Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Rob is rubbing off on me.
There was no valve replacement at this time, which means Bing still has a slightly faulty original, but also hasn't had open heart surgery, which is automatically a faster recovery. The ICB will be able to help moderate his heart rate if it gets fluttery and erratic, or it can provide a shock/jump start if his heart should stop unexpectedly. Mom and Dad are driving home today and grabbed Blake on their way through Spokane. Bing, Lane, and Maddox should be getting home on Saturday. Hurray and praise God!
Monday, June 29, 2009
Mom just called from Seattle, and they have just been in consultation with Bing's doctor.
The stress testing that they did this morning produced arrhythmias in both the atrium and the ventrical. They also said that Bing has an impressive murmur (means his valve is not sealing and the blood is being forced back through the valve). They said the scar tissue in the septum (tissue that divides the heart chambers) from the first surgery may be causing the interference.
They are expecting a consultation with the team this evening to determine whether Bing will have open heart to replace the valve or whether they will place a defibrillator.
I will keep you updated as I hear more.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Panda Express is just so tasty, I love being able to enjoy it when I'm in Spokane.
Blake especially loves the orange chicken, which he calls "brown balls." As in, "Mom, can I please have brown balls for lunch?"
Yum yum yum!
Ok, Rob was here for over a week without me, and it was both fun and hard to be away from him for so long. Fun because I got to do just what I liked with my time (playing WoW with him remotely, of course), the house was precisely the way I left it after a weekend away, and Blake and I could eat cereal for dinner and not feel badly about not providing a strapping husband/father with meat and a side of protein (preferably meat-based) with a rib-eye shake for dessert. Hard because I wasn't in Spokane overseeing every minute detail of reconstruction and basically bossing him around all the time. Also, the garbage kept piling up without magically disappearing. It was awful and smelly and heavy and I felt very badly for myself. And going to bed alone was damn near impossible, then I'd get there and be unable to sleep until 1:00 or 2:00 am. I might be a leetle tiny bit EXHAUSTED.
Now we're BOTH in Spokane, fixing up the house with my folks and some friends and whomever of Rob's family we can finagle away for a while. I am convinced that Aislynn (one month) and Cec (age withheld) will bond firmly over a shared love for the trim nail gun... if Blake doesn't get his hands on it first. Things are coming along nicely after all Rob and Cec's work before now, plus what we accomplished today, but I feel badly for Rob. He's putting all this time and money into a place that he won't get to enjoy all dolled up, because we're hoping to sell it or, at the very least, rent it.
And things are going well with Bing and Lane, which is why I can write a post that's not at all about them after two rather harrowing posts all about them. Check out her blog (Burch Perch) for more - she's got the goods.
God's in His heaven, all's right with the world. And I'm not really that bossy.
Ok, I am. Take out the garbage, please.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Good morning all our circle of love,
Thanks for all your calls and visits during our crisis with Bing and Lane. He is resting well with all his family members, awaiting surgery tomorrow.
We have finally found out that Bing’s heart condition is a congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot. He was what they use to describe as a "blue baby."
I will give you a text book paragraph courtesy of Teri Lee’s A&P class text book.
Tetralogy of Fallot, a complex congenital defect of the heart and major vessels, is the most common cause of cardiac cyanosis (blue) in newborn children, accounting for 10% of all congenital heart defects. First described by the French physician Fallot, the base of the heart seems to be twisted too much to the right, causing the aorta to be displaced to the right. The malpositioned aorta causes narrowing of the adjacent pulmonary artery, which results in pulmonary stenosis (narrowing). This limits the amount of blood that can enter the lungs to be oxygenated.The reduced oxygen in Bing's blood led to his collapsing episodes. UW did his first repair as a 3-year-old –repairing the septum between the L and R ventricles, which is why he was flighted to UW for the correction tomorrow. He will have open heart surgery where they will correct his pulmonic valve and possibly install wiring for a defib unit and/or a pacemaker. Bing is not a usual case of this defect. He is robust and in shape and did not manifest symptoms until the last few years. We are trusting in our Big God for Him to extend His hand to Bing, Lane, and Maddox to give them the life He has planned for them.
We covet your prayers and love so much.This is all I've got... Mom's got a friend willing to answer questions, but I won't hand her number out to you, dear internet. Thanks to all offering help to Lane and Bing in Seattle. I've extended the offers and will let Lane take it from there. The good news is that this is the surgery Bing's needed for a while, and he's being taken care of. Other than a successful surgery and quick recovery (he will have his chest cracked, after all), a big prayer would be for financial provision and wisdom for that aspect in their lives.
And he's in good spirits, apologizing to me for not being able to come to Spokane to help fix up the house this weekend. I grudgingly forgave him, even though I was really really REALLY excited for all the time with he and Lane. Also exciting was all the work they were going to do in exchange for donuts, but I suppose major heart surgery on one I love IS more important.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Lane is currently in Billings, and we're working to get her to his side as soon as possible (she and Maddox fly out at 7:30 tonight). She's understandably distraught and worried. They have no health insurance, and while Bing should be in good shape post-surgery, he won't be able to work for a while. Please please pray for the following:
- Successful surgery and fast recovery.
- Financial provision (along the terms of a miracle) for the medical treatment and living expenses afterward.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Praise the Lord! Please keep praying that little peanut doesn't decide to crash the party and stays safely ensconced in the womb for several more months.
This is such a relief to me. I was upset enough yesterday to just sort of quit everything. I prayed, wept, opened a bottle of wine, and played a video game while watching a very violent movie (because romantic comedy would have irritated me to no end). I have funny coping mechanisms.
N & P: I can't wait to hug your necks and scold that little belly N is sporting for giving us such a scare.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Please pray with me that everything would be okay. I don't know what else to pray for.
*Pray that the tear would spontaneously heal itself (there's medical precedence for this), that N would not go into labor, and that everything would be okay. Previous post was twice and thrice removed, all through men. Men interpret and reinterpret things in a kind of alarming way.
Friday, June 19, 2009
A: I hear you about worry something will happen to J. That fear does get worse the more you have to hold onto in life. I remember my friend (the one who's son is so broken in utero) being angry that, immediately after Blake died, my fear was that something would happen to the baby. She renounced Satan's attack then and there, but now told me she's struggling with the same fears for her husband and their three girls. Once you have life's frailty pounded down upon you, you realize how fortunate we are that mostly, everything is okay. And I feel especially for my good friends and family, because my life is an almost painful reminder that it can be taken away. Lane looks at my life and fears that Bing will stop breathing at night. Not Maddox, but Bing! She also worries over her son, but in a slightly different way.
And all that to say that you can't worry. It's like paying interest on a debt you might not even owe. And it steals the joy from your right-now-moment. But man, it's damn hard. God's done me a mercy by putting a roadblock up in my mind when I start meandering down that path. He squashes those thoughts firmly, which is good, especially now that Blake is in the care of others so often as he gets older. So I will pray that for you: may God put a roadblock up on your worry wandering so that you may more fully trust Him and His designs.
M: This love-n-marriage thing is such a fertile ground for learning opportunities -- about life in general and mostly about ourselves, realizing that constant contact with the one person you love most in the world can bring out the best in you (that you didn't know was there), the worst in you (that you would still like to think isn't there) and the strangest thoughts that you never really imagined could well up from your heart and mind.
On Christ the solid rock I stand!
all other ground is sinking sand.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Here's the deal.
All of the photos exist in uncompressed RAW format in an Adobe Lightroom Library at work. I've exported them all as screen-res JPGs to your BPLStaff folder.
Then I went in and deleted the crappy ones - crappy in that they were either way out of focus or way over or underexposed and thus not salvageable. I still have them, if you want them, but they suck.
What you see are photos that:
1. Have NOT been color corrected.
2. Have NOT been white balance corrected.
3. Have NOT been exposure corrected.
4. Have NOT had zits, freckles, boogers, mosquitoes, sneeze aerosol, or anybody's body fat photoshopped out.
OK, I know you're not wanting me to do #4 to your photos (but I'm happy to try, I was pretty successful with some donuts previously), but #1 and #2 are important. I've attached two photos that show why you want this done, especially if you are going to print them or post them proudly on the web somewhere. If you post these JPG's they WILL LOOK CRAPPY. These are composition proofs.
OK, so you're asking yourself, "Now what?"
1. First, keep the chip supply up.
2. Second, burn the JPGs to a CD or DVD at work, and look at them at home with Rob. Take a little time to pick your RRLs.
3. Third, select the ones you really, really like (the RRLs) and copy those to a new CD and give that CD back to me. These should be ones that you'll print, or are just really proud of for online distribution. I must have the photos. No filenames.
Then, I will:
1. Correct white balance, color, exposure, and sharpening one by one on the RRLs and export them as high-res JPGs.
2. Run the rest through one of my mass filters that does something similar, but not as fine tuned. They will look much better than the originals and will be fine for online distribution.
A: I love that you speak my language. Will do.
And what if I DO want fat Photoshopped out? What then?
R: Uhh, then....you'll have to point it out, exactly where it is, because I don't see ANY on your photos...
Whew, close one.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
B: Now that, my friend, is what I going to do.
B: (huge sigh) Mom, I so OLD.
Rob and I are still debating who he got this from.
B: Terra? I don't want to be Rob and Addie's kid any more. I want to be your kid.
B: Mom? When I big, I want to have long hair. Can I have long hair like Terra's dad?
A: We'll see. Please go to sleep.
Terra's dad's hair is down to his mid-back in length, and Blake chose to ask this question at about 10:00 pm, calling me in from the living room.
B: Mom, come here, I want to give you a wet willy.
He stuck his finger in his own ear, THEN in his mouth.
R: How did that taste?
B: Kind of salty.
B: Mom, can you please straighten my shit up?
A: Excuse me?
B: My shit. You knocked it over a little bit.
A: (looking at his Lego creation) You mean your shi-PAH? With a P?
B: That's what I said. My shi-PAH.
A: Excuse me just a minute.
I proceeded to our room, where Rob was in spasms of laughter on the bed, and collapsed in the same.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Alt text (what you see when you hover over the pic on the original site): But if you unplug everything, it gets so quiet you hear that high-pitched empty-room hum. And then the whispers begin.
Monday, June 15, 2009
One friend asked if I would then go back to my maiden name, because, as a group, my young friends and I weren't sure what the rules were. If you've been married less than five years and are then widowed, must you go back to the maiden name? The question (and the friend) never hurt me, because I was still navigating the what-to-dos as well. My answer was that I would remain a Morstad, of course. Naturally. Blake's death didn't undo our marriage, and I clung to that.
Blake S.'s name was also a gimme. BW and I had a few names on our shortlist, though we didn't know if the baby was a boy or girl. If a boy, it would be X Walden Morstad, where the X could be William, Samuel, or another one I can't remember right now (though I have our list somewhere, written in his neat hand). Walden was BW's middle name, and it was a combination of his father's and grandfather's names: Steven and Waldo. After he died, I was convinced that the baby was a boy, though I realize this wasn't really rational... but a little girl would have taken me very much by surprise. A boy, now that naming was solely my job, would be Blake Samuel Morstad, because it couldn't be anything else. Blake because DUH. Samuel because we'd both liked it, and it was a way to honor our friend Sam Kavanagh, who lost his leg (well, part of it) as a result of the avalanche. And we'd both be Morstad.
When I was ready to start thinking about such things, I realized that, were I to remarry, I would want my whole family to have the same name. I would want my son to know of and love his Daddy Blake, but identify more with his Daddy that got to be part of his life here on earth. The more I thought about it, the more I figured the best solution was that I would take Morstad as a middle name and Blake S. would have two middle names: Samuel Morstad. I was pretty peaceful about it.
Turns out that changing my name from Morstad, while time consuming, has been a process that has affected my emotions far more strongly than I expected. I still unthinkingly introduce myself as "Addie Morstad," and it makes me sad to realize that one of the easiest ways people could identify me as Blake W.'s wife is gone. I'm also sensitive to the fact that my remarriage, while hoped for by all, has not been easy on my Morstad in-laws for a number of reasons, though my name change is probably low on the list.
Blake S.'s name change, however, is going to be much harder. I am facing full-on the comfort I took in having "Blake Morstad" as part of my life, the comfort in knowing son and father shared names and the identification that goes along with that. June 11 marked the sixty days that Rob and I had to wait for him to formally adopt Blake S., and while we don't have the paperwork done and filed, we'll do so soon, and I'll have to navigate another set of name change documents (hopefully fewer, unless this kid has credit cards and memberships I don't know about). I'm grateful that there's another name to change to, and yet part of me is very sad that the first man I loved and love still is gone and that all this is necessary.
Blakie Sam is wholly on board. He is eager to become a Bedford and has said so numerous times. He calls himself "Blake Bedford" and mentions the time when "we'll all be Bedfords." Rob is along for the ride, not pushing for the papers to be filed, but letting me and my heart (and endless to-do list) guide the way and dictate the timing.
It's confusing, this name thing. I do not have a deep sense of my own heritage due to physical distance from both branches of my parents' families, and finding myself so caught up in my late husband's heritage has been comforting and helpful... until now. It's one more loss, not being a Morstad, one more small thing to grieve, and it's been harder than I ever thought it would be. For it to be less painful would be callow, and I think that perhaps that's a comfort to both me and Rob.
I identify deeply with those whom I love. Moving forward with a new name and new family does not leave the past behind, but nor does it allow the past to dictate my future. What a fine balancing act this is turning out to be, and if I fall, well, I have a whole slew of families to catch me.
I am okay with that so long as this boy hasn't been to Mexico recently nor has been exposed to swine flu in any way.T assured her that neither was the case, though she wisely withheld the fact that Blake attends preschool, which is a veritable sea of infectious disease (you'll never be as sick as the first year you're a preschool teacher or a pediatric nurse... after which you'll never catch anything ever again). She did let me know of the little hang-up, and we enjoyed a chuckle at the new mommy neurosis. I probably enjoyed more of a chuckle and an added eye roll, remembering the first few months of Blake's life, where I carried around Purell and insisted folks wash their hands before holding him, though he did have a persistent cold for the first six weeks or so, which makes my neurosis perfectly justified.
Well, T called me on Wednesday with news that, while insanely comical, is also a little horrifying. This new mom just got the tests back, and she has swine flu, the second (or so) case in Gallatin Valley, and they've no idea how she contracted it.
On the one hand, I feel for her fear for her family and discomfort for herself - though it's looking like she'll be fine. On the other hand, I'm really grateful she got it diagnosed before the dual babysitting job, because she probably would have blamed it on Blake!
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Upon handing the checker (male) my check and membership cards, then explaining the name change and circumstances surrounding it, the guy says, "And you haven't changed your name everywhere yet?! You really need to get on that."
At which point I ask him how many times he's changed his name, because did he realize that it is a LOT of work?
"Well, I've been married twice!" he replies with a smile.
"Congratulations. And how many times have YOU changed YOUR name?"
"Oh... Right... Well, I guess you have a point there."
I know I do. My life is infinitely more complicated than it was when I married Blake, so changing my name everywhere has been, well, infinitely more complicated. Social Security, three or four email accounts, driver's license (I got a CUTE picture!), banking (checking, debit, retirement and investment accounts, online account), credit card, health/life/auto/home insurances, mortgage, voting registration, utilities company, homeowner's association, work-related accounts, preschool, doctors' offices, Costco, Hastings, AllTel, Bresnan, Campus Crusade, Facebook... and I'm sure there are more.
I don't think Rob's yet completed a change of address form and he gets to stand when he pees. Boys have it so easy!
Friday, June 12, 2009
(while watching Beyonce's Single Ladies video... this man is well-known in UL circles and is something of an ascetic nomad, which is why his comment is particularly funny)
M: Did you really push that sparker down on your bed last night?
S: Yeah. That was a dumb move.
A: Did it work?
S: Yes. I now have holes in my bedspread.
A: I'm going to go warm your cinnamon rolls for breakfast. You get dressed, okay?
B: (turning to me seriously) Okay, but I don't want them warmed in the microwave. I just want them warmed, um, the way they're supposed to be. The right way.
B: I think I just have a shart in my britches.
B: (immediately after waking him up this morning) I like when I'm on Dad's shoulders. He's like the ice cream cone and I'm like the ice cream.
A: (laughing) Who said that? Did Dad say you were the ice cream?
B: No, I said that. I said that on Facebook.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Google assumes you want to buy, watch, or otherwise engage in what you're searching for.
Wikipedia defines it.
This tip (thanks Lonnie!) saved me from dying of horror and embarrassment, then resurrecting just to scratch out my own eyes. And no, I won't tell you what I was curious about. I'M PROTECTING YOU PEOPLE.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
We've tried a number of things, which haven't worked, giving each new thing about two weeks before moving on to the next. Taking away what he was playing with when the "accident" occurred? Withholding the cool toys he received as part of a wedding gift, telling him he could have them once he had seven total (not consecutive - TOTAL) dry days? No dice. He has too many other cool toys. Removing the option of wearing his superhero britches until he kept his tighty-whiteys dry for the aforementioned seven days? I told him that Optimus Prime doesn't like being peed on, so he had to go with the boring britches. He cried at first, but now is completely unmoved by the fact that he'll have outgrown his current britches before he can wear cool ones again.
We now frequently remind him to go, requiring him to at least go through the motions and "check" to make sure. Also, we are treating any britches or pants as a privilege, one he reearns every day. He can wear his tighty-whiteys and pants each day UP TO the point that he wets them. As soon as they're wet, we put both britches and pants in the laundry, and he has to run around stark naked below the waist for the rest of the time we're at home.
He can put more on to leave the house (I'm not cruel!), but upon returning home, he's back to bare biscuits. We figure he's unlikely to pee on himself, and he knows better than to pee on the floor, so the hope is that this will help to motivate him to both keep said clothing dry in the first place, but also listen to his body and remember that a quick break mid-play is way less hassle in the long run. We celebrate dry stretches, we don't humiliate him when nude, and we permit blankets to be used to stay warm if he's sitting down.
So far, we've had three nudie nights. The last few days have gone GREAT, and he's already got three cool stickers on his seven-day fridge tracker... so here's hoping for lasting results!
The only downside so far is that, once over the initial embarrassment of being the only one half-naked in the house, he really, really loves it. I think Rob might want to join him. I think I may have created a monster.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Trust us. The Jordans."
Monday, June 8, 2009
A: No wonder we're confused.
B: Mom, can you make sure to put lotion on my armpits and legpits?
A: Uh, sure. Where are the legpits, exactly?
B: (pointing to the backs of his knees) Right here! See? Legpits!
A: Aha. And who told you that's what they are called?
B: I did!
Pastor J, during communion: Saying, "This is my blood..."
B: BLOOD! Ewww.
B: Alleeba! Alleeba! Undalay! Undalay!
Now say that out loud and guess who he's quoting.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Within a few hours of arriving, we promptly locked ourselves out onto the balcony. Turns out the antique cupboard latch on the inside is just a lock on the outside - no handle. You have to disable the latch upon opening the door to prevent it from locking you out. Rob didn't know this, and it was he who invited me out onto the balcony to admire the emerging stars. Thinking of the heat, I closed the door behind me.
Rob had to break the latch to get us back in, because breaking glass was out of the question, despite having the cabin phone tantalizingly close through the window we could not open. As the ground entry was also locked (I had made sure of that), and we were barefoot twelve feet off the ground anyway, my big strong man shouldered his way back into the cabin. We repaired the latch and door frame before we left, because we're handy like that.
I also like to leave a place better than I found it.
We had a great deal of fun up there, (sometimes twice a day!), eating and sleeping at whatever hour seemed best, drinking coffee and wine, playing Scrabble, watching movies, building fires in the wood stove. It was lovely. I lost most of the Scrabble games by five to twenty points, but the one I carried was really something, and I had my ultimate highest score ever: 419 to Rob's 298.
On Wednesday, we woke up to a foot of new snow, and we were assured by the cabin's owners that we were quite certainly stuck until Friday, though Saturday was an even safer bet for the roads. I scrambled to find someone to watch Blake for an extra day, as the friends he was with were leaving town on Friday morning. Rob and I continued our relaxation as cabin fever slowly set in. Still, I got so much rest that the dark circles under my eyes disappeared, which surprised me. I had reached the point of believing they were just permanent coloring on my face. Like freckles, but less charming.
By the time Friday rolled around, we'd decided to try the roads no matter what. We really didn't have a choice in the matter, as we'd finished our last bottle of wine the night before, so we clearly couldn't stay.
Blake, having been passed off from Grammie Gee to the Jordan family to the Kelly family, was dismayed to see us at the door. It's hard to go from fun to fun to fun, then to see the two people who love you most in the world but who do not show that love by indulging your every whim appear before you really got used to the last fun place. He cried when I walked in and said, "NO! I want to stay here! I don't want to go home!"
We made it up to him by having Rob stay with me in our bed at the condo. Just like he's always wanted.
Friday, June 5, 2009
"Like this? We'll look like we're talking and having fun?"
"Or, I will look like I'm hitting on you."
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
I like to propose my name to friends who are having children. "Adele" is a lovely name, don't you think? I like the look of alarm on their faces before they decide I'm not serious. I recently offered such a suggestion via Facebook and received the following email from my friend:
Now that you mention it...
I was going to ask you if you would mind us considering Adele for baby girl? :) No lie. We love the name and had it on our list, but I wanted to be sure it was fly by you first? Do you mind?
The following passage sprang instantly to mind:
"Oh, I don't think so," said Diana... "I think people make their names nice or ugly just by what they are themselves. I can't bear Josie or Gertie for names now, but before I knew the Pye girls I thought them real pretty."Not that I think I'm quite there... but I am thrilled to hear that my name hasn't been ruined by, well, me. At least for this one friend. Not yet. Also, I am going to reread the Anne series. I've missed her.
"That's a lovely idea, Diana," said Anne enthusiastically. "Living so that you beautify your name, even if it wasn't beautiful to begin with... making it stand in people's thoughts for something so lovely and pleasant that they never think of it by itself."
Monday, June 1, 2009
A: Hey, Blake?
B: I need to give you some lovins.
M: We're glad Addie comes to Growth Group. Think of what her mouth would be like if she didn't!
I have a mid-level character in World of Warcraft. Yes, I do. Her name is Dieanna, and she's a hunter, which means she has a bow and arrow for when she has to pick fights. Despite the fact that she's an orc, Blake thinks she's beautiful and wants to be just like her, but a boy. A boy Dieanna... which worries me.
A: What do you want to call Grammie Joyce? Gma? Gigi? Oma?
B: How about Dieanna?
A: No, I meant a nickname, not a NEW name.
B: But Dieanna's a GREAT name!
B: Do you know what today is?
A: It's Mother's Day, when all moms get special lovins from their boys.
B: And from my dad?
B: Because he's extra lovable.
A: Thank you for having faith in my sense of humor, which you often seem to find... questionable.
R: Well, yeah, but you're funny.
B: Mom! I have some flowers for you!
A: I love flowers!
B: They're green ones.
A: I love green ones!
B: And they smell like firebombs. Like firebombs and chocolate.
B2: How old do you think I am?
B: Four? No, five.
B: Milk makes me feel good. Milk makes me healthy.
A: Milk DOES make you -
B: And sugar.
A: (grabbing B's bottom) I got your biscuits!
B: No! My biscuits have a lock on them.
R: Well, Mom has a master key that unlocks your biscuits and MY biscuits.
B: Mom, did Dad get your biscuits?
A: Yes, he did.
B: (whispering conspiratorially) Well, I will give you lots more biscuits. I will give you HIS biscuits too.
B: (to the Sherfey family dog, Thrall, barking loudly outside) Now, Frall, you need to stop barking.
You need to be quiet because I need to go to sleep.
It's very late, and I don't want to get in trouble.
Now, Frall! BE QUIET!
B: Mom, are Chris and Rachel still at the hospital?
A: Yes, but they come home today.
B: Well, I want them to come home right now, cuz I want to see that baby.
Aislynn Fae was born 5/25/09 at 6:01 pm. She's lovely!