Tuesday, June 19, 2007


So, we made yet another road trip sans kids. This time we both left them, for the first time, to go to a wedding in Charlotte. The wedding was great (Congrats Nap and Amelia!), but we were anxious to get home after it all. In fact, Jason was so anxious, that he was pulled for doing 86 in a 65 zone just outside of Charlotte. Sweet. I don't know why he can't figure out cruise control. Luckily, the cop was nice and dropped it to 74 and sent us our merry way with only a fine-yielding sort of ticket.

The rest of the way was pretty tame, until this moron came flying by our car, weaving in and out of traffic. I was just telling Jason that it was (I'll use nice words here) "morons" like him that get people killed when, surprise of all surprises, he lost control, went all over the lanes and ended up flipping 3 times on the side of the road. In the interest of sensitive readers, Oh Poo. We pulled over, and I ran out of the car, yelling at Jason to call 911. I stopped cold when I saw the wreckage and heard the sounds. I did NOT want to be a part of what was happening. Luckily, quite a few others stopped too, and people dove into action, trying to see if anyone was alive, beating out windows, bandaging those getting cut on glass. We did what we could, Jason made the report to 911, I helped the guy who bashed out all the glass to get some bandages so he wasn't bleading, etc... until the driver got out, obviously intoxicated, and started trying to pull people out of the wreckage. When we told him not to (neck injuries and such), he started getting crazy.

Another woman came up and started screaming about "her baby" and it just started to spiral out of control. As there was now a small army of people gathered, Jason and I figured we were only in the way (by then a nurse and off-duty paramedic were there), that the drama was going to lead to trouble and that we didn't want to be there for it, so we went on. We were so in shock, it didn't even dawn on us until much further down the road (after hitting a squirrel - darn rodents) that we should have left a statement.

I don't know why, but I seem to come upon these horrific accidents about once a year or so. I've seen a woman with a stop sign through her head who (we think) had a seizure while driving, a drunk woman in a ditch upside down, two elderly couples in a minivan that catapulted of 81... plus many minor accidents. Are they just way more prevelant these days, or am I just "lucky"?

I usually do much better in these types of situations. I stay calm, help out, leave a report, whatever. But this time around, I was freaking out internally. I think it's because I knew there were kids in there, and could see that I couldn't help and that it was bad. One girls eyes are still haunting me as I lay down to bed at night - I'm so anxious to know if she made it out ok. I've been reading the accident reports, but have seen no mention of this one. I hope that everyone in that vehicle is OK. I also kind of hope that someone beat the crap out of the guy that was driving before the cops got there. But that's a commentary I won't get into.

Next weekend is air travel to Chicago. Let's hope it is MUCH less eventful.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Reality Check

I have managed to convince myself these days that Sadie is a normal baby. After all, she's doing great, finally putting on weight, acting "normal"... I even find myself forgetting at times the hell we went through those first few months. Then I get a reality check.

Today was Sadie's cardiology appointment. Everything was perfect - her heart is functioning as expected, the valves are great, the pulmonary artery isn't stretched to far, the coronary arteries aren't kinked. She's 18 lbs 3 ozs and 27.75 inches now, so right on target. So why am I feeling so blue? He said almost good things today, though he did say that he was surprised that she was so alert - he had expected a bit of a zombie after all of the problems we had with drug addiction/withdrawal.

I guess it just all kind of hits when you go back to the cardiologists office. A whirlwind of memories comes flooding back. Until faced with the man who gave me the news that scary first night of Sadie's life, I can pretend it's a bad dream. Dr. Albrecht (her cardiologist) is wonderful - I think the world of him, and can never thank him enough for saving her life.

I guess my emotions really hit when our conversation about what to expect from this point out. He only wants to see her annually this year. Any time we want to sign her up for a new sport/activity, we should call, order a stress test and EKG and clear it first. Although they're lifting the recommendation for most "heart" kids to get antibiotics before surgical and dental procedures, he still wants her to do it, given her history. But the thing that got me was when we were chatting after the visit. He was telling me about his best friend's son, who had TGA as well. He was one of the first to undergo the "switch" operation Sadie had, and is 21 and active (a lacrosse player in college) today. Albrecht was telling me that, hopefully, Sadie will be able to be just as active, and "maybe even live long enough and be well enough to have children..." but that he couldn't tell me more than that. They don't know how long this surgery will "keep" or what is in store. For all we know, at 30 the stress on the pulmonary vein may be too much. Many kids have had complications, and the numbers just aren't in yet to know what odds are.

Not that I'm trying to be pessimistic - he was telling me this to try to encourage me. He also said that for all we know, she may live longer than any of us, and be more healthy. It should have been a comfort, but instead, it scared the heck out of me. I've been able to hold on this long by just thinking about today, the next year or two, etc. I haven't really thought about her future too much, or if there would be long-term complications. It just reminded me that although we've moved on, she's doing well and we're back to the "norm," she will never be truly "normal."

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Sweet Escape

Not only is the title of Katie's favorite song these days (unfortunately), it's what I did last weekend and am considering doing in two weeks. Last weekend I was in Asheville for a weekend of ghost-hunting, wine-tasting, mansion-viewing and a dash of work. It was so much fun - I'd forgotten what it was like to be an adult without children clamoring for my attention every moment of every day. Not that I don't like it - I love my kids more than life itself. But everyone needs a breather.

So then this past week I got an invitation to go to Scotland for work - all expenses paid for 4 days, to tour Aberdeen. Includes castle visits, 5-star restaurants, golf, 5-star accommodations... and I can't decide if I want to do it. I have to make the decision tonight. While I enjoyed last weekend, it was only 2.5 days. This is 5. It also wasn't an ocean away. But, then again, how often does one come upon the chance to go to Scotland for free? On a fun trip? I'd be going on my own, which makes it even more of a draw - I could really roll up my sleeves and get some work done. Try to relearn how to sleep through the night (couldn't do it in Asheville). Listen to some great accents. Aaaah... I guess I'll decide tomorrow. It's bad timing, as it is the week after Jas and I go out of town for a wedding, and two weeks prior to the next wedding we are out of town for as well. Enough about me and my wanderlust.

Sadie's now 9 months. Still not crawling, still no teeth, but doing tons of cute things. If you ask her if she's sick, she'll cough. Ask her if she likes sweet potatoes and she'll nod her head and go "ya-ya-ya". Calls my breasts "baba" when she's hungry. Oh, and she says "bug". Everything is a 'bug'.

Katie's finishing up her school year, and it will be her last year at her current preschool. We're holding her back one more year before Kindergarten (she's right at that cutoff), so we're debating what to do next year with preschool vs. home learning. She's starting to come along with her letters and reading - she's got a good handle on most 3-4 letter words when it comes to sounding them out. She spends hours on the potty practicing her penmanship (don't ask).

In other non-important news, Darla (our dog) got attacked by a neighbor dog this week while we were out for a walk. She's ok (sore and tired, but seems to be fine), but it scared the living heck out of me, Katie and Sadie. All I could think to do was grab the dog and hope for dear life I could a) keep him from the kids, b) get her off Darla and c) not get eaten alive. Katie froze -when I said it was OK and we could walk away she said her legs were shaking too bad to walk. Sadie just screamed through it all (she loves Darla). I was too much in shock to berate the owners for not having him chained up, and I'm still trying to decide what to do about it. They were apologetic and said they'd pay for the vet bill, but that's not enough. I'm sick and friggin tired of living in a neighborhood overrun by aggressive dogs. If you know me at all, you know I'm a complete freak about animals - I love them. But I've been tempted to get a taser or something to keep with me to get them when they come up to us or Darla. I've called animal control a half-dozen times, as have my employees at various times, but nothing is done.
Any ideas?