Thursday, May 29, 2014

It Doesn't Look Dangerous

This morning started off just like any other not having time to eat breakfast or get dressed because I'm so busy making breakfast, changing diapers, starting the laundry and encouraging my four-year old to do her morning chores. My breakfast was made, just uneaten. I had every intention of getting dressed, as soon as my one year old finished nursing.

At any rate we were on schedule! My four year old was dressed with her hair done and her teeth brushed. She was making her bed and we were on track to be all ready and out the door in thirty minutes, give or take. We had grocery shopping to do and a workout to attend.

Alexa decided she was done nursing so I put her down and stepped into the closet to grab my clothes. I saw Alexa stumble and fall. I saw her face hit the metal bed frame. She immediately started crying. I reached over, picked her up and turned her over. 

I knew right away she needed stitches. She had an awful gash from her nose through her lip. There was already blood pouring everywhere. 

Five minutes later we were in the car speeding toward Alexa's pediatrician, who was expecting us. I had thrown clothes on both Alexa and me, but other than grabbing my keys on the way out I really hadn't done anything else to get ready for the day. 

The pediatrician took one look and said he could not glue it back together and that a cut lip meant a plastic surgeon. She told me to drive her an hour away to the nearest children's hospital. he said he would call ahead and let them know we were coming. 

Drek wanted to come but his work is in the opposite direction and I thought speed was important. 

By the time we got to the E.R. Alexa had stopped bleeding and crying. It was only when I was getting Ash out of the car that I realized she didn't have shoes. Sigh. At least her hair was done. Mine sure wasn't. 

I carried both the girls inside and was delighted to see a fairly empty waiting room. Right away we were taken back to see a triage nurse who asked my questions and glanced at Alexa. I told her what the pediatrician said and she informed me that plastic surgery meant full sedation. That meant an I.V. That means Alexa's stomach needed to be empty. Since she had eaten seconds before she fell, we needed to wait another three hours before any procedure took place. 

Four hours later we were finally allowed out of the waiting room and into a hospital room shared by three other sick people. Alexa had been happy and cheerful for the first three hours, but now she was hungry and I wouldn't feed her. She was screaming. Ash was tired, bored and hungry. I was starving, thirsty and miserable. There are few places I hate worse than hospitals. 

After another thirty minutes the doctor finally saw us. She examined Alexa's injury. She announced she needed stitches both on her face and the inside of her mouth, but that it was a clean wound and her teeth didn't appear injured. She said she could stitch it up with a local anesthetic, or a plastic surgeon could stitch it up with full sedation. This conversation took place over a desperately hungry, screaming baby. I asked what the difference in scars would be: in five years? Nothing. She's a year old. All scars will disappear. The doctor could be ready in thirty minutes. It would take another ten minutes simply to alert the plastic surgeon he was needed. It could be hours before he was ready. 

So I opted for the local anesthetic. They strapped Alexa down and a nurse held her head. I I stroked her hair and tried to sing to her while the doctor put a very long needle into her face. Alexa SCREAMED. She screamed so hard she was shaking. It took thirty minutes for the doctor to stitch her up. Alexa screamed the whole  time. 

The second she was done and unstrapped I attempted to have her nurse. The doctor had commented that the inside cut was pretty bad and might prevent her from nursing. The doctor didn't realize Alexa was born a champion nurser. She ate with zero hesitation and zero problems. Three minutes later she was dead asleep. 

After an hour long car ride we arrived back at home. I was finally able to eat breakfast at four in the afternoon. 

Alexa is recovering. She should be fine. I hope she is too young to have any residual trauma. I know my trauma will stick with me for much longer than her scar will last. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Can You See Anything That Can Tell Us Where You Are? Anything At All? OOH! FIRE EXTINGUISHER!

Ah, Sunland. One hundred degree weather, less than ten percent humidity, and lots and lots of dry, hot wind. After three years of perfect weather, we're finally experiencing what the locals around here have faced many times: Wildfires.

We're just fine. We're totally prepared for evacuation. But first, a scene from a Monday:

We had returned from our vacation and I could not find where I had left my keys. I wasn't worried, because Drek had given me little tracker tabs that I had attached to my keys so I could find them when they were lost. After I asked Drek how to use it, he said he hadn't ever gotten around to installing the app, so the tags were useless.

I reminded him that he had set up a back-up system for the pictures on my phone, so if I ever lost my phone (like I did at Disneyworld) I would still have the pictures. Alas, once I had lost my phone, we discovered he never set-up that app either, so we the pictures were lost (until we found the phone. Happy ending!)

We seem to be really good at planning for disaster, but really bad on follow-through. I should do these things myself, since I am the one that keeps losing my things, but it's so much easier to ask my computer-genius husband to do it for me.  So On Monday, after I found my keys, I asked Drek to make sure he installed both those apps.

Ok, fast-forward to fires: Smoke fills the air, helicopters are flying overheard, evacuation notices are being issued left and right, freeways are being shut down, I get an email telling me to check on the women I visit teach and let the Relief Society president know if anyone needs to evacuate.  Drek comes home a few hours early as his work building is only a few blocks away from a raging fire.

We go outside and stand on top of the play structure Drek made. We can see the whole neighborhood from up there. We watch the looming pillars of black smoke rising in every direction.

Drek: "Let's make a list of everything we need to grab if we are evacuated and let's make sure our 92-hour kits are ready to go."

Me: "Agreed. Let's also take picture of all our stuff so if our house burns down we can...I don't know. Fight the insurance company? Have proof we owned stuff?"

Drek: It couldn't hurt. I'll get that app set up on your phone so when you take pictures they will be saved on a back-up server. Just oin case your phone burns too."

Me: "And we should clean the house. You know, so I can take pictures."

Us: Ok! Let's go!

Again, really good at planning, not so good on follow-through. I start to clean. Drek plays with my phone. He gets the back-up installed, then decides to install the Tracker app. It's not compatible with my current OS. One thing leads to another. Two hours later he is restarting the desktop in order to completely re-boot my phone, which has already been wiped clean of all information. He has my phone and complete control of the computer. No pictures have been taken (he has my phone!). I haven't checked the 92-hour kits. He hasn't made an evacuation list.

The fires are getting closer. More helicopters, more smoke. From my tablet I get an responding email from on of the women I visit teach: She is being evacuated. Most of our ward is, apparently.

I ask Drek how we would know if we needed to evacuate.

"Reverse 911 calls."

"Do those only call landlines? Because we don't have a landline."

"I think so, but I downloaded an Emergency App for our county. It's tells us what areas are being evacuated."

"Oh! That's helpful! Where is your phone?"

Drek shrugs "I don't know."

I then get another email. This time from Drek's sister's family who lives in our same town. It's an email sent out to all the family telling them about the fires (that have now attracted national media attention) and that they are safe for now.

It occurs to me that I should probably let my family know the same thing. Maybe they already know about the fires. Maybe they've already tried calling. But my phone is dead, my gmail number is down, and we're not answering Drek's phone. Huh.  Maybe we are already suppose to evacuate and no one can get a hold of us to tell us. Huh.

"It works!" Drek announces. "But apparently this is a not your account?"

I look over his shoulder at my phone. Two years ago Drek had an iphone. He had apparently restored all of that iphone's data onto my phone. All my contacts: gone. But all the music we thought we had lost two years ago was also restored! Hooray! My whole music collection! I missed you!

The phone rings. It's Drek's mom. She tried calling Drek's phone but he didn't answer. She is calling because my mother called her after not being able to reach either of us. Ah, so my family does already know about the fires.

After calling parents to assure them we are safe, we discover our area is not being evacuated, so we really are safe for now. I also find several missed texts on my phone, all from numbers my phone no longer recognizes. I have to send a lot of "Sorry, I just lost all my contacts, who is this?" And then I start taking pictures because at least my house it clean!  And that turned out to be the important thing on the list: We were never evacuated. So we're good. Until the next fire. Maybe then we can completely re-program the desktop.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Why, It's Like a Dream. A Wonderful Dream Come True.

While doing the research for our Disney World vacation, I came across the idea of "Tinkerbell gifts". Basically, you leave gifts for your kids in your hotel for Disney's housekeeping (called Mousekeeping) to find and when you come and your kids come back to your hotel after a magical day, they find Tinkerbell has left them a gift.

I was incredulous. I was spending my entire tax return on a vacation for my kids and the suggestion is to spend more money to give my kids...more? Uh, I don't think so. That seems to be a perfect formula for raising entitled children.

A few days later I was going through a box of hand-me-down clothes for my girls given to me by a neighbor. In the box was a Minnie Mouse nightgown.  I wondered if having Minnie Mouse on Ash's night clothes would somehow make her excited to go to bed. And then I thought that I really needed her to be excited to go to bed while we were on our vacation. And then:  lightbulb.

Over the next year I saved all the Disney Pajamas people gave us as hand me-downs. With a few weeks to go until Disney,  I had four pajamas for Ash, but only three for Alexa. Nana bought her a brand new set and I admit I splurged when I saw some darling Disney pajama on clearance at Ross. In the end I had four Pajamas for each girl.

I printed off copies of a letter to Mousekeeping, one to leave on each of the four days:

Dear Mousekeeping, Thank you so much for cleaning our room! We really, really appreciate the work you do, especially me - as the mom. Because you do the chores I can truly enjoy my vacation! You are actually the highlight of my trip! 

 Would you mind leaving out these little “Tinkerbell Gifts” for my daughters? They are just Disney Pajamas; one for my 1 year old and one for my 4 year old. It’s our first time at Disney (any Disney park) and I want to make sure they are just as excited about sleeping as they are about playing in the parks. Please feel free to set them up or display them however you want. Thank you ever so much!

I printed them with a little picture:
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And of course I brought enough cash to leave a tip along with my note every day.

Lastly, we brought Stitch with us. I think they are called Tinkerbell gifts because you are supposed to bring a Tinkerbell whom they pose with the gifts, but Stitch (also and hand-me-down) is better than Tinkerbell.

Our schedule at Disney World was kid-friendly: We made it to the opening of the park in the morning and rode a few rides before any lines formed. We then used our Fastpasses to avoid more lines. By then it would be between noon and one and we would leave the park, go back to our hotel, and take naps.

When we walked in the door, we would find scenes such as this:

Our beds were made, our room was cleaned, the pajamas were laid out, and Stitch got a hold of of one of Ash's book and was apparently teaching himself to read.

Ash LOVED it. She loved her "new" pajamas. As soon as she saw them she would strip off her clothes and get dressed in her new pajamas that Stitch has left her. It was only nap time, but, hey! Sleep is sleep! She took a nap every single day, so we must have done something right!

After naps we would either go swimming, play around our hotel, or go back to the parks for a a few hours.  Once we got back to our room for Bedtime, Ash would be her usual, reluctant-to-go-to-bed self.  One reminder about her new pajamas and she would jump right in the bath, eager to wear her Disney Pajamas.

I wish I could say it worked just as well on Alexa, but she is only one. I think the whole experience was a little over her head.  I have no doubt she won't have any memories of this trip. Which is good, in a way. If we ever go back to a Disney park I don't want her to expect new pajamas every night. I  can only raise one entitled daughter at a time.

Monday, May 12, 2014

You Can't Run Away From Trouble. There Ain't No Place That Far

During college my sister did an internship at Walt Disney World. There were plans to go there as a family while she was there (and could get us into the parks for free!) but it never happened. Ever since then, we have always said we would "eventually" take our families there. 

A year and a half ago my wonderful sister called me up and said she was sick of saying "eventually". So we finally made the plans. We bought plane tickets. We booked hotels. We made our Fast Pass reservations. 

My sister is an amazing vacation planner and she did most of the planning. She figured out what day we would visit which park, which rides we should go on in which order and so on. We spent hours and hours talking about our plans, amending them and re-amending them. 

Last Saturday we got on a plane for Orlando. We rode the Magical Express from the airport to our on-property hotel. Monday we went to Epcot. Tuesday we did Magic Kingdom. Wednesday we swam at Typhoon Lagoon. Thursday was Hollywood Studios and Friday and Saturday we re-visited Magic Kingdom and Epcot, respectively. 

Our planning paid off. Everything went smoothly, we missed a huge chunk of the crowds and we only had to wait in line for more then twenty minutes once.  

It was Friday we ran into a bit if trouble: We were there when the park opened and went straight to Frontierland to ride Splash Mountain. Because Alexa is too small for these rides, Drek and I take turns riding with Ash while the other stays with Alexa.  For this ride, Drek waited with Alexa while Ash and I did Splash Mountain. Right before we climbed into our floating log I stuffed my phone into the front right pocket of my jeans. Right after the big drop (and thank goodness not right before!) the ride stopped. While we waited for them to start us back up again I wanted to check the time. I reached for my phone: It was gone. My pocket was empty. I searched around us: no phone. The ride started moving again. We made it a few feet before it shut down again. I continued my search to no avail. Once again we moved forward and once again we stopped. And then a thought occurred to me: was it possible that my phone fell out of the ride into water on the big drop? Was it possible that the phone was on the ride's track, messing up the gears and that's why the ride kept stopping? 

As soon as we pulled in to unload, I searched though the log. I alerted the cast member to my missing phone, and she also searched: nothing. She shrugged and suggested I try the lost and found in a few hours. 

That night we rode The Jungle Cruise. It's located close to Splash Mountain and is also on water. At the end, we got stuck and had to wait for ten minutes not knowing what had caused the stop. Right after that we rode Pirates of the Caribbean: also located next to Splash Mountain and also on the water.  Right in the middle or Tortuga the ride stopped and we were stuck for over twenty minutes listening to the same two minute sound track. Drek wondered aloud whether the three systems were connected and whether or not my iphone could be responsible for jamming up all three rides all day long. 

After we finally escaped Tortuga we went back to Splash Mountain. Ash and Drek rode on it (and got stuck!) while Alexa and I asked every single cast member about my phone. One of them assured me that nothing falls out of the logs, and it was very unlikely that my phone had fallen out into track. Still, no phone turned up and all the cast members couldn't explain why the rides kept stopping. 

 The next day my sister received a text from my phone, sent by one of the cast members. My phone was returned to me without any explanation as to where it had been found or how it has disappeared Still, all my pictures were still on it and I was so happy to have them back. And after all, what good is a year and a half of planning if you don't have pictures to show for it? 

Friday, May 02, 2014

...Don't be Mad... I'm Not Mad, I'm Indifferent, Ok. I Said I Was Sorry. You Don't Need to Apologize to Me Cause I'm Not Mad.

To balance my last post of self congratulation, I bring you a post of self deprecation.

I am Drek's appointed hair-cutter. I've cut his hair hundreds of times. I'm sure I will cut it hundreds more. A few weeks ago Drek announced he needed a haircut and asked if I would do it that night.

Everything was set up. Drek was sitting there, ready for me to start. I don't know what was wrong with me. Maybe it was the fact that I had a cold, or the sleep deprivation, or maybe I'm just an airhead. Whatever the reason, as I was moving to make the first pass over his hair with the buzzers, while I was in mid swing, I realized I didn't attach the guide comb; it was just the straight buzzer.

I tried to stop. I tried to change course. It was too late. I cut his hair down to the scalp. Right on top of his head. Right in front.

I gasped and jerked the buzzer away. Drek look at me, startled.

"What happened?" He asked

I didn't answer. My eyes were wide with horror as I tried to gauge the damage.

Drek jumped up and looked in the mirror. After a pause he said "You think I should go for a new look?"

Bless that man.

We weighed our options: There was no chance of thinning or blending. We could either buzz his whole head (I said no) he could shave his head and rock a bald look (He said no) he could sport a Mohawk (that was a combined no) or he could wear a hat.

And so Drek got a hat.  He actually looks really good in a hat.

I tired again today. His hair had grown enough that I could cut all his hair down to match. Crisis over. Phew.