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Life is messy and wonderful

You may have felt like I’ve kind of been half-assing it ’round here the last few weeks. (Alternatively, you may find it hilarious that I think you care that much. If you fall into this latter category, just skip ahead to the next paragraph.) Confession: I’ve been half-assing it here for the last few weeks. My heart and mind has been elsewhere, and some of the distraction has been emotional, but a lot of it has been logistical. There was just a lot to be done in a fairly short period of time, and I put my head down and tried to power through it, even while fighting back the fears that it wouldn’t work or it would work but there would be anger and unhappiness.

I’m pretty good with a mission, really. Give me a checklist and I’m a machine. Finish decluttering the house, CHECK. Contact the school, meet with the school, CHECK. Enroll with a new doctor, CHECK. Request records, CHECK. Gather an army, CHECK. Get advice, give updates, take a deep breath, CHECK CHECK CHECK.

Chickadee was supposed to come home for her school break on Friday. And she both did and didn’t.

She came home, but not for break. She’s home and she’s staying. (more…)

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Happy, happy reunion: A guest post from Chickadee

She’s home! SHE’S HOME! I shall love her and hug her and squeeze her and call her George Chickadee. Oh, wait. I already did that. And then, she wrote you this post. MAH BAYBEE, growing up and stuff. Enjoy! —M

What have I missed most about being home? Is it the home cooked meals, or the dog licking my tonsils every time I open my mouth to talk? Or maybe it’s the higher-than-30-degrees weather?

No. No, it would definitely have to be my brother waking me up in the morning by repeatedly hitting me in the face with my own dirty sock. Ah, home sweet (er, smelly) home.

After that lovely encounter, the morning festivities began. There was a whirlwind of smoothies, dog slobber, and coffee* (which apparently I’m not supposed to share with the dog. Who knew?) We are very busy here at the Georgia house, obviously. (more…)

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The hits keep on comin’

Otto’s car isn’t salvageable, unless you count “costing as much money to fix it as the car is worth” as salvageable, which I do not.

Monkey is on day two of a Mysterious Fever, which today came with a bonus Mysterious Rash.

And yet… my folks have arrived, and my office currently houses Wave Two of the great tampon lemonade project, ready for delivery tomorrow.

Twenty-four more boxes of goodies for the girls. Know what? It’s better than a working car. [Bonus: My dad turned to Monkey this morning and said, “What do you think of all these donations, Monkey?” and even though he was laying on the couch being pitiful he said, “My mom collects tampons and IT’S CREEPY.” So fever or no, he seems fine. Heh.]

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I don’t even know where to start

Actually, I do know where to start. With this: THANK YOU. Thank you for reading, thank you for caring, thank you for being generous beyond measure. You don’t need to care about my kid, or about a bunch of other kids you’ve never met, but you do, and you are AWESOME and PRETTY and I am inspired by you.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go read about my possibly ill-named post on making tampon lemonade. In the face of learning that Chickadee’s hygiene items were constantly being stolen by other girls in the hospital, I’m not going to lie: I got angry. Anger is easy. So that happened first, and then I realized anger accomplished nothing, and instead maybe I—we—could do something, instead. I asked you to help me round up the supplies these girls need, and you responded beyond my wildest imaginings.

I rented my UPS mailbox on Monday, and put up that post, knowing that thanks to Amazon Prime, there would be packages arriving on Wednesday. I planned to go pick up at the end of the day, but around 2:00 I received a rather stern missive from the store. (more…)

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Endings, beginnings, elusive middles

It seems like I should have more to say about the end of middle school, but I’ve been a little too verklempt to manage it. [Talk amongst yourselves! Here, I’ll give you a topic: Attendance awards; universally annoying or only to bitter parents of chronically ill children who feel like other kids getting medals and certificates for having good immune systems is bullshit? Discuss.]

In the end, it was sort of anti-climactic. Chickadee hasn’t been feeling great, and in the post-moving-on-no-we-are-most-certainly-not-calling-it-a-graduation-ceremony hubbub as I tried to corral her and some friends for pictures, she finally stopped rolling her eyes long enough to walk up and stand nose to nose with me. “Time to go,” she said. “I need to go home.”

So I bought her a milkshake and took her home, whereupon she slurped down said milkshake and promptly fell asleep on the couch for several hours. Not really the celebration we’d maybe had in mind, but sometimes you’ve just gotta take a nap. (more…)

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Looks like we made it…

It turns out there’s nothing quite like living the one-day-at-a-time-at-the-hospital life to make you REALLY excited about middle school graduation. Part of me still can’t believe this almost didn’t happen, and the other part is afraid to breathe, just in case I’m asleep.

Today is a good day.

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Slow and steady

Otto never tires of telling people the joke about how it was an easy decision for us to have a small, family-only wedding ceremony without all of the traditional hoopla. “We’ve both already been to the wedding where she wore the big white dress,” he’ll deadpan, then sit back and wait for that to sink in.

In a few more months, Otto and will have known each other for 23 years.

Today, we’ve been married for 5 of them. [Aside: OH MY GOD look how tiny the children were!!] Just 5 years; our marriage is only embarking on kindergarten, and in some ways I’m still holding its hand to cross the street, tucking it in at night, and trying to convince it that there are no monsters hiding in the closet.

Make no mistake: for me, our marriage definitely fears there’s a big hairy beast either in the closet or under the bed, just waiting to pounce. Except in this case the hairy beast is “One day Otto wakes up and realizes it’s maybe not supposed to be this hard, this much of a slog, this kind of endless grind,” and then he tells me that he can’t do it anymore. (more…)

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Measured in metric awesome

Our long national nightmare known as the prolonged agony of Science Fair has come to a close for the year.

Not that I’m not a fan of Science Fair. I think it’s great. I just think it’s LONG. From the time the kids start their projects in… I think it’s October?… until the final fair at the end of March is just… a lot of time for a type-A nerdling to worry about her project. Not that I’m naming any names. Not that there was a child threatening to head to the exhibit hall WITH HER PUKE BUCKET if she was still sick, or anything. AHEM.

So you may remember that the Regional Fair was a real nail-biter this year, but ultimately Chickie took home the big prize, and all was well. I figured this would give her some confidence, heading into the State Fair, but that’s only because I forgot who I was dealing with. Because every new level of the Fair is an opportunity to FREAK OUT! (more…)

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It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Supernerd!

The last few days have kind of beaten me down, which you wouldn’t think would be possible, given that I keep (stupidly) thinking to myself, “Well, it’s not like things can get any WORSE.” HAHAHAHA. HA.

Chickadee just scored herself a sports medicine doc and some regular physical therapy, possibly because someone realized there was a doctor we hadn’t seen/needed yet. But I have to say I do like the concrete nature of this particular problem. (“You have iliotibial band syndrome and that is fixed via rest, ice, anti-inflammatories, and physical therapy.” It’s such a nice change from “We don’t really know what’s wrong with you exactly or if this will help.” Refreshing, really.)

And of course in the midst of this, she was gearing up for the final Reading Bowl competition today—State Championship, a.k.a. the end of the line in this particular event, or Bookworm Nirvana—and for some reason really not appreciating my jokes about how it was a good thing Reading Bowl doesn’t require a lot of running. (Whatever. I thought I was hilarious.) (more…)

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This weekend (not about feelings)

“Journaling is stupid,” Chickadee said to me last night, out of nowhere, as we were driving to pick up pizza for dinner.

I blinked at her. “Ummm,” I said, helpfully. “Don’t you have a diary you write in?”

“Yes, but that’s just it. It’s dumb. People keep telling me it’ll help to WRITE ABOUT MY FEELINGS and you know what? It doesn’t. It’s stupid. It just makes me dwell on the stuff I shouldn’t and I never feel better, after.”

“I feel better when I write about stuff,” I offered. Because it’s true. “But… maybe you’re just more of an action-item type. Maybe instead of writing about how you feel, you’d do better writing about what you want, or making a list of the very worst things that could happen, so you could see things are actually sort of okay.”

“No,” she said, resolute in her conviction, “I like to write. I love to write—stories and stuff. But when I try to write about me it either ends up being ‘Today I did this and this and this’ which is totally boring, or it’s ‘Today I hate everyone’ which is, you know, not really useful.” (more…)

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