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Showing posts from 2018

Disney Adventures

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I don't care what anyone says about Disney World. I love it. Sure, it's not the cheapest place to hang out with your family. The lines can be long. There are crying children all over the place. But seriously, sign me up.

In the summer of 2017, my husband and I went to Orlando with another couple. It was our 20th wedding anniversary (theirs, too). We didn't take any kids and we had a blast. I didn't feel guilty about not bringing my daughter because she was having a great time with her cousins. My sister took the kids to Busch Gardens and planned a bunch of other fun stuff. When I talked to my daughter on the phone one day during that trip, though, I heard myself saying, "Hey, I'll bring you to Disney next Christmas."

I said it without giving much thought but then it did start to seem like an achievable goal. So, I started planning. The friends from our anniversary trip let us use their timeshare account, which was a generous gift indeed. Instead of spendi…

Another bodily organ goes rogue

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It all started with my lower back. It was hurting - a lot. I attributed the pain to a yoga class I attended on Tuesday. I hadn't been to yoga in a couple of weeks and figured maybe I'd just overdone it. One too many twists or something. By Thursday I couldn't even walk normally, but my back has been in spasm before so I didn't think too much of it. Plus, my crappy posture and the fact that I sit "wrong" while I'm working leads my back to revolt from time to time.

On Thursday evening I offered to take the kid to Noodles for dinner. Her dad was working so we were just going to run out for a quick bite together. As soon as I got to the first traffic light, a searing pain shot through the left side of my abdomen. I thought it would pass and continued on. I soon realized that Noodles was going to be short two customers that night. I just couldn't do it. By this time I was having trouble breathing from the pain, and I was simultaneously hot and cold. I too…

Broadway-Themed Bedroom, Baby!

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My daughter, for some strange reason, was growing tired of the doggies-chasing-bouncy-balls stencils (in primary colors, no less) that I applied to her bedroom walls when she was a toddler. So, we hatched a plot to redo her room with a theater/music/Broadway theme. We created a Pinterest board and started sharing ideas. Some of the ideas were very, um, expensive, but most were pretty do-able. Ultimately, we started with a few of those sparks but added some of our own, too.

We started by dragging most of her stuff out of her room and shoving it into the basement. We just left the main furniture items like bed, dresser, etc. We moved the remaining furniture into the center of her bedroom and then painted the walls/ceiling white. It took a couple of coats to make the bright red, blue, and yellow dog stencils go away.

Next, I ordered some WallPops from Joann Fabric & Craft. I ordered vertical black stripes. The new paint had to "cure" for a couple of weeks so her room was in…

Seizure Aftermath: The Other Shoe has Dropped

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Isn't it strange how time works? August 19th is as fresh in my mind as ever, but I can't remember what I had for lunch today. I have flashbacks to my daughter's seizure on that seared-in-my-brain day. I see her hands clenched near her neck as she bucked and convulsed. I see the ambulance flying towards us on the shoulder of the highway. I see the paramedics loading my baby onto a stretcher. Now I know why people say that watching someone have a seizure is almost as traumatic as actually having one.

Almost two months have passed since that day. She has not had another seizure. In the intervening weeks, I was able to convince myself that the episode was a one-time occurrence, a fluke. She had an EEG on September 7th. It took 3 1/2 weeks to get the results and even then it was only because I called (I'm assuming the results sat around for a bit). Because it took so long, I included it as evidence in my "everything's fine" analysis. I mean, if the results we…

30-Year High School Reunion: Processing Some Thoughts

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Last week, I flew to DC to attend my high school reunion, which was held over the weekend. I did not make it to the 10-year or 20-year reunions, but this one seemed to be in the cards. Airfares were relatively low, my schedule was fairly open, and I always have a place to freeload stay (with my middle sister and her family). Work is pretty busy so I decided just to work remotely vs. trying to take time off. Plus, I'm burning some vacation time in December, when I take the kid to Orlando for a few days.

I attended Robert E. Lee High School in Springfield, Virginia. I graduated in 1988, before cell phones and social media existed. I learned to type on an actual typewriter. By the way, I realize that the school's name is now politically incorrect but honestly, it didn't occur to us that it was a problem back then. (For the record: if someone wants to change the name, I have no beef with that.)  It also didn't occur to us that some of our classmates might be gay. I someti…

The Worst Day

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I would love to tell you that I remained calm. I wish I could report that I knew exactly what to do. Instead, I found myself standing in the tall grass along highway 494 near Eagan, Minnesota, wailing, "Oh, my baby. My baby."

This was on Sunday. We'd spent the weekend with friends in Cologne. The day before had been full of fun activities. Our friends have a boat and we took the kids tubing on Lake Zumbra. It was my daughter's first time tubing. Our friends have three boys and she watched them do it first. The boys flew behind the boat, laughing and bouncing along on the waves that formed as Dennis guided the boat in circles, steering clear of nearby fishermen and a pair of loons. Soon, it was A's turn and she replaced one of the three boys on the tube (all clad in life vests). I sat in the back of the boat and took video clips of the kids careening across the water, having the time of their lives.

After the tubing adventure, we found a great bistro for lunch an…

Summer: From Fresh Vegetables to Ocean-Eyed Boys and Everything in Between

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Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. - Henry James

I could hardly wait to get to the farmers' market yesterday. Parking is a mild annoyance and the market (held downtown) can get pretty crowded, but I remind myself of how much I will miss it when we're knee-deep in snow in a few months. I picked up corn on the cob, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes (I'm growing my own but they aren't ripe yet), lettuce, cauliflower, green beans, and peaches. I've recently re-committed to Weight Watchers so I just need to make sure I don't supplement those nice veggies with Oreos (I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing, but pretty much all Oreo flavors are technically vegan).
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Somehow, it's already August. My friend Nancy is a teacher and she always says that August is "like one big Sunday night" but I'm not a teacher and I'm not even close to letting summer go…

D is for . . . Don't Get a D, Dammit

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Once our daughter hit middle school and started receiving actual letter grades (instead of the gentler elementary school report card ratings like "meets expectations"), her dad and I shared some expectations with her. Basically, we didn't want to see anything lower than a C. Too much pressure? I don't think so, but I can see how you could make a case for that. In sixth grade (first year of middle school), she had some close calls but managed to complete the school year with A's and B's. Seventh grade has been a much more challenging year.

Apparently, I've now turned into the type of mom who squawks about "unmet potential." And bad decisions. My daughter is very bright. All of her teachers (in elementary and middle school) have assured me that A is 100% capable of doing the work that is assigned to her. What she lacks is . . . oh, what do you call it? Oh yeah - focus. Her grades this year started out great. However, I could tell from the first p…

Dear 13

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Hey Kid,

Happy 13th birthday! You're finally a teenager!

Sometimes I think about the day you were born, after the dust had settled and the nurses had moved you to the nursery. Your dad and I went to the lobby of the hospital to make some calls. When I walked back to the nursery wing, my heart was racing. I had this terrible fear that I wouldn't remember which one was you, that I wouldn't recognize my new daughter. After all, I didn't carry you in my womb and we had only just met. I remember seeing a row of bassinets, each one containing a newly-arrived human. I nervously scanned the row.

But, I knew you right away. I've always known you, baby girl. I know your tender heart and your crazy curls. I know your green eyes and your fear of spiders. I know your infectious laugh and your insistence on pulling doors that clearly say "push." I know you.

I am so very proud of the young woman you are becoming. I love how you treat other people with kindness and com…

Looking Up!

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I don't believe that if you do good, good things will happen. Everything is completely accidental and random. Sometimes bad things happen to very good people and sometimes good things happen to bad people. But at least if you try to do good things, then you're spending your time doing something worthwhile. Helen Mirren
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/helen_mirren_534603?src=t_good_things I don't believe that if you do good, good things will happen. Everything is completely accidental and random. Sometimes bad things happen to very good people and sometimes good things happen to bad people. But at least if you try to do good things, then you're spending your time doing something worthwhile.- Helen Mirren

I don't believe that if you do good, good things will happen. Everything is completely accidental and random. Sometimes bad things happen to very good people and sometimes good things happen to bad people. But at least if you try to do goo…