Science Night

WHO:  Chapman Hill Students and their Families

WHAT: Science and Engineering Night put on by O.S.U.


WHERE: In the Chapman Hill Elementary Gymnasium


WHEN: Thursday, April 6th from 6:30-8:00 pm


WHY: To have fun night experiencing Science and Engineering!

COST: FREE! FREE! FREE!

Some of the exciting stations you can visit are:

Microbiology, Segway Scooter, Taste & Smell, Dry Ice Demo,

Gel Beads, Liquid Nitrogen Demo, Super Absorbent Polymers,

Chemical Reaction Rockets and Slime!

I tried to avoid Science Night, as I’ve become accustomed to doing when any news of an extracurricular event crosses our threshold. I even went as far as making a time consuming (read: not frozen) dinner in hopes that by the time we were done we’d have missed science night. Alas, we finished up dinner just as the event was beginning.  We walked into the gym and of course couldn’t make it beyond the face painting booth.

All I can say is this. Face painters, why must you take so long? It’s face paint, not a work of art. Don’t you see the long line of children who have trouble waiting, let alone waiting for you to replicate the perfect art on a child’s cheek? Oh man, face painters get my goad. (goat?) Just hurry up already!

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Anyways, the event was awesome and just what I needed. A lovely little escape from home. It was put on by the local high school and the kids working the booths were so excited about everything they were doing it was contagious. They were so into showing the kids how things worked and so very patient. Gwyneth was hesitant around a giant beaker that had dry ice in water and vapors coming from it. Older boys were going bonkers around it as they captured the gas in cups. Then we had to wait in the longest line, for the booth that made slime, which happened to be next to the gas table. Once Gwyneth had the time to take it all in she embraced it. We had to pull her away from playing with it in time to come and make her slime. It was really neat watching her explore and see what things interested her most. IMG_0273Afterwards we hit up the playground and listened as Gwyneth schooled us on what you’re allowed to do and not allowed to do. She also busted out the monkey bars like they were nobody’s business. It was a far cry from the time we went to explore the elementary school’s playground before kindergarten had started. That school is her home now, and it shows. It was fun to get to experience it with her. IMG_0286

Boss Baby

At the beginning of Trolls (great movie!) is the preview for Boss Baby, which we have watched closed to a million times. Naturally, the girls were stoked to go and see it. IMG_0250IMG_0252It was a pretty crappy movie, but the company (and nachos) were nice.

Video productions I

 

Life Chronicles Video Production

For every person facing a serious illness or end of life, LifeChronicles creates video recordings that:

  • Capture a person’s essence; the sound of their laughter, the inflections in their voice, the twinkle in their eyes, the radiance of their smile, even the way in which they move their hands.
  • Allow families to take a moment in time to share expressions of love, support and gratitude which, as the years go by, will make a positive impact on those who remain.
  • Bring peace of mind and a sense of well-being for the time that is left.
  • Provide meaningful opportunities to say the things that matter most as a lasting legacy.
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The mission of Thru My Eyes is to give individuals living with a life-threatening illness the ability to create a living legacy with the help of a trained mental health professional, in the privacy of their own home at no cost.

Where Did That Thing Called Hope Go?

The grieving process is a strange son of a bitch and I am often caught off guard by it. Especially since my husband, with whom I assume I am going through this process for, is you know, ALIVE.  Often times I catch myself completely off guard as I go through whatever the hell the process is, because it’s not something I’ve ever seen happen to anyone before and also, the dude is alive.

But grieving is the name they have for this process and I’ll admit we’re all just be bopping down that trail whether we want to or not. For what seems like an eternity, I have been operating in the stage of acceptance. I just fast forwarded right past that bargaining stage, staying to linger on the anger part while taking the isolation a bit to the extreme. I did all the stages! That means I’m done, right? RIGHT?

Meanwhile, we’re talking about fears, consoling each other with how much this sucks. Crying per usual.  There’s something annoying gnawing on my leg. What is that?

Hope.

Where the fuck did that go and how do we get that back?

I am well aware everyone else feels the same way. After all, we tell them again and again that there is no hope. This is only because we ourselves have been told the same thing. In fact, the version everyone else is getting is actually full of more hope than the version we are experiencing.

Here we are, arriving to some doctor appointment with a cup full of juice. It’s overflowing and we’re walking in on our tip toes every so carefully trying to avoid the inevitable upset.

The doctor calls with the biology results. We trip. A little spills out of the cup.

I sit in the consult room as the surgeon who just performed a lymph node dissection explains that it was especially bad. More spills from the cup.

Jake starts immunotherapy. The juice stays level.

His PET scan reveals the cancer has spread. Another trip.  And a large portion of what’s left disappears.

We meet with palliative care and someone just walks up and slaps that cup of juice straight out from our hand with the juice spilling everywhere.
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Now we’re just cleaning that mess up, staring at that big ol’ empty cup wondering how we will ever get anymore.

Every appointment depletes whatever faith and hope we’ve ever had. There are the big bench markers that are obvious, like the scans, the big news appointments that we share with everyone. But underneath those are the hundreds of mundane appointments that, to the outside eye, seem pretty uneventful. The truth is, every single appointment, no matter how usual it is, provides some reason to let that hope slip further and further away. Sitting in a stuffy exam room as the doctor mutters, “it shouldn’t be that way” or “that doesn’t make sense, it shouldn’t hurt there” rarely leaves anyone full of hope.  I can’t remember the last appointment we’ve ever had that involved anything remotely optimistic. Not sense the time I met Jake’s cardiologist, a year ago, when I got to tearfully thank her as she told me his operation was a success and he should be able to live like a 31-year-old.

 

It’s exhausting to exercise hope when it’s constantly being knocked from your hand. And at some point the truth is sitting in front of you and that little glimmering light of hope seems like it’s at the top of Mt. Everest. And truth be told, I’ve never understood why anyone would try and climb that mountain.

It’s Only Noon

  • Wake up to Norah closing door loudly as she bounds out of her room, 6:45 am (seeing as my alarm hasn’t gone off).
  • Snuggle Norah as she climbs into bed.
  • Roll over groggily as Norah turns off 7:00 am alarm then proceeds to shanghai my phone as she lies in bed next to me.
  • Type in passcode as Norah brandishes the blindingly bright iphone in my face saying “number!”
  • Eventually roll out of bed and drag myself into the girls’ room. Open blinds, find Gwyneth in the pile of blankets, wake her up gently with a disgustingly sweet sing-song call.
  • Open my drawer to find fresh clothes, only to realize they’re in the dryer. Walk into laundry room to see the green light flashing “done” on the washer, wondering wtf that load is. Find an empty laundry basket after maneuvering past one full of clean, unfolded children’s clothes and one full of dirty towels. Take girls’ laundry basket to girls’ room, then empty out dryer while trying to find clean things for myself.
  • Take wet laundry from washer, while solving the mystery. Immediately get grossed out when I realize it’s a load of puke clothes from Jake. Run clean washer cycle.
  • Shout at 6 year old who is still not out of bed yet is somehow barking requests from it.
  • Get myself dressed.
  • Fold and put away children’s laundry basket full of clothes while discussing things with the 6 year old (don’t ask what things, I have no clue, all I know is that she still wasn’t dressed by the time I was finished folding and putting away an entire load of laundry).
  • Threateningly set a timer for 3 minutes.
  • Go downstairs.
  • Come back upstairs brandishing loud timer that is now going off.
  • Pour bowls of cereal. Add milk.
  • Begin unloading dishwasher. Freak out and make Gywneth’s lunch. Open fridge to get bread, realize it’s frozen. Momentarily feel ridiculously angry you didn’t buy the non-frozen loaf that Costco had yesterday and take out frozen loaf. Separate two pieces and pop them in the toaster.
  • Brew fucking coffee.
  • Finish packing lunch, make sure the smoothie thing you just bought from Costco is perfectly packed in between two slippery ice packs, per Gwyneth’s request. Set lunch box and water bottle on table asking the 6 year old who is now cuddling her unicorn and new blanket on the couch if she packed her backpack.
  • Pour Norah another bowl of cereal after she freaks out since I proactively cleared her bowl from table.
  • Finally herd Gwyneth up to bathroom where I get her toothpaste on her toothbrush and manage to re-do her ponytails with minimal whining.
  • Hear the bonk of Norah’s head on the door knob of bathroom as she squeezes past.
  • Flush toilet when I realize Norah thinks this is the perfect time to lay a turd in the bathroom.
  • Sit back in awe as I wipe the eye boogers and filth from Gwyneth’s face, wondering how it’s that dirty when all she did was eat a bowl of cereal.
  • Lecture Gwyneth on getting her shoes and jacket on while looking in the mirror for the first time only to realize I look like Patrick Swayze and have neither shoes nor socks on. Put on beanie while putting on giant furry snow boots.
  • Walk to the bus stop. Interact with fellow mother. Walk back home.
  • Turn on upbeat music in hopes that maybe it’ll really get your mojo going to do something. Anything.
  • Begin unloading dishwasher.
  • Begin drawing elaborate Trolls quote design on chalkboard after erasing yesterday’s. Yesterday’s “make today awesome” design is suddenly grating on my nerves.
  • Laugh with Norah as you both share an amazing moment of creating on the chalkboard together.
  • Become bored after drawing an adorable Poppy troll and Cloud Guy with your quote. Move on to finding the correct letters for lightbox, because you’ve just had a stroke of genius.
  • Commiserate with  Norah as she becomes upset that you’re no longer having fun with her at the chalkboard.
  • Find correct letters for clever “RAIN RAIN GO AWAY” saying for lightbox.
  • Put letters in lightbox. Ponder if the currently storage system for lightbox letters is working.
  • Take dishes out of dishwasher. Decide to rearrange kitchen. Take out all jars, find lids and set them on counter. Move coffee mugs out to other cabinet.
  • Color with Norah until she starts covering your portion of the coloring book.
  • Take another dish out of dishwasher. Get exasperated at the project that your kitchen is.
  • Oh look! Jake’s awake! Ask him what he’d like for breakfast then cringe when he requests a fruit bowl. Just berries. Not even cut up.
  • Clean berries, place in bowl and deliver to husband on couch.
  • Suddenly acknowledge raging headache’s existence that didn’t go away with cup of coffee as hoped.
  • Disappear to use restroom while taking full advantage of alone time with a phone.
  • Take advil for pesky headache.
  • Return to find Jake and Norah watching cartoons. Join in and lie on couch. Whine about particular chemical smell coming from side table. Request Norah make me a cup of hot water and some cinnamon raisin bread.
  • Tell Jake you told her to move the chair to the counter so she can reach. And yes, you asked for hot water, not cold water as Norah pulls out a coffee mug.
  • Lie on couch while Jake and Norah bring cinnamon toast and hot water.
  • Tell “Norah” you wanted cream cheese, not butter.
  • Laugh as Norah brings you a slice of cheese. Eat cheese with cinnamon raisin bread and realize she’s a genius.
  • Text family general updates on life (angry rants) while 5 episodes of Super Why autoplay.
  • Interact with Norah as Jake pops upstairs to make a few quiet, sans children, phone calls.
  • Answer phone call. It’s the local hospice chapter returning an inquiry I placed last night via their website.
  • Discuss wtf Transitions Care is with the local hospice chapter coordinator. Panic when she asks where exactly we are right now. Like really panic and wonder wtf you’re looking for from these people.
  • Entertain Norah while having conversation. Worry about Norah’s overall well being while scheduling appointment and saying, “It’s ok if it’s not while she’s in preschool! She can watch a movie upstairs while we meet!”
  • Get off phone.
  • Draw Norah a bath. Review current phone calls with Jake as Norah takes a bath.
  • Push Jake to text his brother to set a date for his upcoming visit.
  • Get angry. Take shower. Blog.

If you’ll excuse me I’ve got a box of See’s Candies calling my name.

In Closing

It’s comes as no surprise that we’re moving, seeing as I’ve been schlepping every last thing we own on the internet for months. Each time I’ve taken a break from my social media sabbatical to post anything pertaining to the word “moving” I inevitably get a panicky text from family and friends inquiring what the hell is going on. Everything in our life has been quite public up until a few months ago and stepping back from the internet has proven….interesting and dare I say, refreshing.

That being said, here is one last blog post, because it just doesn’t feel right to disappear into the recesses of the internet without a final goodbye.
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Two days is all the time it took. Two days after months of soul searching and dreaming. The for sale sign went in our yard on a Thursday. By Saturday we had our first offer on the house we’ve called our home for the past four years. Change was on the horizon and this was the opportunity we had hoped we could seize.

The door to our new home in a very new place was opened with the turn of a key two weeks later. As Norah crawled happily along the floors and Gwyneth excitedly chose her new room, we stood holding each other absorbing the excitement that was palpable. Daring to change the course of the life you’ve been dutifully leading takes risks and with it fear, which we knew all too well.

Standing in our new house in Lake Tahoe overlooking scenery that people travel far and wide to experience, the fears melted into the background as the joy and happiness took hold. This is where we are meant to be for the beginning of our next chapter, the perfect setting for an adventure.

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And with that, I bid this blog adieu. It is time to keep the piece of my heart I’ve unabashedly shared on this blog a little closer to home, tucked away safely. Thank you for taking the time to read the words I so dearly love to write, for making me feel like what I had to say matters and for never letting me forget how adorable my children are. Thank you for it all.

Farewell dear internet, it’s been fun.