Deadline: 2021

I hate the storage necessary to hide all the toys in our house. I say “hide” because ultimately that’s my goal when I need to do a quick clean-up. Like those times my husband calls on his way home to let me know one of his buddies and the wife are on the way over for whatever reason. I’m sorry, but I still try to put on a show that I live in a somewhat clean house. I have on more than one occasion made like a whirlwind in the living room by scooping up everything on the floor and throwing it in a laundry basket and hiding that until our guests leave.

When Doodicus was a toddler and we were living at our other house, I found a couple of inexpensive units with simple drawers to keep in our family room for small toys like the Hot Wheels, Little People and Legos. When we moved, one was moved to Aitch’s room and the other stayed in the family room. We kept DVDs and the Wii games and remotes in the drawers.

In the past week, we found something to replace the little tower and it has been moved yet again. The second one remains in Hazel’s room. A brown, dark ugly thing next to her dresser. It’s mostly empty except for some miscellaneous crap I haven’t found a better home for so it remains.

It’s been during this time that I was turned on to a blog: Better After. My creative juices, long stifled by diapers, Dora, and Sponge Bob, have started flowing again. I’m starting small.

Here’s the the hideous cabinet in Aitch’s room:

Don’t mind the layer of dust on the side. You can see in the very right margins of this photo her dresser, which is blonde wood. While not necessarily my favorite finish, it goes well with her room. That’s why this piece does not. Here’s a better shot of Aitch’s room:

Fucking chaos.

I found some fabric that would easily blend into her room from now until she becomes an emo teen and everything has to be painted black. I plan on covering the drawer faces (where it’s like a basket weave) with the fabric. I’m debating whether or not to put batting behind the fabric…

I’m going to spray paint the wood in that teal blue. Depending on whether that color is too overwhelming, I may trim out the drawers in yet another coordinating color.

Now if Spring would show her whore-face, I could get outside to start prepping this piece with some sanding. Who knows? I might even start on the antique school desk (which is already been taken apart by my dear Sparring Partner – sucker!) (but needs an ass-load of paint stripping) and that cheap TV cabinet we’ve had in the basement for five years may have a new life after all!

Who wants to take odds on when this bad baby will actually get done?

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! (boo!)

When I get the mail, I read who it’s addressed to and then who it’s from. Saturday there was a letter addressed to me and I groaned. Another rejection letter to rip up in front of my daughter who laughs hysterically every time. I can’t believe I missed out on my 15 minutes of fucking fame by two years.

Then I noticed the return address. Huh, that’s odd, I thought. I hadn’t applied for anything with my dermatology clinic…oh…OH! I knew with that letter that it was good news because bad news warrants a phone call. I ripped open the envelope to find a one page letter with four separate boxes of information. Two of the boxes were checked.

“No cancer was found…” !!! Yippee! I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I sobbed in relief.

Here are those moles:

Inner Arm
Inner Thigh (aka The One-Haired Bastard)
Chest

The other section marked wasn’t quite as good, but not altogether bad:

“…an atypical mole – not 100% normal…” Dysplastic Nevus.

Of course I had to look up dysplastic nevus and really found nothing useful. I don’t fit the profile for someone at risk for dysplastic nevus, nor for malignant melanoma, but here I am. I tan easily and I don’t have a body full of freckles and moles and there’s absolutely no family history. My dermatologist told me during my exam last week that it would be easy to find unusual moles because I didn’t hardly have any. Also, dysplastic nevus usually means moles that are large and of different shades and margins, but this one? This bad baby was just a tiny little dot on the top of my foot. Of the moles biopsied, I was the least suspicious of this one:

Left Foot

Since my diagnosis of MM six months ago, I’ve seen updates from a couple of my friends about getting their moles checked. Whether it’s due to my diagnosis or not, I’m always glad to see that they are being pro-active. Get checked, even if there hasn’t been any changes to moles you may have. The worse part is you may have to get naked (I got to keep my underwear and bra on) in front of a young, good-looking doctor. And since I know many of you have had more intimate “exchanges” with medical professionals, this kind of visit will feel like walking around your home.

I already have my next appointment scheduled. Another six months. I can’t look at it as another six months I’ll be cancer-free. Instead, I can only look at this past six as such. The next six months will be once again full of uncertainty and worry. I just hope that I’ll luck out this next time and not have to get nekkid again for a whole year.

Imbalanced

My mom was in and out of the hospital¬† this winter and with me the second closest in distance to her and my dad, I’ve been heavily involved in updating the rest of the family as to her current health. I am lucky that my brother, the only son, married a wonderful lady who has also been very hands-on throughout the ordeal. She and my brother live the closest to my parents, only a couple miles up the highway on their own farm so they check on my parents to make sure they have groceries and are eating and especially that my mother is taking her medications.

I went with my mom to see her family doctor who runs the tiny clinic in the town near the farm. He’s run the clinic for a few years now and they are very lucky to have him. The rubberbanding my mom was doing, the repeated hospital admissions, was most like due to her unchecked depression. The problem was cyclical:

  • Depressed
  • Not eating or keeping hydrated
  • Sepsis set in
  • Admission
  • Sepsis treated (but not the depression)
  • Discharged
  • Depressed about the admission
  • Not eating/hydrating
  • Readmission
  • Treated
  • Discharged
  • Depressed…

This last time she was taken to the emergency department at the hospital in the city I live instead of the very tiny critical access hospital in the above admissions. When I caught up with the ER doc, her analysis, which was backed up by lab work, indicated that all physically was fine with my mom. The infection from the sepsis was gone; blood pressure and thyroid levels good; but psychologically? She was “dead”. She wouldn’t look at the doctor and she wouldn’t answer any questions. It was following this appointment that we met up with the family doctor I mentioned previously.

If we didn’t get the symptoms of depression under control, she would continue the cyclical pattern already well established. He had a wonderful way of describing the depression to my mother, who I recall telling me many years to “get over it” when I was diagnosed with mild depression.

Diabetes is a chemical imbalance in the pancreas. Renal failure is a chemical imbalance in the kidneys. Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain. It’s a disease of a major organ and shouldn’t be stigmatized, even though he knows it is, especially when one lives in a community made up of mostly farmers and their wives who never saw a need for a secondary education, at least in the peer group of my parents.

We reviewed her meds, one by one, discontinuing a couple and adding a couple in the hope that once her depression becomes manageable, her health (and memory, which has been declining in a frightfully rapid manner) would level out. In fact, he told us that one of the first signs of depression is memory loss or the appearance of senility especially in a geriatric patient. I have to believe this as my mom’s memory and recollection has improved, but I definitely see the early symptoms of dementia. I have to admit that I’m so glad Aitch is old enough to self-entertain herself on the days my mom comes up to spend time with her. In other words, she will tell grandma that her diaper needs to be changed instead of me coming home and finding her diaper heavy with several hours of urine.

I see a little back-sliding in the improvements that had been made after her hospital admissions due to her rapidly deteriorating dental health and related mounting expenses. A couple weeks ago, one of her front teeth broke. According to the dentist, it had failed due to fatigue. An odd, but fitting description. My mom was faced with making the decision to get a partial bridge or a permanent one (a cost difference of a couple thousand dollars) when even more problems were found. Unfortunately, antidepressants can accelerate dental decay.

The decline of my mother’s health has been gradual but steady.¬† I have a couple of siblings who see her very rarely as they live overseas and while I think it’s hard for me to see my mom like that, I can’t imagine what it’s like for them to see her age so drastically and radically between the time they saw her last and now.

My Doppelganger

About a year ago I told you about another Yo-yo Mama who was erroneously using my email (yoyo.mama@somemailforum) as her own. She used it to sign up for a Red Box and a skateboard website; I was sent an invoice from her CPA for doing her taxes; I was asked to schedule a conference call; she used it at her school.

And that was the straw.

A little over a week I received an email from a name I didn’t recognize and it was copied to one other person. Attached to the email was a word document with 16 names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. Of course I knew that the email and its attachment weren’t meant for me, but for the Other Yo-yo Mama (OYYM).

I replied to all: “Tell OYYM that she gave you the wrong email,” and went on with my life.

A couple of days later, my inbox had the start of an email thread from one of the people on the document (not in the original email). It was a reminder about the class party at the school and who was bringing what and what was still needed and who would like to volunteer to bring suchandsuch.

And I got pissed.

OYYM has been using the wrong email now for over a year and a half now. I have contacted her on more than one occasion informing her of such, so it’s not like she was ignorant to the problem. My first reaction was to reply to the thread and say I would bring the items they were still missing for Ms. Q’s St. Paddy’s Party and then of course, since OYYM didn’t GET this email, she would show up sans those items and her peers would be all, “What the heck, OYYM! You said you’d bring that crap!”

I realized that just wasn’t going to satisfy the raging bitch in my head. I entertained the thought of friending all the people on the word document (which was actually a list of all the parents in Ms. Q’s class – including their child’s name. Yeeeaaaahhh.). Of course, they would accept my friend request because I’m OYYM, right? Who knows where I could go with that (and still could…).

A friend on facebook suggested I sign everyone up for updates on the Tupperware website. That suggestion combined with my penchant for stirring shit gave me the idea that ended up implemented: I replied to all on the thread (which ended up being ALL the moms in the class AND Ms. Q with something like this (paraphrased to evade possible googling by The Punked):

Looking forward to the party! I’m going to have my friend who’s a dwarf dress up for the party and surprise the kids! Bonus! He’s a stripper and will be at my house for a party I’m having later. Bring your dollar bills and beer hat!

That reply was sent just before I went to bed. By the next morning, I already had a response. Probably due to the fact that OYYM lives on the east coast. The reply? It was from the school’s principal.

I nearly crapped my pants.

She had also replied to all with an apology for the inappropriate email I – excuse me, OYYM – had sent. I was actually feeling pretty humiliated for a bit until I reminded myself they had no idea who I was. After my heart stopped pounding out of my chest, I did reply to the principal to let her know that I was not OYYM even though our names are the same, and that I hoped that this would forever stop the emails being sent to me in error.

All day I obsessively checked my email thinking I should hear back from the principal with yet another apology for the confusion, or maybe even from one of the parents asking OYYM, “What the fuck were you thinking??”, but there was nothing by the time I went to bed. The next day? Nothing. And the next day? Nothing still.

A rather anti-climactic finish to what could have seriously turned into a major clusterfuck of cyber-hairpulling and finger-pointing. Basically mayhem. I guess my original plan of getting her out of my life worked.

Dagnabit. My foray into wreaking my evil havoc ended up like letting air out of a balloon. An initial crazy, erratic ups and downs and then a pathetic and final pffffffttttttt-t-t—-t.

Pitching a Fit

When Aitch was around six months old – maybe nine – she woke in the middle in the night crying inconsolably. I remember going to her room and picking her up out of the crib and sitting down to rock with her until she calmed down. Except she didn’t. She seemed to cry harder. She arched away from me. The crying was so loud, I worried she’d wake her brother who slept down the hall. So I took her to the front room where I had been sleeping on the sleeper sofa (snoring if a motherfucker – that’s all I need to say).

By that time, Sparring Partner had heard her crying over the monitor and came to investigate. I was still holding her in my arms and trying to sooth, but was grateful when SP showed up so he could prepare a bottle. Surely once she had a bottle (I had finished breastfeeding the month prior), she’d calm. When the bottle did show up, she screamed in fury. We took turns trying to quiet her to no avail. Finally, we laid her on the bed between us and eventually she calmed.

Since then, she’s had more of these late-night fits. They are not night-terrors as those pass shortly after we talk to her and rub her back. She hasn’t had one in quite some time, so I was completely unnerved when after an hour into her nap (she usually naps at least 90 minutes, and many times for two hours), I could hear her whimpering, which quickly escalated into full-on tears. I gathered her to me and sat down in the rocking chair assuming she’d settle down as became more conscious. But she didn’t. Again she pushed away from me, but when I held her away from me, she’d reach for me.

I talked to her, hoping the sound of my voice would reassure her that I was there. She still wasn’t calming down so I laid her down on the floor on a blanket, covered her, and then laid down beside her, still talking. I asked if she was hurting (maybe her arm or leg fell asleep and the pins and needles were hurting); I asked if she was scared (daymare?); I asked if she wanted me to go away; I asked if she wanted me to stay. She would only sob, tears streaming down her face, but never opening her eyes.

After several minutes of this, she seemed to calm and settle back into a fitful nap. All the crying had caused her diaphragm to seize up and her breathing was really just gulps of air. As SP describes it, she had vapor-locked. But after only a couple of minutes of the calm, I could see her brows pull together and the tears squeeze from under her lashes again. It was nerve-wracking.

Up to this point she had said nothing. She’d pull away and cry harder if I tried to stroke her hair. I told her I would stay with her until she calmed down and waited. A few minutes later she whimpered, “I want you…”, but as soon as I’d touch her she’d say, “I don’t want you!”

Did I mention nerve-wracking??

This fit lasted for almost 45 minutes. We eventually moved into the living room once her eyes opened and stayed open and I rocked with her there where the change of scenery was somewhat of a distraction. Once she had completely settled down, she was up running around and playing with her brother and generally being silly. I asked her again why she was so sad and crying, but she would just smile at me and run off to play.

Yo-yo Mama, on the other hand, was totally stressed out and wondered if a good cry might do her some good as well.

And then there were two…

One of the presents we received at Aitch’s birth was a plush unicorn. It was cute, I suppose, but I’m not big on stuffed animals. Doodicus pretty much ignored them and never latched onto one for any length of time. Not long before she turned one, Aitch started playing favorite with the unicorn and I panicked. There was just one and I realized that I better get a backup (or two). I went to ebay and found several of them available for sale. I had my pick between new and used and decided to just take the cheapest I could find. In total, I think I spent $20 for two back-ups, including shipping.

The Plan (as I chortled) was to keep one in her crib, one was to be left at daycare, and the third was to be tucked away in case – godforbid – something should happen to either of the other two. For over a year, this plan actually worked well. I would take home the unicorn from daycare on Fridays to give it a good wash. I was careful to make sure the two unicorns were never seen together as I didn’t want Aitch’s head to explode.

Inevitably, two things happened. 1) The unicorns ended up in the washing machine together, which meant in the dryer together, which led to the universe colliding when Aitch decided to rummage through the laundry. She was positively giddy, grasping these two unicorns tightly in her arms and running through the house to share her discovery. With her being older now, we have simply explained that she cannot have two to play with as one is for daycare and the other is to stay home. Most of the time, there’s no drama.

The other thing to have obviously happened: 2) Daycare Unicorn went missing a couple of weeks ago. I’m almost positive it is in the house, but I haven’t located it yet. Backup Unicorn was pulled from the dresser drawer to fulfill his duties as the Daycare Unicorn. (lord, I’m boring myself with this story since I haven’t even really got to the point of the whole post!)

I went back to ebay to see if I could find yet another backup. There were only a handful now up for auction. The other difference was now the least expensive one was $29.00. The highest? $50! And that was actually from Amazon! So I’m freaking out.

If you happen to see one of these at your local flea market for cheap bucks, please, PLEASE, let me know. I will fondle you gently (is there any other way to fondle?) if you do.

Little Annoyances

Yes, I’m blowing off the Photo Ops. It’s called “procrastination”. Get use to it.

Tailor Wannabe?

My husband noticed that I had “fabric glue” written and struck through on the grocery list, because during one of my errands I picked up a bottle. Sparring partner asked what kind I got and I just looked at him stupefied. “Uh, the kind that glues…fabric…?” As if he knows anything about fabric glue.

Related:

I used the fabric glue to adhere some fleur di lis patches to the back of my daughter’s jeans, which were initially very plain. To ensure good adhesion and to keep them flat, I grabbed a concrete paver from the front deck to lay on the jeans while the glue dried. I finished my project and hung up the jeans and set aside the brick. Sparring Partner asked why it was in the closet of the bedroom. I explained. Are you going to take it back outside? he asked. If it bothers you, take it out now. I responded. Hurumph was his reply. I just walked past the closet. The brick is still sitting there. Apparently it bothers him enough to roll his eyes at me but not so much to take care of it himself.

GAH!-la

My ex-employer has an annual fund-raiser. It’s a hoity-toity affair. During my employment I did attend a couple of times. Since I’m no longer employed there, I don’t go. Obviously. My SIL works there so she’s always getting FIL involved with contributions. He asked Sparring Partner if we want to go to the fundraiser and my this was husband’s response, “Not just no….”

I “contributed” ten years of my life there for what?? Did I ever tell you how my ex-boss emailed me while I was on maternity leave “strongly urging” me to make sure I contribute to the expansion project?! I did and was fired a month later. If that wasn’t enough, when the stalking co-worker gave my ex-boss a sob story about her empty pockets, he contributed in HER name. Oh boo-hoo, bitch. So, yeah, no. Thanks for the offer, but we won’t be going to the gah-la.