Thursday, February 22, 2007

Writer's Rant and Regrouping

Life’s been more than a bit crazed lately. The end result: less butt in chair time than I’m used to, which means I'm a bit crabby.

Some of the projects/issues/commitments I’ve been juggling this week (in no particular order):

1. Crit group submission. Met with crit group Tuesday, which meant punching out a new J chapter late last week and part of Saturday, and subbing it in time for J and A to review prior to meeting. So grateful to have a biweekly deadline with J and A. Without it, I KNOW life would find a way to erode all my writing time.

2. Eye doctor. Took E to the pediatric opthalmologist yesterday, the first time in three years. This was a victory of sorts, because up until this school year, E’s been too sick to keep any appointments. Then with last year’s aneurysm surgery, her surgeon recommended waiting a good six months or more before making an eye appointment. Anyhoo, it’s been so long since the last visit, E endured a three-hour extravaganza of eye drops and testing and whatnot. Thankfully, E’s prescription changed far less than expected. To an overworked writer mom who already feels guilty about how many balls she drops any given day, this was welcome news.

3. Parents’ Meeting. Attended a parent group Saturday for a meeting sponsored by the Morris Service Dog Program, the organization that supplied E’s service dog, Jewel. The topic of the day: services dogs in schools. Extremely helpful to exchange ideas on what works and what doesn’t with the Powers that Be. We also received great news. Equip for Equality, the disability rights organization that represented P and I during the Jewel-at-School incident last fall, will be meeting with our parent group next month to give us the tools we need to advocate for our children and their service dogs at school and in the community.

4. Flat tire. Not the kind that allows you to limp around another week or two before you find a convenient time to fix it. No, this tire was on my primary hall-around-the girls-and-all-their-gear car. And, of course, it decided to go all-out flat. No problem. Just let me get a fix on that clone I ordered…

5. Bum engine. About the time I figured out I couldn’t coax the tire another couple or three days, the engine light came on. As I type this post, I’m waiting at the car place to hear the verdict. Updated to add: it’s the gaskets. Thank the Powers that Be for extended warranties or we’d be in serious financial doo-doo.

6. Crazed Wednesday. Yesterday was the day from heck. Rarely do I allow my days to get so overbooked. I ran from the time I dropped the girls off at school to the tire place to fix the flat. Back home to eat a quick lunch, throw dinner in the crock pot, and pack up supplies for a special Scout meeting (see number 7 for details). From home back to school to get the girls. From school to the Scout meeting to help S get dressed in her hanbok and set up her display. From the meeting back home to eat, assist the girls with homework (both need one-on-one help because of special needs which makes for interesting evenings). Then out to the store for dog food because we were totally out. (A rare occurrence, running out like that because it feels like I’m at Target enough times during the week that I should own stock. Anyway, the fact that the pooches didn’t even have one nugget of Purina One to share between them is an indication of the last week’s insanity.) After returning home: collapsed, stoked up the teapot, sipped green tea, and, much to my surprise, perked up after the girls got to bed. Why? An incredibly enjoyable read: Lily’s Ghosts by Laura Ruby.

7. Mandu out the wah-zoo. Over the weekend S and I made nearly 100 mandu (the Korean equivalent of the Chinese egg roll) in preparation for a Tasting Tea at Girl Scouts. The tea gives the girls and their guests a chance to taste all sorts of food and drink from countries around the world. S picked her own country, and decided she wanted to serve mandu (S loves mandu so much that she eats a whole plate when we go out for Korean, which is amusing given how tiny she is). Anyway, she was so excited about sharing her birth country with everyone she even decided to dress up in her hanbok. She looked like a princess.

8. Talent Show. A sign that our family’s finally on the mend: S had time to try out for and make the talent show at school (something she wouldn’t have had time to do last year between E’s surgery, recovery and after-school therapy sessions.) The performance was last Friday. It was so delightfully amateur, that we had great fun watching it. Imagine one big living room get together where the kids all decide to do a show, and announce, “Mom, Dad, we want to show you our dance.”

9. Paying it Forward. Made stir-fry with egg rolls and fried rice, and packed it up for one of the families E and Jewel train with. Turns out the Dad of one of E’s friends was diagnosed recently with leukemia. How fair is that? Already dealing with a kid with significant special needs and now this. Families at the center organized to make meals while the Dad undergoes harvesting of blood in preparation for future treatments. Making this and other meals like it is my way of paying it forward for the meals and errands so many people did for us during Elena’s surgeries, recoveries, and hospitalizations. Having homecooked meals on hand made a big difference in our lives during those early days because after sitting at E's bedside all day doing the simplest of tasks--like a load of dishes or returning phone calls--took gi-normous effort.

10. There’s more. I’m sure there is…one that comes to mind for the top of the list: prep for tomorrow’s teen writer’s group which means slogging through 60-plus emails to be sure I’m up to speed on our theme for the day. As for the rest...

More later after I decompress.

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