7 Quick Takes: Sprained Ankle, Books

1. I am typing this from My Room, which is also the guest bedroom. I have a desk here and I recently painted the whole thing dark grey and my wonderful Macy’s MIL gifted me with an entire new set of fluffy white linens for the bed. I replaced the pillows. (Costco, and MAN they are good $8 pillows.)

I bought long and flowy white curtains (even though I usually make my own curtains and simple white curtains seems like a no brainer to make on my own but I could not for the love of Pete find ANY fabric I liked AT ALL after three fabric stores so I bought them from Pottery Barn and I paid too much but I don’t care). I bought two white lamps and this room is White! and Grey! and it is very much Not For Children. I bought a plush little tufted grey velvet chair for my desk. I had hoped to spend more time up here but, big surprise, there is not a lot of spare time in my life for Being Alone In My Fancy Grey And White Room.

But I’m here right now and you know what? It’s kind of NICE in here. I should spend more time in here. One day I will take pictures and show you but I have to hang stuff on the wall and get a box of misfit toys out of the way. THEN I can take photos. But trust me, it is very posh compared to the rest of my Sofia and Batman themed home. I mean, I have breakable accessories from Anthropologie in here. That’s like, the very definition of Not For Children.

2. The school year is almost over (!) and I am amazed at my LL Bean Lunchboxes. A+. I love these. They fit my plastic containers perfectly, they fit in the backpacks nicely, they seem to be indestructible and they repel stains. I bet these last me at least two years. RECOMMEND.

3. I sprained my ankle four weeks ago. I think I mentioned it in passing in my last post but I slipped on some ice and I sprained it and it was awful. I was home alone with all three kids and I fell in the driveway and I had to crawl back into the house. It was the kind of injury where I could not walk but I was not bleeding out so I was like, “OH! I THINK I AM OKAY ACTUALLY!” and then I realized that I could not responsibly supervise Preston from a chair with a bag of ice on my foot, so I had to call Chris and make him come home.

I got x-rays, I paid a $250 ER copay, they gave me a prescription for Tylenol with Codeine even though I said I’m allergic to Codeine. (I thought about filling it anyway in case of Zombies, because those prescriptions are not easy to come by, but in the end I don’t have that kind of spare time on my hands.)

I mainlined Motrin and spent a lot of time with my new friend, Ice. My mom came up and stayed for several days. And four weeks later IT STILL HURTS TO WALK.

4. If you have a Netflix subscription and you have not watched Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt you are doing it wrong.

5. I read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot on the airplane to Utah and oh my goodness it was such a SAD but MAGICAL story. It’s a few years old, but if you are not familiar, Henrietta had a tumor that was biopsied in 1951 and those cells created the first immortal line of cells for research purposes. HeLa cells were used by Salk to develop the polio vaccine. They’ve been to space! HeLa cells are STILL USED. But her family had no idea and in fact were quite troubled by the idea that their family member was still “alive” and in so many places. HeLa cells were even sold, but her family never saw a penny. It was just SUCH a good read. It’s only a few bucks on iBooks. I had heard a podcast or two on HeLa cells but the book was just amazing.

6.  Then on Oyster I got into The Arcana Chronicles and goshdarn there is nothing more annoying than finding a bunch of free books in a series only to get to the third one and see that they’re not all free yet and the NEWEST one is $11 on iBooks. (I bought it.) (They’re totally not well written but I GOT INTO THEM and now I need to know how it ends.)

7. We’re going back to Disney this winter and I AM SO EXCITED.

The Ski Trip: Day 1

It has been five years since I went skiing and this week I am at Park City and…I can tell it’s been a while since I was on a pair of skis.

My first trip up the lift terrified me, which is weird because I am not afraid of heights (I think I was contemplating the idea that I’d have to go DOWN all that mountain we were going up) and then I snowplowed all the way down the steepest and twistiest green I’ve ever seen, which is SO MUCH MORE WORK than just skiing down the hill like a normal person.

Then my boots were bothering me and I hate walking in them but you HAVE TO at first, which is actually the worst part of skiing: the lugging of the gear over non-snow surfaces. The clothes and the skis and the poles and the boots and the hiking just kill me. It’s SO HARD to just get the day started.

The spring breakers were kind of rude and I really wished I was wearing a sign that said I AM THIRTY SIX AND I HAVEN’T BEEN ON SKIS IN FIVE YEARS PLEASE AVOID ME.

I think if I was a better, more confident skiier I could get over the boots and the young person attitude but I spent five hours on the mountain yesterday and I hated every minute of it. On every run I was thinking, “When can I STOP?”

I thought it would be more fun. I have always enjoyed skiing in the past but I sprained my ankle ten days before our trip and I am partly frightened I’ll get injured again (not my ankle because in a boot it’s immobilized but I’m not super confident/strong on my right foot because of the sprain and I can tell I’m dragging it a bit) and I am partly so rusty on my skills that I’m frightened to even TRY much. Plus, there aren’t a lot of greens here that aren’t actually just shortcuts to other blues and blacks strung together, which isn’t very fun at all for a scaredy-cat skiier.

And also, while I am logging mentions to the complaint department that this post is turning out to be, I don’t think I like this mountain at all. I really like Breckenridge and this is not Breckenridge so it has been hard to adjust to Something New. Very few green runs, the base area isn’t very well organized, high snooty/snobby factor.

So. That’s how I burned one day of lift ticket and rentals and found myself in a coffee shop this morning while Chris and Claire ski. I’m pretty happy about it. I woke up thinking I DO NOT WANT TO GO SKIING and I am a pretty self aware person so I announced I would be staying put for the day.

Claire loves it though. She rode the lift four times yesterday and she was zipping all over the place. She wanted to go skiing MORE after her six hour lesson! That was very pleasing to hear after the day I’d had. She was thrilled to get back to it today and she offered to teach me a few things. (Which, yes, she probably COULD.) I plan on skiing tomorrow with Claire and Chris (no lesson for her tomorrow, just skiing with Mom and Dad), and I’m enjoying the Being On Vacation part where I am not cooking or doing laundry or picking up food Preston threw on the floor. But it might be a while before I want to come back.

Here are some pictures.





7 Quick Takes: The Emergency Plumber Story

1. One of my favorite things about walking Claire to school is watching the sun rise. Depending on the season sometimes it comes up while we’re walking and sometimes it is peeking up as we come out the door. But the way the sky opens up from black nothing to a box of brilliant crayons in six minutes is magical every single day.

2. Preston’s birthday is in a week and last year I was feelings many negative feelings about it but this year I’m not too bad. I have a lot of feeeeeelings about Preston these days but they are not about his birth. They are about his toddler destruction. He will be two, and he is getting a cake with a dog on it and a stack of board books about dogs. I kind of want to get an actual dog but until Preston stops flooding the kitchen we are going to hold off on that. (MORE TO THAT STORY LATER!) (SUSPENSE!)

3. Here are some trips I would like to take this year: Portland and the coast of Oregon (family trip, as tagalongs after a trip Chris is already taking up there for work), Disney World (at Christmas), New York (well, Long Island, something about a farm and wine part of it, for a wedding where my college roommate is my date, so GIRL’S TRIP!), Hill Country (there’s a crazy resort out there with slides and bikes and I want to spend a weekend with the kids after school is out).

But because I hate planning trips I will probably only do one of these. It is just too much to try and plan a trip with all the kids and then I start thinking about the packing and the unpacking and it suddenly gets REALLY not worth it. It’s UNPLEASANT to think about, actually.

Probably I will only do the wedding, because most of it is planned for me and I just have to buy a plane ticket and I only have to pack for myself. The wedding is in April so I should probably get on that.

4. I have been doing a really great job at getting the house more functional. I have donated ten plastic tubs of household goods to CCA. I have given away another three. We have been in this house for five years and I am looking at everything through a new lens. “Haven’t really used this in five years? GONE.”

I’ve been getting rid of toys nobody plays with and rounding up the last scraps of baby gear. I was feeling thrifty for adopting a new “I am not buying Any! New! Stuff!” attitude. I was on a NO BUY for January! I was feeling so great about the state of our home! I was doing incredible amounts of invisible work.

5. And then on Wednesday Claire got home from school and looked up in the kitchen and said, “Why is there water coming from that light?”

6. Preston enjoys going upstairs and climbing on top of the toilet and using that to shimmy onto the countertop and turn on the faucet in the bathroom. He often gets the entire room soaking wet in less than one minute and then he leaves the water running. I decided to just turn off the water to that faucet, because it was really looking like a situation with no upside.

WELL. Somehow, when I turned the water off I tweaked something in the 20 year old plumbing and it started leaking underneath the vanity. A few hours later it was seeping into the kitchen directly below. Had to call a plumber, keep the kids out of his way, wait forever to him to show up in the first place, set up a time for him to come BACK the next day (between 10 and 1) he showed up at 2, finished work at 3, and the whole thing was just the biggest pain. I was stressed to the absolute maximum for about two days because in all of that time life goes on and kids need lunches and Preston needs supervising and dinner keeps happening (I HATE DINNER SO MUCH).

7. So, in 2015 I am just trying to make things easier. I am trying to simplify. I am trying to remove obstacles and distractions and anything that creates more work. I am trying to avoid any more calls to emergency plumbers.

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