holy crap, y’all


Dudes, I had a LIFE-THREATENING DISEASE three days ago! And now I’m sitting on my couch doing embroidery and watching Man vs. Food! Life is crazy. CRA-ZAY-ZAY. Matt and I were trying to figure out how much an appendectomy costs today and how much of that we would have to pay. I’m thinking total cost will be about $30K? And we’ll be responsible for about 20% of that? I am pretty sure that I met my deductible for the fiscal year when I birthed Laurel, but I think I’d have to check with my insurance provider about that.

We’ll be able to pay it, but probably at the expense of going to visit Matt’s New England relations this summer. He wanted to go visit his paternal grandmother (age 94 or thereabouts) this summer and let her meet her namesake, but barring an unforeseen financial windfall, I’m not sure that will happen now. We’ll see. I’m just glad we have insurance and stable jobs, because I know that for some people, a sudden illness, surgery, and hospitalization would mean certain financial devastation.

Harrison went to stay with my folks this weekend in order to give Matt a break from extreme solo parenting and to give me/us a bit of space and quiet while I begin my recovery. My stepsister came and picked him up yesterday evening and while he was a tiny bit weepy at first, once he saw his cousin Jonathan, he perked up. While we were out on a very brief dinner-centered excursion this evening, my dad called because Harry had been asking to talk to me. Harry fell to bits the minute he heard my voice over the phone, sobbing that he wanted me to come pick him up, that he wasn’t having any fun (TOTALLY not true, based on all reports), etc. My dad took the phone back from Harry and a few minutes later, the boy was back to playing video games with his cousins. But lord, that minute on the phone with my sobbing preschooler was enough to break my heart into a bunch of weepy pieces.

My baby boy is growing up, even if it is just in little ways, like spending the weekend with his grandparents, sleeping (successfully!) in his underwear because his parents forgot to pack overnight Pull-Ups, or learning to co-exist peacefully with my folks’ obnoxious dogs rather than screaming and running in terror if they look at him sideways. I miss him so much, my little man, and I can’t wait to see him tomorrow, to hold him close to me and to kiss his red, chubby cheeks, to run my fingers through his hair and read any book he wants me to at bedtime. I miss my baby, whom I have barely seen since Wednesday morning. Laurel’s had it good — she’s been attached to my boob pretty much constantly since yesterday evening, and when she’s not nursing, she’s about a foot away from me. Poor Harrison got the shaft and I’ve got to make it up to him, even if it means having to play Play-Doh until I want to gouge my eyes out with a dull green plastic knife.

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I’m home!!!


It’s 5:15 on Friday and I’m home! i’m sitting on one couch, blogging, while Harrison is sprawled on the other couch watching Ni-Hao Kai-Lan (I canNOT stand this show, simply because Harry watched it a lot in the early days of my pregnancy with Laurel, so I associate the treacly-sweet music with feeling deeply, deeply nauseous). Same as it ever was. My stepsister is en route to pick up Harry and take him down to my folks’ house for the weekend, although neither Matt nor I want him to stay all weekend. I think we’ll miss him too much.

My orders are to rest, rest, rest, not do any heavy lifting, and ease back into eating real food. I’m a nibbler, a grazer, says my goofy doctor. No need to focus on getting THREE SQUARES A DAY! (here he gestured broadly and spoke in a funny voice — McWeirdo?)

I am so, so, SO glad to be out of the hospital. It was restful indeed to be hospitalized, but I missed my husband and my babies. And it’s not fun to see Matt so stressed out. I’m hoping that next weekend, we can get a sitter and go see The Watchmen and just get some time together and relax.

Until then, I’ll be daydreaming about chicken fried steak.

beef broth is a poor substitute for enchiladas


so, tuesday i had a mild tummyache in the morning that grew to a monstrous one by evening. I woke up on Wednesday morning feeling better, but like I had bad gas pains. I ate a very mild breakfast and went up to campus, fully intending to teach my class.

However, the walk from my office to the classroom was just too much for me, so I gave my students a walk. I went home and slept for three hours. When I woke up and realized that my pain was now concentrated in the lower right part of my abdomen, I called the doctor.

Fast forward 36 hours and I’m in the hospital, having had an emergency appendectomy last night around 10pm or so. The last thing I remember is the surgeon reciting Puff the Magic Dragon to me while a bunch of people did stuff around my body. Then I woke up in recovery with a nurse going, WAKE UP, MELANIE!

So, here I am, in the hospital, on a clear liquids only diet, fantasizing about fried chicken tenders, gooey enchiladas, tres leches cake, french fries, and cookies. I might be in as long as until Saturday, which will suck, but I was having a hard time keeping water and broth down this morning and I suspect that bought me more time in the clink.

Meanwhile, I watch tv, catch up on blogs, nap, pump and dump, and wonder why in the hell random strangers keep wandering into my room. Strangers who are here to visit a patient that is not me. ARGH!!

Ike.


Baby Ike undergoes surgery in about 10 minutes. His situation is very, very serious. Please keep him and his family and his caregivers in your thoughts and prayers today.

look to the left


<— see that widget over there? the one with the cute baby? click on that button, will ya, and go learn about my pal kari’s wee lad Ike. the family’s deep in crisis mode at the moment and we’ve organized a grassroots movement to raise some cheddar for them. go on, click. then donate. kthxbai!

Proof that people don’t suck, sometimes


My wallet went missing on the night of my wedding, April 2, 2005. I was pretty upset, because I knew I’d brought it with me to the wedding site. When I discovered that it was gone, I figured either someone had stolen it out of the bridal room or I’d just lost it somewhere.

Fast forward to this past Saturday. I missed a delivery of a certified letter at the house. I went to the post office today to pick up the letter, which was from the evidence room of the local police department. They have my wallet.

I called the non-emergency line and gave them the case number on the letter. Turns out someone recently found my wallet on the grounds of the place where we had the wedding and turned it in to the police … FOUR YEARS (almost) after I lost it. Amazing.

I wonder if there’s any cash in there…

14 weeks


Here we are, 14 weeks after Laurel’s birth and wow, do things look different on the other side of the 3-month mark.

Laurel is a healthy 15 pounds and change. She LOVES to eat, but only from the source. She will only take about 4 ounces of expressed milk over the course of about 8 hours at the sitter’s. Then in the evening and on the weekends, she’s rarely very far away from my boobs. I have quite a cache of milk stored in the freezer that I hope I don’t have to toss. The version of me that couldn’t keep up with Harrison’s appetite and had to supplement with formula fairly early on would howl in outrage at such an act.

Laurel’s quite the talker. She will just stare at you and grin and coo and squeal — it’s really adorable. I’m trying to ignore the fact that according to Babycenter, she’s supposed to be making P and B and M and D sounds. She’s not, so I’ve taken to chanting “puh puh puh puh, buh buh buh buh, muh muh muh muh, duh duh duh duh” at her several times a day. She’s going to grow up thinking her mother is a moron.

Meanwhile, Harry is really growing into a robust boy with HUGE hands and feet. I swear to god, he looks like a German shepherd puppy with those gigantic mitts! We had to buy him new ballet slippers over the weekend because his previous pair (which we bought back in June, no wonder they didn’t fit anymore) were just absolutely impossible to get on his feet anymore.

The other night, he crawled into our bed without my noticing. I was very confused and surprised and chuffed to wake up with him cuddled up in my arms. Additionally, he has cultivated some very sophisticated verbal and tantrum skills. I hear that’s par for the course for Three. Today I was having a “coo-versation” with Laurel while Harrison was acting like a turd in the background and a got a little pang thinking that my sweet little lady was one day (very soon) going to behave the same way. IMPOSSIBLE! Not my sweet pink little cupcake! (I’m fairly certain I thought the same of Harrison when he was 3 months old, too.)

On the other hand, I had a wonderful, warm, “am kickASS mother” moment this afternoon when H was melting down about wanting to eat cheese and crackers instead of a proper lunch. Finally, I said, “Harrison, you would really help me out by eating a peanut butter sandwich. Want to help me make it?” We took out the pb & j, and the tears dried up very quickly as he spread the pb very artfully over the bread and moved on to the jelly. Matt even gave me the thumbs-up and a mouthed “nice job” from the doorway! Awesome.

Meanwhile, school continues apace. It seems like I’ve got a good, bright, and talkative group of students this semester, and only teaching one section is a nice break. I have been working on the dissertation every weekday and I feel like I’m making progress, if only in my notes and not in actual written form.

I keep thinking that I want to write something about Slumdog Millionaire, but I don’t have the time to articulate it. I do think that it is a celluloid example of Appadurai‘s notion of “modernity at large” but that’s all I’ll say, apart from that I LOVED it and can’t get the soundtrack out of my head.

PBS is running a promo for a Masterpiece Theatre series, “The Tales of Charles Dickens.” The music they’re playing is Coldplay. Weird.

Finally, I found out on Friday that the alternative newsweekly I write for is phasing out the use of freelancers. That will take about $350 out of my monthly income. OUCH. I’m feeling kind of scared, but calmed by Matt’s exhortion that just like everyone else, we may have to tighten our belts a bit. And, in the grand scheme of our monthly household budget, $350 isn’t HUGE, but it might mean fewer trips to Costco and maybe more lunches brought from home. It’s not a house-losing drop in income.