Thursday, May 26, 2011
But this guy? This guy went to some effort. Impressive.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
So here are some bullet points for you. A brief synopsis of my life, and this style seems appropriate right now, considering how I am spending most of my time.
- Work fricken sucks. For some reason it has gotten busy, and I'm not sure what is going on because it isn't flu season. No new obscure respiratory epidemic has surfaced. People are just...sick. And I make a living taking care of them, and so I am busy.
- School fricken sucks. This program I am in is accelerated, so the classes are only five weeks long. The last session I took was one class, and it was still busy because it was so condensed. This time I am in 2 classes: Legal/ Ethical Environment of Business, and Management Accounting. And if one was busy, two is insanity. I have 3 2,000-word papers due for each class this coming week. That's 12K words, y'all. With 60 hours of work. And 2 kids. I want to take up drinking. But if I do that, there is no way I will comprehend the hundreds of pages of reading they have given me to do. The mind-numbing reading.
- I got an A in my marketing class. Let me rephrase that: I rocked that shit out.
- Jesus didn't show up on a cloud or with a clap of thunder and take anybody away. I never thought he was going to and realized that Camping douchebag was a nutcase, but the agnostic/ borderline-atheist in me was secretly thinking, on a very small scale, that it would suck if I was wrong.
- I paid off the last of my pregnancy bills this past week. Zach has been paid for. It only took a year of crazy work schedules and living as if we were below poverty guidelines. Now I can try to regenerate my savings and since I know I am not going to med school anymore, we can work on buying a house after I have a little bit of cushion. Or maybe I should wait until the MBA is done. Hell, who knows?
- Evan is having some major psychological problems. I can only hope it is not what I think it is. I can say that I have been doing some research and when I read this one article, my heart sank because it was like I was reading about him.
- John enrolled in classes. Just a little vocational program for HVAC, but their median starting salary is comparable to my starting base salarywas as an RT when I first graduated. It would be nice to have the extra. I would say that I would slack off at work, but that isn't true. The extra would just facilitate us reaching our goals a little quicker. (See above.)
I think that's all. Sorry. I need to spend time writing academic papers now. And ptting my brain to sleep with Business Law. Peace out, homies.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
The kiddos at work (early 20's, y'all) have told me time and again that I need to get a cell. Pronto. Of course I laughed at this--Just another way for them to track me down and get me to work on my off days? No, thanks.
John is currently pursuing options for some sort of vocational program that will allow him to enter the workforce again after all of these years of being a stay-at-home-dad. And we all know I work more hours than God. And then there is school. Just the other day, I was pulling my hair out while trying to read the most dull crap I have ever read in my life while the boys were rough-housing. I couldn't concentrate, and so I was about to head to Starbucks and use their wifi to get some school work done in peace. But I was waiting on a phone call and needed to stay home And then there is the fact that it is the middle of May (yeah, it is, even though the weather makes it feel more like October or November). This means John will be taking out his Harley more and more, and I am plagued with dread that he will end up smeared on the concrete and nobody will know to where or whom he belongs.
So I stopped at Sprint. Just to look. And price. And they said the magic words: I get a 25% hospital employee discount. Damn.
I told the guy that I was cell-phone-retarded, that because of my busy lifestyle, I wanted something with some features that would help me manage, but I didn't want something so fancy that I wouldn't be able to use it.
His solution? Android smart phones for everybody. I didn't even know how to turn the damned thing on. I had to go back and get a little tutorial to even be able to perform basic functions. And text? Pffft. We don't need text. My plan has unlimited text and data so I wouldn't get any surprises at bill time, but I never dreamed we would use it. Boy, was I wrong. John texted me 62 times last night while I was at work. That isn't a number I pulled out of the air. That is really the number it has on my call log. Really. 62. Plus 4 missed calls.
So I have gone and done it this time. I joined the 21st century. The Sprint dude made it up to me though. We have the same phones, so I told him to make them stand apart from each other so there is no "oops, I grabbed the wrong phone". And boy, did he ever. John's is gray with a black clip. Mine? Ha! Metallic purple with the most obnoxiously pink hard case ever. And I showed up at work. And my boss seemed really excited to see me with a phone in my hand. (Gee, wonder why?) And my coworkers were amazed. As in, "Is that ANDREA with a CELLPHONE????"
I never dreamed I would fall. That's it now. I was the last one. Now everybody has them.
PS- I figured more of the phone out and am now a tweeting, status-updating, e-mail checking, texting, Angry-Birds-playing Professional.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Long after the party with family, the four of us settled in to celebrate Zach's big day together. Just like it was a year ago when he came into the world. Without the stress of party planning and associated to-do lists, we were able to just focus on soending time together. And we had a ball, though when we sang "Happy Birthday" to my precious baby boy, I was crying too much to get all the way through the song. Zach enjoyed cake and ice cream for the third time (the first for the cake smash photos with the photographer and the second being the party with my in-laws). This time, I made chocolate-butterscotch cupcakes with vanilla frosting. An it seems with each occasion, Zach has gotten even more into it. This time, he even had sprinkles in his eyelashes before it was all said and done. The chocolate ice cream made an even bigger, hilarious mess, and we all dissolved into laughter when he tried to even lick the plate.
(Yes, that should be read in a tone that is dripping with sarcasm.)
So yesterday, we had somewere around five bucks between the two of us and John was on his way to get money from an ATM. I was awake with the boys despite the fact that I was called into work last night and had to sleep. I was a little more than perturbed that John was making me stay awake so he could do this when there really was no need. So I'm counting down until he comes home and I can go to bed when he comes barrelling into the house.
"I haven't even been to the ATM yet," he said.
Excuse me, what? I've been waiting for you and you haven't even done what you set out to do yet???
"I didn't have to. I used the two dollars that was left in my wallet and bought a scratch-off lottery ticket..."
This is where I was gearing up to let him have it! I hate the lottery. We do not have that kind of luck. It is a waste of money and time, etc.
"....AND I WON FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS!!!!!"
What? Really? The only thing we have ever won was a t-shirt as a door prize at a PTO meeting. Really.
But yes, he did. And I made him use it to pay the electric bill. One less bill for me. Yay. He used the rest to take the boys shopping. He is all extra-proud because, despite my stressing that my money is really our money, it has always been a secret blow to his male ego that a woman supports him. He isn't as progressive as he sounds in print. And so he bought some toys for the boys and is all about emphasizing that Daddy bought them. Whatevs. I won't rain on his parade.
Evan wanted a new Lego set. Which brings me to the second part of this post.
I effing hate Legos. First of all, the damned things are too expensive. And Evan is too smart. We can buy him the huge, most expensive and complex sets and he will retreat to his bedroom, closing the door to the rest of the world like a mad scientist, and will emerge with the whole set constructed within an hour or two. So they don't even buy him that much entertainment. And then they get taken apart and put together with all of the other deconstructed sets until there are what seems like a million pieces that are indistinguishable from each other. In other words, if you wanted to rebuild one of the sets, you can't because the pieces to the plane are jumbled in with the pieces to the fire station or space shuttle or whatever else is down there because I cannot keep track anymore.
And these are just the pieces that do not end up in my Kirby. Because the Kirby eats everything. I hate that damned vacuum.
And then there are the product lines Lego has: Lego City and Pharoah's Quest and Star Wars...On and on it goes. And we have meltdowns all of the time because something new came out and we no longer have the complete collection and OH-MY-GOD-HOW-CAN-I-LET-MY-KID'S-LEGO-CITY-NOT-HAVE-A-FLORIST?????? I am the worst mother of all time if I do not rush out and spend $100 on the set he lacks that he will put together in 1.5 hours and then feed to the damned vacuum.
Yes, I hate Legos.
So tomorrow, I am going to work on my idea. I am going to buy a bunch of those clear plastic shoe storage boxes and each time I buy a lego set, the directions and picture are going to be put into the bin along with the Legos that go to that set. And he will adhere to it or Mommy is going on a Lego Strike. I am declaring Lego Law in my house. Right. Now.
Friday, May 13, 2011
I started out with what seemed like endless photos of Zach and the intention was to make a video so poignant and moving that you would cry as you watched. And then I really thought about it. A) I'm no Spielberg, and B) why would you cry anyway? Instead you get this: poor transition timing, perhaps too long, and even one photo that repeats (Gold star for whoever can tell me which one it is!). What I did manage to do was make myself cry. A lot. From the photos. From the music. Because I was there.
I was there the day we discovered there was even going to be a baby. The day I took five separate home pregnancy tests, unable to believe that I was really pregnant. That after all of that time of me wanting another baby and never having one, and suddenly, at the point where I had given up and moved on with my life, there he was. His name was selected because I read online that Zachary means God has remembered.
I was there, in my bedroom, day after day, watching YouTube videos of preemies each and every day. A 26-weeker, a 28-weeker. And as the contractions got worse and my resolve got weaker and weaker, the searches got more specific: 30 weeks, 1 day; 31 weeks; 5 days. This is what my baby will look like. Will he be intubated? Have an IV in his head? Be swollen, yet tiny? have transparent skin that looks almost alien? And people generally don't put the horror stories on YouTube So I watched and cried and drew every single shred of hope from the success stories I could find at ever stage of gestation. And the first song in my video was in just about all of them.
I was there on the day he came into this world. And I felt that fear. And guilt. Fear that I had somehow caused this, that although his lungs were deemed mature, there was more to it than that. The 35-week brain is vastly smaller than the 40-week brain. And though we thought I was 35 weeks, there actually was a miscalculation of my due date that wasn't discovered until 5 weeks postpartum. Should I have lied about the contractions? And what if something happened to me in the process? Could John raise them both alone, armed with only my life insurance?
I was there when the doctors held him over the drape and I saw the scrunched up face. And the hair! I will never forget that hair. Enough hair that it had shown up on an ultrasound. Only this was no ultrasound. This was him. In front of my face. And he was half-whimpering, half-crying. No hearty, robust cry. And I cried. A day shift anesthesiologist I do not know, and never have met at work since, was the one to wipe my tears. Because as a respiratory therapist, I knew what that meant.
I was there in my room and I couldn't see him. And I didn't know if he was warm or cold. Breathing or not. Was he confused that he wasn't hearing my voice anymore? My heartbeat? was he rooting for me and I was nowhere to be found? My heart and my arms ached for him, this child for whom I went through so much.
I was there when they put him into my hands. Yes, hands. He was that small in stature that, with my hands under his head and back, his little butt aligned with my wrist. Which is so bizarre considering his birth weight. But he was swollen. From fluids. From drugs. I look back at his newborn photos and see that now. This is why he lost over a full pound in a little over a day. Which they mistook as a nutrition issue, and is thus why we were made to give him formula from day one. I'm so sorry for that because that isn't how it is supposed to be. But not really sorry because he is here. The drugs, the fluids, the hormones, and yes, the formula...they all worked.
I was there in those first nights. When I would just cuddle with him and breathe in the smells of newborn breath. With the downy top of his tiny head tucked under my chin, I realized I could've lived my entire life just like that. And suddenly, I didn't give a damn about medical school or whether they would hold my job open long enough for me to come back to work. I would find another job, do something else for school.
I was there when that smile first flashed at me. That bright, amazing smile. All gums and innocence and joy. As if a million stars were harnessed and placed right here for me. And those first baby giggles. My heart melted. And soared.
I was there. For each day in the life of this baby boy. For an entire year. Me. I was that lucky, that blessed to wake up (or return from work) each day and witness a new miracle unfold in this boy's life. To feel the sheer joy this baby has brought to the world. The love. The patience. And the best part is that I get to continue to be there, that this is not the end but the beginning.
I was there when God (or Allah or Yahweh or Jehovah or whomever you place your faith with) decided that this world was good enough for Zachary. That my life was good enough for Zachary. That I am good enough for Zachary. I'll never understand how that is possible.
I was there for the first minute, day, week, month....The first year in the life of a living miracle.
Happy First Birthday, Zachy.
(Photo Credits: The Eleven-month photos from the video, the cake-smash photos from the video, and the photo in this post were all taken by Katie Woodring (http://www.katiewoodring.com/). Though I purchased the copyrights to these photos and am in no way infringing legally on her rights as an artist, I am giving credit where credit is due. Thank you, Katie.)
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Because tonight we unsuccessfully attempted to resuscitate an eleven-month-old baby girl. Who got trapped in her mother's nightgown. In a nice neighborhood. With educated and doting parents. And she suffocated. And died.
I farking hate my job.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Evan was sent home with a behavior notice today. For spitting on someone. Gross. Grossest of gross. I could have killed him. Seriously, y'all. In fact, I am really glad I have to work tonight because I still want to kill him and work will get me out of the house and away from the temptation to follow through.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
It starts with a few....
This one kind of freaks me out a little bit. The flash was off on the camera. The light wasn't on in the room. It's cloudy outside. Where did this light come from? And it isn't the first time light has surrounded Zach in pictures in his room. And it doesn't happen when we photograph any other subjects.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
We went to Hallmark because I wanted to look at Vera Bradley bags. Lately I carry either a backpack that can fit my textbooks, work essentials, and laptop, or I carry a diaper bag. I wanted to find some sort of big handbag that can be a hybrid for me.
But it was Hallmark. 2 days before Mother's Day. And they had their Mother's Day wares on full display, so I ended up browsing. First at the recordable storybooks they sell now, where a version of On the Night You Were Born got me feeling more than a little emotional at the thought of Zachy's first birthday this week. And then a recordable version of Guess How Much I Love You, which was the go-to book with Evan, who is almost a full decade old. Which made me tear up. And then the display of trinkets and miscellaneous crap designed to be Mother's Day gifts, with their poetry and quotes, which led me to full-blown tears and had me fleeing the store in embarrassment while John and the kids followed behind me, asking a little too loudly, "Are you really CRYING????" (Of course I ran into a coworker on the way out the door who asked the same thing.)
I mean, really, how stupid was I to think I could handle that store this weekend? I thought having Zachary at this time of year was going to make it all better.
Turns out there are some things that neither time nor Zachary and Evan can heal.
I miss my mother.
I have missed her for the 13 years she has been gone. I mourn that she never got to meet my husband and see us marry, that she never got to hold any of my babies. The only reason for me to celebrate this day compared to last year is that last year, I was having unbelievable contractions, as it was just days before they finally took Zachary. And this year, Zach is here. And Evan. And John. I love life and I love my boys. But I miss my mother.
I ended up drowning my tears in some shopping that day: a couple of outfits and literally a huge shoppping bag full of bath and body products from Victoria's Secret. This was my Mother's Day gift, since John is funny about buying me gifts when I am the breadwinner and he has no income from an outside source. But I brought my purchases home and expected to feel a little better once removed from the situation. And I do. I feel a little better, but the whole episode brought on a sort of melancholy that has settled over me for the weekend.
So for all of the mothers out there, I hope you all enjoy your day. I know some tremendous, amazing moms out there, some of whom are celebrting their very first Mother's Day. I would normally post something sappy about motherhood here, but I am thinking you will excuse me of this. There isn't much celebrating going on here. I just miss my mom.
Friday, May 6, 2011
I remember going through this with Evan. Just like with Zach, he had a brand of pacifier he preferred. We discovered this and bought in bulk. Well, because anyone knows that pacifiers are disposable: you could buy 1 or 1,000 and no matter what, when you need one you will not be able to find it to save your life. But Evan preferred Mam pacifiers. And we loved them. He had one to match every outfit. And then one day, somewhere around 6 or 7 months, he just stopped needing one or wanting one. No problem, no worries. The same happened with his bottle. I offered him cups around 8 months or so, once he started drinking small amounts of juice. We had the nothing-but-formula-in-a-bottle rule. And he took to the cup right away with no problems. And when he was about 10 or eleven months, I just decided one day to stop the bottles. We never looked back. Diapers were another story. The kid was in Pull-Ups forever, and one day I will tell you all of my gut-splitting attempts to con Ev to use a toilet.
Zach's first birthday is less than a week away, and the kid not only will not let go of the pacifiers, but he refuses (and I mean refuses) to use anything to drink other than a Tommee Tippee bottle. We have tried every cup out there, I think. Soft spouts, hard spouts, no spouts. Spill-proof or not. Bright colors. Handles to help him hold them. It really doesn't matter. The Tommee Tippee line even gives us the ability to change the nipples in the bottles with soft, nipple-like silicone spouts. I thought this would work, since the spout would be the only thing different. The bottle will look the same and feel the same in his hand. But no. The milk/water/ juice comes out too quickly for him and he spits it out.
They tell you not to worry about it, that nobody ever goes off to college still on a bottle. But in my mind, we should be maing this transition.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
It's hot in the hospital. Hot because, well, it's hot. We've had some unseasonably colder days here, so the a/c isn't rocking full time yet, even though it is supposed to be May/ Spring. And these frail little old ladies I go to see have the heat in their rooms cranked up. And I run from room to room to room. Up and working. And yes, it is hot.
So I'm in this room, giving this old bag her breathing treatment. And her room is sweltering. Her nurse is also in there to give her pain meds, and she and I were making small talk. I mentioned I was burning up, and she agreed that it was hot on their unit of the hospital. And the patient looked up at me with a sympathetic smile and said words that had me reeling:
"Ahhhh, menopause. Hot flashes."
"STFU, you old bag!", is what I really wanted to say. But that would get me fired or at least "talked to", and I try to avoid that. But her nurse? God, I am loving this nurse right about now, because she honestly looked at the patient and told her she was crazy, that I just had a baby last year.
Take that, Old Bag.
Menopause, my ass. You're just old. And jealous because I can breathe without torturing some poor, overworked RT.
But these are my papers and no one is going to rescue me like I did John. And I most decidedly waited until the last minute this time. I had until 11:59 PM Colorado time to complete the paper, and I submitted it at 11:43. Well, the paper and the 2 ads I had to design for some unknown telecommunications company in North Carolina. Ask me what I know about telecomm and I will tell you I can log my ass onto the internet and hit "talk" on the cordless phone. Seriously. And I had to market a telecomm company that manages the telecomm expenses of multi-location national companies. Seriously. It is like a sick joke. And so I had to come up with this marketing plan.
Excuse me, what? A marketing plan? WTF is that?
And so I was perched at the kitchen table for hours, looking haggard in an old pair of scrubs and some reading glasses, main-lining coffee and muttering expletives under my breath in the hope that Evan, who was awake and in the adjacent room, would not hear me. And he kept coming into the room to show me something or other, or tell me some random fact he learned in school a week ago that just came to his 9-year-old brain. And I am trying to be Good Mom and act interested. I sincerely hope the "MMMM-Hmmmmm"s I kept offering up sounded like they came from the heart. I really do. But what I really wanted to say was, "Evan, Mommy has this insanely difficult farking marketing plan to write. Do you know what a marketing plan is????" But I didn't because I love him and cannot afford the extra therapy. But I must have had APA on the brain because one of the random facts he spewed in my direction was, "Mom, palm oil is killing the rainforests!" Or some shit like that. And I responded with, "That's interesting, Evan, can you cite your sources on that information?" To which John busted out laughing, asking me if I really asked that of our 9-year-old kid. And--surprise, surprise--my little smartass came back in the room and thrust his Time for Kids issue at me, exclaiming, "Here's my source, Mother." Ugh. What was supposed to happen was Evan was supposed to be stumped and try to figure out what in the hell I was asking of him. It was supposed to buy more silence, less interruptions, and at least get me through the SWOT analysis of the paper. This is what one gets when they raise a smart kid. Because then not only was he back at the kitchen table with me, but he had the magazine and he actually wanted me to read the oh-so-interesting article of how palm oil is going to kill off all of the rainforests. Seriously. So when I looked at him and said, "Yes, Evan, but how is TeleSource going to reach a bigger market segment to compete for a bigger piece of the telecommunication dollars pie???", his eyes glazed over and he finally left me alone.
And now I realized I never got a goodnight hug. But the damned paper was in on time.
This is what I get when I say I want it all. I get just that. And something or someone always suffers just a bit.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Mostly, it's just really cute. Zach, the infinitely happy, easy-going baby, can cry, can be unhappy. And just like the goofy amusement I had that he could pee and poop and all of his stuff worked upon his birth, I am eqully amused at this.