Geocache dash

Okay, I promised a quick post about my Dad and Gloria’s visit. As you know, Thursday was spent at the happiest place on earth, and we came home late and fell into our beds.

The next morning, my dad burned his hand while making us a delicious breakfast. I then proceeded to drag him on a million errands. He was in more pain than I realized, diligently filling his melted icepack up with cold water from whatever drinking fountain we happened by in our rushing around. We eventually ended up buying him some frozen corn to hold. It’s hard to look cool whilst holding a bag of frozen corn, but my dad somehow pulled it off.

Our errands were successful! We bought several tiles from Lowes to use as counters for photographing Jesse’s latest business venture, (more on that later) as well as several small dishes and cute containers – also for photo props.

After picking the kids up from school we decided to go geocaching. Gloria recently started geocaching and we had five listed on our walking trail. The first three were a bust. I was surprised by how difficult geocaching was turning out to be. At one point we were convinced we had found the hiding spot – the location matched the clue to a tee – but no dice.

THEN

We found the fourth one! It was up in a tree, and required some effort to retrieve. Dad, injured hand and all, climbed the tree like a squirrel and lowered the cache down to us.

 

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I wish I had gotten a pic of him up in that tree.

 

Inside the cache was all of the other caches that we had been looking for. Someone had collected them and stuffed them inside this big cache. We immediately felt better about our perceived hunting ineptitude.

So that was our experience with geocaching. The kids loved it. I think they’re hooked. I myself would like to get them into letterboxing – who doesn’t love a good hand-carved stamp?

 

And now I will do something that bothers me to no end when I see other bloggers do it: I will make an excuse for my lack of regular posting lately. Usually when I see a blog do this I just write them off. I hope I don’t suffer the same fate from you, dear readers. I have been blogging consistently for several years, and I promise I’m not going anywhere. I’m just momentarily overwhelmed with non-blogging related work.

In addition to teaching myself how to format so I can release to you my latest steamy novel, I am also helping Jesse launch his new company. I will be dedicating a full post to that soon so you guys can get all excited about it.

Thanks for your patience, and please keep checking in with me. You can always subscribe to my RSS feed so you get an email when I post something. At least, I think that’s how that works? Anyway, at the very least I will continue to post once a week until I can resume my thrice weekly schedule. If any fellow bloggers or aspiring bloggers out there want to do a guest post during this dry spell, shoot me an email.

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Throwin’ it back to 2010

Today I am doing a throw back Thursday inspired by a picture a friend of mine sent me of her son (2 yrs) dressed in his sister’s dress and hair bow. I am posting this video with Brecken’s permission. (He was so grown-up and sweet about my posting it. He thinks it’s adorable – AND IT IS!!)

This video footage was taken just after Brecken’s second birthday. He had major sister-worship at that age, and had dressed himself. The video needs no more introduction.

 

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Disneyland really *is* the happiest place on earth. Sometimes.

I have been overwhelmingly busy lately, but I absolutely wanted to document Seren’s first trip to Disneyland.

Dad took my niece/sister on a road trip – which is awesome – and they ended up in our neighborhood. We decided to play hooky from school on Thursday and use the last day of our Disney passes. Seren would have to come with us, and she had a head cold so I wasn’t sure how long she would last at the happiest place on earth. We made a contingency plan that I would take her home if she became too much to handle, then come back later to pick everyone up. I expected her to last maybe four hours.

Girlfriend likes Disney, you guys. She made it TWELVE hours. Yes, twelve hours. From 8:30AM to 8:30PM.

She rode every ride nearby with no height limit – including a few that really shouldn’t let babies on – Francis the Ladybug ride, I’m looking at you! She NAPPED in her stroller. She was happy and chipper and only complained a total of twenty seconds toward the end of the night. I was blown away.

All of the kids were delightfully behaved.

As a fun twist of fate my dad’s brother and his wife were in town at the same time from Washington. We realized it when they posted a pic of Disneyland to Facebook, so we called them and met up. Kismet!

It was exhausting, but oh-so-much-fun.

If I manage to catch my breath some time this week I’ll try to post about the rest of my Dad and Gloria’s visit. Until then, enjoy these snapshots of Seren livin’ it up at D-Land. The last one of all the kids crashed in the back of the space shuttle is my favorite. I wish we had managed to get Seren’s sleeping face in the mirror reflection. You’ll just have to trust me that she was in a coma.

 

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Also, here is a crappy video of Seren learning what it must be like to trip on acid. I mean, here is a crappy video of Seren riding Small World. (Same thing.)

 

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Little hooded capelette

When I was pregnant with Seren I crocheted a little hooded cape. It was a quick project, and I enjoyed working with the fine yarn. I enjoy the feel of it and how it drapes. The other day I was clearing out her closet and found it. It was sized for 18 to 24 months, so I guess Seren has a giant head because it barely fits her! I realize I live in the land of eternal sunshine, but this morning was a touch chilly on our morning walk, so I put her in the cape and snapped a few pics.

It was almost impossible to get her to look at the camera, so this shot is a miracle:

 

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Little Miss Sunshine

Seren has reached that magical age where it is damn near impossible to get a decent photograph of her. Ninety percent of her pictures are of the back of her as she runs away. A few days ago I took her to an open space near our daily walking trail and snapped off a few shots. She managed to smack her head into a wall, because she’s fifteen months old, and testing the strength of her skull is her job. That night Karis pointed out that I was the only one that hadn’t been hurt that day; Karis scraped her elbow, Brecken cut his ankle, Seren whacked her head and Jesse burned himself on the stove. I told her it was because I had mad ninja reflexes. I’m pretty sure that we effectively jinxed me now, so I’ll probably be hit by a bus or something soon. If so, send me flowers after you finish laughing.

 

 

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Outlander and Queen = perfection!

Herself posted about this video this morning. A fan made an Outlander video set to Bohemian Rhapsody and damn if it isn’t perfect!

Enjoy!

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If only insurance jingles really were on your side…

So. My son.

Brecken loves to get a laugh out of a crowd. He also apparently loves insurance jingles, though I have no idea where he even hears them considering how little live t.v. he watches.

Today when I picked him up from school his teacher informed me he had had a tough time staying focused. She blamed it on the rain like Milli Vanilli. I’m not so easily forgiving. I asked him what he had done and his answer?

“I yelled ‘Nationwide is on your side!’ really loud in the middle of class.”

That was followed by the equally catchy, “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.”

*sigh*

Also of note is a worksheet we found in his folder. It requires a little back story. Brecken is obsessed with Legos, Star Wars, and Minions (and insurance commercials?). He has been fantasizing about a Lego set featuring AT-ATs that costs a very reasonable (yeah right!) amount of money. I usually tell them if they want a toy or something while we’re at the store they should “put it on their list”. That usually does the trick. Jesse, on the other hand, is a known pushover. I say known because even the kids know what a softie he is. I will call this worksheet exhibit A:

 

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It says, “I really want to have more Legos.” and “Dad would get it.”

I don’t think he fully understood the assignment. (Why the hell did they star this?) At the very least we need to talk with our son about more virtuous goals.

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Good cop/bad cop

I haven’t died or run off to join the circus. As you wait with baited breath for my next post please enjoy this short. This whole series is actually quite fun.

 

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Ouch

I had my umbilical hernia sewn up on Tuesday. Notice I didn’t say “fixed”. That remains to be seen. As of right now my abdomen is a disgusting, swollen, bruised, miasma of pain. Yes, I’m being dramatic, but dammit, it hurts. You use your abs for freakin’ everything. EVERYTHING. Even blinking. (Just trust me on that.)

Allow me to take you through the events of the past three days.

We arrived at the surgery center, waited forever, finally checked in, I got dressed in a gown that hooks up to a vacuum system of some sort that blows hot air onto you – DIVINE! (Please someone get me the home version of this) – the nurse tried to find my vein, failed, tried again, almost blew it a second time but got it in, we met with the doctor, Jesse tried to get the doctor to say I could still vacuum and mop after surgery, the doctor made a sex joke that was super funny. Wait, let me share it:

Dr: “You cannot do anything strenuous for three weeks. No exercise, no sweeping, no lifting anything…”

Jesse: “But she can still vacuum, right?”

Dr: “You better be careful or I’ll give her a few more restrictions you aren’t going to like!”

Me: (About 3 seconds later because I didn’t get it right away) “Hahahahaha!”

Anyway, Jesse left and the anesthesiologist came in and they wheeled me to the OR, and then the anesthesiologist gushed (slammed? jammed? whooshed? What’s a good word to describe plunging several ccs into an IV line faster than the speed of light?) meds into my IV and I said “OUCH” and she said, “Oh, you must have had a small clot – that’s why that hurt.” And then I said (in my head because I’m not stupid) “Or it hurt because you just slammed down on that plunger like it owed you money.” Then we chatted about something for a minute but the Bill Cosby juice was already taking effect so I don’t remember what was said, and then…

…I was really warm. Seriously, I want to live in the warm air vacuum gown for the rest of my life. It’s purple and called Bair Paws or Bear Pause, definitely not Bear Paws. My recovery nurse was named Kaiser and he kept talking to me trying to get me to come around. I awoke from anesthesia like a lady you guys. No puking or thrashing around for this one thankyouverymuch. I didn’t feel anything at first, but as I came around I started to realize my abdomen hurt like a MOTHERFUCKER. Ok, maybe not that much. More like a motherfucker. Kaiser gave me some painkillers, gently delivered through my IV in a slow, steady plunge, (Little miss anesthesiologist could learn a thing or two from Kaiser!) and then all was right with the world. I napped. I languished in my cozy Bair Paws cocoon. I half listened to the nurse call Jesse to come pick me up, and I made note of the time and thought how he must be at school picking up kids and how that meant I had at least another glorious half hour to snuggle in my Bair Paws gown. Life was good.

Eventually Jesse and the kids arrived. By this time I was awake enough to tease Kaiser about having a fanny pack, and he promptly gave it right back by making fun of my ugly, Croc-like shoes. We were basically besties. The kids were definitely freaked out by seeing me so gorked and hearing my scratchy voice. They had to leave the room while I dressed and while waiting, Brecken asked Jesse, “Why is Mommy’s voice like that? Is she going to die?” My poor, sweet, sensitive boy would watch me over the next few days with his eyes as wide as saucers and ask me every day, “Is your bellybutton better yet?” and I would answer him, “It gets a little better every day!” and the worry lines on his face would ease just a bit.

When we got home I wasted no time traumatizing the baby. I was still very drugged and loopy and Jesse held her toward me as if he were expecting me to take her. Her arms and legs were thrashing and my reflexes went on autopilot, blocking my abdomen and pushing Jesse (and consequently the baby) away. She looked as if I had spit in her face. She was so confused. She cried in horror at the rejection and Jesse whisked her away. He tried to feed her but she was fussy. Eventually she just started crying, “Maaaamaaa! Maaamaaa!” so he brought her back to me. I snuggled her into my side and gave her the breast. She clung to me like a baby monkey, nuzzled me all over and nursed like her life depended on it. Afterward she was happy as a clam and totally relaxed the rest of the night.

They had warned me about nausea and sent me home with a giant barf bag, but my ironclad stomach is the thing of legends. Imagine my surprise at finding my mouth filling with throw-up spit. I had been wandering around out of bed and had taken a hydrocodone (AFTER nursing) and I guess my stomach had had enough. I rushed to the toilet and thought to myself, sweet Jesus we need to dust the bathroom more frequently, as I waited in dread for the vomiting to commence. I was terrified at the thought of how painful clenching my stomach would be. Thankfully, my record remains unsullied. I didn’t throw up. After a few minutes of toilet gazing I went to bed and had weird, fuzzy dreams. I can see why people become addicted to hydrocodone, but frankly, it’s not worth the nausea. I have nineteen of the suckers left if anyone wants them for street value. Haha – just kidding. No I’m not. Yes I am. *Shakes head* I’m totally kidding. *Winks*

I switched over to expired Tylenol the next day. I was able to walk around, but not much else. The baby is aggressive when she breastfeeds, so I pretty much get my ass kicked three times a day, and my back spasms in the worst way. The baby is totally confused as to why I wont pick her up and instead keep dropping to the floor to play with her. She’s also sick of seeing Jesse’s face. She loves him to pieces but she just wants me to freakin’ hold her already. Holding her in my lap isn’t cutting it.

It is very frustrating not having use of my abs. I can’t blow my nose, fart, cough, laugh, or even yell at the kids. I tried to yell at them (They were angels Tuesday night when they thought I was dying, but by Wednesday they realized they were stuck with me, and proceeded to take advantage of my wounded state by behaving like wild animals) and the result left me winded and in pain. I decided to take the high road and find inner peace, AKA I ignored the little miscreants and let Jesse handle them.

Today (Thursday) was a bit better. I was much  more mobile and even got to shower!!! Still, every move I make is felt in my abs.

I only had one dose of expired Tylenol today. I am hoping tomorrow sees even more mobility and improvement. I’m such a bad-ass that Jesse assumes I can handle more than I can actually handle, so I better gently remind him of my limitations before I stupidly take on too much too soon.

I’m taking a picture of my gross bellybutton everyday because why not? I probably wont post them even though I can’t think of a single person who wouldn’t want to see them – I would TOTALLY want to see them if it was anyone else’s bellybutton. Admit it, you want to see the pics. Ok, maybe when I’m all healed I’ll put together a time lapse something or other and you can all watch it heal. Won’t that be fun?! As of right now my belly is swollen and the top of my bellybutton juts out like someone put a Lego under my skin.

Hmmm. Maybe the doctor put a Lego under my skin. I’ll ask about that at my follow up.

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Like a Catholic baby boy

I am still uncut.

We made it all the way to the hospital registration room before we caught our latest insurance trick. The staff were shocked as we checked ourselves out. They had never seen anyone leave that close to surgery time before. I imagined the evil head of the insurance company stroking his hairless cat and grumbling like Dr. Claw, “I’ll get you next time, Kristy. NEXT TIME!”

And he will. He will continue to “get me” every time I fork over a ridiculous amount of money each month, and then again to reach my disgustingly high deductible, and then again when I pay my ugly big percentage of the bill that they don’t cover.

How are insurance companies even legal? I feel like I’m being fleeced. I don’t claim to understand the ins and outs of all the insurance bureaucracy, but this system is very very broken. At the very least insurance companies shouldn’t be allowed to call themselves non-profit organizations. All of this money is going somewhere. How dare you tell me a syringe costs $300.00. If insurance companies were taken out of the equation then the prices for everything would go down to a reasonable amount. There would be transparency in the industry. People could shop around more easily and be sure they were getting the best price in a competitive market. Yes, technically you can do that now, but it takes hours and hours of phone calls and detective work because no one is trained or qualified to answer your questions. It was easier to give birth than it was to find out how much said birth would cost in a hospital.

I understand the concept of insurance. I understand how difficult it can be for 99 percenters to pay for medical expenses. But can someone please explain to me how insurance is helping Mr. Average Joe when he has cancer and his medical bills are two million dollars? With insurance he still has to pay for a percentage of that bill. Let’s pretend EVERYTHING on his bill was covered (very unlikely) and he is only expected to pay 10% of the bill. That’s $200,000.00. Do you have an extra two hundred thousand dollars? Neither does Mr. Average Joe. If there were no middle man driving up the cost of everything, Joe’s bill would still be high, but probably not astronomically so.

People are losing their houses over medical expenses. How much of our homeless population is due to medical bills?

How has Obamacare helped? I’m not jumping on the Obama bashing band wagon, I’m legitimately curious as to how it has helped. The only thing I’ve noticed in my personal life is that I used to be able to go to any doctor I wanted, and now when I try to see a doctor, if they hear I have an “individual” plan, they laugh and hang up on me. (Not really, but they do refuse to see me.) So, kudos to Obama for trying to fix this mess, but it’s only gotten worse.

Why are we so against European healthcare systems? Yes, my ignorance flag is flying high with this post, but by all means, educate me. Is healthcare in European countries so horrible? My dad says our healthcare system drives advancement in technologies and drug research because money makes the world go round. I can see how that reasoning makes sense. Is there no middle ground? Can we not fashion an America where our people aren’t crippled by medical costs, and we aren’t forced to watch commercial after commercial for every drug imaginable with side effects that are worse than the original problem?

This was just supposed to be a post about how I didn’t have surgery on Monday, and it has been rescheduled for next Tuesday. Now I just feel lost and frustrated. Let me know if someone makes one of those dry erase marker videos explaining insurance and American healthcare using fun cartoon people. I’ll be over here eating kale and using sunscreen.

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