Sunday, March 27, 2011

Man, do I suck

My life has been insane for the last year. Nothing genuinely tragic (such as a death or serious medical emergency), but enormous amounts of stress and fucked-upedness. I'm fine and my family is fine but it's been a helluva ride. Obviously I've been absent from here for nearly a year. I still compose posts in my head on a daily basis but never get off my fat ass to write them. Bloglines essentially went down the tubes and took my list of blogs with it. So I haven't even been reading much. I feel like I got knocked over the head with a frying pan, then was put on a rowboat and set adrift in the Atlantic. I am so woefully out of touch with all of you that I'm not even sure where to start to catch up. And that sucks. However, if *thinking* about you all the time counts more than making the time to actually *contact* you over the last year or to read your blogs over the last 3 months, then I'm all stocked up. I've woefully and dreadfully neglected each and every one of my IF sisters (including TOOTPU and the Braces Bunch) to the point that asking for forgiveness is laughable. But I guess I am. And I'm wondering what's new with you all.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sickness in the midst of sickness

I was sick last week. REALLY sick. I had strep throat. I will never secretly feel that my children should suck it up when they have strep throat. Because I thought I was actually going to die.

I'm not sure if it was a raging fever, the debilitating body aches, the excruciating headache, or the improbably painful throat that was the worst. It all sucked. REALLY sucked.

Anyway, at one point I realized that I was seriously sick. Not just I-feel-like-shit-I-should-take-some-Tylenol sick, but holy-fuck-I-feel-like-hot-ass sick. I dragged my haggard, feverish, miserable ass to CVS to the Minute.Clinic. As a testament to how desperate I was to seek medical attention, I took both of my kids with me.

This is a nightmare by any standards as they, for some inexplicable reason, think CVS is The Most Fun Place Ever. They get all revved up and start running up and down the aisles screeching like prehistoric birds. It's really quite embarrassing. They are fairly well-behaved for the most part but CVS makes them lose their tiny, tiny minds.

Megan shops endlessly for nail polish is ghastly shades of LIME! GREEN! and SHOCKING! PINK! and nasty glittery dark purple and whatnot. Then she shrieks and squeals with glee like she's just found a brand new Coach purse lying unattended on our front porch or something.

Liam heads straight for the sunglasses and rips every goddamn one of them off the rack to try them on. That, in and of itself, wouldn't be so bad except that he can't move on to the next pair until he seeks out someone (only a stranger will do) to show off how smokin' hot he surely must think he looks. In each and every pair.

I hate CVS.

Anyway, no one else was waiting in line at the clinic so I thought we'd be in and out of there in no time at all. In a jiffy! Toot sweet!

Not so much.

The exam itself took about 20 minutes, but most of that was spent waiting for the flu test to come back negative. The Nurse Practitioner who was helping me was plenty nice and all, but my kids had just about had enough of that little tiny room after, oh I don't know, about 3.4 minutes.

It was hellish. To begin with, Megan produces a steady, never ending, continuous, mind-numbing stream of conversation. "Am I being good? I am being good, aren't I? Will I get a treat for being so good? What will my treat be? Candy? Will I have to share it with Liam? I don't mind sharing but it might change what I would want to get for my treat. Something with a lot of pieces, you know. Maybe it won't be candy, maybe it will be a toy. If it is a toy, do I have to share it with Liam? I don't mind sharing but it might change which toy I get. What is this thing? Can I touch it? Why is she sticking that huge q-tip up your nose? It looks like it hurts, does it hurt? I hurt my toe today. Want to see it? Can I get my candy yet? Am I being good enough to get candy? Want to hear the song I learned from Ms. Betty at school? Can I get a Slurpee after dinner tonight since I'm being so good? I think I hear your phone ringing. Is your phone ringing? I'll get it for you, Mommy because I'm being really helpful. Will you tell Daddy how good I am being? When do you think we will be done in this room because I really want a treat. Can I get a new Zhu Zhu pet today? I don't want that as my treat, I'm just asking if I can have a new one. I like the pink one. I think it's name is Jilly. Mary Grace has the black one. She also has cool sneakers that light up. Can I get some sneakers that light up? Why is Liam crying? Why are you sweating? Can I help you with anything? Because I'm really helpful, you know."

I wish I was kidding, but that's what it's like all. the. time. I read an article today that called Kindergartners "chatterboxes." Some shit about how they are testing out their verbal prowess, building their vocabularies, learning to express their emotions, and all that happy shit. All I know is that we spend a lot of time lately playing The Quiet Game. It ends in the awarding of a pink Starburst candy and I don't even care that I've effectively bought her silence with sugar. I just don't care. Because my ears will start bleeding otherwise.

But I digress... so Megan is going on and on and on and on. Liam is climbing up and down and up and down and up and down and up and down on everything he can find. He's also trying to rip the glasses off my face, pull plugs out of electrical outlets, play with the NP's phone, open the door, and empty my purse while wailing about GUUUUUUUUUUUUUM! He's so freaking busy and so freaking fast that it's like all of these things are happening simultaneously. It's like he's a cartoon character who has somehow cloned himself and is capable of mischief in 5 different locations at exactly the same time. I wish I was exaggerating.

Anyway, we finally get out of that room and go back to wait for my prescriptions to be filled. (Side note: I want to marry the person who invented penicillin.) For whatever reason (because someone was HATING me that day), it takes for.fucking.ever for my prescriptions to get done. Again my children are running amok, Megan is blathering on about nail polish, and Liam craps his pants. I am a raging idiot because I, in my fevered delirium, neglected to bring any diapers or wipes. Because OF COURSE he's going to shit himself.

So I buy diapers and wipes at 400% of what I should pay for them and head off to the employee-only bathroom. Guess what they don't have in that bathroom. A changing table. So here's what we do... I wrestle Liam into a headlock, take his pants off, and gently lay them on the floor. I attempt to place his head on the pants so I can change his diaper. He decides that this is A TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE or something equally as shocking, and bucks like a horse on an LSD trip. Megan's commentary has started, "Mommy, why don't they having any place to change diapers in here? That's not very convenient, is it? Do you need some help? Because you know I'm helpful, right? Want me to hold him down? What is that smell? Is that his poop? Because wow, Mom, that smells really bad. Liam, buddy, what did you eat today? Mom, did my poop smell that bad? I hope when I have kids they don't have smelly poop like this. They should have air fresheners in here." and on and on and on. You get the point.

I actually missed half of it because Liam was screaming his fool head off and I was openly weeping. Did I forget to mention that my temperature was 101.8 at the time? I was 99 shades of miserable and these crazed little nutjobs that I stupidly brought with me are about to push me right into hysteria.

This all goes on for a long, long time since it took them almost 40 minutes to fill my prescription. In that time, Liam managed to bite through the packaging of 2 different chocolate bars and Megan somehow got her arm stuck in the cuff of the free blood pressure screening machine. We were something to see, people. Yes, we were.

I finally got them the hell out of there and out to the car. Liam was freaking because he didn't want to leave. He never wants to leave. It's CVS, for chrissakes, and he would live there if I let him. Plus he now morphs into devilspawn when it's time to get strapped into the car seat. It's like the cloth cover has been lit on fire or something, the way he thrashes and wails. I manage to break his perfect plank position in order to get his obnoxious ass into the car seat, and then get Megan strapped in. I am literally sweating, my teeth are chattering, and I'm feeling lightheaded.

I turn on the car and notice that it's 6:30 which is dinner time. Hello, McD's. My kids are thrilled. I think we are in the home stretch until we get about half a mile from CVS and Megan sweetly says from the back seat, "Oh Mommmmmmmmmmy, loooooooooooooooook." I turn around to see a huge smile across her beaming, beautiful face. I realize all might be right in the world after all. And then I notice what she's holding up for me to look at.

She has stolen a bottle of nail polish.

I shit you not. So I have to drive our asses back to the store. Unstrap everyone. Drag us back in there. Make her apologize. Find out where, in the vast ocean of the nail polish section, this stupid fucking bottle of polish goes. Try to get out of there. Liam freaks out when he realizes we are leaving. He thrashes about and hits me in the face. Twice. I can't tell if it's on purpose or not, but I make him sit in a time out anyway. On the floor. The dirty floor. In CVS.

I sat next to him and cried. Megan rubbed my back and chattered away incessantly, cooing apologies and platitudes in my ear. What a sweet little thief.

Finally we get back out to the car and I get to go through the hell that is strapping Liam in. I get McD's for the kids. We go home.

Alas, I did not die. And I feel much better now. Want to know what's insane? I've typed all of this nonsense and haven't even gotten to my point yet. Hmmmm, now where do we think that Megan might, maybe, perhaps have gotten this personality disorder of the talking, talking, talking. Huh?

The message in the title of this post (remember it, waaaaaaaaaay back up at the top) was that even as sick as I was, I still managed to find a way to act like a deranged infertile... If you've never seen a strep test up close, it's a test strip. A whole helluva lot like a pregnancy test. The idea is that you have a control line and, if the test is positive, a 2nd test line that shows up next to it. EXACTLY like a pregnancy test.

When I saw that test strip, I felt a little faint. I became desperate, praying to the Test Strip Gods that we would see a 2nd line. Now, I ask you, who in the hell WANTS to have strep throat? What person needs to see a 2nd line on a test strip so badly that they use their mindskillz to WILL a 2nd line to show up? A crazy-assed infertile, that's who.

All I can say is that I bet that lady never saw someone so enthusiastic and pleased over a positive strep test. If you thought I couldn't get any whackier, then get this... I asked her if I could take the test strip home. Luckily she said no because, really, that would have been just too much.

I'm going to choose to blame it on the fever.

And for what it's worth, I'm also going to chose to stay the hell away from CVS until my children are in high school. They can't be trusted to act like normal human beings in there. Nevermind that I was spewing step virus everywhere, visibly crying, and eventually sitting in the middle of the aisle with my son in a time out. It's because of THEM that I will never show my face at that CVS again.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

How many packets of fruit snacks is too many?

There are dozens and dozens of reasons why I love our nanny. I don't *love* her in any sort of inappropriate way, I just love how well we get along and how fantastic she is with my kids. I originally thought it was because our last nanny was such a soul-sucking, wretched, miserable, bitchy hag and this one seemed wonderful only by comparison. But I was wrong. She is wonderful.

She is nearly bereft of all domestic abilities -- apparently she could burn water trying to boil it -- but I don't care. We love to see how she loads the dishwasher, it's kind of like it was done by a drunk person. Who was also blindfolded. But we find it endearing.

When she folds laundry it kinda resembles origami. But we don't mind at all. Hell, someone else is collecting, sorting, washing, drying, folding, hanging and putting away my kids' laundry. Am I really obnoxious enough to complain about it? Um, nope.

Anyway, we love her. She just had her 1 year anniversary with us and we are still thrilled with her. I could go on and on about all the reasons (more than I already have? why, yes!) but let me just share with you some of the random texts she sends me throughout the day...

  • Liam just picked up the thermometer off the changing table and poked himself in the butt with it.
  • Was screaming, now sleeping. I have no idea what just went down.
  • I had my blinker on turning our of ur neighborhood and Megan asked me if I was texting while driving. She said that's not safe.
  • Liam is smashing everything in sight with the broom. Taking him to the mall.
  • Ur son just spit OJ all over his stomach and screamed uh oh!
  • Liam just yanked out a kleenex and dusted ur living room.
  • How many packets of fruit snacks is too many?
  • Just a heads up, I just caught ur son trying to scoop the fish out of the tank with a red plastic frying pan.
  • He's an evil genuis. He's all sweet when ur here but a few minutes ago he ran into the kitchen and threw his string cheese at me.
  • Putting a tiny bottle of Smirnoff in recycling. I found it in the parking lot. It was not consumed on premises. :-)
  • He's smelling fake flowers and going "hmmmmm"
  • Hope u like messy houses.
Can you see why I love her so?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Things That I Know

A random assortment of things that I know to be true:

I know that you need more sleep when you do stupid shit like try to print off a coupon for Office Depot. For ink cartridges. For the printer that won't print anymore because it has no ink. ON the printer that won't print anymore. Not smart.

I know EXACTLY how this person feels in this post. EXACTLY. This post is so dead on regarding how I feel it actually spooks me a little. Except that her son sleeps through the night. And my almost 2 year old doesn't. If she would just move closer to me, we would be such BFFs that we would probably annoy people.

I know that I am shocked that it has been almost 6 months since I posted. I've composed dozens and dozens of posts in my head and it's weird to think that none of them have made it to my blog.

I know that just because you totally kick ass at Wii bowling doesn't mean you have any skillz at all at *real* bowling. Believe me.

I know that my husband is one of the greatest husbands in the world. He cleans, he does all the laundry, he can take care of all aspects of our children with little to no guidance at all, and he would never cheat on me. He is also one of the biggest assholes I've ever met. Go figure.

I know that I am so excited that these babies were born that I can't stand it. I don't even think this chick knows I exist but I have followed her story forever and am honestly moved to tears with happiness that her boys are home safely.

I know that I miss my TOOTPU friends. I don't get to enough gatherings and I don't keep in touch as I would like to. I especially want to get together with fabulous Mel and let our nearly-identically-aged children play together at the play date we've been trying to organize for months and months, but I'm too busy and somehow simultaneously too f'ing lazy to make it happen.

I know that I can't remember the address for Sunny's blog. I was too lazy to add it to my reader and now it's gone from my address bar history, so I haven't read it in at least a month. Help!

I know that it's coming up on the 2nd anniversary of when my ex-fiance killed his parents. I stopped by his Uncle's house (also my sister's neighbor, that's how we met) to let him know I was thinking about their family. We hugged and cried. That sort of stuff happens to other people, people on TV. I'm just thankful that I will NEVER EVER have to worry about bumping into him on the street. (What with the consecutive life sentences and all.)

I know that beef stew is magical. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I think I've made it once a week for months now. But I can't take it to work for lunch. Because I always eat it ALL by 10am. It calls to me... "Leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeat me!"

I know that I love my sister with every fiber of my being. Her daughters have turned into evil teenagers and they break her heart on a regular basis. It makes me want to kick their asses into next week, then hug my sister until she begs me to stop.

I know that work is killing me. Seriously. k.i.l.l.i.n.g. me. I love my job, I love all the insane amounts of responsibility I have, and I love to work hard but it's sorta out of control right now. Know when it will get better? February 2011. Aaaaaaaaack.

I know that for the past month, my typical night's sleep is from 2am - 5:30am. This is not working for me, I am falling asleep at traffic lights. Not cool at all.

I know that I miss my car. A very nice, albiet super old (87 yo) lady ran a red light in the middle of downtown Baltimore and crashed into my car. Deployed the side curtain airbags and everything. I'm fine, but my car has been in the shop for weeks and I miss it. To give you an idea of how crazed work is right now, after the accident when I finished dealing with the cops, I shoved the airbag back up into the ceiling and drove to work. I popped about half a dozen Aleve, and then, 9 hours later after I finished working, drove straight to the body shop to drop my smashed up car off.

I know that my kids are finally old enough to actually play together. Aside from the sound of a dispensing slot machine in Vegas (chingchingchingchingchingching), there is no sound that makes me happier than to hear the sweet giggling of my kids as they conspire and goof off together. Okay, I actually enjoy my kids' laughter more than slot machine noises but it's awfully close...

I know that I am so damned excited that this person is pregnant that I can't even stand myself. I actually catch myself randomly smiling during the day at the thought of it. :-)

I know that I still read blogs every single day. I suck about commenting enough, but I really do still read blogs each day and keep up with my peeps.

I know that Liam is insane. Seriously, I think he's got a screw loose. Good thing he's so freaking cute and funny that his personality will probably carry him through.

I know that I miss posting. I fully intend to post more often. Even if I have nothing useful to say. I just miss organizing my thoughts and getting them down in print (and thus out of my head).

I know that I'm crazy, demented, over-the-top excited to buy this book. She is one of my favorite bloggers and to think that I'm going to get to read an entire book full of her writing makes me giddy and a little bit dizzy with excitement!

Lastly, I know that it will be a miracle if anyone even reads this. I assume most people have removed me from their readers and/or don't bother checking anymore.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I am alive

Thank you to those of you who have been checking on me. I have not expired from surgical misadventure, septic gallstones, or the complete decay of my mental abilities. I'm just lazy. And busy. Simultaneously. They seem like they'd be mutually exclusive, but I guess they aren't.

Things are good here. Kevin got a new job with a nice, big raise and lots more responsibility. Yay! I'm as fat as ever, and on the brink of a major body overhaul (via diet and exercise, I wish it were more extensive). Work is keeping me outrageously busy but that's a good thing. I'm preparing for a huge consignment sale that I help manage, I'm completing preparations for the Ministry Fair at my Church, and have started a Daisy Girl Scout troop at Megan's school. No rest for the weary (and stupid).

Megan started Kindergarten and is doing well. She loves her teachers, has a couple of friends in class, and although I know she's tired each day, she's weathering it fairly well. She had TWO birthday parties this year which were big fun but lots of work. I'll post some pictures of the tea party we did for her school friends as well as the kick ass Tinkerbell cake that my best friend helped me make for her family party. I still can't believe Megan is 5 years old, it's like I was pregnant with her yesterday!

She spends oodles of time in trouble for manhandling Liam. If it were an Olympic sport, suffice it to say that she'd medal in "Beating Up on Your Brother." We've tried many variations of punishments and reward systems, and have enjoyed some success with each. Wish us luck, this is going to be a long road of sibling jealousy, we can see it now.

She is a beautiful little girl with a giant heart. Her sandy blonde curls are completely gone, and have been replaced by thick, wavy brown hair. She hasn't lost any teeth yet so she's still got that adorable little-tooth smile that can light up a room.

She got her ears pierced (didn't even flinch!), loves to wear her black high heeled boots, and desires faaaaaaar more bling than I ever have or ever will. We started letting her watch Hannah.Montana and now she thinks she's a teenage rockstar. Please shoot me.

She isn't eating much anymore, but is still shooting up like a reed. She really gives a shit about what she wears (which is a real drag), and won't wear bows in her hair except on rare occasions. [sniff, sniff] She is determined to grow her hair down to her feet, but if she doesn't stop giving me shit every time I try to brush that rats nest, then I'm chopping it all off. And she knows I'm not kidding, so these struggles are starting to dissipate.

Liam ... well, Liam is best described as a menace. Seriously, this boy wears me out. If he can touch it, break it, taste it, or carry it around, he will. I joke that we should have named him Chuck. Hand him something, and his initial reaction is to throw it. Hard. Far. Then run (walking is apparently for sissies) over to it and shove it in his mouth. After both of these activites are completed, then -- and only then -- can he take a moment to actually inspect it and see what he's got his hands on. Of course, after this assessment, his next step is typically to just throw it or bite it again anyway.

He is a study in constant motion and he is hilarious. He's finding his voice (Lord help us, we've already got a house full of talkers), and his temper as well. Awesome. I need to post a video of him dancing because you've never seen something so funny and cute in all your days. Let's just say he channels a bizarre mixture of Elvis, Elaine from Seinfeld, and John Travolta. Just take a moment to picture that. It's good stuff. One of his favorite channels to dance to is the Weather Channel. No lie.

He's got some new teeth, has finally grown hair, and has taken the act of saying "Hi" to a new, agressive level... "hi. hi. Hi. Hi. HI. HI!!!!" Heaven help you if you don't respond in kind. He'll practically come over and bitch slap you.

He's sleeping well (finally!), growing like a weed, and eating us out of house and home. He rarely sits still but when he does, it is to give an extended and wonderful hug typically followed by a dramatic kiss complete with the "mmmmmwa!" sound. Then he's off.

For a taste of what we are working with on a daily basis, let me tell you what he's like in the shower. First, he prefers the shower to the bath because he loves to stand under the streaming water and blow bubbles with his mouth. When he's done with that, he'll tear all of the shampoo bottles off the shelves and throw them around. Then he'll pry off the drain cover, shove his fat little hand down the nasty pipe, and will LICK the underside of the drain cover. Complete with that pinkish water mold stuff. Yes, it IS every bit as horrifying and revolting as it sounds. He's so fast and so wiley that he accomplished that little feat while I was washing the conditioner out of my hair yesterday. I think I screamed so loud that the neighbors could hear me.

I have another post brewing about how reality measures up to the fantasy of completing our family building activities. I'm just struggling with the words to express my thoughts.

In the meantime, I still read your blogs. Every single day. I just don't comment much and obviously don't post for shit. Please forgive me! I'm celebrating your joys and triumphs. I'm also mourning your disappointments and losses. I promise, I really am.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Earflaps, Hubcaps and Mousetraps

I wrote a poem. I've written poems before -- anyone remember 'Twas the Night Before Transfer?. I've also rewritten classic stories such as Snow White. Clearly, I shouldn't quit my day job.

What is this new poem about? The surgeon who removed my gallbladder. Actually, it's as much about the whole adventure as it is about any particular surgeon. But it still cracked me up anyway.

Ode to the Minimally Invasive Surgeon

How do I feel about my defective gallbladder?
My friends, it was worse than wrestling a death adder
It made me unhappy, not just mad, but much sadder
And when it was gone, I have never been gladder

Well, we ripped the bitch out, it was heaved, tossed, evicted
The sweet relief that I felt was even more than predicted
Oh the pain that the little bastard inflicted
Had me straight on the road to being pain-drug addicted

So, you ask, oh Leah, what could really be worse?
What could be so bad that you think it's a curse?
What would make you wish you were carted off in a hearse?
What could make you feel pain so bad it's perverse?

It's a stone! A gallstone! Stuck in your bile duct
I am here to tell you that WOW how it sucked
I was in so much pain that I bucked and I clucked
I writhed and I moaned, I even upchucked

So, my friends, if you feel that your insides are urgin'
If you find yourself having meals then immediately purgin'
Don't be a wuss, unless you're a surgery virgin
Run! Don't walk! To your nice, friendly surgeon!

He's capable of so much, many things he can fix
He'll do what you need, even remove your appendix
He's got all kinds of talents in his big bag of tricks
With a flick of his scalpel, he'll provide a quick fix!

What's your problem? A hernia? A rectal prolapse?
Well, pull yourself up by those proverbial bootstraps
No need for earflaps, hubcaps or mousetraps
Go see your nice surgeon, he can help you perhaps

What's got you down? A bout of ulcerative colitis?
That's far more painful than having just sinusitis
It even sucks more than enduring gastritis
When your surgeon is done, you will feel like King Midas!

He'll fix you up right with his surgery skills
He'll save you from living on narcotic pills
No longer you'll need endure the battle of wills
He'll release you from all those pain-addled dunghills

Yes, a Minimally Invasive Surgeon is your friend, there's no doubt
He'll make you want to get on a rooftop and shout
You can eat what you want! No need to live without!
And that is the end of this tale, there's no doubt.

I worked fairly hard to use the phrase "catastrophic surgical misadventure" but it just didn't have that Seuss-like cadence or flow.

The good news is that I am feeling 100%. I'm considering writing a little ditty about my poop since it's so weird these days, and will surely share it here first. :-)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Happy Liver, Sad Panky

The ERCP went fine yesterday. The urine sample I provided before the procedure was interesting. It was sort of a copper color. The GI doctor just looked at it and said, "Um, yeah. Your liver isn't very happy." I guess it's happy now. My pee is a normal shade of yellow, and my eyes aren't. So that's good news.

Today's adventure? Post-ERCP pancreatitis. I've given my pancreas (and it's friend The Pancreatic Duct) a new nickname: Panky. Panky had better shape up or it will meet the same fate as Mr. Gallbladder*.

If it weren't for My Reality, I would be thinking I was a raving, hypochondriac, unlucky nutjob. Fortunately for me and unfortunately for her, she's already traveled this road and has held my hand along the way.

I'll take this and any other pain (including labor pain!) over that gallstone-in-the-bile-duct pain. Today's issue is accompanied by endurable pain, endurable nausea and strict orders not to eat or drink anything. Good times. At least my weigh in on Tuesday should be a good one...

Thanks to everyone who has been checking on me!

* Not really, because I'm not sure you can just rip your pancreas out. Seems to me that there might be some nasty complications as a result.