Can You Call it a Vacation, Really?

We took a vacation!

I’m kidding. We went to the beach for an hour before Lorelei got sand in her bathing suit and said she was ready to go. The amount of time spent walking to and from the car, with all the sunscreen application, clothing changes, bathroom breaks, and showering was longer than time spent actually on the beach. We didn’t have Rowan with us, which may have felt more vacation-like since we didn’t have to keep him alive at the beach, but he was home with my parents because he had diarrhea. If you’ve got to use the word “diarrhea” in your description, it probably wasn’t much of a vacation.

When Lorelei was born, I discovered that having a kid in full-time daycare meant that summer was pretty much like the rest of the year. When she went to kindergarten I found it was different than the rest of the year, though not better or worse. We’ve traded homework for camp-bag packing. Anxiety about school is now anxiety about camp. And bonus, we have to figure out different camp’s schedules, forms, and logistics every week or two — but at least there are no committees.

We’ve still managed to do a lot of awesome and extravagant things this summer!

We went on a lovely family nature hike

To the museum down the street. Where I ran into an ex-boyfriend and had an awkward conversation. Because it was a hike, and definitely not a half-mile leisurely stroll, I had not taken a shower or washed my hair. Of course. Also, Rowan screamed a lot.

kids on my back


There was a day spent at the luxurious Lorelei Day Spa

For the low price of one already stained hand towel, Rowan was able to get a pedicure, full makeover, and rainbow highlights. Because I fail to actually bathe my kids more than absolutely necessary, he’s still got a pink scalp. I call it accessorizing.

rowan's nails

Lots of live music

You guys know how much I love a good concert. Rowan is really developing a flair for the dramatic. He’s tried to smash that uke a few times.

rowan playing music

We took a trip for artisanal shaved frozen water

Rowan, always one for experimental food, dropped part of his artisanal shaved frozen water in his lap and screamed that it was touching him. I threw the offending pile of slushy ice into the grass. He walked over, scooped it up, and put it back in his cup. He says to appreciate the process. Lorelei, ever dedicated to becoming a mermaid, went with the darkest blue color she could. Bonus points: The next night when I was trying to take a bath I got to hear a very detailed description of Lorelei’s poop and the after effects of a blue snoball.

snow cones

Remember that beach trip?

I achieved the perfect beachy waves that would have cost seventymillionty dollars at Lorelei’s Day Spa. I couldn’t see to walk but sometimes we have to pay a price to look this amazing.


A friend and I hit what may or may not be Durham’s hottest night spot.

We wouldn’t know since we finished our $13 drinks before it even got dark. Probably not, though.

drinks at sunset

Rowan and I checked out an oxygen bar

Some might call it the pulmonology department of Duke Children’s Hospital but would a hospital give you prepackaged graham crackers and a tiny orange juice?

pulm office

I was wondering how they would do a pulmonary function test on a two-year-old. It turns out they put a mask over his face and tried to get him to cry. Luckily, putting a mask on his face pretty much always makes him cry. Then they gave him a breathing treatment and repeated the pulmonary function test. Since he wasn’t having an active flair, the results told me much what I expected — his breathing is fine until it’s not. And when it’s not, it’s really really not. Today’s results were fantastic. I showed the pulmonologist some of the videos of his breathing over the last two years and she was dutifully impressed with the skin retractions and general breathing struggle.

She wants to be more aggressive with treating his asthma flairs. We are ditching the Pulmicort entirely in favor of Qvar — I’m not sure her reasoning for that one. We are also changing from Xoponex to Albuterol — this doctor thinks Albuterol works better. The best news, however, is that we are going to try using an inhaler and spacer for day-to-day use! That (hopefully) means no more twice-daily nebulizers, which are a much bigger pain in the ass when traveling. If he has a big flair and the Albuterol in the inhaler isn’t cutting it, then we can also do a neb. The spacer does have a mask, but it’s a much smaller mask that he doesn’t seem to mind as much.

She wants us to use the Albuterol 3-4 times per day at the very first sniffle or sign of a cold. I need to talk to daycare and see if administering the inhaler via spacer is something they can do. Trying to get over there to do a nebulizer treatment in the middle of the day has been difficult.

We have a better plan of action now as far as flairs go. Before it was entirely up to my gut feeling, which is complicated at best. Now, if we have to use the Albuterol more than four times per day for two days, we are supposed to call the on-call pulmonologist. She also gave me her email address — this is fantastic (I love the DukeMyChart email feature as well) because I’m so much more likely to quickly write a question than I am to call.

We had a long wait in the exam room before the pulmonologist came in. Rowan was watching PBS kids on my phone so I was just staring off into space, trying to ignore Daniel Tiger. Though I did find out that Daniel thinks I’m very special, so that was nice.

Then I saw this. WHY GOD WHY?! That is not a trick of your eyes — the chair rail grey stripe around the room is at completely different heights on one side of the sink and the other. IT BURNS.

wall paint


Self-care these days is roller skating, therapy, and baths

I should probably wrap this up with some sort of cheery monologue about making the most of what we have.

Roller skating now involves listening to Lorelei whine incessantly for more quarters. Baths have the poop monologues. Therapy has gotten difficult — rewarding, but difficult. Honestly, therapy is still the highlight of some weeks, because I’m the only one whining.

Should this end with a nice diatribe about how we can cherish the small moments of life without all the fancy vacations and spa days?

Fuck all that noise. Send me somewhere tropical.


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