Thursday, September 29, 2011

Midweek Adventure

Davan and I set off on an adventure yesterday afternoon.  It actually took some convincing to get Davan out of the house.  The poor kid hasn't been sleeping well and has been kind of tired.  Plus, at least this is my theory, she tends to want to save her energy for Thursdays and Fridays, which, admittedly, are very busy with lots of physically active things. 

Thursdays, for example, look like this:  Up at 7:00, shower, dress, breakfast and out the door by 8:15 to ride 5.5 miles to Trackers.  Trackers from 9:00-4:00 with lots of tromping about in the woods, followed by the 5.5 miles ride back home.  She gets home in time to have a bite to eat, tell me a little about her day and then is off again by 5:15 to walk over to Do Jump for Zig Zags from 5:30-7:00, followed immediately by advanced aerial composition from 7:00-9:00.  After walking home, she has a snack and then pretty much goes to bed.

Friday isn't quite as packed, but still busy and holds her most physically challenging class of the week, straps.

Anyway, back to Wednesday.  After I pried her out of the house with a crowbar, we had a very nice afternoon.  We walked through Fred Meyer's on the way to the bus stop (we debated bikes vs bus - bikes would actually have been quicker and I am not a fan of the bus - it makes me nauseous, but Davan was, as mentioned, feeling tired, and she really wanted to ride the street car, which was part of the route, so we went bus) to pick up two cans of food (more on that later).

We hopped on the bus and Davan started reading.  Crazy if you ask me, but she didn't.  I listened to my MP3 player, but still felt nauseous by the end of the ride.

Downtown, we transferred to the street car.

We enjoyed standing for the ride, which usually helps me feel better, and made it easier for Davan to hang from the stanchions.  We all have our priorities.

Then we rode the tram, which was our main reason for heading out yesterday.  We had a Groupon for the tram that was set to expire tomorrow and we did not have time to do it today (see Thursday's schedule).

The tram goes up to OHSU, which is on top of a hill, and has been there a few years now.  Davan has been asking to ride it since it was built.  Better late than never, no?

It was a fun ride with good views.  We just went up, went out on the sky bridge, got Odwalla juices and rode back down.

Then we got back on the streetcar and rode until we got to a selection of food carts, something like this (not my picture):

We got a couple things to share - pumpkin curry and fried rice, both with lots of veggies and tofu.  We got back on the street car and rode to our stop, where we found a place to sit and eat.

Davan and I both liked the pumpkin curry the best.

She kind of hogged it.  She doesn't look repentant.

After our late lunch, we went here.  Now, Davan, even at 13, is a huge Safari Sam's fan.  She and three of her buddies spent 6 hours there one day this summer.  I was the lucky parent who got to take them that day.  Don't worry, though, I had my laptop, wifi access and a book.  Other than a sore but from the wooden bench, I was okay.

Safari Sam's is even cooler than it looks in the pictures at their website.  There is a black diamond challenge course and lots to do for physical kids.  And parents.  I can fit in their jungle gym pretty well.  I'm happy when Davan has friends to roam with, though, as I get worn out/bored much faster than she.

Any-who, Safari Sam's is a fair drive from here and this place, PlayDate PDX is not too far from here - decent bike riding distance, even.  And, yesterday, they had a canned food drive.  If you brought two cans of food per kid, it was free.  Awesome chance to check it out.

Davan would have had more fun with friends, but she did play with a little boy...who then started to annoy her, but wouldn't go away...and wanted to stay for a couple hours.

Her general review, though, was not bad, but not nearly as good as Safari Sam's.  Sadly, she doesn't want to change her birthday party location.  Yes, she's nearly got her December birthday all planned out.

After romping (turns out she had some available energy, after all, hmmmm), we headed back to the street car, where she actually wanted to sit - shocking!

We ended up just missing our bus at one stop and sprinted four city blocks to catch it at it's next stop.  We're pretty awesome, no?

Davan was in serious need of a drink once we boarded.

But it wasn't long until she was settled in with her book once more.

Davan ended up being so glad we'd gone and had a ton of fun.  I had a very nice afternoon, too, and didn't even feel bad about sitting and reading while she played, as I'd gone on a two hour walk/hike that morning. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Mostly, even though we live in a pretty population dense area, the view out our windows isn't bad.  Mostly, in fact, it's trees.

This is the view from the living room, looking out the slider:

It's not the best, but it's okay.  Out the living room in the back, though, it's just trees:

Davan has a nice view from her bedroom window.  She actually chose the smaller room because of the view.  We'd told her when we moved in that she could choose because she spends more time in her room than we do and we figured we could fit into either.  It turned out to be a good thing that we got the bigger room because it came with the bigger closet that we don't think we could manage without, as it has a lot of the family stuff in it - some camping gear, the vacuum cleaner, bike stuff.  

Anyway, this is her view:

Then there's our room.  From one angle, it's very similar to Davan's view:

Licorice enjoys the view.  However, from the other angle, it's this:

This house is a project in work.  The guy who lives here is out often, working on it.  When he is, we are treated to a running swear filled commentary.  Sometimes he and his wife (girlfriend? partner?) argue while he's working.  And he's a sight to behold.  I should try to get a picture, but suffice it to say that he's not slender and he doesn't really believe in wearing more than shorts.
Sometimes we find him bothersome, but mostly he's sort of entertaining.  A bit of flavor in the neighborhood.  Last night, though, at midnight, when he was out with his flood lights on, rustling around with plastic (presumably to cover up some projects before the rain came last night), it was really, really annoying.  I was having trouble sleeping last night anyway and this really didn't help.

On the other hand, our downstairs neighbors seem to be gone for the weekend.  They enjoy music turned up pretty loud and movies played pretty darn loud until late at night.  So, perhaps things even out.  If it weren't for That Guy, it'd be Downstairs' People keeping me up.  Perhaps I'm just looking to blame someone for the fact that I couldn't sleep. 

After all, I've adjusted pretty well, really.  The Downstairs' People's movie usually doesn't bother me, although it does still seem to really piss Anthony off.  And, as mentioned, That Guy is sort of entertaining.  All-in-all, it's just part of getting used to moving.  It's not like we didn't have loud neighbors before (the guy who had sports watching parties out in the back yard complete with plenty of yelling until all hours comes to mind), it's just different.  

Welcome to the neighborhood.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ranger's Bed

This may look like Davan's new bed in Davan's new room, but if you thought so, you'd be wrong. 
It's Ranger's bed.  Now, this is all Davan's fault, as Davan was the one to invite Ranger onto her bed when it was still hers.  Sleeping with Ranger was one of the things about the move that Davan was really looking forward to.  See, her previous bed, while cat friendly, wasn't Ranger friendly.
Ladders are not great for dogs, generally speaking.
So, upon moving, Davan invited Ranger up onto her bed.  At first, Ranger didn't believe her.  She was too well trained to not get on beds and she wouldn't get up, thinking she was maybe being tricked.  However, Davan was persistent.  She lured Ranger up with treats.  For a week or so, Ranger would only get up at bedtime, after having been invited up by Davan.

Davan, wanting Ranger up there more, started training her to get up during the day.  She had to repeat the treat lure at first.  It wasn't long, though, before Ranger realized that Davan was telling her that she had a new bed.  So much for the comforter on the floor!  (Not to mention that one of the cats, who's since had to find a new home, was making a litter box of Ranger's comforter.)  No, she had a full fledged bed!  What a deal!  

Now, most of the time, you can find Ranger on Ranger's bed.  Davan has to fight for space when she wants it.  All-in-all, Davan is pretty happy about this, enjoying the cuddle time with Ranger and feeling they've got a special bond.  There are those time, though, that Davan will complain about being rabbit kicked during the night (although, now that I think about it, she hasn't complained about that in a while - perhaps she's learned to sleep through that event) or that she goes into her room and finds the bed like this:
Ranger likes to make herself comfortable.  Davan would prefer the bed stayed made.  

Siblings.  What's a mother to do?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Very Expensive Evening Out

Last night, feeling like our quiet family time wasn't quite enough excitement, we all went out, staying out till the wee hours and spending a whole lot 'a greenbacks.  That's right, ladies and gents, we went to the....wait for it, it's so exciting....ER!!!! 

I tell you, if you've got a few hundred spare dollars (we have a high deductible policy and an HSA that is down to the dregs due to a certain family member's orthodontist habit)

and feel like not getting a good night's sleep in your own bed, go on down to the ER.  It's tons of fun and you're sure to meet some interesting folk like, oh, say, gang members, drunks having taken a bit of spill, a poor old man who doesn't want to keep his IV in and many more.

So, what prompted this fun-filled family evening out?  Well, first let me say that everyone is okay, although I'm still, sadly, in pain, it doesn't seem to be life threatening and will hopefully sort itself out.

It was all about me because that's how I roll.  So, I first thought that I'd pulled a muscle in my lower abdomen the right side.  I woke up yesterday morning when pulling my knees up to curl up resulted in a shooting pain.  It ebbed and I went back to sleep, waking to a dull ache (with occasional stabs of pain that I couldn't really predict) which lasted until about 3:30pm.  Davan and I were playing around, wrestling a bit, when the pain suddenly became very intense and overwhelming.

While it backed off again, the pain continued at an elevated level until I downed a 400mg Advil with dinner around 6:00pm.  I felt better once that kicked in right up until I was sitting totally still, not coughing or sneezing or anything, when the seriously stabbing pain started back up.  I started looking up possible diagnosis for my symptoms and the thing that kept coming up was appendicitis.

However, I wasn't convinced.  I was feeling pretty sure it wasn't just a pulled muscle at this point, but I had no idea what it was and was getting a bit worried.  We called the advice nurse.  She told us to head to the ER with some haste.  Sigh.

It wasn't appendicitis.  We don't know what it was.  But, I got to spend until 2:30am this morning peeing in a cup, having blood drawn, telling my story to about 6 different people, wearing a hospital gown, convincing Anthony and Davan to come home and get some sleep, reading in a snazzy hospital bed, having an ultrasound (both externally and, to my delight, internally) and listening to the stories of many varied peoples who also found themselves in the ER last night (this was eavesdropping through the door to my room that no one ever bothered to shut, not actual conversations or anything).

By the time I went home, exhausted and feeling stupid, the pain was pretty manageable again, as it remains today for the most part.  I do sort of feel like shooting myself when I feel a sneeze coming on (seriously painful!) and I can't really do much without pain, but I've been pretty much going about my day. 

What's going on?  I don't really know.  Right now, my strongest contender is mittelschmerz, but if the pain isn't gone by tomorrow morning, it's probably not it.  And this is something I discovered today on my own, not that the doctor came up with.  Great.  So glad I went in.  It seems that usually, doctors aren't needed.  Usually, things work themselves out.  If a doctor is needed, it's usually obvious, like when Anthony's knee was swollen up to twice it's usual size and he was running a high fever or when one's arm looks like this:

and this was the result of the hospital visit:

These things are obvious.  Otherwise, I'm just riding it out.  And hoping that abdominal pain goes away during the night.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Just Hanging

 This seems to be our plan for the afternoon - literally just hanging for some of us.

We'd talked about running a few errands, but...

We seem to be tending toward the lazy.

Except maybe for Licorice, who missed the boat on breakfast this morning and is sitting by the door to the pet food closet, making her displeasure known.

Davan looks like she's having much more fun than she would have been having at the podiatrist having an ingrown toe nail fixed, which was actually on the schedule for this afternoon.

Davan has been having some trouble with ingrown toe nails.  She had to have one cut out in the spring, just before it was performance time for Zig Zags, a dance competition and a trip to Colorado Springs.  We opted to just have it cut off, not permanently altered due to needing a shorter recovery time.  The podiatrist warned us that it would likely grow back, but Davan needed to be on her feet in less than a week, so he agreed with our choice.

This time, it was the big toe on the other foot that has been bothering her off and on.  We finally made an appointment to have a permanent slice taken off that toe nail to prevent it happening again, as it seems to be an issue for her, but three things happened.

1) Today I found some back feedback for the clinic I was taking her to.  Apparently, one of the docs is great, but one is awful and I didn't know which one this appointment was with.

2) I read up on ingrown toe nails and, with the on again off again nature of this complaint, I felt like we could let it work itself out this time.  (Last time, that was not the case, as it was supper painful and infected.)

3) Davan said she'd prefer not to go have the procedure done, as her toe isn't currently hurting, doing the procedure would be painful and she doesn't want to be out of commission for a couple weeks.

We still talked about going out.  I need to go to Trader Joe's.  I'm debating a trip to Winco (we don't have one nearby here and I've been doing most of my shopping by walking to Fred Meyer's, but Winco is a lot cheaper) and a trip to Target/Goodwill/Old Navy to look for a couple of shirts for Davan, who really only has three shirts she's happy to wear. 

But, we've decided to put all that off to tomorrow.  Tomorrow there are more medical procedures to deal with.  Davan has an ortho appointment to adjust those braces and we have to drive out to Gresham for that anyway, so we'll do our shopping then. 

Of course, we can't dawdle too much because we have to be back in our neck of the woods for a 3:00 appointment with a chiropractor.  Davan has been having some lower back pain when she does front walkovers, bridges, even cobra for most of the summer.  We need to see what can be done, other than just not doing these things 'cause that won't work for this kid.

So, today, though, at least this afternoon (Davan did teach for 2.5 hours at Do Jump.  I went for an hour long run with Ranger and did chores.  And filled out what turned out to be unnecessary medical forms. ), is just hanging out.  

Davan is pretty excited that she figured out how to make her swing higher so she's at tree height, which is, in addition to slowly moving in a circle, is an important prerequisite to writing in one's notebook.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Veg Fest

This weekend was all about the Veg Fest for us.  We'd actually planned on going to the beach for a night of camping, but the weather forecast was looking pretty crappy, so we scrapped that and, instead, spent the weekend grazing our way through free samples and listening to lectures on the hows and whys of being vegan.  Or, at least, Davan and I did most of the weekend.  Anthony sat out Saturday's trip, but joined us today.

I have to say that we didn't really learn anything new, but it's still motivating and fun to be around a bunch of other vegans or, at least, wannabes.  I did find a new blog, though, that I'm having fun reading.  Check out Peas and Thank You, written by a Portland mom who is going vegan.  Her kids are adorable, her recipes are tasty, particularly for new vegans, and she's pretty funny, too.

I particularly enjoyed two of the speakers.  One was Neal Barnard,who's written a whole slew of books, several of which I've read.  He's clear and entertaining speaker with a good message in my humble opinion.  And the other is Chef AJ, who, while really in your face, is also very entertaining with a good message, as well.

We ran into a family who used to come to the game group I ran for homeschoolers out of our house on Thursdays.  Those kids are not really kid-like anymore.  It's actually the second time I've run into them post game group years and the other time was at Veg Fest two years ago.  It's funny that I had no idea they were so inclined food-wise when they came to game group.

I'm feeling motivated to lean back toward more whole foods, which is something I've been slowly sliding on more and more (case in point, the Newman's Os and Rice Dream habit we've been indulging around here).  We'll see how long that lasts...and I do still eat a lot of whole foods, so it's more about convincing myself not to splurge (so often?  at all?  not sure yet) than to make sweeping changes to my day to day eating.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Now that we've moved, Davan is getting herself to and from most of her activities.  Soon it will be all of them, but for the moment, I'm going with her for first times to make sure she knows the route and to check her in when necessary. 

This is all great.  However, I can't help but fret some, being a fretting sort of person.  I try to keep my fretting from Davan, as she's angst ridden enough herself.  But, for example, right now her straps class at Night Flight is getting out.  She'll be getting on her bike and riding home.  It's her first ride home from there.  I rode over with her this evening and she was quite confident about the route home.  And she has a cell phone now, so she can call if something goes wrong.  And there is no reason to think that anything bad will happen...but, I'll be glad when she gets home.

I also know that the more that she does these things, the more relaxed I'll be about it.  And the more relaxed she'll be.  She's glad to be independent, but she is anxious about it, as well.  Routine will smooth it all out, though.

It's all just one of those things to adjust to with the move.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Obligatory Update Post

Okay, for anyone who's read before and wants to know, I should do a little update, I suppose. 

The big news is - we've moved!  We're living in just the neighborhood we wanted to and love it.  We only use the car about once a week and were on the verge of just selling it when we changed our minds mostly for camping and skiing reasons. 

We moved in late August, after a very stressful escrow period which nearly ended in us not getting the condo we're in, and we're settling in quite nicely.

Davan is starting up all her fall activities with Do Jump at the top of the list.  She walks herself to Do Jump now and it takes about 7 minutes!!!  Who-hoo!!!  She's teaching two homeschool classes, doing Zig Zags and taking two adult classes.  She's also doing an all day homeschool class every Thursday with TrackersPDX.  That is where she is today and why her room is quiescent.  It's a little odd to have her gone all day.

She's going to be taking a homeschool drama class starting next Friday.  There is also straps class at Night Flight and, of course, time with friends to round out her activities.

All this is will, after she's all settled and getting herself to and from independently, which is in the very near future as she's already riding home from Trackers today by herself, leaves me with a fair amount of spare time that I'm am contemplating how I want to use...

So, there you go, a brief updating and now we'll see where we go from here...

Checking Things Out