Monday, April 14, 2014

International Fiesta 2014

The kids had their annual International Fiesta on Friday afternoon. This is our fourth fiesta, and they keep getting better every year! Each class performs a song and/or dance, and then the whole school family feasts on amazing food provided by the teachers, from their native countries. 

This year Evelyn's class (the Sapitos) did a parade of nations, including the countries in North and South America. Evelyn represented Argentina. The kids were supposed to wear pants/skirts to match their flags. so it was time for me to make a light blue circle skirt. Evelyn was very interested in sewing with me. 

Wondering why we don't just go to Cinderella's castle already.
They started the show off with a traditional dance performed by a couple of the teachers. It was the story of a man wooing a woman. Spicy! 

The first performance of the Fiesta. 
Gideon's class, the Buhitos, performed "La Piragua" and he was pretty content to just take it all in. 

The plight of the small one, hidden behind the tall girls.
Dispersing after the song. His first priority was to take off the fedora. 

La Piragua
When the older kids are singing, teachers usually walk around with the mic and hold it up to each kid in turn. I'm sure you won't be surprised to know that Evelyn was taking the whole thing VERY seriously.

Jonathan tells me there's a subreddit for this kind of picture. I can't stop laughing. 
Letting her flag fly.
We were quite proud of the kidlets. I can't believe that next year will be Evelyn's last fiesta! We hung out for quite a while after the show, eating and dancing to some ridiculously loud music, and letting the wee ones participate in the dismantling of the balloon props. (Evelyn, AKA Captain Planet these days, spent a long time picking up every single scrap of popped balloon from the floor of the gym and putting them in my purse to throw away "so we don't hurt the planet earth").

Evelyn with one of her teachers, Ms. Artemiza
And her other teacher, Ms. Amparo
Some of the teachers hanging out after the show.
Gideon with one of his teachers, Ms. Gloria
Teachers dancing for each other after the show (the two in white were Gideon's teachers when he was in the wee little baby room - las Abejitas)
Gideon and Ms. Patricia (Ms. Patty)
Darcy and Evelyn, dancing gangam style. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The gall.

Tuesday was the day we'd been eagerly awaiting: Jonathan's laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Ever since we got the call in November that they finally saw some tiny gallstones on his CT scan, we were just waiting for his body to be in fighting form for the gall bladder removal. The docs think that tiny gall stones and sludge were what blocked the duct, causing his pancreatitis (the gall bladder drainage duct and the main pancreatic drainage duct are right beside each other, so if the gall bladder duct is blocked it can get so inflamed that it also blocks off the pancreatic duct). 

No one was happier than Jonathan pre-surgery. They were also removing his JP drain, meaning that he would not be stinky (it leaked through the hole in his skin) and he could finally shower properly. Oh, and not walk around with a little grenade full of pus pinned to belt loop all the time. Just a bit of a quality of life issue. 

Hanging out in the swank Duke Medicine Pavilion pre-op waiting area.

Not a TV in sight! Heaven. 
The fancy-pants new medicine pavilion is super nice. They give visitors a little pager (like the ones you get when you're waiting for a table at a restaurant, not like the ones you used to deal drugs in the early '90s) and it lights up and buzzes at various time points. And they're really up front with the whole process. Right when you check in, they explain that the pager will beep four times:

1. When it's time for the patient to go back for all the pre-op stuff. (For Jonathan, this included the standard "get naked and put on this nice gown," "I'm gonna put a 20-gauge IV all up in your hand veins, but here I'll jab you with lidocane first," and the new but fun, "Now let's shave all the hair off your belly.")

2. When visitors are allowed back to give hugs and kisses before the operation. Visitors can't be there for the pre-op fun times mentioned above, but once Jonathan was all ready to go, they buzzed me back.

Don't be alarmed, but Dr. Blazer was super late showing up for this surgery. So Jonathan spent longer than normal in the pre-op waiting phase. Here he was playing with the monitors by holding his breath and breathing fast/slow to make designs on the monitor screen. 
 3. When surgery has started. Once the doc showed up to do the surgery, I said goodbye and headed back out to the waiting area. They buzzed at about 1:20 to let me know that surgery had officially begun.

4. When surgery is finished. At about 2:20, right when I was getting all relaxed and settling in for what I thought was a three-hour procedure, I got buzzed again and there was Dr. Blazer standing by the consultation room. I was pretty freaked out, thinking something had gone wrong. But no, surgery was done and everything went well! I got to go back and see the sleepyhead firsthand.

Jonathan sans gall bladder and JP drain.
 Pretty cool! He had a great post-op nurse, Drew, who monitored him for two hours until it was time to move on up to the North Tower. It's a bummer moving from the swank digs of the Medicine Pavilion to the old North Tower. Especially when you discover that you're staying on a "Short Stay Unit" which is the smallest "room" ever. It's like one big room that's kinda divided into little bays for each bed. Jonathan's bed took up almost the whole place. Tiny.

Tiny little Short Stay "room"
There was a little chair there, but it didn't convert to a bed, so I was not going to stay the night. And, sad for Jonathan, no Food Network. He wanted to watch Food Network while in the hospital. But he was just there for monitoring, and he did just fine. I came back to the hospital around 5 AM on Wednesday so I could make sure to be there for morning rounds. We saw a couple of surgical residents early that morning who said all looked good, and Jonathan was discharged around 10:30 AM.

Now he's home, taking some pain medication and resting. He has four tiny incisions on his abdomen from where the instruments were inserted, and they're just closed with surgical glue. The only place he even has a bandage is on his side where they pulled the JP drain. He's had some soreness and some intense shoulder pain, which is apparently pretty common after laparoscopic abdominal procedures. It's because they inflate your abdomen with carbon dioxide to give them space to move and see during the surgery, and then the gas is trapped in your abdomen and it moves up to your shoulders whenever you're upright, and gets trapped in the muscles. The nurses said there's not much to be done about it - the gas just has to absorb. But otherwise he's doing well. Eating and sleeping and all that. He can't lift anything over 5 lb. for at least three weeks, which makes life interesting in the parenting department... but we can live for three weeks.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Life in three pictures.

Organizing some pictures tonight and I came across this sequence of events from Evelyn's birthday. It pretty much sums things up these days. (The frog, Sammy Sapito, is her class pet and he got to celebrate her birthday with us. I had to take lots of photos with Sammy for his book.) 

Gideon: "OH MY GOSH we are about to eat cake!"
Evelyn: "Yeah, cool, great. Stop taking pictures, mom."

Gideon: "I'm just going to go ahead and take a little smackerel."
Evelyn: "Mooooooooommy! Gideon is eating the caaaaaaaaaake!"

... and commence the tears. The poor guy is so sensitive to being reprimanded. Luckily the tears cleared right up when he had a big piece of cake in front of him. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

I think he doesn't like cats.

Sunday morning conversation with Evelyn:

E: "Mama, cats are very good."
Me: "Yeah, most cats are really good."
E: "So why doesn't Barack Obama have any cats?"
Me: "Well, he has two dogs..."
E: "I think he doesn't like cats."
Me: "Maybe he likes cats, but he just hasn't gotten one yet."
E: "Yeah, he should really have a cat."

Monday, March 10, 2014


Whew, time for some catching up! 

Birthday season at our house comes to a close in just a couple hours. Jonathan turned 31 on January 31st, Gideon turned 2 the next day, I turned 31 11 days after that, and today Evelyn turned 4! All birthdays were celebrated in a pretty low-key way this year, and that was just perfect. 

He had to sneak a taste. 

At two years old, Gideon is still a miniature little man. He'll go back to the doctor in a couple weeks and we'll see what the verdict is in terms of his growth. But what he lacks in size, he makes up for with his charming personality. He's starting to embrace the joys and despairs of life as a two-year-old, but on the balance he's a pretty happy, easygoing kid. He's very sweet to his sister... when he's not busy grabbing her toys and running away with a huge smile on his face. He LOVES to sing, and will sing along with us or ask that we stop so HE can sing. He's more verbal than his sister was at his age. He still loves throwing, kicking, and bouncing balls. He's still pretty unconvinced that animals are a good idea (even the ones he's lived with since birth). He loves to wash his hands and insists on it immediately upon arriving at school. He's moved into a big boy bunk bed (bottom bunk) after figuring out how to climb out of his crib (Evelyn never ever did that) and is mostly good about going to sleep.

And Ms. Evelyn turned four today. Four?! How does this happen? I can't handle it. I took the day off work and she got to miss school to have a day-long birthday adventure.

Starting the birthday off right with an 8 AM dentist appointment. No cavities!

In the foam pit at Defy Gravity (trampoline arena)

All of my pictures were so terrible. But it was super fun. And only $6 total for both of us to jump!

The birthday girl wanted hot dogs and ice cream for lunch, so we visited a soda fountain in downtown Cary. 

Daddy joined us for lunch! 

After burning off some energy at the park, we came to my work for a meeting. Grumpy Cat watched Evelyn draw. 

Evelyn took notes during the meeting, and then watched some Super Why and took notes on the plot. 

Mondays are dance days. Here's Evelyn with Maisy and Kate and her teacher, Ms. LuGina. 

Doing some ballet. 

And tap! 

Passed out in the car on the way home. 

Evelyn got a cake too (heart shaped, strawberry with chocolate frosting per her request), and we opened a couple presents, took a bath, and went to bed. It was a very full fourth birthday! Evelyn said so many funny things today and she was so thrilled to be four. She told all the kids at the park that she was going to a meeting because she was four and when you're four you're grown up enough to go to meetings. And she said that she doesn't throw fits anymore because she's four (we'll see how that works out...). Evelyn loves to dance, and she'll do it pretty much anywhere if she notices music that gets her moving. She's very careful. She loves to draw. She loves to look at books. She's a bit slow to warm up, but once she trusts you she can talk your ear off and be quite silly. She wants to do almost everything by herself.

Well, that's what I could remember for now.

As for the adults around here?

Jonathan will have his gall bladder removal on 3/18, probably in the afternoon which means he'll be admitted to the hospital for monitoring overnight after that. He's doing pretty well. Back at work full time and pulling his weight where parenting and household responsibilities are concerned. And he's back to playing games with his friends online, which is always a good sign of his vitality. Still has the increasingly icky JP drain in his side. We'll all be thankful when that thing can go.

I'm ridiculously busy at work with two huge proposals going out at the end of this month. Playing trivia with coworkers every week. Taking MBSR every week. Running/Jogging/Walking every day and trying to meditate every day. Going to therapy (down to once weekly most weeks now... progress!), and still not writing or mailing thank you cards. But I haven't forgotten. I just keep looking up and suddenly it's 10 PM and I'm exhausted. But it'll happen. One day :)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Know how to play.

It was a gorgeous weekend. Absolutely perfect. We spent it outside. 

Driving boats at Pullen Park.

Riding carousel cats.

Playing in the sandbox.

Digging and digging.
Chasing dinosaurs with friends.

Running and running.

Saying "cheese" just like mommy asked.

Loving one another.

Tickle, tickle!

"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." - e.e. cummings
By Sunday night, everyone was exhausted in the very best way.

Jonathan has his pre-op appointment soon, and then a couple weeks after that he'll have his gall bladder removal surgery. At one point, we were told that would be an outpatient procedure, but then his primary care doc seemed to think it would be inpatient and include a 3 day hospital stay (at minimum). We'll find out more at the pre-op appointment on March 5th, so I'll keep you posted. He's feeling alright, back to work and back to eating, only occasionally throwing up, and he still gets tired easily but he's improving. He has the JP percutaneous drain in and probably will for a while yet, and that bothers him, but it seems to be doing its job at least for now. We're hopeful that it's not too much longer before they can pull that drain though. It would be nice for him to get a proper shower and be able to feel comfortable again.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow Days

We're surviving the great snowpocalypse of 2014.

There was plenty of warning. But when just two weeks ago, some local school districts canceled classes and the media flipped out over basically nothing, many people (myself included) didn't think this storm would be quite what it turned out to be. So on Wednesday, we got up and I took the kids to school. Jonathan went to Duke for a CT and appointment with the surgeon, and all was well. We knew school was closing at 12:30, which was fine, so Jonathan got the kids while I went out to lunch for my birthday. When we arrived at the restaurant, it had just started to flurry. We couldn't see outside during lunch, or we might have left earlier, because when we walked out to the parking lot less than an hour later, there was already an inch or so of snow. It came fast. The 10 minute drive back to the office took about 30 minutes, and then the 30 minute commute home from the office took me 2.5 hours (it took my friend 5 hours to make her 15 minute commute home). 

So today was a snow day. Everything was closed.... except my work, which means I get to eat up the vacation time I was carefully saving. But I'm not sure how it's possible to work with two shorties in the house. So, we played.

Playing Nintendo; The Second Wave of Snow; Sledding on Day 1; Taking a Walk

Snow Angels; Dogpile on Mommy; Boots on the Ground; Playing at Central Park; Dogpile on Daddy; Making a Fire
Things that happen when your'e the firstborn... You get way more photo ops. 

It was a good day. We watched The Lion King, made maple taffy, built fires, went sledding, made paper snowflakes, danced, read books, played Nintendo, had a picnic dinner on the kitchen floor, Gideon figured out how to climb out of his crib, the kids took a long enough nap that I got my meditation done then, Jonathan played some games and took a nap... good good good.

Tomorrow's another snow day. And then two days of weekend? Wheeeew.