Blog Archive

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Water, Water, Everywhere!

My apologies for not having posted anything in a while. I had a bad sinus infection while recovering from my heart procedure, then threw a baby shower, then got my plants growing at school for my "big" experiment, then my parents came up for the week before Christmas to install windows (Dave took the week off for that, too), then the craziness of the holiday. And now Eddie and I are up in Gualala for the week while Dave works. We will head to Livermore for New Year's Eve before finally resuming my normal life of daycare, work, etc.

The internet here at my in laws' house is nearly dial-up-slow so using the computer after Eddie is asleep is not appealing.

It started raining today but before it got intense, Eddie and I played in the puddles on the runway. He got soaked...mostly because he fell down a lot and because he's so short that even non-puddles cover his boots. I had his jeans rolled way up high so they wouldn't wick water up his legs, but I should have just dressed him in shorts. But those have been packed away in a vacuum bag in his closet for months...just waiting for the next kiddo to come along and wear them (probably Dyani's babe).

I didn't realize it'd be raining so heavily or for so many days when we decided to come up for the week. Eddie's daycare is closed this week and I wanted to "do" something instead of just hang around in Davis. Plus seeing my in laws is always fun.

Since Gualala is barely a dot on the map, there aren't a lot of indoor, rainy day things to do up here with a kid of Eddie's size (and energy level). His attention span and interest aren't developed enough for coloring, decorating cookies, building forts with tables and chairs, playing with playdough, and all the other obvious ideas. So we spent as much time outside as our rain gear would allow, then played with Grammy's pots/pans, made towers to knock over with her canned goods, threw balls for the dogs, ate lots of snacks (Peggy has yummy stuff we don't usually have at home like fishie crackers and cheddar popcorn), and visited Dave and his dad at the water company office. Eddie had fun seeing them and Taters (Dave took him to work that day) and running around like a banshee in the conference room. Swivel chairs, panels of light switches, rotary phones, and a metal desk with drawers that make a tremendous BANG sound when slammed shut over and over and over...

The rain really started coming down around noon. After Eddie's nice, long two hour nap the sky opened up and the wind started blowing it sideways. We stopped by the market to buy a few things for Peggy and all the shopping carts were really wet. I decided not to use one because Eddie's butt would have been soaked. So I carted my 23 pound wriggle worm around on my hip...and somehow managed to buy a large tub of yogurt, a half gallon of ice cream, a can of olives, and a pound of bananas (I brought my own bags so I just loaded them up as I shopped). The lines were super long since everyone was stocking up because of the storm and Eddie was NOT cooperating in line. Luckily the Christmas lights strung above the registers kept him entertained so we made it without incident. But next time, he'll just have to sit in a wet cart. (The next day, Peggy's masseuse was at the house and said to me as I walked by, "Julie, you're holding some tension in your upper back, between your shoulder blades." Ya think?)

About five minutes after Dave put Eddie to bed that night we poured ourselves a glass of wine. The phone started ringing off the hook with automated water alarms. And then actual customers started calling the house, too, complaining about not having water. So Dave suited up into a rain slick and muck boots so he and John could go out to find and fix the problem (it sounded like a whole neighborhood was out of water). John left the house in a jean jacket and leather lace-up work boots...he grumbled that he'd be miserable out in the storm anyway so changing his clothes to rainproof stuff wasn't necessary.

Someone finally called and said there was a downed tree near the pumping station. Every five minutes or so the phone rings and Peggy runs down the hall to her room with her Steno pad to jot down notes from whoever is calling her. The more information she can relay to John when he calls on his cell, the better (assuming, of course, that he can get reception...up in the woods here it is very hit-or-miss). Dave left his work truck at the house so at least we had his radio to relay information.

It turns out they found the problem immediately: a mudslide completely wiped out a pumping station north of Anchor Bay. Dave said parts of the building, its electrical panels, and the pump inside were about 60 feet from where they were supposed to be. There was a tree down the middle of the roof, too. The tank at that station had drained down to only about three feet. They turned the appropriate valves on/off to reroute water from another location so folks did have water that same night. But they were put on a boil order (for drinking and cooking), just to be safe, until they could get the water tested.

The company manager, Jana, had to call every single person in that neighborhood to tell them about the boil order. This is the way it works for a small town utility company: real 24 hour customer service because everyone has your home phone number and rapid response, no matter the conditions. And people complain when they request a minor rate hike to cover mandated system upgrades and repairs!

The power went out around 2:30am and the storm kept at it. All night long the phones rang with alarms. There are a handful of folks in the company who receive these alarm calls. Once someone acknowledges the call by picking it up, it doesn't keep ringing at the other houses. At 6am, Jana was knocking on the front door yelling, "Anyone awake???" Our room has a window onto the porch so Dave rolled over and talked to her through the window. She said we weren't getting all the calls...there was no power at the main station. So Dave pulled on some clothes, got his dad, I made them a quick breakfast in the dark (thank goodness for gas stoves!), and off they went. Knowing people would be waking up soon without water, they were sure to hurry so they could get the generators up and running. Next time when you complain about a power, water, or gas outage consider that folks probably ARE working as fast as they can.

Our power came on just as the guys were leaving, apparently three oak trees fell onto the line just down the street from my in laws' house. We had coffee already ground and Coleman lanterns in the kitchen, just in case it went out again. Lucky for us our day continued on as normal (making 7 quarts of spiced caramel apples and playing on the heavy equipment in the shop)...Dave and John, however, had to spend a lot of time outside surveying the damage and then coordinating with the county, other utilities, and contractors to get the building rebuilt. My day was definitely better than his. =)

That storm dumped 4.55" of water in only 36 hours...that is a crazy amount of water, no wonder there was a mudslide!

Crappy Internet + Holiday Madness + Storms = No Blog for Julie

Not having "fast" or somewhat reliable internet drives me nutty. Whenever I come to Gualala I'm frustrated by it for the first day, and then just don't worry about it anymore and enjoy my disconnected status.

I have two separate posts saved as drafts on my phone using an app called BlogAway but they won't post for some reason--I added a picture to each post and I think that's the problem. I can't figure out how to delete a photo from the post in that app and since the internet is soooooooooo slooooooooow here most of the time I can't ask the Almighty Google for advice.

Eddie won't let me use the computer without his "help" (which translates to him stealing the wireless mouse, turning the computer on/off, and doing the butterfly stroke on the keyboard). And last night we were so tired we didn't feel like trying to find the wireless password so I could use my laptop in bed.

We were without power for several hours during the crazy storm and a landslide wiped out a pumping station for the water company and we lost a LOT of sleep because the phones were ringing off the hook with pump alarm calls. Ah, life on the lost coast when you run a utility company...

More later, promise!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Remember That Feeling

If you are perfectly healthy and pain-free right at this moment, I suggest doing the following, just to remind yourself how nice it feels:

-Breath in deeply


-Stretch your muscles, do a little happy dance to engage your whole body

-Think about your digestive tract: how good your stomach feels happily digesting your last meal without cramping, nausea, excess gas, or other foul side effects

We always take for granted how good we actually feel on a daily fact, how we don't feel much at all because we are healthy and all our systems are in good working order.

I shouldn't complain too much because life could be much I will calmly state that I am stuck in bed with a nasty sinus infection and cough. I forgot how nice it is to be unaware of my sinuses until about Saturday night. And how nice it is to breathe through my nose and chew without noticing my achy sinuses every time I bite down on food.

I have relied on multi-symptom cold medication at night so I can sleep, but go without it during the day. I know that I won't be able to avoid over-exerting myself with cleaning, working, errands etc. if I feel well, so I let myself feel sick so I'm reminded to take it easy and sleep as much as possible (sleep is the BEST medicine!). I can't decide if that makes me a freak or a reasonable person.

Oh well, it is what it is (as my mother-in-law would say).

Monday, December 13, 2010

My Heart Procedure

On Friday morning Dave and I dropped Eddie off at Cassie's. We left our van there for her to use since she'd be keeping Eddie all weekend. This was the first time Eddie had ever spent the night away from us (and of course, he did just fact, I'm not sure he missed us at all!). Then we made a quick visit to the planning department to pull a permit for replacing our windows. On my way inside, I ran into my friend, Tara, who had an ablation procedure done by the same cardiologist four years ago. We chit-chatted while Dave got the permit. Then we zoomed into Sacramento so I could check in at the hospital.

Once I got my wrist ID band on and signed myself in, we sat in the Cath Lab waiting room and watched Food Network. I was starving, but I love cooking shows so I watched anyway (we don't have cable at home). A few minutes into Paula Dean's show, Dr. Stark's nurse came in to tell me that they were behind so my procedure wouldn't be until nearly 4pm. Greeeeeeeeeat. So she let us leave for a couple of hours. The obvious thing to do would have been to get a coffee at a cafe to pass the time. But since I couldn't consume anything (other than small sips of water), my mom and I decided to drive around the McKinley Park area of Sacramento to look at all the pretty, old houses in the area. Dave went home to get some sleep since he was recovering from a head cold and needed the rest.

At 2pm my mom and I checked me into the Cath Lab Holding Area, where they took my weight, height, blood, etc. I changed into a hospital gown and got settled into the bed. Since it was a "holding area" the beds were all in one room with curtain separators--so no TVs or anything entertaining. I was dying inside because I could hear, see, and smell all the other patients and their families eating lunch. Good thing I brought my book to distract myself! (I also blogged from my phone and sent a bunch of silly pictures of my IV site and the ugly no-skid socks I had to wear to my dad, brother, and Dave). Seriously, what did people do while waiting for surgery before the advent of smartphones with mobile internet?

This paragraph might be TMI for some folks, so consider not reading if you're crochety, old, or whatever. While in the holding area I was prepped for the procedure. My nurse had a razor to shave my groin area (two of the catheters would go into my femoral veins in my groin). She looked and said, "wow, you did a good job!" Haha, I told her I'd recently had a bikini wax. My mom was there and was flabbergasted: "Julie, why did you have a wax?! Was it for this procedure? Or were you planning on going swimming in the winter?" I told her that I often get a bikini wax, it shouldn't be that surprising. My mom was still so was hilarious. The nurse laughed and said something like, "Oh, you young people, always staying nice and trim. This is just how your generation operates!" God, my mom is SO OLD.

After what seemed like forever, the surgery nurse came into talk to me and have me sign some papers. Dr. Stark came into see me and said, "Ah, Julie. Last but not least." I said, "Yes...I hope not least!" He said it would be a super quick procedure (1 hour) if he could find the faulty neural pathway. If he couldn't find it, however, then it could take up to 6 hours (!) to poke around inside my heart looking for it.

Then I was wheeled into the cath lab.

The cath lab was very much like you'd expect...if you expect only what you see on medical TV drama shows. It was super cold so once I was on the table, they mounded hot blankets on my upper body. First they slapped adhesive electrical "patches" on my back. The only thing that weirded me out was that they tied my hands to the sides of the table so I couldn't move them. They said that a lot of patients (mostly guys) try to cover their groin during the procedure. Haha.

I remember chatting with the nurses and techs about the ages and temperaments of our children. Then the nurse said she was going to start the medication. She said I'd see spots (I didn't) and start to feel strange. I immediately felt like I was floating up above the table. The swabbed my groin with freezing cold liquid to sterilize my skin--she said the doctor will hopefully only have to use catheters there, but there was a chance he'd have to use another vein as well, near my right clavicle (turns out he did have to enter through my shoulder). A few minutes later she said she'd give me the next dose. From then on I don't remember a thing. The next thing I knew I was being wheeled back into the holding area where I saw my mom sitting in a chair waiting for me.

I had to lay down flat for a while until some of the meds wore off. Then I got to have some juice since I was famished. The nurse elevated the bed so I was sitting and brought me a tray of food. I quickly posted on my blog and Facebook so people would know I had survived the procedure, then dug into my fried fish dinner. About 5 minutes later I started to feel really faint, really quickly. My mom ran to get the nurse and as they were approaching my bed the heart monitor alarms started beeping because my blood pressure had dropped significantly. They gave me some atropine and made me drink a soda for the sodium (weird, right?).

The holding area closes at 8:30pm so they transferred me to a proper hospital room upstairs to recover. My new nurse, Leslie, said I'd have to stay until about 11pm--and that I'd have to show her that I could walk around first. I really didn't want to spend the night because I didn't want to have to pay for it (my insurance covers 90% but it still adds up fast!).

Unfortunately, I had another fainting/low blood pressure spell in the hospital room so I didn't get to go home that night after all. I nearly fainted and wanted to puke when Leslie tried to get me up to use the bathroom. She gave me some anti-nausea medication via the IV and I felt SO MUCH better after about 5 seconds. My mom laughed and said, "Yep, she's back to her talkative self so that medication must have worked!" Since I couldn't get up to pee, I had to use a bedpan...that was um, interesting.

My mom left around 11pm so she could go home to bed. I didn't get much sleep that night because the right groin puncture site was swollen and with the nurses coming in every few hours to get my stats it is hard to sleep. Luckily, by the middle of the night I was able to walk to the bathroom alone so no more bedpans for me!

I didn't have my cell phone because it had to be charged at home--since I didn't expect to be spending the night I hadn't packed it. The phone in room only accepted in-coming calls so I had to wait until about 9am when my mom called to tell her I was ready to be discharged. Of course she wanted to take a shower and Dave wasn't even up yet so I had to wait until noon to go home.

We were all hungry when we left so we stopped at Beach Hut Deli in Davis for a Pig Kahuna pulled pork sandwich. Lucky for me, my mom has a handicap parking placard so she was able to park right in front of the deli. I was light headed just walking in, but got to sit down quickly.

Once home I napped and then we watched Killers while I knitted a dishcloth for my mom.

I was told to stay off my feet except for showering and using the bathroom for 1-2 days. Ug. Staying static for more than 8 hours makes my lower back hurt so I have spent all my daytime hours on my heating pad.

On Sunday we had a yummy breakfast at Cafe Bernardo's downtown, then did some shopping at Walmart and Target. Both stores have wheelchairs...isn't that crazy? I felt so retarded being pushed around the stores, mostly because I didn't look ill. We bought favors for Dyani's upcoming baby shower and a few Christmas gifts. Dave ran into Michael's to get my a set of circular knitting needles. Once we got home we watched Letters to Juliet while I started knitting some monster pants for Eddie.Cassie texted me when Eddie woke up from his nap...Dave wouldn't let me go out again ("You have to just take it easy!") so he and my mom fetched Wadamus and the minivan. It seemed like it took forever for them to get back. I wanted to see Eddie!

Eddie just stared at me when Dave brought him inside. He snuggled into my lap--and remarkably he stayed STILL so I could breath him in and kiss him soft hair. I had a big blanket folded up on my lap so he wouldn't hurt my puncture sites. I'm not allowed to lift him yet, but I tried to keep him out of the nursing position so he wouldn't try to nurse. (I had to wait 3 days to nurse him so the meds would be out of my system.) After about 10 minutes he was off my lap and playing as usual.He had LOTS and LOTS of fun at Cassie's house over the weekend--they went to cut down her Christmas tree, rode on a sleigh (a tractor dressed to look like a sleigh), went out to pizza, bought Santa jammies, etc. We're seriously SO lucky to have such a great sitter!

And now I have a nasty head nose is raw from blowing it so many times and I can't sleep laying down because my sinuses don't behave in that position. I wish I could sleep breathing through my mouth, but I wake up every time my mouth gets dry. least my heart is healthy now!

Friday, December 10, 2010

I Made It!

Well, I don't remember a dang thing about the wasn't "twilight" sedation at all. The nurse said it'd be deep sedition...and it sure was.

And if you don't mind, I'll get back to my fish dinner now. Yummy!

I Hate Fasting for No Reason

So here I wait in the hospital bed, all hooked up to IVs and absolutely starving.

My procedure was set for 9am, then a few weeks ago moved to 12. Then today it was shifted to 4 and since arriving to 6. And of course last night when I had my pre-op phone interview no one knew it would be so delayed so I was told not to eat anything past midnight. So now, about 19 hours since my last meal (steak, broccoli, creamy mashed potatoes, and a caesar salad from Cafe Bernardos) I am absolutely staaaaaaaarving.

And everywhere I look people are eating. My mom even had the nerve to ask the nurse where she can get something to eat, right in front of me! Then they had a nice 5 minute conversation about all the delicious eateries around the hospital.

Kill me know, all I want is a slice of buttery toast. Okay, maybe a whole loaf.

The good news is that my nurse put my IV in my upper arm instead of my elbow so it doesn't hurt at all.

I guess I will read more of my book, Bill Bryson's The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pampera, Goddess of Diapers

Hail Pampera, goddess of diapers and ointments. We worship thy mighty powers to keep our floors and humble clothing dry and free of stinky messes. Let your powers extend not beyond your cherub's thirty sixth month, or Zeus help us all!This is a completely unedited picture (a 5" x 7" negative), complete with dust during scanning. My dad will probably print a better picture later and--with a little convincing--edit it in Photoshop to make it look nicer digitally. That thing on my head is a wreath I found in the living room. Eddie had fun yanking the foam beads off of it during the shoot.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dyani's Livermore Baby Shower

This past weekend Eddie and I were in Livermore for Dyani's baby shower (one of two...this first one was hosted by my mom for Kateri's contemporaries, aka the "old people shower"). I was there to hang out with Dyani since she didn't know everyone and it would have been super awkward otherwise. I almost sat down at the end of the table with my mom, but Dyani hissed into my ear "don't leave me here in the middle with all these people I don't know!"

The big wedding shower we threw for her back in February was huge--sooooooooo many people (I think like 35-50 were invited) and it was a little crazy. So this time we decided to throw her two separate showers to make it more enjoyable for everyone involved, namely Dyani. I'll be throwing her a shower at her house in Brisbane in two weeks and that'll be for her coworkers and close friends.Friday evening Eddie and I picked my dad up and then met my mom for dinner at Emil Villa's (where else?). Eddie ate a cup of clam chowder and make a huge mess. Once he was done and getting antsy at the booth, my dad offered to take him on a walk outside. I pulled off his outer shirt since it was soaked in soup and put on his coat. In an effort to keep myself clean, I wadded up the shirt in a napkin and we realized later that we forgot to bring it home. I was/am devestated--he was wearing the "Someone in Alabama Loves Me" shirt my grandma had bought for Edward nearly 25 years ago. I texted Edward about it, apologizing for losing his shirt and he said, "At least it died in battle."

Before heading home that night, we went through the light display at Deacon Dave's. As usual it was amazing, and the mannequins were hilarious: there was one baking cookies and she looked SO bored. Another funny one was "Mommy kissing Santa Claus" but it looked more like Santa was copping a feel.The next morning I went to Dyani's parents' house to hang out until the shower. I brought a bunch of stuff for her to borrow (my sack of baby clothes up to 6 months, a small stroller, a baby tub, Bobby pillow, etc. as well as a Costco box of diapers and wipes as a gift from Edward). Then I dropped Eddie off at the Nyholm's house so Peter could baby sit him. Kelsey and her darling girl, Camia, were there and Eddie was so enamored that he didn't even notice that I left. I had 45 minutes before the shower started so I went to Ross and tried on shoes.

My mom and a few ladies were already at the shower when I arrived. It was held at the August Tea Room and we got to have a high tea meal--all the food was delicious!While eating we played some games (I won one!) and then she opened her presents. It made me teary-eyed to watch her hold up the newborn sized clothes and think about how she'll have her own tiny baby so soon. I can't wait to meet you, Baby Gaudilliere!It was particularly special because Dyani's grandmother, Jean, got to attend. So there were four generations, all in one room!
I had just enough time to drive over to the Nyholms to pick up Eddie. He was a happy camper, playing with Legos, and I was told he even took a nice 2 hour nap. Good job, Peter!

That night I made salmon coquettes for dinner. Right after Eddie went to bed my dad and I set up his make-shift photography studio in the family room so we could take pictures the next morning before Eddie's nap (which is when I planned to leave).

Sunday morning I made breakfast, cleaned up, and then put on a Greek toga of sorts (can't remember what it is really called). My dad took a few pictures of a naked cherub Eddie and his goddess mama. My goddess name, we decided, is Pampera (with the accent over the "e" in "Pampers" the diapers). We also took a couple of pictures of us in our normal clothes and some outside while looking at the baby goats our neighbors' grandkids are raising for 4-H. Right after I popped Eddie into his car seat and headed for Davis. He was passed out with an apple in his hand by the time I hit Vasco.

It was a great weekend, but we sure missed Davie. At least Dave got to have his house to himself for once!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Fixing my Heart

Remember when I landed in the ER and then the hospital because my heart rate spiked to nearly 300BPM when I was pregnant? Well, the fix-it procedure is finally scheduled for this coming Friday. It was supposed to be done in early November but the doctor had to reschedule it.

So far I'm not nervous--just annoyed that I will have to take it easy for a while afterward. I had my "week ahead" phone consultation with the cardiologist's office last week. The lady went through current medications (none), concerns (none), and the timeline of events (when to check in, how long I have to stay at the hospital post-procedure to recover from the anesthesia, what time I can go home, etc.). Everything sounded fine until she said, "Now you know you won't be able to pick anything up that weighs more than 10 pounds for at least two weeks after, right?" My response, "Um...NO. I was told I would be back to full function/normal life at about 4 days."

Apparently the doctor told me wrong. It isn't my heart that's at risk, it is the holes they poke in me (into my veins). I guess when your muscles flex that tension pulls on your veins and the more weight, the more pulling. And they don't want those holes to reopen (...neither do I!).

I'd like to point out that a gallon of milk weighs 8.6 pounds or so....ten pounds is practically nothing. Jeez.

I pointed out the miscommunication and she basically said, "I don't know what to tell you." I then pointed out that I have a 23 pound toddler at home, a husband who generally isn't home, and the latter wasn't planning on taking any time off to care for either of us (since time off = less income).

After some more conversation, I agreed to make sure that someone was home for the first week to manhandle Eddie for me. And I asked her (very nicely) if I could use my own judgment after that to decide if I could/should risk picking him. She hesitated to respond, but then slowly said, "I guess that would be okay."

So I'm allowed to hold Eddie when I'm sitting, but not pick him up or hold him while standing. That's a pretty tall order for any mom.

Luckily my brother is planning on being at our house that week and Dave is going to try to take off the following week anyway in order to install our new windows (and recoup is lost income by qualifying us for an Energy Star rebate). And my labmate, Yumi, said she'd come over to cook dinner for me and Eddie so I can sit on the floor and play with him. So I should be covered either way.

Eddie will spend all day Friday, Friday night, and Saturday at daycare so I'll have time to recover. I seriously have no idea what to expect--I've never broken a bone, had surgery, or anything. The doctor is only poking holes in my skin and veins so it doesn't seem like the recovery will be all that painful. I guess I'm expecting to rent a few movies, bake some cookies, and address my holiday cards but who knows? I'm trying to get the house in order for Christmas now since I will be out of commission for up to two weeks. The Christmas tree is up, we disassembled the crib since it was taking up way too much room in the dining room (our windows are in there, too), deep cleaning the bathrooms, etc. The weekend after my procedure is Dyani's second baby shower (I'm the hostess) and I am still coming to terms with not being able to cook every single thing myself and haul it over to SF, and then comes Christmas...

I should point out that this is not "surgery" (assuming everything goes okay, that is). From an insurance standpoint it is a "procedure" because they don't open me up. The doctor will poke holes in veins at my groin and shoulder and run catethers through the veins into the heart. Then he'll illicit the rapid heartbeat (called a tachycardia) with electrical impulses, figure out which neural pathway(s) are out of whack, and then electrically scar them so they don't work anymore. Hmmm...that actually sounds a lot more scary that I thought...

Anyway, wish me luck on Friday!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

No Good Pictures

I've just spent the last hour looking through this past year's pictures on the computer. I'm looking for a good Christmas card picture. There are some good candidates, but I can't use any of them because in each one, Eddie is grabbing my boob.

This one was taken at Monet's garden in Giverny, France in April:
And this one was taken at the park next to our house in early August (this is just a screen shot from the proofsheet my dad emailed to me so it doesn't look so good here...the photo is on real film...remember that stuff?):
He's a breast feeding baby through and through...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

Both my brother and my husband have reminded me to update the blog. But I just don't feel like it. Too much of my time is spent tapping away at my computer at school, so the last thing I want to do at home is turn on the desktop (where our pictures are stored) so I can post on the blog. Everyone complains about pictureless posts...I'll have to find a picture to post at the end of this one, even if it isn't current.

We went to Georgia for Thanksgiving and our cousin Annette's wedding last week. The flight there was great, the visit was amazing (as usual) even though Dairy Dip was closed so we didn't get to eat fried pickles or a wet walnut sundae. The flight back was not so great since Eddie was/is working on multiple molars. He was pretty fussy the whole flight, except for the hour he slept/nursed (ouch). I had only 4 hours of sleep the night before so I was exhausted but couldn't sleep on the plane because "Mister Sad Face" (as Dave called him) wanted only Mama, not Daddy or Grandma (lucky me...). I tried to sleep while Eddie sucked on me but I was worried I'd drop him. Ouf. A flight attendant walked by toward the end of the flight and said, "My, what a good baby you have! I didn't hear him at all!" We responded by saying she must need her hearing checked. =) Lucky for us, he isn't a loud whiner or crier.

I went to school for a few hours yesterday after we got back. My prof couldn't be there to introduce the speaker or take attendance so I had to do it. Totally exhausted, I expected to fall asleep during the seminar but it was so interesting that I didn't even notice the guy spoke for an extra 20 minutes until I heard a bunch of people get up and leave!

My mom treated us to take out Thai food last was SO GOOD. We got a double order of the coconut soup (tom ka gai) and I was in heaven slurping up that hot, sour, salty broth. It totally made up for not getting any fried pickles last week. Well, almost.

Dave got Eddie down to bed by about 7pm, we folded some laundry and watched an episode of The Office before crawling into bed at 8:28pm. Dave left for Gualala at 4:20am but I got to sleep in until 6am.

Here are the oldest and the newest pictures I have on my laptop:

August 2010 at the American River:November 3, 2010 at the Long Beach aquarium:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Too Busy to Post!

Ack. Time has flown these last few weeks! I've been so busy that I haven't had much time to post anything.

Last week I helped our housemate, Arek ("Eric") move out into his own apartment. What started out as a temporary stay-at-our-house-while-doing-field-work-down-in-California a year ago turned into a full time rental. He stayed in our office...once we realized he was going to stick around for a while we moved our office (computer and stuff) into the living room. I will miss having another adult around in the evenings, even though he largely kept to himself, working/studying/going to the gym. But he was really good with Eddie and sometimes ate dinner with I felt better knowing there was always a big strong man in the house to protect me and the house. =)

On Saturday we got a new, temporary tenant named Tony. He's a medical student who knows my college friend, Joanne. He's doing a stint at the Med Center in Sacramento and rather than rent an unfurnished apartment for a few weeks, decided to stay with us. Today was his first day of work so Eddie and I drove him to the bus terminal on campus at 6:45am (!) so he could easily catch the Med Center shuttle. Tonight he'll navigate his own way back to the house, but I thought he'd be more comfortable for his first day with a little help. Yesterday he spent the whole day helping us around the house, playing with Eddie and the doggies, and tending to the chickens. It was awesome having extra help! He even offered to vacuum the whole house!! (Dave chalked this up to him being a married man...but I think he's just a nice guy.) His wife will be here in a few days so it'll be nice to meet her, too.

Tomorrow morning us Levie-Bowers are off to northern Georgia for Thanksgiving and my cousin Annette's wedding. I. Can't. Wait. to get there. Dave loves going there just as much as I do--I love that he loves my family--and we've been making lists of all the delicious foods we want to eat and all the things we want to do there.

  • Fried pickles
  • Turnip greens
  • Fried okra
  • Carrot/raisin salad
  • Pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw on the bun
  • Wet walnut sundae
  • Country ham
  • Anything our relatives cook
  • Tennessee Aquarium (we'll hold off on driving to Atlanta for that aquarium until Eddie's a little is a 2 hour drive each way...)
  • Visit our grandparents' and great aunt/uncle's graves
  • Play on the swing set my cousin Chip built for Eddie
  • Feed the catfish at Chip's pond
  • Eat at the City Cafe Diner Restaurant in Chattanooga (we love the repetitive name!)
  • Hang out with our Southern family!
As far as an Eddie update: he's still ADORABLE, more independent than ever, climbing up on EVERYTHING, running, and cutting more teeth.

Last night (and once about a week ago) he woke up several times during the night crying. I always giving him about 10 minutes to see if he'll go back to sleep. Usually he does, but when it is that often I know something is wrong because he *never* wakes up at night. Once it was a very full diaper (before we switched to Huggies Overnights). Last night, though, I couldn't tell what was wrong. My best guess is that he was cold--like most kids his age he flips and flops all night long so keeping him under a warm blanket is next to impossible. He sleeps in footed jammies with socks and a body suit underneath...but our house got down to like 53 last night. We like it cold when we're sleeping (lots of blankets)...but maybe that won't work out for Wadamus. I think I'll look into getting a programmable heater for his bedroom and set it at like 58. I know lots of people keep their baby's room at an even 72 all the time--I don't think that's a good idea for a couple of reasons, primarily because their bodies never learn to deal with "real" temperature variation. Or maybe I'll see about dressing him in two pairs of footie jammies...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Photo Sequence

I was looking through our picture folder on the computer just now and ran across this amusing sequence of pictures (some I took, some Dave took).

6:47 pm, busy "working" on Uncle's computer (he can get up into the chair all by himself now, where he will sit for a long time tapping on the keyboard and scooting the mouse around):7:22 pm, lost his clothes after dinner, but acquired a pair of headphones:7:23 pm, put the hat on Daddy and continued "working" while Daddy checked his email:7:24 pm, Daddy realized Mama had the camera and so decided to take off the silly hat:Oh how I love these two boys!

Monday, November 15, 2010

How a 15 Month Old Toddler Eats Dinner...

...with fierce independence!
Eddie now eats lunch with a sleeved bib to protect his clothing from all the spilled food. For dinner, however, I just let him get filthy. Clothes are washable, right? After I swab off his face and hands, I just strip him down, throw the clothes on the floor near the washer, let the dogs clean up the food off the floor, and let my child run around the house in his diaper until his bath is drawn.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Well Baby & New Doc

Friday morning we took Eddie to his 15 month well baby visit. Since our beloved original doctor, Mark Moeller, took a job with Kaiser in Vacaville this summer it was our first visit with Jennifer Clary. Moeller recommended that we use her after he left...and I'm so so so so glad we took his advice. She's wonderful, like a female version of him. They both have amazing bedside manner and seem genuinely invested in their patients' lives. Once I'm not in school and can choose my own doctor, I will switch to her for my own care, too. (She's in family medicine, not pediatrics...although if she were a pediatrician I'd try to find a way to see her anyway! I'd be like Ross in Friends...hahahaha.)

At the 12 month appointment we had to see a 3rd year resident, who we did not like. She wasn't rude or unprofessional but she didn't seem very connected to us at all. She asked only the following:
  • Do you have any concerns you want to talk about today?
Mind you, this was the first time we'd even met her! So she knew nothing about us other than Eddie's stats from his file. She asked no questions that I would expect a new doctor to do (is he breastfeeding? sleeping through the night? learning new words? walking? how are you holding up with the responsibilities as a parent?).

But the worst offense: she didn't even comment on how cute Eddie was. HELLO! How can I trust someone's judgment if they don't see the most obvious trait?!

*insert flabbergasted face here*

That might seem silly, but it is really important to us. Even if she had to lie about it, as a child's doctor she should know what the normal protocol is. The minimum requirement is to at least pretend to care about your patients....jeez. My good friend, Kristin, is a family practice doctor and she rolled her eyes at me when I told her this...but even she admitted needing to pretend to care.

Some people might argue that this is a downfall of having a family practice doctor for your child instead of a pediatrician. I disagree--it is all about finding the right person for your medical needs and your personality. We like the idea of having a doctor to treat our whole family (and to help us create our family...ideally we'll have her deliver our future babies, too).

And the childhood "fad" disorders really bug me (which I think are partly related to pediatrics). Just like diets there's always some phenomenon that makes national news. It used to be ADD/ADHD and Ritalin use--overnight everyone's child seemed to get diagnosed. Then it was that mercury was causing autism (not true...look it up). Now it is autism spectrum disorder. You hear crazy statistics like, "it is estimated that 50% of American children actually have autism but haven't been properly diagnosed" or even worse, "diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder have increased 90% since [insert year here]." Okay people, these are fads. The reason there's been an increase is because parents and doctors are looking for something to diagnose. Tommy Jr. is having trouble reading at school? Blame it on some loosely defined disorder so you don't have to feel guilty making your son work harder than his classmates to master reading. My point is: I'm hoping that we'll avoid some of this nonsense by having a generalist doctor and not a specialist who might feel like they aren't doing their job without diagnosing my children with latest problem. That being said, I think everyone needs to be an advocate for their health and if something seems wrong but your doctor brushes it off, you should take it upon yourself to get a second opinion (without being pyschosomatic or hypochondriac about it).

*Cue spotlight as I step off my soapbox*

Anyway, Eddie's perfect. (Duh!) He is 32" tall and 23.75 pounds (40% percentile for weight-for-length). Get me off this cold scale and STOP laughing at me!

Poor babe had to get shots this time, including MMR and flu. The nurse warned us that he'll likely have pain for up to a few days from the MMR...but our little trooper was just fine.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Long Beach Conference

Last week was the annual Soil Science Society of America conference, held in Long Beach this time. The weather was AMAZING--low 90s the whole time! Isn't it November, though?

My mom and I flew down on Halloween and got settled in our swanky hotel, AVIA. We got two adjoining rooms and put Eddie's crib into the bathroom of the smaller room so he'd have a sound barrier between him and us noisy adults. My mom was nice enough to let us use her bathroom during Eddie's sleepy time. The only bad thing about this hotel was that there were no bathtubs, only HUGE showers. Eddie doesn't mind showers but I don't like showering with him because he's so slippery when he's wet!

The next morning I went to the conference while Eddie and my mom picked my brother up at the airport. Edward and my mom made a great babysitting team for has the baby know-how (mom) and one has the muscles to wrangle the overly-active 14 month old (Edward).That afternoon I presented my poster...unlike last year when everyone just came by to see Eddie sleeping in his stroller, this year I got several people interested in my work. Woo! I've already started conversing with a researcher from Ole Miss about my method and possibly running some of his samples.That night after dinner at California Pizza Kitchen we took Eddie swimming in the roof top hotel was heated to 72 and we all had a blast. Eddie wanted us to let him "swim" between us the whole time...and if you stopped to catch your breath before "swimming" him back to the other person he'd squirm like crazy. Once Eddie was tucked away in bed, Edward and I met up with my college friend, Milad, for chatting and drinks at a local pub. I hadn't seen "Muffin" in years and it was so fun to catch up!Tuesday's conference agenda was boring so we spend the morning at the aquarium. While we were outside at the shark touch tanks, someone brought out a prehensile-tailed South American porcupine. He was soooooooooooo cute! I had never seen a long tailed porcupine before and had no idea they liked snacking on sweet potato and bananas...a lot like Eddie actually. =)We had time to swim AND get some pre-dinner ice cream at Cold Stone before meeting up with Dyani's cousins for dinner. Eddie was a good boy and entertained himself by coloring his kid menu, eating some of my porcini-crusted mahi-mahi, and flinging water around playing with a cup and straw (he's so cute so no one got mad at him!). Edward stashed his car at one of their houses a few weeks ago when he drove it back to CA from NY to attend his own conference (higher education technology) it was also nice to get his car back.

Wednesday I got up and out of the hotel early so Edward and my mom were "in charge" of Eddie the WHOLE day. After going to a bunch of talks in the morning I took advantage of my baby sitters and ate lunch alone with my book and a glass of sangria. (It has heavenly.) Then I volunteered at the Association of Women Soil Scientists booth selling shirts. I bought two for Eddie and one for myself. That evening for the closing reception Jared Diamond spoke. My mom and Edward wanted to come along so I had to get badges for them. Edward used my labmate's badge (Eshan Toosi) and the nice people at the convention center printed one for my mom since they knew she was doing me a favor of babysitting for me. Diamond's speech was surprisingly boring (at least the first 20 minutes I listened to before taking Eddie downstairs to run amok).

That night Edward and my mom went to Riverside to meet up with one of his college friends (and pick up some stuff he's stashed at her house) so Eddie and I ordered delivery pizza. After he was in bed I watched my annual quota of HGTV and Food Network. Those networks have seriously gone downhill...all about competition and suspense these days and almost no "how to" shows. Lame.

I decided to stay until Thursday since my heart procedure was rescheduled from Friday until December. The flight back home was uneventful, minus my forgetting my car/house keys in Edward's car. Edward and my mom drove back up to Davis in his car so I took advantage and let him bring all our luggage back so we didn't have to check anything on our flight. The only problem was that my keys were in my backpack and not the diaper bag....sigh. Luckily our roommate was home so he kindly picked us up (and brought Eddie's infant seat, which Eddie barely fit into).

Next year I'm going to the conference ALONE and Dave can be "in charge" of Eddie the whole week. It'll be glorious. =)

Monday, November 8, 2010


I haven't posted in a while because I've been pretty busy. For starters, and the topic of this post, is that Emmy attacked Ruby again. So Eddie and I had to spent a Thursday night unexpectedly in the vet's office until way past his dinner and bedtimes while his "sister" got stitches, drugs, and a lamp shade collar.

Jacob had the dogs at the park during one of his regular biweekly play dates with all three pooches, when out of nowhere Emmy and Ruby got into a bloody fight. He didn't think Ruby was too hurt, even though she was limping and bleeding. He washed off her leg and called both me and Dave to let us know. When I got home a couple hours later, she was still limping and was obviously in pain. I phoned the vet who said to come right in. Of course, Eddie and I had JUST walked in the door so all I had time to grab was string cheese, Halloween candy, and grapes.

Eddie was a champ during the whole thing--happily munching on the junk I'd brought with me. Once Ruby's leg was shaved for a closer look it was clear she needed sutures. Nothing major, but still expensive for me and painful for her. We left her there to get some dinner while she was being worked on. The only thing close by was Burger King. God, I haven't eaten that type of fast food in a while and had forgotten just how nasty it is. So salty and no real flavor. Bleh. Eddie only ate a few fries and one chicken tender before he started throwing the food on the floor. To be honest, I felt like doing the same thing.

I had to lift Ruby into the car because she was so doped up from the sedatives. Then when we got home I decided to keep the girl dogs Ruby stayed in the car for almost two hours while Eddie was fed and bedded down for the night. I tried locked Emmy in the bathroom and then the garage, but she just scratched the doors and barked non-stop. Thankfully my mom agreed to drive up to Davis (at 9pm!) so she could be Emmy's human companion at night. That meant last minute packing not only to be in Davis but also for our week-long trip to Long Beach a few days later since it wouldn't make sense to go back to Livermore before we flew out.

So I had to move Eddie from "his" room to the crib in the dining room so my mom could sleep on the bed in the nursery. I've never had to move him once he's down for the night...and I was delighted that he just drifted back to sleep without fuss.

Emmy did just fine sleeping with my mom in a separate room. Once Ruby's sedatives wore off the next day and she wasn't limping so badly I felt comfortable having the dogs near each other, as long as an adult was in the room.

Dave and I talked on the phone about all this, and decided that Emmy needed to have a new home. It has always been overly stressful for me to have her (she's very high-needs) and especially when our own dogs are there (she's super dominant AND three dogs + baby = too much work).

Edward was understanding, thankfully. He contacted the rescue in NY where she came from to see what his options were, I emailed my vet school friend to see if anyone here at the Davis Vet School would be interested in fostering or adopting her. It turns out that Allison will be able to keep her and is willing to do whatever it takes. That'll probably mean intensive dog and human training, no other dogs or children around, and some lifestyle adjustment. But Emmy will get what she needs: constant interaction with her own dedicated human companion, no stress of having other dogs around that she feels compelled to control (she's just hardwired to be top dog), constant training and rules to follow (border collies love to have rules and "work" to do), and hopefully lots of exercise.

And hopefully Ruby, Taters, Eddie, and I will have our peaceful little home back in order and all to ourselves. I'll sleep better at night knowing all the "creatures" in my life are settled and happy with their situations--and knowing that Ruby won't have to be harassed or injured by Emmy ever again.

Allison lives in the Bay Area so I'm sure we'll get to visit with Emmy as often as we like. I think we'll try to organize some hikes together soon so everyone can hang out.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Girl Effect

Wouldn't you just curl up and die if your own babies' destiny was to be married by 14?! FOURTEEN. When I was 14 I was wearing a ridiculously pouffy pink skirt to a homecoming dance without a care in the world, except knowing that I had to get my geometry homework done in time. Education is something another person can't take away from you. It allows you to make something from nothing. It is a privilege, but don't you think it should be a right?

Watch this and be moved to do something.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mama's Day Off

I asked my Facebook friends what they'd do with a whole weekend "day off" from all childcare responsibility. Most gals said they'd eat out, shop in all the stores that require lots of time to look (like craft stores), try clothes on, read, and go to a spa. I pretty much already knew what I wanted to do with my time: read and pedicure.

Eddie gave me the first two surprises of the day. First, he slept in until almost 8:30am! Ahhhhhhh. While Dave was getting Eddie from his room, I nestled back down into bed and waited for Eddie to come in to nurse and cuddle. But then I heard Dave call out for me urgently from the bathroom. I went in to find Eddie and Dave both covered in poop (second surprise). Eddie had a massive diarrhea blowout, poor thing. It was funny and frustrating to see Dave just standing there, clueless. He clearly didn't know what to do--no matter what he did he was going to get both of them covered in more poop. So I took over, undressed me and Eddie and hopped into the shower with him. When we were done, Dave hopped in. No way around it...sometimes poopy diapers just require a full shower for everyone involved!

We all ate some breakfast and then I scooted out the door, with my book, to my 10am pedicure appointment. I chose cherry red polish.

Next it was off to a new-to-me coffee shop for a soy chai latte, a comfy chair, and more reading. I think I was there for about 2 hours! It was heavenly to just read and read. Then I went home to retrieve my basket of gift cards so I could go clothes shopping (Dave was nice to bring them out to the car to me). I went to Target to get some jeans and a few discount sweaters and tops for winter layering. My next stop was Arden Fair mall. Ug. There was TONS AND TONS of traffic on the way to the mall, which totally ruined my floating-on-air mood. I loathe traffic, especially when it is for no reason (no accident, no broken down car).

Of course, the mall was friggin' packed that day--it was a rainy Saturday and the nearest mall had just caught fire and shut down a few days before so every mall-goer in the area was piling into my mall. =) But it wasn't so bad: the gal at Victoria's Secret was super helpful and spent a good 30 minutes finding the perfect bras for my nursed-out ladies. I ducked into Express to see about some more jeans but was shocked to see that they are now a minimum of $80! Ha, yeah right.

By the time I got out to the car (I parked as far away as possible to make sure I'd actually find a spot), I realized I had just enough time to go to the fabric store in Woodland. I got some fabric to make my Halloween costume and bought a much-needed seam ripper (my old one broke). By then I was starving so I headed back to Davis for a leisurely dinner at Cafe Bernardo's. I had a yummy tri tip sandwich, a bowl of roasted butternut squash soup, and a mug of steaming hot coffee. It was all really yummy...and I got to read my book uninterrupted for another whole hour. Ahhhhh.... I brought home an order of Thai noodle salad for Dave and Eddie's dinner.

When I got home Eddie was falling apart...he was tired, hungry, and missing his mama. =) He wouldn't eat dinner unless he was sitting on my lap...he was going to make sure I was with him 100%!

Once he was in bed that night Dave and I dug through our closet for that night's Halloween party costumes. The original plan was for him to be a pirate and for me to be "pirate's booty." But my sewing machine was acting up and I didn't have the patience or time necessary to coax it into sewing the glittery gold and silver fabric into a dress. So....I wore my 9th grade homecoming dance outfit and Dave dressed as a nerd. I couldn't believe the skirt still fit after 14 years and a baby...or that I ever wore that pink thing in the first place!Jacob came over while Dave and I partied it up at Cassie's house. Lucky for all of us, Eddie slept soundly the whole time. It was really fun to hang out at night with other adults, meet some new people, and wrap up my Day Off!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Apple Cider Extravaganza 2010

I'm not sure why I didn't post ANYTHING about our first attempts at cider pressing two years ago...probably it had something to do with my mom entering the hospital that same day (10/12/08). But still...I posted pictures to Facebook...

This year we got a total of 21 gallons from 9 boxes of apples. I sent out an "interest" email in July to see who, if anyone, would be interested in participating. Then we planned pressing dates for October and invited everyone who had responded to the first email (I didn't want to bombard people with TOO many emails if they weren't interested at all). We had to cancel two of the three events because the apples just weren't ripening as fast as expected.

Last Saturday was the big day. We had like 20 people here helping with everything from washing, cutting, puree-ing, grinding in the garbage disposal, and the actual pressing.

We staged washing on the patio, cutting in the dining room, puree-ing in the kitchen (via an arsenal food processors), grinding in the garage,
and pressing in the garage. You can see we collected the cider in our juice jar with a spigot and then bottled the cider in clean milk jugs we've been saving since May (!). It worked out nicely, especially since a lot of the particulates in the cider were able to settle out at the bottom of the jar before filling the milk jugs.

Everyone worked SO hard! But I hope everyone was able to find some down/social time, too. I know Edward and Cassie made cheese, some folks played with the variety of kiddos we had running around, and we even BBQed up some tri tip and sausages for lunch (to add to the smorgasbord of delicious goodies people brought for our potluck).Overall, the house was kept pretty clean. Edward and I washed everything on the patio afterward because our big steel bowls and commercial-sized cutting boards would be difficult in the kitchen. (The dogs were kind enough to do the pre-wash for us!)We were losing motivation and energy after 7 boxes so the last two were done by more friends the next day. Mike and Sandrine make homebrew and wanted about 5 gallons to harden. So we let them have the remaining boxes and full use of our house and cider stuff. (Our family went out to sushi while Eddie stayed home with the sitter...apparently Eddie "helped" Sandrine by taking a bunch of the washed apples out of the bucket.)

That night I finally mopped the house and got everything back into order.

Most folks took home a gallon or two of cider, pretreated with Campden tablets (they produce sulfur dioxide in the juice, which kills most harmful bacteria and yeast). Ours were put into the freezer so we can take our time drinking them or maybe hardening them later with added yeast. We'll see.

Dave is hoping we'll get another 4 boxes of apples by Halloween we might do another small pressing then. But again, we'll see...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Joanne's Wedding

Two weekends ago my mom and I flew to Iowa for my college friend's wedding. We left on Thursday and returned home the next Monday. That way we had a whole free day (Saturday) without the wedding, travel, or any other organized thing to do. We stayed in the hotel recommended by the brides, which was on the same property as the Living History Farms--these are working farms (and a mock pioneer town) that operate using agricultural technologies up to certain points in US history (1700, 1850, and 1900).

The workers wear the clothing of the time, too. We went on Saturday, but only visited the town and the 1900s farm (because it has the most animals and we thought Eddie would like that most). We rented a red wagon to haul him around and put his koala bear leash/harness on so he could run around without getting too far away from us. Because it was the end of the season, there wasn't much going on--no demonstrations, no blacksmith, etc. We still had fun, though. Eddie LOVED the pigs and kept making the "doggie" baby sign while we were standing at the pen. The night we ate at Crate and Barrel and had a good time watching Eddie eat his applesauce.

The wedding was on Sunday at 11am on a deck overlooking a beautiful lake. I was too busy chatting with the nice ladies at our table and keeping an eye on Eddie to take any pictures during the reception. Instead of a big wedding cake, they had a variety of mini cakes--I even took a chocolate mousse one back to the hotel for that night and it was SO rich that I could only eat half of it!

On Monday morning Eddie and I hung out with Joanne and Kemmie in the hotel lobby area. Our original plan was to take Eddie to the park where my mom and I had taken him the two previous nights so he could play while we chatted...but in true midwest fashion it started raining. Oh well. We still had a great time--but not enough! Us Bower-Levies headed to the airport super early, with the intention of grabbing some lunch on the way. But Eddie fell asleep in the car and we decided to let him sleep so we drove to Madison County to see some covered bridges. You know that movie and book called The Bridges of Madison County? (Yeah, I've not read or seen it either...). Well, it turns out there's an annual festival celebrating said covered bridges. And it was held that weekend. Since it was Monday the festival was over, of course, but we did see one bridge and drove past John Wayne's house.
Eddie was AH-MAZING on the plane, as usual. There was a little fussing, but certainly no screaming or crying. I bought him some new pull-back-to-wind-up-and-go cars at Target before we left and didn't let him see them until we got on the plane. We put the cardboard safety information card over the gap on our tray tables so the cars could zoom across the whole thing. I also brought coloring pencils and paper to entertain him. I know crayons are more age-appropriate but he eats crayons! Yuck. Upon debarking each flight, some nice lady would tell me, "He's a doll and you're such a good Mama." Isn't that always nice to hear?

On one of the Delta flights I was REALLY surprised to discover that there were NO changing tables in any of the 3 bathrooms on board. I've been on probably 8-10 flights with Eddie and EVERY ONE of those has had a place to change babies (just a fold-down table above the toilet in a labeled bathroom). Of course, the flight without a table was the one when he pooped. The flight attendant looked a little miffed when I complained (very nicely)...she retorted with, "well, can't you change him on your lap?" I pointed out that he was a poopy 14 month NO, changing him there was not really an option. She wouldn't let me change him in the aisle/standing room area near the bathrooms so she put a clean blanket on the floor of the bathroom...and I told her to throw it out because it probably got poop on it.

We had a long layover in Denver so we got a big pizza--and Eddie ate two whole pieces!
It was a great trip for Eddie, my mom, and I to hang out and for me to catch up with Joanne and to meet her wonderful wife, Kemmie. I can't wait to plan our next trip to see them--hopefully we can go toward the end of summer so we will be able to can some foods together.