Sunday, November 29, 2009


Times are not easy on one foot. I am terribly bored and feel very restless and isolated. I'm frustrated that I can't be out enjoying this unseasonably dry weather (which, I guess I should be thankful for since when it starts raining I'll be hauling myself around with a plastic bag attached by rubber bands over my foot). It has made me anxious and suddenly everything that is out of place in our house seems to be mocking me. Consequently I'm overdoing it and my foot hurts and swells a little more than it should.

Yesterday Jacob took me to Powell's to get a new book since the one I had gotten just before the surgery was boring. Powell's was crowded and it filled me with great joy to watch people jump to get out of my way and apologize unnecessarily. It reminded me of being very pregnant but better because people cannot always be counted on to move out of the way of the very pregnant (probably because they sense our smugness). Anyway- all was well until I started to feel nauseous from standing so long and felt an urgent need to be done and out of there. We were on our way out when Jacob stopped to talk to someone he knew working there. Standing behind him, I gave him the "can we please go" sign by nudging him with the bottom of my crutch on his leg. I would have done the same thing with a discrete foot nudge had I had the ability to nudge with my foot. Well, suffice it to say that being nudged with inanimate objects seems to fall in a different category - one that some may categorize as "rude" - but we're beyond that now.

Last night I hopped in the middle of the night into the bathroom on my one good foot only to hop into a puddle of pee (cat? dog?) on the bathroom floor. Like I said- life on one foot has not been easy.

The picture is a fantasy I had of cocooning until my foot heals. I also seem to be cold all the time from lack of activity.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Bloody Mess

Today is the day of my second foot surgery and tensions are high. Partly because I can't eat or drink anything and partly because Jacob keeps tackling me in an effort to get me to relax (which seems to have the opposite effect). Mostly though, I'm worried because I broke the rules and took Ibuprofen within the last week. Ibuprofen has the potential to act as a blood thinner and so you aren't supposed to take it for a full week before any surgery. Last week I had a cold and my head hurt so I broke down and maybe four or six over the course of two days. This wouldn't concern me but on Saturday (Sunday?) I had a headache again and broke down and took two more. I don't want to fess up because I'm afraid they'll postpone the actual surgery regardless of what the actual risk is. This morning I got up at 7 am to try and do a little on-line research via Yahoo Answers - which naturally can be trusted since anyone can log on and throw their own two cents in the arena of medical advice. I'm not afraid I'll die - just that it will be a bloody mess and obvious that I lied. Jacob thinks all will be fine since, as he reminded me, I did the exact same thing last time and had all the same concerns. So much from learning from your mistakes.

**Update: I'm out of surgery and everything went fine. Mostly I'm just cranky not from pain but from inconvenience. I get a lot of satisfaction from "kicking" at things with my crutches - I imagine old people with canes find this very satisfying too.

**Chinese Hieroglyphics on my foot instruct the doctor on which foot to cut up.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Kickin' You When You're Down

My eyelid drooped tonight. Just as I was leaving Natasha's birthday dinner I was very cognizant that the upper part of my eyelid was sticking to my lower eyelid. That's a sign your face is falling - sliding. And on the eve of my bunion surgery no less. Kind of like an extra "fuck you" from the aging process. Jacob acted like he had no idea what I was talking about but I knew. This is one of the main things people get plastic surgery for - wide eyes is a sign of youth. Now I'm slumpy - like a basset hound. The only thing that keeps me sane is looking at the website a website dedicated to mocking celebrities with their bad plastic surgery. If those poor bastards with all their money can't end up looking decent what options remain for the rest of us? It's artfully contoured eye make up from here on out.

** I love this image. I love how the non-aged face is "normal."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Switching Gears

Today at lunch Vaughn suggested that if Jacob and I wouldn't have another baby he would get his own - via Santa of course! I said Santa doesn't bring babies (kind of like they don't bring mechanical toys at Kahmali's house) but Vaughn dismissed this with an optimistic "you never know." I said, "What about a punching bag?" but he still felt that a baby would be better. Rather than trying to change the subject I decided to pursue this a little further - why, exactly did he want a baby. Turns out he thinks that babies can be trained to wash dishes. What is so hilarious about this is that it is not as though Vaughn is expected to wash dishes or do really much of anything around here so I'm not sure if he was hoping to replace his current workload or what. Anyway-in the end he said it was that he "really just wanted the cuteness."

**As a side note I've remarked to Jacob that I find it awfully interesting that somehow I'm the only one who has to deal with Vaughn's babylust. He never brings it up to Jacob.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Round Two

Today I went in for my pre-op appointment for my second bunion surgery. I got into the waiting room and it was small and crowded and filled with ill-behaved children (actually just two but they take up more space). I had only been there for three minutes when a lone purse sitting on a chair had a phone go off inside. The ringtone was Katy Perry's wretched song, I Kissed A Girl. Apparently the owner was in the doctor's office and just left her purse in the waiting room. The ringtone played the entire song - or at least a good two-thirds of it. I didn't even know you could get ringtones that long! It ended and then one minute later started up again. There was an older couple sitting a few seats down and the man turned to the woman next to him (presumably his wife) and asked (hopefully?), "Is that your purse?" It was not. At that point I got up and walked into the hallway dividing the two waiting rooms. I could not make eye contact with the fellow patients while that song was playing. My timing was right because it started up again.

The appointment was fairly routine and, since this was my second surgery, I knew the drill. I was disheartened to hear I won't be given the option of the dissolvable screw this time since Kaiser decided to stop dealing with the company that makes them. Also, when I asked if I could get one of those plastic coverings that would allow me to take a shower instead of flopping into the bath with my leg hanging out I was told that they weren't offered and if I needed to keep my foot dry I should wrap it in Saran Wrap and stick several plastic bags over it. I find this particularly insulting since, as I pointed out, I had seen a poster for these leg coverings the last time I came to get sized for my crutches.

As is Kaiser's way I had to sit for a really long time in the waiting room but I came I way with this awesome picture of my X-Ray. I sent it to my brother on the way home and was texted back, "Gross. What is that?"

** So the little round lump to the right of my big toe is actually a bone that floats in the tendon running under your foot. Normally it is under the larger bone that is jutting out to the left on my foot. They'll cut the bone through right under where the bunion is, rotate the bone, pin it back so it is straight and shave off any extra material. I'll be left with a much more aligned foot and a scar to match the left.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Jump Around

Before I really dive into this next post let me first say that it is SO much easier to clean the backyard this fall without the goats or chickens. As I was outside raking it really started to occur to me why people might not have a bunch of animals.

Anyway, so Jacob's been taken down by a cold. And when Jacob gets a cold he is really taken down. In our division of labor it has generally been decided that he takes Vaughn to birthday parties because he is clearly the more social of the two of us. Today- literally three minutes before they were to walk out the door to a birthday party - he pleadingly asked me if I might consider taking Vaughn to the party. He looked so sad and pitiful that I agreed.

It wasn't until I got to the party that it really hit me that, although I had showered, I had just put back on the same shirt that I had worn to work yesterday (and then slept in) and the yoga pants I'd been living in. I also hadn't bothered with deodorant.

The party was at a bouncy castle emporium called Pump It Up in a giant industrial park in Beaverton. After watching a quick safety video on how to not squish each other in the castles, the kids shucked off their shoes and began running around in the first room. I settled in on a bench but after about ten minutes got the news that ADULTS could jump and play in the castles. I tossed off my shoes and ran to find Vaughn, who honestly seemed sort of embarrassed to see me as the only adult out there. Pretty soon a few other adults started also playing but anytime I strayed too far from my primary playmate I felt less legit and more strange- like those people who still go roller skating at the roller rink on a Friday night by themselves.

We ran around in the first room for about 15 minutes and I was satisified to think this was a pretty good substitute for the gym workout I'd be skipping today. While I was running and laughing just like the kids, I'm guessing few of the six year olds were thinking I'll bet this is really toning my ass! while scampering up the inflatable ladder for the giant slide.

Half way through the party they shuffled us into an adjacent room that was bigger and had even bigger bouncy castles. After about five minutes in the room they cut the lights and rainbow disco lights started up with really bad 90's dance music. It created the bizarre sensation of being at a rave with a bunch of first and second graders.

Fifteen more minutes and we were directed into the party room for cake where our early 20's host stood at the door with a giant bottle of hand sanitizer to squirt us with before cake time.

Vaughn, possessing the skills only a Japanese hound dog might have, immediately figured out that the goodie bags contained a Bakugan. He was too late to choose his seat based on which bag contained the best Bakugan so while other kids sat and ate their cake he worked the room, trading up a total of four times before finally coming away with a G-Level he was satisfied with.

All in all it was a really good time and I found myself wondering if my friends would drive to Beaverton if I had my birthday at Pump It Up. But then again, I'm guessing alcohol doesn't fit with the safety policy.

Friday, November 13, 2009

It's Ticcy

Vaughn was diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome when he was five. I kinda of get a kick out of telling people this because their minds immediately go to a place of imagining him yelling obscenities and racial slurs. In reality, that type of Tourette's is super rare and Vaughn's type is seen in one in ten children at some point. His version is characterized by a series of verbal and motor tics lasting more than one year (and maybe not taking a break for more than six months but I can't remember exactly).

What is so fascinating about this is how clockwork it is. It always starts with the start of school and wraps up sometime after January. It always starts with a variation on an eye tic (the most common type of tic) and moves into a motor tic. Five is the age when it generally shows up and if Vaughn continues to be a textbook case, we'll see it continue until about age 12, maybe peaking around age 10.

When it first appeared it took the form of his eyes rolling back at an alarming frequency - maybe every 5 seconds when he would have an episode. It was really alarming and we ran him through a battery of tests but it was narrowed down to tics pretty quickly. Other eye tics that have made an appearance include rapid blinking and turning his head slightly so he appears to be looking out of the corner of his eye.

When the vocal tics occur they start with throat clearing (which is the most common vocal tic). This year he's mixed it up on us with also adding in a couple weeks of burping (which was okay, but not my favorite) and as I sit here writing this he's over at the table drawing and doing what can only be described as huffing (which is kind of like throat clearing but more dry). The only thing about this that bums me out is that it makes me feel like my own lungs are dusty. Since we're in cold season most people probably don't even know he's doing this and it may be his saving grace in keeping this under the radar from his peers. Finally, he does a cute little vocal tic when he is playing by himself that sounds like "pew! pew! pew!" and makes me think there is an on-going Star Wars fight scene in his mind.

The vast majority of the time he's not bothered by the tics (although it's fair to say he doesn't like talking about them and we don't push it). Of all the crazy things that can go wrong with kids - we feel pretty darn lucky. The only time I get a little sad is when I wonder if his peers will start to pick up on it but we'll cross that bridge then.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Crimes and Misdemeanors

Today was a hard day because Vaughn's teacher sent us an email saying he had been misbehaving in class. She said that while he was a wonderful child whom she was confident could correct his behavior, lately he'd been disruptive and distracting. It's not really a huge surprise as he's been pretty mouthy at home lately. At any rate, he's been sentenced to one day without "screen time." He must have known he'd messed up pretty big because the rest of the evening he was very polite and easy to get along with. He did some painting and reminded me that he wanted to be an artist when he grew up which, I guess if you are going to be disruptive and anti-authoritarian is a as good a career choice as any. He drew this sketch of Jacob which, while very detailed and beautiful, seems to suggest his father lives in the ally and holds people up as his job.

In other bubble-shattering news today we discovered its been HANNAH and not Suki that has been crapping and peeing in the basement. Oh she did a good job covering her tracks alright, using the litter box just enough to throw us off the trail. And truth be told, it was pretty easy to believe that the one who pees and shits all over the house was also doing it in the basement.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Keep to the Code

Sometimes I find myself looking forward to the end of the belief in Santa/Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy. This is mostly because it can be very confusing as parents are always mixing it up. There should be rules - maybe as a standard appendix in the back of baby books. For instance, just when I thought a dollar had become the gold standard for a lost tooth, the Tooth Fairy had to go and bring Sten a whopping FOUR Dollars (true- he lost his first tooth a good year and a half after most kids lose their first but still). Then Vaughn told me that he wanted the Tooth Fairy to start bringing him Pokemon cards. I explained that the Tooth Fairy only trafficked in dollars but apparently she does bring his friend Harman Pokemon cards. Kahmali's family seems to have a rule that Santa doesn't bring "electronic presents" which, while quaint, is going to be difficult to explain when other classmates are discussing their new Nintendo DS systems courtesy of the North Pole.

I also don't like the way that Vaughn is devising ways to scam the system. Like asking Santa to bring him the entire drawer of Pokemon cards he saw hidden behind the counter at Rite Aid. As though Santa were a magical partner in crime. After he saw the Rite Aid treasure trove he scribbled out a note to Santa and put it by the exposed chunk of old chimney in our kitchen despite the fact it does not lead to any actual fireplace. The worst part about this note though was that it was asking Santa for "The World's Most Powerful Pokemon". Now I don't even know what that would be and it's not like Pokemon Corp. will make it easy to aquire. I think Santa may have to write a note explaining the evils of big corporations. Or maybe he'll write a story of a little girl in Poland who only had one Pokemon card but love in her heart. At any rate, this might be the last year Santa comes through. Tonight at dinner while playing the guessing game Taboo, the answer was "The Abomidable Snowman" and my clue was "He's not real and lives somewhere cold" and Jacob blurted out "Santa!" You can only cover for that kind of misstep for so long.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Sometimes Vaughn says questionable things like, "Where does daddy keep all his money?" and I worry. But then I find out that he just wants to know where to put the money he owes him for Pokemon cards and I feel good again. Yesterday he said, "On this day the dog will pay" which sounds bad but he gets pretty defensive when I discipline the dog so I think we're okay.

I found out today there is an entire wiki site for Pokemon! If you are old enough to understand and navigate a wiki site aren't you too old for Pokemon? It must be sort of like the Eagle Scouts of the toy world. It's also called Bulbipedia - which makes no sense to me but very few things about Pokemon do. I felt bad today because Vaughn asked me for the millionth time to compare two Pokemon and tell him which one I liked best. I was cranky and so I said, "Vaughn I really don't care that much about Pokemon" and he was sad and then said, "Daddy likes it." Jacob: 1 Leslie: 0

Oh the hair

Vaughn has great hair. It is thick and slightly curly and comes straight from his dad. Unfortunately, for the longest time, he's also had a very strange haircut. It all started when he decided to grow it out and so I got the idea to cut the sides thinking he could have some sort of cool, longer mohawk. It never really looked mohawkish though and instead looks like some sort of mullet that has long hair in the front as well as the back. He refuses to let us cut it and I know some day he'll look back on pictures and be horrified that we let him go around with this haircut. For now, though, I think I'd be happy to just have him stop chewing on it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Vaughn is Mystery Training

Jacob pulled in tonight with Vaughn and he immediately announced that he was going upstairs "to play." I was downstairs fixing dinner when I heard persistent banging upstairs. I went upstairs to find out what was going on and it turned out he was kicking a mattress that had been stacked against the wall.

What are you doing?
Yes, I see that. Ummmm...why?
For fun.
Okay. Ummmm...are you training for something?
Okay - are you kicking for fun or are you kicking because you are mad?
Kicking for fun.

I decided to let him have space and go downstairs. Pretty soon he was calling down for a clue as to where the jump rope might be. I think he might be exercising by jumping on the bed now because there is a whole lot of squeaking happening. Why this sudden need to cross-train? I'm not sure how confident I feel that the motives are health related. I just hope I don't get a call from the school that Rocky busted someone in the shin.