wild pomeranians

"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." ~Henry David Thoreau

Category: Babies

February

Wow, it’s been a full month since I’ve written last, but it doesn’t feel that long.

The past four weeks have been difficult, to say the least. My poor, sweet Papaya somehow managed to get pneumonia, and let me tell you, I’ve experienced few things scarier than watching her gasping for air in the dead of night, wrapped up in my down comforter but still freezing cold, her pale skin pulled tightly in between each rib as she struggled to breathe.

And all of this happened after a course of antibiotics given to her a week prior for pneumonia.

I had taken her in to see the pediatrician about four days into a particularly severe chest cold because I had a feeling something just wasn’t okay. She was breathing a little faster than usual and had no appetite at all. She was even sick to her stomach a couple of times, and it didn’t add up. Sure enough, the doctor was able to diagnose pneumonia simply by listening to her lungs and checking her (rather low) oxygen levels with a finger monitor. But, because she wasn’t struggling to breathe and seemed alright, he sent us home with a course of antibiotics, as opposed to sending her to the hospital.

I have no idea why that didn’t work, but several nights later it became clear she was regressing, quickly. I stayed awake all night watching her and waiting for the moment when I should just pick her up and take her to Children’s Hospital. We made it through the night and the next morning, after an x-ray that oddly enough came back normal, she was given intravenous shots of a broad spectrum, very strong antibiotic, in the pediatrician’s office, along with albuterol to use at home. Thankfully, this did end up working and fairly quickly.

She got better for a handful of days after the medicine was finished, but again, started to get sick. Pumpy had brought a new virus home from school just days earlier, but I was of course concerned that it was still the pneumonia, coming back again. Another chest x-ray reassured us that it was, in fact, a new virus, which she weathered fine.

But I have truly had enough. Someone in my family has been sick since mid-December.  My mother, ever the alarmist, was concerned that something in our house was making us sick. It just seemed excessive for the season. So, I, ever the worrier, took it to heart and decided to take every measure possible to make sure the house was clean and safe, which included flushing out the ductwork, replacing the furnace filter, cleaning everything top to bottom, and even pulling up the 30 year old carpet in the living room from the prior owners of the house. We were planning on replacing it with hardwood soon anyway, so I figured it couldn’t hurt.

And that is why I haven’t written in a month.

I hope your month has been much better than mine, but I am grateful for the relatively minor cold that I now have, and for the bright green shoots emerging from my neighbors’ flower bed.

Daffodils!

That can only mean one thing 🙂

 

Where does the time go?

This past Sunday we had a big party for Pumpy and Thunder Thighs. Pumpy turned 6 and Thunder Thighs turned 1.

I just can’t believe all these years have gone by, with this last year, in particular, really flying past. It seems to me that with each child time passes faster and faster. I find myself, on many occasions, watching the children do little things that could easily be overlooked or go unnoticed, like when Papaya is talking to her dolls, or Thunder Thighs’ chubby feet are padding around the wood floors, and I’m struck by the realization that these moments are so fleeting. It almost brings me to tears. I’m overwhelmed by the desire to somehow freeze time. It’s so difficult to imagine that these beautiful children will someday grow up, fully. 

But that is another post. 

Usually, when it comes to the kids’ birthdays, I bake special cakes for them…

like these two for Papaya’s 3rd birthday this past August…

Max's Disgusting Worm Cake and Ruby's Raspberry Fluff cake

and this one for Pumpy’s 5th birthday last year…

The Robot Cake!

 but this year I decided to leave all the baking and cooking to the wonderful people at Market District!

Pumpy chose a camouflage cake with a tank on top and for Thunder Thighs I went with a simple white round cake that I decorated myself with simple dots of icing in all the primary colors. I also ordered roasted chicken breast and a mozzarella and tomato penne pasta. The only things I cooked were roasted red skin potatoes, roasted asparagus with rosemary, and a big crock of Velveeta mac and cheese (for the kids and certain, picky in-laws :0)

From what I was told, everything was really good!

Sadly, the morning of the party I came down with the stomach flu. Papaya, too. I was well enough to enjoy the party, with the every-growing rumblings in my stomach, but I knew that eating wasn’t an option. Poor Papaya spent most of the day cuddled up in my sister’s lap, and in fact, my brother-in-law couldn’t even make the party because he had a stomach flu also.

Tis the season!

But the kids had a wonderful day and I captured most of it on film, including Thunder Thighs digging into his own little smash cake. It was precious.

I’m finally beginning to feel better and hopefully we didn’t infect any of our guests!

I hope you had a lovely weekend, too.

 

 

 

 

 

Epiphany…

A lot has weighed on my mind in the past year or so…namely, why my entire outward life feels contrary to my deepest, innermost desires and inclinations. I’ve been talking with a very wise man regarding it all and tonight I had nothing short of an epiphany that I now feel compelled to write about.

Perhaps a brief rundown of some background information would be helpful first.

Like many people, I didn’t grow up in the happiest of homes. My father was an abusive alcoholic and my mom had her fair share of emotional problems. My sisters and I were dealt a difficult hand, and fortunately, we’ve been able to rise above these harsh beginnings (for the most part) and make decent lives for ourselves. For my sister, this has included a Ph.D and for myself it has been my beautiful children and the ongoing dance of motherhood.

But this is not to say that I haven’t made mistakes. I’ve failed at too many things to count. In fact, apart from my role as  a mother, I can’t honestly say that I’ve done many things right or well. I have an almost pathological tendency to excel in different areas, but in the end, at the moment of commitment, I quit. Jobs, school…other things. And I’ve never known why I do this, except that (apart from my commitment to being the best mother I can be), I can count on this about myself; that I will inevitably quit, in good standing, before I ever have a chance to succeed at something.

So my epiphany, with the help of a truly exceptional psychotherapist, is that much of what I do and have done in my life is a protest. It’s a ‘fuck you’ to the world. And of course, it stems from the anger that I came away with from my difficult childhood, when I was vulnerable and mistreated by the people I should have been able to trust and rely on.

Here are some examples of my ‘protests…’

  • Quitting college after being accepted (based on a manuscript of my poetry) into an elite class that would have allowed me to mentor beneath a celebrated poet.
  • Quitting too many jobs to keep track of, and in every instance to my employer’s shock and dismay.
  • Quitting esthetician school in San Francisco with less than two months to go.
  • Cutting my hair into the shortest, most gamine style possible, despite the fact that my husband dislikes it, as most men would.
  • Getting a fairly conspicuous tattoo on my right arm.
  • Having three children back to back, nursing for six years and attempting to homeschool my kindergartener and preschooler.
  • Perhaps even my recent embrace of a rather extreme form of minimalism?

So there it is. Many little protests. Many ‘fuck you’s.’ And in the case of my children and even minimalism, perhaps a little bit of ‘I will do this…and I’ll do it in spite of the incredible difficulty and self-denial that such a lifestyle requires.

Clearly, I need to spend some time thinking about all of this. I need to somehow transform that energy into something new and better. I’ve played that card, and now that I realize it, it is time to move on. But how? 

I’m curious, how many things in your life are little protests?