Numero Tres

Cora and I were sharing a snack of almonds. It was around 4:30 which is around the time I start getting dinner ready. I left her on the couch with the rest of our snack. Magnolia was rolling around on the rug playing with her toys. I'd been in the kitchen for less than a minute when coughing erupted from the living room. It was Cora. She was holding her water. It's not an uncommon thing for her to choke on water. I continued on looking at the recipe and gathering ingredients. She continued coughing, and then the sneezes came.

"Cora, did you put something up your nose?"

"What'd you did say, Mama?"

"Did you put an almond up your nose?"


I looked. One nostril is full of almond pieces. And lots of snot and eye water are dripping down her face. I ran for the tweezers. They were my go-to for the rubber bands she liked to inhale. There wasn't enough room to get on either side of the pieces. I sent Jake a text. He called me and came home from work. He drove the car today because of the rain, so I was glad he was at a point where he could pick up and leave.

After a few failed attempts, and a worked up child, we headed for the ER. We were lucky enough to be in a room that OCU's art students had painted for a competition. It was fitting. After the inspection, the doctor was on her way to get a team and some tools for almond removal. She came back a few minutes later with another doctor and told us she'd forgotten about a certain trick that works almost all the time in dislodging foreign objects in the nasal cavity.

One of us would plug her good nostril, and the other one would cover her whole mouth with their mouth and blow. The air would force the blockage out. Jake was the plugger, and I ended up with snot on my face. After several tries, an interruption from the lady who gets all of the information, and a semi-traumatized three-year-old, we got it. Though it didn't pop right out. The pieces separated enough to come down her nose to the point where we could grab one at a time. I was impressed she got them both up there.

(On a penny.)

(You can't get a good height perception from the picture, but the almonds are as tall as six pennies.)

After an orange popcicle and discharge papers, we went to the Wedge in Deep Deuce for a vegan pizza. We're now home, both girls are in bed, our minds are armed with a fabulous dislodging technique, and I'm sitting next to two exciting almond halves.

PS: This is the third time Cora has been to the ER. Once when she was thirteen months old for possible straight pin, the second was on Christmas day just before her second birthday when we thought her foot might be broken, and now today. Maybe Magnolia will be adventurous in different ways...

Conversations with Cora

Me: Cora, I want to be a writer. I want to write books and share ideas that make people think.

Cora: I want to write cards for people to be happier and hearts and their name and send mail to them. I want to be a writer, too.

Well Child Checks

Cora and Magnolia both went to the doctor today. I don't know what it is about seeing their heights/weights/head circumferences on a growth chart that's comforting. I love that little set of curves that tracks how they've grown over time. They're doing really well. I'm thankful everyday that they are in overall good health.

Cora's Three-year stats:
Height: 38.6 inches - 80th percentile
Weight: 34 pounds - 80th percentile

She's growing in perfect proportions. It didn't used to be that way. It looked more like Magnolia's, except she was longer so there was a bigger discrepancy between her height and weight.

Magnolia's Eight-month stats (it was really her 6-month check, but we did it late because her doctor was on maternity leave after having twin boys - the percentiles go by her age):
Height: 26 inches - 25th percentile
Weight: 15 pounds - 6th percentile
Head Circumference: 17 inches - 35th percentile

Her growth chart has very even curves. She has always been right around the 6th percentile for weight, and the 25th for height. That's just where she likes to be. And I like her there, though I'm pretty sure she's about to go through a growth spurt. She has some seriously cute thigh rolls.

PS: A percentile on a growth chart is where a child falls in relation to children their own age. So Magnolia is in the 6th percentile for weight - she weighs the same or more than 6% of children her age, and less than 94%. Cora is in the 80th percentile for weight - she weighs the same or more than 80% of children her age, and less than 20%. More important than where a child falls on the growth chart at any particular time, is how a child has grown over time. So 6% looks like a small number, but that number has been a consistent part of Magnolia's growth chart. If she went from a higher number, like say 20% and then fell to 6%, we would start looking at what caused the drop. I imagine it works the same for large spikes in a growth chart as well.

This is just to say...

My normally simple life has been busier than usual this past week. Cora turned 3. THREE I tell you on Tuesday. She had a cute little party with her two best friends, Avery and Rachel. I need to upload the pictures still. There are some cute ones, and a fun video of all three girls spinning in Cora's egg chair. Jake has had the computer all the time for work and school as his work computer had a whack-attack. When I do get a moment, I realize the camera cord is in our room where Magnolia is sleeping. Anyway, look forward to it.

Cora also went to gymnastics with Rachel on Friday. I was oohing and awing over her. It's fun to see what she does when she isn't at my side. I've always been impressed.

Jake and I spoke in church today, so I've spent a few days getting that together. A few days when I've known about it for over a month. I am a procrastinator. Really. I always have been. It's part of my "method," and I've learned not to be ashamed. I think it went well. Any time I've spoken in church, I've had a reignited fire to write more.

This evening I spent a while reading aloud from Anne Sexton's The Awful Rowing Towards God. I love her. I do. I do. I do. It was fun to have my own little reading. Jake suggested I read poetry out loud every day, perhaps as a way of breaking my "dry spell" in writing. I think it's a good idea. Here is one of my favorites from the book (one of my favorites ever to be exact).

Small Wire

My faith

is a great weight

hung on a small wire,

as doth the spider

hang her baby on a thin web,

as doth the vine,

twiggy and wooden,

hold up grapes

like eyeballs,

as many angels

dance on the head of a pin.

God does not need

too much wire to keep Him there,

just a thin vein,

with blood pushing back and forth in it,

and some love.

As it has been said:

Love and a cough

cannot be concealed.

Even a small cough.

Even a small love.

So if you have only a thin wire,

God does not mind.

He will enter your hands

as easily as ten cents used to

bring forth a Coke.

PS: The weather has been beautiful. We've been outside a lot in the last week. I like it that way.

On Veganism

I wrote this post over a week ago. Well, the list portion of it. The rest of it was emotionally driven. It didn't seem to match me. It was spurned on by someone commenting on our decision to become vegan, and basically saying that not everything we read on-line is true, and most sources, especially PETA have an agenda and use a lot of sensationalism. Apparently my love of (and quest for) facts hasn't quite infiltrated everyone I know. I've been actively studying nutrition for the last four years (and have been casually learning more about food and how it affects the body for most of my adult life). I created this list as a way of showing some of the books we've read and movies we've watched. And no, PETA had no influence on our decision (I think I've been to their site maybe three times in my whole life), you know, just for the record.

World Peace Diet - Will Tuttle
In Defense of Food - Michael Pollan
May All Be Fed - John Robbins
Get Healthy, Go Vegan - Dr. Neal Barnard
Whitewash: the Disturbing Truth About Cow's Milk and your Health - Joseph Keon
Spontaneous Healing - Dr. Andrew Weil
Healthy Aging - Dr. Andrew Weil
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vegan Eating for Kids - Dr. Andrew Villamagna and Dana Villamagna, MSJ
The Word of Wisdom - Verses 13 and 15 had never really stood out to me until recently. I love that they are included. Or maybe I love that they basically say the same thing, and that thing is included twice.
Food Matters
Food, Inc.
King Corn
The Future of Food
No Impact Man
FLOW: For Love of Water
Super Size Me
The Beautiful Truth
Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days - I've loved all of the movies I listed, some more than others (the Beautiful Truth has some ridiculously cheesy narration, though I admire the boy's quest), but this one struck an especially personal chord. Like many people, diabetes is quite rampant in my family, and to see the drastic effects changing one's diet can have on this disease astounded me.

(From one of my favorite farmer's markets. It's part of Davis Ranch in Sloughhouse, CA)

It Takes a Village - Help Tyson and Tracy Adopt!

Tyson and Tracy are my cousin and his wife. They have been married for over nine years. After a long patch of being unable to get pregnant, they started trying to adopt three years ago. They've encountered a plethora of obstacles, but just a short time ago were given some news they'd been waiting to hear: A young woman had selected them as the family to raise her baby. She is due in six weeks, which is why Tyson and Tracy came to their family and friends for help. They won't have all of the funds required to make this a reality by the time this baby boy arrives. We're trying to get as many people as possible to help in whatever way they can. I know they will appreciate any form or generosity.
Click here for direct access to the facebook page they created.

Finally, I want to leave you with their story, which is also available to read on their facebook page. I'll keep you updated on their story as it continues to unfold.

"I'm not very good at sharing personal experiences or letting the whole world know what’s going on, or asking for help for that matter, but I am about to do all of these things.

I don't know how many of you know our story but here is the short version: Tyson and I have been married over 9 years now, with no luck or even sign of a child, and have been trying to adopt for over 3 years with one problem after the other from the very beginning, even with our paper work nothing has gone the way it is supposed to. Our Social Worker even told someone that we have probably had the worst experience ever!

We had actually gotten to the point where we decided it would either work out or it wouldn’t; we were tired of fighting everything along the way.

Last Thursday, we received a call from our Social worker telling us a young woman had picked our profile and wanted to meet with us. I was in disbelief at what was happening as I listened to the things he was telling me. I can explain the anxiety and nervousness that was building up just waiting to hear when we were going to meet.

Well, it was Monday. I was very nervous. Tyson wasn't nervous until we actually walked in the room and met this young woman. Then it finally became real to him.

It is a very interesting experience to meet with someone you are hoping will like you, and decide that you are the family she wants to give her baby to. It's even worse when you leave still not knowing what she has decided, and you hope from her reactions that it was all positive.

This is the reason we have waited to let all of you know this situation -- because we were unsure of it going anywhere.

We have received a few emails from this young woman and feel like this could really happen. I would love to wait and make sure, but it is never a sure thing with adoption. She has 72 hours after the baby is born to change her mind.

The other catch we have, and I always kind of felt would happen, is the time frame. The baby is due in about 6 weeks, which means we could be expecting the arrival in the next 4 to 8. You know how indecisive those babies are on when they want to come out. :)

Putting this on facebook is my letting the whole world know my personal experiences, and now I ask for help. Adoption is not cheap, and although we have been trying to save when possible, we definitely don't have enough at this time to get this baby in a few weeks, so we are asking for all of your help.

Whether it is a fundraising idea, a donation, just your help in putting on a fundraiser, we are all ears.

We put a paypal button on our facebook page if you would like to donate that way. Please let everyone know. I know they say it takes a village to raise a baby, well this time it is going to take a village to get the baby. :) We love you all and are very grateful for your support in this.

By the way, the baby is a BOY! I figured you all might like to know that little bit of information, too.

As time goes on, the more I know, the more you will know. I will post our experiences as we go along."


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