7 Quick Takes: VBS, Take Two! Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

ICE Training. My VBS kids had to do ICE training this week, as in what to do if ICE knocks on their door. Many were born in the USA and have parents who are citizens. Others have some level of legality due to DACA, and there are still others where I am choosing not to know their status because it doesn’t actually make any difference to me. In any case, I am furious that the political climate is such that they have to be trained in this stuff at a place where they should be going to sing songs, do crafts, play games, and learn about Jesus.

This is similar to how I feel about kids having to have school shooting drills because we grown-ups cannot get our [expletive] together.

— 2 —

Happier topics. My kids knew me a bit better this week, and singing silly songs with them helped them to warm up to me a bit. A few of them would always come and say “hi” to me every day, and there were a couple of them who would attach themselves to my legs when they needed something.

One of them came to me with their counselor today and asked for a snack. Last week, one of the mission team grown-ups had told me about storing the Go-Gurts in the freezer in case one of my kiddos needed a treat, so I grabbed one and gave it to him. His smile was pretty fabulous. 🙂 I also got to make a special PBJ for a kid last week with similar results.

— 3 —

Daniel update. My wee bairn starts intensive behavior therapy next week and it goes for 12 weeks. The promise of having an end to the ear-piercing screaming, slamming of doors, and hitting me if he’s mad is pulling me through and keeping me from trading him for a goldfish.

Hopefully, we don’t have 12 weeks of commutes from Seattle like we had on Tuesday of this week. It took us THREE HOURS to go 60 miles. But Seattle TOTALLY doesn’t have traffic, yo! [/sarcasm]

— 4 —

Whoa… I fell down a Facebook rabbit hole today and found this. Apparently, there is a serious plan in place for what will happen when Queen Elizabeth II passes.

— 5 —

Camp NaNoWriMo progress. I’m currently ~2700 words behind the pace, but I can probably make it up this weekend if I can get some consistent writing time. If you’d like to help me catch up by letting me kill you off creatively in exchange for a donation to help refugees, click here.

— 6 —

Racism. Unless you live in your own little bubble, you’ve heard of 45’s racist tweets involving 4 female Congressmembers. I am not surprised that he said it, but I am definitely disgusted. All four of them are US citizens, and three of them were born in the USA. (Ilhan Omar wasn’t, but she became a citizen at 17.) Two of them have parents from the USA (AOC’s parents are Puerto Rican and Puerto Rico *IS* part of the USA), and all four of them pledged an oath to this country when they were sworn in as Congressmembers.

— 7 —

Speaking out against racism. You don’t have to start yelling and making a scene. Seriously, you don’t. When we were at the Autism Center on Tuesday, there were two women of Somali descent and they were in beautiful abayas with their heads covered. They had gone into the quiet room with their son, and Daniel and I went to go open and close doors elsewhere. When we came back, one of the dads made a catty remark about the women, who were sitting behind him. I smiled and told him that they were just fine. I didn’t yell — I just made it clear that I was not going to trash them. The dad blushed and refused to look at me the rest of the time until we were called in to see Daniel’s autism specialist.

The younger of the women and I ended up having a lovely conversation about our kids, and she told me about living in Nairobi where she was born.

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

7 Quick Takes: “What’s Next?” Edition

7 Quick Takes

I’m graduating tonight with my AAS in both of the Office and Business Technology degrees from Skagit Valley College, and I have a lot of people asking “what’s next?” when I see them. So… this is my list of things that are coming up:

— 1 —

Appointments. Daniel has a psychiatrist appointment in Seattle tomorrow, and we are going to be grilling the doctor on what we can do because he has been crazy this week. Next week, I have a therapy appointment on Monday and Daniel has a couple on Wednesday. I just called and got a bunch of stuff set up and the calendar is looking a little crazy.

— 2 —

Adulting. The last three years have been crazy with the divorce and school, so I have some adult and legal appointments happening in July to get everything squared away before I’m working full-time.

— 3 —

Possible surgery. There’s a hysterectomy in the somewhat near future for me. My surgical consult appointment keeps getting moved, so I have no clue when.

— 4 —

Biobehavioral Therapy for Daniel. We’re apparently at the top of the list now, so it might be in July or August? We’re hoping it’s late July because we need some tools for parenting and working with this kid. Autism tends to throw all the normal kid rules out and his developmental issues mean that I have a 3-4 year old in a 10 year old’s body.

— 5 —

Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m aiming for 50,000 words of a story written in July. I’m sorting out plot stuff and working with characters right now. It’s something creative my brain can do now that it isn’t full of Accounting or Microsoft Office things.

— 6 —

Family time. My nephew turns 1 this weekend, we have another family thing next weekend, and we’ll be headed to the pioneer cemetery to bury Grandma at some point this summer. I’ll definitely be seeing a lot of family members and I am actually pretty excited about it.

— 7 —

Look for jobs. My resume is up on a few sites and we’ll see what shakes out this summer.

— Bonus —

Here is a picture of me in all my graduation regalia with my honor cords, tassel, and medals. I was also eligible for a stole from Phi Theta Kappa, but I did not get it ordered in time.

Me in graduation regalia with honor cord, tassel, and medal.

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

7 Quick Takes: Reasons I’m Tired Tonight Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Daniel isn’t sleeping well. We think it’s him feeling hungry and not knowing how to process that. Because Daniel. I’ve been trying to enforce EXTRA drinking of milk to keep him full and I’ve upped his feed.

— 2 —

PTK induction. I was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa (international 2-year college honor society) tonight. I was invited to join in Fall 2017, but I’ve been a little busy. My mom was watching Daniel and Dad surprised me by showing up.

Dad and me at the induction

— 3 —

Portfolio. My portfolio for my Final Project class is due tomorrow. I have almost everything printed out and done, but Sage was being catty yesterday and I need to redo and print out a report for it. I blame the LA Dodgers.

— 4 —

Puke. I hadn’t been gone for five minutes tonight when Mom called to let me know that Daniel puked (of course) and asked if she should give him tomorrow’s meds as he presumably puked up tonight’s. I was on the road to school, so I said “yes”. Well, I’m not totally sure now and am keeping an eye on him. At least he’s sleeping?

— 5 —

Donald Trump is still in office. His mere existence tires me.

— 6 —

Pentecost. I’m writing the prayers for Pentecost and I need to translate them into Spanish… or at least send them to my translation staff, one of whom came into tutoring last week and scolded me for not having them done yet. (God bless my “translation staff” of students!)

— 7 —

Forged in Fire. I’ve been watching “Forged in Fire” reruns while I’ve done homework lately… and this sometimes has me up too late. Oops!

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

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: May 27, 2019

For Today… May 27, 2019

Simple Woman's Daybook

Looking out my window… sunny. Daniel and I might head to the park later while we’re doing errands.

I am thinking… about job-hunting.

I am thankful… for the men and woman who have sacrificed their lives while serving this country.

One of my favorite things… quiet. Unfortunately, Daniel is home today and in a cranky mood, so he is yelling right now. (Autism is fun.)

I am wearing… black fitted tee from Old Navy and capris from Kohl’s

I am creating… forms and documents for my Document Production class.

I am watching… reruns of Forged in Fire. Thank goodness for On Demand!

I am hoping… Daniel settles down. He had a crappy night last night where he was unable to get to sleep easily, and he’s a pill today as a result. The rest of us are feeling similar and trying to stay out of the way of each other.

I am learning… where my trouble spots are in putting together business reports. It’s frustrating because the things I’m missing are opinion things in the mind of the computer program.

In my kitchen… hot dogs last night. I don’t know if Dad wants to do anything special tonight for Memorial Day.

In the school room… Daniel has a few weeks of school to go. We’re going to work on reading this summer during his daytime feeds.

Post Script… this is a very sweet story.

Shared Quote… “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” — Neil Gaiman, Coraline

A moment from my day… Thinking of Grandpa today.

My grandfather's memorial marker

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: Only 6 Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Daniel update. We saw the psychiatrist at the Autism Center again today and he is keeping Daniel on the dose of meds that we titrated up to last week. I didn’t quite realize until we were talking to him that Daniel’s behavior is actually good on this new dose. Now if we can keep him from waking up at 4:30 a.m. and bouncing off the walls…

— 2 —

Interesting… The psychiatrist commented that he has seen more than a few kids with Daniel’s genetic abnormality that is responsible for his autism and they tend to have similar behavior, food issues, etc. In other words, THIS IS NOT BECAUSE WE VACCINATED HIM.

(Seriously… there are STILL people who harp on this despite studies coming out daily showing that VACCINES DO NOT CAUSE AUTISM.)

— 3 —

Hematology. I saw my lovely hematologist on Friday afternoon and he referred me for more bloodwork. My red cells are funky, my clotting factors are OK, my folate is too high, and some of the other factors are off. I’ve tried googling this stuff and I’m not finding anything conclusive, so I’m going to have to wait until Tuesday when I see my hematologist again to find out what’s up. It might be that they’ll have me do repeat tests every so often to see if/when I’m heading toward anemia. We’re also going to see if a hysterectomy helps with it at all because it seems like my body is losing red blood cells faster than it can make them.

— 4 —

Rachel Held Evans. If you want to understand why I and many other Christians (Protestants and Catholics alike) are mourning her, read this hashtag.

— 5 —

School update. I’m required to do a mock employment interview for my Final Project class and I went to interview with the head of the BASAM program at school… who happens to be a former Fortune 500 VP who worked all over southeast Asia. It was interesting and also really good practice for what to say and how to answer questions that I might be asked. She asked if I would connect to her on LinkedIn in case one of her local friends has a job that might fit me. Score!

— 6 —

Game of Thrones. I’m betting on Daenerys winning the throne. Because girls and dragons! Not that I’ve ever seen more than a few minutes of the show…

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

7 Quick Takes: If I Had Not Given Up My Blog for Lent Edition

7 Quick Takes

Lent is over, it’s Bright Week, and I am back to blogging. (OK… some of you may have noticed that I cheated a little bit by changing the YouTube video on my time off page.) I have been meaning to write this post for a few days, but work and homework have been crazy. There will be 7 +/- blurbs, so I am counting this as my Quick Takes.

If I hadn’t given up blogging for Lent I would have told you… about how weirdly calm I am about Grandma’s passing. It might be because I wasn’t the one cleaning out her room at the assisted living facility and her bedroom back at her house. My mom and her siblings have been dealing with all of this, and I have been figuring out burial service things. We got her ashes back around March 11 (she was supposed to be cremated on March 6… which was Ash Wednesday — because I am a horrible human being, I actually found humor in that), and part of them will be interred at my church in Mount Vernon. My uncle is making a plain cedar box for that, and I am glad to have that figured out so that biodegradable cremation urns stop being in my ads on Reddit. In the meantime, I am incredibly thankful for my church and how they jumped in to support us after her passing. They sent food home with me on Shrove Tuesday, sent emails and cards with condolences for our family, and I got hugged within an inch of my life on Shrove Tuesday.

If I hadn’t given up blogging for Lent I would have told you… we got a last-minute appointment with a psychiatrist at the Autism Center. Daniel was badly-behaved (which is actually a benefit in this case) and the psych made the comment that until we improve his nutrition, none of the other meds he could prescribe would be of any benefit. So… he changed Daniel from his Adderall XR (which is also used as an appetite suppressant) to Concerta, and we’re titrating up on it. So far, the only change has been that kiddo is not sleeping well and is having what seems to be a worse time in the evenings until his evening meds kick in. He’s also waking up in the middle of the night or at 6 a.m., which is not making my life wonderful. We start the next highest dose this weekend, and I am praying like hell that it helps. Please send Starbucks.

If I hadn’t given up blogging for Lent I would have told you… my iron is back to normal (thank you, weekly bloodwork and a boatload of iron pills), but my clotting factors are funky. Shark Week (a.k.a. my period) hit me like a ton of bricks in March… and also happened during finals of course. An appointment was made with my ob/gyn to talk about a hysterectomy… and I missed it today because my body decided that tachycardia sounded like a good plan this morning. So… I get to wait until June to see her… which happens to be on the day I graduate and Daniel is off school. This month’s Shark Week happened during Holy Week, and it was not quite as bad as March, but still crappy. I see Hematology next Friday. Woo.

If I hadn’t given up blogging for Lent I would have told you… that this quarter started on April 9th and is kicking my butt. I am the only tutor in my department and I can’t work enough hours to meet all the need that exists at the moment because this is the quarter everyone seems to be taking QuickBooks. The book they’re using for it is crappy (I had it last year), and it’s especially crappy for my English language learners who are having to figure it out in their second or third language. I had to close my one-on-one schedule this week, and I’m still getting requests for tutoring that I’m having to turn away. (I also have a couple students who I have had to tell that I will help them once they stop mouthing off at me or trying to have an existential argument about the class material.) Additionally, my Document Production class is hateful at the moment. We are docked 10% of our grade per mistake on every assignment, and we don’t know from week to week if we’re going to get any of those points back because the website isn’t fabulous on correcting formatting. I’m sure it will be better next week as I know now where my mistakes are coming from and can avoid them, but it is stressing me out right now.

If I hadn’t given up blogging for Lent I would have told you… that I finally joined Phi Theta Kappa (my school’s honor society that I was invited to join in September 2017) in March. I’m going to have my induction ceremony in the next few weeks and I might have a lovely stole along with my honor cords when I graduate.

If I hadn’t given up blogging for Lent I would have told you… about Daniel’s sedated ABR on March 29 with the audiologist we like and our amazing anesthesiologist from his g-tube placement last August. It turns out that our favorite audiologist got an almost perfect result last July, and she adjusted his hearing aids accordingly after the procedure.

If I hadn’t given up blogging for Lent I would have told you… that the Lenten devotional booklet I put together for my church was highly complimented, and that having it go out over email turned out to be one of the best moves as it was easier for people to access. The project was actually a blessing as I was putting the finishing touches on it while Grandmas was dying, and it gave me something into which I could pour my nervous energy.

If I hadn’t given up blogging for Lent I would have told you… that the French version of the Hail Mary sung by French Catholics outside of Notre Dame got stuck in my head. I largely avoided watching footage of it burning because I couldn’t deal with the sadness. (Also… what the actual [expletive], 45?!?!? Suggesting that French firefighters use an air tanker on the cathedral and that they should get on it is not an appropriate sentiment for a world leader to suggest while the symbol of a country’s faith is burning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

If I hadn’t given up blogging for Lent I would have told you… about the insight I had on Maundy Thursday about Jesus praying in the garden and how it means that God understands and is with me in those liminal times when I am scared about what is coming next. Seriously, it was amazing for my faith as was Stations of the Cross on Good Friday, where I got verklempt during the reading about the Pieta.

Last thing: Rachel Held Evans, my favorite author, is currently in a medically-induced coma while doctors try to figure out why her brain is experiencing constant seizures. She ended up in the hospital with a combination of flu and a UTI, and she had a severe allergic reaction to her antibiotics. This is distressing me greatly because she is very much me with a southern accent, and her books have been part of what kept my faith going for the last ten years as I dealt with times where I would go to church and want to be anywhere else but there. (This thankfully changed when I got away from Jon’s churches and went back to the Episcopal Church.) Updates on her health are here and a GoFundMe for her medical expenses here. Please keep her, her husband Dan, and their two kids in your prayers.

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

7 Quick Takes: CPAP FAQ, Ranting at the School Nurse, and Other Merriment

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Ranting at the school nurse. Lest this be added to the “reasons not to homeschool send your kids to public school EVER” list by my current troll reader, I enjoy a really good relationship with Daniel’s school overall, and this problem wouldn’t exist if the school district hadn’t cut the funding for school nurses to the point that they are covering 3 schools on average. (Teachers at this school nurse’s other campuses and at Daniel’s elementary school has explained that this individual is “special.”)

School Nurse,

For some odd reason, you couldn’t be bothered to actually get my young prince’s individual health plan written/signed in SEPTEMBER, so I now have to remind you again that the only information you need on his G-tube is DON’T [EXPLETIVE] TOUCH IT, per the request of the General Surgery nurses at Seattle Children’s Hospital because they don’t want the integrity of the stoma compromised. That sucker is being held in place by a water-filled balloon UNDER HIS SKIN, and it is not coming out without that bubble being drained or someone pulling pretty darn hard on it with needle-nosed pliers.

If it does for some odd reason fall out, CALL ME DIRECTLY ON MY CELL PHONE AT 867-5309 (not at the first random number you see) as my sweet babu will probably be in a buttload of pain (again, that thing is NOT falling out on its own) and there will probably be damage to the stoma that requires an ER visit to Seattle Children’s. If you can’t reach me, call my parents (whose numbers you have) and they will get in touch with me PDQ. Again, DON’T [EXPLETIVE] TOUCH MY CHILD’S G-TUBE OR YOU WILL BE IN DEEP FECES.

Snuggles,
jen

— 2 —

The back storyregarding the above take. Dumb@$$ School Nurse (“DSN” for short) decided to call the first number their eyes came upon, and it was my parents’ landline. (I live with them, so it’s the back-up number. However, EVERY piece of school paperwork contains the words “call Jen on her cell phone at 867-5309“, and DSN seems to be the only person who has ever ignored that.) Thankfully, I happened to be home, but DSN managed to get my dad first… who was not amused by some random person calling and asking seemingly personal information about my kid. DSN finally explained WHY he was calling, and Dad called me to the phone.

When I picked it up, DSN apologized for “upsetting my husband”.

I rolled my eyes and told him, in a voice dripping with saccharine, that the gruff gentleman who answered the phone was my FATHER, and that he was not amused to get a call from a strange person asking seemingly personal information about his grandson. When I got off the phone (after giving him a bunch of information that he ALREADY HAS in various documents and emails), I told Dad that DSN thought he was my husband. Thankfully, Dad found some humor in THAT, even if I was spitting fire at DSN’s idiocy.

/stomps off to fix the student health plan for my critter AGAIN

— 3 —

CPAP Take #1. Kelly (our hostess with the mostest) asked to see a selfie of me with the CPAP mask on, and I’m obliging because I live to make Kelly happy. 😀

CPAP selfie!

— 4 —

CPAP Take #2. Kelly asked to see my mask, so here it is along with the strapping on it that holds it to my face. (The white things in the bottom corners are the things that fasten the mask to the strapping, and they attach to the mask magnetically.) My nose rests on the top of the mask on top of a hole that allows me to breathe through it. Otherwise, I breathe through my mouth. I opted for the full-face mask instead of the nasal pillows (similar to a nasal cannula but with a fatter base) because I couldn’t breathe well with them in. (They force air into your nose, which works well if you’re a nose breather… which I am not.)

Not shown in the second picture (because I’m dangling the mask from) it is the clear tubing that feeds the hot air into the mask, so I took the third picture to show the mask tubing and how everything is connected. The whitish stuff attached to the mask is rubbery and flexible tubing, and it goes on top of my head. The greyish tubing is a little firmer and what brings the heated moist air pressure into the mask framework. Most masks have the greying tubing coming out of the front. Mine comes out of the tubing on the top of my head.(I apologize for the quality of the pics — I’m taking them on my webcam in not-great light because it’s late at night.) I sleep on my side usually with the greyish tubing trailing behind me. If I’m on my back, it comes out the top of the rubbery thing and trails off my pillow and to my right where my machine is.

CPAP Mask
CPAP Strapping
CPAP Mask Framework

— 5 —

CPAP Take #3. Kelly asked about my machine, so here are some pictures of it. (Our email conversations are FUN! We also both believe in educating people on scary health issues, so I’m happy to answer questions.) Mine is made by ResMed and adjusts the pressure going into my mask automatically. It also has a modem in it which sends data to a website that my doctor, my home health person, and probably the Illuminati can see. The rule is that I have to be using my CPAP for at least 4 hours a day in order for insurance to continue to pay for it (it’s usually 8 hours for me and up to 12 if I go back to sleep once Daniel is off to school).

Here are the front and back. (I blacked out any personally-identifying information.) The clear thing at the right side is a removable reservoir where I put distilled water to make the air moist. I clean it out and refill it every 2-3 days. The tubing that brings the air to my mask attaches in the back.

The front of the machine.
The back of the machine.

— 6 —

CPAP Take #4. Kelly asked what it feels like to have it on. It was a little weird at first, and I’m really glad they had me try out face masks in the hospital before they attached all the wires to me during my alien abduction sleep study so that I would know which one felt most comfortable for me. When I put it on, I breathe into it to start it (provided it’s plugged in) and it feels warm and moist around my face. It’s been good because using it forces me to breathe deeply, and that deep breathing helps me get sleepy quicker. I tend to sleep better and deeper, which helps with the daytime sleepiness.

It doesn’t make an annoying sound — it’s designed to be white noise. And yes, my little ball of black fury has investigated it and rolled his panther cub eyes because Mama bats him back from it every time he tries to eat the tubing. #housepantherproblems #meanmama #mustbiteallthethings

— 7 —

The Superb Owl. (Yes, that spelling was intentional.) I honestly don’t know who to root for this weekend. I can’t root for the Lambs Rams because they’re from LA, and I hate on southern California teams as a moral rule. I can’t root for the Patriots because I take great joy in seeing Tom Brady lose. (The 49’ers of the 1980’s and early 1990’s are the best football team in history, y’all. C/S.)

I’ll probably just go on SuperBowl.Com and watch the commercials or something. I mean, isn’t the Superb Owl is just fabulous commercials with annoying interludes of football and obnoxious Halftime entertainment? #stateyourunpopularopinion

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