Wednesday, November 26, 2008


My sister-in-law, the one who had Baby M, is pregnant again. I'm not sure if I've mentioned that before here. She's due the first day of February, but given her history with preeclampsia, it was assumed the baby would be born before that. She had some early signs of preeclampsia pretty much from the moment she got pregnant, and then, she had an ultrasound that showed some possible abnormalities (though nothing definitive) with the baby. She has been cautious, emotionally-speaking, regarding this pregnancy, which is understandable after everything she went through with Baby M. But she was disheartened by the less-than-stellar ultrasound.

Then yesterday, another doctor's appointment. All traces of preeclampsia are gone. Her blood pressure is fine. And another ultrasound showed the fluid around some of the baby's organs, which was thought to indicate a problem, was gone. A perfect, perfect doctor's visit. Almost as if, for the first time, she wasn't a high-risk pregnancy. Maybe she would not have to deliver the baby early after all.

Then she got home to find out that her husband is being deployed, quite unexpectedly, to Iraq for a year. Leaving on January 30, two days before her due date.

Heaven help me, but I laughed when I found out he was being deployed. He's so not the type of guy you would think about sending to war. Regardless of whether I care for the guy, I still don't want to see him go off to war. He's been in the Navy Reserves for years, but the Iraq war really isn't a Navy war, so there was never any talk of deployment. Turns out that his new profession as a law enforcement officer cast him in a new light. He'll be retrained to be, I think, military police, riding in humvees.

At any rate, I think my sister-in-law is pissed, scared, stressed, you name it. This should make for an interesting Thanksgiving.


Last year, I said I was thankful for day care. And while I still love the idea of day care, if not my particular one, this year I'm thankful for different things. One, that my husband is not being deployed to Iraq and two, after reading manyp personal blogs about infertility and infant mortality, I'm more thankful than ever to have my sweet little Rolo. The heartbreak that others, including my sister-in-law, have gone through is unimaginable. And so I am so lucky to have a great husband and wonderful, healthy baby.

What are you thankful for?

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

15.5 Months

Last week was not nearly as bad as the week before, but it did end with a wicked stomach virus. On Friday, I sent Rolo to his grandmother's house while I proceeded to make love to my toilet for the next 7 hours. Awesome.

So far, this week isn't too bad (knock on some wood here). Rolo is coming up with all sorts of delightful new tricks, including being able to open some doors. He doesn't say too many words yet, but he understands just about everything. Sometimes more that we realize: last week I asked him to get his ball, but he couldn't reach it and so he brought me his flash card with a picture of a ball on it. Scary. And earlier this week, he said his first "real" word--by which I mean outside of the usual "mama", "dada", "ba" (bottle, I think) and "dat" (that). I showed him a picture of an apple, said what it was and he promptly repeated "papal", which is close enough to apple for me. It was the first time he's really made an attempt at repeating something we've said, so I can only hope that "no" and "shit" are close to follow.

He's totally in love with his 4 cousins and points to their pictures nearly every day, demanding to be picked up to see them better. When he sees his only male cousin in person, he's completely infatuated and tries to copy everything he does. It's sweet.

Rolo's gotten much more settled at school. He never cries when I leave him anymore--unless, that is, there's something out of the normal routine. Like his mother, he craves routine. Today he had a doctor's appointment, so I brought him to school late. It was just before lunchtime and that I was dropping him off without his usual breakfast ritual proved to be too much for him. But even then he only cried for a minute before he started playing with his friends.

His obsession with books continues and he occupies himself for a long time, flipping pages and pointing to things. I read to him every day in the mornings and evenings. His other obsession, dogs, is still in full gear and he's added SEPTA buses to the list of things that fascinate him. Since our walks include passing by many dogs and many buses, it's never-ending entertainment.

He'll sometimes throw full-fledged mini-tandrums now, complete with kicking, screaming and occasional face-clawing (mine, not his). They only last a few seconds, but they may a daunting reminder of things to come. So far, I've been calmly explaining to him that he must be feeling frustrated or angry, but that [insert bad behavior here] is not acceptable. He can be surprisingly reasonable but I'm sure "time outs" are soon to be in my future.

I'm sure I say this every time I post about him, but it never ceases to amaze me how much of a little boy he is. If he wasn't so tiny, you would think he was about 4. And as my life continues to morph into something else than what I imagined (just today I had to give a presentation to senior execs right after the doctor's appointment, so I showed up with a sippy cup in hand), I'm still grateful every day to have this little guy.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lovin' It

If you want to taste heaven, get yourself to Bonte and try their Chocolate Macaroon Latte. If you like chocolate and a slight coconut flavor, you will LOVE this.


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Testing 1, 2, 3

So far, this week is kicking my ass all over Texas. Why Texas? I have no idea.

Monday I managed to throw my back out, doing nothing other that getting up off of the sofa. I always wondered about that term "throwing my back out" and what it meant. Well, since birthing a child, it's happened to me at least 3 times, for no good reason and the result is always me leaning over to one side because I simply can no longer stand straight up. I have a feeling my lower back has always been on the weaker side and apparently months, going on years, of doing no strength training isn't helping.

Then on Tuesday I got "the call" from day care, the one where they told me in a completely panicked tone of voice that Rolo had accidentally drank another child's bottle and was having an allergic reaction. So then I had to run to daycare, literally run, when even walking was uncomfortable with the whole back thing. Turns out adrenyline will carry you through those moments and it won't be until later that night that you find yourself completely paralyzed.

So Rolo had his first real allergic reaction and it wasn't as bad as it could have been, but it wasn't fun either. He was scared and extremely uncomfortable and so I took him home for the rest of the day. Part of the problem was that we didn't have an "action plan", which is something you're supposed to have for a kid with allergies. Correct that, we did have an action plan, but my allergist's office (see: Dr. Crackpot) wouldn't release it to me. On our last visit there, the allergist prescribed an epipen, and so I tried to bring it to daycare and they were all like "okay, but we need an action plan" which would basically outline when they should give something like Benedryl and when they should administer the epipen. This made total sense, that you would have a plan like this in writing. So I called the allergist's office and they were all like "Oh we didn't give you one? Well you can come in to pick it up."

The problem is that the doctor's office is 45 minutes away and they close at 4pm. No way I could get there after work and I couldn't imagine taking time off of work to pick up a form. Could the fax the action plan? No. Could they mail it? No. I had to pick it up in person, and they had to walk me through it. Okay, so they didn't care enough about the damn action plan to actually give it to me when they should have, but now I have to come in to talk about it? No thanks.

I sort of knew this was a ticking time bomb, that Rolo didn't have an action plan, therefore didn't have an epipen at school. I was figuring I would eventually get him an appointment with a new allergist here in the city. Well Tuesday, after his attack, I called up my pediatrician's office, got the number of their recommended allergist and as luck would have it, they had a cancellation for yesterday afternoon.

So I took off from work yesterday afternoon, saw the doctor, which took 2.5 hours and ALL of that was actually us being seen by nurses and doctors. These doctors have a TOTALLY different approach to medicine than Dr. Crackpot. While I agree with the approach in theory, it means a LOT of testing for poor Rolo. Two X-rays, a couple of blood tests, a couple of skin tests and a sweat test. Oy. It'll be great when we're on the other side of it, but I'm dreading the testing. Anyway, we leave with a lot of paperwork and scripts and then proceed to almost get hit by a car. As in an elderly person who mistook the accelerator for the brake while I was crossing with the light in the crosswalk. I had to hurl the stroller to my right to put myself in between the car and Rolo. And did I mention the bad back? Because instaneous decisions to hurl strollers do not go well with bad backs.

So today I drop Rolo off at daycare and get a call two hours later, that I need to pick him up because he has watery eyes. Seriously. Watery eyes. They think it's pink eye, of course, but it's his freaking allergies really and then I've got to track down the allergist he saw yesterday so she can write a note saying he's not contagious. I can tell day care is not pleased that I have no intention of picking my child up because of his watery eyes and I basically tell them where to go because already this week? I missed a bunch of time from work because no one was watching my kid closely enough to prevent him from drinking someone else's bottle. I'm not missing more work for God-damn watery eyes.

The End.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Yesterday, I voted for Barack Obama. I'm not at all sure I made the right decision.

Until recently, I was one of those "undecided voters". The group that critics said must be stupid or lying, and should forfeit their right to vote. Hey, David Sedaris even weighed in, as though his opinion has anything to do with anything. To his much-publicized quote on undecided voters: To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?” I ask, who is the flight attendant? Is it the media, who are having on-screen orgasms over Obama's victory? Yourself? Because his comment assumes that the choice is obvious, which of course to someone who had already decided, it was.

What critics of undecided voters rarely took into account is loyalty. How difficult it can be for one person to be affiliated with one political party for one's adult lifetime, to be born and bred into that party, but to vote for another. I get the impression that most undecided voters were either independents or Republicans. In theory, I never thought voting for the other team would be difficult. Not until I had to actually do it. It would have been different if Obama had completely won me over. But he had not. So should I stay with the Republican ticket, what's familiar? Or should I take a leap of faith across the other side of the aisle, even though I have some doubts about the candidate. I can't tell you how much I thought about it, worried about it, lost sleep over it. I'm used to being a Republican and hearing that political party get trashed. It always rolled off my back. But the criticism that undecided voters got? To say it made me angry would be an understatement.

I don't believe the two candidates were alike in many ways. I don't believe they were "the same", as critics accused undecided voters of thinking. I liked qualities in both candidates, different qualities in each. And I was/am fearful of some other qualities, again different for each. What I can say, which was encouraging, is that for the past 2 or so presidential elections, I always asked, when referring to the candidates "This is the best we could come up with?" But not this time. Although very different, I think both candidates had a lot to offer. Do I believe my life will be better 4 years from now? Or eight? Possibly. But I think that's largely dependent on me, and has little to do with who's president.

God forgive me, and I pray to that God that this never comes to fruition, but a small sliver of me didn't want Obama to be president for fear he would not be able to serve out his term. A heinous crime that might cut a life, and a presidency, short; something that would tear this country apart unlike anything we've seen before. But that? That is not a reason not to vote for the man.

I'm not all that worried about the economy. Which is to say that it of course concerns me, but the economy has historically had its ups and downs, and while by all accounts this is a pretty big "down", odds are pretty good that we'd be in a better financial place eight years from now regardless of who became president.

I've become a skeptic in my old age. Or perhaps I always was. I wanted to be excited by this election. Everyone else seemed to be. But more than anything, I was wary. Wary of the Republican party. Wary of interviewed Obama supporters who said things like "I won't have to worry about my mortgage anymore or gas prices anymore or all my bills", as though Obama was offering some sort of "debt-free" program that I was not aware of, or at least, am not eligible for. Wary of other nations who are so overwhelming enthusiastic about Obama. I could choose to believe that they sincerely want better relations with the United States and I hope that's the motive. But I don't believe these nations have Americans best interests at heart. One of my greatest concerns is how this country is viewed by the world, so for all that global and national enthusiasm, probably for that reason, I pushed Obama button. In high school terms, I succumbed to peer pressure. But I am still afraid how Obama will handle the ugly side of world politics.

Regardless, here we are. The dawn of a new day. You'll notice I turned off the comments for this posts, because I'm not interested in anyone's opinion at this point.

You have 4 years, Mr. Obama. Make me believe I made the right decision.


Monday, November 03, 2008

I'm Going to Vomit

It's like my worst nightmare.

Ah, Easy Amusement

Rolo's new thing is to shake his head "yes" and "no". Except he really doesn't know which is which or that shaking one's head signifies either of those words really.

So, actually, what he does goes a little something like this: he'll start nodding and I'll say "yes?" and then he'll start shaking his head from side to side and I'll say "no?" and he'll continue alternating between nodding and shaking until he forgets which comes next and simply starts rolling his head in circles until he gets dizzy.

Then he tries to focus on my face and is all like, "Woah".

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