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Monday, January 31, 2011

Sick Kids--Bah!

The twins are sick. One woke up with vomit in her hair and the other has been fighting a cough and congestion for a couple days.

I sent a detailed email to their pediatrician outlining their symptoms and my impression of what might be going on, and then ran the dishwasher, did laundry, jotted down the milligrams of their meds that I can never remember, and packed their bipap machines, circuits for Cough Assist, and my hospital bag while I waited for her to reply. I thought about this HUGE hockey game I have coming up on Wednesday and how I would get coverage at the hospital so that I could sneak away to see this game I've been waiting for for seven months. And I thought about Jenna's birthday on Thursday and how I hope we're all healthy and at home to make the day special for her.

The doctor said just hang out and wait. So, we wait. I hope we're waiting for them to get better. But we just did this same dance in November, and it ended up with a scary crashing at urgent care, a pricey ambulance ride, and what turned out to be simple pneumonia. I don't know what to expect this time, but I guess we're ready for it.

That's the wonderful thing about living in a warm climate and having a bit of luck with keeping the kids healthy--I haven't had to endure the experience of serious illness very often. But the twins are at high risk for respiratory infection, and so it goes: prepare now, or scramble later. This is the price we pay for not homeschooling them. Schools have germs. This is flu and RSV season. I've been anticipating serious illness for months. We've been lucky.

Lauren hasn't thrown up since the dark hours of this morning. Kyle continues to require the Cough Assist and suction every ten minutes or so. We'll see what tomorrow brings. My bag is still packed, just in case. I *was* a Girl Scout ("be prepared") for twelve years, you know.

Okay, I've no photos of sick kids to share. I hate to leave a blog post without a photo, though. How about I highlight my love for Canada with this pic I took of Kyle before school last week? I love Canada so much that I force my not-old-enough-to-read child to prance around as it's poster child.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What's in Your Fruit Basket?

Sometimes I think what's in your fruit basket can say a lot about a person.

Other times, I think I just like lemons and garlic and cupcakes.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ah, so THAT was the last dollar I ever gave to Susan G Komen

Hey, so the Susan G Komen For the Cure foundation is pretty possessive these days. They've trademarked "for the cure", and apparently any charitable cause--including smaller, local causes that benefit it's own foundation--who uses "for the cure" in the title is a prime target for a lawsuit. (I also heard that "for a cure" is also their trademark, but my Google skills prove insufficient to prove or disprove this assertion.)

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Note: I am all for raising money for breast cancer research, support, and awareness. There truly is no better cause. I hate cancer, especially breast cancer. Just like most of you, I know people directly affected by this hateful cancer and I normally support every effort to raise money and awareness for it. But I (among many) take issue with this lawsuit, for the following two reasons:

1. "The foundation has been around more than 30 years. It has a stellar reputation. The foundation believes it is taking the necessary steps to protect itself and its donors." Really? Because there is no possible way that there is any other cause worthy of using the outrageously creative and unique "for the cure" tagline? And because anyone not living under a rock doesn't already associate "Susan G Komen" with breast cancer, and it's efforts to cure it? How many of my donated dollars were spent on the salary of the Susan G Komen attorney I saw on NBC tonight for a 45 second sound bite? You think this is what Suzy Komen would have wanted? To spend research money on lawsuits to "protect" the foundation's reputation? Your cause, in and of itself, is your reputation, people. So, I almost don't care that you claim to have provided $200MM to research and advocacy--the Susan G Komen Foundation has also spent half a million dollars on legal fees. $500k is a lot of money to spend to sue people who also wish for a cure for something terrible, don't you think?

2. "For the Cure"--wow! That's some piece of literary genius! Who else could ever have come up with such a catchy phrase? Surely parents of certain terminally ill children--50% of whom die before two years of age from a genetic disease for which there is no treatment or cure--could never have thought up such a sophisticated slogan. Intellectual property, indeed. Eh, I guess breast cancer called shotgun first, so the rest of the diseased community is challenged to come up with it's own slogan. I shall suggest we all consider: "race for money which may or may not eradicate abc disease", "hoping for somebody to fix xyz disease", and "together, we can raise enough money to [synonym for a cure] defg disease".

I realize I'm channeling my inner Dr. Phil here, but are you kidding me? This is the most ludicrous, asinine, moronic waste of time and money ever. How are we not focusing on the main goal of curing such a wasteful, tragic disease? Keep your eye on the ball, and all that?

This post should have taken me 20 minutes, but it took me 90. I had to step away to feed my twins, put them each on the cough machine, suction their secretions, and administer their study drugs. Nobody deserves breast cancer, but nobody deserves to be born with a "if they live past age two they'll be lucky" sentence.

I believe that the Komen family truly has the community's best interest at heart, and I get that with a large organization there are sometimes large expenses.

But give. Me. A fucking. Break.

What am I missing here? Is there a key part to this story that I'm missing? Anyone want to argue with me? I'm open minded--prove to me that I'm being an ass in a logical, respectful fashion and I'll wash your car for a year*.

*not really.

Disney in the Hizzey (on Ice)

My mom and I were brave enough to take three young children to a 7:30pm on a weeknight presentation of Disney on Ice. We called in advance to secure handicapped accessible seats, to no avail. We called our local MDA office to see if they had any ideas, and they called around and hooked us up with a point of contact at US Airways Center. Boo-to the frickin-yah!

Let me take a timeout right this minute to give props to Marlo and Ashish with US Airways Center. They don't know me from Adam, but they took the call from the MDA and promised to take care of us and they did. Upon arrival, they traded our regular seat tickets for wheelchair accessible tickets on the spot, and then personally escorted us to our seats (this is a long process, considering the respective ages of my wheelchair drivers). When the show was over, Ashish came to us to personally escort us to our car in the garage. I didn't pay extra for this. I didn't expect this. But I appreciated it so very much. Well done, US Airways Center--well done. (And I didn't even have to flash my US Airways Mastercard monthly statement or my husband's Dividend Miles Gold membership card.)

Grandma was a sucker and bought light-up spinny toys for the kids.

I love this photo. I don't have many pics of me and my mom, and even fewer pics of me and my mom and my kids.

Oh yeah--there was something going on down there on the ice, too.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

All the Cool Kids Call it "The MIM"

We spent a fantastic morning at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix this week. I never knew how awesome this place is--it's enormous, kids under age 6 get in free, the cafe is charming and the technology is way cool. Target is the primary benefactor of this amazing building, and it's only the second of it's kind in the world (so I'm told).

Jenna got every penny's worth out of her visit--she put on her headphones and turned on her narrating device and we barely saw her again. At almost 7 years old, she wandered into the Europe gallery and was entranced with every display.

The twins had a TON of room to roam--the MIM is very wheelchair friendly. The twins didn't have much tolerance for the headsets, so they mostly cruised around while using their "outdoor voices" to ask where they might find a French horn. I'm not even sure how they know what a French horn is, since I don't play it and we don't own one and Elmo doesn't mention it on any of the Sesame Street DVDs we have that they've watched one thousand two hundred thirty three times. Alas, there was more than one French horn in the building, so their needs were satisfied.

Blogger is challenging me tonight, so I can't seem to articulate an acceptable divide between my "kids at the museum" pics and "musical instrument porn" pics (the string bass reaches from floor to ceiling!). So without further ado, just go ahead and enjoy.

I don't have any pictures of her here, but we enjoyed our visit with my friend Kelly--have you been to her blog? You should. Go. Now. Here's the one pic she managed to snap, of her girls and me and Jenna and I think the twins are in there somewhere. It's always crazy hectic when we combine our five kids anywhere, but Kelly, we need to do this more often!

This place is big enough to accommodate probably a dozen (or more?) of our kids in wheelchairs and strollers. The elevators weren't large enough for two of my (overly large) chairs, but that's really my only critical observation of the place. The outdoor xeriscape garden was lovely, peaceful, and spacious. The price was reasonable ($15 for adults, $10 for kids above age 5), and the instruments were remarkable and numerous. I can't wait to go back alone, without the kids, so that I can actually appreciate each exhibit. ;)

One more--this just made me giggle.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Their Last Bath Together

Sure, they've been fighting over bath toys together for ages and driving me crazy over it, but this time their high chairs barely fit into the tub at the same time without rubbing on or chafing the other's legs and feet.

Bye bye, tandem baths.