28 July 2010

Quilts of our lives, part 6 (or so)

Along with the chicken quilt, this was from my whole-cloth phase. The fish fabric was from two sets of flannel sheets I got on clearance at Target. Both sides are fairly well-quilted, and by "well" I mean "lots o' stitches, not necessarily nice ones." It was my first non stitch-in-the ditch quilt, and I still sleep under it.
This photo makes it look like I quit quilting once I felt like it was going to hold together. Which I did. I find it hilarious, apparently, to showcase my limited abilities and dedication.

The next quilt of our series will likely be one I didn't make, so stay tuned!

22 July 2010

Crushing guilt. As usual.

So I've always been good at feeling bad. I still feel bad for dumb things I did in 1st grade. What is wrong with me? That can't be normal. See? I feel bad for feeling bad.

Shaun's illness has offered lots of new opportunities for guilt. Guilt for serving sodium-laden food all these years. Guilt when I crave (and can eat) carry-out pizza. Guilt when I forget to start the sodium-free pot roast, so he has to have a salt-free peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Again.

Then there's the generalized guilt: Guilt for not blogging more, guilt for posting whiny blog posts like this one, guilt that V watches too much tv, guilt that I don't get my papers graded faster, guilt that I don't write more letters/eat more vegetables/go to the library more.

And I know all the stuff about forgiving myself, and moving on, and taking steps to let go of guilt. And I feel guilty for not doing them.

Mostly, I'm posting about all my guilt so that I can get it out of me, air it out, and move on. We'll see how well that works.

15 July 2010

Our Valley's Fair

Mama and V on the Ferris Wheel (this one was much less scary for me than our last Ferris Wheel)

This picture is so awesome, I feel like I should write to the footlong corndog company and ask if they want to buy some copies.
The Dizzy Dragon in which V and Daddy rode.
On the wacky tugboat ride.
The second best footlong corndog photo ever.
I would've paid good money if a bug would've flown in just then. Very good money.

Top of the ferris wheel midway shot. I love midways.

When your child has sensory integration issues, a fair (or circus or parade or baseball game or doctor's visit or movie or walk around the block or trip to the store or a basic conversation) can be a frightening can full of angry, rabid worms. To prepare, we talked about the fair for about a week ahead of time, and brought sunglasses and water. I should've brought wet wipes (MOM! I AM STICKY! was heard by, um, everyone at the fair), but overall it was a successful trip, without a single meltdown or kick or uncontrollable screaming bout (sticky fit notwithstanding). She wavered once or twice, but marched on, and we had a lovely time.


10 July 2010


Two years ago this evening, I know exactly where I was. As the second child in her family, and the third grandchild, Emmy might seem sometimes to get lost in the shuffle, but the truth is, she won't stand for that. I wrote a poem for V's second birthday, and for Will's, and knowing Emmy, if I don't write her one, she won't ever forgive me. Last year's post for her was a type of poem, but this one here's more official. Not terribly polished, but utterly heartfelt.

Emerson Claire

Your dark ringlets grew in this year
curling around your ears and into my heart.

You are my little sister, version two,
with her sweet round face and dark eyes,
and generosity in your heart.

Like your mother, second doesn't suit you.
You must be heard, and obeyed. Such a big voice
in a small girl.

I can see you, lead singer in your own punk
band, passionate schoolteacher, brilliant CEO,
pouring your fiery self into this world.

I am lucky to see you grow into yourself,
with your vaudevillian sense of comedy,
finicky eating, and clear, repeated shouts of "No!"

The world is lucky to have you, too.
May it give back as much as you give it, and more.

09 July 2010

A second place to Languish

I got tired of all the spam involved in my Google blog, so I'm trying again, this time in Wordpress. Knock yourself out, leave supportive comments, and .... offer suggestions. Please.

06 July 2010

All we ever hoped for.

A rare, non-goofy photo of my family. I love them both so.
In one of Shaun's appointments this week, his doctor from BHFC (before heart failure crap) said he's quite confident Shaun will rebound and work through this. Though heart failure is not something one gets over, the doctor said given his age and willingness to change his lifestyle, it should be manageable. I guardedly accept his assessment, but if he turns out wrong, I'm gonna hunt him down and knee him in the groin.

I think that's reasonable.

03 July 2010

Nice ejection fraction, babe.

Things that suck about heart failure:
1. learning more new terms/concepts than I have since college. Or at least since we became parents.
2. It's freakng called heart FAILURE. How does that even sound fun?
3. Trying for a low-sodium diet. This is a respectable goal, but do you have any idea how hard it is? Shaun's supposed to have 2000 mg or less of sodium a day, on average. Which isn't too bad, considering some people can't have any salt at all, and the US RDA of sodium is 2400 mgs/ day. But one slice of cheese pizza has 702 mg of sodium. A can of Campbell's chunky soup has roughly 1600 mg of sodium. One egg has 65 mg. One cup of milk has 135. How did this happen? Why is it everywhere? Why is it in milk but not in whipping cream?
4. Seeing the horrified faces of my nursing students when I tell them Shaun's ejection fraction is 20%.
5. Four doctors appointments a week.
6. It's damn hard to plan a date when you can't go out to dinner together because everything at every restaurant is made, primarily , of salt.

Fun things about heart failure:
1. He might get an implanted difibulator. You know, a difibulator is the kind of thing that Dr. Green would use on ER right after he shouted "Clear!" And everyone had to stop touching the patient. Shaunie could have one of those implanted. Like a magic power, kind of.
2. Shaun has a wee bottle of nitroglyerin he's supposed to take with him wherever he goes.
3. This makes me think of us as Hepburn and Fonda in On Golden Pond.
4. That means I get to be Hepburn.
5. Our insurance covers 3 of the 4 weekly doctors appointments (and I feel very, very fortunate for this).
6. Heart in spanish is El Corazon. El Corazon is an album I enjoy by Steve Earle.

Okay, it's a stretch to come up with 6 fun things about heart failure. But I'm trying.

A blessed fourth of July to you and yours. Be careful of waterballoons.  Love all y'all.