Herself posted about this video this morning. A fan made an Outlander video set to Bohemian Rhapsody and damn if it isn’t perfect!
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Herself posted about this video this morning. A fan made an Outlander video set to Bohemian Rhapsody and damn if it isn’t perfect!
So. My son.
Brecken loves to get a laugh out of a crowd. He also apparently loves insurance jingles, though I have no idea where he even hears them considering how little live t.v. he watches.
Today when I picked him up from school his teacher informed me he had had a tough time staying focused. She blamed it on the rain like Milli Vanilli. I’m not so easily forgiving. I asked him what he had done and his answer?
“I yelled ‘Nationwide is on your side!’ really loud in the middle of class.”
That was followed by the equally catchy, “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.”
Also of note is a worksheet we found in his folder. It requires a little back story. Brecken is obsessed with Legos, Star Wars, and Minions (and insurance commercials?). He has been fantasizing about a Lego set featuring AT-ATs that costs a very reasonable (yeah right!) amount of money. I usually tell them if they want a toy or something while we’re at the store they should “put it on their list”. That usually does the trick. Jesse, on the other hand, is a known pushover. I say known because even the kids know what a softie he is. I will call this worksheet exhibit A:
It says, “I really want to have more Legos.” and “Dad would get it.”
I don’t think he fully understood the assignment. (Why the hell did they star this?) At the very least we need to talk with our son about more virtuous goals.
I haven’t died or run off to join the circus. As you wait with baited breath for my next post please enjoy this short. This whole series is actually quite fun.
I had my umbilical hernia sewn up on Tuesday. Notice I didn’t say “fixed”. That remains to be seen. As of right now my abdomen is a disgusting, swollen, bruised, miasma of pain. Yes, I’m being dramatic, but dammit, it hurts. You use your abs for freakin’ everything. EVERYTHING. Even blinking. (Just trust me on that.)
Allow me to take you through the events of the past three days.
We arrived at the surgery center, waited forever, finally checked in, I got dressed in a gown that hooks up to a vacuum system of some sort that blows hot air onto you – DIVINE! (Please someone get me the home version of this) – the nurse tried to find my vein, failed, tried again, almost blew it a second time but got it in, we met with the doctor, Jesse tried to get the doctor to say I could still vacuum and mop after surgery, the doctor made a sex joke that was super funny. Wait, let me share it:
Dr: “You cannot do anything strenuous for three weeks. No exercise, no sweeping, no lifting anything…”
Jesse: “But she can still vacuum, right?”
Dr: “You better be careful or I’ll give her a few more restrictions you aren’t going to like!”
Me: (About 3 seconds later because I didn’t get it right away) “Hahahahaha!”
Anyway, Jesse left and the anesthesiologist came in and they wheeled me to the OR, and then the anesthesiologist gushed (slammed? jammed? whooshed? What’s a good word to describe plunging several ccs into an IV line faster than the speed of light?) meds into my IV and I said “OUCH” and she said, “Oh, you must have had a small clot – that’s why that hurt.” And then I said (in my head because I’m not stupid) “Or it hurt because you just slammed down on that plunger like it owed you money.” Then we chatted about something for a minute but the Bill Cosby juice was already taking effect so I don’t remember what was said, and then…
…I was really warm. Seriously, I want to live in the warm air vacuum gown for the rest of my life. It’s purple and called Bair Paws or Bear Pause, definitely not Bear Paws. My recovery nurse was named Kaiser and he kept talking to me trying to get me to come around. I awoke from anesthesia like a lady you guys. No puking or thrashing around for this one thankyouverymuch. I didn’t feel anything at first, but as I came around I started to realize my abdomen hurt like a MOTHERFUCKER. Ok, maybe not that much. More like a motherfucker. Kaiser gave me some painkillers, gently delivered through my IV in a slow, steady plunge, (Little miss anesthesiologist could learn a thing or two from Kaiser!) and then all was right with the world. I napped. I languished in my cozy Bair Paws cocoon. I half listened to the nurse call Jesse to come pick me up, and I made note of the time and thought how he must be at school picking up kids and how that meant I had at least another glorious half hour to snuggle in my Bair Paws gown. Life was good.
Eventually Jesse and the kids arrived. By this time I was awake enough to tease Kaiser about having a fanny pack, and he promptly gave it right back by making fun of my ugly, Croc-like shoes. We were basically besties. The kids were definitely freaked out by seeing me so gorked and hearing my scratchy voice. They had to leave the room while I dressed and while waiting, Brecken asked Jesse, “Why is Mommy’s voice like that? Is she going to die?” My poor, sweet, sensitive boy would watch me over the next few days with his eyes as wide as saucers and ask me every day, “Is your bellybutton better yet?” and I would answer him, “It gets a little better every day!” and the worry lines on his face would ease just a bit.
When we got home I wasted no time traumatizing the baby. I was still very drugged and loopy and Jesse held her toward me as if he were expecting me to take her. Her arms and legs were thrashing and my reflexes went on autopilot, blocking my abdomen and pushing Jesse (and consequently the baby) away. She looked as if I had spit in her face. She was so confused. She cried in horror at the rejection and Jesse whisked her away. He tried to feed her but she was fussy. Eventually she just started crying, “Maaaamaaa! Maaamaaa!” so he brought her back to me. I snuggled her into my side and gave her the breast. She clung to me like a baby monkey, nuzzled me all over and nursed like her life depended on it. Afterward she was happy as a clam and totally relaxed the rest of the night.
They had warned me about nausea and sent me home with a giant barf bag, but my ironclad stomach is the thing of legends. Imagine my surprise at finding my mouth filling with throw-up spit. I had been wandering around out of bed and had taken a hydrocodone (AFTER nursing) and I guess my stomach had had enough. I rushed to the toilet and thought to myself, sweet Jesus we need to dust the bathroom more frequently, as I waited in dread for the vomiting to commence. I was terrified at the thought of how painful clenching my stomach would be. Thankfully, my record remains unsullied. I didn’t throw up. After a few minutes of toilet gazing I went to bed and had weird, fuzzy dreams. I can see why people become addicted to hydrocodone, but frankly, it’s not worth the nausea. I have nineteen of the suckers left if anyone wants them for street value. Haha – just kidding. No I’m not. Yes I am. *Shakes head* I’m totally kidding. *Winks*
I switched over to expired Tylenol the next day. I was able to walk around, but not much else. The baby is aggressive when she breastfeeds, so I pretty much get my ass kicked three times a day, and my back spasms in the worst way. The baby is totally confused as to why I wont pick her up and instead keep dropping to the floor to play with her. She’s also sick of seeing Jesse’s face. She loves him to pieces but she just wants me to freakin’ hold her already. Holding her in my lap isn’t cutting it.
It is very frustrating not having use of my abs. I can’t blow my nose, fart, cough, laugh, or even yell at the kids. I tried to yell at them (They were angels Tuesday night when they thought I was dying, but by Wednesday they realized they were stuck with me, and proceeded to take advantage of my wounded state by behaving like wild animals) and the result left me winded and in pain. I decided to take the high road and find inner peace, AKA I ignored the little miscreants and let Jesse handle them.
Today (Thursday) was a bit better. I was much more mobile and even got to shower!!! Still, every move I make is felt in my abs.
I only had one dose of expired Tylenol today. I am hoping tomorrow sees even more mobility and improvement. I’m such a bad-ass that Jesse assumes I can handle more than I can actually handle, so I better gently remind him of my limitations before I stupidly take on too much too soon.
I’m taking a picture of my gross bellybutton everyday because why not? I probably wont post them even though I can’t think of a single person who wouldn’t want to see them – I would TOTALLY want to see them if it was anyone else’s bellybutton. Admit it, you want to see the pics. Ok, maybe when I’m all healed I’ll put together a time lapse something or other and you can all watch it heal. Won’t that be fun?! As of right now my belly is swollen and the top of my bellybutton juts out like someone put a Lego under my skin.
Hmmm. Maybe the doctor put a Lego under my skin. I’ll ask about that at my follow up.
I am still uncut.
We made it all the way to the hospital registration room before we caught our latest insurance trick. The staff were shocked as we checked ourselves out. They had never seen anyone leave that close to surgery time before. I imagined the evil head of the insurance company stroking his hairless cat and grumbling like Dr. Claw, “I’ll get you next time, Kristy. NEXT TIME!”
And he will. He will continue to “get me” every time I fork over a ridiculous amount of money each month, and then again to reach my disgustingly high deductible, and then again when I pay my ugly big percentage of the bill that they don’t cover.
How are insurance companies even legal? I feel like I’m being fleeced. I don’t claim to understand the ins and outs of all the insurance bureaucracy, but this system is very very broken. At the very least insurance companies shouldn’t be allowed to call themselves non-profit organizations. All of this money is going somewhere. How dare you tell me a syringe costs $300.00. If insurance companies were taken out of the equation then the prices for everything would go down to a reasonable amount. There would be transparency in the industry. People could shop around more easily and be sure they were getting the best price in a competitive market. Yes, technically you can do that now, but it takes hours and hours of phone calls and detective work because no one is trained or qualified to answer your questions. It was easier to give birth than it was to find out how much said birth would cost in a hospital.
I understand the concept of insurance. I understand how difficult it can be for 99 percenters to pay for medical expenses. But can someone please explain to me how insurance is helping Mr. Average Joe when he has cancer and his medical bills are two million dollars? With insurance he still has to pay for a percentage of that bill. Let’s pretend EVERYTHING on his bill was covered (very unlikely) and he is only expected to pay 10% of the bill. That’s $200,000.00. Do you have an extra two hundred thousand dollars? Neither does Mr. Average Joe. If there were no middle man driving up the cost of everything, Joe’s bill would still be high, but probably not astronomically so.
People are losing their houses over medical expenses. How much of our homeless population is due to medical bills?
How has Obamacare helped? I’m not jumping on the Obama bashing band wagon, I’m legitimately curious as to how it has helped. The only thing I’ve noticed in my personal life is that I used to be able to go to any doctor I wanted, and now when I try to see a doctor, if they hear I have an “individual” plan, they laugh and hang up on me. (Not really, but they do refuse to see me.) So, kudos to Obama for trying to fix this mess, but it’s only gotten worse.
Why are we so against European healthcare systems? Yes, my ignorance flag is flying high with this post, but by all means, educate me. Is healthcare in European countries so horrible? My dad says our healthcare system drives advancement in technologies and drug research because money makes the world go round. I can see how that reasoning makes sense. Is there no middle ground? Can we not fashion an America where our people aren’t crippled by medical costs, and we aren’t forced to watch commercial after commercial for every drug imaginable with side effects that are worse than the original problem?
This was just supposed to be a post about how I didn’t have surgery on Monday, and it has been rescheduled for next Tuesday. Now I just feel lost and frustrated. Let me know if someone makes one of those dry erase marker videos explaining insurance and American healthcare using fun cartoon people. I’ll be over here eating kale and using sunscreen.
If you’re reading this right when it posts I am unconscious on an operating table right now. Sounds dramatic, right? It’s not. Not really. I have a teeny, tiny umbilical hernia compliments of my third pregnancy that needs to be repaired. I should be home in a few hours.
In my youth I was invincible. I never worried about being put under or whether or not I would wake up the next morning. With age comes caution. I know I am not promised any specific amount of time here. This doesn’t mean I think I’m going to die on the table or anything, but if by some fluke, some unfortunate chain of events worthy of a prime time hospital drama during sweeps happens to happen and I don’t make it home, please, for the love of God will somebody make sure my three children grow up knowing how to properly make a bed with hospital corners and load a dishwasher to capacity? I’m confident Jesse can handle the other stuff – the how-to-be-happy-and-well-adjusted-responsible-adults stuff, but he’s a total loss in the folding/bed making/dishwasher loading department.
I don’t know how ouchy my recovery will be, but I hope to be back to my obnoxious posting self by Wednesday.
Ok, I’m signing off now. I’m writing this in advance and I only have one hour left to cram Brach’s candy hearts down my throat before the cut off.
I will begin this post on a sweet note by showcasing the raspberry cake I made Jesse that turned out worthy of some hoity toity food blog:
Isn’t she a beaut? Don’t get too excited though, Internet; the crust is made of dates, so the closest this thing can come to being considered delicious is on a scale from hospital food to elementary school cafeteria food. Jesse loved it, and that’s what counts.
Next I will share with you a few pictures of Christmas chaos!
Unless you’re a regular reader you’re probably wondering who the hell all these people are. Well, in order of appearance they are: My kids, Apple Josh, Dani and Seren, Chloe, Nathan, and Seren again. Not pictured: Mugga, Jesse, Me, Andrew, Vanessa, or the dog. I was behind the camera, and the others were a bit camera shy, so pictures are slim pickin’s. We did get our annual family shot for our ornament though because Vanessa graciously agreed to take one for us. It only took three tries of me saying “Nope, everybody squish in closer!”. Brecken was in a mood. Seeing his sullen face on the Christmas ornament makes me laugh. Next year I’ll yell at him to “Span time!” like Vincent Gallo in Buffalo 66.
The majority of our house guests left yesterday and I don’t know who was more relieved, me or them. I have a reputation for being a host Nazi. I’m usually found lecturing everyone on hanging up their towels and keeping track of their drinking glasses. I have finally given up on keeping my travertine counters stain free. I figure if my landlords are stupid enough to put travertine tiles on a high traffic kitchen counter then they will just have to live with the fact that most renters aren’t going to respect The Tile. (Or at least most renter’s husbands and house guests.)
Last year I got a gold star for not harassing house guests. This year was a different story, but I will not apologize for my constant nagging because everything nagged about was a safety issue for my baby. I don’t think it was unreasonable of me to ask people to keep the safety gates closed and the toilet door closed so my baby didn’t wander up the stairs or play in the toilet. I also asked them to keep their beverages off the coffee table because that was Seren accessible and therefore considered The Danger Zone. When you get a large group of people together, no matter how intelligent they may be in their regular daily lives, they suddenly have the attention span of squirrels. This meant I spent most of my time reminding people to keep gates closed etc etc ad nauseam.
There are two types of people in this world; you’re either a Jules or a Vincent. (Please enjoy this clip of Jules and Vincent washing their hands.)
Both have good qualities and bad. Jules may be a little uptight, and Vincent may be a bit sloppy, but I bet Jules throws a helluvuh cocktail party, and Vincent is more fun to have over for a barbecue or a ball game. I am a Jules. When you are a Jules it can be very frustrating to host Vincents. When you are a Vincent you wonder what the hell Jules is so upset about all the time. Now I know why everyone, Juleses and Vincents alike, drink so much around the holidays.
As sweet as this post began, now I have to address the sour. Seren started vomiting Friday night. It’s kind of a horrifying moment in my mothering career because I reacted in a way that in retrospect was quite possibly the worst thing a mother could have done. She had been fussy and flopping around all night in my bed, so I finally put her down in her crib (which is right next to my bed) around midnight or one and then fell into an exhausted coma. I heard her retching around three AM. I listened as she finished horking, waiting for her to start crying. Guess what? She didn’t cry. Instead she sighed a big breath, and rolled over and fell back asleep. This is where any other decent person would get up and check on their poor baby and make sure they weren’t covered in puke. Not me. Know what I did? I thought to myself, Oh, good, she must feel so much better. Thank God she went back to sleep, and then *I* went back to sleep. This pattern repeated itself two or three more times throughout the night. Yes, you read that correctly – I let my baby throw up four times in her bed, and because she didn’t cry and was clearly breathing with no difficulty, I simply went back to sleep. When we woke up the next morning and I pulled her out of bed she was surprisingly clean. She had a smudge of puke in her hair and a tiny spot on her shoulder, but was otherwise perfectly clean. Her crib, on the other hand, looked like a Jackson Pollock painting.
It didn’t even occur to me that my neglect was seriously basically child abuse until later that afternoon when Seren was dehydrated and limp. (She could have been dehydrated in the middle of the night and this sleeping asshole wouldn’t have even known.) She proceeded to throw up several times throughout the morning, eventually getting a fever too.
I was preparing to take her in for I.V. fluids when she finally managed to keep down some liquids. I spent an hour nursing her in small amounts, then waiting for ten minutes to make sure she kept it down, then nursing her again. Once she had gone that full hour without throwing up I brought her downstairs and gave her electrolytes mixed with breast milk. She was much improved by bedtime. The next morning she was sunshine and smiles and had an epic diarrhea explosion which actually made me happy because I didn’t have to worry about her being blocked. By that evening she was so much better I confidently put her freshly washed bumper back on her crib. JINX!
Today she wasn’t interested in breakfast but ate half an egg. We went shopping with Mugga, she refused any samplings of the treats we were scarfing, and then just as I was bringing her upstairs for her nap she threw up perfectly undigested egg all over the both of us. Aren’t you glad you are reading this post? If you’ve made it this far you’re probably a parent or a healthcare professional.
I put her down for a nap, and she woke up an hour later in discomfort. She fussed and flopped around and didn’t want to be held but didn’t want to be put down. It kills me to see her in such distress. Finally I decided to give her gripe water. 9mL later it seems to have done the trick! (Knock on wood) She’s back to being her old self again. I’m off to put her to bed, and I pinky swear promise that should she throw up tonight I will be all over her like stink on a monkey butt. Fingers crossed for a healthy baby on the morrow!
All I want for Christmas is her two front teeth, so I can have a silent night.
We have family here from out of town and this egg-faced little monkey loves their baby. She says “Bah-bah!” and hugs and kisses the baby. Seren is a wonderful pint-sized diplomat. She shares her toys and is always quick with a smile and a flirt.
Yesterday I got my Betty Crocker on and made my traditional pumpkin cake, only this time I used a springform pan! The result was very mid-century modern. I felt like I needed to be attending a potluck or Tupperware party. At the very least I should have been wearing a full June Cleaver ensemble with a perky little apron. (But I wasn’t. I was rocking baggy sweat pants. They’re baggy because I’ve lost six pounds since Thanksgiving! I’m basically a hard-bodied fitness model now. And by “hard-bodied fitness model” I mean a thirty-something mom of three with a slightly smaller paunch.)
I’m not the only sweet maker in town. This morning Danielle and Andrew helped the kids make a Gingerbread house. It started out strong, but we live in earthquake country and by the time they were finished it had gone from being a peak-roofed chalet in the Alps to a flat-roofed meth lab in Palmdale. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t pass code, but the kids assure me it is delicious none the less.
Every year our house grows smaller. Ha. “Grows smaller”. What a funny way to say that. I realize I live in a larger-than-average house, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel small. I realized this morning that there are ten people using the upstairs bathroom. TEN people! There are college dorm bathrooms that get less use. Christmas is the one time each year where we stack people into our house like coyotes trafficking illegals across the boarder. Around day three every year I start to see the appeal of going away for Christmas. As much as I loathe cruise ships there’s something to be said for endless margaritas and pool side massages…
Have a merry Christmas, Internet. I’ll post again before the new year. I wouldn’t want you to miss out on the raspberry cake I made for Jesse on his new obnoxious diet!
Much like Jack Skellington, I am a firm believer that there is plenty of room for Halloween at Christmas. Specifically, Halloween costumes! I fell in love with this little gnome costume so I decided to review it. That meant Jesse had to take pictures of me dressed like a gnome in the middle of December for no apparent reason.
Jesse: “Why are we doing this?”
Me: “What? Like I need a reason to dress up like a gnome?”
I had a lot of fun with filters on this particular photo shoot. I love how some of them look like old fashioned watercolor illustrations from the fifties.
See Dick. See Jane. See the gnome.
Surprisingly the super tall hat was the least annoying part of this costume. The costume came from Wholesale Halloween Costumes. (I’m just going to go ahead and get this other obligatory link out of the way: Party Ideas because throwing a random link to Pintrest Halloween boards seems totally relevant, right?) Anyway, back to the review:
As I mentioned earlier, I loved the look of this costume. It’s adorable with its bright colors and mushroom pockets. Sadly, adorableness is the only thing this costume has going for it. I know better than to expect excellent quality when getting a costume like this, but the quality of this particular costume was quite poor. It came with a felt hat and felt shoe covers. The hat was wrinkled and had several creases in it, and the shoe covers were such a disaster I didn’t even bother trying to make them work. It also came with matching leg warmers that kept sagging and falling down my legs.
The “petticoat” (I use that term very loosely) is a strange material similar to an industrial strength paper-towel. There’s no way this costume would make it through a wash cycle – even on the most gentle setting, so consider it a one-time wearable. The main dress was a bit awkward too. I’m not busty by any stretch of the imagination, but it didn’t provide any room for The Girls to rest above the bodice. instead the bodice section kept creeping up, turning the puffball buttons into comical nipples.
I would recommend this costume for something like a quirky photo-shoot where you could tweak it and pull it into position for a quick picture, but I wouldn’t wear it to a party or any public function because there’s no way it would last through hours of abuse. (And by “abuse” I mean just walking around like a normal, sane person.) By the end of my ten-minute photo-shoot the paper-towel “petticoat” had already ceased to function. I spent the last few shots holding it in place like only a seasoned professional can do.
In the end, I love the pictures I got out of this review. Gnome is where the art is! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)
Karis was a little mouse in The Nutcracker this weekend. She had her first performance on Saturday. As I signed her in backstage she was nervous and excited. When I picked her up after the show she was still riding the high. On Sunday, Jesse dropped her off and walked her back to the greenroom. He said she was strutting all the way and feeling very much like a prima ballerina.
We had tickets for Sunday’s show. Karis was excited that I was dressing up “like a real mom”. (Every time I dress up for an event she makes sure I know how much she likes it, then she asks me why I don’t dress up and put make-up on every day. Then she will run through a role call of all the moms at her school that always look fancy and wear make-up. Forget about the antiquated ideals of always looking your best for your man, the new rule is always look camera-ready for your eight-year-old daughter.)
Brecken begrudgingly agreed to come to the show despite having seen it two days before with his school. He declared it to be boring and long, the highlight being when one of the ballerina dolls “showed her underwear” to the audience. Seeing Karis dance was apparently worth having to subject himself to such torture again. The first half of the show he was a delight! He would excitedly whisper to me what was happening onstage, and what would happen next. He made sure both Jesse and I were paying attention for the much celebrated showing-of-the-underwear event. After intermission he was a beast. He was very displeased at the prospect of sitting through another hour of ballet without any contraband cookies to sneak when the lights were dark. I bribed him with the promise of mochi when we got home and that did the trick.
Aunt Danielle and her friend Jessica came too! (Apple Josh feels much the same as Brecken about ballet, but we’re sure he would have come anyway to throw roses at her feet and call out “Brava!” if he didn’t have such pressing early morning obligations the following day. He is, after all, her number one fan.)
The night of dress rehearsal I volunteered backstage and managed to get some great shots of the little ballerinas. I will leave you with them. For some reason a few of them remind me of the gritty dance dramas of the eighties.