Friday, December 28, 2012

Mom, today I learned that the fastest way to end up in a hospital is to tell your blog readers no one's in the hospital.

The second fastest way is to throw on your dirtiest hoodie before leaving the house.

(Author's note: We're home nearly 6 hours after Aaron and I left on our five minute errand to pick Richard up from the train. If there's anything I've learned today, it's that there is no good way to have a seizure while belted into a moving vehicle when your only help...that was driving. Aaron stopped breathing for a good portion of his seizure, prompting a frantic call to paramedics who hurried to help. He was breathing and coming around when they got to me, and I had to decide between hospital and home. I felt this time hospital was the right choice, and I'm glad we went that route, especially since they were able to whittle the 20 hours they thought they'd need to keep him down to a few hours for some IV calcium. It also meant we were put into contact with an endocrinologist in our area and will no longer have to drive 45 minutes one way for follow up care. So, scary, scary situation...good outcome all around. Special thanks to the Skinner family, of Layton, UT, for picking up my stranded husband and getting him to us in the ER...and for the much needed hug when they brought him to me.)

2012 Family Letter (Mother Load Style)

So Christmas happened and as is our custom in recent years, none of our friends and family members got a Christmas card or family letter from us. I had it on good authority that no one would be around to enjoy a letter or card from us past the 21st anyway, but here we are. Alive. Earth still spinning. People still wanting to know what we've all been up to. (Thanks a LOT, Mayan civilization!)

And since I think you're all delusional enough to think someone who is too lazy to put stamps on envelopes and drive to a post office also produced offspring who cured cancer as a weekend project, I'll just barrel on ahead with this. Mmmkay?

Richard became a commuter this year, riding the Frontrunner train between our new home in Layton and the office which didn't automatically follow us to Davis County. (Weird, right?) It means he spends more waking hours on a train than he does at home most weekdays, but it also means he no longer has to spend any time on I-15 during "Who taught you how to drive?" hour, which is a happy development, indeed.  It does make it harder for him to continue his "hobby" of locating consecutive three digit numbers from license plates, but  he's so enamored with the train he only complains weekly instead of daily. I frequently finish up work late at night to find him smiling in his sleep and reciting dreamy poetry about his favorite "choo choo." 

I decided I was a gardener this year because, why not? So I've never actually planted a garden before. That's what blogs and YouTube are for. Hellooo. What my garden lacked in tomatoes and peppers it more than made up for in zucchini and tongue-burning radishes. (And what's the point of a radish if it doesn't burn your tongue?) In the middle of gardening season, I started a masters program because, why not? (And because the state frowns on people practicing mental health counseling without a license). I used the final months of the year to alienate friends with my political views on Facebook. You fit in.

Aaron started high school this year. I was not amused, but then, neither was he until he learned he could still have pizza every day. He also started driving, the better to terrify his siblings...and purchase pizza. His lawn mowing prowess grows as does his personal computer savings, except when he borrows against it to buy more pizza. Basically, the only thing he enjoys more than pizza is memorizing IMDB trivia, and I suspect he does that so he can someday trade his knowledge of actors and movies to procure more pizza. Finally, pizza.

Miriam... Hmm... Drawing a blank here. I think her year was pretty uneventful... Well, okay, there was that day when that guy with the mask opened her skull and pulled something out of her brain, but really. He didn't even let her keep it. A trap-door in your skull and you don't even get to make a pair of cavernous malformation earrings? I call foul. In other news, she took herself off her medicine without telling anyone because, hey, brain surgery, and we learned she is completely seizure free. The doctors made her get back on her meds, of course. Can't have 14 year olds diagnosing themselves as healthy. Not without a degree.

Cate started her first year in the Young Women program at church, which means she also started junior high, started wearing makeup, and started babysitting. Because she's a bit of a crazy person, she also started playing the piano. That's a heckova lotta starts, but since she started life pretty much in charge of every room she's ever entered, I'd say she's taking it in stride. Also, I let her quit the clarinet, and that balanced everything right out. (It just means we can't make Cosby Show jokes anymore, dang it.) I'd complain about the fact that my THIRD child is now 12, but I can make her change the diapers when nieces and nephews hang out at our house, and there's just no beating that.

Evelyn is missing pretty much every day. We manage to keep her picture off milk cartons by checking houses in our cul de sac, and usually find her with one of her two best friends. Apparently, having friends means you're no longer obligated to hang out with your mom. Ten year olds and their newfangled ideas... Evelyn has decided she loves babies, and I think she's destined to be "that girl" at know...the one who always has someone's baby with her. Whether or not she'll be the type the babies reach for in joy or toddle away from in terror is still up in the air. I'd work on it if she were ever at home. Evelyn told us this year that she hopes to be a nurse at an urgent care facility when she grows up. This may be because she's befriended every urgent care nurse in the valley with her asthma this year, but still...a laudable goal.

Michael has embraced the life of an eight year old, in all his snaggle-toothed glory. This meant being baptized at church and officially joining the ranks of the "older kids." He shows off his older kid skillz daily on his bike, his scooter, on the Wii, doing his chores, at school, and pretty much everywhere else. Having my "baby" become an older kid would be hard for me if it weren't for his nightly shouts of "Huggy!" just before bed. (If asked, he will deny any knowledge of this ritual, but I assure you, it's real.)  

In other news, Layton is still perfect, the cats are still fat, the food is still good, and the second car is still usually broken. In better news, we have a piano again, no one's currently in the hospital, and I've blogged two days in a row.  In the best news, we made it through the year, we smiled more than cried, and "Once Upon a Time" was picked up for a third season. (Priorities!)

If that doesn't make you appreciate the anticlimactic apocalypse that wasn't, I don't know what will.

Except for a picture of us in our coats. Mmmmm...toasty!

He is super handsome, no?


Mom, today I learned why Richard has never bothered to buy mistletoe.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

My glasses, my friend.

I began writing this column a couple of months ago. The emotions have dampened a little since then, but the sentiment remains. Weep with me, readers. Weep with me.


I broke my glasses last week. The black ones in the picture. The awesome ones on my face. The nifty, clunky glasses I thought of as my feminist/college student/intellectual/cool chick glasses. They fell off my dresser and in my blindness, I stepped on them.

And they were gone.

I was unprepared for my response. I cried. I panicked. I questioned my place in the universe. I cried some more.

It's not that I didn't know how I would survive the following day without the sight all of us need to get around without running into walls or wearing stupid outfits or accidentally liking Adam Sandler movies on Facebook. I had a backup pair of glasses ready and waiting to handle the business of seeing for me.

The problem was that that backup pair was, like many of the glasses I've owned and hated, a product of trying on glasses without actually being able to see what they look like on your face. You stand in the store, squint into the mirror, hope they're passable, and then a week later, you put them on with actual corrective lenses in them and think, "GAH! Blind people should not be allowed to choose glasses!"  (To illustrate: this current backup pair are so non-cool that I used them as the icing on the cake of my "Pregnant Polygamist" costume last Halloween.)

Losing my cool glasses was one of those moments when everything changes and you stand where you are and think, "I'm not sure who I am anymore."  It's a shaky place to be.

If you've never been a regular glasses-wearer, you may not understand these feelings. People who have to wear glasses wear them because they have to wear them. We try to look good in them, but, hey...they're glasses. They're not exactly an enhancement.  They say something about the wearer, and that something is usually "Nerd!" or "Dweeb!" or "Too cheap for contacts or lasik!"

You can imagine how wonderful it was when I noticed a trend toward glasses as fashion or social statement in recent years. Cool people were suddenly wearing glasses as part of their coolness. People who didn't even NEED glasses started wearing fake ones to look cool. I, nerdy, too cheap for contacts Sarah, could get a pair of glasses that said something more about the woman behind them.  My beautiful, clunky black glasses were purchased and loved and worn with pride.

And then they died.

So, it's been a few months, and I no longer stare in horror when I look in the mirror or at a picture of myself. I don't hate my backup glasses quite as much as I did when the shock was fresh. I still miss my wonderful black pair, but as someone too cheap for contacts, you can be sure I'm too cheap to replace my favorite glasses when I have a perfectly good pair already.

It's the story of my life. My desire to save money trumps my desire for coolness, and I languish a little as I wait for the freak accident that will free me of these non-cool glasses and give me the reason to spend money on something better again. Here's hoping, right?

For your viewing pleasure, I present to you "Sarah: A History in Glasses."


First pair. They were pink and plastic and really not so bad.


Oh gosh. Oh gosh, oh gosh, oh gosh. My mother told me they were very "becoming." I was mad at her for YEARS!


I broke them playing a game of tackle football with some friends. The boy who broke the frames with his shoulder apologized nearly to the point of tears, but I thanked him profusely, thinking I could finally replace them. I underestimated my parents...and superglue. Not that the glue held all that well. I just got to wear these horrid glasses AND have a lens pop out and go rolling across my middle school floor at random moments.


Progress. Still too big, too plastic, and just too much. See how I compensate. Sigh.


Apparently, even as a young mother, I still didn't understand the value of my own cheekbones. Oh young Sarah, why you got to wear such big glasses? Why?


We're getting there! A definite improvement! Partially rimless, disappearing into the face...not so bad. Disappearing glasses only work when your eyebrows don't look like bloated caterpillars, though.


Perfection achieved. They were so beautiful. Excuse me for a moment. I need to go cry again.


And here they are. They could be worse. So much worse. (See a few pictures above.) In the grand scheme of things, my glasses are a blessing, no matter how much I hate them. They give me the gift of sight. For that I should be grateful. I mean, I am grateful.

Tackle football game at my house this Saturday!

Yes, Richard. Horses blog.


Mom, today I learned that it's a good thing Richard knows that "I hate you" really means "I hate that you got me, and I secretly think you're funny." It's a good thing for Richard that I still secretly think he's funny...