Let’s sum it up, shall we?

tracheostomy
it's a new way of breathing
for all five of us

it took a village
to survive two thousand nine
best.village.ever

so many good things
discovered through disaster
that is a weird thing

no resolutions
the future is too scary
but tonight is nice

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I am cold and there is screaming

she better not puke
the kid screaming on my bed
that will make me mad

The wee-er one is up from her nap. She is on my bed, screaming her head off. The wailing, the tears, the drama. I have absolutely no idea why she is freaking out. Maybe she woke a while ago and I didn't hear her? I just went up there to see what was wrong and she yelled, "NO! I DON'T WANT YOU UP HERE." So I sent the wee one as my proxy. "NO! DON'T COME IN HERE!" Then I sent the dog, Tucker. "NOT EVEN YOU, TUCKER!" she screamed. Now I'm not sure what else to do. I guess I'll let her scream until she's done and then offer her some kind of peace offering. Maybe cheese.

Every now and then she does this and I never know what the trigger is. I'm guessing maybe it's a combo of feeling kind of puny from a virus, plus not having eaten enough today. Or maybe it's just a scream until you puke kind of day. I've had days like that. I can empathize. But that doesn't mean I condone purposely puking on my bed, which is what is about to happen up there.

I wonder if I go upstairs, place some cheese on the floor and back slowly away, if she'll eat it and be magically cured. More likely, it will get smeared into my bed or the wall or her hair or Tucker will eat it.

Well, at least something is keeping her busy.

A holiday lizard miracle!

black and yellow scales
there's no apparent breathing
Lazarus Lizard!

Boy howdy is it cold today. Yesterday, it was super warm and I had to turn on the air-conditioning, but now, we're all bundled up and the wind is so fierce we keep having brownouts. It's fun, though, because it finally feels like Christmas.

Last night, the crazy wind took all of the wee-er ones fingerpaintings and tossed them across the yard, so a little while ago I had to bundle up and run out there. I was going to just let the paper fly around the yard until it got warmer, but the wind picked up and starting tossing paper in the neighbor's tree. Bad form.

Anyway, I was out cleaning up the mess when what to my wondering eye did I see? A 6-inch black and yellow lizard under the tree!

At first I screamed because yikes. But then, after the dog tried to eat him and the lizard didn't move, I felt a little bad for the dude. The kids and I couldn't figure out if he was alive or had passed into the Great Lizard Beyond. It didn't look like he was breathing, but how do you really tell with a lizard?

We considered traching him. And there was debate about bringing out the ambu bag and some oxygen. We decided that finding lizard-sized suction catheters might be difficult, though. And we didn't want to trip him up with the humidified trach mask.

So we put a box over him and hoped for the best.

Back inside, I made some fudge, cleaned up some baby puke, got a little punchy with our nurse laughing about how we might create a lizard trach, and then I remembered that we have little disposable heating pads. So I ran upstairs and got a heating pad to lay over the lizard.

I started to worry that the box wasn't going to work and the heating pad would fail and then Cincinnati wouldn't work up a plan of care for a trached lizard.

When I got outside, though, the lizard was gone!

A Christmas miracle!

So here's to all of you, and your own Christmas miracles…. May the metaphorical lizards in your metaphorical yards regain metaphorical consciousness and bring you Christmas merriment!

Huzzah!

No broken bones

Super too tired to figure out a haiku, so I owe you one.

Today,
the wee one and the wee-er one and I braved the mall, and met with The
Man in Red. The wee one asked for an iPod Touch and a pocketknife and
the wee-er one asked for "a kitchen with a dryer". I am hoping Santa
gives me a call tonight because, WTF, kids? You're going to take this
spark scooter and this play tent, and you're going to like them!

(note: the first time I wrote "scooter" I spelled it "chooter". Then I wrote "skooter". Tired.)

Actually,
i have it on good authority that Santa has snagged a pretty awesome
kitchen for the wee-er one, if it doesn't not take blueprints and two
weeks to build. We'll see.

So Santa was a hit. It's a big bummer
to not be able to take Ike-a-saurus, but we may have a contingency
plan. (Santa sends personalized videos on the intertubes. Did you know
this?)

After Santa, I took the kids roller skating. !!! I know!
Broken bones before Christmas – not a great idea. But the kids did
great. The wee one was racing by the time we left, and the wee-er one
was chugging along, refusing to hold my hand. We saw some awesome
people, including roller derby ladies who could kick my ass and a dude
who was possibly the Guns 'n Roses guy without the giant hat.

A win of a day.

Of
course, both kids now have runny noses, which times out perfectly for
Ike-a-saurus catching it in time for Christmas. Unless, of course, they
are just infected with his mystery virus from two weeks ago. What's the
likelihood of that?

Can Santa bring me three well children along with an iPod Touch and a kitchen with a dryer in it? Ooh, and some roller skates?

That would be super swell.

Honk shoo honk shoo

new superpower
tiredest mama around
but feeling OK

Hello, neglected blog. Sorry it's been awhile. After the terrible horrible no good very bad week last week, I've had to spend most of this week recovering (as has young master Ike-a-saurus). He is on the mend, and I am catching up with my sleep. Finally. Whew.

Now I am in the throes of, "oh shit it's almost Christmas and I didn't buy any presents until the last minute and now I'm afraid I didn't get enough and what will I do now that the wee one AND the wee-er one have both spied a Santa present for Ike-a-saurus, uh-oh, jdfliugw.bjdbfougf"

Must get a hold of myself.

Sure, it's way more fun to panic about Christmas than it is to panic about your baby breathing, but even so: exhausting. Plus, I keep forgetting things. The wee one didn't bring a gift for his teacher – or even a card. I didn't send out cards or little Texas pecan pies to my agent and editors like I always do. I didn't do anything for my freelance contacts. Nothing.

Ah, well. It's too late now, and I guess there's a sort of freedom in having your life be so effed up that you can't do any of the silly trite things you're used to.

On the other hand, I really like doing those silly trite things.

I keep thinking about this time last year and how Ike-a-saurus was newly home from the hospital and well and trach free. It was such a nice time, free of the soul-crushing worry the rest of the year had had – and nearly the entire new year would have. It was our little vacation from trauma.

Things right now though aren't so bad. They could definitely be worse. But if you would have asked me last year if I would be thinking of gifts to get my home health nurses, and spending mornings on the phone changing durable medical equipment companies, and spending days upon days worried sick in the hospital, and suctioning a trach all the time, I would have been all, "Shit, better not start that Suck It 2008 Facebook group just yet, huh?"

So it's Christmas. I'm so happy it's here, but I hesitate to let myself be too happy, for fear of what's just around the corner. I've gotten MUCH better about living in the moment, but I could still do better.

What a fucking year, huh? It makes me shake to think about it.

Or maybe that's just the thought of how many over-compensatory Christmas presents I've bought the kids.

Either way. The shakes are no good. I am going to go out on a limb and blame the cold weather, though, and go get a cup of tea.

I will no longer taunt you, Universe. You have made me forget about tiny pecan pies and that is pretty hard core. Now I must soothe my soul with knowing that this year is almost over and next year it will be tiny pecan pies for everyone.

Unless I just jinxed it.

Not a great week

Saturday and Sunday in the hospital. Home Sunday night. Very scary time of it. Scary, but OK Monday, then VERY scary Tuesday morning, 911 call, ride back to Dell Children's in the fancy ambu, admitted to IMCU (sort of pre-PICU, it's the intermediate floor), finally home again. On lots of o's, on lots of meds, still no definitive diagnosis. We heard "virus" and not a lot more than that.

Husband is still out of town on business, but coming home tomorrow. The grandparents, home nurses, and our friends have really come to the rescue these past few days. We came home from the hospital this afternoon and our home nurses have us covered almost 24 hours a day until Sunday. They have been amazing, visiting Ike in the hospital, checking on him, worrying about him, keeping me from going completely crazy.

Same with the grandparents and our lovely, wonderful friends. Even though Ike was sad and sick and wouldn't let me out of the crib with him in the hospital, I had food and help and support so that I could feed and help and support him.

I also have to say that while going to the hospital is never any fun, when you become a frequent flyer it's nice to see familiar faces when you get there. RTs, social workers, nurses – a whole slew of people came to visit Ike-a-saurus. It's so nice that they check on him and help us be as comfortable as possible.

Though speaking of comfortableness, I do not recommend sleeping in a toddler crib for three nights, tossed up against a
sleeping wedge, with a fidgety desatting baby in your arms, as a way to
get any rest. But I do recommend swallowing your pride and reaching out for help. It's like falling – but into a bit of a cushion.

sick sick

Taking a second to let you know that Ike-a-saurus is sick, sick. It was initially diagnosed as pneumonia, though the doctors at the big H disagreed and seem to have settled on atelectasis and a virus. We are home from the hospital but are debating going back.

Any good thoughts to spare, I will take them and sprinkle them on his little head.

Also, he has a black eye because I dropped the oximeter on him in our rush to get to the ER. Obviously, I am good at sprinkling things on his head. Though I'd rather sprinkle good thoughts on him than heavy medical equipment.

Shooting for a Mother Of The Year award over here.