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Monthly Archives: September 2011

She lost a nail

I bite my nails, it’s a disgusting habit. I look ridiculous, chewing on myself. I’ve managed to stop a handful of times, but it never lasts long. I guess it’s better than smoking or being an alcoholic. Actually, I probably can’t compare a substance addiction to a nearly lifelong bad habit.

Not the point.

The point is my daughter’s fingernails are perfect. So tiny and delicate, lovely little things. Don’t ask how often I cut them, because I usually just bite them when they look too long. Did this post just get too disgusting for you? I understand.

About two weeks ago I was letting her carry around the cue ball from a pool table on a hard surface. Bad Mom. She fell and smashed her finger, the nail immediately turned bright purple. A day later the purple had disappeared, it didn’t seem to hurt. Then as we were leaving for AZ last week the nail started to come up. Saturday it came off completely.

Now she has a perfect little nub growing in it’s place. I’m proud of how well she we handled the whole ordeal.

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Birthday card for Andy

My mom got a letter from my brother this week. She handed it to me, “read this, he had exciting news.” I always interpret exciting news as him coming home early, but that wasn’t the case.

He wrote about being more homesick than usual lately. When his mail came last week he was surprised to see a card. He figured it was a birthday card, but knowing how procrastination runs in the family, he didn’t expect one two weeks early. Then he looked at the envelope and saw it was from Grandma.

She had sent it to him while he was still in Centinella last year (he moved to La Palma on his birthday), and it took a full year to get rerouted from CA to AZ.

I could hear the joy in his voice through the words on a the paper. Even from heaven Grandma sends birthday cards.

A letter to remember small moments

Leia,

You’re a cuddly, snuggly little girl, and it warms my heart. You give the cats kisses and lay your head on their bellies. Thankfully they are patient cats and enjoy embrace your affection. You cuddle with blankets and stuffed toys, especially Albert (Einstein). When you press the talking puppy’s ear and he asks “can I have a hug?” you happily oblige. You give kisses to our friends and family. Every now and then you’ll blow a kiss, which is ridiculously adorable.

We sing the San Diego Super Chargers song and you go running for your Chargers jersey (#21, LaDainian Tomlinson, although he plays for the Jets now). You put your hands up high at the end of the song and we say “Touchdown San Diego!” and laugh, it’s your favorite part. I can’t wait to take you to a game, tailgate and play catch with a little football.

You know where your belly button, eyes, ears, hair, foot, nose, mouth and teeth are. I’m pretty sure the six million times we’ve sang “head, shoulders, knees, and toes” should get some credit. Sometimes I try to flaunt these skills for others and you look at me like you want to say “Mom, I don’t do party tricks.”

Bubbles! You’re a big fan. You bring me the bottle and sit on my lap and we blow bubbles for you to pop. Then you stand in front of me and squeal with laughter when I blow bubbles and they pop on your face. You know how to dip the wand in the bottle, then blow on it. You’ve made your own bubbles a few times, it was very exciting for both of us.

You kick all the covers off when you sleep. True to your newborn self that hated to be swaddled, your legs need their freedom. I guess we’ll have to buy really warm pajamas for the winter.

Today I watched you go through the drawers in the kitchen, emptying the boxes of ziplock bags, unrolling the parchment paper, then dumping out the box of straws and carefully bending them one by one. The cats came to help.

I love being your Mom. I love watching you soak up all the wonderful ordinary pleasures of every day. Thank you for bringing me so much joy.

Drive or Fly?

My little brother turns 27 next week. 27?! He’s officially in is “late 20’s.” I don’t bring up his age with him because I know any reference to time is still frustrating and depressing. While 2016 doesn’t sound that far away to me, I know it’s still a long road for him.

Uncle Randy and I planned to drive out next weekend and visit him. With Randy getting sick, he won’t be able to drive (or sit through a visit comfortably). He considered flying, but the tickets are really expensive now that it’s last minute. Hopefully we can go again during the holidays and Randy will be in better shape. Looks like this trip is just Leia and I – our first solo adventure!

So my dilemma is, do I drive or fly? Our hotel for Thursday and Friday is west of Phoenix and south of the friends we are visiting on Friday. The hotel for Saturday is closer to the prison.

Gas will probably cost $200, cheaper than a flight. I won’t need to rent a car, that saves another $175.

Flying gets me there in just over an hour. Leia doesn’t have to spend 5 hours in a car seat and neither do I. But flying with an active toddler, luggage, a stroller and car seat is intimidating. Jamie are you reading this? I studied your guide on flying with kids, and I’m still nervous! Your super Mom skills make it look easy.

I have credit on Southwest that expired in January. For $50 I can reinstate it. Although, I can think of lots of places I’d like to go for $50. If I had bought the flight a few weeks ago it would have been $110, not $300. I’ll kick myself redeeming my flight credits on a short, usually cheap flight.

Hmm, what to do.

Grow Basil. Grow.

A few months ago my Mom brought over a packet of basil seeds. I had just killed my second basil plant – the kind you buy at the grocery store already in it’s own pot. So I was certain there was no way I could grow a plant from seeds.

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I was wrong! Maybe I’m not a plant murderer after all. I even used some on my pizza last night.

Hoping for 9 lives

My friends Nicole and Brian sent me a gorgeous flower arrangement for my birthday. It came with a fun balloon. Here you can see my assistant bringing in the delivery.

I placed them on my counter where I could admire their awesomeness. I love love love fresh flowers. Last night I notice one of the lilies was torn up. Bad kitties! I chase them off the counter and go to bed. This morning I woke up and more of the same lily is missing. I see Daphne’s face in the flowers.

Busted!

I think to myself “Hmm, just to be safe I should check ASPCA and make sure lilies are ok.” In hindsight I feel like an ass and a terrible mom for not doing that first. Turns out lilies are very toxic to cats. Thankfully Leia had just fallen asleep for her morning nap and I was able to panic privately.

I Google “can a cat die from eating lilies” and read a few horror stories. Even ingesting a small amount can cause kidney failure in 48 hours. I think “maybe she’s fine, she seems fine.” I had plans to go to the Festival of Sail at the Embarcadero with friends. Sick cat = canceled plans. One minute later I hear her cry and vomit up tuna and flower petals. Then she vomits again. Fuck.

I call our veterinary office. They were fully booked so the receptionist offers to refer me to another practice. I explain that I’m poor and I can’t afford to spend hundreds on a cat if she just needs some water and a nap. She puts me on hold to ask the vet. A few minutes later she confirms my Google induced paranoia – lily ingestion is bad news and I need to go to the ER, now.

At the ER the vet explains that they want to keep her for at least 3 days to pump her full of fluids to try to flush her kidneys. There were two possibilities – dialysis or kidney failure. On a holiday weekend I was looking at nearly $3,000 just for boarding. So I give my sob story about being poor and ask if there is anything else I can do. In return I get the “your cat could die” guilt trip. I cry. The vet hands me a tissue and suggests running a blood screen first to see where her kidney and liver enzymes are and then figure out a game plan. Two hours later Daphne did not show significantly elevated levels to require dialysis. I was allowed to bring her home as long as I could administer fluids and bring her back tomorrow for more blood tests. There is still a possibility the toxins are present and haven’t attacked her system yet. I excitedly agree to give her fluids at home.

They wheeled out a full hospital sized bag of fluid on that big metal pole with a long tube and needle. The tech gave me a bag of extra needles – “use a clean one each time you administer the fluids” she explained. Wait, what? I’m supposed to hook my cat up to an IV everyday and make her sit still? I had imagined a big syringe, quick and easy. I hesitated for a second, then rallied enough confidence to convince myself my first time injecting a living creature wasn’t a big deal. Daphne was a champ. She let me pull up the scruff of her neck, slide the 18 gauge needle in where the tech pointed, and then sat still with me holding her for the 10 minutes it took to get 300ml in.

$280 later we get to come home (tomorrow should only be another $170 if it’s just the exam and blood work). Daphne immediately wants to eat. I take that as a good sign. She’s acting like her normal self – scratching the bed, trying to get through the screen to the birds, letting Leia chase her around. I’m supposed to monitor how often she’s peeing. I’m not sure how to do that with another cat using the same box. Oh, and needing to watch my 13 month old. I guess I’ll just cross my fingers that I see her go in or out of their bathroom (yes, the cats have their own bathroom). Right now she is sleeping on our bed, waiting for me to get in so she can crawl on my hip and dig her claws into my leg. Things seem normal. I’m hopeful Daphne still has a few of her nine lives.