the one he chooses

Just in case there is someone out there who hasn’t followed this circus life in the last year,

MY YOUNGEST CHILD IS GRADUATING FROM 8TH GRADE IN MAY!!!

Earlier this week, we attended a Welcome to High School meeting at the high school he will be registering for later this month and, again, I was overwhelmed with way too many emotions.
..my son…my miraculous son…my LAST child…HIGH SCHOOL…HOW IS THIS EVEN HAPPENING??!!
And then I was reminded that 8th grade pictures were due for the yearbook…the BABY pictures of the graduating 8th graders. Again came all the feels…just re-read the above.

Experience with the four siblings before him has taught me the importance of choosing the right baby picture because EVERYONE will be seeing that picture. Nakey baby, baby covered in food, dirt or gawd knows what, potty training baby or baby wearing anything that is not a legitimate hat upon their head kind of pictures are NOT ever the pictures that should be submitted for the baby pictures page…NO MATTER HOW CUTE! When in doubt it is best to consult the teenaged human child…always…trust me. But while it is important to consult the young graduate, it needs to be properly timed because adolescent angst and moodiness is everything and absolutely not the time to ask for their opinion.

I forgot and asked him anyway.

He shrugged and walked away.

While waiting for the right moment, I crowdsourced the question on social media. Everyone is OVER talking about politics and a thin-skinned president so why not?

For yearbook they want 8th graders’ baby pictures. Do I share the pic when he weighed 1 pound with all the tubes sustaining life or find a chubby baby pic when he was much older?

The response? 35% voted for the micro preemie, 28% voted for the “normal looking” chubby baby and 37% voted for him to choose. The biggest surprise for me was who voted for the chubby baby picture.

He was an adorable chubby baby…once he grew into a chubby baby with the help of a feeding tube in his belly and continuous, high caloric tube feedings. I imagine the chubby baby voters wouldn’t want to see the gastrostomy tube coming out of his stomach or the kangaroo feeding pump that was his shadow during those early years.

He was a beautiful micro preemie too. I wasn’t the only one who thought so during his 132 days in the NICU.

Looking through all the pictures of Daniel, as a micro preemie, as a growing baby and toddler, it is very hard for me to decide. I can’t decide. I ask him again, and, the sun and the moon and the stars were perfectly aligned so that he was willing to offer his opinion.

When I was tiny.

When you are tiny with all the tubes and wires attached to your body.

Yes. I’m a miracle. I want the tiny baby picture.

So he chooses and so it shall be.

 

and when they learn to read and write

I once said that I have never felt old while my children fast grew from babies to teenagers and adults, nor even when that first grand baby was born…or the second. But when that first grand baby started kindergarten, suddenly I began to feel a little bit old because life does speed up when the kids skip off to school. But it’s all good because when they learn to read and write they enchant you even more with thoughts and words and dreams and wishes that will always make your day.

Always.

I will leave this one right here for you, for me, for everyone…until she erases it and writes something else.

Happy New Year’s Eve Eve!

broke

Today I have been suffering through an eye twitchy kind of headache. I’m sure the coffee house barista was concerned as he asked me twice if I wanted decaf.

No, I need my caffeine, dammit!

I am fairly confident that I did not say that out loud. I mean, my latte was just as delicious as ever and barista-guy wished me a wonderful day as he always does.

I’m trying to imagine that the ridiculousness of that rambling stream of consciousness I watched about the saving of Carrier, Mexico, someone’s son and the pride the unseen someone must be feeling, along with walls being built— walls with doors might have brought this on.

Better yet, I am telling myself it is the absurdity of the school calling me AND emailing me in order to inform me that my son’s illness is not an excused absence only to apologize when I questioned their notification because since when is it a bad thing to keep a sick, feverish child home from school?! Short staffing is the reason for marking Daniel’s absence unexcused after receiving my message on the attendance line as to why he would not be in school. What?! That’s the attendance clerk’s story—and perhaps a contributing factor to the eye twitching throbbing.

It could also have been brought on by the sleep deprivation that is night shift nurse life and caring for your sick child.

But then there was this.

This.

A 26 year old treasure gifted to me shortly after I received my RN shattered—and what put me over the edge today.

Gawd I hope that this isn’t a metaphor of what is to come this final month and holiday season.

I’m just going to sit in this quiet corner and focus on the pretty, pretty lights. The lights are good. It’s warm. It’s bright. The light will heal that which is broke and, hopefully, the eye twitchy headache.

the adventure science

It’s Fall Break y’all which, here under The Big Top, means adventure time and because it literally only took me FIVE tries to have a kid who likes wandering aimlessly around a museum; we are off to explore…

Explore SCIENCE! Science because someone is really digging 8th grade Science making things move and soon, blowing stuff up – code for setting off rockets.

I kind of like science, Mom. I like it a lot. 

He tells me this often.

Literally every time we sit down to work on science homework.

The Tech Studio where we begin and create with high school students from Japan and help them practice their English language skills.

The view from space

Embrace Baby Warmer Yeah, this meant a lot to both of us because ex-micropreemie, NICU grad, NICU mom, NICU nurse.

Engineer multi-colored bacteria, like a boss…yes, he wanted to immediately wash his hands after admiring his handiwork.

Equipped with his five senses, man explores his universe around him and calls the adventure Science. ~ Edwin Powell Hubble

It’s an adventure…an exhausting adventure.

photo dump: the “momsoon” edition

No autocorrect, it is not monsoon, it is MOMsoon. Just accept it, okay?

Family weekend at ASU with Jodie.

Aside from the massive thunderstorm that soaked me upon arrival, Tempe weather was glorious with a high only up to 90 degrees. We won’t discuss the humidity that created the ball of frizz that was my hair…the low humidity they tell me. My hair vehemently disagreed.

Oh well. I was spending the weekend with my 4th darling daughter.

At the movies.

And the obligatory Costco re-stocking run followed by lots of eating together.

Plus a little politics too including this discussion which I wholeheartedly support.

Followed by bowling.

Bowling with the roommate and her family.

Twins versus DG Twins.

The DG Twins win…the right twins they tell me.

The next day brings football and the call to wear maroon for the Maroon Monsoon which is what we do. But first, tailgating.

Tailgating Greek-life style, a first for me and where I become acquainted with the Maroon MOMsoon and that the Greek guys love the moms.

We shall imagine that it was the MOMsoon that brought it for ASU’s victory over Cal and not their now 4-0 season.

And as the MOMsoon recedes, it is back to the books and studies and work and bringing back out all the stuff hidden from the parents for the kids. Thanks, kids! This mom had fun!