But first- the dentist has informed us that it is indeed an EXTRA tooth. We aren’t going to pull it yet because it requires sedating him, but we have to keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t get infected or affect his bite. Oh, you say DON’T spend money I don’t have now? OKAY!
This is kind of out of place, but we came into Cole’s room the other day (where he had been playing very quietly) to find this zebra balanced perfectly on the crib railing. I’m not sure why he did it, but I thought it was pretty funny and, therefore, needed to share.
Anyway… it was a GORGEOUS day. John, Cole, and I took a walk out to the dam while my parents tooled around in their new kayak.
Then Cole got a ride.
They made it out to the end of the docks before realizing that, though Cole was not crying, he was CLEARLY uncomfortable and unhappy in that
straightjacket life vest and should really be let out. I scooped him up (because I had been hovering following their progress all the way down the dock) and released him from the torture safety device.
And promptly let him play in the mud with all of the broken glass, rusty nails, dead fish, and fish hooks. He was cool with it.
Then we were treated to a lecture.
For a while…
Before he left, disgusted with our ignorance on the proper wearing of Christmas hats before Halloween, to take a little ride on the ridiculously fat shetland pony, formerly known as “Yoko the dog.”
Can’t write today. Going to stupid dentist. In stupid far-off, distant lands. That smell bad. Be back tomorrow. With pictures from weekend. Includes lots of fishy dirt. Yuk.
In the meantime, what do you all know about lead poisoning and, more importantly, can you tell me if Cole and I have it?
Okay- after that sad topic, who needs a picture of Cole? I know I do.
Cole’s birthday was great. It was small- just us, his aunt, uncle, and two cousins- but he had a fantastic time. The cousins all played so nicely together. I know the girls had been waiting for the day that Cole would be able to join in. Well- that day is here. It was awesome.
I guess the cake couldn’t have been that bad. Last year I had to shove some frosting in his face to get him to try it. Since then he has somehow (and I really, honestly DO NOT KNOW HOW) learned the word “cake” and was totally on top of the situation. That cake was in his face (sans fork- I did provide one!) within seconds of hitting the table.
(In case you’re interested- it was the 1-2-3-4 Yellow Cake with organic raspberry and tartred cherry jam filling and homemade cream cheese frosting. Mmmmmmm……)
We rounded out the evening playing with his new vacuum. And discovering that this:
I’m a Californian and I have been for all but about 4 years of my life. I might as well be a native because I hardly remember anything else. However, I am a NORTHERN Californian, which is just SO different than Southern that we should really be different states. So this fire thing? It hasn’t really seemed real. Until this morning.
This morning the sun was orange. Fire pollution orange. I hate that sun.
I grew up with such a huge fear of fires that persists to this day, even though the last fire to threaten my family was back in about 1987 (when I was 8!). But the magnitude of that particular fire, especially when then combined with more distant but still very present and scary fires since, was enough to tattoo fire fear and paranoia in me permanently.
I know what fire smells like, and I can smell it when it’s far away and has even just started. I can even tell most of the time if it’s a woodstove, forest, or house/man-made material fire. When I smell a fire, I am all but paralyzed until I find out where it is.
I still have a fascination with the fire-fighter rations that were introduced to me during that ’87 fire. They were the most horrible, freeze-dried portions of crap I’d ever tasted, but I remember them vividly and think of them whenever there’s a wildfire.
I can also still vividly remember the sight of leaves of ash falling on my house. The leaves had burned so quickly that they still looked like leaves but were entirely ash. They fell apart at the slightest touch.
I am also terribly afraid of fireworks and bonfires. I run around stomping out smoldering ashes that fly out of bonfires whenever I’m around them. I can’t say it’s really all that fun. None at all, actually. I also stomp out burning cigarettes when they’re thrown on the ground, but not just because of the fire risk.
People all over the internet have been talking about packing lists for if a disaster was looming over their home. I haven’t really thought of one, mostly, I think, because it causes too much anxiety about the things that would be left. I’d rather deal with it in a tizzy at the last moment and not have time to think about all that I was leaving. My list does go this far: Cole, John, Yoko. I will, however , share with you my list from when I was 8 and we were put on standby for evacuation. Don’t worry- it’s short.
No exceptions allowed. As my mother rushed around packing photos and papers and supplies and clothes, I lovingly and with the utmost care wrapped and packed every stuffed toy. When my mother told me that I could only pick 3 to take? She might as well have shot me through the heart. I sobbed and wailed and mourned the untimely passing of my left behind toys. What? I was a very lonely little girl and they were my only friends. How would you feel if your mother told you she was going to let your friends burn to death? Exactly.
Thankfully, our house never burned down. But I’m now remembering how I felt and thinking of all of the families who have lost so much in these fires already. Even if all of their things can be replaced, this will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
I was so busy yesterday- either traveling to meetings or in them- that I didn’t get to mark the special day here.
Yesterday John and I marked 11 years together.
Let’s say that again- ELEVEN YEARS.
Not every day has been fun and sometimes I want to strangle him, but he’s still my very best friend, the only person who I think really knows me, the only person who accepts me completely, the only one who really knows how weird I am, the only one I can be a bitch to and know that I’ll be forgiven when I get my crap together, the only one who I’ve ever really loved. We may not be perfect, but I can’t imagine being with anyone else. And he has meant even more to me since becoming the father of our son.
John- when I take the time to look back, I can’t believe what we’ve been through in the last 2 years. We’ve been through some of the most stressful times that a couple can go through, I think, and, despite any rough spots, I think we’ve come through quite well. I’m so glad I have you. I only had the tiniest inkling of what you would come to mean to me 11 years ago. I’m glad I went with my gut. Grabbing your ass is still one of the best things I’ve ever done!
Yesterday was just sort of bad news all over the place. I was up for way too many minutes out of the already too short night because my sore throat kept jolting me out of sleep. I felt bad enough that I actually stayed home yesterday. The good part of that is that John and Cole stayed home with me- effectively a three-day weekend. We did some very important movie watching and block building.
When I called Cole’s daycare to tell her that he wouldn’t be gracing them with his presence, I was told that she and her husband had been in the hospital for several hours on Friday night dealing with his foot. He was exposed to a huge amount of Agent Orange in Vietnam while building the roads. Planes would fly ahead and defoliate with Agent Orange and his crew would follow. Now he has severe neuropathy and lives in constant pain. He’s been getting black patches on his right foot. After having a few of these patches *shudder* cut out and the antibiotics not keeping them from coming out in new places, they are now talking about amputating his foot. I do not know how this man will survive having his foot cut off. He won’t be able to move around in their house or futz around in the yard or build stuff like he does now. I’m just not sure how it’s going to work. I feel so sad for them that they are going through this and I’m a little selfishly worried that it might be the end of Cole’s daycare (though they don’t have any other way to make money, so we may be safe there). The closest VA Hospital is about 3 hours away, so they’ll have to take a day to go down there to have him checked out. Who knows how long he or they would have to be down there if they decide to take his foot. I want to do something for them, but I just don’t know what.
Then I took Cole to the dentist. I don’t know if you remember, but Cole had a tooth (“G” to be exact) that would not come down for the longest time. It finally came in months ago, but it was at a very strange angle and was never square like the others. About 2 weeks ago, I noticed that another tooth had broken through practically on top of the other tooth. Of course his dentist was out on vacation, so yesterday was the first day he could go see her. She agreed with me that there is definitely one more tooth than should be in there, but we have to go to a pediatric specialist to find out if it’s actually an extra (supernumerary) tooth or if it’s his adult #10 coming in WAY too early. The closest specialist is 1.5 hours away and we’ll probably have to go twice at least. I’m not excited. We don’t have the money for this. Not even close. But I have to take him. I’m not even thinking twice about it.
We all went to the store yesterday evening and ran into someone with whom John and I were both friends in High School. We had drifted apart because she had turned into a religious proselytizer, and we just don’t care to be around people who can’t respect that we don’t believe the same things that they do. She had gotten married to someone from high school and had very quickly had three boys with him. I had seen her last spring in a store and we had chatted briefly and pleasantly but I hadn’t heard anything about her since. She told us last night in the store that her husband had died last June. At first we thought she must be saying that her husband’s father had died, but after we walked away the full truth of what she had said sunk in. Her 27 year old husband died last June, leaving her alone with three boys. I was shocked. John saw her in another part of the store and gave her a hug, saying that we had reacted strangely because it hadn’t really hit us before. She said that she knew it was awkward. Awkward doesn’t quite cover it. I don’t really know what does.
And I’m back at work today feeling overwhelmed by work and life in general. But I have my family and we all (relatively, at least) have our health, and I am so grateful.
Part of my job includes acting as Proposal Coordinator. Note: THIS DOES NOT MEAN I WRITE PROPOSALS. You write proposals, not me. I don’t get paid for it, you do. I am not trained for it, you better be. I will edit them, produce them, and make sure that they get where they need to be on time, but the writing? It’s all on you, baby.
Please also note that this is not, by far, the only responsibility that I have. There are many things that I do that you do not see. I am not your dedicated employee. I do not even report to you. Most of the time I help you only because I am nice, not because it’s my job. Please stop acting like I owe you something or like I have nothing better/else to do. It makes me lose my nice.
Yours in Sincerest Fondness,