing families together, and to know that I was blessed to be a tiny part of starting those families on their way.
And yet, we missed another dear friend's daughter's b-day, and a soccer game... and that is simply what it's like these days. Again, intellectually I know that I can't be in all places and do all things, but sometimes even though fun was had, the weekend still feels like a draw.
Blessed for what I have... blessed for what I have... blessed for what I have....
Monday, April 29, 2013
Well, one way NOT to start the week is getting home from the emergency room after midnight on Sunday night with 6 stitches in your youngest's forehead! LOL. Oops. Just did that.
If I hadn't bought him the replica Chattanooga Choo Choo that just happened to be made out of DIE CAST METAL...
... it would have been something else, right? hahaha.
Seriously, though. Julian took a header off our bed last night while we were in the room and managed to land exactly on his FACE on his choo choo and slice his little eyebrow. R-i-g-h-t before bed, too. Kids in their pj's... the whole bit. As soon as I saw the wound, I knew we were headed to the emergency room for a few stitches. That part above your eyebrow is just stretched too tight to heal on its own without scarring and re-opening again and again... Now he'll have a story to tell the ladies...
Luckily, our local children's hospital, CHOC (Children's Hospital Orange County) has a brand new emergency room, and when you visit it (by the time we got there) at 9:30pm on a Sunday night, it's almost allllll yours. It is totally state of the art and pristine, and I said luckily, because it wasn't ANYWHERE we ever were with Bella, so it helped play down any extra unwanted flashbacks.
Books, ipad, stuffed animal, and milk in hand, we marched in and were taken care of wonderfully by the staff. They couldn't have been sweeter. Julian was a trooper, and Ali was a champ. His biggest pet peeve was the pulse-ox probe they stuck to his big toe. The nurse then put his sock back on as if he wouldn't notice, but he wasn't having any of it. They had to give him some versed to help mellow him out, and I am still convinced that he wouldn't have needed it if they didn't put the probe on his foot, but kids are just so much FUN on versed, that we were like, "alright!" Seriously. Ask any parent whose kid's been on versed, it makes them a comedian.
Julian heard his birth song sung repeatedly while they put the stitches in, and the Child Life Specialist, Lauren, held an ipad over head so Julian could watch Thomas the Train episodes on YouTube. Good teamwork!
Yes, there were some flashbacks for all of us, but it wasn't too bad. Mainly, we just knew that nothing was serious since he showed no signs of neurological damage from the fall. As Monty Python would say, "It's only a flesh wound, come on!" :-)
Meanwhile, Ali is continuing to film art lessons with my camera. She wants to have a whole series of online art lessons on her blog. Got some editing to do!
P.S. sidewalk chalk is fun... and messy!
P.P.S. Watching your wife and daughter share a lemonade is always cool.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Whoops! Let a whole week slip by there... sorry about that! Last weekend, we had 5 parties in 4 days, so you can hopefully extend us some recompense. It started with Ali's actual birthday on Thursday, then her sleepover party with two of her BFFs on Friday night, followed by a member of our church who was born on the same day as Ali on Saturday morning, followed by Ali's grandma's birthday party (Ang hosted THAT party, too!), followed by a party for the final round of the Masters. Phew! Ang did an AMAZING job of hosting two 7 year old girls on Friday, followed by her parents, brother and sister-in-law and their two kids on Saturday night! I think Pinterest made her do it personally. That website has a dark side. On the top, it looks like a great reference site for creativity, but underneath, I've noticed certain people feeling some sort of pressure to emulate the OAMs (that's Ang's and my joke... "Over-Achieving-Moms") that appear to create such lavish and ornate things at home...it used to be "keeping up with the Jones," but it's evolved into "keeping up with Pinterest!" LOL
Listening to three 7 yr-old girls interact while playing or making projects is one part funny one part totally maddening. The key is to not actually try to make sense of any of it. It got me (by "it" I mean the conversation) a couple of times... I had to bite my tongue and remember that this is not my world, it's their world, and the three of them communicate quite clearly... to each other ... and I need to stay out of their way!
Last week was a rough week for Julian. He had an ear infection to start the week off, and then, just as that got controlled, he started cutting a molar! Crabby city. An epic amount things were thrown off the high chair last week! LOL. The funniest is his little train. I think we need to get it registered as a lethal weapon. I bought it in the Chattanooga gift shop and it is all metal and deadly! Julian uses it as a javelin, dagger, sword, brass knuckles, and hammer. I don't think he really means to inflict any damage on anyone in particular, but man, that it the little engine that could... kill you! LOL. Thank God it's metal, because it would have exploded into a million plastic pieces by now, and baby, it is going strong still! Well, maybe not strong, since it no longer makes choo choo noises, but it's still going!
Alright, Ang heads off tomorrow on her next business trip, so sleep needs to happen! We are traveling every other week between the two of us. Need to stay healthy, and for me, nothing replaces sleep.
Monday, April 8, 2013
I gave this post that title, because humans and dogs have been coming and going with such regularity that one's head could spin right off trying to keep up around here!
Oh, the puppies...
The puppies are currently being courted by our neighbors and Ang's parents. Coco (the white one) is currently spending his second night in a row at grandma and grandpa's house. Their chihuahua, Lexus, is not thrilled with the new arrival, but she's not thrilled with most dogs, so it seems par for the course. More important, Coco is unfazed by her cold shoulder! LOL.
Caramel has had a couple of play dates with our neighbors and their yorkie, "Brit," and so far so good. Brit tolerates Caramel surprisingly well, according to her parents. Caramel hasn't done an overnight over there yet. They are going to their vet tomorrow to make sure Brit is up to date on her shots and will talk to the vet about what their next step is with Caramel, so everything seems to be moving steadily... fingers crossed. I will definitely miss Caramel. He is SO stinkin' cute, and this morning, Julian and he were playing together, and it was amazing. When we fostered dogs way back when, occasionally there would be a dog I would miss, and Caramel will definitely be added to that list.
Ali and I just got home from Phoenix last night. Ali is on her 2 week spring break, and I had a conference in Tempe for music therapy, so I brought her along to stay with her nanny for a few days so they could catch up while I worked. Nanny lives in Phoenix. That went GREAT. It was so great to hang with Ali on the road trip on either side of the trip. She really had fun with her nanny as well. They went to the Musical Instrument Museum, they went shopping, they went to see OZ, they sewed, swam, painted, and played with nanny's dogs.
While Ang held down the puppy hotel with Julian, I finished out my term on the executive board of the regional chapter of our professional association as vice president. I now begin a two year term as president-elect of our region, which will be followed by two years as president, then two years as past president, for a total of six years. The vice presidency was two years as VP-elect and two years as VP, so this will be a ten year run in service, which started during my first year as a music therapist. I like the fact that I will have served my community every year I was a MT when I hit my ten year anniversary. I think service is a vital role in anyone's spiritual, personal, and professional growth. I know it's been so great and healthy for me. I tell people that by being willing to be a part of the solution, "I have earned the right to bitch!" LOL. As VP, I was able to pioneer a bunch of improvements to how we run our conferences, and now there are some great new opportunities to expand the organizational structure and operations of the board. As with any volunteer organization, we are all unpaid and working on this in our spare time, and as such, sometimes it's not a perfectly running machine, but I love looking for ways in which we can make things run smoother, more efficiently, and have an ever increasing amount of FUN while doing it!
In other news, if you would like to participate in this year's TIME TO FLY race in Minneapolis, come join us on Team PUCK! CLICK HERE to sign up! However, if you can't make the race, how about plan a small FUNdraiser and make a donation with those funds to our team? We are shooting for $50,000 this year! That's just shy of DOUBLE what we raised last year, so we need all the help we can get. One thing that helped last year was people all over the country doing small events that were easy and fun, and then contributing that to the team. We're more interested in that, because if you the reader make a donation, that's great, but if 10 of your friends come hang out at your house for a fundraiser and learn about EB and U of M, then 11 people donate, and TEN MORE people know about EB and the work U of M is doing for a cure!
For example, Ian Swarr created an event on facebook. CLICK HERE to see.
Events are easier than they sound, and people are happy to come. People like to support good causes, and not everyone has a cause they support, but would support one if they felt personally connected to it. You (the person reading this) is that connection! :-) Also, fundraisers don't need to be gala events. They can be small get togethers that raise $500-$1,000. A couple dozen of those happening around the world over the next few months makes ALL the difference! We have a "fundraiser in a box" on the PUCK website which makes it REALLY easy. Check it out by clicking HERE. In addition to THAT, Christie has created a facebook group for Team PUCK where she has posted several great links for fundraising tips, ideas, sample emails to send, etc. In other words, we try to make it as easy for you as possible to have an event and feel like you are part of the cure!
Okay, okay, enough out of me.
Sunday, March 31, 2013
Wow, what a weekend.
Providence story of the day...
Yesterday morning, we attended our church's annual pancake breakfast and easter egg hunt. It was great fun to watch Julian partake in his first easter egg hunt. He picked up on the concept pretty well with a little guidance and encouragement. The funny part was later in the day when he was feeding me hershey's eggs. He would give me an egg, I'd unwrap it and eat it, and he'd get MAD. Come to find out that earlier in the day, he would do the same thing to Ali, but she would unwrap it and feed it to HIM! LOL... DAAAAD, THAT WAS MIIIINE!!! That was pretty much what the tantrum read. Oops!
However, here's where the Providence story kicks in...
On our way home, kind of out of the blue, I ask Ang if she doesn't mind if I take us on a drive through some really pretty historic neighborhoods in nearby Santa Ana that I dream about living in someday. They are called Floral Park, West Floral Park, Morrison Park, and Fisher Park for those locals. Really pretty older homes in neighborhoods with really big shade trees that remind me of "Anytown USA" more so than southern California. Anyhow, she agrees, and we take a good sized detour to visit this part of town.
Within just a few blocks of turning into the first neighborhood, we spot not one, but TWO tiny dogs running off leash across the street ahead of us. "Uh oh," comes out of both of our mouths at the same time.
*Back Story* Ang and I used to be foster dog parents for a wonderful rescue group called Paw Placement in Phoenix, AZ. In fact, I think we were their first dog foster parents right when they were starting out. We LOVED the work, and since it was before kids, we had the space in our schedules and our home to accommodate rescue dogs. We fostered something like 15 dogs before we moved to CA, so rescuing dogs is near and dear to our hearts.
So, without even discussing it with each other or telling the two kids in the back what we are about to do, we immediately went into rescue mode. I rolled up past them. They were two smallllll puppies that looked like chihuahua mixes with no collars on the full trot with tails between their legs, looking and running frantic. We drove by them and up the street looking to see if anyone was chasing them on foot... nothing. Then we doubled back and dropped Ang on foot to see if they were approachable. We were one block from a busy 5 lane street that we didn't want to see them reach. Then, I drove past them, pulled over, and got out to essentially "corner them" on one block. Luckily, there was a house that blocked their escape to one side. We slowly started talking to them and started at about 20 feet from each of them, and after about 10 minutes, slowly got closer to them. By now, one had trapped himself in a little retaining box next to a basement window, and the other was just laying down in a corner next to the house and the back yard fence. We tried calling animal rescue, but no one would come. We sat there, just a few feet away from these guys, with the kids still in the car, and I finally said, "What are we DOING here????" The dogs were clearly puppies... tiny, scared, and tired.
"We just can't LEAVE 'em." I said, to which Ang agreed. So, I just gently kept talking to my guy and eventually sat down next to him for a while, and then I gently went in and scooped him up. He was putty in my arms immediately! I encouraged Ang to go in and pick up the other guy, and sure enough, he was putty in her arms immediately as well. They were pooped out.
So, there we were, in Morrison Park, holding two stray puppies who were the CUTEST little things...
We drove around the neighborhood to see if anyone was out looking. Nope. We even talked with one of the neighbors who saw the whole thing go down. Nope. We certainly weren't bringing them to a nearby shelter, so before you knew it, we're driving home with a puppy in each of our laps.
I laughed at one point, looking at the sky, and said to Ang, "Apparently THIS was why we came to Morrison Park today?!?" A half hour later, I'm at our vet's office. No tags, no chips, not neutered, fleas, puppy teeth, and a nice coat of DIRT. The ladies at the vet were so sweet; the vet was gone for the day, so they hooked me up with free samples of puppy food and even split the fee for the flea treatment between them! How nice is that? Ang gave 'em baths, and now they are just the sweetest, cutest little DEVILS. I say devils, because they just officially 'came out of their shell' when we got home tonight and have been wreaking havoc while I am trying to type this and while the rest of the family is trying to go to sleep!
Now, to figure out what to do with them.
First, we took the advice of the vet's office and didn't put up "FOUND" signs. Instead, they advised us to drive the neighborhood and look for any posted "LOST" signs. So, we did that after church today. Then, we talked about adopting them ourselves, but we aren't up to the challenge of TWO chihuahua mix puppies in our condo along with 16 year old chihuahua Lucy, and two human kids! We talked with grandma and grandpa, but they aren't up for two pups as well. They are both boys, 6 months old, and really connected. They sleep on top of each other, and follow each other every where. We don't want to split them up if we can avoid it. So, tomorrow, we'll be on the phone with two local small dog rescue groups to see what they can/are willing to do.
Gotta admit, though, I am TOTALLY smitten with "Caramel." He's the long haired-red head. He looks like a corgi chihuahua mix, and corgi is totally my fantasy dog. That's the breed I've always wanted. Ali wanted to name them, so originally we named the white one "Toasted Marshmellow," and the brunette, "Salted Caramel," though grandpa and I both think the white one looks like a "Coco" for some inexplainable reason, so his full name is name "Toasted Marshmellow Coco." Hey, gotta have fun with it all.
P.S. Did I mention they aren't housebroken? :-(
So, beware when you have a sudden urge to go somewhere "off the beaten path" or "out of the way," God may have something up His sleeve for you that day!
Happy Easter and God night.