Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year

I am wandering around half asleep this afternoon - it feels like one of those days on which we set the clocks back. I guess this is from going to bed at 11.30pm!! I almost made it till midnight. Frost stayed up till 1.30am after going out to a party at Carrie and John's house (of Petra fame) but I was surprised he did not fall asleep when we returned earlier.

I could not resist posting this picture of Wren's birthday cake (birthday was a couple of weeks ago). Mum sent it to me and I have only now been dealing with my inbox. It was going to be an excavator but became a bulldozer due to Technical Difficulties.

Happy New Year everyone and may the poor get richer, the racoons less voracious, calories less fattorific, heart defects less serious and the weather less weathery. Oh, and how about some world peace and discount airfares to Australia while we are at it.

2008 Guidelines for the Management of Adults With CHD

For parents of children with CHD's only (you won't be interested otherwise). I found this November 7th publication on guidelines for management of adult patients with CHD's. I know some of the issues have been discussed at our group before. It is a PDF file you would have to download.

Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines:
Executive Summary: A Report of the American College of
2008 Guidelines for the Management of Adults With Congenital Heart Disease.

It outlines management issues for CHDs including patients with Shones and many issues associated with LVOT obstruction, criteria for valve replacement and issues with bicuspid aortic valves.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Wren's word of the day yesterday was "look look". Everything was "look look!!!!" We went on a walk around the block (seeing the windswept streets and fallen branches after snow and wind-storm) and these are his most memorable comments:

"Look look!!! I got two trees. I carry them. " [walking along holding a bunch of twigs]
"Look look, I find yucky email!!" [finding a scrap of wet paper stuck to the sidewalk]
"look look, I find rock! [holding up a single small pebble from the hundreds in a rock pathway.]

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

red goblens and nurty chicks

I had a birthday a few days ago. I am now 42 years old. That means I am old enough to write a 'biography' and reflect on my life and my children as if from a grizzled height.

What brought me to this point of reflection was cleaning the basement. Our basement, as with all basements, hides its share of secrets. Among the piles of role-playing books and high-school diaries I found some writing and pictures I did when I was 6. We were learning phonetics and my handwriting is a bit wonky so I shall type it out for you. Here is my collection of short stories.

The red goblens who were all cheeky
by Shannon in 1974, Age 6

a little rabbit was hoping along the banck of a
river one day in the sun wen the rat famile came out of there
holl. what has been going on sied one of
the rats. it sied in a book that the red goblens are back.

what what red goblens? yes.

the rat family ran away. so
the raddit went on hoping down
the river banck. soon he came to the toun where
the red goblens were.

evry body was shouting. he asked a
frog what it was about.
he sied the red godlens had been cilld.

the end.

Chapter 2: The Three little chics (who were nurty)
One day a muther hen had three babys. there
names were peter jon and richid.

one of the chicks sied mummy can we go away?
no, mummy said. but as thay were nurty thay floo away.

the end.

Chapter 3: The Cowboy West
by Shannon 1974

one day in the west there lived a cowboy
he was a bad one. he went into a shop
and said give me a hen.

the man said no I have none.
so he locked him in.

I must tell you his name, well it
was Joey the Cowboy but Joey
had forgotten to take the key with him.
he drop it on the window sill. it dropt
and the man got out and shot him.

As you can see I was quite concerned with issues of social justice, violence and civil disobedience. My favorite is the story of those goblens. I think I could write a similar story now (without the gruesome ending) involving two small goblens who are all cheeky too. I also like the part where the bad Cowboy Joey demands his price: a hen! We are planning to get a hen too, maybe two hens, in the garden this spring.

The whole discovery of stuff in the basement and some ensuing conversations about nostalgia with G (of early gay-boyfriend fame) has made me remember happiness as in the present. Its about intensity in the now not about the underlying conditions. Of course, I can say that because Wren has been sleeping till 6am recently and I am no longer chronically exhausted.

Here I am in 1995, dressed up at a club, exhausted because its 3am. I am including it because it was in the box of memorabilia I discovered in the basement and I like it because it defies the image of myself as Only Mummy which has been on the ascendant in recent years. Even as I type my mouse cable is tangled in a sprig of thyme a child harvested on our walk and Wren's drawings of robots have overwhelmed my desk (and caused all my pens to walk off).

The Happy Birthday to Me day
I had a very happy birthday a few days after Christmas. The kids and Joshua bought me a Yule Log from Whole Foods. Frost chose it because it had a couple of mushrooms made of meringue and everyone knows how I enjoy mushrooms. The motif is invading our lives! Here are a couple of pictures of the cake being lit and extinguished.

I made sure Joshua touched the cake to the plate after I started to cut it and wished for Wren's heart to do well and not need surgery until he is at least 7. Apparently many Americans are not aware that the birthday person gets a wish when he or she cuts the cake but the wish is lost if you actually touch the knife to the plate. Another tradition is that you have to blow all the candles out in one breath to get your wish (do you have to do that in the USA as well?). I think I sacrificed that wish because Wren was 'helping'.

During the morning Tara and Fred were kind enough to have Frost over for an extended playdate while I went to the Korean Spa for some birthday bathing. I spent a lot of time resting in the dark heat of the sand room listening to the waves and it is all 'free' on your birthday. I hope to go again in a few weeks.

Christmas pictures
I shall also include a few Christmas pictures. You can see Frost admiring the Christmas pud which he has lit after it was doused in brandy.

I hid some quarters and dimes in it and while neither child ate a great deal they both enjoyed the money. Wren kept yelling I SEE IT while hunting through Joshua's pud. The following pictures are for Mum. Here are the little Playmobil 'guys' she gave Frost all set up in their new fort.