Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Princess Calliope

I overheard a conversation the other day between Calliope (who was sitting outdoors on a blanket dressed in one of her many princess costumes and playing with dolls) and some random boy who was at least a year older and a head taller than she.

Boy: You're not a princess.

Calliope: Yes, I am.

Boy: You're not a REAL princess.

Calliope (puts down dolls, stands up, and actually flicks her hair at this kid): I have long hair like a princess, and I have a princess dress, so I AM a princess.

Boy: (Silence.)

I have never before been so proud to have a little princess for a daughter.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Tale of Two Blood Draws

A couple weeks ago, I was dropping Benjamin off at school when he turned his face up to me for his goodbye kiss and I noticed that he was looking pretty yellow. Not just regular Asian-skin yellow, but extremely yellow. "My-hemoglobin-is-dropping-mommy-take-me-to-the-doctor" yellow. Then I looked at Calliope, and would'ja know it, her skin was looking pretty damn yellow, too. And her eyes? The whites were so yellow that I felt like I was being stared down by two gigantic lemon-glazed donuts. Sigh. Off to the doctor we went.

Both of the kids have had more than their fair share of blood draws and transfusions, but Calliope has the dubious distinction of having had more. She's the queen bee of blood draws. The phlebotomists always urge her to look away, but she just takes a deep breath, steels herself, and fixes her eyes on her arm while they stick the needle in. It's downright freaky.

Benjamin, on the other hand, isn't quite as stoic when it comes to getting his blood drawn. The tears started flowing before the phlebotomist even touched him, and I was powerless to comfort him. I asked his sister to please offer her support. "Calliope," I said gently. "Your brother is scared. Can you please comfort him and tell him it's going to be ok? Tell him it doesn't hurt. Help him be brave." Here is what she said:

"Ben Ben, it doesn't hurt. Ben Ben, you're crying, but *I* didn't cry. *I* was BRAVE. YOU are crying! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!"

In addition to being freaky, I think she may also be a bit evil. Let's get a closer look at that.


Unfortunately, their test results weren't what we'd hoped they'd be, and they both needed transfusions. At the same time. This was a first. Usually, they take turns getting sick, becoming anemic, and getting transfused. This time, they'd be going in at the same time. So what's a mom to do? Take them across the street to the mall and buy them a crapload of toys in a failed bid to make them feel better. Oh, and pray, pray, pray that the nurses would be able to get the IV started in fewer than 10 attempts.

Usually, I have to argue, wheedle, and beg the nurses to call the hospital's IV Team to come start my kids' IVs. The IV Team members are like the Green Berets of the hospital. They're the ones they send in when nobody else can get the job done. Almost every other time, the nurses won't call the IV Team until after my kids have been poked no fewer than six times over the course of six or seven hours. They're sympathetic to my pleas that my kids are difficult to stick, but they still try themselves until they realize that mama wasn't lying about needing the specialists. This time, as soon as we stepped on the ward, I was pulled aside by one of the nurses who confessed that she followed me on Instagram and remembered how difficult my kids were to stick. She said in a conspiratorial tone, "I've already called the IV Team." I nearly cried with relief. Every time someone else even tried to look at my kids' veins, she would park herself in front of him or her and firmly say, "The IV Team has been called." The look on her face and crossed arms brooked no argument. Sure enough, the IV Team showed up shortly, and got the kids going with only a few attempts. Hallelujah!! Looks like we have a guardian angel, and her name is Amy.

My wonderful hubby left work early and came to the hospital so I could go home and get some rest, but I got this picture before I left:

It was really sweet to see them cuddled together in the same hospital bed. Nothing brings siblings together like blood bags and tubing. Oh, and an iPad. That helps, too.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

"How Do You Make a Baby?"

This was our dinnertime conversation at Pitfire Pizza the other night…

Benjamin: You remember when Calliope came out of you?

Me: Huh?

Benjamin: How did she get out?

Me: A doctor helped her get out.

Calliope: But how did I get inside you?

Me: ...

Calliope: How do you make a baby?

Me: You mean out of clay? Why don't you guys show me!

Calliope and Benjamin: Yeah! Ok!!

I don't know how much longer I can stall these guys out!!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Truth Hurts

And that's God's honest truth. Sigh. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

It's Been a While

I know, I know.... It has been ages. Since my last post over a year ago, here are a few things big and small that have happened...

  • We went to Kansas City to see friends and family.
  • We went to Disneyland. About 20 times.
  • Calliope started taking hip hop classes with her brother.
  • Benjamin started doing martial arts. 
  • Calliope appeared in print ads for Janie & Jack, Splendid Littles and Lands End. 
  • I went on a Bar Method bender that lasted all of one month.
  • Vince started playing paddle tennis again.
  • I stood in line at 2:30 in the morning to register Benjamin for a spot in a reknowned Mandarin immersion elementary school. 
  • Calliope started preschool. 
  • Benjamin graduated from preschool.
  • Benjamin started Kindergarten (in aforementioned Mandarin immersion school, thank you very much)
  • Benjamin learned how to write his name in Chinese.
  • Calliope learned how to write her name in English.
  • I got walking pneumonia.
  • Benjamin got one blood transfusion.
  • Calliope got five blood transfusions.
  • Vince's office moved from Malibu to Agoura Hills.
  • We tortured the kids with swim lessons.
  • I got my first ever really bad sunburn.
  • I cut of all of my hair a la Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby and had enough to time to grow it all back.
  • My parents visited from Asia twice.
  • We ate at A-Frame three times.
  • We ate at Humble Potato five times.
  • We ate at Pitfire Pizza about three dozen times.
  • I shot over a hundred photo sessions.
  • Vince's work week averaged between 55 (a good week) to 85 (a bad one) hours a week.
  • Vince's company went public.
  • My father-in-law celebrated his 70th birthday. 
  • I bought four new strollers.
  • I sold three old strollers.
  • I read "Freckleface Strawberry" at bedtime a dozen times.
  • I sang "Over the Rainbow" at bedtime over four hundred times.
  • My friend and sister Deb moved away.
  • We went to two weddings.
  • Five friends had babies.
  • One friend passed away.
  • We celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary.
As I type up this list, I realize how very blessed I am in this life. I promise to write more.