slide show

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Mimi's post-op tonsillectomy and adnoidectomy


7 kiddos later and I find it kinda odd that we hadn't dealt with a tonsillectomy before now. But we hadn't, and Mimi was the first. Due to sleep apnea (Seriously folks, that girl snored! And more importantly, she was struggling to get her breath when she was sleeping. A simple iPhone video of her labored breathing while sleeping eliminated the need for a sleep study thank golly!) we decided  that it was best to get them out now. Her tonsils were really big and the doc thought her adenoids probably were too. As it turned out, her adenoids were even bigger.

I talked to lots of moms who had been there, done that, and heard a lot of stories. Most of them had a common theme.
The surgery was the easy part.
The recovery was a bear.

So we bought lots of ice cream, popsicles, and jello and prepared for the worst.
Coming out of surgery was tough. Maybe it's even tougher on moms cause the patient doesn't even remember any of the crying or the drool or misery. The nurse told me at one point post-op Mimi decided she wanted nothing to do with all the tubes and wires on her and decided to pull them all out. By the time I got to be with her, she was pretty up set and still really groggy. In the pic above she's still pretty upset with all the stuff on her hands, only half conscious and can't figure out what to with her hands. But in a couple hours she was coming around, and we were on our way home. 

The next couple days weren't great. But they weren't awful either. She didn't really want to eat or drink anything including all that ice cream or popsicles. But we were able to keep her hydrated with yellow Gatorade, the only color she was willing to drink and sweet sister Livy ran out to buy her.

By day 3 she was starting to smile, seem more like herself and ice cream with chocolate syrup was getting consumed 4-5 times a day. 

By day 5 she was still complaining about a soar throat, but she was splashing in the pool, playing with her brothers and sisters and starting to eat with the rest of us. 

On day 6 I begged the doctor to give her the okay to go back up the mountain to Little Cabin in the Woods. 115 degree isn't conducive to healing I explained. He agreed. 

And 2 weeks later, her she is!
Her smiley, bubbly, giggly, happy self! And I'm glad to have her back!

She's sleeping SO much better now! No more snoring at all! Her bed wetting has been reduced by more than half, and she's not falling asleep in the middle of the day like she used to. In general she just seems more refreshed and well rested than prior to surgery. 

All in all, I think we lucked out and had a pretty fast and uneventful recovery. And for that I am so thankful! 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Pow-Wow in the Pines (Little Jingle Dancer)


I loved how you can see the little jingles on her skirt bouncing up and down. And the skirts of the women behind her with their still jingles in comparison.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Pow-Wow in the Pines (Jingle Dancer)

You didn't think I was done did you?
I don't remember my tween or early teen years (I'm guessing on her age) looking so graceful and beautiful. I remember them all awkward, buck-teeth, knock kneed and things growing disproportionately. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Did I tell you the one about how the home inspection went...


I interrupt the regularly scheduled pow-wow pics to bring you a PSA about what not to do during your foster care home inspection. If you're sitting down eating a danish and a cup of coffee and having a relaxing moment, I warn you to NOT read any further. The following is disturbing.

Fair warning...

I'm up at Little Cabin in the Woods, and Papa is down at Medium House in the Desert on the weekdays, so we knew he'd be the one to meet with Mrs. Foster Care House Inspector Lady. We had prepped the house before I left according to the 16-page PDF, Life Safety Inspections-The Rules in Plain English. Ya, that's really it's name of it. Sounds easy enough, right? Of course the house inspection is in the middle of a work day, so Papa had to take off work to meet with Mrs. House Inspector Lady. Actually by the time he got there, she was already in her car waiting for him. So there was no time to do a last minute check of the house.

They walked up the walkway together. What could go wrong?

Now this is the point of the story where I digress.

We have 2 dogs, Australian Shepherds. One is teenager pain-in-the-bum dog. And the other is old lady sweet-as-a-pea dog. Old lady sweet-as-a-pea dog is old. 14 years old to be exact. She moves like an old lady. She can't hear like an old lady. She snores like an old lady. And she farts like an old lady. But luckily she's not snappy or incontinent or anything... yet. She's still sweet, and I really love her with all my being.

Back to the visit with Mrs. House Inspector Lady.
16-year-old Patch was home while Papa was at work. So it's his job to make sure the dog door was open and/or let the dogs out when need be. Both dogs are really good at telling you when they need to go outside. Patch on the other hand is not good about hearing them when they tell him they need to go out. He's a teenage boy and sleeps a lot at random times of day, especially during summer break. Kinda like old lady sweet-as-a-pea dog. Except that old lady sweet-as-a-pea dog evidently could not get her message across to Patch and could not get out to do her business! And when Papa and Mrs. House Inspector Lady walked in the door, they were greeted with a large and warm pile of poo. Yep! Right there in the entrance as soon as you walk in the door, where one would only have the option of not coming in or stepping over it. It's was a big and reportedly very smelly gift right there front and center. Seriously, this type of thing has never happened before! And ya, that was the same person who got to decide if this is an acceptable foster home.

I have no idea if Papa and Mrs. House Inspector Lady stepped over the stenchy poo pile or what.  I'm pretty sure that when Papa got to this part of the story I blacked out and stopped hearing it all together. I envisioned Mrs. House Inspector Lady in a pencil skirt and blazer whipping out her clip board and feverishly scribbling notes right then and there. I didn't ask if this disqualifies us for foster care either. I'm pretty sure it would if I was in charge. But I know that the licensing process is still underway so I guess not.

'Cause like I said before, they're desperate!

Okay, back to pow-wow pics which are a much more appealing visual anyway.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Pow-Wow in the Pines (for the Dads)


It seems only appropriate to have a pic of a dad today.
In a good way, pow-wows are an assault to the senses. Every one of the 5 senses is engaged. The sounds of the drums are full and strong in your ears. The colors and movements are bold and everywhere. The food tastes so good and familiar. You can feel the strong beat of the drum deep inside yourself and the warmth of the sun on their skin. And the smell of the dust and fried foods is in the air. So I always find it interesting to see what happens when I take away one of those components. 
Color. 
Without the distraction color I'm drawn immediately to his face. His emotion. His connection with the dance. 
As an artist, it doesn't always work, but I think it did this time. 

Happy Father's Day out there to Papa, my love, the father of our 7 children who is the best man for the job on the whole planet. And my papa, whose continued unconditional love for me is still a part of who I am and why I do what I do. This is still true, more and more every day. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Pow-Wow in the Pines (determination)


It was a dusty and hot afternoon, and this young man commanded attention amongst a ring full of dancers!
I couldn't decide which I liked more, his braids or his determination. I loved him for both!

PS - Isn't the regalia just amazing? So much detail!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Pow-Wow in the Pines (I want to be her)


I mean I really really want to be her so badly!
I'm pretty sure she's the Native American version of Audrey Hepburn, and I'm very jelly!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Pow-Wow in the Pines "We don't inherit the world from our ancestors. We borrow it from our children."


How 'bout one of the boys this time.
I mean seriously?
Ya, seriously.
It was that good!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Pow-Wow in the Pines (butterflies and lip gloss)


You know how some little girls are girly girls? And some little girls are ninjas? I had the feeling that this little dancer was a total girly girl with her butterflies and lip gloss. She was captivating, and I loved her all the more for it! 
I don't normally get a lot of pinks, purples and pastels with pow-wow pics. I did this year, and it was a delightful surprise. And again, I seem to be drawn to images these days where people have their eye closed. Keeps making me wonder what their thinking at that very moment.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The pow-wow photos


If you've been hanging around these parts for a while, you know about my annual pow-wow pics. Every year I have to go to the Pow-Wow in the Pines on the Apache Indian Reservation. Every year I have to take pics. This year I passed on a photography workshop in the CA bay area to go. Okay every year but last year that is, seeing as how I was sweating up a storm here and couldn't make it. That's why it was even more important that I got to the pow-wow this year. And let me tell you that it did not disappoint!

At first I was disheartened when we got there. It was the most crowded I had ever seen it and finding any seat, much less a good seat to take photographs in was looking pretty impossible.
Full sun.
Windy.
Crowded.
I know those of you reading this who are photographers understand and are feeling my pain. I just didn't think it was going to happen. I wandered around aimlessly for a while, wondering if I should just forget about taking pics, eat fry bread instead and go home. But then I had a revelation that I had a little secret weapon with me, Mimi. Like any other soccer mom trying to get their child a good view, I worked up some courage and made my way past the bleachers, past the folding chairs all the way to the very front. And I plopped my bum down on the dirt with Mimi on my lap. I motioned for a couple other random moms who were also looking for a better view, to let their kiddos come join us right there in the very front, and they did. Mimi and her new friends sat with me, watched the dancers, listened to the drums and drew in the dirt for a couple hours. Papa came and got Mimi when she got bored. And I snapped away the whole time. My legs fell asleep. I'm not sure I had ever been more uncomfortable. I was sun burnt and incredibly filthy 4 hours later.
And it was so so very good.

I'm going to post 1 image a day for as long as I keep editing.
I just happened to be there when there were lots of children dancing so you're going to see lots of the little ones. And they were so so good. There is something magical that happens at a pow-wow, deep down in your soul. (And I'm not talking about the fry bread although I'm not going to lie. That doesn't hurt!) It was truly an honor to be there.

I hope you enjoy the pics as much as I enjoyed being there!
PS- If anyone ever wants to hire me to shoot a pow-wow, any pow-wow, this 1/32nd Choctaw woman is happy to go anywhere, any time.

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