10 things on Tuesday

10 8 things on Tuesday

 

  1. UPDATE! I met with my neurologist yesterday after all the tests (24 hour holter monitor, EKG, carotid duplex study, CTA, EEG) had been returned. ALL of them normal. Hooray? It’s a strange feeling to hear that they didn’t find a damned thing of concern in your tests when something very damned concerning keeps happening to you. Mostly, it makes me wonder if it’s all in my head . . .am I making this up? Which would feel maybe more possible if the thing that kept happening wasn’t observable by many other people and didn’t involve losing consciousness and falling down, or into walls, or . . .whatever. But the doctor believes me. And she told me that a normal EEG doesn’t actually rule anything out, since it can only say that brain activity was normal for the 90 minutes it was attached to my head. Based on what I’ve told her, and the other tests coming back normal, there are really only two possibilities: 1) a seizure disorder or 2) a malfunction of the autonomic nervous system. Neither fits perfectly – I have only lost consciousness while standing/walking, never while sitting – somewhat unusual in a seizure. BUT, my blood pressure is very normal and I showed 0 evidence of any changes to blood pressure during a sit/stand/lie test – unusual in dysautonomia. So, she is sending me for a “tilt test” where my blood pressure, heart rate, etc. will be tracked in even more detail while I’m strapped to a table and my position is changed over and over. It can take 6-8 weeks for that test to be scheduled and happen, so in the meantime, she’s put me on lamotrigine, an anti-convulsant. I am titrating up very slowly. If this stops the episodes, then I don’t need to go for the test (depending on when it happens and if I’m yet at a maximum dose) but if it doesn’t, I’ll go for the medical fun ride. I feel mostly relieved that there is some process for moving forward, but it’s hard to feel like there still isn’t something definitive. Isn’t it strange how much we long for diagnoses? Still, I continue to be grateful the biggest, scariest possibilities are completely off the table. A seizure disorder isn’t exactly not scary, but it is usually quite manageable with medication and doesn’t involve knives or anesthesia. So, I’m trying to feel more gratitude than fear or frustration.

 

  1. We are (hopefully) 14 days out from closing on our new house! This has been the least stressful house buying experience of my life (knocking on all the things, just in case) in part because we have the sweetest real estate agent who will also be our neighbor who LOVES Tacoma. You know who else loves our agent? Ansel. He mastered her name very quickly and, when we were measuring things at the new house last week, grabbed her by the hand and said, “Outside, Jenny!” Clearly a winner. We also have the best Gay Grandma Loan Officer ever, who updates me frequently and is smoothing things over like butter at every turn. Seriously, such a dreamy transaction. (knocking on things, again.)

 

 

  1. THE SUN IS OUT IN THE SOUND! This has been one of the wettest and grayest winters on record, if the weather reports are to be believed. I guess maybe I’m happy that our first winter was such a drizzly one, since it seems like it might only be up from here? I honestly haven’t felt particularly oppressed by the gray (although there was a week in March when the sun had not even peeked its head out in a sun break for a few weeks, and THAT was feeling a little miserable) but I do feel positively enthralled by the sun and the beauty it elicits from this place. We went for a hike on Sunday and it was absolutely fucking magical. The mountain has been “out” and I am in AWE of it daily. THIS PLACE! Ugh. I grew up in Colorado, which has a reputation for beauty but I have to say, Washington has the rockies beat! (In my personal opinion!)

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  1. As an update to the Sad Tom Story: L the wonder mom decided she could no longer bear A’s forlorn longing for the Tom he once knew, so she undertook the project of fixing him back up. We took a trip to the Hobby Store (where I imagine Ansel may spend his adolescence nerding the hell out someday) and after conferring with some of the dudes there, we purchased a pine box derby car set and some paint, and L put Tom back together again! Ansel is thoroughly charmed.

 

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  1. I also took A to a “touch-a-truck” event on Saturday because he loves buses only slightly less than he loves trains. There were two firetrucks, a bunch of diggers, a street sweeper, a trash truck, a school bus, a county bus and . . .a FUCKING ARMORED SWAT TANK. With cops in RIOT GEAR. Like, there were toddlers posing in a damn SWAT tank with cops in masks and bullet proof vests?!? I felt sick about it, but also totally powerless. Like, ok . . . a cop car, sure (and there was one of those, too) but a SWAT vehicle? I feel weird about those existing in a civilian police force at all, but having them present at an event for kids just felt really inappropriate. I felt lucky that Ansel has shown 0 interest in police stuff and didn’t seem interested in it at all (because he’d spotted the bus and the backhoe) so I didn’t have to feign some passivity or steer him away from it altogether. This is why it’s so complicated, the cop thing . . .it’s bad enough to have to explain the nuances of policing but when tanks get involved . . .it makes me want to stick my head in the sand.

 

  1. I have been feeling very grateful that 95% of the time we can very easily put A to bed, as long as we follow his routine. Sometimes it takes a little more effort – an extra song, one more back rub – but overall, it’s been a fairly seamless transition. Last night was a mess. Lots of standing up and jumping, having to go in and ask him to lay back down, and even getting him down off the tiered bookshelf he’d climbed. It was hot in his bedroom and he prefers jammies that are zip up instead of two piece, and all of our zippies are long sleeved with feet. WE eventually relented and I nursed him to sleep (which I NEVER do anymore but, you know, desperate times . . .) I am hoping that it was a one-off occurrence but I also think that would be WAY too easy.

 

  1. Shout out to my gorgeous pregnant dandy who continues to be a brave baby building boo. I just want to publicly affirm how hard she’s working gestating Tiny and what a shit time she’s had of the whole thing. 26 weeks down, 14 to go!

 

  1. My favorite parts of today: Listening to the Robyn channel on Pandora and my tiny Filipino colleague A coming by and telling me how excited she is that we are moving to Tacoma.

 

 

The Shit Show – Starring the Lyonchs

  1. Can we talk about the absolute bullshittery involved with navigating the world of health care and doctor’s appointments and tests and follow up? It’s why people with chronic illnesses lose their jobs or their loved ones quit jobs to become caretakers, because just wading through the bureaucracy takes full time energy and investment. After being assured both over the phone and again at my appointment to place the holter monitor last week that I would receive calls to schedule additional tests stat, by Thursday I hadn’t heard anything. I made multiple calls to my neurologist’s office, sent multiple e-mails over the special medical e-mail system, and was beginning to pull out the big guns: asking for people’s managers or to be connected right now no I will not be put on hold. I want it to be known that no one called to tell me anything was happening or what the process or system was . . .so I just kept calling and sending e-mails. Finally at 3pm last Thursday, the scheduler from the cardiology department called me and was like, “Ok let’s see when we can get you in . . .Oh, we’re just so booked!” and then started throwing out dates weeks in advance. So I said, “Um, no . . .I think you are confused because these tests are supposed to happen this week and my doctor ordered them on Monday rush?” It took another 10 minutes of me being persistent and her finally deciding to look more closely at the referral to realize . . .she’d fucked up and yes, she should have called me on Tuesday. Whoops. But she had an opening on June 10th? When I started crying and talking about losing consciousness I think she finally got it and decided to see what could happen. 10 minutes later she had called me back and asked me to come in immediately for the echo and duplex study, which I did. While the tech was pressing an ultrasound wand hard into my chest, the neurologist MA came in and told me I had an appointment for an EEG the next morning. Oh, by the way, I wasn’t allowed to sleep more than 4 hours that night in preparation. OMFG.
  2. The results came back from the echo, duplex and 48 hour holter monitor – all normal. Along with the normal CTA, it seems I will not be needing brain or heart surgery, which is A-OK with me!
  3. Thursday night I prepared to stay up late to meet the EEG req’s with a cup of coffee and netflix. L went to go pick up her dad, who was coming for the weekend. (side note: we were NOT looking forward to this visit. L’s dad is chronically depressed, doesn’t properly care for himself, and has actually never asked me a single question about myself. His trip to visit was unexpected and likely due mostly to the fact that he could only use settlement money from an insurance claim in some limited ways, which included travel.) I was settled on the couch when she sent a text asking me to put the dogs up in our room so they wouldn’t be in the way – no big deal. I heard her pull up and went to the door to help them in, because L’s dad is a bigger guy and doesn’t get around super well. I will admit that our house wouldn’t win any ADA awards (or even any certifications!) but it’s also a pretty typical set up – one step down into the yard from the driveway, and then two small steps up into the house from the yard. The steps are even, cement, and not steep. As they were walking into the house, L’s dad just collapsed right there on the stairs. He said his legs gave out. She tried helping him up – no go. We both tried . . .once, twice, three times. Even with both of us (also not small people) using all of our strength, we couldn’t get him up. So, we made the decision to call 911. Because what else could we do at that moment? The fire department came and checked his BP, blood sugar (he’s diabetic) and pulse – they said all were normal but they also said them out loud, so I know actually his BP and BS were both super high – and then offered to either call an ambulance to take him to the ER, help him into the house, or help him to the car so we could take him to the ER. L’s dad wanted to just get help into the house, but L and I decided he needed to go to the ER. The last thing we needed was to have him fall somewhere again, or not be able to get out of the house, or have another emergency happen. She also told me that he’d actually had the same thing happen to him while getting off the plane (why the EMTs there let him go, I cannot fathom?) So, off they went to the ER. L gave me regular updates, including learning from her brother’s (who live in the same state as her dad and see him regularly) that his diabetes was not well controlled, that his liver enzyme tests had come back severely elevated, and that he had recently gotten a parkinson’s diagnosis – all things we didn’t know when we agreed to have him come stay with us. 3am rolled around and they were back, after ultrasounds of his legs showed no clots and other tests didn’t find anything. He hadn’t worn the compression socks he should have, the doctor said, which along with his diabetes, meant his circulation went to shit on the plane. We all went to bed.
  4. L, Ansel and I got up at 6am to get ready to go to the hospital for my EEG. Our original thought had been to leave A with L’s dad while she took me, but the previous night’s events made that impossible. I got set up with 25 electrodes on my scalp while L and A went for a walk and to get some coffee. They made me blink, breathe in a bunch of ways, asked me to fall asleep – which I did, just for a moment – and then flashed strobes of varying speeds at me. It took 90 minutes, and then my family came back and retrieved me.
  5. We drove home, walked into the house and found L’s dad on the chair trying to put his own pants on And the house did not smell pleasant. L went to investigate and found that he’d clearly had some trouble with the toilet and it seemed, with getting out of bed to use the bathroom at all. She went to go clean it up while I went to feed the dogs. Once I’d done that, I found her in the spare room and said, “No. This is a hard line for me. We clean up enough poop already. This is not what we signed up for. You are 6 months pregnant. This is not OK.” We called her brother and asked him to look into flights back to Indy. Then L told her dad we were sending him home. He was mostly silent and withdrawn, but that’s pretty typical. He spent the day sitting in our chair. He didn’t want to leave to go on a car tour to see our new house or anything in Seattle, and we ordered pizza in that night. We had to lift him out of the chair and off of the toilet each time he needed to go to those places. And you know, that’s ok in a lot of ways because people need help. But he was not healthy enough to be travelling, and this wasn’t information we had going into this trip. L especially felt deep guilt about sending him home, but it became more and more clear how right that decision was. It was a very long and trying 36 hour visit.
  6. On Friday afternoon, I got word that the EEG results wouldn’t be back for another week. So, back to waiting.
  7. I called my mom twice last week. Once on the day she and my dad moved out of my childhood home to another, larger (but ranch style), newer home; and once on Mother’s day. During neither call did my mom ask about my health, the tests they’d run, or anything else. This is not new, but it does feel especially sad for me. My mom is pretty focused on her own life – on her sprained ankle, on the mover’s taking all day, on the money she has to buy all new furniture, on not having a fence -but struggles to connect with anything that isn’t in her direct day-to-day view. Some of this is just who she is – who she’s always been to some extent, but more who she has become – and some I worry is age and not actually being able to remember things. I feel deeply sad not to have her to connect with right now. I feel sad that my own mother doesn’t seem to care about something really scary that’s happening. But I can’t muster the energy it takes to share all of this with her with no prompting – having to cut into her monologues about dark wood vs. oak floors to tell her that my doctor thinks I might have a seizure disorder? It’s too hard.
  8. On the upside, I have an incredible mother-in-law who has sent texts and called and reminded me that I am loved and cared for and thought of, all week. We find mothers where we can.
  9. Through all of the shit-stormy chaos, Ansel has been a real gem. He’s clearly either feeling the stress or having his own struggles (probably both; also, fuck the incisor that has been cutting for like weeks on end!!) and has been clingy, not sleeping super well, and a little more sensitive than usual. But he’s also been full of joy and kindness for us both. Yesterday we went to the park in the afternoon. The week before at this park, he’d found a large plastic train that he played with and loved and called “Tom” (after Thomas the Tank Engine) . . .this week, he found what we thought were likely the remaining pieces of the train that had broken/been destroyed. He carried them around the whole time, calling “Tom! Where are you?” Searching for the ghost of his lost friend. Fucking heart break city, am I right?
  10. L and I cooked a delicious brunch of ourselves/each other, and even though this week/end has been a little less than ideal, I’m sure glad I get to mom with this 24 week pregnant dandy babe – so Mother’s day wasn’t quite the rub it could have been.18451799_10154624082646864_6448906132754862907_o.jpg18422252_10154626322426864_5649185774033342336_o.jpg

Heart over head

Yesterday on my way back from the bathroom, the tunnel vision, knee buckling collapse came so quickly that I couldn’t sit and instead came crashing down into a plan B sandwich board sign, first becoming confused then losing consciousness. Two public health nurses and a nurse supervisor found me, took my pulse and my blood pressure (both normal), then helped me back to my desk. The supervisor told me she couldn’t let me leave on my own, so L came to pick me up. I was told I had to call my neurologist. It was implied I should not return to work until I had some reassurance about what is happening. 

I called the doctor while I waited for L. The MA gig back to me and told me they’ve ordered 3 additional tests. A 48 hour holt monitor, the carotid duplex ultrasound (already  ordered and scheduled but not until June 2 as that was the “first available”- I’m told if will now happen in the next 4 days) and an EEG. 

They placed the holt monitor today, and I took the day off. It’s beautiful and I’m grateful for my family, but once again, I’m terrified. 

A few more

I lifted the rest of the pictures from the listing to share with y’all because omg i’m so excited! I could hardly fall asleep last night even though, you know, the big deal is kind of done (the other pieces of home buying are stressful, but they aren’t the same kind of will-it-won’t-it stress) . . .

The universe just saw fit to insert a little tableau as a reminder of the other parts of the homebuying stress . . .as I am sitting here writing this, one of my co-workers emerged from her office, harried and frazzled, talking about how their loan hasn’t quite gotten out of underwriting and they are supposed to close today. All of a sudden I am remembering the heart palpitations I experienced while we were in this exact situation.

We aren’t telling people on FB (mostly keeping it to our closer friends and, of course YOU ALL because I tell y’all everything!) though it’s not technically a secret or anything . . .just trying not to stir the pot of fate, you know?

 

So, here they are:

 

I didn’t include any of the bedrooms or bathrooms because . . .eh, they aren’t the most exciting part of the house . . .We have a lot of ideas for color because no with the beige amiright?

Destiny.

It’s been a wild weekend.

Last weekend, as I said, we met some new friends in Tacoma who recommended a new Tacoma specific realtor to us. We contacted them and were referred out to a different, also Tacoma specific realtor. We talked briefly with her, and then decided to promptly fire our old realtor and hire this new one. (Sidenote: it was SUCH a good idea.) Mostly because the old realtor had basically told us we didn’t want to buy in the neighborhood we liked because the area “wasn’t safe” – but really probably meant “black people live there.” And fuck that.

Anyway . . .

Yesterday we drove down to Tacoma to meet with the new realtor, get some info from her, and then check out a couple of houses. We were immediately so glad we made the switch. She really seemed to understand the priorities we had – urban amenities, diverse neighborhood, walkability, etc. In fact, she lives in one of the neighborhoods we were most excited about. Further solidifying our love for the new real estate group, they were sponsoring a community bike event in their parking lot and as luck would have it, Ansel decided to wear his helmet on our trip down and immediately climbed up on one of the bikes. (*side note: we need to get him a bike – maybe a balance bike? who has good ideas about that?)

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After chatting about the process, the market and what we are looking for, we headed out to look at a few houses. The first one was a gorgeous craftsman, with original millwork and an incredible mature garden. It also had a shitty, teeny tiny kitchen and awkward walls and . . .oh yeah, it was built in 1922. I LOVE old houses. Adore them. Which is why the first house I bought was built in 1898. It was so cute. You know what else it was? A giant, money- sucking hole full of cast iron pipes and no foundation. I got stars in my eyes and took one look, said “No” and steered me out of there before I could start pleading my case.

The second house we weren’t feeling hopeful about. It seemed especially small from the pictures. But, it was in the neighborhood we liked, and it was new. Like, so new no one has ever lived in it. There was an open house at this place, so we pulled up and wandered in.

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We walked into a massive living/dining area to the left and a massive kitchen to the right, all beautiful and bright and open. The kitchen has a huge area for a table, a massive island, beautiful granite countertops. The living area stretches on and on, nice slate laminate floors, so airy. It’s a rambler, so it stretches back with a little laundry closet on the right, two smaller bedrooms on the left, a bigger master with it’s own bathroom (nothing wild, but a private bathroom still!) and a second bathroom for the other two rooms. There’s even a two car garage in the back!

We were totally in love. A brand new, lovely, big enough house in an older, established, city-amenable neighborhood, that was listed at $40K under our max?! Now we REALLY had stars in our eyes.

We walked outside and chatted with our realtor. She confirmed what we thought, which was that this was a real find. We walked back in and looked again. This was it. This was the house we wanted to buy.

Once we clarified the biggest (for us) issue – when the first mortgage payment will be due – with our lender, we went for it. We had driven home so A could nap and ended up going back down to Tacoma to write an offer.

Today has been long and full of anxiety. We heard back this morning that they had a second offer, and spent the day sending texts to our lender, our agent, our friends who are realtors, trying to come up with our best offer. Finally, about two hours ago, after some more back-and-forth with the sellers, we are officially under contract – set to close June 6th!

We’ll have about 6 weeks between when we close and when we have to be out of our rental. We’ll need to put up a fence for the dogs, buy a refrigerator and washer-dryer . . .and we can paint, move little stuff slowly, take our time getting into the house and getting out of this one. It’s going to feel extravagent, after our last move!

It feels wild that 48 hours ago we had no intention of making an offer on a house. But, here we are. It feels lovely and perfect. The house is 5 blocks away from our new friends. There’s a park down the street. It’s only  few blocks from the lightrail, and there’s a lovely little shopping and restaurant area close by. There’s even an ELCA Lutheran church just down the street.

So, we’re headed to the City of Destiny.

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Three Things on Thursday

  1. My CTA came back . . .normal. Well, mostly. I do have a ‘fetal origins’ of my posterior cerebral arteries. On its own, this means nothing. But, it is the ‘lack of back up blood flow’ that my mom has always told us caused my grandmother’s stroke during aneurysm surgery. So, it’s good to know in case something should ever pop up for me and my brain. I also have thickening of my sinuses which might explain my propensity towards sinusitis. And also, good to know. But BEST to know is NO ANEURYSMS, and no other weird, scary, brain surgery requiring things. But also no answer about fainting. (Which has continued, despite allthewater and some salt . . .though I admittedly have not yet acquired the compression socks, so . . .)
  2. This morning was a great microcosm of the great parenting struggle. I was sitting in the chair, with Ansel in my lap and a cup of coffee in my hand. He suddenly and without warning ran his train into the hand holding the coffee, causing it to spill all over my shirt and the chair. I took off my shirt and ran to the kitchen to get paper towels. While I was cleaning this, he went to his learning tower and retrieved the jar of dog treats, running into the living room saying “DaDa, treat! treat!” so, I had to stop what I was doing to help him give the dogs a treat (lest he do it himself and spill them everywhere or get his fingers nipped by an overly enthusiastic bulldog) which he did and it fucking melted my damn heart because it was the cutest. Then, as I was finishing cleaning the coffee spill, he leaned over the chair to where the (now half empty) coffee mug was sitting on the table and knocked the damn mug onto the floor, breaking the mug L made for me on our anniversary into pieces and creating yet more coffee to clean up. Basically, what I’m saying is that parenting is being so super annoyed with someone while simultaneously thinking they are the most adorable and amazing human being ever, on repeat, forever.
  3. Fuck the republicans. Over and over and over.

ten things on a Tuesday night

1. This morning I got injected with barium contrast dye and had pictures taken of my brain. It took the tech 4 tries, a bunch of bruises and calling a second person in before the IV made it into my arm, which was absolutely the worst part of the experience. Results should be sent to my neurologist by tomorrow, and hopefully I’ll hear back too. The vascular ultrasound isn’t until June 2, so there is still waiting to be done. But this test looks for aneurysms which is not the cause of this fainting business but is a constant fear in my life so at least that will be out of the way.

2. Last night Ansel woke up wet – he’d leaked through his diaper, something that’s been happening more regularly now, unfortunately – which necessitated a change of clothes and bedding, which then made returning him to sleep a much harder task. It took some time and L got the last pass, after another devil-inside-him screaming fit, and found him . . .out of his crib. He was pointing to his head saying, ‘hea’, hea'” so we were a little nervous to put him back down, but did, and he went to sleep very quickly. We hoped that maybe the head bump with the escape would keep him from trying again. Alas, this morning when I went in to retrieve him following his “mama, are you?” I found him waiting for me at the door. So, we decided since he’s 26 months to just got for the toddler bed. Of course we had managed to purchase the full bed rails for our convertible crib but not the toddler rails, so this necessitated a trip to Buy Buy Baby for a toddler rail. He took a decent nap this afternoon in the new ‘big kid bed’ but he fell asleep in the car and was transferred, so it wasn’t actually an accurate assessment. We just put him down and . . .all things crossed . . .it seems to have gone well. We stuck to the routine and it took two extra rounds of “You Are My Sushine” but otherwise he seems to have handled it quite well. Say prayers to whatever you pray to that this continues.

3. Ansel is both talking and understanding things at an astonishing rate right now. He basically repeats everything we say (guess it’s time to start limiting the fuck words, huh?) and has picked up on things I wasn’t even aware we said a lot. Like . . .tonight on the way to his bed we said, “You get to sleep in your new bed!” and he replied, “Oh boy!” Which, I mean, he’s obviously heard before but OMG are you kidding me?! Yesterday L told him to come tell me he needed a new diaper and he walked into the bathroom and said, “I ‘tinky”  . . .He regularly asks Hilda (“his” bulldog) if she wants to play, has started doing a lot more pretend play with his animals or cars or other things interacting. He also is clearly paying more attention when we are talking to each other and we have to be much more careful about talking about things – like discussing dinner plans and mentioning pizza and then not being able to keep him from demanding pizza for the next 20 minutes.

4. A co-worker of mine connected me to a friend of hers who lives in Tacoma so we could get a bit more of an inside scoop on neighborhoods. We’ve been e-mailing with them for a while but drove down this past Sunday to meet up. It was SO GREAT. For one, I feel really confident that we are going to be friends with these folks. We connected really easily, they seem to have similar culture and politics as us, and even though they don’t have kids, they were super understanding about our attention being split and so engaged with Ansel. I also feel way more excited about moving to the City of Destiny. They gave us some ideas about neighborhoods and recommended some Tacoma specific realtors who are also doing a lot of work to boost the city in a lot of other ways. We decided to fire the realtor we’d met with earlier, in part because she kept really kind of pushing us to the suburbs and not seeming to understand that ‘safe’ for a queer family is likely very different from ‘safe’ for a hetero couple. It just wasn’t a great fit. But, we are meeting up with a different realtor this weekend, and I feel way more comfortable with her. We also toured some open houses and got a better sense of some neighborhoods we’d like to look in. As a top off to the otherwise lovely Sunday, we definitely got homophobic-shunned by the listing agent at the last open house who basically did nothing to welcome us but was happy to show the cute male-female couple who came in next around.

5. Tiny is moving like crazy, according to L, and I’m like dying to be able to feel him from this side. Being the not-pregnant one is hard in a lot of ways that I could have guessed but didn’t fully appreciate. Not being able to connect to the baby before he’s born is one of them. I just feel checked out, but I’m not sure how to be more connected. I can almost understand why some dudes get overwhelmed and weird and freak out when babies are born because they just didn’t understand what was going on . . .almost. Do any of you more experienced NGPs have ideas about this? I think I feel especially frustrated because I sort of know what I’m not experiencing, so I feel sad. Of course, as Tiny (and L) grow, I’m at least more regularly reminded of our impending second child but I want to be able to connect to this kid.

6. Ansel LOVES Hilda, our little bulldog. He has such a clear preference for her, which we started noticing a little when he was about 10 months old and would laugh uproariously at her when she chased a ball. Lately, it’s become so intense and adorable. The thing you have to know, which makes this cuter (IMO), is that Hilda is pretty grumpy. I mean, she’s SO CUTE and can be incredibly sweet in many circumstances, but she’s definitely the grumpiest of our dogs. Cletus, the big old bully, will lay on the couch with his eyes closed and let Ansel sit on him; Eliot the spaniel is a nervous but incredibly docile dog. Hilda has been nicknamed Hildabeast and Killda but also . . .Honey-Bunny. She’s salty-sweet. But Ansel can only see her goodness. And she, for her part, tolerates most of his advances and excuses herself to her bed when she needs a time-out. Every morning, Ansel asks, “Where DaDa?” (the irony that he calls the dog Da-Da is not lost on us), asks her to come outside with him, gives her play food to eat, puts trains in front of her, tells us to pet her, kisses her, and generally dotes on her. Tonight, he sat next to her and hugged her, then grabbed me by the hand and brought me over to the couch, “Picture mama” and then posed with her. KILL ME NOW they are the cutest. (PS- why does my kid look, like, GROWN in this picture?!)

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7. Ok, so I have a lot of feelings about police, now because of all the incredibly heartbreaking instances of cops shooting black people unprovoked and then, you know, not being fucking held accountable, but also because of my own personal experiences. I’m also really aware that my white boy child is likely to receive mostly messages of police being friendly and helpful and there to protect, which will likely be true for him because: white boy. I am noticing more and more how much for very small children that is centered on cops being good (in a way that isn not true for, say, the military in this age range) – police in books, police cars in story lines, police cars as toys, etc etc. Lately, I have found myself doing things like changing “police officer” to “nice person” in Harold and the Purple Crayon, or referring to a police-type character as a “helper” or not talking about police cars (only fire engines, cause who can’t get behind fire safety?) because I don’t want to create this sort of calm acceptance of policing as a normal part of life, or equating police as an always helpful ideal, or people who we want to emulate. But, I don’t know if this is actually an effective strategy. I mean, cops exist. I don’t want my child to wholesale dislike police, I just want him to understand the complexities of policing and not grow up to be the guy who will call the cops on his brown neighbors or friends. (also, I mean, please God can we change some things about policing and race between now and when Ansel grows up? I’m trying and hoping and praying) I dunno. For those of you who have similar critiques of police, how are you handling early conversations about cops with your kids? I definitely don’t want him to grow up playing cops or glamorizing police work but I also don’t need to set him up to hate them.

8. OMG also how do I stop my kid from only wanting to eat ketchup? It’s the only food he regularly requests. I can’t stand the smell anymore. It’s so gross. Send help.

9. L is finally feeling well enough to have cravings. They are meat. all the meat.

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10. I’ve determined that I feel really ok with the weather here in Seattle because it’s really like extended spring and fall, with very short winters and summers. That said, it’s supposed to be sunny and 70 degrees tomorrow and I am psyched.