Sunday, April 30, 2017

A few photos

Hi! Here are a few photos from March and April.

Duchess played flute at a recital run by her band teacher. She likes her teacher and she really likes playing flute, and Cook and I really like that she handles it all herself, with no nagging required of us.

This is how the girls and I live when Cook is out of town. (They're both wearing their kung fu uniforms; we do not dress like ninjas when Cook is out of town.)

This is what Skipper looks like when I pick her up from her after-school kung fu program:

This is what Skipper looks like when she does her homework:

Duchess and her friend Spruce presented a project at a National History Day event in Oregon.

Saturday, April 8, 2017


Hi! We're all healthyish. Things are feeling moderately springy around here, as we slog out of a very, very rainy winter. Here's a boring update:
1) I'm fine. Looking for a new job to replace the current one, which has a couple months left in it.
2) Cook's fine. Still not looking for a new job.
3) Skipper's fine. She walked herself home from school this week for the first time ever,* and felt very proud. 
4) Duchess is fine, but just middle-schooling up a storm. She is snarky and judgy and emotionally labile and just... exhausting. She did have a wonderful, wonderful spring break camp experience, at the same horse ranch/natural burial ground (seriously) where she went to summer camp last year. There were only two kids registered for the camp, so they just followed around the skeleton staff who was there anyway, and did stuff like feed the horses, feed the baby goats,** play with the puppy, wash the dishes, repair the electric fence, and clear brush. Duchess wept and wept when she came home because she missed everybody (especially the horses) SO MUCH. 

*It's only a few blocks, crossing only low-traffic streets. Don't worry. (Also, note that Skipper is competent as hell, as long as she doesn't have to talk to anybody or be seen by anybody.)  Cook's teleworking one day a week now (yay!), so he was home to receive her. He casually loitered on the porch as if he was just fetching in the mail.
**There are two males, and the ranch will keep one for breeding and eat the other one. Duchess has a strong preference for which one should get eaten, and cast her vote before she left.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

My highlights of the latest bout of family illness

Skipper, turning to me in horrified misery after her 8th vomiting episode* in 6 hours to say "Oh my god, Mom!"

Skipper, after vomiting a slurry of ginger ale and saltines consumed during a brief period of optimism, saying in an appalled voice "It's still FIZZING!"

Calling Kaiser in the middle of the night because Cook and I were getting worried that Skipper was literally going to barf her guts out - the spasms seemed so intense, and her guts were actually rumbling as she vomited. Kaiser was pretty blase about it, and no intestines were ejected, so I guess they were right.

Lying on the bathroom floor for half an hour, afraid to move for fear of barfing. Cook put a little pillow under my head, and Duchess sat beside me and regaled me with stories of her spring break camp adventure.

Crawling to the living room at 1 AM because my whole body ached too much to stay in bed and Duchess was on the couch coughing anyway. I tried various floor-based horizontal stretching positions while she drank hot lemon-honey water (prepared by Cook, of course, because I refused to stand up) and told me a lot about camp and cried about how much she was missing all the people and animals there.

Kneeling on the floor of my bedroom weeping and eating saltines in the hopes of calming my stomach so I could take more ibuprofen for the evil headache without throwing up. Duchess peeked out of my bed where she was feverishly napping and said "Mom? Mom? Are you okay?"

Peering out of my ghastly, sweaty blankets to see Cook's hand holding a glass of ominous dark liquid. In my headache delirium, I could not understand why he was trying to kill me with poison, but when he said "drink it all, right away. My mom says so,"** I drank it. It was Coke, and I felt much better surprisingly quickly.

Cook, taking care of everyone and everything*** for days.

* In the end, I think she threw up 16 times. She was weirdly disappointed that she didn't break Skipper's record of 15 barfs in 24 hours.
**The splendid Mrs. Big Cook, who knew what to do about headaches and many other things both practical and whimsical, died recently. I'm not going to say any more about that.
*** Except French-braiding hair so that it stays out of the barf. That's my purview.