Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Science and art.

What we've been up to this week.....

Hudson's science project for preschool. A "garden."

He was stoked...until he saw the other cool projects
Aka. volcanos, caterpillars and cocoons, electric circuit boards. Then he told me ours "sucked." But at least it was ours.

I am successfully teaching Hudson how to dip crackers and grilled cheese into his tomato soup. *tear.

E's new, old, bike collection.

A portrait that E drew of Hudson. Not bad for a Wednesday.

We watched the rain earlier this week. Because, it's rare and we like it.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

1 YEAR post a traumatic brain injury.

Well, folks, today marks 1 year since E's traumatic brain injury. Last year at this time, I had absolutely NO idea how our lives would be forever changed. A good thing.

Initially, I had plans to do sort of a timeline re-cap of the year but as I sat down the only thing that came to mind is "fuck last year."

It's been a memorable year, no doubt. Good moments? No doubt. However, I'm done with it. E has come a VERY long way. Much like the first year of a baby's life, they start out needing help with everything from feeding to...well you know, the other end. Then they gradually learn to eat, walk, talk, and get around on their own. That was pretty much the life cycle for E this past year.....Except in warp speed, because he can drive, he has a bank account, he is over 21 and is a dad. When you put it into perspective, one year olds are like breakfast in bed as far as I'm concerned.

So, as of today, E is doing all of the things he was doing before the injury. However, it is all at a much slower pace. Much slower. We are all different from the day before the injury. We are all different from the day after the Injury. BUT my friends, we all lived through the year and we are done living as victims of this brain injury that has been plaguing our minds, every single day for the last 365 days.

I have moved on and I'm taking my family with me. One day at a time, with all of our plans and dreams still in mind.

Fuck the brain injury.

E and I many moons ago.

This morning. March 25, 2012.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

School Immersion

Well folks, today was the day. I picked up the novel of paperwork to enroll Hudson in kindergarten this fall. This is a major deal and was a big decision for 2 reasons.
1. His birthday is In August so he will be young.
2. We are choosing to enter him in to the lottery for the dual Immersion program.

1. Do I think he's "ready" for kindergarten? Sure, yes. Would he be fine if we held him back 1 more year? Sure, yes. Is there a $12,000 difference in sending him vs. holding him back? Abso-freakin-lutely. In addition, the sentiment, at least in our neighborhood is that most people are sending their kids if they are eligible. I mean, there is a cut off date for a reason right? (p.s. in California kids have to be 5 by November this year, next year it will be 5 by October and the year after, 5 by September.)
So, he's going.

2. The Dual Immersion Program is a program that our 2 elementary sister schools (public) offer. It's a lottery and if you get in, well, taken straight from the schools website "The Dual Language Immersion Program is a challenging and rigorous academic program in which Spanish is used as the primary language of instruction. We believe that through participation in this program, our students will become bilingual and bi-literate by the end of sixth grade and be better prepared to be contributing citizens in our global society."
Basically K-6th grade is in Spanish. It's a commitment. You can't really decide you don't like it when your kid is in 3rd grade because they will be far behind their other classmates who have been reading and writing in English for the past 3 years.
So, he's going.

When you have kids, you have to decide what works for your family. I am by no means trying to "sell" anyone on what we have decided, although I am curious as to your thoughts on the subject matter (not that I will change my stubborn mind.)
This is what we have chosen. By the way, it's competitive out here. Options make people crazier than usual.

Crazy Lady: "What school is your child going to?" "Oh, really? Do you think you'll like it? I heard their test scores suck?"

My response: "Really? Last time I checked it was fucking kindergarten." "How the fuck do I know if we will like it? It's kindergarten."

I mean, its not like we live in the slums. Should I be worried? My kid is most likely going to graduate with 600+ other kids his age. So whether he is small, fast, tall, smart, artsy, goth, a jock, a poet or somewhere in between, as his parents, we will happily take the blame and/or the credit for his up bringing, thank you very much.

At pre-school today.

Green Rice Krispy treats for school tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Weekly wrap up

Just some weird hobbies.......

Hudson would not get in the bath. I told him I would put him in with his clothes on...3 times. He didn't believe me......
(He proceeded to get a full on ear infection the next day, for which I refuse to take the blame and I now have 2 boys to give meds, 2x a day)

Massive blister on his middle, not from karate, but from snapping his fingers. A new, obsessive hobby.

E has a new hobby. He's finding bikes that people have been throwing out and bringing them home to fix up. He has actually found a few good little diamonds in the rough. That being said, if you live near us and happen to be missing a bike, call E. (I'm kidding...mostly)

The good news is he is taking a break from the succulent garden that seems to be taking over our back (entire) yard. I'm talking thousands of succulents people.

As for me, well, I have hobbies and have been obsessing a little as well..

Obsessing over going here the end of April and hanging out with one of my favorite people of all time, HRN. (Heather Rainey Nessler)

Obsessing over books I want to read and photography I want to take. But not books about photography.


This article cracked me up:

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What the hell is KONY 2012?

That's what I wondered this morning as it started to go viral on Facebook this least amongst my friends. I would not consider myself a philanthropic person. I like to engage in many things but philanthropy is not one of them. I do my part, but I get really turned off by people "harassing" me as I walk out of Trader Joes, after a long day of work, with an antsy 4.5 year old and a brain injured husband waiting for me at home.
"Do you care about the earth?" they will ask as I pretend I'm on my cell phone.
“Of course I do, you do-gooding ass-hat." (Just not today or more specifically, right now.)
So when I saw multiple people posting this link, people who usually
wouldn’t repost something like KONY 2012, I skeptically watched.

I was blown away. First, there was an uncanny resemblance of the
little boy in the video to Hudson. (They even have exact same red
striped sweater he wore in the video.) But more importantly, whether
you actually believe in the “cause” or not, there are a few really
great messages to be had from this fascinating initiative. (Enough, that I
felt compelled to share with whomever wants to listen.)

One of the things I love most about having Hudson in my life is the
imagination and belief in infinite possibility that he (and kids in
general) have. It keeps life so much lighter. I mean, Hudson really
believes that he can become a Ninja if he works hard enough. He
really believes that his Grandma Julie has “magic” and he really
believes that a fairy follows us when I take him for a run in the
jogger and sprinkles jewels all along the way (versus the reality of
me tossing cheap plastic rhinestones, that I purchased from Michael’s
Craft store, over the stroller as I run.)

Watching this video gave me that feeling of infinite possibility. It also made me want to give Hudson the tools to somehow keep his imagination all through adulthood like the guy who produced this video, obviously has done. Bottom line,
If we put just little imagination into it, we could all be ninjas.

The link:

Monday, March 5, 2012

Ms. Manners

As a drug rep, I am used to being on the other side of "the system" which is the easy side. Nothing like having a brain injured husband to really help get perspective and enormous empathy for the other side of "the system."
(By "the system" I mean many systems.)

My story:
I had to make another dreaded phone call to a "system" (to keep it simple) about a medical bill for E. Of course after the 45 minute wait, the person on the other end was, well, I'll assume she was having a bad day. I had called directly to the source of this particular system which connected me somewhere in Sacramento. After getting the account pulled up, she was very irritable, obviously (to me) not accustomed to, and unknowingly dealing directly with a patient. After a few questions asked by each of us she very hastily said, "This bill was 4 months after the initial hospital admit (incident) so I need to know how this bill (4 months later) could possibly be related to the initial hospital admit."

My response: "Well, it is definitely related and I would be happy to provide any additional documentation that you might need."

Her response: (after more irritation and questioning) "And just WHO are YOU?"

My response: "I am the wife of the man who had a traumatic brain injury last March and spent the next 4 months in and out of the hospital for brain surgery, multiple surgical procedures, recovery, and in/out patient brain injury rehabilitation. I can assure you, it's all related and this won't be the last bill that I have to call you about. Sorry to inconvenience you." (Sure, the last part was a bit snarky)

Her response: "I am so sorry."

My response: "Me too."

From there we finished our business and I somewhat accomplished what I had set out to do. (I am not sure about her.) I tell this story not as a "woe is me" story or "look, I am such a bitch" story. I tell the story because more than I'd like to admit, I've been the lady just doing her job. Today (and many times this past year) I've been at the other end of the (phone) conversation, the "victim."

Everyone has a story. (including the bitch on the phone)

A long lost friend shared a link today ( by the Dalai Lama, the last 2 of his 20 instructions for life:

19. If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.

20. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

Ms. Manners.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Today was one of the best days we've had in a long, long time. It was nothing special other than everything was just right. We woke up and made pancakes for breakfast (with strawberries and Nutella.) Then we packed up for the beach as it was a balmy 77 degrees today (sorry Minnesotans.) The boys drove down to the beach and I took a run (completely by myself) to meet them at the "finish" line. Great friends and their kids joined us and we all proceeded to play at the beach for the rest of the day. Such a "normal" day for us that we have not had since E's TBI. Like I said, it was nothing special other than, everything just clicked. We are coming up on the 1 year mark since E's injury (March 25th.) We have all been through so much these past 11 months and it feels good to have a really, REALLY good day. A just for the record, really, really, good days are not to be taken for granted. I am keenly aware and highly sensitive to all of the bad shit and good shit that comes our way, in this healing process. Today, I am so thankful that the bad shit still allows us to enjoy the good shit. Today was good shit. That's all.


Finish line.

Crab hunting.

Juice box break.

"Happiness is where we find it, but rarely where we seek it."
J. Petit Senn