Jan 15, 2017: I’m Back!

Okay, my apologies for the one-day delay in posting. If you saw my interim post, you know I spent Sunday (my usual blogging day) writing a book about football. If you know me at all, you know how utterly ridiculous that is. And yes, I was completely fried by the end of the day. When I finished writing at 8:30pm, I still had to cook dinner and was just too darn fried to blog.

So, after a night of sleep and no talk of the Most Boring Sport in the World with the Most Pointless Rules, I am ready to write again!

(I think Chris secretly hoped writing about football might make me appreciate it. That did not happen. Sorry, Chris.)

Anyway! Back to the task at hand. I did take a one-hour break on Sunday to give Chris a break and take the boys to Theo’s school to shoot some baskets and throw a football (god help me). So that was definitely the bright spot in the day.


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Action shot!

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Sam watching in excitement:

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I always think Theo’s schoolyard has the loveliest view:

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Theo taught Sam how to tackle:

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I told him to do a hike pose. This was as close as we got:

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Saturday we did fun stuff, though! After rain for the better part of a week, we got a lovely, sunny, glorious (semi-cold) day, and we headed to the San Francisco Zoo.

Stork! (No, this isn’t a foreshadowing of anything.)

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Stork and giraffes (can you spot the zebra?)

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Since we bought a membership this year, we’ve been making the most of it. Theo always enjoys it, and Sam is game for most anything, so he goes along. But this time Sam actually found something he enjoyed: penguins! We came upon the area that has the rhino, the river otters, and the penguins, and I said, “Oh, the otters and penguins!” Theo immediately said, “I want to see the rhino!” and I told him to go ahead with Chris and said, “Sam, do you want to see the otters with me?”

Sam yelled “NO!” (because when you’re four and you are irritated you must yell the word “no”) and then followed it up with a plaintive, “Win! Win!” It took me a second to realize he was asking for the penguins, since he so rarely asks for anything verbally! We reward all verbal requests (well, within reason…but he rarely asks for anything not within reason) as a way of reinforcing speech, so of course I headed over to the penguins with him! And he stood there at the fence, watching the penguins for a good ten minutes. Apparently he’s a fan!

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Friday was a rather eventful day. I was supposed to spend the day writing, but then I got a call that a family at Stanford had a new baby girl with Down syndrome, so I needed to deliver a basket. Round trip, that takes close to four hours for me—a good chunk out of my day. But I’m happy to be able to help, and it is a nice drive, so off I went!

But, because no good deed goes unpunished, I returned home with a large crack in my windshield, and it’s in such a place that I think we’ll have to replace the whole windshield. Sigh…

Just as I arrived home, though, the Maids arrived!! The Maids is a local cleaning service we have used a couple of times in the past—Chris has gotten me a cleaning for a birthday present or Christmas, which is always lovely. We haven’t had them come in more than two years, but he surprised me with a cleaning for my birthday. And Friday was the day they came. So for a couple of bright, shining hours before the whirling dervishes returned home from school, we had a clean house!

I spent more time than I’d like at hospitals/doctors’ offices this week. Not only did I go to Stanford for that basket delivery, but I had Kaiser visits at three different locations. Good grief. I took my mom to one for her (which was eventful only because some woman in the waiting room was talking very loudly about SYPHILLIS, for heaven’s sake!), and I also had an acupuncture appointment (lovely!). The third appointment was my pre-op appointment for surgery, which took way longer than I expected. I thought it would be a quick in and out, but the surgeon (who I’ve never met before) took forever going through everything with me. I feel quite well-prepared now!

I liked the surgeon a lot, which makes me feel better about going through surgery. She was calm and confident with a good sense of humor. At one point when she was telling me the risks of surgery, I said, “My husband says I’m not allowed to die, okay? He says he doesn’t want to raise our children alone.”

“Valid request!” she chirped. “I’ve never lost a patient yet, and I have a goal that I’ll retire without ever losing one, so I think we’ll be fine.”

I also commented that I was surprised by the length of the surgery (three to four hours), saying, “Really? It only took like thirty minutes for my C-section, and they were taking a whole person out of me!”

She laughed and said, “Well, yeah, but this is a bigger surgery.” She went on to explain about detaching entire blood supplies and that there’s only at most a centimeter between certain blood vessels they have to clamp off and neighboring organs, and I said, “Wow.”

“Yeah,” she said. “We use this tiny instrument to seal them off. You know those clam-shaped sandwich press things that came out a few years back??”

“A panini press?” I asked.

“Yes! A panini press! We use a panini press that’s a millimeter in width to clamp these off!”

So there you go. My innards will be fixed with a panini press. For some reason, I find that quite amusing. I like paninis, so it seems fitting.

I also got hooked up with the most ridiculously large set of drugs ever in preparation for the surgery. Good grief! I think I bought out the pharmacy. Some are only precautionary, though. Stronger painkillers if the milder ones don’t work. Gas-X because they blow your abdomen full of air for the surgery, and apparently one of the worst parts of recovery for some people is all the gas pain afterward. (Theo is going to find this hilarious….) Stuff like that. But several are necessary, and my goodness, it’s quite a supply.

The doctor also told me if I get any cold or respiratory ailment in the next three weeks, they have to cancel the surgery date. Nooooooo! I have become a complete germaphobe in an attempt to stay healthy, and Chris says I’m driving him a bit nuts. But gosh…trying to stay healthy for three weeks in the heart of cold and flu season is tough—especially when you have two young children who bring home all sorts of germs from school! And my immune system hasn’t been terrific for a few years (apparently this is a side effect of fibromyalgia), so I tend to catch every little bug I come in contact with. To try to avoid this, I’m taking all sorts of supplements to ward off illness: zinc, Emergen-C, elderberry, probiotics, raw apple cider vinegar mixed with water, iron. So far so good, though one of my many prescriptions was an asthma inhaler because the doctor heard me cough once during my appointment. I’ve had this cough for six weeks (since the last virus I had), and it’s no big deal, but she wants it cleared before surgery. They are hard-core about this!

So anyway, the week before surgery I have to stop all supplements, so with my luck I’ll manage to pick something up that week. But in the meantime, I’m being paranoid, and I apologize for my germapobia!

Anyway, all this leads me to a post I wrote a couple of days ago. If you don’t like reading about female issues, then by all means skip it. I intended it to be sort of a lighthearted look at this major life change, but I know some people are squeamish about such things. So if you want to read it, click here. If not, then enjoy the random pix and video from this past week, and move along!

Holy cow, how can this be upon us already?!

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The normally dry creek was running high and fast halfway through last week’s storms!

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Another fire:

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Penne with sautéed mushrooms, ricotta, parmesan, and fresh tomato sauce:

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Spaghetti squash with sautéed kale, parmesan, and pine nuts. File this one under “tastes much better than it looks”!

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Our favorite of the week: Korean rice cakes with sautéed carrots, greens, and soft-boiled egg:

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Theo got to hold Cupcake the class hamster, and he was SO excited! Only he and one other student in the class earned a chance to this week!

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Zoe’s position the entire time the Maids were cleaning the house:

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Sweet potato quesadillas with arugula salad and avocado–YUM!

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Tuscan ribolito soup and cheesy bread:

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The spinach and mushroom stromboli EXPLODED! Still tasted good, though:

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Theo had MLK day off, so we took him to lunch. He picked chicken curry, roasted broccoli salad, and a fingerling potato salad. And yes, he ate a good part of this massive plate of food. Growth spurt!

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Okay, this is a video Sam’s speech therapist sent me. The exciting part is that he answers a question that is not a yes/no question! (While being bribed with chips, of course.)





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