Aug 1 2015

Surgery Went Well

Davy’s hernia repair surgery went well yesterday and he’s back home now with only minor discomfort. He’s enjoying unlimited popsicles and video game time.

Sol, unfortunately, has figured out how to get his boot off so THAT’s a problem. Also my computer suffered a catastrophic hard drive failure yesterday; I’m posting from my tablet but updates are likely to be terse until I get a replacement.


Jul 30 2015

Flash Fiction: The Unicorn at the Clinic

“Hi,” says the unicorn kindly. “What brings you to see me today?”

“Um,” says Mary, shifting uncomfortably in her seat. She knows she needs to get those white bumps on her labia looked at, and the free clinic has good reviews on Yelp and is, you know, free, but… “Are—are you a doctor?”

“Nurse practitioner, actually,” the unicorn says. He doesn’t sound offended, but it’s hard to read an expression in those swirling opalescent eyes. “Don’t worry, I’ve been working here for years. I know it’s embarrassing but I promise that whatever your questions are, they aren’t stupid and they won’t shock me.”

“I’m not a virgin,” Mary blurts out.

“Okay, that’s good, let’s talk about your sexual history. When did you first become sexually active?”

“No, I mean, I thought—” Mary gestures helplessly towards the spiral horn. The lighting in the clinic is fluorescent and harsh, but the unicorn sheds a soft radiance that seems to concentrate most brightly along the length of his horn. “You know. Unicorns and, and virgins?”

“Oh,” he says. “No, actually, I’m much more interested in STD transmission vectors among vulnerable populations. But if you’d be more comfortable talking to a human staffer, I can fetch another nurse.”

Mary pauses, takes a deep breath. “No,” she says. “It’s fine. I guess the, um, symptoms first showed up about a week ago…”


Jul 30 2015

Give Em The Boot

sol

Sol got his cast off today! He was sent home with this boot, which is a big improvement because the boot can come off. He’ll be taking a loooooong bath tonight!

And Davy goes in for surgery (if all goes well, knock on wood) tomorrow morning. I’ll be really happy to have that behind us.


Jul 27 2015

Coyote Hills Hullabaloo

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This weekend our scout group hosted a campout for fifty people, including campers from three different regional BPSA groups: the 23rd Oaklanders, the 31st River Valley out of Sacramento, and the 4th Surf City up from Santa Cruz. It was the first time our kids had gotten to see BPSA scouts from other groups—wearing the same uniform, but with different-colored neckers. The big highlight of the weekend for me was watching how quickly the kids from different groups gelled and made friendships. Sam told me once that his best memories from his Boy Scout days were from the big Jamborees, and I feel pretty good about giving the kids in our group that same experience.

We had a great campfire with marshmallows and songs and skits. We had really fun hikes, amazing views, and delicious food—the Timberwolves made us fresh donuts in the morning and they were the best I’ve ever had.

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I’m not blogging any of the big group shots because different families have different levels of sensitivity around photo sharing, but it was really awesome to watch three girls studiously building a big campfire or a bunch of older kids taking over the dinner prep jobs. I was also super proud because the dad of one of our families had never been camping before. And he’s African American, so from one of the demographics that’s really under-represented in national parks and outdoor groups (for reasons that become very obvious once you start looking at the shameful history of discrimination on public lands and in the scouting movement). He said it was “much more fun than I expected” and by the end of the weekend he was talking about shopping for a bigger tent! So, that felt pretty good.

We started the Oaklanders just because we wanted our sons to have a traditional scouting experience in an inclusive environment, but after running this group for a year I have realized that the potential impact is actually much greater than just a nice extracurricular for some middle class kids. There are other outdoor-focused youth groups that do great work, but because we are all-volunteer we are able to keep our costs much lower. BPSA scouting really is uniquely accessible, and because of that I think it has the potential to affect whole communities in a broader way. I have started to think that our little group can really contribute something to Oakland. This is not just for my own kids anymore—it feels like it could truly be something bigger.

Sam took this picture, and captioned it “His and Hers”:

his and hers

So I guess this is, like, our thing now? I married a Boy Scout. Sam married a Girl Scout. Now we are both Rover Scouts in the BPSA and so help me, I truly mean it when I hold up those three fingers and promise (on my honor, to do my best) to render service to my country, to help other people at all times, and to obey the Scout Law.


Jul 21 2015

Fae eBook is 99 Cents This Week

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The electronic version of the Fae anthology is on sale this week; it’ll be 99 cents until the 29th. The promo image above links to Amazon but you can also buy it at Kobo or directly from the publishers at World Weaver Press. Just wanted to pass that on!


Jul 8 2015

Us

Davy: “Mom, I want to draw something that starts with the letter H. What’s everything that starts with H?”

Me: “Well, H makes a “huh” sound, so think of things that start with “huh.” Horse, hat, house, happy…”

Davy: “Happy! So, I’ll draw us.”


Jul 6 2015

Happy Birthday to Davy

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Davy’s five today! He got to sit in the “birthday chair” at his preschool, and on Saturday we celebrated at Children’s Fairyland. Davy’s also being spoiled rotten because he had two sets of grandparents up to visit—and we are looking forward to seeing the third pair soon!

Sol is doing really well too—the cast is slowing him down less and less, and he’s back to his usual cheerful self. So we’re all kind of finding our feet again.

jolly trolly


Jun 30 2015

Tubthumping

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Sol was a trouper getting the cast put on this morning. The prescription medication works well for managing his pain, and already he seems to be needing it less and less frequently. Yesterday he spent the full day lying listless on the couch, but today he’s insisted on testing the limits of his new (lack of) mobility. He did his best to roll headfirst off the couch, and when we didn’t allow that, he kicked and writhed until we put him on the floor and let him figure out for himself that he can’t walk or crawl. Now he’s working on a kind of half-scoot, half-roll method of locomotion.

Keeping him entertained for the next few weeks is going to be a real challenge. There’s a limit to how many books I can read or clapping games I can play, and he gets bored with TV after about an hour. Blocks are good, catalogs that he can rip to little shreds are good, going for walks with the stroller is good. I’m not opposed to video games but I suspect Sol would destroy something like an iPad in about half an hour; I’m eyeing the new kids’ edition of the Kindle Fire because it comes with a two-year warranty. Anyone want to take bets on how long such a “kid proof” device would last in Sol’s hands?

Because we didn’t have enough going on today, it was also Key Day, the celebration at our preschool for kids like Davy who are moving on to kindergarten. The idea is that they’re each given a ceremonial key to show that they are always welcome back for a visit. Here’s Davy’s key:

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It’s a really sweet day. Everyone talks about the special qualities of the kids, and then they walk across a little bridge to mark their transition to elementary school. And then they eat ice cream. Davy was really mostly interested in the ice cream.

Robin got his final report card for the year: it’s Montessori so it’s all touchy-feely and I have to kind of read between the lines, but it seems like he’s doing good in reading but could use more practice in handwriting and math. His teachers wrote: “Robin is a fun loving student and he takes responsibility for his learning each day. This year he has progressed in his focus and has found a balance with his need to be social. Robin has become a self-directed learner…As he continues to strengthen his fine motor skills we look forward to seeing his imagination play out on paper. Robin has made many social connections this year and really enjoys playing with older students. He is working on appropriate boundaries when playing with friends. Robin welcomes leadership roles in groups. Robin continues to cultivate a positive attitude and resilience when faced with disappointment. We have so enjoyed having Robin in class this year and we look forward to his continued progress in the coming year.”

It’s all very California but also, y’know, nice. I’m genuinely glad that the teachers at his school are just as concerned with Robin’s social and emotional development as they are with his academic progress. Next year we’ll see how they cope with Davy!


Jun 29 2015

The Wreckin’ Ball Takes a Fall

Sol broke his leg yesterday. Sam took him to a park while I went with the older boys to see Inside Out (good movie, by the way), and he ran in front of the swings and got hit. We took him to the emergency room where they x-rayed his leg and confirmed the break. They also set it in a splint for us, and we have an appointment early tomorrow morning to get a cast put on. He’ll probably be in the cast for four to six weeks.

I’m trying to tell myself that it’s not the worst thing that could happen, but it feels pretty dire right now. He doesn’t understand, and he’s upset and frustrated. He was also clearly in pain all last night—he kept waking up and crying “ow ow ow.” We got a prescription for pain medication that Sam went out and filled first thing this morning. I just hope it gets easier on him soon.


Jun 21 2015

Garden!

Yesterday I planted some vegetables in our garden—it’s the first year since Sol was born that I’ve had the time and energy for gardening. Fortunately we live in California so late June is a perfectly reasonable time to start growing some veggies. I put in cherry tomatoes, butternut squash, cilantro, watermelon, and gypsy peppers—all from seedlings—and I planted a sunflower seed. I also put out some pots of mint, basil, and thyme on the front porch. With the new water restrictions I’m only allowed to water the garden twice a week, so we’ll see how everything does. Sam was nice enough to put up some chicken wire to keep the hens out of my garden.

Today is Father’s Day, which has been nice—we went on a hike with our scout group, and we’re getting Sam’s favorite pizza for dinner. I bought him a mechanical (as opposed to battery-powered) watch that’s pretty cool—in fact, now I want one for myself!