Monthly Archive for November, 2010

Happy Birthday, Claire!

Claire
Born November 30, 2010 at 1:49 pm

New Momma, New Claire

She’s barely a day old in these photos.

Claire
November 30, 2010
FIVE* YEARS OLD

*I know she’s five, but I question the math. I certainly don’t feel five years older. 😉

The Antidote to the Smell of a Baby’s Head is a Good Night’s Sleep

During the week of Thanksgiving, we had the opportunity to meet my brand new little nephew, Everett James!

Yes, Claire was totally smitten, the moment she laid eyes on him.

It’s about time we had a little nephew we can spoil absolutely ROTTEN, even from a distance.  We got the cutest little Hawaiian outfit for him, and Claire has had a great time finding things to send to Baby Everett.  She’s found some of her old baby things AND new things.  Have I mentioned how glad I am to finally have a nephew I can spoil?

On the trip, we got to stay overnight, so as to spend as much time with him as possible.

Oh, and so we could see my brother and sister-in-law, too.  I guess.  😉

I am SO glad we got a chance to meet him in person before he got too big.  (He was born on October 19, 2010, while we were in Hawaii!  I got the call on the day we saw lava flowing!  I talked to his daddy, my baby brother, from the airport in Kauai, on our way back there from the Big Island!)

Had we planned ahead, we could have brought some matching PJs for Everett, too! 🙂

Aunt JoAnn got her baby fix, and Claire had a FANTASTIC time meeting, playing with, and helping take care of her new cousin.  I know babies grow fast (my OWN baby will be FIVE YEARS OLD TOMORROW), so I’m glad we got to see him when we did.  I know we’ll be able to see him again soon…if not in person (though I hope that happens, too!), via the wonderful world of phone pictures and the Internet.

And what they say is true:  The antidote to the smell of a baby’s head is a good night’s sleep.  😉  In fact, I would say that I slept like a baby, but that wouldn’t be true.  I didn’t get up every two hours to eat.  🙂

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

On the road with a Zen Master

I love it when the answer to the “Are we there yet?” question is “Yes,” even though the Zen Master in me knows that the answer is always “yes.”

Featured Elsewhere: Before the Holidaze Begins, the Holiday Letter is Done!

I wrote a post over at Mile High Mamas this week!

Go check it out!

Not the most efficient way to smuggle Hawaiian coral to the mainland…

Alternate title: Some people will do anything for a souvenir (stolen from my friend Melissa who said that to me on Twitter.)

We all know I’m a HUGE fan of irony. Because of this, I’m finding some delight in this story, along with the pain.

Without further ado, here starts my tale…

Remember when we went to Hawaii? I mean, how could you forget? I only mention it daily.

Well, when we were in Kauai, we decided to go snorkeling. The snorkeling in Maui was fantastic, and we’d heard that the snorkeling in Kauai was incredible, too!

We couldn’t wait.

We rented gear, and the clerk at the store told us some hot spots to go. We followed his instructions and found ourselves at a nice beach near Poipu. Other people were also out snorkeling, so we thought this would be great!

We find a place for our bag, put on our gear and head to the water. The best place to go into the water looks to be over these dark rocks. Lava rocks? Roundish wave-beaten rocks? That doesn’t look too dangerous, plus, that’s got to be the only way in from here…so let’s go!

If you’ve never walked with flippers on and tried to get in the water during high tide, you won’t know how difficult that really is to execute. I’m in the water for approximately 17 seconds and I slip and fall. In an attempt to catch myself, I put my right hand down and my knee scrapes against one of those rocks.

I feel a sharp cutting pain in my right thumb, and I pull it out of the water to see what looks like a knife slice. Amongst the rocks? CORAL. I have blood streaming down my palm and my wrist. I call out to my husband who in an attempt to reach me slips and slices his finger.

We both determine that we can’t get out to deeper water at this rate, and we try to turn around to get out of the water. The high tide does the rest and we’re washed back up on the beach, a bedraggled and bloody mess.

Sweet! This is not how we expected to start the day! How in the blankety-blank are those other people out there snorkeling!? We KNOW to avoid coral. Every time we go out, we make a conscious EFFORT to avoid coral. Explaining this to the coral does no good.

My thumb is killing me, but I’ve clamped it enough with my index and middle finger to get it to stop bleeding, somewhat. I have an emergency first aid kit with us, but it’s back at the rental car. We do not, however have any form of paper-towels or tissues of any kind.

Long story short, we find some toilet paper to use in the women’s bathroom, and we get ourselves disinfected with some anti-bacterial wipes and all bandaged up with some bandaids from the emergency pack. During this debacle, and in the search for paper products of any kind, we see a small strip of sand leading out to the water. That’s where we went into the water and did so without incident.

…until it was time to call it a day.

From out there, that tiny strip of sand was nearly impossible to see. We saw the rocks, which we avoided at ALL cost.

As it happened, there was a snorkeling tour in the water at the same time. When their guide made his way to the beach and stood on the tiny strip of sand directing his people to come toward him, we just pretended that we knew where it was all along. 😉

So, that’s harrowing, right? It was about time I got hurt. I was wondering when it was going to happen. It was my luck that it happened on October 20th, just a couple days before we left for the mainland.

That late afternoon, when we got back to the hotel, we assessed the damage in greater detail.  My husband’s cuts didn’t look too bad.  The scrape on my knee was just a scrape.  Then, we looked at my gross thumb. It appeared to be a puncture at the bottom of the cut and the slice of a knife up and through the joint. Yay! I mean, if you’re gonna go, go all out.

In our expert medical opinions (ha!), we determined that it didn’t need stitches. I cleaned it again, slathered it in Neosporin and bandaged it. It was painful, but I didn’t let it ruin my trip.

Fast forward to Friday, November 12th. I’d been keeping a close eye on my thumb, because I’d heard from our guidebooks and confirmed with Dr. Google that the thing to watch for with coral cuts is infection. My thumb had only looked angry the day after I’d cut it, and more disinfectant seemed to do the trick. It appeared to be healing nicely, but it was still really tender. It was hard for me to open jars and bottles, but that was about it.

So, Friday rolls around, and I’d noticed that my thumb was healing nicely but was still really painful when I bent it. I also noticed that there was a bump forming in the cut. I couldn’t tell if it was scar tissue or if something was embedded.

He looks at it with the fancy-schmancy magnifier and announces that he thinks there is not one, but two somethings in there. Or it’s scar tissue. He then offers to disinfect one of his blades and do some exploring.

He claims he was joking, but I wasn’t taking any chances, so I called the doctor, and luckily, was able to get in that afternoon.  My husband had the day off and could keep Claire occupied, so this was perfect.

The actual procedure was very tedious and took forever, but when it was all said and done, the doctor had removed two pieces of coral from my thumb and stitched me back up.  (Letting the scar tissue continue to build around the pieces would interfere with the joint in my thumb.)  I then had strict orders to not get it wet until at least Sunday and was told the doctor stitched my thumb with thread that will dissolve on its own.

So, let me recap: A cut that was healing quite nicely had to be sliced open again, this time requiring at least one stitch. A cut that I received while in the water couldn’t get wet.

Irony to the rescue!

So, here’s a picture of my thumb the day I had my impromptu surgical appointment at the doctor’s office. I’ve spared you the gross and gory picture. You’re welcome. I’ve softened it by playing with it in Photoshop so that you can’t see the gross wound. You can still see the iodine all down my thumb. (Trust me when I say this picture is gross without alterations.) They numbed my thumb with 5 needles, which was incredibly painful, and my thumb is still tender to the touch there, too. Irony, there you are again! Some of those shots also stopped the blood flow so that the doctor could see what he was doing.

I've circled the wound.

Now, I get to go through the healing process again. My thumb is incredibly painful, and it’s hard for me to do even the simplest of tasks. Typing is getting slightly better, but holding a pen, opening jars, or doing anything that requires me to bend my thumb brings tears to my eyes. On Monday, I was able to wash my hair by myself, and was filled with joy. (It’s hard to rely on others, but Claire washed my hair that weekend at her “salon” and kept referring to me as “ma’am.” She did a fantastic job!)

Before I wrap this up, I’ll answer the number one question I’ve been getting: No, I didn’t get to keep the coral. I am not going to make it into a necklace. Although a fantastic idea, the two pieces were way too tiny, and the doctor lost them in all the bloody gauze and implements.

And, yes, I’ll probably have a scar. But, I’m okay with that. I mean, if you’re going to go to all this work for a souvenir, it may as well last forever. 😉

EDITED TO ADD: Check out this update! MORE coral!

Here’s to many years of magic and moonlight.

Click photo for more detail.

This is one of my favorite photos from Hawaii. Yes, I say that with almost every photo. I can’t help it!

Why does this one look weird? Well, when we were in Kauai, we were fortunate to have a blazingly bright full moon. We decided to play around with our new camera on the beach, and we set the exposure really long and used the moonlight to take our photo.

I haven’t edited this photo at all. This is the power of a fancy camera, creativity, and moonlight.

I love how the waves appear to wash right through us, softened and morphed together as time goes on. Little movements we made while standing still for so long appear blurry and soft.

When I saw this photo, it reminded me of our relationship. For almost 14 years, we’ve stood by each other as waves have crashed around us, sometimes soothing, sometimes exhilarating, sometimes frightening, always exciting. Time has softened it all. Little movements we’ve made together or separate appear blurry now, but when held long enough, our image is strong.

Today, 10 years ago, we made this bond public and official.

Here’s to many more years of magic and moonlight, softness and strength, love and excitement.

Happy Anniversary!
I love you, babe.

Fire Dancing with Fire Dancer

This is one of my favorite photos from our trip to Hawaii.  I took it at the Lu’au in Maui.  The Fire Dancer is dancing with the fire, or is the fire dancing with him?

Both.

Limits DO have two ends, and the signs are NOT specific.

Yesterday, Claire and I drove out to have lunch with one of my long-time friends. She works waaaay out east now, and as we were zipping along, I noticed that the speed limit had changed.

“Woo hoo! I forgot the speed limit is 75 out here!” I said with glee.

“75??” says Claire. She always asks me the speed limit, but she’s used to hearing answers like 35 or 45.

Then, in the same excited tone, she says, “That means you can’t go slower than 75?”

That’s my girl.

The countdown is underway!

Last year, we did a Birthday Chain.

This year, we decided to change it up and do something a little different.

As you can see by the photo, we are spiraling toward Claire’s FIFTH birthday. We have this countdown on the fridge, and every day, she chooses a sticker to put on it…taking us one day closer TO THE BIG DAY.

The cool part about having your birthday on the last day of the month is that you get a whole month to use as a countdown.  The challenging part about having your birthday on the last day of the month is that you get a whole month to use as a countdown.  😉

So far, so good.