Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

We had a great one. RJ was still recovering from surgery and adjusting to her new back brace, which is sort of a drag as she'll have to wear it for the next 3-4 months, hopefully to be liberated right around spring break, when we are known for disappearing to Austin and/or, occasionally, points even farther west.

But the upside of her convalescence is that we were forced to stay close to home, which led to a calm and relaxed pace. A few strategic outings include the Houston Thanksgiving Day Parade and her first visit to Hermann Park, which as the locals among you will be aware was an important milestone. We rode the paddle boats, indulged in sliders @ the new lakeside Little Big's, and did karate kid impersonations in front of the Sam Houston statue.

Plus my sis-in-law & mother-in-law cooked, and they are GOOD COOKS. We brought dessert.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Before and After.

The birthday girl, pre-second surgery.

Some compunctions that I can't quite name are preventing me from posting the before and after X-Rays of Rosemary's spine. I guess it just doesn't seem cool to me to post someone else's medical information on the internets. But I so wish I felt that I could. The change is so dramatic. Her spine is so much straighter.

We are home.

She turned 7.

Decimated cake served at the "monkey party" I threw together for her friends from school

She's lost her two front teeth. (I'll try to get a picture of this for all of you but I'm pretty sure it won't be easy, as it would require smiling directly at the camera, which she's not so into lately.)

One of a dozen or so shots where we try to get a pic with our girl on her birthday, and she tries valiantly to escape. This may be the best one we got.

So I guess we're caught up now, at least on the basics of this careening life of ours. Perhaps some more details will trickle out as time and my compunctions permit.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Number one with a bullet on the priorities list, along with her cute brothers.

I've been thinking a lot about priorities lately, thoughts mostly spurred by this insightful and humorous post on the subject. The gist of it is that priorities cannot be assigned to things, they can only be observed in action. Whatever you did first this morning, that was your priority. That thing that's been languishing at the so-called "top" of your to-do list for the last six months? Not.

What's great about this is how it helps you clarify what you really want and need to get done, and see whether or not you are taking the necessary steps--even if they're baby steps--toward those goals. Now I realize that there is a yawning chasm of literature on efficiency and productivity out there, and I'm not quite ready to jump in and embark on a full-scale GTD makeover of my life. Not yet, anyway, but I've realized I do need a better plan.

When you wake up and realize you have a house to run and three kids to parent and a (very) part time job that needs way more of you and maybe some other writing gigs you'd like to do on the side, well that can be a tad overwhelming, and it can be a lot easier to just sit down with the newspaper or hit the blogs and let all that stressful stuff slide for just one more day.

But if I'm keeping an ongoing inventory of all those real priorities and the possible ways to move each one forward a little bit each day, it helps narrow down the answers to the question "What should I do now?" from a million or so to a couple dozen. Which is somewhere to start, at least.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Week in Pictures, in Semi-Random Order

Yesterday RJ started feeling pretty good for the first time since her surgery. Thus we were able to leave her floor and the no-sibling-swine-flu-quarantine-zone for a little reunion with her brothers, who she hasn't seen since last Thursday.

Upon seeing them she high-tailed it back towards her room, and I thought the visit was over before it started, until she grabbed her bag of cotton candy, which she'd tried for the first time ever earlier that afternoon. She was on a mission to share.

Bringing cotton candy to visiting brothers.

Visiting brothers.

Getting her a chair-hair-wash. Cute but unhappy being photographed.

A tree covered in netting in the Med Center between our room and Chipotle, where one can go for good guacamole and tolerable margaritas if someone else is briefly minding little miss.

After taking Saturday night off while various grandmas cared for all the various kids. When this happens, there is no discussion about how Sunday morning will be spent. It's understood: cut church and head to Brasil with the Sunday Times. I always get the Big Waffle with Fruit, and read the Magazine first.

Oh, and I hope no one is disappointed not to see any out-the-window pics of cranes this time. We got, weirdly, the exact same room we had last time, leaving me bereft of a new or interesting view to photograph. I guess I could have continued my study of St. Luke's Hospital, a la that cathedral series that Monet did, but somehow I just didn't have it in me.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Quick Update from the 11th Floor, Texas Children's Hospital

We've been in the hospital since 10 am so no energy for posting just now; instead I'll let my dad's update to his distribution list sum things up:
Dear Friends and Family of Rosemary,

Rosemary entered the 2nd phase of her surgery at 2:30 pm today and we received several updates during the day that the process was progressing well. About 9:15 pm Dr. Bill Phillips came in and told us that the surgery had gone very well. He also took the time to show us the before and after X-rays of her spine. The transformation is remarkable and while she has a lengthy recuperation ahead of her, it appears that the result will be more than we could have hoped for. She will be in the hospital until at least mid-next week and then possibly in a brace for a while but the prognosis for her long-term recovery is very good. We visited her briefly in the recovery room and while she was recovering from the anesthetic she was still her angelic self.

We are so fortunate to have the exceptional Texas Children's Hospital Team, led by Dr. Phillips, taking care of Rosemary and appreciate all the prayers and support of Rosemary's family and friends.
Yes, what he said. Good night.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Found on the Hard Drive, Guangzhou Version

Taken while Skype-ing with grandparents....

Sunday, November 8, 2009

As Big As She Is?

On the road home from Austin.

Eating: ice cream & twizzlers
Listening: Louris/Olson & Delta Spirit
Thinking: wish we could just keep going.....

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

On the Way

Walking to school is cool.