Watermelon Roses

A collection of random thoughts, commentaries, and journaling. There is a lot to explore here, including links to other sites of mine. These are mostly for my own benefit, but guests are welcome to browse and explore as much or as little as they like.

Friday, May 26, 2006


Testing, testing ... can I post yet?

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Mina's and Layla's 2006 Butterfly Festival

Dressed for the occasion.

The butterfly festival at the Dallas Zoo gets better every year. Held in the Mina and Layla Butterfly Garden in honor of our girls, it is such a nice tribute to the joy they shared in their short time here with us. The zookeepers honored the immediate family with a lovely breakfast held in the garden which was reserved just for us for the first hour after the zoo opened. Our invited guests started arriving a little before 10am, and were invited to help themselves to the food for as long as it lasted. We had some beautiful butterfly cookies made for the occasion by
Cookies By Design, and they did a wonderful job with them.

Mina's best friend and her family were in attendance, as well as several of our
Compassionate Friends and friends and co-workers with small children. A schedule of events for the weekend was handed out to each guest of the zoo as they entered the front gates, and we had quite a crowd for the live butterfly release at 11am. There were 50 monarch butterflies for the release, most of which were given to the children present. A few adults released the rest. For those who have never participated in a butterfly release, it can be a little disconcerting to be handed a waxy envelope with a folded-up butterfly inside. Parents helped the little ones take care not to squish the butterflies, and on the count of three, we all opened our envelopes. In cooler weather, children and adults alike are delighted to find that the butterflies stick around and rest on the people to stretch their wings until they warm up enough to fly away. Today, though, it was so warm that all 50 butterflies immediately flew up and away as the envelopes were opened. It was beautiful to watch, and it was so nice to see how happy it made everyone. I'd love to have someone on the roof next year to take a picture as the butterflies make their escape with the crowd below.

We think of the girls all the time, and anyone who has lost someone knows that you don't necessarily need a certain spot to go to remember them. At the same time, we can't help going to the cemetery from time to time to reflect on their lives or to talk to them. It's so nice to have a happier place to go as well where we can see their names, know that they are remembered and thought of by many, and see how happy it makes people, especially children, who visit there.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Ailments Abound

It all started with Kitty on Sunday night. Vomiting, listlessness, loss of appetite. Scared of paying hundreds of dollars for a vet to tell me it would pass in a day or two, I decided to wait and see, making sure there was nothing poisonous she was getting into, and bringing water to her rather than making her go to the water. Cleaning up after her was the most annoying part, but I know it wasn't her fault. On Wednesday, I took her to Banfield, the veterinary hospital associated with PetSmart. They wanted me to leave her with them, then called me an hour later to tell me she was too aggressive for them to examine. She's never been aggressive before, so I chalk it up to not feeling well and not having me there. They wanted to charge over $500 for sedation, blood tests, and x-rays, but K didn't want to do that, so they just gave her a couple of injections, prescribed antibiotics, and sent us on our way. I gave her the antibiotics (not fun) but she was still vomiting last night (on my bed) and there was a tinge of pink to it, so I called a different vet and took her in today. I saw the aggressive behavior, but they were very good with her and didn't have to sedate her. She had a fever and x-rays showed lung congestion, so we're calling it pneumonia at the moment. They're keeping her for the weekend, giving her our antibiotics and adding another, and trying to get her to eat a little bit. All of this is still less than Banfield wanted to charge.

I got sick Monday night, and hardly slept due to nausea and cramping. I couldn't keep anything down on Tuesday, and ended up very dehydrated and in the hospital for baby monitoring. Baby is fine. I felt weak on Wednesday morning, but much better by afternoon, which is about the time K got sick. He barely made it home from work, crawled into bed cramping and shivering, and slept it off. We were both fine yesterday, but I have nausea and cramping again today, though I'm trying harder not to get dehydrated for baby's sake.

I also experienced the worst ever leg cramps this morning. This happened one other time about a month ago. Last time, I lay in bed stretching after I woke up when my left inner thigh just completely seized up. I knew it was a muscle cramp and that I should try to stretch it out, but I'd never had a muscle cramp anywhere other than the backs of my calves before. I tried to stand up, but I was just in too much pain and collapsed back onto the bed, curled around my leg and scaring Layth with my crying, wondering if it was stupid to call 911 over a leg cramp that just wouldn't pass, and pretty sure I'd never make it to the phone anyway. It did eventually pass, though that muscle was sore all day after that.

So this morning, when I felt a cramp start on the outside of my right calf, I quickly got out of bed to stretch it before the cramp got bad. Unfortunately, the moment I was out of bed, not only did the right outer calf muscle completely seize up, but that horrid left inner thigh muscle seized up as well. Honestly, that inner thigh cramp is worse than labor. It is! Shorter, maybe, but worse. I was almost upright when it hit, and I tried desperately to stand up straight and stretch it out, but it was too tight, and I couldn't even stand. Meanwhile, I couldn't keep quiet because it hurt too much, and I woke Layth up and scared him. His words of comfort to me? "Mama, I need to go hide so I won't hear you." Poor Layth. I tried walking (hobbling) a bit, and made it as far as the foot of the bed before I gave up, leaning against the wall and his dresser, practicing my childbirth breathing (which helps with any kind of pain, really,) and watching the time to see just how long this thing really lasted. (Seven minutes, this time.) As much as it hurt to stand, I was scared to sit or do anything that might let that muscle contract any further. After the seven minutes had passed, I was able to hobble delicately down the hall, and by the time I reached the kitchen, there was just a shadow of the pain left. Again, that muscle has been sore all day, and I've decided to eat two bananas a day for the potassium, make a concentrated effort not to become dehydrated again, no matter how nauseous I feel, and to be sure not to skip my calcium supplements and skimmed milk. I'm actually scared to go to bed now, for fear of morning cramping! Hopefully the potassium/calcium/water plan will work.