Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Kidney Girls.

It's been a long month or so dealing with kidney issues around here. A few weeks ago Lulu was so skinny and listless that we feared her time had come. Thankfully, after a day full of fluids at the vet, a new diet of kidney-friendly food (sadly, it's low in protein, which is completely the opposite of Thor's all protein diabetes diet) and an appetite increasing antidepressant, she's bounced back quite well. At her two week return visit, all of her blood numbers were better. So, I have narrowly avoided having to be a true adult and deal with making the choice about putting a pet to sleep.

In the meanwhile, I've been worrying about Ellie's kidneys. She's had a series of UTIs this year, and because she's small and doesn't recognize the symptoms as quickly as an adult would, she ends up going down for the count and even missing school, because she's running a 102 fever and miserable. Her doctor recommended we do a medical procedure called a VCUG, where they basically fill up her bladder with contrast and do x-rays as she voids, to see if any urine is backing up to her kidneys, or otherwise being problematic. I had it done as a kid, and it's pretty hard on a little, so I was relieved when they said now, with a kid her age, they put them under. Then immediately started freaking out about the risk of putting a child under anesthesia (which I realize are minimal.) Well, we went into the hospital at 6:30 on Monday morning to get it done, and it went better than I expected. Everyone we came in contact with was so wonderful and kind. The hospital has a child life specialist whose sole responsibility is making sure your child is comfortable. She had a little doll in a hospital gown with all of the wires and tubes that Ellie was wearing, she helped me explain the procedure, and she stayed with us the entire time.

The actual procedure was incredibly quick, less than 20 minutes, and when Ellie woke up she didn't remember a thing, and was plowing a popsicle as soon as they'd let her. We were home by 10am!
The best news is that we've already heard back, and there's nothing abnormal on the VCUG, so nothing wrong with her kidneys or bladder. I will still need to talk with her doc about what we do from here, other than being diligent about wiping and washing and staying hydrated, but it's a relief to have it behind us. I was so proud of her in the hospital. She was so funny and sweet to everyone - she told them she's going to grow up and be the American Ninja Warrior, she joked that she doesn't like having a little brother, and when the nurse was asking me about medical history and brought up diabetes, she piped up "Thor has diabetes!" and I had to explain that he's a cat, adopted, no blood relation. I felt so very proud to be the mom of such a fantastic little lady.

Proud of this little goofball rock star too. It's finally cooling off around here, so yesterday he wore his new back to school outfit from Mimi. Told me the pants are like fireman pants because of the stripes around the bottom (was mad that they were falling down on him, was also reluctant to let me tighten the draw string for him) and he calls his sweatshirt a jacket, but he certainly loved stuff it full of stuff during our nature walk yesterday. He was so funny, asking me if I wanted to kick rocks with him. Sure kid, why not!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Ninja Warriors.

Just an average afternoon at the park with these two hooligans. No matter where he is, when Adam takes to the course, he does it shirtless.

But don't worry, he also takes the time to be a caring father to Lamby.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

This Week.

Well, Gigi and Grizz have once again abandoned us and headed off to Europe. Once again I'm left wondering, WHO DO THEY THINK IS GOING TO RAISE MY CHILDREN?

Both kids are settling into their school routines and having fun. Adam still plays with his buddy Milo on the play ground, but really has hit it off with a little dude named Luke in his current class. There's a boy in Ellie's class who is enjoying sending her lots of love notes, though when asked she says she only has "a little" crush on him, and that she knows she's not allowed to get married until after she finishes college. Rules are rules, kid! She's mostly been working on her American Ninja Warrior training on the play ground, and is very proud of the callouses on her hands from going back and forth across the monkey bars.

In boring adult news, we had to replace our water heater this week after it leaked all over the garage on Sunday morning. Still better than our neighbors, one of whom is redoing their roof, and another one who's been repiping and repairing a leak. THIS WHOLE NEIGHBORHOOD IS A MESS.

While I haven't gone over and stolen Spike from mom yet, I have enjoyed torturing all the cats this week with a shark hat I bought for Yogi Bear. I feel like he's my best bet at a cat wearing a Halloween costume, but our cats are getting into it too.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Another First Day

Check out this big guy, in his old trusty "Friendly Shark" back pack, and his new outfit, selected by Ellie and purchased by Mimi. Finally, he had his first day back at school yesterday, which went great. He's in a new room, but he was familiar with his teacher from last year. She knew him by name and when he started telling her about his new firetruck shirt, she leaned over and cupped his face in her hands to listen to him. It made my heart explode from the sweetness... and then I basically bolted from the parking lot. If he's not crying or looking back, I'm sure not going to give him the chance to do so! He had a great three hours, and came home happy as a clam.

Overall, the transition back to school has gone well. Ellie is loving first grade, but the earlier mornings and longer days are kicking her butt a little bit. Every Wednesday at her school is a half day, so that they can do teacher in services without having to take a full day off of school, and those days we're home by 1:15 and I try to make them nap before music class, which I think helps for the week. We're definitely trying to get them in bed with lights out by 7:30, instead of sometime after 8. She was so delighted to bring in a couple of horn worm caterpillars this week, along with a book she made up about them called Yum Tomato. She doesn't realize that they're actually terrible for gardens and that either myself or Gigi is going to squish her new friends, rather than encouraging them to turn into moths.

The kids went and did some good pottery painting for fun over Labor Day weekend, and on Monday the weather cooled down and we were able to go and float around on Lake Mission Viejo with friends. It was chilly enough that the kids demanded jackets - the only one I have in the car for Ellie is her old Hannah Anderson elf jacket, which I think she got when she was three. Still cute as heck, even if it's too small.

(Different elf jacket, from February 2012. But still ready to wear it out on the open seas.)

Monday, August 28, 2017

First Day of First Grade!

Off she goes, our smart, wonderful girl! She's not only got the same teacher, but she's in the same classroom again this year, so she was incredibly ready and confident about it all. She held Tim's hand while we all walked down to school, and then grabbed her name tag and got in line with her friends, and off she went, happy as a clam! Can't wait hear her report about day one when I pick her up!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Last Week of Summer Vacation.

We've been hanging in this week pretty okay, even without Tim around to help keep this ship sane. It's definitely good that we have plenty of family and friends around - I couldn't do it without all of the dinner mooching I've been doing (yes, more than usual even!) It's especially good to go have dinner with friends with children, because then the kids disappear for an hour and I can breathe a little bit.

Wednesday we went to the Spectrum, ate some pastries from the Hello Kitty Cafe and got a few back to school supplies at Target (a new lunch box for Ellie, a new water bottle for Adam, and then the both whined about wanting what the other got.)

Thursday we went to Fired Up for a clay molding class, as a consolation price after Ellie's ceramics camp for the week got canceled. She built her own little bowl, put some decorations on it, and after it's dried and fired she'll paint it right up. Adam did a little bit of work, then took off for the back yard to drive trucks around and eat his lunch. I'm planning on eating out of his bowl, since I'm the one who actually made it.

We've done a lot of good swimming this week too. Their last lesson was on Tuesday afternoon - we'll definitely be back when the pool warms up in spring, but with Grizz's pool beginning to cool down, investing in swim lessons doesn't seem worthwhile. They do so much better when they can practice in between lessons.

Plus Saturday mornings are for soccer now!

Last night we went out for dinner with Mimi and Poppy, and then this morning we took our scooters down to the trail and rode them up to the park. It was hot, but a good hour of burning off some energy outside of the house. Tim will hopefully arrive at home just as bedtime is upon us (which should be a mess, but it'll be good to see him!) and tomorrow Ellie starts first grade! She's actually going to have the same teacher as she had for kindergarten - they only have two incoming kinder classes this year so they did some shifting of personnel, and we're excited that she has a teacher she knows and loves. I'm also excited that I finally have more than three hours before I have to pick her up every day!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

You've Kept Me From the Room Where it Happens..


Blog hiatus caused by some fantastic vacationing for Tim and myself. The day after the election last year, when I was looking to drown my feelings in ice cream or conspicuous consumption, Becca called me and said "did you see that the Hamilton facebook page announced that they have a new block of seats on sale? We could go in August, between our birthdays." I said "maybe this is the retail therapy we need to make ourselves feel better" and in sync, we both made a sad trombone noise for the nation. But still spent the money on the tickets! And lo, North Korea hasn't bombed us into oblivion quite yet, so we were able to visit the greatest city in the world (in the greatest city in the world!) and see Hamilton, which I have been obsessed with since seeing them on the Tonys at the beginning of 2016. And it was even better than I could have ever hoped. All of the songs seemed new, seeing them acted, seeing them sung live and accompanied by such great dancing and staging and lighting. I was teary through almost the entire thing, just loving the songs, or in amazement that I was really there, or straight up weeping as Alexander Hamilton sings about the death of his son. I'm so glad we were able to go.

It was also Tim's first trip to NYC, so we did our best to cram as much stuff in as possible. We went to the Top of the Rock, visited Central Park, wandered around the West Village and SoHo (where we were lucky to stay in a friend's corporate crash pad for free!) and visited the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Natural History Museum. We also went out for a really lovely birthday dinner at Gramercy Tavern and saw Jimmy Fallon eating only two tables away.

Then I came home by myself, and Tim took a red eye to Germany to work at GamesCon, Europe's biggest video games conference. Red eye, in coach, and when he arrived his suitcase hadn't made it (via a direct flight.) So he spent 33 hours straight awake, and had to also go buy new undies and toiletries, poor guy. He seems to be having a great time though - we were able to video chat with him tonight at 12:30am, and he was awake and having a fun time in the hotel lobby with friends and coworkers. Wearing a shirt he borrowed from someone else, and needing to go back up to his room and wash his socks.

Meanwhile, even after all of their help throughout the summer, Mimi and Gigi continue to keep an eye on me and the kids, because we all know that Tim is the better, more patient parent, and I'm likely to eat my own young, especially on the last week of the summer, and when Ellie's ceramics camp got canceled. Good news, I did not murder Adam even after he spent nap time on Monday pulling paint and drywall off of a corner of his bedroom wall. (In truth, the paint in his room is already slightly damaged from having the baseboards and doors redone during our remodel - if it had been basically any other room in the house, I would have chopped his hands off like some Old Testament punishment...) But we're getting along okay! Yesterday we hung out with the neighbors and then went and had a dinner picnic at the park, and today we had swim lessons and taco Tuesday with Gigi, after the kids spent the morning playing at the park and going out for lunch with Mimi. Tomorrow we start our new music class and tonight I put the kids school calendars into my google calendar, because if I don't have something on my schedule, there is no way I can remember it (today I also finally found out what day Adam starts school, and what Ellie's school hours are. See? I'm getting it all figured out, and SO EARLY.)