Good-bye March... Hello April! I remember as a little girl that I looked forward to April so much. Not just because it was my birthday month (the 14th!), but because April, where I grew up, meant SPRING. It meant opening the windows, switching to a lighter jacket, tucking the hats and mittens away until next year. It meant the smell of wet, fresh earth, the sound of birds chirping, and the feel of cool rain. Here, in upstate New York, spring takes a little longer to arrive. Tonight, as a matter of fact, we're supposed to greet a hefty snowstorm and by tomorrow afternoon there should be 6-12" of the cold white stuff on the ground. Outside there is still snow left over from the winter storms, but we've been watching it melt inch by inch these past few weeks and are ready for some spring-like weather to arrive.
In the meantime, life goes on.
:: It's maple sugaring season here, and our family took a drive to a nearby farm to see how the sap is drained from the trees and boiled down into syrup. And how it can be turned into cotton candy and maple candies, too!
:: I finally broke down and got a smartphone. I've been feeling the urge for a while now, and the desire finally overcame me. I signed up with Verizon and got a Droid X. Oh my, I do love my new phone! All I want to do is play with it. I don't want to do laundry, teach my kids, look at the sky, sew 'H's prairie dress, pet the cats, or anything else I would ordinarily want to do during an average day. I just want to sit and look at my phone. This feeling will pass, right?
:: I took Erma to the vet for blood work this week and today I received the results. It's not good. Though she appears to be fine, her kidney function is failing rapidly. Wow. I know that she won't live forever, but I am not ready to think about life without her. I'll see the holistic vet soon and we'll discuss the blood work numbers.
Two things that I'm long overdue on telling you about: Disney World (exciting!) and 'H's eye surgery (scary).
Disney World, to sum it up, was exciting and full of all kinds of surprises. Everything they do there is over the top. Everything is made for FUN. It's also incredibly crowded, but we expected that. 'A' is the perfect age for it - she loved everything. 'H' returned home with a very short list of things she liked and a long list of things that scared her, but she managed to have a good time in spite of herself. Her favorite ride was Soarin' at Epcot.
Eating at the park was, in theory, very easy for a child with life-threatening food allergies. I had told the restaurants when we made the reservations that she had allergies, and when we arrived at the restaurants, I spoke with the manager and the chef before we ordered. They told me what she could eat and she made her selection. At the Crystal Palace, the chef took us around the buffet and she pointed out what she would like, and the chef prepared it for her in the kitchen, rather than take it from the buffet and risk cross-contamination. At La Hacienda de San Angel at Epcot, 'A' ordered a burrito but decided that she didn't like it, so she didn't eat much there. What do you think she liked the most? Yes, dessert. What kid doesn't? How wonderful that she was able to eat a brownie with ice cream at a restaurant and we didn't have to worry!
All in all, I give Disney World 2 big thumbs up for how they handle food allergies.
About 'H's surgery: A few days after we returned home from Florida, the girls were playing and 'A' knocked 'H' in the face with a board game piece. Of course they did this while I was on the phone - I think all interactions that result in crying happen while I'm on the phone. 'H' said her eye hurt, so I looked and saw something in there. I had no luck trying to flush it out with eye wash, so we all hopped in the car and took a ride to the pediatrician's office. He couldn't get it out either, so we were sent to Albany Medical Center to see the pediatric opthamologist. She took one look and said, "It's metal, and it's been there a while. It's not from this morning." Where could she have gotten metal in her eye, and why didn't she tell us about it when it happened?
The doctor took most of it out but felt there was still some rust left, so she scheduled surgery for the following day. 'H' had to have the whole nine yard for anesthesia - a drink to put her into la-la land, followed by the anesthesia she breathed in through the mask. She came out of it just fine and has been okay since then. I was way too concerned about her and the surgery to think straight. It took me a while afterward to unwind and come back to a state of feeling like things are "normal".
Things ARE normal now, thank goodness. All is well in our little world. In the bigger world, all is not well. The earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the nuclear reactor meltdowns, the political upheaval in the Middle East, and in my state, the extreme state budget cuts are all cause for concern. But here at home, we're good. Safe and sound.