Thursday, March 31, 2011

Positive Thoughts for the last day of March of Kindness

I’ve been getting a number of Daily Kabbalah Tune-Ups that I’ve liked very much over the past week or two. So, I thought I would share five of my personal favorites. They seem particularly appropriate to include at the end of the March of Kindness.

Good for everyone – kiddos, partners, friends and family members, even yourself:
You have the power to limit people. When you think someone can't change, they won't. Be aware of your power today. Be conscious of your influence. Create an opening for someone simply by imaging it is possible for them to grow.

For yourself, here are two:
Take time every day to be still, to empty your mind, and to just be. Put away your thoughts. It’s a powerful way to develop more appreciation for your life. Go on strike from mental work today, if even just for five minutes.

Doubt is a drug dealer, standing on the corners of our mind, waiting to enslave you. Most of us are loyal customers with serious habits.
Get sober today. Chase your negative thoughts away with affirmative ones. I can…I trust…I am…. Old habits die hard, so keep repeating, or writing them.

For others, particularly in the realm of “dealing with difficult people,” here are two more:
What do you do with a difficult child? Give them more love. It’s the same with adults. Acting out is a cry for help and acceptance.
Today, assume challenging people are really asking for more care. Sacrifice your pride and give it to them.

A person who can open their heart to an enemy can save the world.
Is there someone in your life that you really can’t stand today? Please put all your effort into finding a way to treat them with human dignity. Lives are at stake.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Remembering My Father - One Year Ago Today

One year ago today, my father died. It kind of hit me like a slap across the face today. For some reason, I have no idea why, I feel drawn to writing about the moment of his death. It sounds terribly morbid, I'm sure. I'm not sure if Mel from Stirrup Queen's recent post on birth and death has had me thinking back to those last 2 days, or of this is some kind of therapy that I need to get through. Nonetheless, please be forewarned that I am going to reveal details of my father's death here, so if such a topic would disturb you or cause upset, you may leave this site now.


I remember quite clearly the phone call my mother received early in the morning from the hospital. She told me that we needed to go now, that this was it, time to say goodbye. I left SchmoopyBoy with the husband at my mother's house and accompanied her to his hospital room. I knew it was going to be bad, but I simply was not prepared for what I saw. There he laid, completely unconscious, on full life support - the very state he made us all promise he would never be in. It was too much to take, and I lost it. So much for being strong for my mother.

The unbelievable thing about it was the rapidness of his deterioration. When I had first arrived in town 2 days ago, his eyes were open. He held the pictures of him and SchmoopyBoy we had taken at our last visit. It was so like all the other times he had been in and out of the hospital. He did have a twitch in one of his arms, and it was verified that the twitch was being caused by seizures. The doctor wanted to put him on a seizure medication. I challenged it. The twitch was a bit of a annoyance, particularly when he was trying to eat, but ultimately harmless, and the doctor even admitted that it might go away on it's own - it would just take longer. I argued for a bit that he was already on so much medication, if this was unnecessary we shouldn't approve it. In other words, I was 'the difficult one' trying to stand in the way of my sick father getting some relief. I relented. Perhaps I should not have. The next day his condition was exponentially worse. He was unable to open his eyes or eat - both conscious and unconscious. The doctor said that the seizure medication was making him sleepy, that it was counter-productive for his condition to be in such a state - unable to eat, unable to cough up the fluid filling his lungs - and that he would discontinue the medication. But it was too late. The next morning we got the call.

I do not think I can fairly blame the seizure medication. I do not blame myself, the doctor, or my other family members for insisting that he get the medication. It is entirely possible that his condition would have deteriorated regardless of it. For crying out loud, he had originally gone into the hospital for a routine pace-maker installation. The vast, vast majority of patients walk out of the hospital after a day or two. Going into respiratory failure and congestive heart failure the night after the surgery put him off the bell curve altogether.

Back to the morning of March 28, 2010. I met my sister at the entrance and told her that this was it, this was goodbye. My mother sat down in a chair on the side of the room and started to cry. I sat beside her and put my arm around her. My sister stood next to my dad and held his hand. After a few moments she announced simply "He's gone". My mother and I jumped up, and sure enough, all the monitors showed flat lines. He had waited for us. He had waited until all three of us got a chance to arrive, so we could be together and say goodbye before he left us. It appeared peaceful. It appeared painless.

About a week after his death, my mother got what she believes was a sign from my father. A sign that he is ok and he wants her to be ok -that she should move on and make a happy life for herself without him. This was enormously comforting for her and she was, in fact, able to move on quite quickly. I, on the other hand, don't know that I've been able to stop grieving yet. Maybe by telling this story I can find some peace. Maybe by articulating "I should have fought harder against that fucking unnecessary seizure medication" I can alleviate some of the guilt that I was too willing to be seen as "not unreasonably difficult" and "not unreasonably obstructionist". I didn't like it. I didn't like it one bit and I should have stood by my intuition, which I constantly find so difficult to trust, despite its consistent accuracy. Like I mentioned before, I can't fairly blame the medication for his death. I'm just saying that I am disappointed with myself and don't know if I will ever be able to overcome the "what-if" that plagues me if I think about it too long and too hard.

Well, there you have it. I've now spilled my guts and I don't feel any better for it. Snot from tears mixed with snot from this unrelenting bug I've had for the past week. I am, to use 2 1/2 year old lingo, a snot monster. I will say I am grateful that I was able to be there for his final days, and his final moments. I'm glad I arrived in time to see him coherent, that he was able to see pictures of his grandson that he loved so much before his descent (no toddlers were allowed in his section of the hospital, so unfortunately he couldn't see SchmoopyBoy in person). I do believe he was there, waiting for us to be together before he left that morning. It comforts me that he knew the people who loved him most were there with him, that he knew he was loved and would be missed.

Dad, if you are still watching and listening, I love you. I miss you. Goodbye.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sick Again!?!?!

When will this cold/flu season end? I am so done with being sick.





and then some.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Recent Bento Lunches

It's been a while since I've posted anything food related, so here are a couple of recent bento lunches I prepared for SchmoopyBoy.

In this bento, one container has alphabet wheat pasta with a little oil, and the other contains coconut milk yogurt. SchmoopyBoy will not allow dairy yogurt within 3 feet of him. He will eat soy yogurt and coconut milk yogurt though. Go figure. I don't like to give him too much soy, and his preferred milk is soy milk, so I tend to get him the coconut milk yogurt more often. He's also got carrots and cucumber, as well as red and black grapes (although in this picture they all pretty much look the same color.

In this bento the main entree is cheese quesadilla. I typically save things that require cooking like quesadillas for Thursdays because that is my work from home day so I typically have a little more time. He's also got some sliced apple and a mandarin orange, as well as sliced carrots and cucumber.

Yes, I totally fail the cute and creative bento test. I've got a few more that attempt cuteness and themes but they are on the husband's camera and I haven't got him to load those pictures yet. Hopefully I'll be able to redeem myself soon.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A not-so-delightful happening

The 3 of us spent 2 hours at the ER yesterday evening.

During the preparation of dinner, SchmoopyBoy got a bit of boiling water splattered on his jeans, which of course immediately soaked through and burned his skin. We got the jeans off and immediately applied an ice pack. SchmoopyBoy didn't care for the ice pack almost as much as he didn't care for the burn, so we took him upstairs and put him in the tub and I got some cold running water on it. Meanwhile Hubby called the pediatrician's office, who advised that we take him to the ER if blisters started to form. They formed. When we got SchmoopyBoy out of the tub he calmed down considerably and asked to go downstairs to watch television. We told him we were going to see the doctor and he was quite excited and ready to go. Screaming hysterically to happy and playful in under 2 minutes. Hmmm.

By the time we got to the hospital, you couldn't even tell that the child had been injured. He was bright eyed and curious about everything and everyone he saw. They got us checked into a room and saw that he seemed perfectly fine. So then we waited. And waited. And waited. SchmopoyBoy got restless and started running around the room and climbing on chairs. At one point he tripped over his own feet and fell flat on his face.

He started screaming, and when I picked him up I saw that he was already developing a huge lump smack in the middle of his forehead. We asked the nurse for an ice pack. At this point we were both getting pretty irritated and Hubby said to the nurse "Can we please get a doctor in here before he hurts himself again?!"

Within a couple of minutes the doctor came in and dressed the burn. He explained what we were to do and said he would be back with our discharge papers. Then we waited. And waited. My father in law had come by the hospital, so I took SchmoopyBoy home while Hubby and his dad waited for the papers and checked out.

SchmoopyBoy is fine. Quite a little trooper, he is. Or just a very high tolerance for pain. He hasn't complained about pain even once since we took him out of the shower before we went to the hospital. Plus he gets to wear a huge bandaid on his leg, and we all know how much this kid loves him some bandaid.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thursday Giggle

I don't know where the husband found this gem, but this is my shower faucet.

They only left out one detail about water pressure. In the lower portion of the ice cold region, the water pressure is reasonable for taking a shower. As the faucet gets closer to the useful temperatures region, the pressure gets lower and lower. Once the faucet is actually within the useful temperatures region, the water pressure is merely a hefty trickle.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March of Kindness

Between having a household full of sick people for over 2 weeks, and my anger and outrage at what's going on with our government, I haven't had a particularly giving and kind disposition lately. Which is why I totally love Dionna at Code Name: Mama's idea for A March of Kindness. I think it's quite inspiring and motivating to get more positive energy back into my life. The idea is simple - for each day in the month of March, perform one random act of kindness.

Check out her post here giving some background on the March of Kindness, and check out her follow up post, which provides 155 ideas for random acts of kindness to consider for the month. She lists 31 ideas for kids, 31 ideas for partners, 31 ideas for friends, 13 ideas for yourself, and 31 ideas for strangers.

What a lovely idea! Come join me in attempting 31 days of random acts of kindness. You never know, you might just help make this word a more positive place to live.

March of Kindness