Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ok, now what?

We have a very strange house. I love it, but it's so not built with a little one in mind. We have odd angles and metal and lots of the point that it's hard to mount much of anything. It's just plain difficult to find a gate (no, many gates!) to provide the safety we need. I'm realizing that more and more every day.

Here's what we have so far:

Any ideas on flexible gates? Or should we just get one of these:
I'm kidding. A little.

What? It's not like it doesn't happen. Google "baby in dog crate" and see for yourself.

Seriously though, I need help. Any suggestions?

Caught: TMZ Style

What we have on the video camera is so cute, but you know I can only upload from the other camera, right? Yeah, so you don't get the clarity, but the idea.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Secret Squirrel Strikes Again

Remember this?

Yesterday we caught Playette successfully climbing these stairs.

(Not the best photo of the stairs, I know, but it's all that I've got here with me and I was determined to post this before I forgot. So, if you look real close and squint, you can see the 3 steps that go from the living room to the dining room. See them now? Ok, good.)

WOOHOO since this is what she's been working on in PT! I give her mad props for this 'cause our slippery floors are not the easiest surface with which to work.

She did it again this morning when I was on my way out the door to work.

Yeah. Have fun with that today, BD! BWAH!

I asked him to try to catch her on video. We'll have to wait and see...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

From our crazy family to yours

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Fashion Flashback Friday

Who knew I was so fashion forward when I was rocking those heinous black glasses?

Jay-Z cira 2008

Crittle circa 1990

If party shirts come back in style, it's on!


We have quite a bit in the works for the next few weeks. By the time our vacation rolls around, we'll truly appreciate the break, I think.

Playette and I have several appointments. Mostly run-of-the-mill things that just happen to be occurring all at once, minus NeckClickGate. Just yesterday, I took her to the Opthamologist for an annual exam. As I hope for all of the others to follow, this visit was quite unremarkable. She can see just fine and her eyes aren't doing anything that causes any concern. There's no better sound to me in that situation than, "See you next year." It means no follow-up, no trying to get referrals straightened out, no 1-2 hour trips up North to the nearest children's hospital or satellite office. And, for the eye appointment specifically, it meant no scheduling of a procedure and no glasses. Not yet at least. And for that, I am thankful. Because if her eyesight is anything like mine at all, she will be sporting spectacles at some point. I honestly think she's challenging me enough right now without adding a fight over wearing glasses to the mix. If we can hold all of that off until she fully understands what the word "no" means (not that she'll listen, just know what it means), that would be great.

BD has school. The end of the quarter is approaching, but isn't coming soon enough if you ask him. There's plenty of work that still remains to be done, study sessions, and finals. He always does his studying at school, dedicated student that he is, so I have to accept that he may be out-of-pocket after Thanksgiving until the last professor says "pencils down."

Speaking of Thanksgiving, we do have plans. We've invited over some friends over that will also be staying in town for the holiday. All fellow military members and their families. I'm guessing we'll max out at about 12 people by the time the day is done. BD is frying a turkey (peanut oil doubled in price when exactly?) and I'm cooking greens, macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce (cut along the can lines just like Mom used to make). Everyone else will bring whatever they like to round out the menu. It should be nice. I'm looking forward to beating one particular couple at Spades. You see, I am not a hostess that is above sending at least two people home is tears so long as it's competition-related.

I have to work on Friday, but BD and Playette will be at home, doing what they do best. Sports-watching, playing, eating, and generally just enjoying each other's company.

Usually I'm pretty apathetic when it comes to holidays, but I'm actually looking forward to the next few days. The cleaning and the prepping, all a means to an end.

(Don't worry, I'm still me. Scrooge is surely lurking around in there somewhere.)

I hope that whether your plans are a festive event or a delicious day off complete with sleeping in and a good book, you are content.

Know that I'm thankful for you.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wing Night

If you've read here for more than 3.5 minutes, you'll know that we live in a remote (to me, at least) area and that there are certain things that you just can't get that I want.

One of those things in wings. Or wangs if you pronounce the word like you mean it.

One friend, let's call her Bandit C, got wind of a wang joint in the neighboring city, about a 30 minute drive away.

So, we loaded up the truck and headed to town.

Yes, I know it sounds like a scene straight out of Little House on the Prairie. But instead of supplies from Mankato, we made the trek for fried things and veggies to dip in creamy sauces, french fries that were both sweet and salty, and troughs full of soda. Laura, the rest of the Ingalls, and Nellie Olsen would be proud.

Anyway, big discovery? Playette loves wangs.

"I love you and all, Mama, but this here is my wang."

Double fisting and banging them together in delight. That's my girl!

There was ample adult supervision of the wang fest. Please don't call "the people" on us.

Seriously. Is it Friday yet?

Teeny disclaimer: This is from last Friday. I started writing it and then had to stop for some reason that I can't recall. I'm not as irritated as I was then, but the info is still somewhat relevant, so I'm posting it. Let the rant begin.

Today is finally Friday, right? RIGHT?!

You know what keeps coming to mind and making me chuckle every time? Brace yourself: it's not comedian funny, more like "WHA?" funny.

We got this letter in the mail a month or so ago. In it, it tells us how we are now responsible for paying for things that the Regional Center* used to take care of in full. Granted, it's a portion. A percentage. And I still am not completely sure why they do the things they do do, yet lack so much in areas that truly matter like frackin' therapy.

[*CA is broken into 21 regions that each provide services to people with developmental disabilities, some better than others.]


So, you know, I believe in the whole "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth" thing. I've accepted the benefits of things like respite and been happier for it. I mean, do I leave any doubt that I love Ms. J? I've even given California full credit for being good at things which they are good since I am so free to bash the things at which they suck. It's only fair, right?

Ok, so back to the letter. We read it. It said that come time for Playette's next IFSP, we'll be asked for our most recent tax info so that they could assess how much our contribution would be. Well, ok. I guess. I mean, if they gave us what we needed, I wouldn't be so protective of these wants I like so much, but ok. If Playette didn't have an extra chromosome, we wouldn't get anything. Mind you, I'd be 100% ok with that. Plus, I didn't have a differently-abled child for the "bennies." Trust me.

Apparently, this is what they do already with families of older children, but it's a new initiative for those of us with infants (0-3 years of age).

I put it aside and thought nothing else of it.


I got this weird paper in the mail. It was pink so I knew it was important. It meant that we were receiving some type of service. I look at it and it says "$2100"...$2100 for what?!

Well, apparently, the Regional Center is paying the school district $1050 per month (the paper was for 2 months?) to provide Playette with the federally mandated therapies she needs. Seriously? Again. Some more. Seriously? Trust me when I say that it's horrible. I dread those days that we meet with the Infant Program. I spend most of the time explaining what Playette can do (last time: "Really?! She's crawling? Since when?") and then telling the therapists what I've learned from the internet and other parents.

It's annoying to say the least. Where's the help in that?

You may wonder why we continue. Unfortunately, denying services just isn't an option we're comfortable with long term, so...

So I call the Service Coordinator (which I rarely ever do because it's always painful and never gets me anywhere) about the pink paper and confirm the reason for it since I had never seen one in the entire last year we've been in the program, then decide to ask about the whole "pay a portion" thing. Like, "What does that mean anyway?" You know, just in case we understood it wrong.

We didn't.

And then she proceeds to tell me that we don't have to wait until the next IFSP to start.

OMG, I'm still laughing.

Yeah, we'll get right on that.

Monday, November 24, 2008

What you would have just heard in my house...

Playette: crying in her high chair (no nap today)

BD to her: You should be happy, BooBoo, it's raccoon night (trash is out)

Me from the office: SHUDDUP!

BTW, I don't see them yet, but I've got the porch lights on...I'm sure they'll be here to torture me soon enough.


(Thanks, Shawndi!)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Because I can't let it go...

Dear Pottery Barn,

I hate raccoons too.



This was taken by BD last night before we started our night of debauchery (yes, he started paying attention to me and wanted me to "feel better already, dang!"). First, PF Chang's, then Pottery Barn (the scary raccoon blankets are $120!), Macy's (do I or don't I go back for that purse?), a British pub (is that how they clean the glasses?! Ew.), and a martini bar/restaurant (I can never return).

Reminder to myself: I am not in college anymore. I cannot hang.

Also, if anyone is on Facebook and has not yet befriended me, please do. I love that time-sucking thing.

Oh, and I have one more whiny post that I never finished the other day. So, yeah, I feel better, but since I was almost done with the rant, I'll post it later.


That's how much my Bronchoscopy cost.

Thank God for insurance.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Highlight

I had a crappy day at work.

The lady at the bank treated me like a thief.

I had to walk out of my PT appointment because they tried to overcharge me and I wasn't having it.

Playette's beloved primary caregiver's last day at the daycare was today.

I bucked against my own typical behavior and tried to get a beer after work...and the tap ran dry on me. Probably for the best, but still. (BTW, who else has a bar down the hall from their office and never goes but me?)

BD opted to talk to a friend when I wanted to vent.
But I did do one thing today that makes it all pale in comparison.

There was a "Thanksgiving Luncheon" for the parents at daycare today. I guess it's a bigger deal for the older kids, but they still encouraged those of us with infants to join in. I fed Playette turkey, ham, mashed potatoes (favorite, by far), bread, peaches, and milk. I sat on the floor, talked to (met!) other parents, and just let it all kinda fade away. I'm actually looking forward to Thanksgiving a little bit more now, if only for the chance to see my big girl chow down like that again.

I know it may sound silly, but even just writing about it kinda makes me feel better.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Good Grief

When was someone going to tell me that it's THURSDAY today?

I was completely oblivious until like 5 minutes ago.

SMH at myself.


Flashback Friday Thursday: Friendly Skies

Not for me, for Playette. 'Cause you know I better be done flying for a while, right? (At least not until we head to Mexico anyway. Wheeeee!)

Here's my calm, adorable travel companion while were were flying from Baltimore from Phoenix during part one of our big move west. She was so easy to fly with. It was just the two of us and I remember thinking, "Heh. This aint so bad."

November 19, 2007

And then there's my just as adorable, nowhere near as calm companion almost a year later. Yes, BD was there this time, but lemme tell you...even so, it was a lot harder. An hour and fifty minutes of entertaining a 1-year-old in a very small space is a very long time.

October 27, 2008

But this here? Dang it. She melted me with the whole "looking out the window thing and checking out the world" thing. She was in awe and then so was I.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

3 Interesting Tidbits

Yeah, I promise...more interesting than yesterday's rambling.

1. I got wind of this via an email I received today. I happen to think it's a very cool way of displaying information for doctors or anyone who may be in a position to talk to parents about a Ds diagnosis (or folks like me who just like to learn more), complete with different scenario options.

I don't know that we were told in a bad way, per se, but it surely could have been a leetle bit better. To be fair, I might have said that regardless, but I like to think that a few more (read: some) offered resources would have been helpful before we left the hospital. For example, there were several babies born with Ds at that very hospital in the few months prior and you would think that would have made them more prepared, especially since one of those parents was a Congressperson. Anyway, I'm rambling again. Here's the info:

Discussing Down Syndrome: A Physician's Guide

2. Also via email, I found out that Signing Times is having a Buy 3 Get 1 Free deal. Have I mentioned how much I love ST? I could go on and on, but I'll spare you. For now.

I know the songs and can sing along with the best of them. And by "them" I mean a group of 3-5 year olds. I've done it too. When we had everyone over for the Ds'elebration, I sat in this very (unrecognizably clean) office, popped in a DVD, and went to town. I like to think I was popular with the kiddos for like 10 minutes.

Anyway, so I like watching and singing and signing. Playette likes the watching part so far. Check her out, my little standing diva! [That's what she's doing these days. All the time. Everything is for pulling up on. No matter how dangerous (check out the towel milk drinking mat under her feet for proof.)]

3. Proof that we remain under attack. When BD cracked the door (WHA?!), this one didn't scurry off. He came closer. If I don't blog for a few days, please send help.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

No Mas Drogas

I've written about this before, but for another perspective, please read Jennifer Graf Groneberg's take on What to Say & Do If Your Friend's Baby has Special Needs.

I like her. She's smart. And she has pretty hair.
I've stopped taking the Vicodin. It makes me toooo loopy. I've got an infant. I can't sit in bed "tripping" all day long. Nope. That's it and that's all. My doctor seems to think that PT would be good for me and that I should be back to, ahem, normal within 8 weeks.

Like we need another therapy in this house. Geesh.

Maybe by PT, she really means "massage therapy." Yeah, maybe that's it. I'll keep telling myself that up until the day I'm rolling around on somebody's floor or strung up in some contraption.

A girl can dream.
Wanna know another thing I dreamt about? Buying a $260 carseat for $42.99. Stupid Target and their stupid price mistakes. I just got the email that told me that wasn't going to happen after all, which I kinda thought would happen but still.

Do you think maybe some of the suits at corporate are just sitting around, having drinks, and laughing it up at how they got thousands of regular folk all riled up about a bargain and then snatched it back? One day I will work my way up to that ladder and let you know. I bet I'm right.
I watch some crappy TV, honestly I do. I mean, I have a season pass for TRHoATL. With that in mind, First Class All the Way? Bravo? Seriously? Booooo.

To balance that out, I am loving Tim Gunn's Guide to Style. I flove (yes, flove) TG, so I don't know why I haven't checked it out before now. I really like it. Adding in a designer really makes it stand out from other shows in that category.

Now someone go nominate me. I need help. I dress like a lazy painter. Who just woke up. And realized that there was no clean laundry. And then borrowed clothes from a thinner neighbor with the same priorities so everything's wrinkled and and a little too tight and just not pretty at all.

This morning I looked in my closet, saw my shoes, and for the first time said to myself, "Maybe shoe shopping wouldn't be such a bad thing."

For me, that's huge.

It's the first step you know.

I. Have. A. Fashion. Problem.

Now what?
I probably just ruined all credibility with this post, but I really did stop taking the Vicodin.

Good thing. I have a Parent-Teacher Conference to attend. Hopefully Playette has stopped pulling hair.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pack Rat

I'm sitting here in the midst of what looks like the eye of a storm. I got the brilliant idea last week to clean out our office closet and, as I've mentioned before, I got as far as dragging out all of the boxes and coats and, well, leaving them.

At first it was just being overwhelmed that kept me from completing the task and then it was doctor's orders that provided me with a legitimate excuse not to lift, bend, and sort.

Guess what? It has actually been a gorgeous weekend here. Like high 70s and all that. I've been in the house, but I just thought I'd make you as jealous as I've been of everyone who wasn't stuck in the bed.

Actually, to be honest, I did break free and go see the newest Bond movie with BD and some of his classmates and...I would have rather stayed in the bed. Company? Good. Movie? Eh.

So, since I felt strong enough to brave the night air, I felt it was only right that today I venture back behind the closed door of the office.


Really, ick.

I am such a pack rat. I know why though. You know how either you, or someone you know, has this, like, family home that they go to on holidays, in the summers, or maybe even every weekend? Maybe you/they even still have your/their old bedroom, filled with childhood memorabilia? There's a high school diploma, photos of old friends, trophies, and posters? Well, that's my office. Since I don't have that kind of "home base" I must choose to drag so many things with me each and every time I move. Add in being a military family now and...whoa. It's a lot of crap. Each time though, I purge. I'm getting better. Still not up to BD's standards, but better. He knows better than to get on me too hard though since his senior photos are prominently on display in his parents' home. I'm glad they are though. Because he looks goofy and I get a kick out of it. Like I should talk, but still.

So back to my flea market office.

Every once in a while, I do come across something good. And then I say, "This? This I can keep for a little while longer." Because it made me smile. And who doesn't need an extra, unexpected smile every few years?

Postmark: 18 JAN 1995, Andover, KS

A lifetime ago, yet still relevant.

I'll provide a translation since teenage boys aren't exactly known for their fine penmanship.

Dear Chrystal,

I know it's been a while since I've talked to you. I'm sorry that this time it's for a different reason. Kristi told me about your mother and she said it's had a very big effect on you. I can't honestly say that I know how it feels to lost someone so close but I can imagine how torn I would be. Kristi was upset too, she was crying on the phone when she called me and explained. If there is anything I can do or Kristi can do, please just tell either of us. If it helps you, feel free to write to me. I can understand how the academy isn't easy at all and I know it will seem nearly impossible now, but whatever you do don't give up. I hope you don't hate me right now because I'm not feeling it like you are. I just wanted to write this to you and tell you how truly sorry I am that this happened to you. I guess this letter is from Kristi as well as me; I know she wanted me to sign her name too.

I never met your mother and I've only met you over a weekend, but Kristi as you know, talks about everything, including you. It's always about how good of a friend you are or how you manage to cheer her up. She told me about an time when I guess she went with you to your house, or your grandmother's house. From what I've heard you have a wonderful family with lots of people who really love you. She told me that your mother was a happy person who was great to be around and was always able to make you guys laugh about something. But Chrystal you haven't really lost her, she'll always be near you to protect you and guide you and I doubt she would want for you to quit that school now. Just close your eyes sometime when you're alone and relax and think of all the good things and you'll feel your mother near you! She'll always be there for you.

I hate to say this but I'd better turn out the lights here, it's 4am here in Kansas, you'll be up in an hour. Just remember toy can always talk to me and Kristi.

P.S. Chrystal you're a great girl and I hope you're still the crazy, free spirit I remember the next time I see you!

What a great guy, huh? And he was 18 or 19 when he wrote this. That's the kind of boy(s) you want to raise and/or for your daughter(s) to bring home, let me tell ya. He didn't have to write to me, but he knew that I was important to his girlfriend and she was important to him. Sigh. There's a long story with a happy ending for this couple, but that's theirs to tell.

Oh, I guess 007 isn't all that bad. Thanks, Ben.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Anatomy of a Cell Phone Photo

1. Obligatory ER waiting room background

2. Pout to symbolize pain

3. Bandana on head - Because pain or no pain, I still needed to avoid getting my hair all messed up. Coordinating color not required. It's all about priorities, people. Priorities.

4. Zip up jacket in lieu of shirt - for easy access to arms for blood pressure and possible blood draws, but no IVs (which, by the way, BD asked the nurse to give me one just for fun)

5. BlackBerry in hand - duh

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Forgive me, Pumpcat?

Really, I'm sorry.

Truly, madly, deeply sorry.

It's not that I've forgotten about you. It's just, you know, I've been busy.

Busy how? Sigh. You're really going to make this difficult for me, aren't you?

I know, I know. I deserve it.

Well, I was traveling all over the country, and then I was sick, sick, and sick again. On top of that, there was work and home life.

Yes, I know I had time to drag all of those boxes out of the office closet. But, but, you see I didn't even unpack them yet. That should count for something.

Oh, now you're just being silly. She couldn't be a Pumpcat again this year.

Why? Well, because babies grow a lot in a year! You wouldn't have fit.

Yes, she did go trick-or-treating.

She was a Peapod. A very adorable Peapod.

Now do you forgive me? Have I grovelled sufficiently?


So I can show the pictures now?

Thank you, Pumpcat.

Friday, November 14, 2008


I saw this posted on Renee's blog a while ago and thought I would share it here for those that haven't seen it.

I'm getting to a place where I'm more accepting of Playette's abilities and how she is going to do things...just all in her own time. I used to be sad when comparing her to her peers. [Shoot, wasn't I just there the other day?] But more often than not, I'm doing much, much better in that area.

I know that I've struggled, a lot, in the past with comparing Playette to her chronological peers. When you look at birth dates, she's behind. But when you look at her own individual development, she's making great strides. What I have to continue to do, for my own sanity's sake, is make a choice on which I prefer to place my focus.

When I choose the latter approach, I'm happier. I'm more relaxed. I'm proud. And that's where I want to be. It's a good place. Regardless of what comes next, I'm living in the moment today and I like what I see and feel. This is honestly the best I've felt of my own motherhood experience. Trust me, this new. It's like someone turned on the lights.

All that to say, here's a 3 minute video of Xervier Doney at 17 months. I love that I can be happy for him and proud of his abilities without getting sad that these are not Playette's particular strengths.

Isn't he an amazing little guy? What a great example of the potential that exists within all of our children. The sky's the limit!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"The doctor said I need a backiotomy."

Since I haven't been to the ER since my double-header back in June, and since I guess my outpatient surgery doesn't count towards my tally, I went back again today.

Good grief. Seriously? No, really. Seriously?

I'm back at home and in the bed now. Again. The drugs are wearing off, which sucks, but at least allows me to post somewhat coherently.

To back it up a little, on Monday I decided to ride my bike it to work. Why? Well, I've gained an obscene amount of weight since Playette was born and then I spent a month on the road eating crap which just, frankly, didn't help that situation one bit so I thought I'd learn to appreciate the scenery of our hometown, save gas, and sneak in a mini-workout a few times a week all at once. Good idea, right?

Well, it's Thursday and my bike is still at work.

I had to leave it there because on Monday evening my body was overwhelmed with pain. My lower back began to hate me in the morning and grew more angry as the day wore on. My co-worker brilliantly deduced that if walking was proving difficult for me that perhaps riding my bike home wouldn't be such a good idea. I disagreed (of course!), but then when I looked out the window and saw how cold and dark it looked, I changed my mind. It wasn't about my back. No, sir. It was about the raccoons. I knew they were out there. And in my weakened state, I wouldn't be able to defend myself. I could picture them chasing me on the bike (in my mind they are as fast as they are vicious) and then my back would lock up and I'd fall to the ground. To be eaten.

You didn't think I'd be over that already, did you? HA! Never.

So, yeah, I accepted her offer to drive me home.

I promptly crawled in the bed and BD took care of me. Very good care of me. I was out of commission all day on Tuesday, but was convinced that I was fine to work yesterday so I went in.

What a day that was. I had to get Playette to daycare early because the OT was coming. I could barely lift her which leads me to think that chicken nuggets, her newest meal of choice, are made of bricks. Anyway, so there was OT, then work, then home to pack the diaper bag, then back to daycare to pick her up, then off to an appointment, immediately followed by our monthly Parent Support Group meeting (hi, ladies!).

By the time we got home, put Playette to bed, and settled in for a romantic evening of Burger King and Bridezillas on TiVo, I was done. Done Done Done.

The pain kicked in for real again while I was trying to sleep and this morning BD found me on the floor. I couldn't get far and had given up. It was ER time.

My husband is amazing, y'all. He got Playette ready and fed, helped me put on my socks (complete with commentary), piled us in the car, dropped her off, and got me to the hospital. He even pushed my wheelchair without knocking me into any walls (maybe he took that class too?). We argued playfully about BlackBerrys, Tiger Woods, needles, pancakes, and Obama (no relation). If not for the circumstances, we could have called that a nice little date.

After I got a shot and some Vicodin, we got the results of the testing that was done (all fine) and were on our way. My sweet BD got me some lunch, filled my prescriptions, and helped me settle into bed before returning to his afternoon classes. When he's done, he'll take Playette back to the hospital for PT and then get back to his school work since he's got to play catch-up after missing the morning.

Me, I'll be here, trying to make myself relax and counting how many naps I have to take before I can finish an actual post (today's count: 3).

Oh, and the diagnosis was a "strained lumbar." I follow up with my doctor next week to see if there will be any next steps or if this was just a one shot (ha!) deal. Playette and I really didn't need any more appointments. Between the two of us, we're pretty booked in that regard through the end of the year. Ah, whatever. If we can laugh through trips to the ER then I guess we're doing ok.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

All together now...


Playette has a friend. She sees him every day. They spend quality time together. She's got other friends, sure, but this one she asks for by name.

Bear Chair.

Remember him?

My child will sometimes sign "milk" and maybe, if you're really lucky and catch her at the right moment, "more." This is a cause of great frustration and sadness to me because her peers seem to excel in this area. Why not her?

Honestly, I'm not sure, but as I learned in a Leadership Development training course that I hated took at work a few years back, we all have strengths and developmental needs. Not weaknesses, developmental needs. This was stressed over and over and over again. Little did I know back then that the term would stick with me and actually be applicable to my life. Back then I thought it was kinda ridiculous, but, hey, I needed this as a resume bullet so whatever.

Anyway, so Playette has some developmental needs and expressive language is one of them.

But this past weekend, we realized that "Aaaaah Cha" is "Bear Chair" and I couldn't be more proud. There's no doubt this is what she's saying.

She has a friend and she knows his name.

And here's one for the "I spoke too soon AGAIN" category: right after I wrote this post, Playette signed "more food" a couple of times and got me all teary. She continues to amaze me.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In Honor of Veterans Day

This, by far, has always been my favorite memorial on The Mall.

"The Korean War Veterans Memorial honors those Americans who answered the call, those who worked and fought under the trying of circumstances, and those who gave their lives for the cause of freedom."

Tubal Recappation

Otherwise known as "The Story of What Happened When They Stuck a Tube Up My Nose, Down My Throat, and Into My Lungs for a Biopsy."

I'm trusting that you're still out there, dear readers. BD just got on me about the two non-posts I've put up in the last week and got me all feeling bad. Hopefully, I can make it up to you with a little self-deprecation.

So, Friday. I was nervous, but it was tolerable nervousness. It was a normal morning. BD was rushing me, I was going "slow", and we got there on time. As usual. [Though he would tell you that we were 1 minute late. If it were up to me, we would have been 20 minutes late to make up for all that time we spent in the waiting room. Hmph.]


Waiting. Yeah, we were waiting. That seemed to be the eventual theme of the day.

They called me back at around 9:51 and BD stayed in the waiting room. Blah blah small talk with the nurse. Change clothes. Oh! New footies. Love these. What's this? A disposable blanket with a forced warm air hook-up. Very cool. Oh, you have kids? Halloween. Yeah, last week. Pea pod. Boy, then girl. Must be nice. Stare out window.

Me: By the way, I have, like, an IV phobia thingee. I hate them due to some bad experiences. Could you be gentle please?

Nurse: No problem. We have a policy here. Two sticks only. After that, we bring in a doctor. Plus, we use a numbing agent so that you don't feel it.

Me: Wait. I've had that before. So, you poke me before you poke me?

Nurse: Yes, but it's just like a bee sting.

Me: I know. And then it burns. By the way again, I'm scared of bees. So, bee stings, not so great. Also, do you have to stick it in my hand?

Nurse. Hahaha


Nurse: Let's get started.


Nurse: Oh, hmm. Well. Hmm.

Me: (I'm gonna hurl)

Nurse: Maybe we should try the other side? Is there any reason why we can't try the other side?

Me: (Besides me losing it?) No.

Nurse moves bed in order to gain access to my right side.

Nurse: It's too bad that you're dehydrated. It makes this more difficult.

Me: (You mean it's more difficult because I followed instructions and didn't eat or drink? Interesting.) I was told not to eat or drink. (I'm about to lose my dinner from last night, for reals.)


Nurse: Hm. Your veins. Hm.


That "YOW!" was from me. I don't know what she did, but whatever it was, it resulted in pain identical to that which one nurse inflicted on me when I was birthing Playette. It hurt. Really, really hurt. (See "bad experiences" above.)

Let me say this: not all IVs are bad. Some people know what they're doing. Some people are gentle, especially when you tell them that you're scared up front.

The last IV I got? Totally fine. It was when I had the CT scan with contrast a few months ago. The technician was amazing. So it's possible.

Nurse: Did I do that?

Me: Yes. I'm done now.

Nurse: Huh?

Me: I'd like to go home. I'm done.

Nurse: Well, I'm not going to stick you any more. I'm going to get the best person we've got. I'll be right back.

Me: grumblegrumble Why didn't you bring that person in the beginning? grumblegrumble

Nurse comes back.

Nurse: It'll just be a little while.

Me: No worries. I'd like to go home now.

Nurse: Really?

Me: Yes.

Nurse: Oh. Um. Should I go get your husband?

Me: Yes, please. And also please let my doctor know that I'm leaving.

BD comes back a few minutes later. Apparently, he's supposed to be "talking some sense into me" but whatever. It's not working. I'm looking out the window, tears coming from my eyes because I realize that I'm a grown woman with all my faculties and they still don't want to allow me to make my own decisions.

Bah Humbug.

BD proceeded to tell me that my lung would shrivel and be no more if I didn't agree to this...or something. He tried hard because at one point the nurse said that it would take my doctor 20-30 minutes to get there and then the next thing I knew, there she was. And then she proceeded to tell me that my lung would shrivel and be no more if I didn't agree to this.

Two to one. Ugh. Fine. I conceded.

The anesthesiologist came it.

(Yes, only two)

She stuck it in a really odd place. And it hurt. But it was in. I knew that I wasn't going to allow her to do it again, so if I were going to go through with this, I needed to just do it already. I asked for some towels on which to position my arm to alleviate the pain and began to repeat the following to myself:

I've felt worse pain than this.
I've felt worse pain than this.
I've felt worse pain than this.

I said goodbye to BD and rolled away. I was quite impressed with how well the anesthesiologist maneuvered my bed around the tight corners of the hospital. I wondered to myself if everyone was required to take a class in that. As it is, I knock Playette's stroller into walls all the time. She had mad bed rolling skillz.

We got to the room where the procedure would take place. It was small and there were a butt-ton of people in there, it seemed. The mad roller, a nurse, the radiologist, the nurse with the cool Indian name that she told me meant "running brook" after I asked her about it, and me. I don't remember seeing the doctor. I can only hope that she came in after I was doped up.

Next thing I knew, I was in recovery. Mad roller was watching me from behind a glass wall. Or was it her? I don't know. I was loopy. Regardless, I felt like I was in captivity. My blood pressure was normal. I do remember that. I checked every time I woke up from a nap. And then I would go back to sleep.

Eventually, I was rolled out of my cage natural habitat. Wait? Why is no one else in a cage? Am I contagious? Zzzzzzzz

I got home somehow. Car? One horse open sleigh? Raccoon gang? I can't be sure.

But I'm ok now. I had a sore throat for a while, coupled with some nausea, but by Sunday all was well. I have to use an inhaler and gargle twice a day, but I think I'll be fine.

Except now my back hurts. Totally unrelated, but I feel so bad for BD. It sucks that I can't even feel good about being waited on hand and foot. If you're still reading this, BD, you're a great husband. Thanks for fixing me when I'm broken.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Any Second

That's when Ms. J is due to arrive. Any second.

So I don't have much time. I will give you the play-by-play on my stint at the hospital, but I need more time than I have now. Good thing Tuesday is a holiday. Not only can I provide a decent, respectable post, but I'll also be able to attempt to clean up the mess I made of our office. Everything that was in the closet is all over the floor. Granted, it's well past time we emptied those boxes, but still.

We're headed to Oakland today to watch the Raiders lose. I've never been to NFL game (well, not that I didn't sneak into anyway...this time I'll have one of those actual SEAT things) so I'm excited about that part.

Eek! Time's up!

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Lil Loopy

Oh, today. So much to tell. It's all over. I did it. Well, eventually.

For fear of falling alseep while I type, I'll come back and try again tomorrow.

Thanks for the virtual support!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Scaredy Cat

I am paranoid. Well, maybe not paranoid because this is actually happening. So, petrified then?

Last night, while sitting on the couch watching television, BD and I heard a strange noise.

Playette was in bed and she was O-U-T so we knew it couldn't be her.

It happened again.

And again.

The feral cat (that we can't stand and the next door neighbor feeds) perhaps?


BD went into the office, the approximate area where the noises were coming from, and flipped on the porch light.


I am so done. I feel like I will never be able to leave the house in the dark again. There were at least 5 of them out there. A gang. Did I mention that they're fearless? The porch light was only a minor irritant. Seeing BD hulk over them on the other side of the glass did nothing to push them towards vacating the premises. It was like they were moon bathing.

BD stood and watched them for a while, providing commentary ("Oh, there's another one!") while I cowered on the living room couch with a blanket pulled up to my neck for "protection."

Frankly, I am not exactly out for living in an environment where I am expected to share my home in such a way.

After a while, BD joined me again, but left the lights on. Slowly, the crew made their way towards the front of the house. I know this because we could hear their big selves moving through the gate ("Now they're going down the steps!"). Ick.

I couldn't sleep, thinking about them getting in the house somehow. Irrational, I know, but still. Could they get in through the fireplace? [BD says no, but those suckas are smart, right?!] Could they open a door with their tiny fingers and opposable thumbs?

Out of curiosity, we conducted an internet search to see what people do when they are being overrun stalked harassed visited by these beautiful creatures. The answers were surprising. They ranged from "do nothing" to...well, let's just say "something a bit more extreme" and perhaps noisy.

This morning, as I was getting ready to put Playette in her carseat, I, all of the sudden, got nervous, thinking that maybe one of those raccoons had got into the garage somehow. No way was I going to let it jump out from under the car at me and pin me up against the well. Nah, I would outsmart it. I went to the driver's side, where there was more room, crawled in the back seat, closed the door, and strapped Playette in that way. Sure it took way longer and I surely looked foolish, but I was safe from being mauled and that's what matters, right?

As much as I'm afraid of waking up and staring a raccoon right in his beady little eyes, I'm just about as afraid of tomorrow morning's Bronchoscopy. I have developed a cold over the last day and I'm nervous about taking any medication for fear that it will cause a bad reaction with the anesthesia. I admit that I'm being a big baby about that.

The raccoon thing though? Totally justified.

The Nice Girl

I like to spend time on a particular social networking site. Generally, I'm a pretty social person and I love how I am able to connect with people pretty easily that I might not have been able to stay in contact with via other means.

Just the other night, I told BD about how excited I was to come across this one person's page. He feigned interest while I told him about how she was the kind of person I would have liked to have been when we were in college. Pretty. Athletic. Tough, yet feminine. Everyone liked her. It was common knowledge that she was very into church and, instead of being mocked, she was respected.

At that time of my life, I wasn't thinking about religion. It wasn't until years later that I would become what many would call "religious." I'm talking church several times a week, bible study, tithing and then some, no dating kind of "religious." Of course, I didn't call it that, but that's the common term so I'll use it here.

Several events took me off-track from that path once I was married. I think the last time that I went to church was 2 days before Playette was born. To be honest, my faith was shook. I was angry for doing what I perceived were all the right things only to have this "happen" to me. I thought that I had earned my Happily Ever After.

I say all that why? Well, I think it's important that you know what kind of person I am as I move back into telling you about this other young woman, the one I admired so much years ago. She was one of those people that seemed to bathe in good fortune. I remember when she had her 15 minutes of fame years ago when she participated in a television contest. I voted for her. Though she didn't win the top prize, she did end up receiving what most would consider a dream wedding.

So, as I sat and watched the election coverage last night and browsed the internet simultaneously, I read something disturbing that this young woman, the quintessential nice girl (NG), had written. Apparently, one of our mutual friends rooted for her chosen candidate publicly and NG left her a message attacking the character of this candidate.

It wasn't a disagreement on politics. That I wouldn't have a problem with. I'm all for intelligent debate. But this was callous, bigoted, and misinformed.

I was at a temporary loss of words. This was not the person I thought I knew.

Please. It's not about who you prefer. I don't give a damn. Seriously. I have views that I keep private and those that I share. This was different. When did people start forgetting what democracy means? Someone has to win. It's not always going to be who you prefer. This should be nothing new to any adult.

What scares me is the hate speech.

I wrote back to NG and let her know that I read what she wrote. By the way, she's still very open about her Christianity, in case that matters.

Later on, I noticed that she deleted her message on that friend's page. I, in turn, erased the one I left since it would now appear irrelevant and it wasn't about embarrassing her. I knew she had read it.

This morning, I saw the following on my page:

Although I did not support Obama, it is amazing that in 150 years we have gone from a country that wrongfully enslaved blacks, to providing equal rights to all, and now to having a black serve in the White House. God bless America!

It was duplicated, verbatim, on her own and that of the friend to whom she had made the original comment.

There are a few things about that statement that sadden me deeply.

It hurts to know that even the Nice Girl can say such hurtful things. What about the people that aren't so outwardly kind the majority of the time? Do I even want to know what they think?

I honestly don't mean to be naive and I'm not looking for validation. This blog is primarily for and about my daughter, not about topics like this. But I do also acknowledge this as my place...a place to work out my thoughts and try to make sense of the world.

And also, I guess if I really wanted to bring it full circle? I take offense to "blacks" in the same way that I do "Down's [sic] syndrome kids."

Please have the decency to at least fit the word "person" in there somewhere. It's very revealing if you don't.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Crappy Day Redux

Yeah, I'm not really feeling it right now. Not the love, not the sun shining, not the birds caw-cawing. None of that.

I'm in what most people call a "bad mood." A "funk" perhaps. Everything is pissing me off or leading me to beat myself up further.

And everything I think about blogging about seems like it will hurt me in the long run in some kind of way and it's just not worth it for the little bit of empathy that I'd receive in return.

Basically, I'm angry. At a few people. For things that have happened recently and things that happened some time ago. I've let stuff slide, I've swept it under the rug, and now it's coming back to haunt me like a giant dust bunny.

With teeth.

'Cause a dust bunny that can't bite you just doesn't sound scary enough.


Please bear with me. I'll be better soon. It's all emotional. The physical stuff is just par for the course. Hopefully, I'll get some answers on the lung thing after Friday.

Maybe I should go read the posts of the 4 people that gave their perspectives and realize that it's all about quality, not quantity. I may not have a lot of supportive people in my life, but I do have a few that will stand with me through anything. That's what I need to focus on right now I think.

'Cause I could spend all day moping about what I don't have.

Ever had one of these days?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Take a Break?

Eh, I guess not. It's really hard to do. Blogging is definitely a new addiction and after doing it for 31 days straight, it just would feel odd not to say something.

Too bad I don't have that same level of dedication for working out anymore.

I went and had a CT scan this morning. Painless. Short. No bigee. What I am a little nervous about is what it's in preparation for...I have a Brochoscopy scheduled for Friday morning. Supposedly it won't be much of an issue, but, well, I have in my head that they're removing some lung tissue and - ick. That just doesn't sound good to me, no matter how you slice (heh) it.

At least my doctor's name is Heal. That helps ease my anxiety some.

Today was my first full day back in the office in weeks. And it was crappy. I don't even know what to say about it because I don't know who reads this anymore. I like to think it's no one, but how bad would I screw myself even further if I'm wrong and I just went on a lunatic rant? Well, damn. We've got bills to pay and I don't need to take any more risks.

Wanna know where my child is while I'm sharing my thoughts?

Pardon me while I go google "How to be a Better Mother".

Sunday, November 2, 2008

You Can Vote However You Like

Yes, I've voted. [Since our "town" has less than 250 registered voters, I had to do it by mail. So Playette got an "I Voted" sticker and I didn't. Hmph.]

Anyway, I thought this video was (cute yes, but also) a great reminder of the upcoming election day. Yes, there are actually issues, not just personalities. And who better to explain them to us but 11 and 12 year-olds?

Look how they get along while stating their positions. I could wax poetic about "harmony" and "music" but I'm sure you get it. I hope.

You know what's scary? I heard on the radio the other day that in VA members of one party are passing out official-looking fliers telling members of the opposing party to vote on November 5th. I hope that doesn't keep people away from the polls.

Anyway, take a look in the case that you haven't seen it already.

The kids from Atlanta's Ron Clark Academy performing live "You Can Vote However You Like," a parody to TI's "Whatever You Like".


Obama on the left
McCain on the right
We can talk politics all night
And you can vote however you like
You can vote however you like, yeah

Democratic left
Republican right
November 4th we decide
And you can vote however you like
You can vote however you like, yeah

(McCain supporters)
McCain is the man
Fought for us in Vietnam
You know if anyone can
Help our country he can
Taxes droppin low
Dont you know oils gonna flow
Drill it low
I'll show our economy will grow

McCain's the best candidate
With Palin as his running mate
They'll fight for gun rights, pro life,
The conservative right
Our future is bright
Better economy in site
And all the world will feel our military might

(Obama supporters)
But McCain and Bush are real close right
They vote alike and keep it tight
Obama's new, he's younger too
The Middle Class he will help you
He'll bring a change, he's got the brains
McCain and Bush are just the same
You are to blame, Iraq's a shame
Four more years would be insane

Lower your Taxes - you know Obama Won't
PROTECT THE LOWER CLASS - You know McCain won't!
Have enough experience - you know that they don't
STOP GLOBAL WARMING - you know that you won't

I want Obama
Stick with McCain and you're going to have some drama
We need it
He'll be it
We'll do it
Let's move it

Obama on the left
McCain on the right
We can talk politics all night
And you can vote however you like
You can vote however you like, yeah

Democratic left
Republican right
November 4th we decide
And you can vote however you like, I said
You can vote however you like, yeah

I'm talking big pipe lines, and low gas prices
Below $2.00 that would be nice

But to do it right we gotta start today
Finding renewable ways that are here to stay

I want Obama
Stick wit McCain you gone have some drama
Iran he will attack
We gotta vote Barack!

Obama on the left
McCain on the right
We can talk politics all night
And you can vote however you like, I said
You can vote however you like, yeah

Democratic left
Republican right
November 4th we decide
And you can vote however you like, I said
You can vote however you like, yeah

Interview with the kids:

KS Recap

See Kristi's thoughts on our trip here.


Whenever BD and I travel for work, we are required to fill out a travel voucher in order to be reimbursed for the expenses we've incurred. On the form, you must put your start and end point, detailing where you stayed during your trip and for what reason. At the end of that list, there's a spot to indicate when and where your mission was deemed complete. In that box, you type or write in "MC."

Tonight, I'm glad to have reached the MC point.

My travels are done and we are home safely (my bags are another story entirely, ugh). There are no more flights on the horizon until we leave for our Mexican holiday at the end of December. I can't help but be thrilled. There's something about sleeping in my own bed that...well, that allows me to actually sleep. I don't do well in other places, generally. More often than not, I'm obsessed with creepy crawlies and thoughts like, "I wonder how many people have actually slept in this bed? Ew."

Anyway, I know who has slept in my bed...and in a little while it will be me.

I'd like to thank all of you who joined me in my other mission this month, 31 for 21, as it is also complete. I did it! Posting every day was absolutely a challenge. Some nights I was so tired or felt like my thoughts were totally random and no one would want to read that, but I pressed through and I'm glad I did. Thank you for not only sticking around to see Playette learn and grow, but also to see me learn and grow.

To my guest bloggers, I love and appreciate you all. Thank you again for opening up your heart and sharing your innermost feelings with the virtual public. I, for one, know how vulnerable a position that can be.

If you wanted or intended to provide a guest blog, please know that you still may. I'd love nothing more than to be able to share more perspectives in the future. I see a lot of value in it and I think others do as well. Please consider it.