It’s finally the end of the quarter for me and the end of the school year for Daniel. My brain is fried from dealing with all of this as well as a family medical emergency (prayers are appreciated), so here are some phone games I have enjoyed. (These can all be found on Google Play. No idea about iTunes.)
Bubble Shooter Rainbow. This is one of those bubble popping games, but there isn’t a story attached (like Bubble Witch) and it’s fairly brainless, so I play it while watching YouTube or when I need to think through something with my hands full. It was a good thing to have
Word Collect. This is one where you get six or more letters and have to make words of a certain length out of them. I have a word unscrambler page bookmarked on both my laptop and phone for this game in case I need help.
Klondike Adventures. This is my current serious addiction, and it’s one of those mining camp/homesteading/town-building games but with a story attached. Besides doing things in your camp (like growing crops, building furniture, feeding livestock, etc.), you’re also going to different locations and doing quests. I’m a sucker for an interesting story, so they are doing a pretty good job of keeping my attention.
Clockmaker. This is a spooky Victorian-era game which has you do “match 3” levels at various locations to get items you need to continue in the game. I thought it would be a lot of logic puzzles, but I only saw one or two. If “match 3” stuff is your happiness, I recommend it. If not, skip it.
Alice’s Restaurant. This gives you 6-8 letters (usually in a circle and usually easy in terms of what they are spelling) and you have to put words from those letters in a crossword puzzle format. I find it much easier than Word Collect, and the stars you earn allow you to remodel a restaurant and then an island hotel. There’s also a story that goes along with this one, but it’s not quite as compelling as the one in Klondike Adventures.
Cross Logic. This is one of those logic puzzle games where they give you a grid, and you have to figure out what to put based on the clues they give you. They offer three levels: easy, normal, and hard. My only complaint with this one is that you can’t pay to make the ads go away.
Unexpected Seattle trip take #1. Fifteen minutes before my therapy appointment yesterday, Daniel walked in and handed me his g-tube (which is supposed to be sitting in a hole in his stomach called a “stoma”) with the balloon fully inflated. This would normally not be as big of a problem because I normally have a spare tube on hand that I can install… but some idiot (we’ll call them “Jen”) forgot to order a new one the second after they replaced the old one. I did have a partial kit but said kit did not include a syringe with a tip small enough to do the deflating/reinflating of a balloon. I managed to get it deflated using the end of a feeding extension, but there was no way to reinflate it, and I couldn’t get it back in Daniel’s stoma.
Cue me hurriedly throwing jammies, underwear, and a spare set of t-shirt/jeans as well as my daily meds into my laptop bag (in case we were there overnight for surgery), grabbing two Cokes out of the refrigerator, explaining to my therapist’s office that I wasn’t going to make it because my kid was having a medical emergency while throwing things in the trunk, and jumping in the car with Daniel to haul butt down to Seattle Children’s Hospital ER because that stoma closing up means emergency surgery to fix it.
Unexpected Seattle trip take #2. We got down to Seattle pretty quickly and didn’t hit any traffic until Shoreline. I also missed my exit, so Daniel and I got a lovely view of downtown Seattle while going across the Ship Canal Bridge before getting turned around. Thankfully, Seattle Childen’s Hospital has valet parking at the ER, and this is *SO* helpful because I could get Daniel in super fast and not have to deal with finding a parking space. I apparently used all the right words because we got taken back immediately. They had someone do vitals while someone else went to go grab some catheters to try and keep the stoma from closing more. I had to help hold Daniel while they got the Foley catheter in, and we were having to do things like grab c-clamps and wrap the end in a diaper as Daniel was creating negative pressure by fake-coughing before we could get it clamped. He was thankfully happy chilling on the bed playing with the TV remote and his tablet, and I got to talk to medical staff, email Jon to let him know what was going on, and let my boss know the situation. (My boss, bless her, had called my student for yesterday, and the student let her know to pass on prayers from her as well.)
Unexpected Seattle trip take #3. Eventually, a fellow and her attending came in, and the fellow checked the tube to see if it was damaged. Luckily, the balloon hadn’t been damaged so it was salvageable. She deflated it and tried putting it back in, but she needed a stylette to try and get it to go in straight. I suggested she grab a kit for a tube of a slightly different size as it would probably have a syringe, stylette, and lube that would help get it back in. While she ran and got the kit, the attending (who was holding Daniel’s arms) was asking me if I was a nurse because I seemed to know what I was doing. I replied that I’d been dealing with g-tube changes for almost 3 years, so I knew what should be happening. When the fellow came back, she lubed up the tube some more and started working on getting it down in the stoma. It wasn’t a pretty process, to say the least, because she was having a heck of a time getting it back in correctly, and I would have lost everything I had eaten in the last week if I was at all squeamish. (Stomach contents were coming out of the stoma as she maneuvered it, and I was blotting them off Daniel’s skin with the hospital blankie.) Eventually, she got it situated in the right place again, and I offered to check placement for her. The placement was good and Daniel was able to have a Pedialyte bolus feed without Pedialyte leaking out, so we were able to be discharged after just being in the ER for 90ish minutes. Our nurse got us squared away with paperwork, printed out a paper on what to watch for, and sent us on our way.
Why I love Seattle Children’s Home Care. I had conversations with them during the drive home about getting a spare tube overnighted to us, and I accidentally missed their last call because I was in the shower. Apparently, they decided to have someone drive it up to us (at least two or more hours because of rush hour), and I was shocked when a white van with a “Seattle Children’s” logo on it pulled in front of the house. The driver got out and handed me a g-tube kit. I almost hugged him.
So how is Daniel doing? I limited his food and drink to clear liquids and really plain things in case he had some nausea after what happened. He was cranky last night but didn’t seem too bad today. There hasn’t been any discharge or swelling, so I think he made it through this OK.
In-person worship. My church returned to in-person worship last Sunday, and it was so strange after worshipping online only for 15 months! It was like walking out of my cave into springtime after hibernating. It was like this strange and familiar thing from my past was happening again. (I can’t even really describe it all that well.) It was well worth all the quarantining.
I swore that I would wear my Easter dress from last year when we came back to in-person worship… so here’s the pic!
Why yes, I do have a mask that matches my dress! (Both are from Old Navy.)
Anti-vaxxer stupidity. If you believe that the COVID vaccine causes you to become magnetized, please proceed with haste to your nearest medical facility and ask for a lobotomy because someone has clearly ruined your brain.
THERE. ARE. NO. METALS. IN. ANY. OF. THE. VACCINES.
THE. KEY. STUCK. TO. THAT. IDIOT. NURSE. BECAUSE. OF. SEBUM. ON. HER. SKIN.
Karma and lack of thanks. I saw a story referenced on Facebook about some boaters who were allegedly harassing another boat that had Pride flags on it… only for their boat to go up in flames a few minutes later. OK… that was interesting and sounds kind of like the boat of harassers was being smited for being jerks. It turns out that it did happen somewhat local to me.
Despite the boat with the Pride flags rescuing them, the boat of harassers jumped into a friend’s boat without saying “thank you”. Yeah guys… the other boat could have left you in the water to wait for a rescue instead of pulling you in, so you might want to try being grateful..
Monday was the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre. I found out about it within the last decade from a reference on a site I was reading. I definitely didn’t hear about in high school, and part of the reason was the terror inflicted on the Black community by it and other similar massacres.
If you think things like Tulsa happened years ago and that we should just move on, I invite you to learn about these other massacres, the most recent one being what took place at Emmanuel AME Church in 2015 when Dylan Roof walked in and killed 9 people. There are still survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre that are still alive.
Karenpocalypse. My guilty pleasure this week has been the Karenpocalypse YouTube channel. It’s sometimes entertaining to watch people being so bleedingly ridiculous that you think you’re dreaming. It’s not fun to be the person receiving the abuse from the Karen (and I’ve been that person), but it can make for an interesting story once the trauma wears off.
Patreon rewards. My Patreon rewards from Planning with Kay arrived today, and I’m positively giddy because I get to play with awesome stickers right around the time I would have been putting this month’s calendar spread for my bullet journal together.
Family gathering. Having my twin brother’s family up for the long weekend was amazing. It was worth all the Facebook messenger calls, the mask-wearing, and giving up holiday gatherings for a year to have everybody under one roof and not having to worry about getting someone super sick. Braden is adorable, and he is a really happy kid. Daniel was transfixed by him, and he was a happy kid all weekend.
New school. I got an email request from the case manager for Daniel’s school stuff this year. She wanted to schedule a Zoom meeting with a bunch of people, and I thought it was just a last-minute IEP meeting. It turns out that they’re doing the program placement stuff that didn’t happen last year because of COVID. Daniel will be going to the middle school that is closer to our house, and the head of that program was at the Zoom meeting to talk about Daniel’s needs. He is planning to have a day where we can come and see the classroom and do the orientation activities that didn’t happen in September 2020.
I’m bummed to lose Daniel’s teacher and paraprofessional from this school year as they love Daniel (and also me) like their own child. They also were absolutely wonderful while Daniel was in the hospital, and I went on Zoom with them one morning to let them see that he was OK. Ms. Leanne, his paraprofessional, has been working like mad to find something to keep his attention in the last weeks of school because he is just DONE. It has meant that I’ve found cool YouTube videos through her that I’ve shared with some of you for your kiddos. She has also fussed over me and swapped hospital stories with me because she’s a fellow caretaker of a medically-fragile person.
Still, I’m actually OK with all of this because it means more people who are going to love my kid, and Mount Vernon Public Schools has been exceptional at making sure that Daniel’s needs have gotten met from Day 1. Very few districts pull off a 12-person IEP on the last day of school for a kid who showed up to register for the fall, and his IEP meetings have always been amazing.
Family gathering. Ohmigoshohmigoshohmigosh! I GOT TO SEE MY TWIN BROTHER, SISTER-IN-LAW, AND THEIR SPAWN FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 15 MONTHS!!!!!!! It was so worth having to quarantine, do Zoom/Facebook messenger calls, and mask up for a year to stay safe so that I could see them this past weekend. Braden was a few months away from turning 2 when I saw him in February 2020, and he is now almost 3 years old. In the time between visits, he developed a personality.
Really?!?!? When I arrived at my local grocery store, this is what I saw…
Apparently, the corporate people at Haggen are dumbkopfs because we’re *STILL* having double-digit case counts daily here (which is an increase) and they made masks optional for those who are unvaccinated. Yeah… those are the people who are at-risk for contracting COVID because they’re not protected. The CDC did not say that everyone could unmask (just those who are fully vaccinated and only outside and in certain other situations), and I can guarantee that it’s going to be the unvaccinated people that are not masking in public here because the vaccinated people are still wearing them! (Close to 90% of shoppers were, but I live in a blue pocket of my indigo county, so that was to be expected.) There are a lot of really irritated Haggen customers because we’re not out of the woods yet in terms of COVID risk here. The handful of friends I have who are not fully vaccinated due to pregnancy or anaphylaxis with the first shot are really hesitant to shop there due to this decision. (They’re all masking of course, but they’re investing in KN95 masks because they are aware of their risk.)
Mistakes in mask-wearing. When you wear your mask, COVER YOUR FREAKING NOSE. It defeats the purpose of a mask if you leave your nose hanging out. (COVID is primarily spread through the air.) If you want to complain about fabric next to your skin, either invest in a KN95 mask or a singer’s/speaker’s mask. Also… AN OXYGEN MOLECULE IS 1,500 TIMES SMALLER THAN THE COVID DROPLET THAT YOU ARE CLAIMING YOUR CLOTH MASK IS KEEPING OUT, SO DON’T EVEN TELL ME THAT YOUR CLOTH MASK IS PREVENTING OXYGEN FROM GETTING IN!!!!
This PSA is brought to you by the Karen who was behind me in the pharmacy line at Haggen who was wearing a “Trump 2020” mask with her nose sticking out and speaking LOUDLY to the jerk next to her (who wasn’t wearing a mask before people were allowed to stop) about some conspiracy theories that made QAnon’s trash look intelligent. (Why yes, I did ask him why he wasn’t wearing a mask, and I have no regrets. An employee thanked me.)
Church in-person. My parish and the Spanish mission congregation attached to us had an outside service for Pentecost on Sunday. I’m bummed that I couldn’t go because I really miss being with people, but someone had to be home dealing with Zoom. The Holy Spirit made a cameo as a very enthusiastic woodpecker, there were missed parts in the service that had to be reinserted, and our virtual choir anthem couldn’t be heard over the speakers. We *WILL* be going back to in-person worship in the sanctuary on June 6th, but people will be required to mask up (because we’re not unconcerned with the safety of others), the wine will be reserved for our priest only, and the picnic afterward will be a “bring your own food and drink and camping chair to socially distance” affair. We’ll also be continuing to stream worship on Zoom until further notice because there will be people who choose to stay home for health reasons.
COVID shot #1. Daniel got COVID shot #1 on Monday. It was actually a good experience and the staff at the Skagit Regional Health Vaccine Clinic were incredible. They distracted Daniel by letting him play with gloves, alcohol wipes, and band-aids while they were prepping the injection. They can’t physically restrain him, so they had me bear hug him while they quickly gave the shot. Afterward, they led us to a room where they let Daniel open and close the door as much as he wanted for the 15-minute wait. He was quieter the next day, but suffered no serious side effects.
41st birthday. My 41st birthday was Wednesday, and it was a really quiet day. I worked with students on my two favorite classes to tutor this quarter, and my dad made me dinner. It was a workday for me so it was absolutely OK that it wasn’t a huge family event.
Family gathering. All of the grown-ups in my household and twin brother’s household have been vaccinated (and Daniel has had shot #1), so I’m going to get to see my brother, his wife, and their son for the first time in 15 months for a communal birthday gathering. Getting to see everyone is worth all the staying home, quarantining, and masking-up since last March.
A boring life. Honestly, I have a pretty boring life these days because I’m either doing school with Daniel during the day or working with my students. On Wednesday when Daniel doesn’t have school, I work 5 hours straight in the middle of the day. I rarely leave the house except for groceries and medical care because I don’t have the time to even grab coffee. (Caffeine withdrawal is brutal, y’all! Thankfully, my Coca-Cola habit helps.)
Reading. I’ve finished all of the Margaret Maron books about Deborah Knott and I’m reading the prequel. I don’t recommend the prequel, but I recommend the rest of them highly. I’m trying to decide which book on my TBR pile/list to be read now.
NaNo prep. I’m trying to put together notes and a framework for a NaNoWriMo attempt in November, and I’m having an interesting time with what to name the county where my piece will take place. Washington has a lot of place named after things in the local indigenous language, and the name I want to use refers to the linguistic group. I’m making a serious attempt at this because I might want to publish it someday, so this is kind of a big deal.
Fauci ouchie for Daniel. The FDA approving the Pfizer vaccine for 12-15 year olds means that Daniel can *FINALLY* get his. He is scheduled for Monday morning. Pray that it doesn’t take 5 people to restrain him for it. (He doesn’t like shots.) He has to have his TDaP a week later for school, so he will definitely not be a happy camper this month.
Ted Cruz and Chick-Fil-A. I saw a picture of this on Facebook and went to Ted Cruz’s Twitter to see if it was real. It is. This tweet’s stupidity is on par with the idiots that are filling garbage bags and Rubbermaid containers with gasoline to hoard it, though it’s slightly more intelligent than the woman who tried putting it in a laundry hamper with holes in the side.
I think the best comment on it that I saw was someone saying that Chick-Fil-A has more sauces in Cancun.
(I also continue to be proud of the fact that I have never once eaten at Chick-Fil-A.)
CDC Mask Guidelines. The CDC has said that vaccinated people don’t have to mask in most indoor situations, but I’m going to keep masking to protect myself and others from those who refused to get the vaccine (despite being eligible) and are using the recent announcement as an excuse not to wear a mask. (Newsflash: having COVID once doesn’t protect you from getting it again. This has been scientifically proven.) If I don’t protect myself and others from these selfish people, who will?
(Whether or not you get the vaccine is your decision. I just find it to be incredibly selfish to not mask up in public to protect other people if you choose not to be vaccinated.)
Holy troublemakers and unconventional saints. An ad for this book appeared on my Facebook, and it looks interesting. They are offering free copies, so I’ve asked for one and will let y’all know how it is.
I should probably mention that I doubt any of the people are canonized in the Catholic church, so this probably isn’t for all of my blog readers.
Prayer request. I’m currently fighting with the Social Security Administration on Daniel’s behalf, and they’ve stopped returning my calls. Could y’all pray that me calling them *DAILY* gets a response? Please and thank you!
Monday. I had made my vaccine appointment for Monday at my local grocery store pharmacy. Well, I got an email on Monday morning saying that my vaccine appointment was canceled. I called the pharmacy in case this was a computer glitch, and they told me that my appointment had indeed been canceled because the website overbooked them.
Plan B. The person at the pharmacy told me call back in a few hours to see if I could get another appointment with them, but I opted to go see what I could find on Vaccine Locator instead. The local vaccination clinic at the fairgrounds had spots, so I made an appointment with them for a drive-thru vaccine on Tuesday afternoon.
Wait… a DRIVE-THRU VACCINE CLINIC?!?!?!? Yep, you drive thru the building, they give you a shot in the shoulder next to the window, and then you drive to an area to do your 15-minute wait. The people giving the shot are *ACTUAL MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS* and they are completely prepared with Epi-pens in case someone has an anaphylactic reaction.
Tuesday afternoon. I drove down to the county fairgrounds for my appointment, and there were people directing traffic so that people went to the right line. When I got there, the volunteer checked to make sure I didn’t have a habit of fainting during injections (which would mean I would need to go somewhere else) and handed me a clipboard with paperwork to fill out. I was directed to other people and then ended up in a line of cars to wait for my turn to drive through the sheep barn at the fair. I filled out my paperwork, chatted with the volunteer assigning people to lines going through the sheep barn, and read the e-book on my phone while I waited.
When it was my turn, I drove into the line on the right and pulled up until I was told to stop. A very nice LPN was assigned to do the last bit of screening and give me the shot. She folded my left arm in front of me, told me to put my shoulder down, and put one hand on my shoulder to steady it while giving me the injection with her other hand. I felt the needle go in, but it wasn’t painful. She almost forgot to give me my card before I drove off, but I have the card stating when I got my vaccine (Moderna) and the lot number in case there were problems.
After the injection and they made sure I wasn’t going to react in the first minute or so, they directed me to drive to a series of lines similar to what you see while waiting for a ferry boat. Each line was a group of people who had just gotten the shot, and a volunteer came up to me and told me what to do if I felt myself starting to have a reaction (wave my arm outside the window if I could or honk my horn). I also heard another volunteer telling another group to call 911 if they started having a reaction at home instead of calling the vaccine clinic. (It’s similar to the message you hear on the phone line at your doctor’s office about hanging up and dialing 911 if you are having a medical emergency.) I sent my lovely vaccine selfie to a few people and put it up on Facebook before reading until they told me I could go home.
Side effects. Other than a sense of hope and renewed optimism, the side effects I had from the vaccine were a sore arm (normal for me after a shot) and a bad headache. I was talking to Daniel’s pediatrician on Wednesday when he had his ADHD appointment, and she told me to take the day off after my next shot in April because she ended up with a really bad migraine after hers. I work from home, so I’ll probably be OK as I can be in a dark room and work while lying down if needed. I also had some minor chills Tuesday night and then this morning.
What’s next? Once all of us in the family are vaccinated that can be vaccinated, we’re talking about having family gatherings outside in the backyard. It is probably not going to be happening by my birthday in May, but we are hoping that people might be able to get together for my nephew Braden’s birthday in June.