Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What is it about boobs?

The Cracker has a runny nose, which he likes to pick and rub and share. I am a reverse germaphobe. I don't want my kid infecting others. I'm totally insecure and I worry about what you'll think of me.

So he has this stupid runny nose cold, and OMG he's so whinny and overtired. Finally, we have to go out, because you know, holidays, gifts, stores being closed for a day...gah.

J, "Stop picking your nose!"
Me, "Stop touching things! And if you have to touch something use your sleeve!"

...

The Cracker walks up to a female manequin bust and pokes it right in the nipple like he's ringing a damn doorbell.
Me, "CRACKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Him, "WHAAAAT? I USED MY SLEEVE!"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Preparations

I've spent the last week in holiday overdrive, giving it my all to make up for lost time. I started with cards, finished the shopping, did the mailing, and am now making a last ditch effort to celebrate what's left of the season with the Cracker. Friday night I declared "fuck bedtime! Let's decorate the tree!" Saturday and Sunday I provided support as the Cracker painstakingly hand painted 24 double-sided ornaments for friends and family. Monday morning we wrapped and tagged them. After that we started an art memory book for my parents. He finger painted, watercolored, cut and pasted, rubber stamped, collaged, journaled, illustrated with pens and crayons, and then covered every square inch of it all with glitter glue. After 6 long hours, just as the Cracker was dreaming up a colored sand mural, I declared craft day over. I hauled ass down to Walgreens, in the dark, in the snow, where I learned that 1 hour prints that were due to be done 5 hours ago were not done, because the machine was broken, has been broken, and will be broken indefinitely. Fuck me. Tomorrow, I will try deal with getting the photos printed elsewhere so we can finish the book, and then move on to decorating gingerbread houses. I also hope to get an assload of laundry done as we plan to spend Christmas with the in-laws in Colorado, which is like two days from now. Ha!

More than one good friend has told me that I don't need to do this, more or less that I shouldn't because I need to give myself a break. What they don't understand is that I have to do this, and that I did take a break, and now it's time to rejoin the world. There will be more breaks later, but not this week. I have this amazing 5 year old who has been really good this year, who doesn't yet understand why his mom has been so off the ball lately, who is beyond excited about Christmas just like every 5 year old should be, who is about to have his whole world shattered just as soon as J and I can get together one evening after the kids are asleep and outline the discussion, make sure to list the key points, and prep for his questions, this discussion I hope to have after Christmas but before school starts but not at the in-law's.

...

In other news, Ollie is non-traditionally crawling. It very closely resembles traditional crawling...but it's not. Also in other news, Ollie *loves* shoes. No, really, little girlfriend *really*super*duper*hearts* shoes, and laces have nothing to do with it. While we've known about her shoe fetish for quite some time, it seems to be surpassing cute and heading for the unknown. Over the weekend Jason set her down in her room and she shot off in the opposite direction like an arrow with an obvious purpose in mind. "What's she doing?" "Looking for shoes." "No, really." "Watch." Shoooooz! Tonight when Jason got home from work he absent mindedly kicked off his shoes in the kitchen and got to work. Ollie saw his shoes, squealed in pure delight, and hauled ass like he'd never seen. A minute later, from the other side of the house I heard the most pissed off shriek ever heard in the history of the world followed by lots of screaming. "What did you do to her?" "I took my shoes back when she started to lick the undersides." "Oh, okay then."

...

My mom is making plans that include her not being here next holiday season, at least if in body not in mind. It's hard. We've talked about next year's holiday cards, and how I will make sure everyone knows why she is not sending them herself. I cry as quietly as I can on the other end of the phone. Slowly she is letting the people she cares about know, but there are so many old Vietnam-era Navy friends, etc, that they have not seen in years and never plan on seeing again, with whom they still exchange holiday wishes. Those are the people who will need to know.

I have been slowly telling my own friends, and asking the friends who I am in the most frequent contact with to spread the word to other good friends. I just cannot keep telling the same story over and over. Talk about it? Yes, sometimes I need to pour my heart out. But start from scratch? No no no no no no. It's just too much. There is another issue: I suspect one or two people, who are less friends and more acquaintances, that heard it through the grapevine, are people that I need to part ways with. They seem less interested in us, and more interested in having a front row seat for the inevitable train wreck. Thanks, but no thanks.

I am lucky to have some really wonderful friends. A card, an e-mail that says I'm thinking of you, those are the things that count right now. And the funny things they are doing to make me smile, like posting "Have you seen my underwear?" on my FB wall. But the phone won't stop ringing, and it makes me want to take a really big hammer to it Office Space style. Occasionally it's people I want to talk to, but most of the time it's not. The phone needs to shut the fuck up. We used to have caller ID, but canceled it as almost everyone was "unknown." I suspect that all these years later it's even worse. But if it's not, sign me up.

Tonight my mom reiterated that my dad is having a really hard time. Then she proceeded to tell me that he has decided he doesn't want her things around once she is gone. That I can have what I want, that she's shown him where all her jewelry is, what family heirlooms she wants to see stay in the family, etc, but that he is going to want it out of the house quickly, so that he isn't constantly surrounded by her. It's not that I think this is wrong, but I do think he may regret it later. It's also that I cannot even imagine taking this step right now -- please don't ask me to. It's all too fast. I hope he changes his mind.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

Not Enough Time

The pathology is in: stage IV Glioblastoma multiforme, otherwise known as GBM, the "most malignant" of brain tumors.

With successful resection plus radiation and chemo the median survival rate is 12 months. The two year survival rate is nuh uh, rare, under 3%.

I can't swallow.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Older Than Older Than Dirt

"Because when you were little things weren't so colorful."
"What?"
"Well, you know, they hadn't invented all the colors yet."

Waiting, Revisited, Again

No results yesterday. Now Monday.

I think I'll leave it at "No comment."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

First Snowball

This is eventually not about cancer, if you can get that far.

Last night, in what I can only assume was the universe trying to make nice, our area was gifted with first snowfall of the season. I seriously heart snow. But snow, even first of the season on my actual birthday, does not trump moms with brain tumors. Denied.

In the one-thing-I-have-to-get-done-today-or-I-will-go-mad errand, we dropped by the Cracker's old preschool, to drop off...wait for it, wait for it...our contribution for a family who was with us there last year, who has the most beautiful and sweet 6.5 year old twin boys you will ever meet, who just lost their father to cancer. Good times.

While there Ollie and I were invited to join them for a snack of snow one of the teachers had collected early this morning. Armed with a big ice cream scoop they were dishing out the most perfect snowballs of "ice cream" and dusting them with cocoa powder. Ollie, of course, passed on the toppings, but was delighted nonetheless. Turns out snow is totally something she digs, and she doesn't dig much in the way of food these days. Finally, fed up with the tiny bites at a snail's pace I was offering off of a spoon, she lurched forward and grabbed the snowball out of the bowl with her own two little hands. For a good solid minute and a half she chomped away as happy as could be, a squirrel with her nut. But then she abruptly stopped, took a few seconds to reassess, and produced one of her blood curdling screams. I couldn't stop laughing as I tried to pry it out of her hands while she looked up at me through the rage with eyes that said "It's not the snowball that's the problem, it's that my hands are really fucking cold."

And then we all laughed some more. My Ollie, seven months and three weeks old, the ability to do and think independently, but not always at the same time.

Yeah...That

Yesterday was another step forward towards rejoining the world, acting like a normal person. With it I found myself in a new stage of grief/acceptance/denial/whatever. Today it was even more evident.

As I sat and talked with my best local friends, most of whom were hearing the news for the first time, I did not cry. I hardly showed emotion at all. Robotic, even.

Yet they were crying. My friends have all met Nana and Pappy, the Alpha grandparents, many times. Heck, my parents laugh about getting recognized and greeted while out on their own here.

All I could think about was how cold-hearted I must look.


Later, back at my friend L's house, she and I talked some more. We often joke we're soul sisters, because she has this way of putting what I cannot into words, and vice versa. We have these deep long conversations that go incredible places and I always leave her feeling like I've just figured out the meaning of life. Oh...and she's a die-hard crunchy con Republican, btw.

"I've cried so hard that I've made myself ill. I'm so stressed that my period has been 5 days of spotting, so light that I'm not sure I can even call it spotting. That has never, ever happened to me before. But mostly, I am so tired. I cannot believe how tired I am. And I do still cry, just never at the appropriate times. It happens when my mind is blank, and before I can even register what is happening I'm sobbing hysterically. And I have zero idea what the fuck triggered it."

"You're so tired that you're numb."


Thank you.


Tomorrow we are expecting the pathology from UCSF. Pretty sure I am about to miss tired but numb.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

January

(I know not everyone lives in the Northern Hemisphere or celebrates holidays in December, but go with me here...)

You know how in January, after the New Year's festivities have passed, and the holiday decorations are down, and things are suddenly looking so bland, and colorless, and barren, and the bills are starting to come in, and it's too dark too friggin early, and too cold, and too windy, and things just kind of seem, for lack of a better word, yucky?

I feel like that now.

So what the hell is January going to feel like?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

More Waiting

Wednesday was The Big Oncology Appointment. The results = inconclusive.

Upon examination during surgery they thought it (the tumor) was an astrocytoma. It was then sent off to pathology to be graded, stage I-IV. Turns out there are two tumor types present: astrocytoma AND lymphoma, just from the one biopsy.

Dr. Google never mentioned that possibility.

So off it's been sent to UCSF, where in a week they hope to enlighten us on which is the bigger battle. I've been told to cheer for lymphoma, which has a brighter though still terminal outlook and would mean only chemo instead of a chemo/radiation combo. I will be the first to admit that I don't exactly understand all of this, and as much as it makes me crazy itchy to keep my mouth shut, I just can't bring myself to ask my mom to elaborate until the final diagnosis is in.

No matter which way you spin it the outlook is grim: there is no cure, just the possibility of buying time.

Happy fucking holidays.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Talk

"The tumor is right near the surface" he said. "It's highly accessible, but they still expect the surgery to take 4 to 5 hours."
"And?"
"I'm just surprised. That seems like an awfully long time."
"It's brain surgery. Obviously you haven't been watching ER and Grey's with Mom."
Chuckling, "No, I haven't."

...

"The anaesthetist just came out to let me know that they're done with the resection and are beginning to close. He said they think they got it all, they think they got it all."
"They think they got it all."

...

"The surgeon said that the surgery was a complete success! They did everything they hoped to do, and there were no complications."

...

"The surgeon came by today, and while we were talking he said that the goal was to remove eighty to ninety percent of the tumor. He thinks they got close to ninety."
"Ninety percent? That's not 'all of it.'"
"Yeah."

(Mwah)

On Friday Ollie began giving kisses, and so far I am the only lucky recipient. The girl has got timing.

Unlike the Cracker's early "Mmmmmmm-ah!" smoochies, Ollie's are silent: just two baby hands and a wet, wide open mouth lean-in. And as if that weren't already enough to make my heart melt, she lingers.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Damn



















Every time I think of this picture my mind immediately envisions a scene from Grey's Anatomy. Cristina and George are goofing around when they see my mom's scan begin to appear on the screen. Cristina talks first, with some version of "Holy shit, would you look at that" to which George asks aloud "How could she have even been walking around?"

Pretty fucked up, eh?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful

Today I am thankful that I am going to have more time with my mom.

Surgery went as well as it could have today. They removed a 5x6cm astrocytoma. They think they got it all. Because of the type of tumor they know or are fairly certain that it is the origin tumor. It was located in an area where they hope her memory and speech will not be affected, though she will likely continue to have vision and processing problems on her left side. The short term prognosis is positive even with her lupus. Understandably, until the pathology is back is 4-5 days they don't want to speculate on the long term, though my dad is getting the impression that it's not good and that the rate of recurrence is high.

My mom is a fighter -- she always has been. I got a chance to talk with her tonight, and already she sounded so much better, like herself again, not the woman she's been the last few months. She wants to live. She wants to fight. I think today was a good day.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Waiting, Updated

My mom has a brain tumor. The only thing we know is that it's big. Surgery is scheduled for Friday.

Surgery has been moved up to Thursday, 9am PST. It's also my Dad's 65th birthday.

Monday, November 24, 2008

F is For...

Since August I have baked, from scratch, and sent in no less than 5 separate recipes on 5 separate occasions. I could have purchased Walmart bakery crap like the majority of the other parents, but I didn't. Nope, not once. And I even liked doing it.

Last week the Cracker's teacher sent home a family project: "prepare a recipe of bread" that represents your culture to be sent in and shared with the class Turkey Day style. (The kids are making butter -- I sent it heavy whipping cream for that already.) Discuss with your student ahead of time why this bread is important to your heritage, do a little write-up, and make sure your student is prepared to present it to the class.

I'm sorry, but did you just ask me to bake bread? Do you know how much I find active dry yeast a royal pain in the ass? Culture? Heritage? The same week as Thanksgiving? Seriously?

My mom suggested Swedish Limpa bread, which I have made, but it's a Biotch.

My dad suggested I go out and buy a loaf of Wonder Bread. Because, yeah, we're white. (Tee hee hee! Dad!)

Have I mentioned the altitude? That I live a mile above sea level and I assume that all sea-level recipes will fail the first time around because they always do? That standard tweaks need recipe specific tweaking? That every Texan who has ever visited the metro area has a "I went to New Mexico and got altitude sickness from hiking a quarter mile" story? That edible won't happen on the first try? That I'd have to try, like, more than once?

Someone finally suggested (San Francisco) Sourdough: I think it was J, and I think he was joking, but I took it and ran. I ran all the way to the store and bought a loaf of not San Francisco, not generic either, but "Swiss" Sourdough, whatever the fuck that is, sliced for sandwiches by a machine and obviously not homemade.

Now for the write-up = J's problem. He has the Cracker write "Sourdough bread is from San Francisco and so is my mom." Done! J doesn't even remind him to write his name. Grrrr. So I help add that it makes us think of fog and goes nicely with clam chowder, blah blah blah.

F is for FAIL.



























Proof I bake! (And a super cute picture of O-Mo as well.)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Saturday, November 08, 2008

My Boy

"So tonight you're in Arizona, and tomorrow you'll be in New Mexico? Hmmm...I think you're where John McCain lives..."

Saturday, November 01, 2008

That'll Learn Ya

Cracker takes jacket A to school and doesn't bring it home. Mom lectures and sends note to teacher. Mom sends Cracker to school the next day with jacket B, and explicit instructions to bring home jacket A and B and OMG it's Friday and jackets need to be home for the weekend. So, naturally, Cracker comes home jacketless. Mom loses her shit. Mom lectures, a lot.

Fast forward two weeks.

Jackets *always* come home. And for good measure, Cracker now brings home other kid's jackets too. Friday Mom sent him with one and he came home with three. I shit you not.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

How I Get My Kicks

Me, holding up a shipping box that would fit my very large head if it were ever to become detached from my body: "Guess what's in here!"
"What?"
"My DivaCup! Size 2! Because I'm not only not under 30, but I've birthed you some big-headed babies!"

(Anyone else wondering about the circumference difference?*)

(The box also had these, and this in purple, and finally this, which is what I came for because everyone else is out of ribbit. Must have another ribbit. And maybe a pair of Zutano pants for O in red bird print. I've always been a sucker for birds. Sadly this is what I got for myself with my birthday money, and yes, my birthday is still weeks away, but my mom is weird. And I'm actually going to spend a portion of it this year instead of saving it all, because being in trouble for saving money meant to be blown sucks.)

Anywho, ta da the DivaCup™, a surprisingly thick silicone funnel made in Canada, eh, with gradations to measure your flow in ounces AND milliliters. Jackpoooooot! Also included: a kicky DivaCup™ lapel pin, score, and a purple DivaCup™ pouch that I assume is for storage rather than transport as it is not...um...liquid proof. Yeehaw!
























*God bless the internet. A size 1 is 42mm wide vs 45mm, though according to Wikipedia, other brands vary by as much as six gaping millimeters! Crikey!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The One About My Boobs

I am not a tall woman. I am also not a toothpick. A package of toothpicks? Yes. A single toothpick? Nooo.

What I'm trying to say is that I am not a six foot tall woman who weighs 110 bitching that a size x-small is too short in the torso; I am a 5 foot 6 woman who is not going to tell you her weight but will admit to being a size large, sometimes x-large, and when they fuck with the sizes to make you feel smaller than you actually are, a medium.

Are we clear?


Ahhh...fall! Fall is my favoritest season of all, not only because of the pretty colors, and the pumpkins, and apples and their by-products, and the pumpkins, and the crisp air, and the pumpkins, but because I can begin to hide my body in layers if I so choose. You know, it's not that I'm carrying around a more than a few extra pounds of people, it's the fabric yo! And maybe, just maybe, after some Jazzercise and a little dieting I could emerge in the spring from my black fleece cocoon all skinny and shit.

So I totally splurged on this cute jacket back in early August when it was still 85 degrees that was totally admittedly frivolous because I thought it was sassy and maybe even stylish and it gave me hope that fall was really coming because cold weather clothes had been in the stores here in the desert since June and that this amazing jacket might distract from my ill-fitting frumpy mom jeans and make me feel sexy because it fit ever so nicely over my boobs and elegantly and deceptively made it look like I was wearing a size large not because of my gut flub but because my boobs are bigger than yours and it was so interestingly stylish that you couldn't help but notice it and not my ass and not my thighs and it's brown and I'm trying to infuse some color into my black, white, and gray wardrobe and hot damn was I really excited about this jacket. Now fast forward through the conventions and Sarah Palin and debates and the freakiskly late fall weather finally arrives and I rip off the tags which I had left on just in case I got flu and lost 15 pounds and then kept it off or because the flu had killed me and J could return it for cash and buy formula and have a pizza delivered because he would have no use for a women's sassy brown jacket in size large because he's been such a good husband that I wish for him in such a scenario a new wife two-thirds of my current age and half my current body weight without cellulite that loves to swallow and has big nonleaky boobs. I threw those tags in the trash and washed my sassy jacket which you know means it's not that sassy or that stylish because it isn't dry clean only and then it wasn't returnable because it had been washed and I put it on and fuckity fuck fuck fuck gotcha because if you thought Tina Fey's Palin impression was spot on you haven't seen yet seen her do it in my sassy jacket. (I would send it to her but she's probably a small.) So I immediately started whining to J who assured me that it yes he remembered the jacket and no it wasn't a Sarah Palin jacket and that a jacket is just a jacket which meant jack shit since he is even more clueless about fashion than I am but only because he is a boy. Determined to continue the funk, I went and put it on. "See?" Bahahaha, yes it is a Sarah Palin jacket! OMG! It totally is! You're not going to wear that are you???

This is actually not the story I meant to tell, but it naturally found it's way here, and as you can see it needed to be told.


Going back...me, anxiously awaiting cooler weather because my arm fat looks better when my tank top is covered by sleeves. However, I had conveniently forgotten that last fall I was preggers, and the fall before that I was in a short lived lowish BMI phase. (I will always have hips, thighs and ass at any weight. Yeah me!) So I don't have any clothes that fit. Throw another "fuck" on the pile.

So I try shopping. Because finding pants isn't hard enough, finding tops is even harder. If it fits the breast feeding boobs and doesn't cling like saran wrap to my muffin then the shoulders are about a gazillion times too big and would also fit a 300 pound man. It's hard not to feel like the most disproportioned woman in the world.

My problems became intensified when I went shopping for an off-the-rack (stunned, I know!) and very specific Halloween costume. In retrospect, sewing one would have been easier, even though I'm quite busy these days screening my MIL, writing check after check after check to the PTO instead of selling breakfast burritos at the ass crack of dawn, teething an infant, schlepping to Saturday soccer, Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday swimming, Wednesday hockey, tearing my brain and the house apart looking for kindergarten-worthy sharing that begins with the letter X (seriously, 3rd week! obviously retaliation for 1 week one: the letter O producing a classroom full of Optimi Prime, and week two: the letter M is for Megatron!), running into town to Costco to buy fully cooked just reheat meals that I don't even try to pass off as my own anymore because my husband is just glad that there's food period, Facebook time suckage (which I know I'm supposed to hate and throw virtual tomatoes at since you are not allowed to post breastfeeding pictures for random people you went to high school with, but whatever, honestly I'm okay with that because being friends and exchanging pleasant twitter commentary and (Lil) Green Patch requests with someone I had sex with pre-husband when I was young, horny, experimenty, and a 32A and being all mature about it is enough for me), scrubbing cat barf stains off the carpet because you know how fish-shaped red/yellow/brown dyed food is all they'll eat... Seriously, taking up learning to sew for a Halloween costume would have been totally easy.

Here we go again, this time with the Halloween costumes, with my long ass torso trying to fit a poorly made one piece. And again, my boobs are always in the wrong place. But I've found a costume, and it's not perfect, but I know I will not do better, and the price, while outrageous, is less outrageous as everything else. So I pivot left, and I pivot right, and I'm sucking it in, hoping that somehow I can make it work.

And then my light bulb moment...

I reach in from the top, grab a boob, lift, pull top of dress down, and release. Repeat.

And wouldn't ya know, it's not that I have a long, hard to fit torso, it's that I have sad, super saggy boobs.

I'm guessing that if I go out and buy, like, a bra that it might be easier to find tops. Two years and counting a breastfeeding leads me to believe that the damage is irreversible.

Yeah, I don't feel so much better now.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Smitten.

Thirteen Pounds of Personality



























Five months, three weeks, and one day old. Unbelievable.




















Soaking in the babyness



























Five years (and seventeen days) apart




















My Little Cracker

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Letters Home From School

From the Cracker's teacher:

"If you are sending something in your child's lunch that requires cooking in a microwave, please note that we only have time to heat things up that take a minute or less. We cannot cook noodles or other meals. We can only heat them."

Noodles? Other meals??? WTF are people sending? Hot Pockets?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Harder Than You'd Think


I am looking for a Heidi costume that does not include the words ho, wench, sexy, or Playboy-licensed in it's description.

Ollie's First Greens

Peas? No. Green beans? No.

Fistfulls of grass. At soccer.

Lovely.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Is it too late to add a few more wallets to my order?

Quick! It's picture day! You're a 5 year old boy. What do you do?

You trip over your own feet, land on your face, on the way to school, at the bus stop, that exact morning. Your nose swells up and you bleed and bleed and bleed.






















Oh yeah, it's picture day alright.

(This was taken this evening, swelling gone, second clean shirt of the day. Wanna do my laundry?)


Ollie on Rolling

Rolling from back to tummy is fun, until you realize that once there it's self-imposed tummy time. Scream. Like. Hell.

(Don't try to roll back or anything.)

I Give Him Credit for Trying

I am not buying that when the Cracker's teacher said to dress up for picture day she meant wear your Halloween costume.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

It's a good thing we found each other because no one else gets us

Me: Flossing.
Him: Drawing himself a man bath.

Me: "Are you using lavender baby wash?!"
Him: "It's all we have. AND much better smelling than stewing in my own sweaty ass juice!"

Someone really needs to add bubble bath to the shopping list.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Proud Mama

Cracker: "I'll be the Dad, you be the Mom, and you be the kid."
Boy @ park: "But I'm a boy. I don't want to be the Mom."
Cracker: "That's okay, we can be a family of two Daddies!"

Jason on Ollie's Squealing

"Somewhere bats are saying 'Whaaaat?'"

Friday, September 05, 2008

To Know Her is to Love Her

Beeeeeep.

"Hi honey, it's Mom. Your father and I just wanted to let you know that we'll be sending off more of your inheritance to Obama later today..."

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Recycle, Reuse, Renew!

Sometimes I think I'm rather clever. Sometimes I crack myself up. This is totally one of those times.



















Amidst a sea of McCain minivans in the pickup line at our (public) school (that has uniforms...gah) (that refuses to teach evolution, even though it means they lose government funding...double gah) I brand this my own crazy politico version of Intelligent Design.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Kindergarten: Day Three

"I'm so glad you're here!" Cracker runs up to friend and gives him a big old hug.
"PDA! PDA! NO HUGGING ALLOWED AT SCHOOL!" yells a chorus of older children.

And then I had to pull aside my sweet little boy and try to explain that while hugs are wonderful, they are not allowed at his new school.

I understand why, it's just, well, you know, the sad world we live in that hugging = possible suspension.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Kindergarten: Day Two

"Something really bad happened at lunch. These two little girls, one was five and the other one six, they spilled all my cous cous!"

Kindergarten: Day One

"We played outside on the playground, but not so much inside. I'm not sure what's up with that."

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Shoe Whore

Just in case you were wondering, I still really like ugly shoes, and I am in desperate need of new shoes, since my silly feet grew even bigger with Ollie. Seriously, it's not that I want shoes, I need shoes. Ask my husband.

(Okay, yeah don't.)

I wasn't in any hurry, but then there was this 20% coupon with free shipping, including free return shipping, and I accidentally stumbled upon these and I had to go to another site to get my size so there wasn't any coupon and they are back ordered but promised they will send them right off to me as soon as they get them and OMG I will die if they renege because I simply cannot live without these shoes shoes.

Voilà Converse (PRODUCT) RED Chuck Taylor® All Star® Lil' RED Riding Hood









Seriously...little orgasm. The only thing that could make them even better is if they were tax deductible, but the Converse site volunteers that they are not. (Even though I know better the thought had crossed my mind for a split second.)

Oh? Those aren't ugly? Just strange? Maybe even kinda cute? (I know! They're seriously just plain awesome, right?)

Then what about these? They're made in Sweden (sweet!) and we love apples and there was that darn 20% off coupon and I've been looking for the right whimsical clogs ever since I missed out on the Dansko Dalmatians and my son is going to kindergarten on Monday and yes I seriously ordered these.









And our 11th wedding anniversary is coming up in September and I'm pretty sure that the traditional gift is shoes so if you know of any others you think I might need please do drop me a line.

So. Excited.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

We knew this day would come

Found: 1 dismantled alarm clock
"It's okay Mommy. I'm fixing it!"
Dude, it wasn't broken.
J: "Don't say anything. It's what boys do."


Found: little pieces of drum kit littered across the bedroom floor alongside a dozen plastic tools.
Me: "You're beloved computer may be next. Am I allowed to have that chat with him now?"

Thursday, July 24, 2008

You know people think you're granola when...

they keep gifting your new daughter tie-dyed onsies.

One Little Pilot

"Mommy, Daddy, I don't want to be an Astronaut anymore."
"Why not?"
"Because I don't want to go to space."
"Why not?"
"Because I don't want to wear Astronaut Pull-Ups. I'm just going to fly airplanes instead."

Saturday, July 12, 2008

And This Two Shall Pass

Hello, my name is Heidi. Second-time parent, first-time administrice d'enema.

That means I gave my daughter a shit pill.


It appears that Ollie's first big-girl poop may be stuck in the chute. According to our Ped, she's reached the ripe old age when her cottage cheese-like curdy stools give way to something...uh...more solid?* She wiggles, she grunts, she turns various shades of red and purple, but her little muscles just don't have the oomph. My poor baby!

It's been 11 days people.

The Rx:
-1/2 Infant Gylcerin Suppository, cut "girth-wise"
Manually pinch cheeks closed for 15 minutes to retain pill and prevent seepage. Deisred effect generally produced in 1/4 to 1 hour. (Currently 3h 22m and counting...) If bowel movement has not been passed after 8 hours, repeat. If that doesn't work, call the Ped.

I just love how these things always fall on a Sunday.


*Neither J or I remember this from the Cracker, just the introduction to solids. Yick. Something to look forward to, especially since we are cloth diapering.** I'm totally jonesing one of these.

**Except not tonight, even though I know cloth would handle a blowout better (shout out to my girl Izabela: her diapers can hold anything, and her stiching is a work of art that will make you weep) but because I am as equally fond of our fluffies as I am terrified of what will hopefully come out of my daughter.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Color Five



"I did, and then I colored the rest."

Monday, April 21, 2008

There's a placenta in my fridge






















Introducing
OLIVE MOR.AN
16 April 2008
5:58pm
6 pounds, 8 ounces
20 inches

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Localese

My first trip to Walmart in a year.

"Hi. Do you know what aisle I can find antibacterial moist towelettes?"
"Huh?"
"Little antibacterial wipes? They come individually packaged, maybe 20 in a little box."
"Eh?"
"Similar idea as Purell, but in a little wipe?"
"Sorry, I don't know what you're talking about."
Grr....
"Like they give you in a restraunt after you eat ribs for cleaning up."
"Oh! Right this way!"

Friday, March 07, 2008

Too Late

"Mommy?"
"Yes?"
"How do you spell 'booty'?"
"B-O-O-T-Y."
"B-O-O-T-Y spells booty. B-O-O-T-Y."

Wait...shit.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Thank You, Dear Husband

There's just something about my son telling people (read strangers) that the baby is actually safely tucked away "inside a baby holder called a uterwus."

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Queen of Vague

Thank you for the emails. Because I am always so terminally late with the posting I tend to backtrack instead of stay current on this blog.

So here's the update:

I do have gestational diabetes. I have been monitoring and watching my diet for 9 days now, and things are going extremely well. The first two days were very hard because I was already stressed about my Dad and Dean trying to get home, my Sciatica was really acting up, and I was averaging 3-4 hours of sleep a day for a solid week. Getting told during this time that I had to start preplanning meals and measuring my food was just too much. Sometimes you're just too tired to stand there and count out exactly 17 medium sized grapes (15 grams of carbs worth) when eating itself almost takes more energy than you can muster.

As far as how it goes today, well, I can guestimate and just use common sense except at night. My numbers during the day are just fine, enough so that I've been told to up my carbs at breakfast and snacks and have not seen any rise in my blood glucose. I already eat pretty healthfully, so the only things I've given up so far are milk and cereal. I can't tell you how much I wish fiber wasn't a carb!

The problem is overnight while I'm sleeping/fasting . The goal for a fasting glucose is 90 or below, and mine remains 93-95 even with a big dose of protein only before bed. When I add even 10g of carbs it shoots up to 101-106. I should find out by Tuesday whether or not we'll be adding meds before bed. During the day I am supposed to aim for no more than 120 2 hours after a meal. I've been consistently in the high 80s to mid 90s. Funny though, stress really does play a role. (I saw my glucose shoot to 138 after receiving a statement from my insurance that suggested I may have to fork over $1400 that should have been covered. It's since been resolved.) To give you an idea of where these fall, I am not to call anyone unless I have a reading of 240 or above. I have also had two just above what they want to see ketone readings, but they think that by adding more carbs and cals during the day like I have been should bring it back down.

I have also learned from another blood test that this is absolutely gestational diabetes. In some cases the mother had diabetes prepregnancy and it just hadn't been diagnosed yet. Big fat phew!

So all is well here. Things are going to be pretty hectic until Olive makes her debut. (We're expecting her earlier now since the diagnosis. Can't say that knowing I won't go until 42 weeks again and have to be induced anyway isn't a big relief.) Preschool is starting the end of the the school year onslaught of guests and parties, soccer season starts this Saturday, floor hockey starts sometime in March, sib class for the Cracker, his birthday party the weekend after this one, Jason's birthday next week, family coming to town both for the Cracker's birthday party and then right back again for the baby... I already miss sleeping in. And the baby's room is not done. Sigh.

As for the chickadee herself, she's was pronounced head down at my 30 week appointment. This was no shock as I can really feel the difference, especially in my bladder. (As my midwife puts it, heads are much heavier than butts.) Since flipping she's decided that rib kicking is a super fun way to pass the time. We've also hit that stage where it's no longer "I think I just saw your belly move...wait there it is again" to "OMG what the hell is she doing in there???"

Life is good.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Bring on the Drama, Part 1

I give up.

So the morning after finding out I had failed the 1 hour glucose it was my day to work at the Co-op. It was also our day to bring snack. And in case you don't already know, when you're 4 bringing your Mom/Dad to preschool and snack on the same day is like the biggest friggin deal ever. (Because you get to turn off the lights and tell everyone it's time to clean up, pick a song at story time, and help the teachers open the door for recess.) Now school most days for the Cracker is only 2.5 hours, so being an hour late sucks because we already live 25 minutes away. And if you are one of the parents working that day you just make sure not to be late. Easy. Except, I get the car loaded up, drive 3 feet, and can tell something is not right. Not a little flat or huh well that's flat, but a fuck that rat bastard is sitting on the rim and ain't nobody going nowhere flat. Luckily for me and not so much for him, it was the one day that J had decided to go in late so he could catch up on some much needed sleep. So we woke his ass up, poor guy, rushed him as best we could, me with the "OMG FUCK! I'm working today!" and the Cracker with the "OMG my friends will all die of starvation if I don't bring snack!" and carpooled in. Now, normally I would have just at least attempted to change the damn tire, but you know, 7.5 mos pregnant and all, on a vehicle that I've owned for more than 4 years but never had to change a tire on, and how the hell do you get the spare out when it's up and under on the outside (SUV) which must require some tool and where the hell is the owner's manual... Yeah, no. So we made it, late, but everyone survived and snack was served.

Oh, and because what are the odds... I had not had a flat since like 2001, but after buying this set of tires in December 2006 I had two slow leaks, a nail and a screw, in the first 3 months. Interestingly, no nails/screws while the houses all around us were under construction, but two years after we are now up to three in a year. Oh, and this is the good part: this new nail was on one of the tires that had already been patched and right next to said patch, and they cannot patch next to a patch, so tire was a total loss at like 12K on a 75K rated tire. That takes mad driving skills yo, let me tell you. But because it was Costco, and I heart Costco (though they royally pissed me off the other day...vent later) I only had to pay $60 for a new $200+ tire. Hooray for the my wife aims for nails road hazard warranty.

Next day I go for my 3 hour glucose. The plan was for J to go to work ahead of time (lab is only a mile away from his office) and I bring the Cracker in and get started, J comes and gets him from the lab and takes him to school, and then if all is just perfectly timed I can pick him up. (School = 2.5hrs and is a good 10-15 minutes from the lab.) Except J is stressed, and even though I have been nagging him double and triple checking that he can do it, he forgets that morning and he can't. Fine, really. I just tell the lab that sorry, I have to drive my kid up to school after we get underway, I'll be back within the hour no problem. They say fine...they couldn't care less. I've checked in and they know why I'm there: 4 perfectly timed blood tests, the drink, and 3 hours. They tell me it will be a few minutes while they get things prepped. Except they can't stop flirting with each other long enough to start the process, and then suddenly it's busy. The Cracker and I are seated in the same long hall as the overflow from the walk-in clinic, and I the ever increasing Germaphobe (because I've already been sick enough once this pregnancy, thank you) am freaking out because everyone in New Mexico seems to currently have the flu: everyone at J's work, 1/2 the class is out at school, and it's headlining the local news. Co-mingling with urgent care and a little boy who must touch everything and then pick his nose is not my idea of fun. And I've been fasting for 14hours already. AN HOUR AND 20 MINUTES LATER they finally get me started. Wow, gee, thanks. All someone had to do to start the process was take a little vial of blood, then hand me a drink and start the timer, but flirting is way more important than doing your actual job. I end up rushing back to get him between timed tests and then have an hour to kill after finishing and before my midwife appointment in the same building. Oh, and I am suddenly shaky 15 minutes after the 4th blood draw. Fantastic sign, no?

As for taking my son with me to see the midwife... Can I just say right now how fun it is to have to pee in a cup with your almost 5 year old son watching and screaming DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING INCLUDING THAT WHICH SEEMS INNOCUOUS BUT MAY HAVE BEEN TOUCHED BY THE LAST PERSON WHO HAD BAD AIM, BEFORE THEY WASHED THEIR HANDS. And the room is so tiny that if he isn't facing me he's licking the wall inadvertently. And what are those wipes for Mom? Why are you wiping before you pee? Why do they come in little packages? What's sterile? Why do they need to be sterile? Bugs?There might be bugs???

(Sometimes, just sometimes, it is nice to have a checkup by yourself without the 20 questions.)

Results were, of course, not in yet and hour after the fact. But there was glucose in my urine at that midwife appointment, and I had my nice solid 1 hour fail, not to mention shakes after being done, so yeah, no suspense there.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My Something Happy

With all the sadness in the world lately, I feel the need to post something happy.

Voilà one "Smiling Porcupine"

(And if you happen to be eating your Wheaties at the present time urine is mentioned in a not so appetizing way below.)

Being the weirdo that I am, I asked the Cracker if he knew what porcupines eat. His guess? Popcorn.

So we ran to the computer to Wiki it.

Salt. They like salt. I enjoy popcorn for the salt, so awesome guess in my book. Know what else they like?

"Natural sources of salt consumed by porcupines include varieties of salt-rich plants (such as yellow water lily and aquatic liverwort), fresh animal bones, outer tree bark, mud in salt-rich soils, and objects impregnated with urine."

One day I shall remember to read ahead.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The world lost a really beautiful person today


Most of us are born into loving families. My dad was not. As the old saying goes, you may not get to choose your family, but you do get to choose your friends. Dean was my Dad's best friend; Dean was family to us.

He and my Dad had just left this last Thursday on a nearly month long tour of South America. This morning in Santiago, Chile, while getting ready to leave for the next destination, Dean simply collapsed. My Dad was right there.

Not only has he lost his best friend, my Dad is now struggling through loads of foreign red tape trying to figure out how he will get his body released to bring Dean home to his wife and daughters. My Dad will not come home without him.

I am beyond devestated for my Dad. They were best friends who not only spent much of their free time together, but also worked together, climbing the ranks together up until retirement. (Dean ended his career a Judge as well.) They had season tickets to the Giants and Bears Football together. All I can think is that those kind of friends don't come around more than once in a lifetime, and how very lonely my Dad will be.

Dean was my first crush, even though he had about 40 years on me. I still remember when he asked me to dance with him at his wedding. I was 6 and it was the most magical moment of my young life. He had me stand on his feet.

When I went looking for pictures tonight I found about a gazillion, but these were my favorites. The second one they had self titled "Judges Gone Wild"




He will be very missed.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Elevated

A month ago I had days where the pain was so bad I couldn't get out of bed, just lay there with tears streaming down my face. Just trying to get to the bathroom was a huge undertaking: the pain and inactivity made me stiff, I had a leg that wasn't working at all, and no idea where my center of gravity was. J was already working mega overtime on a project that had been doomed for months but was now nearing peak catastrophe levels, no family in town to help, it was scary because I was only at 25 weeks. The Cracker was born at 42 weeks, 1 day. What the hell was I going to do if things not only didn't get better but got worse over the next 15-17 weeks? It was all so unpredictable...one day I would be okay, and then a string of bad days would follow. I didn't really feel like it was fair to ask my parents to drag themselves out here from California to take care of the Cracker when who even knew how I'd feel tomorrow. It was after 5 really bad days in a row that I totally lost my shit and became hysterical and was able to get my first Chiropractor appointment moved up on an emergency basis. That was a Thursday. Whaddaya know? The next day was a better day...I was able to get out of bed. By my first appointment the following Monday things were much better again. I felt like an ass.

So...yesterday I was shooting my mouth off to J about how positively fantastic I was feeling. With all the little episodes of mini drama during my first and second trimesters resolved, my back problems/sciatica are under control under the care of an amazing (specializes in pregnancy) Chiropractor I felt on top of the world. I even had more energy, much more than I've had pretty much this entire pregnancy. And it all felt soooo good, not just physically, but mentally too. I'm 29 weeks pregnant, feeling fucking like Wonder Woman. I was done with the drama...this was how it was going to be dammit!

And today was going to be the best day yet, because this was my one day this week to sleep in past 7:15a. No school, no school functions, no Midwife/Doctor/Dentist appointments, no birthday parties, and none of that blasted Saturday morning soccer.

At 7:23a the phone rang. "You failed your 1 hour glucose test." I'm sorry...didn't you get the "No More Drama No Matter How Minor" memo? It's before 8a and I haven't had any caffeine since goddamn August.

"How badly did I fail?"
"Your level was elevated. We need more information."
"Did I barely fail, solidly fail, or miserably fail?"
"Solidly."

Fucking fantastic. My happy bubble is officially popped.

I know this isn't a diagnosis, and even if it were, it's not the end of the world. But just like clockwork, here we go again with a new thing every 3-4 weeks.

I am seriously pissed off.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Way too tired

So in case you missed it, here's Spiders on Drugs.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Funny how that doesn't narrow it down

"Hey Mom, can we go to that place again today?"
"What place?"
"That place blah blah blah blah blah."
"Huh? What was it called?"
"I don't bremember, but blah blah blah. Oh! And we got rockstar parking!"

My dear child, we live in New Mexico. Unless you're at Walmart, Flying Star, or a carniceria, rockstar parking just isn't a big wup.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Keeping It Real

If gardening bores you, well, this isn't completely about gardening, or the environment...eventually.


One of the most rewarding parts of home ownership for me so far has been having a yard. And in that yard I have been working on our very own 300sq ft veggie garden. Since our soil is 100% alkaline crap, it's been a slow process. Oh, and I am trying to not only get in as much rich organic matter in as possible for the least amount of money, I want to raise the whole 300sq ft bed a minimum of 18 inches.

Yeah. It's gonna take a few years, but I'm enjoying the ride. I'm a sweat equity kind of girl.

So we got into composting, and last year vermicomposting. When ever I think about it and I'm already in town I stop at every Starbucks along my route and pick up used coffee grounds, which with my totally alkaline soil is a rock star when it comes to amending the pH. Starbucks will literally give you gigantic garbage bags full if you request them. (Info here.) And dude, it's free. Awesome.

The whole family is pretty well trained, and just between composting, recycling and bringing our own bags to the store right now we could easily go 2 months before filling our city issued trash can to the top. Heck...even in our hick town they offer electronics recycling at no charge a few times a year. It just keeps getting harder and harder to simply throw things away.

So do I think my little family making a difference? Hell no! But it's the thought that counts.

------

Now, for the record, I don't plan on making lasagne, or spaghetti, or pizza. (Recipes here.) I also hear it's excellent sautéed up with a little onion and...what was it? Fennel, perhaps?

But dude, I totally want to bring home the placenta.

And I am oh so totally serious.

Fuck no I don't plan on eating it, but hello, it really seems wrong to just send it off as biohazardous waste, probably to some incinerator when I could, I dunno, find some way to use it to spruce up my veggie garden.

Totally organic homegrown zucchini...anyone? Anyone?

And once you find people you actually know have already BTDT the stigma fades quite quickly. Turns out a good friend of mine from our preschool co-op kept hers in the freezer for 2 years before she figured out what to do with it. Let me tell you...it was one of the top 5 hot topics of our drunken, off-site Halloween party. There's nothing like stories of freaking out the people who dare to explore your icebox sin permiso to get a party started.

(That and her husband dressed up as the most convincing Mormon missionary ever, complete with backpack and bike helmet. We like them and we're feel honored that they like us back.)

Honestly, I am not quite as hippie as I sound. There is still a part of me that keeps asking...really?

But my mind is made up.


Okay, so where to start? G-o-o-g-l-e.

Alrighty. Apparently I will need:

-a placenta
-1 large Tupperware container with a "very tight fitting lid"

Oh for Christ's sake.

But beware! DANG-EH! Step 5 of How to Take the Placenta Home warns:

"Keep it away from any pets you have. Do not allow your pet to smell it so it can get your baby's scent. Most pets have an instinctual desire to eat the placenta."


Good morning, friends. =)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sayonara Second Trimester

Good riddance.

I haven't been blogging because really all I want to do is complain, and complaining makes me feel like a total ass because I am fully aware that the world is full of people with real problems. (Not that any of that has stopped me from having the occasional pity party...I just haven't published any of it until now. But this will at least be condensed.) (And for the record, until week 37 with the Cracker I had the most boring pregnancy ever. Seriously.)

So, in the spirit of cleansing and moving on and having what I have decided will be the awesomest third trimester ever, here we go.


What I learned this second trimester:

Spotting that came out of nowhere and lasted a good full week = unexplained and apparently not of concern (after ultrasound) to anyone but us.

Still feeling really rundown = anemic by blood volume.

Not having a gallbladder = icky digestion issues = no weight gain through week 21. (But go me...I gained 4lbs for my week 25 appointment after holiday binging.)

It may just be two or three drops every time I sneeze, but incontinence = incontinence = unacceptable and deeply disturbing.

Back pain so low that really it's better described as above the crack all the way across my ass pain, but more so on my left = sciatica = Oh! So that's why my leg keeps falling asleep, except that it's painful, and stomping around/rain dancing does not even kinda wake it up = a bad day cannot just be walked off...the only relief is to lay down.

By week 24 standing up = swelling, but sitting = back pain = I prefer swelling. (Uh...isn't this a little early???) New thing learned: I can swell out of Birkenstocks but I cannot swell out of Crocs = good to know.

The uncontrollable urge to nest = a bitch on a bad sciatica day. Think I'm just going to get out of bed to unload/reload the dishwasher because of my God I fucking refuse to have any dirty dishes in the sink and it's going to make me feel better about the fact that I can't tear the closets apart and/or move furniture that's too heavy to move anyway that my husband swore he'd move last weekend by didn't = hysterical sobbing because even such a rudimentary task really really hurts and why the fuck can't I stop myself from doing in anyway? = I am screwed if I ever become a chronic pain patient = I am a wuss even if I did do a natural childbirth the first time around.

My first ever UTI. My first ever kidney infection. Apparently they were "raging." (And after a round of antibiotics incontinence = gone! Happyhappyhappy!) (And for the sake of brevity we won't get into my less than a day hospital stay, but yes, they did take it seriously and made a big affair of making sure I wasn't in preterm labor.)

In a misguided and unconscious attempt to deal with the Sciatica = start walking/sleeping/sitting/something funny that causes upper back pain = keeps getting worse = more crying because dammit I want to be detailing baseboards with Q-tips and cleaning up the cat gak that my son just slide across the carpet on.


(Think I'm done now.)


And in good news:

Waking up with leg cramps was new to me this pregnancy too, but I have now perfected the art of waking up, flexing my foot before they take hold and falling back asleep all within 1 second. Check me out...I'm super fucking talented.

My first Chiropractor appointment is Monday, and insurance is supposedly going to cover it without a referral. I. Am. So. Excited.

I got a pregnancy pillow today that came highly recommended and so far seems to rock. Lo and behold there's even still room for J in the bed. (He totally wanted to try it out because he thought it looked "awesome" so I totally took his picture with it and we thought we were pretty damn funny in the moment.) (Yes, we know that while perfectly suited for each other that no one else would ever love either or us, so this is it.)

First and middle...we have a full official name. (It's even been official for more than a month.) The first name is uncommon enough that it hasn't hit the Social Security Administration's Top 1000 Most Popular Girl's Names list since 1950 (very important to J) yet it isn't something that we made up. It's part old fashioned, part spunky, something you've heard of and comes with 3 fantastic possible nicknames. We're totally in love. The middle name is a variation of a tradition from my family where girls are named after a particular line of tugboats. J was very sweet about giving up one of his favorite names early on, which was good, because...no. While it started out as a joke, he seriously fell in love with Creirdyddlydd. I shit you not. "Thirteen letters and five of them are Ds...It's beautiful." UhhNO. On a random note, out of our top 3 girl names (all of which were decently unusual) 2 have been used in the last few months by Australian celebrities. (And for those who know me from back when or remember the stories of my crazy youth...I did my last foreign exchange student gig in New Zealand, not Australia.)


Anyway, that about catches things up. Sayonara.