Thursday, December 11, 2014

Merry Faceless Christmas


Greetings to family and friends,
Megan was recently in California where she ran into many old friends (most of whom are on Facebook) and almost every single one of them said, "who are those kids?" So, realizing that we may not have done a great job keeping others informed - here is your 2014 Evans Family Update:

Let's first address the elephant (in the form of a 3.5 year old and an almost 2 year old) in the room:
Brandon and Megan became foster parents in February. The whole process from top to bottom took about 9 months - of which, the last 4 months were spent trying to convince the State of Arizona that we did, in fact, have car seats.

In mid-March, we were notified that we would have 2 little boys move in. They were brothers - 18 months and 3 months old. Megan got herself ready for a little baby by practicing getting up in the middle of the night. She was a complete failure at it. Then, two days before the move-in date - with a blue and green nursery decorated - we were notified that the boys would be placed into a different home to be with relatives.

Back to square one.

This time, no specific children were in mind for us. So, our licensing worker showed up with a 14-page document including 473 names. The information was limited to name, date of birth, primary language and current living situation (e.g. shelter, emergency foster placement, etc).

With no real criteria to guide our decision-making, we decided to pick the only kids on the list with our same last name. And, so it was. We met them for about 45 minutes on a Thursday, they had a day pass to our home the next Sunday, and then they moved in 3 days later on Wednesday, April 2. Status: "Only temporary. Maybe 2 months."

Eight months later with severance apparently [hopefully??] on the horizon, let us introduce you to the two little girls that captured our hearts:

·         The 3-year-old with long, light brown hair
o   AKA Ms. Independence.
o   She is full of silliness and energy. Sometimes she smiles so hard that her eyes bug out and cross - I have basically forgotten the facial anatomy, but I think this is natural.
o   While in Utah in November, she cut her own bangs - Ms. Independence in the study with the scissors. Upon discovery, she confessed that she had watched carefully where the scissors were put away after doing a craft with Grandma, LIED about needing to go potty while we watched a movie, and then snuck upstairs to cut her hair because it was in her eyes. Ladies and gentlemen, she. is. three. Criminal mastermind at three!
o   She is a candy fiend.
o   She has recently taken to dressing herself each morning. This usually looks like a girly, twirly dress with a shirt and pants underneath. You won't hear any complaints from us.
o   She loves to read books in her room - easily describing the pictures and making up her own storylines.
o   She is OBSESSED with "Blue Elsa" - she sings the songs from Frozen's to herself at night, she used to sit outside the bathroom while Megan was [eh-hem] indisposed to ask if she "wanted to build a snow man" through the door, and she loves wearing her Halloween costume around the house... leaving a trail of blue glitter everywhere she goes.
o   If she knows she has crossed a line, she quickly asks for a "big hug and a kiss.
o   She is a natural athlete and is known to run up to 2.5 miles without stopping only to arrive home and ask if she can ride her bike. When Brandon thinks about her - he thinks of a little tiny girl with big hair bouncing around as she runs.
·         The almost-2-year-old with short, dark brown hair
o   When she first moved in she looked remarkably a lot like Liza Minnelli - dark hair in her eyes and unreasonably long eyelashes. Nowadays, she looks more like Boo from Monsters INC. Although, when Brandon gives her the "daddy hairdo" she looks just like Ringo Star.
o   She is a monkey food eater (BANANAS!)
o   She is a cuddle bear - she is content as can be if she is snuggled into your lap with her cheek pressed up against yours. At bedtime, she likes to have you pretend that she is a tiny baby. Megan, who wishes that she had an opportunity to have a little baby, loves to play this game with her. Note: this wish is usually fleeting as Megan remembers that she doesn't really care for neonates and she loves her sleep more than really anything in the world.
o   She wants to be just like her "Sissy"
o   She is slowly but surely learning to use the froggy potty and loves the "Pee Pee in the Potty" celebration that follows any successful attempts.
o   She will hug and kiss anyone. Anytime. Anywhere. Even without warning.
o   She recently adopted the "cheesy grin" for cameras - this includes squinted eyes and a jutted-out chin.
o   Her first words happened a couple weeks after moving in and blew the speech evaluation recommendation out of the window when she proudly proclaimed "I want that" referring to the couscous on Megan'splate. Since, some of her favorite things to say are: "No! I do it!" "Mickey Mouse" "Come on. Swing. (while holding your hand in an attempt to lead you outside)"  "That. No. Doggy." "Don't like it" "Ewwwww. That yucky."
o   If she knows she has crossed a line, she uses humor and smiles to win you over.

The big notable events for Brandon have been:
·         He started his 3rd year of teaching 8th Grade Science at a Math/Science Magnet school in Tucson. He is in charge of a Catalina Island field trip each year. This is really his calling in life - only specific people have the stuff it takes to work with peripubescent teenagers, and Brandon is basically made of whatever that stuff is.
·         He completed a 100-mile bike ride in California in September. And, although he was the youngest person on his team by about 30 years, their team came in the top 15% of all riders. This is probably because of the fancy Italian carbon-fiber road bike he got in the summer.
·         He enjoys tinkering around our house completing the landscaping and irrigation systems by himself, working on painting various projects, and trying to fix the air conditioner when it went out on a 108 degree day.
·         He is also an almost full-time swing pusher.

The big notable events for Megan have been:
·         She has officially stayed in the same office for a whole year. In the 3.5 years that she has worked for her company, she has moved 5 times... so this is a big deal. The latest addition to her office will be a treadmill desk. This has the potential to either be a colossal failure or a great idea.
·         She is completing her last year in her 20's and is feeling pretty good about what she has been able to accomplish, survive and learn.
·         She is still the proud owner of a now 14-year-old miniature schnauzer named Duncan Stanford Tolman I. He is still kicking it and it makes her very happy. She is also a huge advocate for rattlesnake destruction.
·         She won an award at work for innovation out of almost 3000 employees earlier in the year.
So, in summary, life is full of joy, silliness, and fun. We couldn't ask for more and we look forward to what 2015 has in store. Note: unintentional rhyme.

Love and kisses on the forehead (if we know you well) or high fives and handshakes (if we don't),

M, B, A, A, D, B, and S
[Mom, dad, girl, girl, dog/love of Megan's life, dog, and bird]

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Arizona - The "It'll Try to Kill You" State

I have recently been consumed by emotions that I didn't even know I was capable of having. Grief and anger and regret and physical pain over the pain experienced by my puppy and anticipating losing him.

I have adored Duncan Stanford Tolman I for the last 12 years. I love his feistiness. I love his mischief. I love how little tongue curls into an almost 90 degree angle when he yawns. I love that he says “ahhh woof woof” when he is excited to see me as he wiggles his entire backend – marching in circles.
And, last Sunday, he – in spite of his rattlesnake training and my wishes – decided that a light green Mojave rattlesnake coiled silently on the edge of a trail looked just interesting enough to sniff... And, then, just like that, I lost the last 72 hours of my life to a blur of radical decisions that I never thought I would make.
As it happened, I stood there – staring – not actually processing what I saw. Then, I turned into a robot. Scooping my puppy up and running – RUNNING – about 2.5 miles back to the car. Without cell phones, we sped to the nearest veterinary hospital. Sweaty, crying (ok – completely falling apart) and shaking, I ran into the clinic and stated, “We have a rattlesnake bite – about 30 minutes ago.  Save my baby.”
He is my baby.
My only baby.
Within half of an hour all of his red blood cells (100%) were echinocytes (affected by the venom), his platelets dropped from 200K to 6K, he was on a continuous pain medication drip, and he was drooling – uncontrollably with a pathetic, pained whine. I thought he was going to die.
Within 6 hours his eyes were swollen shut, but thankfully he knew who I was when I arrived for our second visit.
Through self-doubt (how can we afford this? Do we want to afford this? Are we making the wrong decisions?) and physically-manifesting-empathetic pain (Is it fair to make him live through this? He is in so much pain – should we just let him go?) I knew we were going to have to make a choice. I prepared myself for this choice and insinuated to one of my friends that this was going to be it. The end.
When I saw him, though, I knew I couldn't do it. I listened to him struggling to breathe in between my sobs and I told him that if he wanted to go - he should just go. Just die. I would love him forever, but I couldn't make him stay if he wasn't up for it. But, more selfishly, I simply could not be responsible to choose to have him go. And, of course, he took a big strong breath. He let me know he was ready and we committed to see where this little journey would take us.
I left the hospital this time feeling invigorated and I proudly proclaimed to a couple of in-the-know friends and family:
“This is my bad ass son of a bitch that wants to live. So – damn it – he’s going to…”
Day 1

So, that’s what happened and where I have been for the last little bit. Brandon and I have been laughing and crying and laughing again. We found out that I am capable of being really mean (no surprise) and really nice (we are shocked) at almost the same time. And, most confidently, we can say that I.LOVE.THIS.DOG.

Here are some – oh my gosh that is gross – pictures and video for your information.
Day 2

Day 3

Day 4 - Going home

Day 4 - home and sleeping

So, here I sit, with my faithful companion by my side. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. He may lose his left eye (we have to wait for the swelling to complete recover to decide). And, anyone who meets him from this point forward is sure to think he is the ugliest thing...But, frankly, I do not care - he is alive and kicking. My baby boy.

Wunkin
Bug
Ruby
Bumblebee
Sugar
Roe roe
My love

Sunday, March 18, 2012

"If you had testosterone you would take over the world..."

Sometimes Mr. Evans and I joke about how my wife (Brandon) is more emotional, generous, empathetic, kind, sweet, gentle, understanding, etc, etc, etc (need I go on???) than I am… and how I am confident, strong-willed, driven, aggressive, frank, logical, bold, etc, etc, etc.


He joked with me today about how if God had taken all of my innate characteristics and added testosterone that I would probably attempt to take over the world by force. And... he is probably right.


What is silly about this is that he said this to me while I was bawling hysterically for no reason at all in his arms. That little excess of estrogen tempers me. And, unfortunately, makes me extremely vulnerable under this fa├žade of confidence. I think Brandon loves these moments because they are few and far between, but they allow him to feel like a dude – taking care of his woman.


And take care of me he did – with a half-gratified smile he patted me on the head – told me it was going to be ok – and asked me if I wanted to take a walk to see if it would make me feel better.


It did. It always does.


Disclosure: what prompted me to write this blog is that I just read someone else’s blog who wrote about women being compelled to be stay-at-home moms… and how exceptionally important it is to the author to be at home with her future (not yet existent) children. She truly yearns for that experience.


In my experience some women are born with the mothering gene (my sister for one) and others have absolutely no interest in being a mother at all (my cousin). It is like the spectrum of creative people. Or, people who are scientifically inclined. Or, people who like the color red. Some can, some can't. Some are, some aren't. Some do, some don't.


When I think about motherhood for myself – I don’t have visions of staying at home. I can honestly say that I never have. I do, however, think about parks and parent-teacher conference and musings about the silly things a child says.


But, is that what motherhood is?


Maybe an adapted form... made to be used by other women just like me. And, it includes nannies or daycare or the neighbors.


Heretofore, my body is not making one of those things anyway… but if it did… Is it worrisome that my lack of some of the “female” characteristics leaves me basically apathetic about taking part in the minutia of motherhood?


Well… if it is worrisome… at least my better half is a better half.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Whilst we gallivanted in worlds apart

Today I am sitting with Husband for the first time in 2 months. He has been in Arizona. I have been in Washington. Although we spoke daily on the phone or Skype, it appears we have experienced completely separate worlds.

In Washington: I lived with a family; this included an 18-month-old. Mornings included dodging half eaten food being spat from the child's mouth and a few "mishaps" resulting from confusion as to if anyone was in the bathroom… most of the time someone was in the bathroom… and they were somewhere between becoming naked and getting into/out of the shower.

In Arizona: Husband lived with our family = the pets. His mornings were early out of necessity to beat the heat while walking the dogs.

In Washington: I had everything I could need or want including internet, cable television, friends, work, etc.

In Arizona: Husband had to fashion a television antenna out of a 2x4 and some copper wire. Surprisingly it works very well.

In Washington: It was cold.

In Arizona: It was hot. So hot, in fact, that if you run the kitchen sink for > 30 seconds you will get HOT water… The pipes are above ground and run through the attic of the houses. So, it doesn't matter which knob you turn… hot water will come out.

In Washington: There are monster mosquitoes, squirrels, and an occasional moose.

In Arizona: There are javelinas, coyotes, rattlesnakes, and lizards.

In Washington: You cannot find good Mexican to save your life. LET ALONE good sushi, Indian, or Chinese.

In Arizona: All food is delicious all the time.

In Washington: Craft and Bunko nights were held.

In Arizona: Most nights consisted for homework.

Together in Arizona: So here we are, together at last. Finally allowed to sleep in on a Sunday morning… only to be woken up by the soft, repetitive sound of a convulsing Morning Dove making a celestial departure (Translation: it died. On our back patio… with eyes bugging out of its head and agonal breaths). And, I know a couple things: I love my husband. Formula 1 racing and waffles will always be a part of our weekend mornings. Sometimes I cry out of joy… but this time I didn't cry at all… I just can't stop smiling.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Urgent Care = Incompetent Care?

Thesis:

Urgent care doctors are incompetent and their care is terrifying, angering, and (more importantly) annoying.

Evidence:

  1. Allergies. I get 'em. I am allergic to Samuel Richardson Adams (parrot). I am allergic to Boston Obama Evans (dog). I am allergic to anything that blooms in Utah between March 27 and July 13 (plants, flowers, trees, grasses). I can usually get away with an allergy pill a day. But, during my peak histamine-release time… I need steroids. I need them in my nose. I need them to modulate the expression of pro-inflammatory mediators by sitting themselves on the DNA of my cells. I know what I want. I went to an urgent care doctor to get it. He informed me that I… 1) need to come back in a couple weeks so he can ensure that they are, indeed, allergies; 2) need to use an allergy pill first… (Hello?!? … knock, knock, knock… did you see the allergy pill that I take every day listed on my check-in questionnaire?); and 3) this is not his "area of expertise"… So, I will need to see my primary care provider. FINE! Off to student health I went. You know, he was right, after 4 years of medical school and 3 years of residency… he definitely wasn't qualified as the NURSE at student health to write a prescription for an allergy medication. = Why can't I just write my own prescriptions?
  2. Outrageous stomach pain and "clogged pipes" for 9 days – even though I am typically a 1-2 times-a-day-er. I visit an urgent care doctor who takes an x-ray (no ultra sound, no CT, nothing to potentially detect the real problem – even though this clinic has the capability) and tells me that it is gas and I am constipated… He prescribed a bowel prep medication (magnesium citrate, for those who are interested– 2 bottles!! Note: one half of a bottle of magnesium citrate = 10x the laxative power seen on the movie "Dumb and Dumber"). Result? Nothing. Not even a toot. Called the urgent care doc back… he didn't see a problem. Allowed me to continue for DAYS without getting it out of me. Fun fact… I wasn't really "constipated" I had a soft-ball-sized Bertha hindering my abilities to… um… go. Oh! And, he gave me a pregnancy test even though I repeatedly told him that I had not yet "partaken of the forbidden fruit"… so to speak. It cost $90 for that one thing. I had no insurance. I paid cash. = Why can't I just order my own radiology images? Why can't I write my own prescriptions? Why is it so unbelievable that I would KNOW that I was not pregnant?
  3. Cough and blue finger tips and fever and sputum production at its finest. I went to an urgent care clinic. They prescribed me the right antibiotic BUT it was at ½ the dose necessary for my supposed "community acquired infection" and only gave me 3 days worth… I think he got confused. Maybe he was trying to treat a urinary tract infection? = What can't I just write my own prescriptions?
  4. (Most recently) Bilateral ear infection and "worst sinus infection [he'd] seen in years." So, what did he prescribe? … Oh! He didn't. He said, and I quote, "What do you think I should prescribe?" Me: "What are my choices?" He: "I don't know. Anything you'd like. And, how much would you do?" Me: "I don't know. I don't treat sinus infections on a regular basis. Isn't this your job?" He: "Yeah. I just thought you'd know. Maybe we could do (drug and dose)." Me: "Sure. That sounds ok." He: "How long do you think you should take it." Me…(pregnant pause)… (another pregnant pause). He: "I will just give you 14 days worth. You can take as much as you want." = Sure! How ironic! When I finally get the opportunity to write my own prescriptions, I don't even know what to do.

Conclusion:

Urgent care doctors have managed to misdiagnose and mistreat and miss the point of their job during each of my encounters with them. In spite of fiscal responsibility for our health care system, I would recommend going to an emergency room every time. Urgent care doctors are presumably worthless. Further, I would recommend asking your pharmacist their opinion before you accept and take any prescription written by one if you have the misfortune of their "help." I am literally afraid for the people who don't know what questions to ask and don't realize when what's done is wrong.

NEWS FLASH: Doctors fix severe blockage

I have been told "If you have two good reasons to do something... then you'll do it."

Insert "two requests to blog again" here.


 

I have writers block, though. As a general rule, I can only blog when I am:

  1. Emotional – the "cry about ridiculous things" kind (typically in response to fluctuating hormones)
  2. Angry
  3. Annoyed


 

So, sort of like memories, blogs only take hold when strong emotions are involved. PROBLEM ALERT: I have been on birth control for the last 5 months and it inhibits my ability to respond emotionally in an irrational way. Trust me; I am just as disappointed as you are.


 

As for anger, there are really only a few things that actually make me angry. Instead, I would say that annoyance is definitely my predominant emotion. But, in order to blog about it, I need to feel that someone is idiotic AND I have to have the freedom to speak openly about the person (ie. they cannot read this blog or know anyone who would). All of this is a recipe for constipated writing.


 

There have been ample opportunities for me to vent my frustration, however. Like, just recently (person who cannot be named) did (something that I cannot say). So, I (responded by doing something). Which lead to (an outcome full of humor for me, but perhaps not for the other person) = seriously bad blogging.


 

Update on current events in the life of Megan to help cultivate discussion:

  1. Pyramid schemes and Cutco knives plague the existence of Latterday Saint wards all across the country.
  2. Spokane still doesn't plow their roads after snow storms.
  3. I have a bet with my sister about (person) and (self-modifying behavior).
  4. Sometimes when I think about Husband moving to Tucson, I act like a total jerk to him so that he won't miss me while he's gone.
  5. I have been watching too much TV. I average about 3.5 hours of "How I Met Your Mother" between the three stations that play re-runs and my DVR per day… among other shows.
  6. It has been confirmed that all Urgent care doctors are idiots…




WAIT! Idiots! Urgent care doctor? Yes! I don't personally know any of those. … FINALLY!!! Please see the next blog entry for information regarding Urgent Care doctors.


 


 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Damned beer drinkers

Pop quiz: what is the doctrinal reason for Mormons not drinking alcohol?

  1. They believe they will be damned if they drink alcohol.
  2. They don't like the taste.
  3. They have been brainwashed into believing that the act of alcohol drinking is evil and that even a single, accidental sip of the vial liquid will destroy their soul.
  4. They don't actually know why – they just don't do it for fear of not getting a temple recommend or being excommunicated from the church.
  5. They believe in the promise of the Word of Wisdom which states that if they don't drink it (among other things) they will be healthy, and have energy and a clear mind that is able to gain wisdom.
  6. All of the above.

If the question were "Why don't Mormons drink alcohol?"… then the answer would probably be "6. all of the above." But, the doctrinal answer is 5.


It is not really about good vs. bad, it is not really about holy vs. evil, it is not really about heaven vs. hell. It is about health. The specific scripture says – eat fruits and vegetables, eat whole grains, limit meat intake, exercise, and avoid coffee, tea, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. There really isn't any voodoo or even dictatorship from Deity. It is a "word of wisdom" about how to care for our bodies and mind. And, most health nuts and/or health care providers would agree that this a recipe for food consumption success.


Why the pop quiz? While at work yesterday a pharmacy technician went on a rant about how "God doesn't care if you drink alcohol or not" and "when I die I refuse to believe that God will ask me if I drank alcohol, and if I say 'yes' he will sent me straight to hell." After several minutes of eavesdropping I found out he was talking about the darned Mormons.


This is funny because he inappropriately characterized the doctrine of the Plan of Salvation, our understanding of heaven and hell, and then argued that the whole religion was ludicrous based on this "commandment" alone.


To this man I say, you are right – God will not damn you for drinking alcohol; in fact, he will be unlikely to "damn" you for most of your silly decisions, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't respect our bodies and strive to be better each day. Secondly, God will not ask you if you drank alcohol or not. He knows. He will judge you on all of your decisions, how you loved/served your fellow man, and whether or not you lived up to your potential and individual responsibility (based on your understanding and circumstances).


For the purposes of foreshadowing my core beliefs, the judgments of God are relative but not permissive. Therefore, the mere act of alcohol consumption will not damn you.

But wouldn't it be a good idea to not drink it anyway?


Yes. The answer is yes.


In terms of a risk/benefit analysis, the risks include, but are not limited to: disinhibition with resultant poor decisions/ lack of judgment, addiction potential with resultant poor decisions/self (and family) destructive behavior, liver failure with varices, ascites, jaundice, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and death. Do these happen to everyone… no. But, why risk it?

You risk it because the benefits outweigh the risks.

So, the benefits include…? Feeling relaxed in social situations? … hum… anything else?


Now. Here's my question… Why is alcohol so important? SERIOUSLY! What is so precious about alcohol that it sends people into a tailspin when they hear that a group of people CHOOSES not to drink it? Why are people so compelled by it that they rant and rave at the very thought that a religion would counsel against its use? As far as I am concerned, even outside of religion, it would be wise to avoid it.


Attention "alcohol drinkers of my blogging community" I ask you … What makes alcohol so important?


11/24 @ 8:51 am: Wednesday burst of inspiration - Looks like they are the ones drinking the Kool-Aid...