Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The germs are on me. And on you.

Yesterday, Dh and I took a rare shopping excursion together. I needed to get supplies for my jello-orange wedges contribution to Supergirl's class Halloween party, and he needed to get a new router. On our 25 minute drive home, I noticed a flashing blue and red light in my rearview mirror, so rudely interrupting our conversation. I said, "Whoa! I think I am being pulled over. Yep! Definitely me he wants...WTF???"
He said, "WHAT? Why is he pulling you over?"
"Dude, I have no idea!" (and I looked down to check and make sure I was wearing underwear, lest this turn into a Britney-incident. I was.)
So, Mr. CHiPs swaggers up to my window and says he pulled me over for speeding.
(?) (!) (?)
"Really? No, I don't think so! Not today!" was my response.
Dh interrupted, saying that I was not speeding, as I was behind those three cars that I had let pass me a mile back.
Mr. Chips shot back, "Yeah, you just caught up with those cars. You were doing 80."
Dh got very agitated here, leaning over me and sputtering at the cop, "You have got to be kidding! This car can't do 80 and allow us to still have a conversation! The muffler is broken - we could never have been doing 80!" I shot him a look and tried my own method of pleading.
"Look, officer, it's not that I don't speed, or that I have never ever sped before, but this time? I really wasn't! This car really doesn't do well at 80 and we were just talking, which is something we couldn't do if we really were going 80! I think that maybe you clocked one of those cars I let pass at 80 and thought it was me, but it's not!"
Here, he cut me off and said that he did not have a radar on us, but he had followed me for over a mile.
"Well then if that is true, you saw me let those cars pass us!" I protested.
Dh looked like he was about to explode, which was kind of comforting to me, since I am usually the one assumed to be (or accused of being) beligerent to cops.
We incredulously reviewed every move I had made while he wrote out the ticket. Mr. Chips then handed me the ticket saying, "I lowered it to 70."
Then I went nuts. "NO! Not 70! I don't accept that either! I was not going 80! I was not going 70! You just lowered it because you had no radar on us and 70 mph is easier for YOU to win in court. NO WAY!"
He refused to change the ticket, holding it out for me to sign.
Since Bubbles was in the back seat making a bit of noise through the copious amounts of snot pouring down his face, it was easy to lean back to the little guy and 'comfort him' as I swiped my bare hand under his nose.
Then I took the pen that Mr Chips offered me, gripping it firmly in my snot covered fingers as I angrily scrawled my signature.
Then I handed him the pen. Right into his bare hand.
I think right about now, he should be feeling his first sign of sniffles. Maybe a sneeze? I bask in the confidence of knowing that by tomorrow he will feel downright miserable.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Speech Delay:1, Stubborn Will:2+

So, Bubbles (still have not been able to re-blog-name him, though pustablume and superT-t-for testosterone -come to mind...) has a speech delay.

This may be because I let him watch too much Pingu, and he thinks of himself as a sassy claymation penguin who chatters wildly in...Pinguish. It may be becauseI have also failed him in the iron department, meaning; I have allowed him too much milk and not force-fed him enough food. The boy loves milk. So, umm, it is obvious I am a lame mother because I did not know that, urrr.... apparently that causes iron deficiency, this love of too much milk. But wait, don't judge me - we have vitamins! And! His speech delay may also be a casualty. As in, "Ms. Gwendomama, I assure you that we are taking your concern seriously. But about 80% of the phone calls we get here at [early intervention program] are from parents reporting a speech delay in their two year old boys." (WAY)More on that conversation later.

Dh and I have experimented with many alternatives to get and/or allow him to use language to communicate. I use basic signing with him, but he prefers to gesture. We ask him to use what I call 'caveboy' - "I know you want to jump on the trampoline again! Stop screaming! Please! Just say 'MORE! JUMP!'...sayit! say 'MORE! JUMP!'...you can do it! MORE!! JUMP!!" - while I wildly sign more, and jump.
And do you know what he does? Does he ask for more? Does he ask for jump? No.
He does not. He looks at the trampoline, back at me, and then says, "NONONONOnononono" as he hurtles himself to the floor. Mad as hell that I would demand something from him. Like a circus animal.
As if.

Anyway, guess what he figured out how to do? CLIMB UP ON THE DAMN TRAMPOLINE HIMSELF, is what.

I wish I had more time to drink beer write this

I don't write much when I am in a downslope. Notice I didn't say 'depressed'. I save that for the big shit.
When I can barely make sense of what is in my head, it is hard for me to write about it. I say that now, but later I will probably say something like 'writing is how I can make sense of what is in my head'. You heard it here first. I make no sense whatsoever, ever.
I didn't fly back east. I feel like shit about that. If I had gone, I would have probably felt the same way. As would the angry passenger seated next to me and my large and strength-filled lap child. So that.
And the other reason I don't get to blog as much as I want to is that (true mom confession) I really like to relax and have more than just a quick moment at the computer, and the time that Bubbles takes a nap is not so appropriate to 'havin a beer and bloggin'. More like, 'time to return all those business calls I hate to make'.
So I'm back. And guess what?
I've signed up again for NaBloPoMo again, so I am now back, and way more filling.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

This Is Some Scary Shit

My cousin Kim died from MRSA.
Most people don't really know what MRSA is (it is: Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus), yet, according to this article in the SF Chronicle, the number of deaths due to these 'superbugs' this year, may exceed those caused by AIDS.

Does that scare you? It should.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I hate these freaking life challenges that have to do with death.

I am having a dilemma right this very moment.
I am being pulled like taffy by family obligations, which appear to be conflicting.

After searching for a ticket to Philadelphia for less than $700, I found one. Mind you, a sucky one in which I must sit in a middle seat with my almost two year old on my lap while I endure the stink-eye stares of surrounding passengers for having the audacity to fly with a child, and make a connection in Chicago. But somewhat affordable, considering it is rather last minute and that is the way it goes with funerals.

And I feel like I really should go. Because losing one of our own generation is something that makes me very sad. And well, I guess something I should be there to support my family through.

And this morning, Supergirl, she who was formerly 'okay' with the idea, had a minor breakdown when I told her I may fly next week.
I told her she would have fun - she would have playdates! Maybe a sleepover! FUN! Special time with Daddy!
She cried and said she was afraid I would die like Kim if I went away.

What am I supposed to say?
"No, honey, planes never ever crash and I will always be alive for you."?

No, I can't afford two tickets.

The worst part for me, is that she has tapped into my biggest emotional weakness.
Whenever someone close to me has died in the past, I have gone through serious bouts of anxiety - all related to believing that anyone everyone around me will die before the next time I see them. Or that I will die, thus leaving my children motherless.

The last person I talked with about this, with my grief counselor after Elijah died, divulging my rawest and worst fears, rational or irrational, obsessively anxious or not.....well, um, she died. Yes, suddenly.

I gotta climb my way out of this one.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

I still don't know why I said it.

"Please don't make me throw up!" was what I was fated to hear for years, whenever I happened to be sitting near Kim at any family function that might have focused on food (=all).

We were unlucky growing up, in that we were the only family who lived Far Away from the rest of the clan. But lucky, because Far Away meant six hours by car which hardly daunted my mother from sharing in the clan's most festive activities, and lucky because we had cousins!! to play with when we got there. For many years I was the youngest cousin, and obligingly fulfilled the roles of: neglected, sneaky spying resentful left-out one, adorable, tattling brat, older kid prank innocent cover child or distraction...as necessary.
One year I was experimenting with honesty. I thought it sounded like a good thing.
You know, blunt honesty.
Thanksgiving was at our house that year, which was even better - all the cousins in one place, all the bunkbed cots set up in the playroom, and our parents so deeply engrossed in catching up with one another that, short of setting a fire on the dining room table, we were free to do whatever we could think up. I can't remember if that is the same year that the turkey foot got dangled from an upper bunk in a certain brother's face to wake him up and thus began his lifelong hatred terror of turkeys, but I do remember the earring incident. We all do, actually.
So, the kids were all at the 'kids table' which was fine by us, even (or especially) for the teens, as we were separated by a heavy swinging door and much wine induced laughter from the 'adults table'. Kim and her sister and my sister, were all 'superteens' of the seventies, and they had dressed up for dinner in their best Tiger Beat replications. And they had feathered hair. And noticeable jewelry. Dangly stuff. And hoop earrings. The 'never been seen before' thin wire, but Big, Gold Hoops. Those were Kim's. She looked fantastic; I know they had left me out of a makeover party earlier; I was only eight and I would have gotten in big trouble for wearing makeup anyway. But it still pissed me off.
So, I got to sit next to Kim. Kim, with her super blonde, feathered hair. Kim, with her fringed suede jacket that swooshed, and that I could smell all leathery and cool stronger than the food in front of me. Kim, with her perfectly white smile and silly philadelphia accent - she said wutter for water! Kim, with her giant, dangling, golden hoop earrings.
And I looked up at a moment that I had apparently deemed appropriate, and said,
"Kim, I hate your earrings."
That was it. No other words or explanation, and I went back to eating.
She started laughing. In disbelief at first, and then everyone else started laughing and she was laughing harder. I wasn't trying to be funny, I thought.
Next thing I knew, she was coughing. Sputtering. Choking????
She ran into the nearest bathroom and then there was retching. That much was clear.
She came back a few minutes later and, in between bouts of explosive laughter, she said that she was so very sorry that I did not like her earrings.
And then she told us how vomit came out her nose when she threw up from laughing so hard.

And when I sidled up to her about a year and a half ago, at my mom's surprise birthday party, she looked down at her plate and then at me, and said, "Please don't make me throw up!"

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Thank you for your prayers and hope.
Kim left us last night.

That's all I can say.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Please come back to us.

I wanted very much to come back full of descriptive stories about how we relaxed and played and were reminded daily what a wonderful family we have, and I truly do have much to share.

But I came home to some very sad news, which is far more important. And has left me without words (or sleep) for the past days.

My dear, sweet cousin from Philly, a single mom of a ten year old daughter and a four year old son, went into the hospital about ten days ago. She was dx with pneumonia in the ER, and, because of some pain and suspected inflammation, she was then taken to surgery to remove her gall bladder. Which turned out to not be 'that bad'.
Let's review: surgery while she had pneumonia.
When they went to extubate her, she 'crashed'.
She was on a ventilator in a comatose state for about a week.
She had MRSA and septic shock. Her kidneys began to fail. She was put on ECMO for three days, and when she was taken off of the life support, she beat the odds of her 3% chance for survival and lived.
But she is still on a ventilator. She is still in a coma, non-communicative. Her most recent EEG was 'inconclusive'.
At this point, although she has beat many odds, I was just told that she 'is not expected' to live. I can barely write those words, as I can only picture her beautiful face, and those of her children. And my children don't understand why I keep tearing up.
I find myself praying, muttering, begging that one more person in my family will not have to know the pain of losing a child.
And I don't even know who I am praying to.
If you believe in miracles, please please please, hope for one now.
For Kim.