mysid: the name mysid on a black and white photo of two children with a tricycle (tricycle)
I can't complain; I had a very nice Christmas. We went to church Christmas Eve as my son was singing with a choir in the late-afternoon "Family Service"--that's the one with a Christmas Pageant and in which crying babies are OK--and I got to do a good deed by taking care of the children in the nursery during the 7pm service. (Husband and two kids went to that service to enjoy the music/candlelight while Daughter and I handled the nursery.)

The next morning, the kids let my husband I sleep in. (Truthfully, the teenager would have enjoyed sleeping for a few more hours.) Then my in-laws came over so we could all open gifts together and have brunch. I forgot to put the egg casserole in the oven until we'd almost finished the gifts, but everyone was nice enough not to moan, "I'm so hungry." Then after some down time, we went over to the in-laws' house for Christmas dinner. Everyone had a very pleasant day enjoying each other's company. Plus, everyone gave gifts they'd selected with thought, and the recipients all seemed grateful.

Christmas Part Two )

Is New Year's Eve here yet?
mysid: (rainbow flag)
I was so nervous last night watching the election results that I actually threw up. No lie. Thank goodness they declared President Obama the winner before I went to bed last night, or I wouldn't have slept a wink. I wanted to do a Snoopy-esque happy dance, but my husband and I have a tacit agreement not to exult too openly when the other's candidate loses.

But I did feel like dancing in the streets, waving a rainbow flag, when I heard that not only did President Obama beat Mittens, but four states, FOUR, either voted in favor of marriage equality or voted against an amendment banning it.*

To quote Debbie in Queer as Folk: “A word of advice, my sweet Emmett - mourn the losses because they are many. But celebrate the victories because they are few.”

For a complete roundup of significant votes, see this entry by [personal profile] gehayi.

*Minnesota voters defeated a ballot measure that would have made marriage discrimination part of their state constitution, and voters in Maine, Maryland, and Washington voted to legalize marriage equality.
mysid: (rainbow flag)
It's Election Day here in the USA, and all over the country, people are reminding their friends and loved ones to go vote. At my house, we have a different tradition: My husband and I very carefully mention nothing about the election until after the polls close, each hoping the other will forget to vote. We have never supported the same candidate for president, and we both tend to vote along our different party lines in other elections as well.

He likes to vote on the way to work, and as I don't work on Election Day, I like to go a bit later in the morning when lines are shorter. I saw in the polling book that he'd already voted today, so my hopes--slim as they were--that he'd forget to vote were dashed.

Wouldn't it be nice if Republicans all across the country simply forgot to vote today? Yeah, I don't think it very likely either.

So many people have said that they can't wait until the day after Election Day: no more political ads on TV, no more rebo-calls from politician's campaigns, etc. I'm only looking forward to tomorrow if President Obama wins; my stomach is in knots until then.
mysid: the name mysid on a black and white photo of two children with a tricycle (tricycle)
My teenage daughter went to a costume party tonight. (It was supposed to be last Sunday, but got postponed by the hurricane.) One of the girls went as "God's Gift to Men". She wore a large bow and a gift tag that said, "To: Men, From: God".
mysid: the name mysid on a black and white photo of two children with a tricycle (tricycle)
We lost power--and the internet--shortly after I made my last post, and we still don't have them back. We're part of a very small, and all residential, power outage, so we're low priority for repair. We've been given estimates to get our power back ranging from this Friday to next Wednesday.

The good news is that we have relatives in the area, and they have power. We relocated this evening, and I once again have internet. Yay!
mysid: the name mysid on a black and white photo of two children with a tricycle (tricycle)
The eye of hurricane is getting pretty close now, and trees are begining to fall. A large one just came down at my husband's office, as did one across the street from it. (We were told by a tenant in the apartment above the office.)

Our town is officially postponing Trick or Treating until Friday.
mysid: (rainbow flag)
My daughter plays in the pep band at her high school's football games. (Not enough band-geeks to have a marching band, so they have a small pep band instead.) My husband and I decided to go to last night's game, the second I've attended this year.

I hadn't been there long before I noticed something highly disturbing: People returning from the refreshment stand were carrying food in wrappers with the Chick-fil-A logo. Either the school bought a bunch of Chick-fil-A food and was reselling it, or they had a deal with Chick-fil-A to supply food for the refreshment stand and to split the profits. Either way, Chick-fil-A was making money off our school.

This isn't right, people! Chick-fil-A is evil! They donate corprate profits to anti-gay hate groups! We have gay kids in our school. I'm sure they love seeing their classmates purchasing Chick-fil-A items.
mysid: (rainbow flag)
My brother, a staunch Republican, knowing that I'm just as staunchly Democrat, said to my twelve year old son, "Try to convince your mom to vote for Romney, would you?"

My son, "I wouldn't do that."

"Why not?"

"Because I like Big Bird."
mysid: photo of a baby with WTF? written on it (WTF? Baby)
True confession time: I'm married to a Republican. Shocking, I know, but he does have some good qualities.

I mention it because today he received a letter from Mitt Romney. I begins, "I am running for President of the United States, and because you are one of America's most notable Republicans, I want to personally let you know why." (Emphasis mine.)

Now what, you may ask, has my husband done to make him so "notable", and in fact "one of America's most notable Republicans"? Well, he's registered Republican, and he almost always votes in primaries and general elections. That's it. He's never held public office, never made political contributions, never even appeared on Fox News. Wow. Way to set the bar high, Mitt.

Does his campaign staff really think that such obvious ass-kissing is really the way to soften someone up before asking for a contribution? That's insulting the intelligence of everyone who got the letter.

Oh, and if you are wondering what Mitt reveals about his reasons for running for Pres, the two he put in bold type are: "I am sick and tired of BIG GOVERNMENT," and "I am running for president to bring true and lasing fiscal discipline to Washington." Since his version of "fiscal discipline" in the private sector was to fire people and ship jobs overseas, I'm not too enthused with the possibility of how he'll do it to the whole country.
mysid: the name mysid on a black and white photo of two children with a tricycle (tricycle)
I bought a package of wonton wrappers (fresh pasta squares) and decided to make some homemade ravioli. (I've done so once before, and they were delish.) I made a cheese filling, assembled the ravioli, and put them in the fridge until dinner. Time consuming, but hopefully worth the effort.

I boiled them in two batches. The first batch came out beautifully; the second batch, not so much. I think all but one of the ravioli in the second batch leaked open, and I ended up with ricotta soup with square noodles--not what I was going for.

At least I've been reminded why it's easier to buy premade filled pastas. A lot quicker, and much less likely to self-destruct.
mysid: (rainbow flag)
When we got our dog last summer, he'd just been neutered earlier that day. Given that Sean was an adult male dog, and awash in testosterone, I fully expected to see him hump something in the house. And I'd be the one who'd have to explain to my kids what the hell he was doing. He didn't, and I thought I'd dodged a bullet.

Tonight, after many months of celibacy, my eunuch dog decides that my daughter's giraffe neck pillow* is irresistable. He goes into a frenzy of manipulating it into just the right position, humping it, snuggling it, and then doing it all over again.

I heard my husband and older daughter laughing hyterically in another room, and then daughter carried the giraffe into me and said, "Watch this." Sean, following at her heels, repeated the performance as soon as she dropped the giraffe onto the floor. (Younger daughter, owner of giraffe pillow, didn't witness this, and we've all sworn not to tell her.)

As my dog enjoyed a post-coital snuggle with the giraffe, I said, "It looks like Sean has a girlfriend."

My daughter then said what I was really thinking--"Actually, it looks like a boy giraffe. Sean has a boyfriend."

* Younger daughter's favorite animal is the giraffe, and as she often steals my neck pillow on long trips, I gave her this last Christmas.
mysid: the name mysid on a black and white photo of two children with a tricycle (tricycle)
I was at a staff meeting of the preschool where I work, and as it's part of a church, the head pastor was attending as well. (He doesn't usually, but special circumstances.)

Anyway... the pastor was making a point and started to say, "We're all baptised Christians here," and then he looked directly across the table and saw me--and remembered that I'm an atheist. (An atheist who teaches in Sunday School, volunteers with the children's choirs, and brings her kids to Sunday School and church. Yeah, I'm hardcore.) He immediately laughed and said, "Well, almost all of us."

I laughed and said, "Well, I was baptized."

After the meeting, he apologized and said that he hoped I wasn't offended. I assured him that I wasn't and added, "My brother calls me 'the heathen'".

"Oh, I think you're closer to the Kingdom than you let on," he replied.

Still an atheist, but I guess I'm a good one. It's kind of like when my college roommate said that it was OK that I didn't drink because "You're a fun non-drinker."
mysid: photo of a baby with WTF? written on it (WTF? Baby)
I work at a preschool that has both morning and afternoon classes. We also have "Lunch Bunch" between the two sessions. Parents can pay an extra fee to have their children stay for lunch and extra playtime.

On Friday, a Dad came by to pick up his four-year-old son after "Lunch Bunch." He informed the director, who happened to be helping watch the kids that day, that this was his son's last day. His wife had just gotten a new job that required the family to move out of state. He said that he'd hoped his son could stay in school for one more week, but now they were moving sooner. His son overheard this and was as surprised as anyone else as he hadn't been forewarned.

And then Dad took his son by the hand and started to leave without letting his son say good-bye to his teachers! It was bad enough that the boy would never get to say good-bye to his friends, but there wasn't much we could do about that as most of them had already gone home. But his teachers were just down the hall getting ready for their afternoon class. The director had to suggest to the father that his son should get a chance to say good-bye, and Dad reluctantly took a few minutes to let him do so.

As they walked out of the building, I overheard the boy asking his dad, "But what about all the projects I made? How will I get them?"

Dad replied, "Maybe I'll pick them up next week."

Yeah, right.
mysid: photo of a baby with WTF? written on it (WTF? Baby)
OK, market research people. I know you have a job to do, and that job sometimes involves surveying people to find out what they think or feel about various topics. I'd like to help you--no, really I would. But if you ever want me to help you with a telephone survey again, you're going to have to adhere to a few ground rules.

1) Keep telephone surveys SHORT. Chances are, you've caught me in the middle of my life happening, and I can only spare you a few minutes. If the survey goes on, and on, and on, not only are you seriously inconveniencing me, but you're hurting yourself as well, for I may not finish the survey, and I'll be far less likely to agree to be questioned next time.

Yesterday's caller ended up wasting both of our precious time. His survey went on so long, that I ultimately had to hang up the phone (time to take my son to karate) before the survey was complete, thus rendering all my answers null and void. Plus, I refused to even start a survey with tonight's caller as I'd sacrificed enough time to surveys this week.

2) A good way to shorten your survey, Don't ask redundant questions. The same question asked three slightly different ways is not three different questions. Asked and answered; move on.

More than once yesterday, I asked the caller, "Didn't you already ask this?" The problem was especially acute as I could only pick out a few key words in each question, due to:

3) Please make sure that the callers you hire do not have thick accents. Given the lack of visual clues in a telephone conversation, voice is all we have. If I can't understand the question, I can't answer it.

I mean no disrespect to yesterday's caller; I'm impressed that he obviously speaks at least two languages (compared to my one). But his English was so heavily accented that I could only understand a few words in each question. My answers were not based on the questions asked, but based on my best guess of the questions asked.

4) Accept "I don't know" and "I don't care" as acceptable answers. They're very often true, and I'd rather tell you the truth instead of choosing one of the stock answers you've given me to choose from.

ETA: Oh my lord. I just got another survey call. That's three in two days. How'd I get so lucky?
mysid: the name mysid on a black and white photo of two children with a tricycle (tricycle)
It's like word association; you know, when you hear a word and say the first thing you think of:

Cat links with both dog and lion, but dog has nothing directly to do with cat or anything that follows.

So last night I played the game with ingredients as I made dinner. )

It all linked together in my mind.
mysid: (Donate Life)
OK, I've been putting off this post for a while because (A) Children's Hospital blocks my access to LJ (And DW) so I couldn't post "live", (B) you're probably getting sick of "My daughter is sick" posts, and (C) I had to gather my thoughts. But I couldn't avoid it forever. After a hospitalization, I always feel like I can't post anything else until I've done a recap, and eventually it gets a bit silly how long I go without posting.

The short version: A few days after the Emergency Room Visit of Hopeless Despair (TM), we went back to Children's Hospital (CHOP) for an endoscopy. It was supposed to be an outpatient visit, but the doctor discovered that my daughter's GI tract was severely irritated for most of its length. That, plus the discovery of various viruses in her bloodstream (the cultures were in from previous week's blood tests) indicated a severe viral infection. Daughter was admitted to the hospital to get IV antiviral medication. (She was already on an antiviral, but this was more targeted to the viruses she had.) We ended up staying six days.

In a way, it was kind of a kick in the pants. We knew in an abstract way that the immune suppression drugs she has to take to avoid organ rejection would impair her ability to fight off illnesses. This was the first time, but undoubtedly not the last time, that we saw exactly what that means. She caught what should have been a minor virus, was severely sick for a month, and hospitalized for a week.

She's now been out of CHOP for six days, and doing wonderfully. I think she's finally ready to go back to school tomorrow. We're a month into the school year, and she's only been there for 3 1/2 days so far. The school just started sending tutors for Homebound Instruction, so they should help her get caught up.

She's been so amazing.


Sep. 24th, 2011 10:50 pm
mysid: the name mysid on a black and white photo of two children with a tricycle (tricycle)
My duppy pog's paws are twitching while he sleeps. I think he's dreaming about chasing chipmumks.
mysid: (Donate Life)
My daughter recovered from her liver transplant in record time--and now we're paying for it (in the karmic sense). We're two weeks into the new school year, and I think she's only gone to school for 3 1/2 days. (She's a freshman in high school, and she really wants to go to school!) Her symptoms are vague (back pain, abdominal pain, nausea, dizziness) making a diagnosis difficult. Tests have been run, so we've been able to figure out what it is not (rejection, pancreatitis, appendicitis, intestinal blockage, etc.), but we still don't know what it is.

Yesterday, we spent twelve hours in the Emergency Room, and in the end they sent us home still having no clue what's wrong with her. They knew it wasn't anything immediately life threatening, and they had no good reason to keep her--especially over the weekend when her doctor wouldn't be there. But for my daughter, that was the breaking point. She's never gone to the hospital and not gotten a diagnosis before; she's never gone to the hospital and left feeling worse than when she came in before. Upon hearing that she was being discharged, she broke down crying.

I had an idea when we got home, so we're about to test it out. Most of her symptoms might be explained by her intestinal flora being thrown out of whack by the antibiotics she's taking. She used to take acidophilus, but the doctor had her stop when she had her transplant. I just asked the doctor to let her resume taking it. Cross your fingers that it helps!
mysid: (Donate Life)
Last Friday, my daughter and I were making dinner when the phone rang. It was the CHOP liver transplant coordinator saying that they had a liver for my daughter, E, and we needed to get to the hospital. To say that I was taken by surprise would be an understatement. I told my daughter, she looked as shocked as I was, and we went into a flurry of getting ready to go to the hospital.

The entire thing could not have gone better. The new liver was from a young donor, was very healthy, and was a perfect fit for E's body size. E stayed stable throughout surgery and did not even need a blood transfusion. The new liver began working immediately, and E began to recuperate with lightening speed.

E wasn't in liver failure yet. She qualified for a transplant because of the chronic infection in her liver for which they were running out of antibiotics that worked, and because her cirrhotic liver was at high risk for liver cancer. But because she went into surgery relatively healthy, she bounced back quickly. We were told to expect a one and half to two week hospitalization, longer if there were complications. Hers was one week.

Our family, friends, and neighbors have all been offering to help by taking care of my younger children, taking care of our dog, sending us food, etc. Many, many more people, both people I know, and people who just know of us through others have been sending us their good wishes and prayers. (I may not believe in prayer, but it's the thought that counts.) I'm grateful to them all.

But I'm inexpressably grateful to the family of the donor. It was their selfless gift that saved my daughter's life, as well as the lives of several others who received the other vital organs.
mysid: the name mysid on a black and white photo of two children with a tricycle (tricycle)
[personal profile] erastes asked for "moar puppy pictures," so here you go!

Peek here for puppy. )


mysid: the name mysid on a black and white photo of two children with a tricycle (Default)

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