7 Quick Takes: Flag Etiquette Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Srsly 45? Why yes, I *am* going to weigh in on 45’s insult to the late Senator John McCain by not putting out an executive order to have the flag at half-mast until after the senator’s burial. There are websites dedicated to flag etiquette. There are people in the administration whose job it is to advise 45 on these things. Apparently, he decided to wait a day before issuing the order because he clashed with the late senator on various things, saying that he was “not a war hero”. The family has even asked that 45 not attend his funeral, though I’m pretty sure former president Barack Obama will be there.

Excuse me? The late senator actually *SERVED* his country and underwent torture as a POW in Vietnam, which is a heck of a lot more than Cadet Bonespurs did. Shame on you, 45! Once again (even though this happens almost *DAILY*), you are an embarrassment to the office of the President.

— 2 —

Because I clearly don’t have enough on my plate. I’m doing NaNoWriMo again and plan on killing off the people who are getting on my nerves or who have gotten on my nerves in the past. (Some people were dying yearly or being used as the bad examples in my NaNo pieces during the 5-year streak of me participating between 2009-2013.)

So… I kill people off creatively in my pieces every time I do it in exchange for a charitable donation. This year, I’m asking people to make a donation to Heifer International. Let me know you’ve made the donation and how you want to die, and I will make it so in November.

— 3 —

Music if it was in color. This is one of my favorite Bach pieces and it is interesting to see what it looks like pictorally.

— 4 —

Houseguests. Jon is out from Ohio to visit Daniel and we had a nice drive to Bellingham today to hit up Trader Joe’s. The two of them also hit up our favorite park today and will be headed to the Children’s Museum tomorrow.

— 5 —

Minion. I never expected to have to tell a cat to stop batting my Confirmation cross. (I also now know that it wasn’t Daniel that knocked a ton of my stuff off my dresser.)

— 6 —

Awww… This is stinking cute!

— 7 —

Prayer request. Please pray that the teachers in my school district have a contract before school starts next Wednesday. (They voted to strike if they don’t have one.) I have a kiddo who REALLY wants to go to school!

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Live PD Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Live PD. I have an addiction to cop shows and some friends turned me on to Live PD. My parents roll their eyes at it, but it keeps me entertained.

— 2 —

Answering G-tube questions. Reader mbmom11 left me the following feedback:

I’d be interested. I can’t imagine how it works to get a non-cooperative kiddo to sit still for a feed. And if the kiddo feels better after having been on feeds for a few days. Thank you for sharing your experience!

This is an easy answer: Daniel doesn’t mind feeds and he doesn’t have to sit still for more than one minute while I get him hooked up. The feeding pump and bolus fit in a small backpack so as long as he’s careful about the tube staying connected, he can do quite a bit while the feed is going on. Usually, we are on my bed and he is playing with his tablet.

I’ll get an entry showing the step-by-step process done one of these days.

— 3 —

Check-up. We had a bunch of check-ups and a feeding therapy appointment in Seattle on Tuesday and Wednesday. The good news is that Daniel gained more than they were hoping for, so they’ve cut the number of feedings per day from 3 to 2. This makes my life SOOOOOO much easier.

— 4 —

Minion update. My little black monster is getting bigger and being my snuggle buddy at night as well as when he’s not in berserker mode. I keep some empty reusable shopping bags in my room for him to attack and sleep in. Occasionally, he’ll be asleep in one with just his long black tail sticking out.

My mom keeps commenting that his tail is 3 inches too long and his ears are too big. I keep reminding her that he uses his tail for balance when he jumps from the table to the counter.

— 5 —

Health System Portals. My local health system has an Internet portal that can be used to email doctors, send in prescription refill requests, etc. It’s a wonderful thing because I can actually have conversations with my health providers over it and it means that there is a record of communication.

When we were at Seattle Children’s this past week, they mentioned that they had one and I just about jumped for joy. It is going to be so helpful to not have to play message tag with providers there, and I think this will be useful for autism and g-tube stuff this fall.

— 6 —

Language-learning websites. I just want to highly recommend Duolingo again if you want to learn a language. I’m loving the site for my Spanish studies this summer, I’m using to review my French, and I’m even dusting off my Hebrew! (Pretty sure this is going to work better than my Hebrew class in seminary did!) I can’t wait for their Arabic course to hatch!

— 7 —

Tetelestai. A prayer for these days…

Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant, John McCain. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive him into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: August 19, 2018

For Today… August 19, 2018

Simple Woman's Daybook

Looking out my window… smoky. We’ve got smoke coming in from all directions and it’s cloudy with a yellowish tint. My throat has been really aggravated by the air, but I guess it’s the new reality thanks to climate change creating drier summers.

I am thinking… about the metaphorical spinning plates I have on sticks that I’m balancing en pointe on one foot. In other words, I have a number of things demanding my attention that I am trying to balance, and I’m feeling the stress of it all.

I am thankful… Daniel’s incision does not seem to be infected per the ER doctor last night and the surgeon I spoke to on the phone this morning. I’m still keeping a close eye on it until we have our post-op appointment with general surgery on Tuesday.

One of my favorite things… cold drinks on a warm day. I currently have some Pure Leaf Raspberry Tea next to me.

I am wearing… navy blue fitted shirt and jeans capris. Church clothes were my turquoise/black/white bokeh dress with a black camisole and black leggings underneath.

I am creating… a g-tube blog (still putting it together).

I am listening to… my mom yelling “Kitten! NO!” from her bedroom. I’m pretty sure a certain black beast is going to be deposited in my room for reflection time. Silly Minion!

I am hoping… to get decent sleep tonight.

I am learning… what is normal and not normal with g-tube discharge.

In my kitchen… my dad made pasta from scratch and meatballs for dinner.

In the school room… my school district is still bargaining with their teachers over a contract.

Post Script… this is a cute story.

Shared Quote… “While Christians tend to turn to Scripture to end a conversation, Jews turn to Scripture to start a conversation.” – Rachel Held Evans, Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again

A moment from my day… our choral prelude this morning:

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: Feeding Tube Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Fun with science. This morning, I was hurriedly prepping Daniel’s morning feed and forgot to take the plastic tip off the tubing while I was priming it. The pressure from the feeding pump shot it across the kitchen at my dad. Thankfully, he was amused.

— 2 —

My “helper”. Minion likes to supervise the prep process… sitting next to the parts while I’m prepping them. Did I mention that I do the prep on the kitchen table and that we have a “no kittens on the table” policy? Yep… totally enforced. A step in my prep that gets repeated frequently is “remove the kitten from the work area” and the kitten is thankfully small enough that I can lift him with one hand. (Currently, the little monster is at my feet.)

— 3 —

Lenten meal idea. This looks pretty amazing.

— 4 —

Black Cat Appreciation Day. Black Cat Appreciation Day is today. Minion is, unfortunately, feeling unappreciated because he’s in my room for “reflection time” because he was beating up Jethro. Sorry Little Panther, we don’t want another vet bill for an abscess on Jethro. Not to mention, he’d have to wear an Elizabethan collar and we would laugh at him.

— 5 —

To my Catholic readers. I know some of you are really struggling, especially since some of you know the priests that have been named. I’m keeping you in my prayers.

— 6 —

Done. I just submitted my last assignment for my summer class. Given that I currently have 100% in the class, I’m happy as long as I get a 50% or higher on the assignment so that I end up with a flat A. (The college doesn’t do A-plusses.) I mean, having a solid 100% in the class would be an ego booster, but I’m happy as long as I keep my 3.99 GPA.

— 7 —

Another blog. I’m putting a blog together for G-tube things. Would anyone like to see what a feeding entails? Let me know.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: August 14, 2018

For Today… August 14, 2018

Simple Woman's Daybook

Looking out my window… dark. It’s late and I’m fighting insomnia.

I am thinking… about Daniel’s g-tube, the situation going on with my church, and the fact that I’m hungry.

I am thankful… for so many things:

  • Daniel’s g-tube surgery going well
  • The amount of support I got at Seattle Children’s as a parent
  • That my kiddo wasn’t the sickest one in the unit
  • Being home in my own bed with clean sheets and clean jammies
  • Daniel’s tube feedings going well today/yesterday
  • My silly black monster who is berserking around my room and bouncing off the walls

One of my favorite things… the softness of Minion’s fur.

I am wearing… jammies.

I am creating… a blog to talk about g-tube adventures

I am listening to… parts of Fauré’s Requiem that I sang 15 years ago with St. Paul’s choir.

I am hoping… all of the kiddo’s feeds go well tomorrow.

I am learning… how to ensure the kiddo gets his full feed every time.

In my kitchen… I did a baked potato tonight that was lovely.

In the school room… Daniel goes back to school the Wednesday after Labor Day.

Post Script… something on depression, worship, and liturgy from a former colleague of Jon’s.

Shared Quote… “I’m no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God.” — No Longer Slaves from Bethel Music.

A moment from my day… this offering from the late Rich Mullins.

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: Seattle Children’s Hospital Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

The sitch. For any new readers out there, my son Daniel has food issues related to autism and prematurity and was scaring the pants off of his gastroenterologists and their nutritionist with weight loss and being around 20 lbs underweight. For the sake of making sure he doesn’t go into organ failure, the decision was made to put in a G-tube so that we have a way to get the necessary calories and nutrition into him. (I’ve just distilled close to 4 months of testing and deliberation into a paragraph, so believe me when I say that this was not a minor decision.)

— 2 —

The plan. He was admitted to Seattle Children’s Hospital two weekends ago for nutrition prior to surgery with the plan that they would nourish him inpatient for a week prior to surgery. His gastroenterology MD was positive that an NG tube would be able to stay in and that they could *TOTALLY* get nutrition in that way. I disagreed and got overruled.

Let’s just say I was right and my precious sweetling removed the tube with both hands restrained. We got to stay for another day and a half while they tried to figure out a Plan B. Our attending physician finally looked at what I was getting into him by mouth and said, “Let’s just discharge him and let Jen do this at home.”

(And yes, his gastroenterologist MD did apologize to me. She is classy and I’m less cross with her now.)

— 3 —

Wednesday. Surgery was Wednesday morning and we ended up with a different surgeon than was planned. This is who we were supposed to have. This is who we ended up having because he had the space on his schedule. (For those who don’t want to click the links: We were supposed to have just an awesome general surgeon and ended up with THE FREAKING DIVISION CHIEF FOR TRANSPLANTATION WHO SPEAKS NATIONALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY AT BIG CONFERENCES doing Daniel’s minor procedure.)

Surgery went well (they let me come in and help with him while they were getting him to sleep so I have a lovely selfie of me all suited up!) and we settled into the post-surgery wing.

Anesthesia selfie!

— 4 —

How things are going. My beastling is doing amazingly well and we started doing feeds through the tube yesterday. Yesterday’s nurse started explaining the process and how to do things to me. Today’s nurse is having me do the feeds after training this morning. I have one feed of mine under my belt and will be doing the rest of them with supervision until discharge. He isn’t showing signs of refeeding syndrome so we got to double the feed amount today. If he tolerates tomorrow’s upping, we’ll be discharged on Sunday. Otherwise, we’ll be discharged when we can do all of the feeds without him vomiting them up or having refeeding issues.

We have a bed sitter with us who is making sure he doesn’t remove his IV or the G-tube and he has been good… so far. He did almost have a situation today where he was connected to the feeding pump and he tried to get out of bed which would have taken some tubes out accidentally, but we prevented it.

— 5 —

“Things I love here” take #1 The staff is ALLLLLLLLLL about the kids and families. They support their families really well and have an entire resource center on the 7th floor with washers/dryers, computers, and just about anything parents need when being here.

The doctors and nurses do an amazing job of interacting with the kids. All the residents are here for pediatrics so they are all focused on learning how to work with the kids. Daniel is finally used to doctors again (my deepest thanks to his pediatrician Annalee Paul M.D. at Skagit Regional Clinics for getting him on better terms with doctors checking him out) but I’ve watched the residents talk to Daniel and tell him what they’re going to do before they do it. The nurses are awesome as well. They advocate for us to the doctors and have done a great job of helping me figure out how to work with Daniel’s G-tube and how to use the feeding pump.

— 6 —

“Things I love here” take #2. Security is serious here. EVERY person who walks through the door gets their state-sponsored ID scanned and a badge sticker made that identifies your reason for being there. (The hospital is a huge building with skybridges and one zone of it is the outpatient clinics. Because it is connected, people can get from one place to another and they need to make sure that only certain people can get to certain places.) Parents and caretakers who have inpatient kids have color-coded lanyards with their badge inside of it. If I’m outside Daniel’s room, my badge is required to be on. If I forget it, they will print me a new name badge sticker that is temporary until I get back to the room, but I have to have something identifying me.

It’s incredibly strict, but I love it because people can’t just walk in from the street.

— 7 —

“Things I love here” take #3. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like having three Starbucks a short walk away. When we were inpatient a few weeks ago, the elevator to one of them was next to Daniel’s unit so I could walk down a short hallway and take the elevator down to the 24-hour one next to the ER. I have a little more of a walk to the closer one here, but I love being able to get my coffee fix without having to go outside or change out of my jammies!

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: August 6, 2018

For Today… August 6, 2018

Simple Woman's Daybook

Looking out my window… sunny. It’s in the 80’s and I’m in my dark room with the shades drawn to cool things down.

I am thinking… about Daniel’s G-tube surgery on Wednesday morning.

I am thankful… for my favorite vet happening to be at the clinic today for a staff meeting and crashing Minion’s appointment with my other favorite vet. It was wonderful watching Dr. Fischer feeding Greenies to my little demon one by one out of her hand while Dr. Matt examined him and did the shots. (I cannot say enough positive things about Chuckanut Valley Veterinary Clinic. They caught Jethro’s thyroid tumors in time to treat them, gave Homer another week of life, and love my little black monster so much that he has groupies when he comes in for vet visits.)

One of my favorite things… my black beast. I’ll miss him while I’m down at Seattle Children’s with Daniel.

I am wearing… jammies. Clothes today were a charcoal shirt from Old Navy (I have three) and jeans capris from Kohl’s. I have such a short inseam that my capris are more like clam diggers on me. #shortpeopleproblems

I am creating… a packing list for the hospital.

I am reading… Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans

I am hoping… all goes well with Daniel’s surgery on Wednesday.

I am learning… all about G-tubes.

In my kitchen… I had a turkey florentine meatball from Haggen for dinner tonight.

In the school room… one month until school starts. Daniel can’t wait.

Post Script… the page for a US agent for International Pen Friends is here. I’ve been a member for close to 30 years and I cannot recommend them highly enough for anyone who wants to find their kids a pen pal or who wants to find one for themselves.

Shared Quote… “The Psalms are, in a sense, God’s way of holding space for us. They invite us to rejoice, wrestle, cry, complain, offer thanks, and shout obscenities before our Maker without self-consciousness and without fear.” ? Rachel Held Evans, Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again

A moment from my day… One of my favorite choirs doing one of my favorite Bach pieces.

Hosted by The Simple Woman.