Wednesday, August 24, 2011

T-Minus 5 and Counting

My girl got her stitches out today. They had to use a scalpel on one because it was so tiny, but she's healing up great and is now wearing a cute heart bandage on her forehead.

I'm still recovering from the wisdom teeth removal Monday. All 4 gone now, but I'm definitely not feeling tops today. Hope I feel better tomorrow. I have to get back on the packing wagon tomorrow. 5 days and counting.

This seems to be the blog that suffers most when stuff is going on. Shorter posts, info dumps, etc. But, I'm taking another break from Mommy blog posts for a while until I get moved and settled in OK. Real life tends to do that to you. That--and I'm not sure when we'll have internet out there.

So, hang in there. I'll be sure and post all our moving adventures when I can.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

You Should See the Other Guy!

I had such plans for Monday. I was all set to wash all the girls' clothes and get in and pack up their room, leaving out ONLY the essentials for the next two weeks.

Then I didn't have to work, so I slept in.

Then the kids got up and wanted to go play.

Then I had a lady coming to look at/take my computer desk.

I broke down and let my 10 yr old daughter go out to play, since she'd asked me about a dozen times that morning. The other kids I assigned various chores while I cleaned off the desk and thought about doing some laundry.

Then I heard people on the stairs. Trust me, where I live, you can hear people come up your stairs to the front door. Knock, knock. I thought I heard sobbing.

I opened the door. Supported by a friend so young she only comes up to her chest, was my daughter. She was crying, and no wonder. She had a large gash in her forehead about an inch above her left eye, and blood seeping down her face. She'd already gotten blood on her pants and shirt. She was hysterical.

Fortunately, I'm not a panicky type of person. I tend to deal with what's going on and react later. It happened when I pulled a dog out of the drainage canal in Phoenix. It was the same when I was robbed at gunpoint. It was the same Monday.

I took her inside, yelled for my husband (still in bed--his day off). Had her sit on the couch. Grabbed some baby wipes to wipe off her face so I could see the damage for myself. Hubby comes out, and by then I was able to relay to him what my daughter said happened to her.

"She got hit in the head with a golf club."

There's something you don't say every day.

The cut was not long, but was deep and would require stitches. My daughter had calmed down enough that she could speak coherently, and as my hubby got dressed I got her ready to take down to the ER. Then I had a thought. Maybe the Dr could just do it in his office? So I called. Yes, he can. Great. I just knocked our $125 ER visit copay down to a $20 office visit copay. Looking back, that was incredibly logical and detached to even have that thought. Weird.

We took her down together, leaving the other kids at home with the 14 yr old in charge. Usually we leave a phone, but didn't. On the way to the Dr's office, we took pics of her wound with our phones and let her call her big sister--who had survived her own share of head wounds and could commiserate.

When the Dr saw my husband, he called us back immediately (particularly after we told him why we were there) and put us in a room. I think he didn't want my daughter scaring the other patients. It is a pediatric practice, after all. It took some time to get it all taken care of, but my little girl was a champ through the whole thing.

Then my dear hubby said, "I'm just glad he didn't hit her an inch lower and slightly to the left."

Her eye. A fraction of a difference in what happened, and she'd have lost her eye.

I glared at him a little. "Gee, thanks." That lovely thought hadn't even occurred to me. Other would hit me later.

Had the hit been any harder, she could have cracked her skull. The blow could have killed her (though likely not by a 10 yr old boy).

She was just playing outside. They weren't even fighting; they were getting along. Playing golf. She'd hit the ball the farthest, and he wanted to match her hit, so he swung hard--and she leaned in for a better view at just the wrong moment. Wham.

Four stitches and hours later, she's okay. Her head is tender, especially now that all the lidocain has worn off, so I gave her some Tylenol and sent her to bed. It's her 2nd dose. She has shown absolutely no ill effects from her ordeal, other than some lingering pain. She never lost consciousness; she never got dizzy or showed any kind of impairment.

(But, of course, everyone has a story of someone who was perfectly fine just after an accident and dropped dead a few days later. And of course I'm thinking about that, and watching her, and not looking forward to a great deal of sleep.)

The thing is, it was an accident. I KNOW it was an accident, and I'm not angry, really. But I'm having a hard time processing this. And it's really bothering me. I just want to hold her, and hold her, and hold her. I'm so grateful she's okay, but I'm still kind of tense and freaked out. It's taking me a long time to come down from everything that happened.

She is going to have a sweet scar, though. It probably won't show much in a year or two, but for a while it will look really cool. And, if it ever bothers her, she can just grow her bangs out again.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

This is Why

Now that we've made the decision to move, I started asking myself some hard questions. One--why didn't we do this years ago? I know most of the why is me. Moving back has always been somewhere on the table, but hasn't been at the "center" of the table. I've resisted the move for lots of reasons, the largest of which is the sheer cost of moving vs. just plugging along where we are.

I mean, when we moved to Tooele it was with the intent to find a house big enough for all of us because we thought Bryan's daughter was going to spend a school year with us. In retrospect, we never should have moved before things were certain, but she seemed so resolved to do it, and, I admit, we got excited. So we made that choice, and pushed our way into a house before we were really financially ready.

When we lost the house, and had to move, we had the choice then to simply return to OK. But--me again--it felt like slinking back in defeat with our tail between our legs. I didn't want to feel like we'd been beaten. We had, but I didn't want to go back on those terms.

So why didn't we move back to OK sooner? It didn't take me as long to figure this out as it has taken to explain it, so here goes:

If we'd moved back to OK before now, I'd never have met KAREN. She's one of the most awesome moms I've ever known, and one of the people I'm going to miss the most. I wanted to move onto her street before we chose to move to OK. She totally rocks.

I wouldn't have known REBECCA, or been inspired by her incredible courage in the face of having her life turned upside down by a cancer diagnosis. Or been inspired to write some incredible stuff, not to mention develop my own inner desire to help, to serve, and to uplift.

I wouldn't have known Heidi, who has opened up her heart to four more children so that they will know the love and stability of a family--not to mention some crazy dad antics thanks to her husband. :)

I'd never have met Dani, who has been such a sweet, welcoming soul despite her own problems and health issues.

Or Kathy, who has always been warm and friendly. She hugged me when we met--not everyone does that. And her smile is completely infectious.

There's more, but I'm running out of room. The point is, by lingering in UT I've made friendships and formed bonds I wouldn't have otherwise. And I'm so very grateful for every single one.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


It seems I use my blogs to confess a lot. What does that mean, exactly?

I'm not going to hold you in suspense. Here it is. We have every intention to move out of state at the end of this month.

What? Are you crazy? What brought this on? Why? Help!

Whew. Now, to explain.

As you know, if you've read the blog, I took some family time in July to go to OK to visit Bryan's family. It's supposed to be a vacation, but you can't really call it a vacation when you take all your work with you, as I did. I had the kids, and book signings, and the pressure of writer deadlines (that I did nothing about--but that's another blog lol). When it was time to actually go, I was so stressed out I told Bryan to just leave me here and he can take the kids to OK and back. Of course, I went because I had obligations. But the magic of going had gone.

Out there, we became part of the extreme drought and super high temps that the area has suffered with this year. Couple 110 degree temps with high humidity (but no rain, how wrong is that?) and you literally are sweaty before you get into your car. I had a bout of insomnia while I was there, got up and took a drive at 7 am and it was already almost 90 degrees. Aside from the visiting family part, it wasn't exactly a dream trip.

Except something happened while we were there. First, the truth that Bryan's dad needs family close hit us full force. Sure, Mom is in the home now, and they take care of her daily needs, but Dad still feels a great desire and responsibility to spend time with her, and his age is starting to show. He can't keep up with the house's needs as much as I'm sure he would like, and he's not getting sleep like he should. Bryan's sister, who lives out there now, has been trying to move for the last few years. They've been there for about 7 yrs, and feel it's time for them to move on.

Bryan was the first to broach the topic--again--of moving back. Mind you, by the time we got there I didn't even want to be there, but I was overcome with the desire to be back there. Despite the drought. Despite the extreme temps. Despite the upheaval of the family and cross-country move. Despite my author network here, and my responsibilities. Despite everything.

Then the kids fell like dominoes. "I don't want to go home." "Why did we ever move away in the first place?" (my boys were all born out there but we moved when the twins were a year and a half old) "Why can't we live here?" When a family the size of mine all agrees on something this big, you have to sit up and pay attention.

So, why at the end of August? Well--I have 5 kids in school. School starts out there Aug 11, but I can't pack up this apt in a week and get them out there. It's stupid to enroll them in school out here for a month or two and then move them. And, there's really nothing cementing me to UT.

This is a move we feel, I feel, is best for the family. We'll be close enough to help out Papa, I'll be able to write without having to work on the side, the kids will be where they feel they belong. We'll have a house with a big yard. We'll finally be able to put our household in order, instead of the constant struggle to get by that we have out here.

It's good. It's right. It's still hard. I don't look forward to the goodbyes. But it has to be done.