kkatowll: (Mexican moon)
Sandy has a work friend who has a spouse who she is loosely in contact with, "loosely" meaning "friends on Facebook."

This person linked me into an argument she was having with an old college acquaintance over gay rights. He then kept messaging me privately, until finally I spoke with him briefly, realized I had been sucked into a worthless argument with a stranger, and blocked him.

But I keep thinking about it, because it was such a distasteful look into the Other Side.

His points:
1. "No one" in America objects to gay people or their marriages or their kids, and if the new law is passed, "no one" would use it to not provide essential services, such as medical help. He was silent on whether things like "being allowed on an airline" would be considered essential.
2. We gay people are "shoving our beliefs" down "their" throats by doing things like walking into a store that is obviously anti-gay, such as - this was his example - a Christian bookstore.
3. And we gay people are getting things that "everybody else" is not, such as:

- IVF treatment, which he claimed his son's godmother was able to get through her Navy coverage even though the military doesn't cover IVF. I looked this up. The military still doesn't cover IVF - for anybody, even gay people - but will cover such things if you were injured in the military and that's why you can't have kids

- Parades, which he claimed meant that NYC refused a parade permit to the St. Patrick's Day Parade organizers because they wouldn't let a gay contingent march. I looked this up. The NYC mayor refused to march for that reason, and then major sponsors (including Guinness) threatened to pull out, so they allowed it. No parade permits were denied by the government.

(His response to this was, "You are very good at researching, my friend.")

4. Then he said that being gay is a choice and therefore we could all choose to not be gay and we wouldn't need all these special things.

This is when I chose to tell him the conversation was over and blocked him.

Just sickening. I want to believe most people do not think like him.
kkatowll: (Mexican moon)
Sometimes the Christmas cheer is tough.

Today at the standard new-patient meeting at Baptist, the social worker told Sandy that three adults and a toddler in Alice's room for Christmas is "too much."

Also, she told her the lounge we had reserved through another social worker had actually been given to someone else.

And that we couldn't use the beautiful huge lobby with its three couches and two overstuffed chairs and amazing tall tree, because "people need to sit there."

But after I gave Sandy a pep-talk, she picked herself up and talked to the secretary in the lobby, which has been empty every single time we have seen it. The secretary said she didn't see why we couldn't use one of the couches - it's a public place, after all, so anyone can use it. So that's what we will do. We're going to do stockings and Santa gifts in Alice's room, then when someone is available to help her stand up and get into the wheelchair, we will wheel her to the lobby and I'll put all the presents under the tree and we'll have a regular Christmas. We're bringing music and food and cheer.

It's going to be great!

There *is* an automatic door there that opens right out into the parking lot, but hopefully Katie Beth will be far more interested in presents than in exploring.

I cannot wait to see her reaction when she opens her giant Mickey present - and when she opens the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse that Alice got her!! It only took me an hour or two to put that together...

Here's hoping she likes the teddy bear and alligator that Santa got her. I'm a little afraid she wants the giant ones that live in the grocery store.

And then a couple days later she's getting a horse she can ride!
kkatowll: (Mexican moon)
There has possibly been no other day that I have wanted to be home (in a happy way) as much as today.

It snowed overnight and Sandy took Katie Beth out in her skiis for the first time.

We had them all last winter and it never snowed.

Then when it really snowed for the first time this year, I took KB outside and she cried and begged me to carry her so that her (booted) feet would not touch the snow.

But Sandy bought a book ("Mickey Saves Christmas") that features skiing. When they read it last night, I told KB that she has skiis. Wow! So I got them out and put on her boots and strapped her in and she walked all over the house in them.

I told Sandy this morning that if KB wanted to go outside in them, she should take her and not wait for me. Because the snow is likely going to melt by the time I get home, and also it will be dark and cold then. If there is still snow on Christmas Eve, which I have off, I'll take her skiing. But I would hate to have her miss it just because I couldn't be there.

This is our general arrangement - KB shouldn't miss out on things 5 days a week just because I am not there.

So Sandy sent me videos and pictures of KB skiing.

God how I wish I were there!!!!!

If I were home, I would've taken her to the park where we could ski down some gentle tiny hills. I would've towed her all over the yard so she could practice her balance. It would have been THE BEST DAY EVER.

But I am taking heart from the fact that she loved it. There will be more snowy days. I hope. We don't need another 70 degree Christmas Eve!

Also it took me 2 hours to get to work so I'm like, really? I could've worked from home and then I could've taken her skiing on my lunch break! But after wimping out with the last storm, I felt like I had to make a better effort this time - and the roads looked fine. It was only once I got on them and discovered we were all going to drive 5-10 mph the entire way that I realized maybe I should've stayed home...
kkatowll: (Mexican moon)
Counting blessings:

Katie Beth is healthy and developing normally

I have a job, with supportive wonderful people

Alice is alive, albeit unable to stand or walk right now

Sandy is alive, albeit deeply upset

We all have bought each other lovely Christmas presents

We are going to see lots of family over the Christmas season

We have a house, cars, TV, internet, and all sorts of other stuff

REALLY, our only problem is that Alice is stuck in a terrible place for Christmas. That's it! Things could be way worse. While I do feel like we've staggered from one crisis to the next for months now, at least it's just one crisis at a time.
kkatowll: (Mexican moon)
Things are looking up, at least a little. Alice is at rehab and her pain is way lower than it has been in the last three weeks and she was actually eager to sit up yesterday. Today they got her up and sitting in a wheelchair!

She wants very very much to be able to come home for the day on Christmas. We do too. (Though I shudder to think of KB's reaction when Gaga goes BACK to rehab instead of staying.)

So we told her, if she can sit in a chair and a wheelchair and get in and out of a car, with our help, we can get her home for the day. That seems to have really motivated her.

We have also reserved the lounge there but it's a soulless sad place with no tree. However, there's also a big lobby with a big tree so we're thinking we could just do it there.

Nothing is as good as home, though.
kkatowll: (Mexican moon)
So. Alice's CAT scan came back and it's not good.

The tumor is bigger than before. There is a slight chance that could be scar tissue.

Also there's more specks in the lymph nodes.

So, it sounds like it is stage 3 lung cancer after all.

She is getting a PET scan in three weeks (can't do it earlier because it has to be a certain time after the radiation). Then meeting with oncologist.

The median life expectancy with stage 3 is 15 months. At that time, 50 percent of the people diagnosed have died.

15 months.

KB would be 3. Maybe three. This could be our last Christmas.

I am just so devastated.

There is some hope. Maybe they could operate, though it's dicey with her health. There are a lot of new medications now. The life expectancy figures are always a couple years old so they don't reflect the newest treatments.

This sucks.
kkatowll: (Mexican moon)
So, on Oct. 15 by bank did not take out the money for my mortgage. Being that it was a Saturday, I waited til Monday and then called. They said, oh, on Oct. 1 we sold your mortgage to this other company.

WTF?? Without telling me??

Oh, we don't have to tell you. But don't worry, you have a 60-day grace period to pay them.

So I called them (I can't remember their name). They said they had sent me a "welcome letter" on the 17th (the day I called them, isn't that convenient?) and that I could pay by phone right now with just a $20 fee! Oh and my mortgage was due the 15th so there's a late fee. I could mail them the check, but it will be considered late, of course, since it is now the 17th and the check won't arrive for a few days.

So I told them, "This is how you're going to start our relationship?" and they backed down and said, oh actually we see you don't have to pay a late fee this month.

They offered the pay by phone thing again and I refused, because I don't want to pay them $20 for the right to pay them. I wanted them to set up an automatic deduction, like I had before. They couldn't do that because my account hasn't been set up yet.

When will it be set up?

Oh, within 60 days.

You have GOT to be kidding me.

So I finally got them to give me the mailing address and mailed them a check, which I was relieved to see they cashed today. Relieved because, when I got their welcome letter a couple days ago, it said I should not mail personal checks! Who doesn't use personal checks?? So I began to worry that they would actually send my money back. But no, they cashed it. I am not worried enough about "mail security" to send them Western Union checks or whatever. I looked that up and there's a $20 fee for that too. Insane.

I suppose it's just $20. But that adds up. And anyway I am morally opposed to paying people for the privilege of paying them. Now I have to mail them a check again for November, because god help them if they set up my account in a reasonable period of time.

My mortgage has never been sold before and I am seriously annoyed by all this. I've read about how bank sell mortgages all the time, but I didn't realize it was this annoying. I complained to HSBC and they said that they COULD have transferred my payment information to the new bank but didn't because of some personal security policy. I was like, in my mortgage documents, the new bank has everything else about me - but you balk at the one piece of information that could make it easy for me to keep paying them?

And I've only ever been late once, and that's when they changed their online account thing years ago and it took me three days and multiple calls to make the darn online payment work. I don't think three days late counts, anyway. They waived the late fee at the time.

I actually told them that - I am a good customer, I am never late, and you do this to me? They told me it was nothing personal. "We package many mortgages together and sell them as a block."


I anticipate many more phone calls as I get the online auto-pay set up. They have to send me a piece of physical paper that I must sign and return with a physical, voided check. Are you serious? Also, why does this still take 60 days?


I told them that I was able to go on Paypal and set up a bank account there in three days MORE THAN A DECADE AGO. They told me I can pay by Paypal - with a $20 fee.
kkatowll: (Mexican moon)
It is nearly Katie Beth's birthday! She is so excited. Every day now she asks to read the Pookie Birthday book. Yesterday Sandy said, "And YOUR birthday is in three days!" And she answered, "No, 30 minutes!"

By this time two years ago, I was walking so slowly that Wayne said I walked slower than his disabled student! I am so glad to not be pregnant anymore.

Today was the seventh anniversary of Sandy's trip to Disney with Jane, so we all looked at the photos together when they popped up on Facebook memories. KB was delighted to see pictures of Momma on roller coasters. And she was excitedly identifying Mickey in every picture. He is EVERYWHERE. She could find him no matter how tiny he was.

Poor Katie Beth, too short for the exciting-looking, terrifying roller coasters.

But she has to be just 36 inches for Diggerland. We are soooo going next year. Hopefully she will be 36 inches by spring. I don't want to go in the summer when the lines will probably be crazy. She is going to LOVE driving real construction trucks!
kkatowll: (Mexican moon)
KB loved the Washington County Fair. She loved seeing all the animals and kept saying she wanted to pet them - and then we would get close and she would realize how big the animal was and she would say, "All done. Mommy pet."

She got very brave with a cow that was laying down, and climbed over the hay to pet it. But she sort of tripped and that made the cow move a little and she began to cry hysterically.

So scary, cows.

Later she begged to see cows again so we went back. This happened at least three times. She could not bring herself to actually pet them ever though.

The bunnies were a big hit and she did pet them. She loved them. She also petted the black sheep (she was delighted and sang the "ba ba black sheep" song to it several times in a row). And she really liked looking at the goats, horses, oxen, cows...

She LOVED the ducklings in their little bath with the water slide. She desperately wanted to pet them and the chicks and chickens. (No petting in poultry booth, poultry bite little fingers.)

She took a nap in the stroller without any fight, and slept through a huge rain storm. Afterward she played in puddles and got soaked. She loved it.

I was working the whole day, but as work consisted of walking around interviewing people at the fair, I took Sandy and KB along. :)

Amusing conversation transcribed by Sandy today, which I love because it shows how much she understands now:

KB: Gaga sleeping
Sandy: Maybe
KB: Mama sleeping
No mama driving
KB: Mama sleeping
No mama driving
KB: Mama sleeping!
Ok we can pretend mama sleeping
KB: Sleeping time! Get wumma.
Get wumma huh?
KB: In bag. Get wumma.

(After this, a discussion about what they were doing before sleeping time)
KB: Going store. Fix glasses!
What are we doing after fix glasses?
KB: Uh uh uh uh I don't remember. Going bank.
That's right we're going to the bank first
KB: Bank first. Yeah.

One more day til vacation!!!
kkatowll: (Mexican moon)
I was thinking about my Girl Scouts when Simone, a black swimmer, won gold last night.

During one of the dream chart exercises, something like 9 or 10 years ago, they said a dream would be learning to swim. I was like, we could do that!

No, Damara said, black people don't swim.

After all - their parents didn't swim, no one they knew could swim, and there were no pools in their neighborhood at which they could learn to swim.

So I drove them to Guilderland and the YMCA let them swim for free for months til they all learned how.

And then we moved on to other things and pretty much never thought about it again, except that I didn't worry quite as much about them drowning on camping trips and at Six Flags.

In fact I haven't thought about it in years. Then two days ago Damara - who is now in grad school, can you believe it?!?! - posted on Facebook pictures of cliff jumping with her friends.

Because she can swim.


And then to see Simone try, hesitantly, to talk about that without out-and-out saying "black people don't swim" - a loaded concept about pools being for whites only for far too long and slaves not being allowed to learn to swim because they could escape more easily, and other historical facts that people find it convenient to forget.

So she hesitantly said she had the weight of the black community on her shoulders and she hopes to inspire more kids to swim.


What I would've given to have someone like her to point to when my scouts said black people don't swim!
kkatowll: (Mexican moon)
Sleeping has not been popular this week. Sad hysterical crying at naptime and bedtime. However, she only cries for a minute and then she sleeps all night, so it's not all bad. Yesterday every time I tried to put her in her crib she acted like she was being dipped in boiling water (screaming, clinging to me) so finally when she requested the "Hannah and Patrix song" I told her she was going to see Hannah and Patrick this weekend.

She choked down her sobs, trying to stop crying, and stared at me.

"Soon? Hannah and Patrix soon?"

"Yes, soon."

After that she forgot to go back to crying!

I'm guessing this weekend is going to be SUPER popular. I'm trying to decide whether to tell her where we're going Saturday night or not. She won't get to play with them until the next morning so maybe it would be better to just say we're going on an adventure. If I tell her we're going to see the amazing cousins, she might refuse to sleep for the whole drive!
kkatowll: (Mexican moon)
What a week! Sandy is currently using my phone as a baby monitor but all is going well at Wayne's Birthday Part 1.

I packed everything in the push-cart so that she could manage KB, KB's stuff and the cake in one trip. Kb had a great time playing this morning (the theme is Wayne Con and everyone is playing games for points, with prizes to be given out tomorrow). She went down for nap in Wayne and Scott's apartment with no problem (hurray!) and Sandy used the app to link my phone and her phone, the one we use at hotels. Works like a charm. If my phone hears a sound, it calls her phone, and Sandy can listen and either hang up and go get the baby. She can even talk to her through it, though we sadly don't seem to have the sort of baby who will soothe from someone's voice. Either she's asleep or she's done sleeping and wants OUT.

She's woken up twice this week after sleeping through the night so nicely lately. :( Whyyyyyy. I was up with her for 90 minutes this morning. Here's hoping she sleeps when we abandon her with her grandparents for DragonCon! Although it's just four days - they can recover - the important thing is WE will sleep! :)

Tonight I'm going to Wayne Con as soon as I get out of work. Tomorrow, we will wrangle her at the birthday party together.

Plans: next weekend I'm taking KB to RI, where we will see the Favoritest Cousins Ever, otherwise known as "Hannah and Patrix." Sandy is staying home to work. The following weekend, we both have Saturday off and we're going to Glimmerglass alllll day while Christie takes care of KB and even puts her to bed for the night. (God I hope that goes well.)

The weekend after that is two more birthday parties, one of which is probably not very toddler-friendly, but whatever. After that is the Renn Faire, and then DRAGONCON!!!

I will miss summer so much when it's over. I look ahead to September and after DragonCon, it's just work, work, work.
kkatowll: (Mexican moon)
Ah, calendars.

Scheduling next year's family reunion. We said we could do it after July 4, because Sandy's convention is always the weekend of July 4.

But July 4 is the middle of the week next year. So naturally, the convention is AFTER July 4.

On the plus side, the reunion is also in Texas, so we have to fly. As Sandy pointed out, it will cost just as much for us to fly separately as together, so I'll fly with KB on Friday and she will join us Sunday night.

This means I will keep a 2-year-old entertained by myself during a 7-hour trip (plus time spent renting a car and then driving the hour from the airport to the reunion).

Best I can do is one layover, but I think that's probably for the best - she could (in theory) run around and burn off some energy between the flights.

Also I get to fly home with her alone, since I think Sandy has to fly in and out of the same airport, so she'll fly from Newark or something, then take the train to Poughkeepsie where we will go get her.

Another 3-hour roundtrip drive with KB.

Ugh, I need to stop thinking about these logistics. I am super psyched about the reunion and very glad that Sandy doesn't want me to miss half of it. It's going to be incredibly expensive but we'll figure it out somehow. (The $1,500 plane tickets are painful, but hey! Not driving for four days total! I think that's almost worth $1,500. In fact if I broke it down by the hour, I think I would find myself willing to pay about halfway through the 21-hour drive each way. And you never know, we might find cheaper flights. I think realistically the best we can hope for is $400pp but maybe there will be a sale.)

Sandy is not enthusiastic about flying alone. She's worried we might have to buy two seats since she would intrude on a stranger's seat (airlines don't mind if you're intruding on the seat of someone who is travelling with you). I told her to take this as motivation to lose enough weight that she could scrunch into one seat.

She has managed to lose 15 pounds recently so she's pretty motivated to keep going. I have lost...two.

Anyway, KB is going to LOVE the reunion. I am slightly worried about keeping her from drowning, but other than that, she is going to love hanging out with her cousins. Seeing how much she loves Hannah - she is going to be over the moon about the reunion! In addition to the other kids, she'll also get to see gramma and papa and Uncle Kelsea and Aunt Brii. (But not their dog. Sadness. I asked her recently, "What do you like about Uncle Kelsea?" And without hesitation she answered, "Doggie." Yeah, poor Kelsea! Feeling the love! On the other hand, if you ask her what she loves about her mommies she will say "milk" for me and "read books" for momma. Ask her who she loves in general and she will say peaches. So there you go. She needs no people, just some dogs, books, milk and peaches. In all seriousness she would happily live on milk, peaches and chicken.)

KB is pretty much done nursing. It's funny - people told me the morning nursing would be the last to go and I discounted that. But she hasn't nursed at night in many weeks, and yet every few mornings she wants to nurse. Today she insisted on nursing for a long time, and then after about two minutes she wanted to nurse again. I told her she would have to wait because she drank all the milk. She insisted on trying. Then she stopped and said, "Wait."

Yup. No more milk right now!

It's amazing to see her talk about things now and really understand things.

This weekend she will be playing with other kids all day on Saturday and Sunday. It will be interesting to see how that goes. Mal came to visit from 10-4 last Sunday and KB tried very hard to get him to play with her. She would bring him toys, call him over to see things, come over to him to play with him, and he pretty much ignored her. He's roughly four months younger. He was totally fine with her existence, but didn't really play with her. Still, KB really enjoyed playing with him. He goes to daycare and never tried to take any toys away from her, which I'm sure he's learned from all the socialization there. Twice KB tried to take something out of his hand, while he hung onto it. Both times I told her not to, but didn't do anything else, and watched as she tried to figure out what else to do. She tried offering him a different toy, but that didn't work. She tried talking to him - didn't work. She tried finding and playing with other toys that did the same thing, which mostly satisfied her. Finally she simply waited until the moment he let go and then she grabbed it. (Then he tried to get it back and they had to work that out.)

She needs a lot more interaction like that - preferably with a kid who will fight back - to learn how to handle these sorts of conflicts. I've found that when we have playdates, which are usually at a playground, the kids tend to not have any conflicts - or even any reason to talk to each other. They all know to take turns, for example, and then they all sort of ignore each other and slide and swing or whatever.

So we need to have more playdates where the kids are all playing in a more enclosed area. But that is not really what people want to do in the summer. Oh well. I'll just offer to babysit Mal a lot more. :) Poor Mal, at one point he was holding a little person in each hand and KB was trying to pull them both out of his hands. When I told her to stop, she sensibly went off and found more of the six million little people we have in the house. I think there's at least one in every single room in this house. Seriously, I saw one in the bathroom yesterday. Somebody had been giving him a pretend bath.

Anyway, they had a great time playing with the water table once KB realized she could drown her own people. I mean, have them go "swimming." They don't float, by the way. Plunk, sink, while KB caroled at them, "swim! swim! whee!"

She also sent them down the ball drop. "whee!" Killing little people left and right. :) Mal plunked them in, lifted them up, poured water on them from a cup, put them in the cup...so much excitement drowning little people.

Sandy is going to hide a few toys today to bring to the events this weekend in hopes that KB will be excited to see them again and happy to play with them with whatever other kids are at Wayne's two-day birthday.

The weekend AFTER next, we are going to see KB's current favorite person in the whole world, Hannah.

When I said that we were going to see Mal on Sunday she said wistfully, "See Hannah?"

She asks me every night too. So yesterday I said, "yes, soon." I am not at all sure she understood what soon was, but she did understand that it was not now, so that's an improvement.
kkatowll: (Mexican moon)
So tired today. Last night we watched the first of the two-episode finale for Flash and SOMETHING STUNNING AND HORRIBLE happened and so I said I didn't want to watch the second episode. So we switched to Arrow, which we are about two seasons behind in, and THE SAME STUNNING AND HORRIBLE thing happened.

OMG this is why I should just read books I have safely read a dozen times before, I know what I'm getting into then!

But actually right now I am rereading Moreta, which I stopped reading because I didn't want to read about death either.

I am surrounded.

So I took my phone on a pokewalk, and it died before I even got to the sidewalk.

It just wasn't my night.

I took Sandy's phone and took her character on a pokewalk while she made blue roses for a wedding cake, and in 40 min I hatched two eggs and leveled her. Only then did I realize I could've signed her out and signed into my account on her phone.


Then of course there was Trump's speech, which went on far too long and I ended up staying up way too late and today I am super tired. So of course I have tons I have to do.

On the plus side, at weigh-in today I had lost two pounds. 23 pounds to go...

And, thinking positively - I have an awesome playdate set up for Sunday, so that will be great. Hopefully we will also see Ghostbusters and Star Trek this weekend. Just two more days! And then the radiology appointment for Alice, which hopefully will be good...and Sandy's appointment to figure out what's wrong with her foot (whatever it is, here's hoping they can fix it before DragonCon!) and ugh this isn't making me look forward to the weekend after all. Let's focus. Playdate and movies. Yes.
kkatowll: (Mexican moon)
Oof what a month it has been! I must admit I am now looking at the next 6 weeks and thinking ahhhh, no vacation for awhile. Oh good.

This weekend is Tisha's house warming, in two more weekends is Wayne's birthday, and the following weekend is our big all-day date to see two operas at Glimmerglass. Then there's the Renn Faire. But, generally speaking, "nothing."

It's been a lightning round of vacation on steroids. I literally picked up KB at the babysitter and drove directly to RI when I got out of work Saturday. Got there just before 10 p.m. Left Monday night after dinner (and after returning to pick up things I'd forgotten, including MY WALLET which luckily Aunt Mary remembered seeing so we were able to find it).

When I said goodbye to Patrick, I said it had been a wonderful two days, and he said, "TWO days? It felt like 20!"

I decided he meant that in a good way. ;)

He also asked repeatedly if we were going to see him again "this summer or even this year." Oops. I'm sorry, kiddo. I used to see him almost every month...but then life got busy...like four years ago. Yeeaaah.

I am campaigning to have them spend a few days up here with us this summer. We haven't quite figured out how to get them, though. And of course their schedules and ours are packed. Sigh.

Last night KB fell asleep in the car about 9 p.m., basically slept through my carrying her upstairs, changing her and putting her in her crib, and stayed asleep until 9:30 a.m. When I went to get her she said she was still sleepy and wanted to stay in her crib (but also see momma, so she agreed to leave the crib). She was industriously working on the zipper of her sleep sack, which of course she wanted me to put back on.

She excitedly told Sandy all about the "pony" or "cow" that she rode and petted. (It was a camel.) She also told her about the gaffies (giraffes) and bears. What else rated a mention? "People! Hannah, Patrick, Hannah. Doggie. Barking. Stairs. Piano!"

I'm guessing one of the two Hannahs is really Anna. The doggie that barks is Aunt Mary's dog, who is a total sweetheart. KB LOVED her.

But mostly she loved the kids, and they were really amazing with her. They played with her and entertained her so well, particularly Hannah, that I was able to take a shower one morning and a (very short) nap one afternoon. KB wanted to do everything they did. Which is why in two days she managed to hurt herself about four times. It's hard work, keeping up with big kids! (And she was fine - nothing major.)

She didn't sleep well AT ALL, though definitely better when she wasn't sharing a room with the ever-fascinating Hannah. She rolled over at 2:30 a.m., saw Hannah sleeping nearby, woke up completely and spent more than an hour lobbying to have Hannah play with her. This included chanting "wake up wake up wake up" and "sleep big bed, BIG BED" and even hysterical screaming at one point. She eventually sort of slept with me, constantly turning and climbing and crawling and then sleeping briefly before doing it all again.

So I learned 20 months is too young for a sleepover. Ah well. She changes so fast, this won't be forever. It will be MUCH more convenient on trips when she can sleep in the same room as other kids. In the meantime I think I will invest in a small hanging-curtain thingie so I can create a little room for her. Because sleeping in the same room as the mommies seems to get the same eager reaction.

So - at various times I got to have really good (separate) conversations with Peter, Anna, Aunt Mary and James, Patrick and I built a salt-water-battery robot that worked briefly, and we went to the zoo.

It was SO COOL to hang out with Anna now that we can have full conversations in English. She remembers me even though I haven't seen her in 4 years and she even remembers the cake Sandy made for her 4 years ago.

Now I am tired but I'm at work til probably 10 p.m. or later so...coffee it is! I didn't manage to get home til midnight, fell asleep about 1 a.m.
kkatowll: (Mexican moon)
The convention was good. We made a lot of money. It was a lot of work, but I found out there's a kids' room (door! toys!) that's open at inconvenient hours (like 8-noon) so I didn't get to actually take KB there this year, but that will be helpful next year. Also there's a daycare there with drop-in rates so that could work too. The pool is lanes-only and had no kids playing in it, so it wasn't fabulous, but she did get more comfortable with her little life jacket thingie.

This year we took turns running around with her and I carried her on my back several times while selling cupcakes on the cupcake cart. (She loved that so much that she started calling me Ride. As in, "Who's that? Is that Mommy?" "Ride!") The only problem with carrying her was twice she got sick of it and started hitting me on the head while screaming ALL DONNNNNE while I was trying to sell cupcakes to people. You haven't lived til you've made change in that situation, I'm telling you.

I tried to teach her the types of cupcake, but the best I could get her to say was people! cuppycake! By the end of the con she'd heard the word so often that she'd started saying it correctly. (She said cuppycake because that word is in a song Sandy sings her.)

She had what seemed to be a cold at the beginning of the con, but slept horribly the whole convention and then woke up screaming (and oh do I mean SCREAMING) with a fever the last night. Then she got diarrhia last night after we got home and now she's just sick sick sick. :(

Anyhow she had so much fun at the con...every morning she would climb into her stroller, wearing nothing but a diaper, and try to convince us to "Go! People! Down!" She loves people. And all their cool toys.

It was not so much fun for me...my feet hurt, and I feel like I was pretty much walking for 18 hours a day. This is not exactly true but close. I hate this con because the layout is so awful that we have to use the cart because no one can get to the booth. We might have to switch to this con instead of Total Con next year too and I'm like PLEASE GOD NO I cannot do TWO cons with the cart.

It was fun, sometimes - I got to see the end of a bunch of very cool LARPs with awesome costumes and really good NPCs and fun plots. I got to see all the wargamers and their cool toys.

But mostly it was chase baby, walk cart while carrying baby, force baby to nap, walk cart without baby, go get baby after nap, chase baby, carry baby and walk cart, force baby to go to bed, walk cart, pack up booth, carry huge boxes of cupcakes, sleep.

I would've much preferred a weekend with my cousins at the lake.

But on the plus side, we are closer to buying a car! So that is good. Another convention this weekend - in Lake George which is very convenient - and I don't have to go to this one. Hopefully it will be good - it's a new one. Then maybe we will have more money for a car.

Tomorrow morning at 7:15 a.m. Alice is getting an MRI to make sure that cancer (if it is cancer) has not spread to her brain. I'm working late that day so I can stay home with KB while Sandy takes Alice. On Wednesday, hopefully I will have the day off so I can stay with KB while Sandy takes Alice to pre-admission testing and admission to St. Peters, which they say could take upwards of 3 hours. Then they will slowly take her off coumadin so they can do a biopsy of the possible cancer on Friday. Here's hoping it's nothing. Doc says it could be stage 1 or stage 3, depending on whether the lymph nodes are "lighting up" due to pulminary fibrosis (which she also has) or cancer spreading. If it's stage 3, that's very bad and she has a 15 percent chance of living for 5 years. If it's stage 1, it's very easy to get rid of, doc says. There's still the possibility it will be nothing, as well. Here's hoping. I could REALLY go for a diagnosis of nothing right now.

Also on Friday Sandy will be baking. Then she'll be at the Lake George con on Sat and Sun. (Earning money for the car!) Hopefully I will go visit my cousins on Sun-Mon (my cousin is helpfully not telling me where he will be, when, or if he's available...), and hopefully everything with Alice will be fine, and we'll find a good car, and KB will be well, and all the problems in our lives will be resolved.

Today I am tired, but KB went to bed without any fight last night, and only got woken up when WW III happened outside. I got her back to sleep as soon as the idiot firebirds stopped playing with their firesticks and then she slept til 3 a.m., demanded milk, and was back asleep within minutes and didn't wake up til 9:30. Ahhh. It sounds like a lot of wakeups but compared to the last threee days when she woke up 6+ times a night (I am so serious) and required hours to get her to sleep, it was a great improvement.

Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.
kkatowll: (Mexican moon)
So tired. So that we can go see Peter & Anna (and everyone else) next weekend, we need to have everything done for the convention by next Thursday. Last night Sandy got half the cake balls done (stage 2 of the cake balls - in which the cake-frosting mix is rolled into balls) and I got a third of the chocolates done (half the cupcakes have chocolate toppers - Darth Vader, Serenity, Tardis and Dalek were the ones I was doing last night).

That took us about 3 hours.

Two more nights of that and we should be done. On Monday Sandy will spend the day decorating the cake balls (half are BB-8 and half are beholders).

It's more work than normal because not only does she have the big convention coming up, but the weekend after it is ANOTHER big convention. So I am making even more chocolates than normal. Last night I made almost 100 Darth Vader helmets, about 50 Tardis, 30 Dalek, and 30 Serenity because that damn Firefly-class ship is really hard to shape in chocolate. The wings always break off -- or the engines -- and we have to glue them back on with melted chocolate.

But despite that, tonight we are going to see Finding Dori. God I hope it is better than The Lobster, which I picked for our anniversary. It was...well, horribly violent in strange and unpredictable ways. We recovered by re-watching Star Wars 7 after KB went to bed that night.

Maybe I should just watch Pixar and Disney movies from now on.

Tomorrow night Sandy is making a special dinner for Mommy's Day, and then Sunday we're going to Six Flags for Mommy's Day, formerly known as Father's Day.

Then on Monday I should be able to finish almost all of the chocolates between KB's nap and after she goes to bed. And I'll still have Tuesday and Wednesday nights if necessary! (Which might be necessary, to fight with the molds for Chuthulu - his wings keep breaking off.)

It's amazing how much faster things have gotten. The crazy whirlwind plan for next weekend: go to Old Songs on Friday, camping Friday and Saturday nights, then drive to NH to spend Sunday and Monday with the family, then drive home Monday night. On Tuesday I go to work and Sandy gets things ready for the huge baking plan Wednesday. Everything needs to be perfect because, of course, on Wednesday she must also take her mom to the surgeon to discuss surgery for the probably-cancerous tumor in her lung. Which is estimated to only take an hour (plus an hour of driving time) but still, at best that's 2 hours of what is usually a very long baking day anyway. And who knows whether Sandy will be able to focus afterward. But she didn't want to move the date.

With the new wall ovens baking has become MUCH faster so - in theory - she could finish the baking in 6 hours. Which would be amazing. But assumes that everything goes perfectly and she does not, for example, have to make more frosting after underestimating how much she needs, or having to remake a batch of batter for some reason...and of course KB slows things down too.

Anyhow, I work next Tuesday and Wednesday and then vroom! Off to Dex Con for 5 days.

So I am tired but happy. Lots of great things coming up!
kkatowll: (Mexican moon)
KB has slept through the night the last few nights. No idea why. Babies are a mystery.

Weaning isn't going well. We were nearly done with morning nursing but now every morning it's neees! neees! (nurse, nurse)

Then she'll nurse for like a second and want to go play, but if I dare to go back to getting ready for work, it's neees! NEEEEEEEES!

Sandy says that when KB wakes up and I'm already gone, she shows KB that I'm not in the bed and not downstairs and KB calmly goes about her day.

Argh. Maybe I should be appreciative. It's nice to be loved, right?
kkatowll: (Mexican moon)
Oh look, it's the start of another week. Thank god. Maybe this week will be better.

KB decided to go back to sleeping through the night, the last two nights. So that was good.

Christie came over after KB went to sleep yesterday so Sandy and I could go see Civil War. It was not a great movie.

We see movies so rarely now that I am infuriated by bad movies. What a waste!!!
kkatowll: (Mexican moon)
So. We have had a HELL of a month and it's all due to medical...incompetence? Let me tell you the story...

February. After working nonstop for a week, selling thousands of cupcakes over the course of three days, and meeting tons of people, Sandy catches some sort of awful cough. After a day and a half of rest doesn't help, and leads her to pull a muscle in her back, she goes to her doctor.

The doctor sends her BY AMBULANCE to the hospital (oh and the bill was $1700, isn't that great?) on the theory that maybe she had a blood clot in her lung since she was in the car for 3 hours, two days prior. Even though she stopped and walked around after an hour. So...okay...many hours in the ER, I worked from home, arranged for an emergency babysitter, etc. ER determined there was absolutely nothing wrong with her, diagnosed bronchitis and a pulled back muscle. Gave her pain meds, sent her home.

Then Sandy's doctor looked at the cat scan of Sandy's chest and decided she saw fluid around her heart, diagnosed possible congestive heart failure, sent her to a specialist. Sandy spent the next week freaking out.

At the specialist, they found absolutely nothing wrong.

Then Sandy's doctor read the report of the exam on her heart and said the specialist had found aortic stenosis, and sent her to another specialist.

Sandy spent the next two weeks freaking out.

At the specialist yesterday, the cardiologist said:
1. It's totally normal to have fluid around heart, lungs, etc. during acute bronchitis. And while perhaps it might be something to check, it was gone a week later, so there's nothing to worry about.

2. The lab report actually said, flat out in these words: "These results are consistent with no aortic stenosis."


After running up INCREDIBLE bills with the ambulance, ER, and specialist, her doctor MISREAD the report.

The cardiologist gave us a copy of it because she was so upset by what Sandy had been put through.

It's one page - and not even a whole page. It's three paragraphs of details, about eight sentences total. Then there's a paragraph that starts with SUMMARY: and lists four bullet points, all of which are normal. One of them, though, is aortic schlorosis, which the doctor apparently misread as stenosis.

Now, aortic schlorosis can be an indicator of potential heart problems in the future. Those who have it should consider it a warning sign, like high cholesterol, and take steps to lead a healthy lifestyle.

But the heart itself is fine - none of the deposits that cholesterol can leave that can later block the arteries, no problems with blood flow, etc.

So in other words, her doctor should have called her up and said, "This report says your heart is fine, but you are obese, and the report indicates that, and you should really lose weight to help your heart stay healthy."

I am SO MAD that we got stuck with all these medical bills (we pay 100 percent of the first $4,000, plus a share of the rest) for nothing. I mean, at first we were like, hey, better safe than sorry. But three times wrong in a row? Not cool.

Sandy is also frustrated because three times she's called to talk to her doctor, and her doctor never calls back. She's thinking about switching to a doctor with a practice nearby, which would be way more convenient. And maybe the new doctor would be more competent.

From my point of view, it would be great if she had a local doctor, because a doctor who is 45 min. away is really, really inconvenient when you have a baby.

But mostly I'd like a doctor who could accurately diagnose, say, whether or not fluid in a chest was related to bronchitis!


kkatowll: (Default)

January 2017

123 4567


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 19th, 2017 02:12 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios