I just introduced my mom to the internet. I'm not sure they've hit it off all that well.
What's The Deal
I must look extra pregnant today because I keep getting meaningful glances at my belly from my co-workers. Nope, I still haven't told most of them though I think the word is getting around. I think the number of days I can use the old 'I ate too many donuts' ruse is growing smaller.
Let the flood of assvice from the world at large begin.
Heather and I were walking toward the famed pepper lunch today, for lunch, when I noticed a man vacuuming something out of a manhole. I know, what else would be sucked out of a manhole but sewage? But I had hope. Maybe it was gophers, or hams!
Then the smell hit me. Nope, that ain't no ham. Thanks dude. Lunchtime is the perfect time to do that type of work!
And So It Goes
Yesterday I trolled the mighty and wonderful Craig's List for cageless dog care. Found a lady in Sunnyvale who does it in her home, the dogs come to her and stay, sleep on the couch, play with only a small handful of other dogs, and (most importantly) are cared for by her. Not by some teenager who's bitter about making $8 an hour, but by the owner, who loves her dogs as much as we love ours.
She also charges about half of what spots does. And right now she's got a basset there with a condition similar to epilepsy. So she knows about the bahhroooing and about the seizures, and how important meds are. She answered all of my questions and seems very earnest in her efforts.
We're going to take the kids over for a trial visit to see how they get along with her dogs, but I think that kind of place is better for our guys than spots.
The more I think about the way manager C. from spots talked to me yesterday, the angrier I get. He had no real explanation for why we have extra pills, and only offered 'weirder things have happened' Yes dude, I'm Catholic, I believe in the Virgin Mary, don't talk to me about things that are weirder.
After The Incident of 2004, the implied contract we had with them was okay, something Went Wrong here but now that you've corrected it, the idea is that you NEVER fuck it up again when it comes to Patrick. Never. Not one pill, certainly not two.
But they did, and for C. to talk over me, to tell me that it's not possible, to imply that I'm lying (dude, for what, exactly would I go to this trouble???), all adds up to a completely breached trust. I won't burn the bridge with them because sometimes shit happens and we need to board them on a moment's notice. But, from now on spots is officially the Very Last Place on our list to put them.
Sort of ironically, Pat seems fine. Gus is VERY shaky after the experience, Rainie is waaay too skinny, but Pat? Fine. Just a little subdued.
That Went Well
They have 2 managers at spots, D. who took excellent care of the situation last time, and his brother, C., who I'd never talked to before. I wish I still hadn't talked to him because he was ridiculously combatative about the whole thing and tried to say that there was NO WAY they could have missed Pat's meds. They have a double check system for most people -- because we're us, because they could have killed Pat that time, we get a triple check.
Well, apparently 3 is not enough because still, 2 extra pills came back. Please don't try to tell me I can't add or that mistakes are not possible. I most certainly can and they most certainly are.
I finally told the guy to have his brother call me back because I didn't like the way this conversation was going. We'll see what D. has to say but this may be the last straw for me. I hear there's a good place up in Dublin (about 45 minutes from us) and it might be time to check that out. Sigh.
At A Loss
Here's the thing. We have 4 dogs. 3 of those dogs take medication, one of them, Patrick, could die without his. Last year, we boarded them and the place fucked up, giving Pat's medicine to Gus. That inspired 5 grand mal seizures in 2 days for Pat and the first horrific time we had to give him injectable valium, which was awful to watch. The incident also made for a very sluggish Gus.
The owner did all the right things -- fired the moron who mixed up their meds, apologized, gave us our money back, but in the end the truth is, their mistake could have killed our Pat. Because sometimes when a dog has a cluster of seizures, you can't stop them and the only option becomes euthanasia.
Epilepsy is serious shit. That's why we medicate, monitor and always keep an eye on the little guy. Even with all that, sometimes he still has seizures. But only once in a while because we keep an eye on him to make sure they're under control.
And even though we've seen them a number of times now, it still breaks my heart to watch him go through that. I'd do anything in my power to prevent even one.
This weekend, our regular excellent, loving dogsitter couldn't stay with our guys at home, so it was back to Spots for Rainie, Pat and Gus. Because of the holiday, they were only going to feed them once a day, which does NOT work with Pat's medicine, or Gus' either. So the kid said they'd do it twice a day for us.
You know where this is going. Andrea sent 12 pills for Pat, 2 extra for today in case we got stuck. 4 pills came back, meaning they missed 2 over the weekend. I made the guy pull out the record and sure enough, one slot was missed, on thanksgiving, and another day was pencilled in.
2 pills can mean the difference between him being okay. And very much not being okay.
The problem is, Pat is a loud boy. He's a whiner. It's charming and really quite annoying. He does settle down but it makes caring for him something of an aquired taste. We can't pawn him off on our friends like we can with the older guys, who are quieter and less demanding overall. So I'm stuck with either not travelling, trying to trust spots again, only travelling when our stay-over dogsitter can come, or find either a new backup dogsitter or a new boarding place.
I'm going to call the manager of spots now and see what kind of answer, if any, he has for this year's epilepsy medicine foulup. I think part of the solution for us is making peace with the fact that our priority in a dogsitter is no longer how much time they can spend at the house each day but in making sure meds are distributed at the right times. Because a little lonliness I can fix when we get home. A very broken Pat is less easy to fix.
This morning, Rainie had somehow gotten permission to be on our bed and was there with Andrea. I laid down with them both for a minute and said you know, today is 4 years since Alice died. Rainie, boy have you stepped up to fill her shoes as #1 alpha dog in this house.
Rainie just wagged her tail and scooched up a little higher on my pillow, the punk. Maybe this year, this day will pass without tears, maybe this year I'll just remember the funny and the fun stuff about being Al's mom.
And then, I'll shower the ones we have with love.
Wrapping It Up
Some amazing things have happened while we've been here in Columbus:
- The weather didn't stay awful. It got warmer and today promises to be unseasonably warm. Like San Jose warm. Sweet.
- WE MET THE ENTIRE US NATIONAL WOMEN'S OLYMPIC TEAM. All but 2 of them. We were coming up the escalator in Nationwiide Arena, heading to our excellent suite seats that my dad had scored for the BlueJackets game when Andrea starts saying, with great urgency, 'look over there! over there! look! over there!' I had no choice but to look over there. And over there, at one table, were ALL of my hockey heroes. Together, signing autographs. I looked down the table and recognized almost all the names. Then, yes, it's true and it's totally the hormones, I cried.
We went down the line and they signed our posters. They also talked to us, asked us if we played (sure, if you call playing hockey the same thing as what you do, except a LOT slower and with much less finesse) where we lived, then when I mentioned that we'd planned this trip around their upcoming game, they were touched. People, these are the BEST women's hockey players in the world. They should not have to be surprised that people wanted to see them. They said they were hoping to fill the lower bowl of the arena. Again, that's sad. But I'll gripe about the second-class status of women's hockey later. For the moment all I want to remember is that they were there, they were all together and that they were SO nice to us. Treated us like equals, all sisters in the love of the game. Amazing.
As we walked away, I said, thanks, you guys made my week. Then I said, no, you made my year. And walked away before I started crying again.
- The BlueJackets game was fun but I still have yet to see them win in person. 0-5, Avalanche. The food in the suite was a little sub-par (last time my dad scored these seats the food was great) so I ended up eating mostly veggies. Which of course meant that I had to eat after the game, lest I be plagued by a long night of heartburn and pain.
- Yesterday we saw the US Women's team play Team Canada. ALl my heroes on the ice, live from the 2nd row, center ice. Amazing. Hayley Wickenheiser got a penalty, so I got to sit like 6 feet away from her. And take pictures. Dan ended up being able to come with us, it was quite excellent to share such an amazing game with him. Team USA won in a shootout, beating Canada for the first time in a loooong time. The play was quite even, as it seems to be between these two teams. Fast, hard, great shooting, THE WORLD'S BEST GOALIE (no offense to our mighty Burninator goalie, Cara) is without a doubt, Chanda Gunn. She pretty much stood on her head making amazing save after amazing save. She was the US Player of the Game. There was no doubt that the honor belonged to her.
Yes, I've used the word amazing an awful lot when talking about meeting them and about the game. But it's the best I've got. They were.
- We bought a few baby items. The all-important going home from the hospital outfit, something that apparently, we're supposed to put a lot of thought into. Um, okay. Andrea found a really cute sweatshirt at Old Navy (which was PACKED) and I got to look through the baby clothes my mom had been saving all these years. Some brought back memories, mostly of seeing pictures of myself wearing them. Some are SO frilly that I just don't think that we could use them, even if Murray is a girl. But the real moment was when Mom busted out the sweaters Grandma had made for us. One itty bitty one is cream colored, and has the 'Handmade Especially by Grandma' label inside it. Well, they all have that label. Just seeing it, knowing she put it there all those years ago, for me and my brother, broke my heart wide open once again. Mom's going to hand-wash everything and ship it out to me as we get closer to Murray's arrival date.
- Speaking of Murray's arrival -- I guess most people have ideas about how they'll decorate the nursery, about paint or wallpaper, about decorative trim. We just don't. I think because our house is small, because we have 4 dogs, because we know right now that housekeeping is our worst event, we just don't seem to care what Murray's room looks like. It's purple in there now and I suspect it will stay purple. Should I be up nights worrying about the best shade of eggshell?
When I envision us having this kid around, I see us out and about with him/her. At the playground, at the rink (oh yes, at the rink), at the store, wherever. We don't spend a ton of time at home now and I don't expect that we'll be a lot different with the kid in tow. Maybe those are famous last words and we'll end up slaves to Murray, wishing that the room was eggshell instead. Who knows.
All Of A Sudden
Almost every bathroom sink that is not my own short stubby model includes a counter that seems father away every day. How's this going to work for 24 more weeks?
I'm Not Kidding
And I'll get photographic evidence tonight, but the Cross Country Inn across the street from here has the right combination of burned-out letters so it now reads 'Cros Count In.' Thus fufilling two of my own inside jokes in one fell swoop. That's like the Christmas gift I got for Zawod that fufills 3 inside jokes and includes a special treat.
Sometimes, the stars line up just right, you know?
More On Ellie Mama
Well, not really much more since Dena and Walt have no idea what happened. They were able to spend some time with her after she died and plan on doing an autopsy. Mama had a myriad of health issues (and yes, in 2000, a myriad of amazing, funny, wonderful puppies, 2 of whom are ours) and was blessed with the most perfect of homes these last 5 years, 1 week that she was with Walt and Dena. She was named after our Ellie and we've always felt a connection to her. It breaks my heart that the connection is now gone, though in some ways it's very good that it was quick. But really, death sucks no matter when it happens, or how.
Mama will always be missed, I only hope that she's met our Ellie, and that Alice is showing her around the buffet. Rest in peace, Mama.
Yep, It's Cold Here
Every so often, I have these fantasies about moving back to Columbus. In many ways, it's a very good place to live -- great schools, big houses for cheap, my entire extended family -- all that adds up to a great place to raise a kid. Except that there are a few distinct drawbacks -- being gay remains a big deal here (significantly less than it used to), there are like 2 Chinese people so Andrea would be #3 in town, and really, what it all comes down to -- the weather. Terrific in the spring and the fall but largely awful the rest of the year.
Like, for example, right now. Super cold, blowing snow and did I mention the cold? To us California wimps, it is a tough transition, one that quickly makes me remember that our kid will be just fine in our smallass yard, with public schools that are decidedly sub-par (and who knows, by the time Murray starts school maybe Warren Beatty will have been in office for some time, undoing the horrific shit the Govenator has done to our schools during his reign, and suddenly, as if by magic, we'll have great local schools to send the little kicker to) and most importantly, a place where nobody gives two shits whether or not the kid has two moms, let alone moms who are different races.
That said, all is well in Columbus. My mom made an AMAZING meal for us -- turkey, stuffing (Grandma's recipe, which rocks because it contains sausage), mashed potatoes, and for my now-extremely picky eating ass, lasanga from my favorite pizza joint. I wish, I so wish I could say I'm still full, but no, we had to go get more food for me 4 hours later, as the Murrito was hungry again.
It was really nice to have Thanksgiving with the parents, with my brother who also came from the warmth of CA for this. Very mellow, very nice and oh yes, yes, yes, very tasty.
What's just as nice, if not more so, is the fact that my parents bought me a wedge for use here so I can continue to 'ta-da' in my sleep. Last night was also the very first night since all this morning sickness began that I didn't feel like total crap, or really, like crap at all! Thank you, Murrito, for that.
In the spirit of the day, my mom busted out with this most excellent and tear-inducing prayer before dinner. We were all stunned, since only at Thanksgiving is our family into free-form prayer, and then it's usually Dad. Andrea was so moved at one point, she grabbed my knee. And then, when Mom was finished, she confessed with an impish grin that she'd gotten it off TV. And there was much laughing but it was still excatly the right thing to say.
We were so busy rushing to the airport, to another plane, to my mom's house, to the hotel (HELLO wall of entertainment) that I didn't really pause to give thanks for all the good stuff that's going on. Maybe that's just as good, to be so busy going somewhere with the one you love, getting to the family you adore, sharing a wonderful meal, that you just don't have time to stop and reflect. Sometimes, you don't need to, everything you need is right there next to you (or this year, inside my belly, kicking for emphasis and attention) and it just goes without saying. RIght now, it's all good..
Finally, I found this page: The Roo-Dah parade, or the Rainie Roo-union, which includes my all-time favorite pic of Walt and Mama:
Ellie mama just died at the door of the vets. She didn't even make it in.
I suspect this happened at about the moment she left us: that damn Sting song cycled onto my ipod. I told Heather that better not be my Ellie, coming down to get Ellie mama but I guess it was.
The world is a lesser place without her, though all of us who were priveledged enough to know her, to love her and for some lucky bastards like us, to have a little piece of her in our homes, our Roos, our lives are infinitely better for her having passed through them.
Thanks for the love, the laughs and especially for our Roos, Ellie Mama. We will NEVER forget you.
Give It All Up Now
All those prayers and good thoughts you've been holding back for Ellie Mama, turn them up THIS INSTANT. She's gotten worse, is having trouble breathing, they're at the vet's now waiting to be seen (HELLO MR. VET ELLIE MAMA IS A GODDAMN VIP, SEE HER RIGHT NOW). Dena fears for the worst, that our Ellie Mama may be leaving us very soon.
Send all your prayers that it's not the case.
From Dena, loyal and faithful human to Ellie mama: Ellie’s tummy doesn’t look right and she wouldn’t eat this morning. Her breathing is labored and her gums are pale. She has an appointment with the vet this afternoon. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers….
Nobody is here at work, just me and Heather it seems. I can see tumbleweeds blowing down the aisles and hear the faint footsteps of co-workers who never appear.
Another Good Thing About The Holidays
Is that the Christmas songs on my ipod are now once again, timely. Woo!
Something about us expecting a baby, about some Pretty Heavy Shit getting mostly resolved, all of that has combined to make me Not Dread The Holidays for the first time in a while. If I'm excited now, I bet I'll go apeshit next year. I think we'll even have to get a tree.
Good thing the last of Susan's decorations have stayed up all year -- she's now way ahead of us on decorating!
We seem to have moved past the majority of the nausea (though the evenings are still quite long and sometimes, nausea/heartburn filled) and into Phase II. This is the part where the few shirts I had left from Before are at the end of their fitting time (pay no attention to the tight parts at the bottom of the shirt, please) and where being able to/wanting to tuck a shirt in remains but a distant memory.
But at least I have 2 pairs of jeans that I only have to pull up part of the day. I also have 2 pairs of jeans that I spend the Entire Day pulling up. It seems that as Murray gets bigger my pants ride lower and lower, requiring additional pulling up of pants.
Murray's newest activity is kicking. And hitting. A lot. Andrea has joined the bandwagon of Encouraging The Child and likes to tap on my belly to wake the Murrito up so he/she can kick me. It's fun for the entire family!
We went to the maternity store this weekend, Andrea's first trip. I'm in the dressing room trying on t-shirts and I hear giggling just outside the door. It's Andrea, who is handing the Ugliest Possible Shit over the door for me to try on. Because I love her, because I love a good laugh, I did.
Phase II is a shitload better than Phase I. But y'all knew that already.
It's 4 am...
And it seems that despite the foam mats Andrea has laid down everywhere that Gus likes to get his lay on, he's STILL managed to get himself stuck under the table. The man defies logic but he's SO cute.
I awoke to his moaning, that 'get me out of here' sound that's so cheery at 4 am. All the while, I was thinking of that part in silence of the hams where he says 'do you hear the lambs screaming, clarice?' 'Do you hear the Gus moaning, Liz?' The good news is that the mats are great -- I pulled his back legs onto the mat too and he was able to right himself with only the teeniest bit of help. Good man, good man.
Given that I think we're going to board him over Thanksgiving after all, instead of sending him to our friend's house. He's probably better off where someone can hear him moaning and help him get up.
After righting the man so he could sprint outside to pee a lake, Andrea and I were both wide awake so we watched TV. I was so hoping for an episode of Chicago Hope -- that shit always knocks me out, but no such luck. Finally I drifted off and dreamt about Patrick, not sure what except that he was cute.
Lucky for me, he's just as cute in real life.
Okay, so there's totally something about death that makes you look for connections from your loved one where they maybe are or are not. I admit that, and I also admit that sometimes, I look too hard. But here it is anyway.
As soon as we got into the car after Ellie died, Sting's Desert Rose came on the radio. I've always thought of her when it comes on and always said hi to her, in case she did send it to say hi.
So, today, freaking 5 years later, I actually thought about the lyrics and don't you know, they're about a desert flower, with hidden shadows that promise something. About 6 weeks after Ellie died, Ellie Mama the basset, who was quite pregnant with 12 pups, 2 of whom turned out to become our Roos, came along. She was rescued from the desert and oh yes, full of a secret promise that was the Roos.
Say what you like but I feel so dumb for not noticing until now that Ellie's message included hints of the impending Roo-ness that came our way shortly after she left.
Ways Murray Is Like Zeus
If you look at Zeus one time, he will bark at you a thousand times. If you cough even one time, Murray is roused from his slumber in my womb and activates the little KICK ME sign he seems to have hung in there. It's not quite like being kicked in the back, not yet, but it's definitely a very active type of movement unlike anything else. You know, undesribeable.
My Mom Rocks, Part 3507
In anticipation of our upcoming trip, my mom called to see what kind of the world's tastiest ice cream she should have around the house for me when we're here.
She gets it, she really gets it.
Really Great Shit
Yes, for those who knew me well in college, I absolutely used to say that about good weed. But these are Different Times and today, I say that about two things:
- My new pillow wedge. It's the best $40 I've spent since we bought the sperm. For a whopping two nights in a row, I've slept through the night, with mucho comforto! I have the same look of glee on my face that the lady in the picture has. Click link above to replicate my joy.
Apparently, the first night I had it, I slept so well that in the middle of the night, I said 'tada!'
- The other really kick ass thing is underwear that fit. I couldn't figure out why I was so damn uncomfortable yesterday, until I realized that the underwear I'd bought just a few weeks ago no longer fits. Awesome.
But last night, the miracle of laundry and the miracle of Target left me with a slew of underwear that fits. Thank the Load.
The New Crack
Nerds. Jesus Christ. This kid is going to come out purple and pink from all the nerds I've been eating.
Gus, our wonderful, sweet, kind, funny, oh so funny, pointer/hound mix is getting up there in years (we've had him over 4 years and he was a grey mess when we got him so who knows how old he is) and now he's having a lot of trouble with his back legs. Specificially, he gets stuck when laying down and can't get up. We have to move his front feet onto carpet (we have hardwood floors) so he can get some traction, then, once he's moved up a little, we gently grab his back legs and heft him up the rest of the way. He doesn't like that part of the operation too much.
Last night he got stuck in the worst way yet. He laid there, moaning at us (he almost never barks, just moans when he's really happy or needs help) and even us waving his stuffed bee at him wasn't enough incentive to coax his weak back legs into motion. It took a long time but finally he was up again, trotting around the house with his bee in his mouth. He's had x-rays, it's not a tumor but arthritis. We give him Rimadyl twice a day and though it works, I think he's dealing with the gap in time between the first and second pills. We need to be better about giving him the later-in-the day one, and we'll do that.
But please, if you have room on your list, please say a prayer that my Gus' legs stay strong enough that he can move as freely as he wants to for as long as the rest of his body and soul want to be with us. He's my big silly boy and I can't imagine my life without him.
Much of the nausea I've been enjoying the last couple of months seems to have been replaced by a variety of aches and pains. I assure you, each one of those aches and pains are painful but are far superior to nausea. I'm also enjoying some sort of kicking sensation from the Murray-ital region. Some books say it's too early to feel anything, some books say to tell 'dad' to tap your belly and make the critter wake up so who really knows.
I know for sure that sometimes when I cough, I'm getting kicked, which scared the shit out of me the first time. Because I have no doubt that my cough scared the shit out of the Murrito so I deserved that.
And the wedge. Oh the beautiful wedge that has arrived for my sleeping pleasure. I adore you, Mr. Wedge. You make me sleep better and as an added bonus, you make me sleep so well I said 'Tada!' in my sleep two nights ago!
Jesus Rides The Bus
I had to work later than I'd planned last night due to the continiuing saga of PWP so though I'd planned to get to band on time for the first time since I got knocked up, I ended up being almost an hour late. For Christmas music, aka some of my favorite shit to play. I missed Sleigh Ride, which is perhaps my favorite Christmas tune to play.
But...I did get there in time for a new piece: Thus, Do You Fare, My Jesus which gave me the image of Jesus, paying bus fare on AC transit and had me laughing the Entire Time we were practicing it. Good times, good times.
Thanks A Lot
To everyone who has coughed on me with uncovered mouths over the last week or so. You have given me the greatest gift -- a cold for which I cannot take anything.
They say that if you crave candy (compared to chocolate) while pregnant, you're having a girl. All I know is I've eaten more Nerds in the last week than I've eaten in the last few years.
This Is Not New News
But ClearC@se sucks in many ways. I've spent the last two days running around like a madman trying to figure out what the hell happened with this recent Very Important To World Peace project we've been working on. Okay, maybe it has nothing to do with World Peace or Whirled Peas for that matter, but it's important in it's own right.
So, there have been a thousand phone calls to my desk (each and every one of which startles me and makes me squeak like a little girl) more emails than I know what to do with and in the end, me being pulled out of a meeting so I could take my half-eaten bowl of cereal to someone else's desk and sit with them while they merge 105 files manually. That's right, 105. While the folks who coordinate the pushing of Project Whirled Peas (PWP) live for the Internet to enjoy stand behind us, making harumphing noises, breathing heavily and finally, with me saying 'I can't make this tool work any faster. I can't make my brain work any faster.'
The end result was 6 of us standing there watching CC@se try to work it's file magic, apparently thinking but not showing anything but a half-filled in dialog box. Finally, one of the watchers calls Cc@se support to see if someone can come over and make it work faster. I am lucky I didn't bite through my lip trying not to laugh.
In the end, I'm sure PWP will go out and the world will be in statis once again. But it's made for a VERY LONG couple of days.
Fun Pregnancy Stuff
All the tiredness I was supposed to feel in the first trimester, but was too busy playing hockey while I could is now with us. I'd like to nap. All the time. Then go to bed.
I'm officially out of shirts From Before. Despite my most sincere wish that this lovely Denver Ooz shirt I'm wearing still fits, it actually doesn't. Time to try and find more maternity shirts that don't quite look like tents. Right now I have about 2 of those and I just don't do laundry enough to support only having two. Why? Because I'm too tired.
I really think I'm starting to show, no matter how much I'd like to deny it. Please God let the day when strangers try to touch me remain far off. Let my purse remain strategically placed in front of the belly like as to prevent the grubby hands from reaching their destination.
The nausea has backed waaay off. For this, I give thanks to anyone who will listen. Eating enough at night remains tricky but I'm getting there. Soon, that day may arrive where I think of doing this again. But for now, that day is very far off. Like forever.
You're still not getting any belly shots. Once it starts to look like a real baby belly instead of generic fat, I'll consider a (clothed) one. Maybe.
That's all that's fit to print.
It took extensive sleeping, some Tylenol and some Coke, but my headache has cleared. Other good things: the wedge I ordered for the bed came and I can now sleep with only the wedge and 1 pillow, compared to the 5 pillows I was using before this.
That's really about it.
Thanks Be To You
Carol, for letting me have the donut I was dreaming of at the coffee stand downstairs instead of taking it for yourself. I finally played the pregnant card and I assure you, the end result (a no longer lonely donut) is well worth it.
There Is No Doubt
That by saying this, I will jinx it but so far, nobody has said anything ridiculously dumb in response to our news, nor have we encountered any bigtime dyke-haters along the way. Though I really wish someone could tell my mother that seriously, it's okay and expected that you gain weight during this process.
That said, as my belly grows larger I'm bracing myself for shit like 'who's the father?' or 'how the hell did you do THAT?' Oh wait, the latter, I've already been asked by a long-time friend with whom we had not discussed any baby-making adventure details so I'll give him credit for just being shocked.
But to all of you who have just been very nice, not too invasive in your questions and genuinely happy for us, I cannot thank you enough for that. It goes such a long way.
I think I'm getting a migraine. I get them so infrequently I'm not sure if I'm spelling it right. No, I cannot take Advil but I can drink part of a Coke, which isn't helping. Please, get me to a dark room before this gets worse.
Hockey-Free Weekend, Part 1
The first in a series. I thought I'd be really sad without it but so far the truth is that I'm now so completely exhausted that the mere thought of putting on my gear and all that bending over that goes along with it makes me even more tired. Of course, that's slowing down my progress about getting to the Y to start swimming, my Temporary Replacement Sport (TRS).
Friday night, I wound up having about 10 minutes to hit Old Navy's maternity section. It was awesome, I had like 5 choices of jeans that aren't too ugly and wound up having to pick. I picked 2 pairs for now, including one that turned out to be $9.49! Woo!
Saturday night while Andrea went to her game, I went to Berkeley for a potluck, sort of. Except that we were supposed to bring pizza. From San Jose? Huh? I was really confused but Jennie was nice enough to supply our pizza. It was sort of fun and all the people I know well know me well enough to not make dumb/too personal comments/questions about the whole pregnant thing. It's the new people who don't know me and can't think of anything else to say that have the highest risk of getting on my nerves. This time it was someone I'd never met asking how many tries it took us. I answered, started to say more about the process, then stopped. I just don't feel like sharing.
I should add that Saturday afternoon while we were waiting to buy the last of our Christmas presents for the girls (that's right, we're DONE with their stuff, before Thanksgiving. That does mean we'll find more stuff along the way, I'm sure) some lady behind me asked when I'm due. Woah. You can TELL? Shit. I told her and she very loudly started doing the math then was confused that I'm showing so much already. I was wearing the most pregnancy-esque shirt I have so that did NOT help. But I won't wear those to work so weekends are I've got.
Sunday was my always-exciting band concert. It's our Veteran's day tribute and we make a fuss over the vets in the audience and in the band, which always makes me a little misty. I played as well as I could have hoped for, since I've missed a lot of rehearsals due to the gagging when the horn was in my mouth these last couple of months. Big fun.
Susan, Bill and the girls came to watch, it was cool to have them there even if the girls (and Andrea) lost interest pretty fast. We all went over to their house for dinner after and enjoyed a nice nice dinner, followed by baby watching. They are indeed better than TV.
Today's pregnancy report: I sort of feel better, definitely do during the day, nights still suck. I've now added a wide assortment of aches and pains to the mix so it's getting better, yet worse. Excellent. I know this is supposed to be magic and I have faith that one day it will be but as of right now, I'm still waiting for that magic.
Because I'm Sure You Wanted To Know
Here we are, wrapping up week 13 of this pregnancy deal and you're probably wondering how I'm feeling. And even if you're not, here it is. Better. Not 100% by any means, but significantly less time fighting with the toothbrush or being unsure if I need to run to the bathroom to puke. For the record, there has still been no puking, though it was awfully close that night at Harry's Hofbrau.
The pooch is growing for sure, though it seems I'm the only one who's really noticing that. I've abandoned all pants with buttons and zippers and now wear some form of stretchy-waisted pants all the time. The end result? Much bettah than before. I'm trying to avoid the true maternity shirts I have because 1. the bellies are just way too big for Murray's current size (again, he is not White Castle fries, he comes in more than one size, each a little bit bigger than the last) and 2. wearing that shit makes it sort of obvious that I'm With Child.
That's me, just like the Virgin Mary, with a man-free pregnancy. Amazing medical wonders abound.
The opposite side of being nauseous All The Time is being Starving. All The Time. It's like the week after a really intense tournament, I want to eat All Day. And really, for the last couple of nights I've basically been eating All Night until bedtime and I'm still going to bed hungry. Time to find the Magic Food that fills me up. And NO, I am not eating bon bons and other bad-for-you sugary goodness. I'm eating real food that seems to defy filling me up.
And so it goes. And also goes the gas. Burping and farting (oops, sorry innocent co-workers who just heard that one. I should have coughed for cover). A lot. Yes, more than I did before. Apparently it's possible to be gassier than I was before. Who knew?
Haven't made a formal announcement at work. Why? I have no idea. Because though it will become obvious soon enough, I'm just not ready for the hugs, questions and suggestions that may follow my announcement. Hugging walls? That's fine. But people, no, I'd rather not. I'm just not touchy-feely, sorry. It's not personal, it's just my person.
Anyway, in short, I'm feeling better. And bigger. Bring on the food, do not stand in my way of the buffet.
Woulda Coulda Shoulda, Part 100
Grandma always said that she wasn't going with Willard on her 100th birthday, that there was no way he'd be putting her picture up along with all those old people on TV on their 100th birthdays. No way. Ironically, that's how she learned that her much-disliked stepmother was still alive. From Willard, when he wished Mary W. a happy 100th birthday. "Oh," said Grandma. "I guess she's still alive."
But Grandma herself, she was not going to be featured on the show. Nope. It breaks my heart a thousand ways that she was right. Tomorrow marks 100 years since her birth, a century of great change in the world and of great growth within our family. I celebrate Grandma's birthday with a small but expanding growth in my belly, a great-grandchild that I know she's watching over.
Grandma was sick for the last 5 years, I did not take any pictures during that time. I knew, she knew, that we'd all want to remember her how she was beforehand -- strong, independent, beautiful, robust. Yes, I visited her a thousand times while she was sick, making at least 4 trips home every year so we could have time together. But I took no pictures, I hardly wrote about it because it's not what I want to take with me about her. It's not what I want to share with Murray about this amazing woman, though I'll never forget the way she fought each complication, how strong she was through a series of illnesses that would have surely wiped out a mere mortal.
That's who she was, larger than life. And yet so down to earth, so funny, always so damn funny, that you couldn't help but want to be around her. The crowd at her funeral spoke to that -- many of the people who cared for her during those five years in some way came to celebrate her life, they, too, had stories of Grandma telling jokes and playing pranks. Even when she felt awful, she had an ear for anyone who needed it.
I wanted desperately to tell her we'd planned to have a baby. But she grew up in a different time and I knew that in the end, there would be more explanation required than she might have the energy to process. So I didn't say anything, I trusted that she'd see what we were up to from heaven, that it would all be clear to her then. Don't get me wrong - she adored Andrea and once she made sense of who took out the trash, who cleaned the bathroom and who cooked in our home, she had no issues with my being gay. She'd grin and wave her arms, telling Andrea to pinch my ass on the airplane, then laughing hysterically when Andrea would practice right there.
The night before she went in for the second hip replacement, I was in band. It was late in Ohio, like 10 pm, but I snuck out to call her and wish her well, remind her how damn much I loved her. Had I known how much that surgery would have changed her life, I would have talked her out of it ("limping is so totally IN this year") or at the very least, I would have gone there to be with her for the few good weeks she had afterwards, weeks where she was up, walking, beaming at her progress.
Instead I went in December, right after Amy's dad died suddenly, in the dead of winter when it seemed we'd lose Grandma too. For 10 days? 2 weeks? I sat with her in the hospital rehab center, trying to get her to eat, holding her hand through a great many unpleasantries. I extended my trip, stayed with her as long as I possibly could. When my first flight was cancelled, I didn't take the next flight, I pushed my departure back so I could go back to the hospital and stay a few more hours with Grandma. She never forgot that. So I guess I was there when she needed me most, the way she'd always been there for me when I needed her.
And now, finally, after years of pain and a severely curtailed life, I know she's at peace. And she's watching over the little one who we'll meet next spring. But she didn't go with Willard.
I'm kinda wondering if we got the wrong sperm. The only thing I've consistently wanted to eat that's different than my normal stuff is burritos. For the record, I hate burritos. If we go to a taqueria, I will eat anything BUT a burrito. But now, we may as well call the kid the Murrito (thanks, Mrs. Heather's mom for that one!).
Ole, my child!
This spring we did some exciting shit that let us pay off our credit cards. Because my billing for RWC was on one of them, I left it open. Now that I'm no longer skating (please do not remind me, it's starting to sink in) I wanted to close the card. The rink is being extremely difficult about responding to my (now 3) requests for a stoppage in billing while I'm out so I wanted to make sure I didn't get stuck paying a chunk of change every month for something I'm not using.
I finally got around to calling today. I hate this part, the part where the nice-sounding man with a kind voice tries to make you change your mind (but you've used the card all along, why would you close it? who are you using now? CASH you motherfucker!) and finally I said to this nice man let's skip all of this part and go to the part where you close the account, okay?
Of course, that turned this nice man into something of a snothead and he said fine, then hung up on me. Whatever.
Wait A Minute...
Before coaching Andrea's green game last night, I went home for my pre-dinner dinner where I thrilled myself by eating a whole pint of crack ravs. Mmmm. So tasty and the Murrito enjoyed it too.
I headed up to meet Andrea at Susan's (we've started picking her up so she can't forget/oversleep the ice slots anymore) and I was totally confused. The girls were wearing the cutest little shirts that said "I heart my Aunties" with the heart as a little rainbow.
"Nice shirts," I thought, wondering who the hell these OTHER aunties could be, the ones who had bought these shirts for them. Then Susan explained that she'd gotten them for the girls, along with the coordinating "I heart my Mommies" bib and onesie for Murray.
Ahhhhhh. And then I got all teary-eyed and told the girls that I loved them too.
How Could I Forget To Mention...
That last night, after a Malaysian dinner I could barely start, let alone finish (lame, I love that stuff!) we headed to Albertson's, where after much searching and almost giving up, we were blessed to find this:
Praise this Load, indeed, for it is a mighty and wonderful load. And as a reminder from the Beastie Boys, White Castle Fries only come in one size. However, banana phones come in a great variety of sizes:
Another Long Night
Well, my struggling ass went to bed early, hoping to erase what had been a particularly painful day in terms of nausea and all that crap. I was just watching some seriously lame shit on MTV, falling asleep when Andrea comes in the room and says Patrick's having a seizure.
Shit. It was a doozy. But really, they're all doozies. It felt like it went on for an hour, probably it was only like a minute. We both stayed with him the whole time, petting him, cleaing up his drool and his pee, waiting for it to end. Afterwards, there was the usual 5-10 minutes of Great Confusion. He stumbles around, sniffs all of the dogs, sniffs me, sniffs Andrea, wanders among the sea of dog beds in the living room until just like that, he comes back to us. His tail goes back up to it's usual 'wag' position and poof, there's the Pat we know, albeit a bit calmer than usual.
I go back to bed, Andrea will stay up and help him get settled in again. About 3 am I hear the mighty moan that is Gus, stuck somewhere again. Sometimes this is under a chair (a chair that we're moving to the basement tonight) sometimes it's just on a flat surface with nothing to grip so he can't get up. I coax him up, lift his back legs for him and he's once again walking in circles.
Back to bed until it's really time to get up. Let Scooter out, then hear the moan of Gus again. Stuck again, only this time I notice a ginormous oozing bump on his back. He's a lumpy guy but this bad boy was new. And disgusting. Really disgusting. My guess is that Scooter got him and it got infected pretty fast. I cleaned it as much as possible, squeezed out as much nastiness as I could, then Andrea fed them and we headed to the OB for my 13 week checkup.
I've actually lost a little weight and we got to hear the baby's heartbeat. It's thumping along and everything looks good. The doc had 2 women in labor at the hospital so she was kind of rushed -- most of the time we get a PA who is less rushed and we like a lot more but oh well. We're still getting good care and Murray is still doing fine. That's the bottom line. We go back in another 4 weeks and then right before Christmas we'll have the Big Ultrasound -- you know, the one that shows us whether or not Murray has nards. Woo, nard presence (or lack thereof)detection!
They're Not Kidding
White Castle's slogan is What You Crave and ever since we saw Harold and Kumar go to White Castle, it's all I can think about eating. I'm SO very ready for our trip to Ohio in 2 weeks so I can eat me up some Whiteys, some Waffle House, some Steak N' Shake, some Max n' Erma's and Tim Horton's.
It's not that my mom isn't a great cook, she totally and completely is. But the lure of my favorite fast foods has been SO GREAT the last few months that I'll have no choice but to spend most of my meals enjoying the things I crave.
Blame it on the baby but damn it I NEED ME SOME SLIDERS.
We're going to hunt down some frozen ones tonight. It's funny, for all the wide variety of Asian-themed foods I normally eat, pretty much all I've wanted since this whole pregnancy thing started was the bad-for-you foods I grew up on. I guess this kid's going to have no choice but to inherit my love for all this tasty 24 hour goodness.
I'm planning a solo trip to Columbus for January or Febuary, just to give myself one more chance to enjoy The Foods Of My Youth. What I Crave, indeedy!
It Beats Being Bitchy
But I think the dreaded mood-altering hormones have kicked in. Only I'm not weeping or being a total bitch to everyone in my path, no I'm laughing SO HARD at jokes from Andrea, Jennie and Heather that I'm at my desk, crying. And maybe, trying really hard not to piddle.
Hello, second trimester.
Carol returned from her Mighty Sojurn to India and is back at work today. It's great to have you back and you seem totally relaxed for the first time in a looong while. We missed you.
I Don't Know What It Was
But at a tasty IHOP dinner with my Green-skating friends and Justin last night, I was in rare form. It started (I think) when Jena mentioned going to the park, to which I responded with 'you know what Park is backwards, don't you?' followed by Susan laughing so hard I thought things were about to come flying out of her nose.
When Jennie's cod dinner came, she was noting that IHOP cod was somehow not that tasty. I said it's because they call it IHOP, International House O Pancakes, not International House of Cod, or IHOC. It's just not the house of cod. I'm sorry. But oh it was fun-nay.
Apparently they put no-doz in my hot chocolate because I was up until after 3 watching TV, trying to burp and fart my way to a nausea-free night. Maybe it was the cod.
The Story Of My Weekend
Saying goodbye to hockey wasn't quite as bad as I'd thought it might be. I think that's thanks to our old friend, denial. He does good work, let's leave him alone for now. I played my hardest in all 3 games but man, these days I get totally tired after like 30 seconds. One good breakaway and I'm done. My legs hurt just thinking about playing. Sigh.
But I'll be back, don't you worry.
Saturday we went to Samantha's first birthday party, where I got accosted by an enthusiastic crowd of new mothers. All sorts of questions ensued, some reasonable (when are you due?) some not realistic (do you know what you're having? as if these women didn't JUST GIVE BIRTH within the last year and didn't go through the process. For the record, the process does not include viewing of genitals until around 20 weeks. We're at 13 weeks, 1 day. You do the math. At the moment, we're having "a baby.") and then a slew of questions about what kind of screenings for fuckedupness we'd be doing.
Um, that's where I draw the line between friendly chatter and Too Personal To Share. I hear you laughing now, thinking about that not-too-far-off day where strangers STRANGERS touch my belly. I think about that day too, with a great shudder.
But in the meantime I was there, in a group of new mothers, being a little shocked by the intensity of their questions. I politely waited then left the group. I know it's sort of weird -- I disclose a lot here so it seems like I'm totally open about all things. But the reality is, I share what I want to, what I'm comfortable with, then I keep a shitload more to myself, to my family. So it's hard when people cross that line, even though it may seem like that line isn't really there.
I assure you, it is. And I have a feeling it will get more visible as this baby continues to grow.
This weekend also marked the first time I wore maternity clothes out of the house. I learned quickly that low-rise pants mean you spend the day pulling up your pants. But that's still more comfortable than a button or zipper. It truly is the dawn of a new day.
I had totally meant to write about something else but oh well.
Ton Of Bricks
Um. This will be the first Christmas without my Grandma. The emotional ramifications of that are simply too great to discuss.
The End Of An Era
I'm pretty sure that my last weekend playing hockey until after Murray has safely arrived will be this weekend. Of course I'm going out with a bang -- subbing maroon tonight, RWC tomorrow night and as my final match, Team Ingrid on Sunday.
I had really really hoped that I'd be able to play longer but as always, Murray has other ideas. He/she is starting to pooch out a little too much for my comfort, I don't feel like my mighty red pants will be adequate protection anymore so I must hang up my skates (which are getting too small as even my freaking feet grow) and yes, my beloved Red Pants. Sigh.
I will try not to cry but if you see me at the Team Ingrid game on Sunday, feel free to be extra nice. Because I guarantee you that I'll be extra sad.
Oh Yeah, The Other Part Of Woo!
We got our bonuses today. That means I got money I wasn't counting on. My favorite kind!
I snuck off to the mall yesterday and after a few extremely disappointing visits to stores, wound up at the one place I'd tried SO hard to avoid -- the maternity store. Of course, this mall being an outlet mall, the store was kind of ghetto and the salesclerks could give a rat's ass about bothering me. Perfect.
I had about 5 options to choose from, that meant I actually had a choice. Of course not everything fits so those options became fewer as I tried them on. But in the end, I emerged victorious, with a pair of jeans for now and some overalls for later. In the dressing room, they have a pillow that's supposed to emulate late pregnancy so for fun, I tucked that bad boy into the overalls. Um. Wow. I guess I'll really look like that soon enough.
After that victory (and a super creepy attempt to get my name, address, blood type and SS# by the clerk who ignored me until I was ready to buy something) I headed over to Marshall's (I told you, I'm cheap) to check out their new maternity department. Well, I don't know about you but in my book, 2 racks of clothing is not a department. It's 2 racks. But on those racks they had one pair of $12 jeans that fit me so woo for racks!
It was a day of great victories, followed by a night of minimal nausea (WOOO!!) and horrible sleep (boo). Oh well. Take what you can get. Sometimes that's just a pair of pants.
My favorite restaurant in the whole world is a tie between the Tofu House and the Kingswood Teppan Steak House. The other night, we headed over to Kingswood for another tasty meal only to find that the worst possible thing has happened. They are closed. Like not just for a day, but closed. Like forever. The glasses still hung above the bar but the telltale sign was there: the wall of photos with semi-famous people is GONE. Gone.
We sat in front of the place for a few minutes and I'll admit this. I cried. You see now that I'm With Child, tasty food that I can stomach is really important. Moreso than you'd ever imagine. I always knew that no matter how bad I was feeling, Kingswood would brighten my day and fill my belly.
Where am I going go to now? Why aren't they coming back?
I just called over there and got what I expected: no answer, followed by a hopeful click that cut me off. Sigh.
It Sounded Like A Saw, I Swear
Last night I swear it sounded like the dude across the street was working on his car in the middle of the night again. It did, I swear. Then I realized it was Zeus, snoring his loud-ass old man snore just outside my door. Exactly the way we'd wanted him to do during that long week this spring where he lay on death's door.
Our guy: totally back. And more annoying than before. In the most loving way, of course. But still annoying. Worth every penny.
Yes, I Play Brilliant On TV
At work, I just made a guess about why the almighty Tim is having trouble with something and then said 'wow, that sounded really plausible, didn't it?'
Is It Too Much To Ask
That if you're working from home and you call me on your home phone so all the Caller ID at my desk gets is your home phone, go ahead and say your whole name and your department if we don't work together all the time I know who you are.
And speaking of phone weirdness, we ALL have caller ID here. So when I call you at your desk, your phone rings and says "Liz Dow-tay, ext. blah." And when you call me, it says "Your Name, ext. blah."
That means that when you call me, before I answer, I know that it's you. So instead of saying "This is Liz," I might say "Hi." Especially if we've been emailing back and forth about something for half a day. And yet. Every time I do this, the person on the other end WHO CAN SEE THAT IT'S ME, LIZ, CALLING, gets all flustered.
WHY WHY WHY???
Orange you glad I told you I'm pregnant so you could hear some Gory Details?
Actually, I've spared many of the details. Be grateful for what I have to say could scare away even the most maternally-minded of you. Okay, maybe not *that* bad but it sounded kinda funny.
I'm a bit of a planner. Everything about the getting pregnant process was planned -- what, when, who, where, all of that. So, last winter, when we knew we were still months away from starting this grand adventure I took myself shopping on the eBay for Murrayternity wear (because I swear to you, EVERYTHING that is in those maternity stores at the mall is for skinny, fluffy straight chicks. I am none of those things. Plus, that shit is super expensive. And I'm cheap.) I patted myself on the back and bought item after item that looked sorta like what I wore normally. (I almost said 'now' but uh. Oh. I'm pregnant. Now.) I stored these items in my basement and waited for our little miracle.
Fast-forward to the part where all of a sudden, there's a fast-growing pooch on my lower belly. There's no getting around that -- there's a kid in there and that kid is growing like a weed. No, not like WEED, but just like a weed. So I trotted out the bin of murrayternity clothes to see what would work.
Shit. Nothing. The pants all have these full belly panels, all of which make Andrea laugh, none of which you will ever be shown in public on purpose. Right now those panels come up to just below my boobs. It's extremely stylish and not at all comfortable.
What the hell was I thinking? In real life (and on television) I wear my pants low, like most self-respecting sporty dykes do. Why should I be any different while pregnant? BECAUSE THE OTHER KIND ARE A CRAPLOAD CHEAPER. Did I mention that I'm cheap?
What I've learned is that maternity shit must be tried on. That labels lie. And that big belly panels are not not not for me. So we're off to Old Navy tonight to see if anything will work. And then I'll be listing a crapload of gently used maternity wear on eBay.
I tried. I really really tried.
Guess Who's Back?
Today is not totally awful: I have reclaimed my rightful title as Bug Champion at work. Took that shit right back from Heather and all other challengers so now my desk features a nice set of 2 trophies:
The Longest Night
I'll start off by saying that so far, I have not puked. Because I don't puke. (Please refrain from telling me the last time you puked and I'll do the same). But last night, at week 12.5 when I should be feeling better, and I was for most of the day, I apparently screwed myself by not eating at 4 pm like I'm supposed to. It's not like when you're not pregnant and you miss a meal. In that case, you just eat later and it's no big whoop.
When you're pregnant and you do that (okay, when I'm pregnant and do that) you pay for it for like a day afterwards. Everything is out of whack and your system is MAD MAD MAD that it wasn't fed at the appropriate time.
Which leads me to a panicked bathroom run at Harry's Hofbrau, the first such run of this great adventure we call Liz Being Knocked Up, 2005. I staved it off (1-2-3) and managed to eat me some sausage. But later, the brushing of teeth also caused problems (but still no puke). Top this all of with a largely sleepless night and today, boy do I feel terrific!
Okay, I don't.
Other parts of our long night included Scooter barking at 2 am because the guy across the street, a new neighbor who I suspect will one day soon earn his own category here, decided at 2 FUCKING AM to WORK ON HIS CAR. I am not kidding. Yes, I live in the ghetto. There's no doubt about that. I got up to pee, when I came back to bed Andrea said 'get this, the asshole across the street is working on his car.' 'No way.' And just then, the steady whirr-whirr-whirr of someone trying to start their car came into our room. Thanks dude. You rock. Thanks also for the million-watt spotlight you mounted on your garage that aims directly at my front porch.
This morning Scooter decided to try and fight with Gus again. It's only 11 am and I'd already like to be past this day and trying the next one on for size.
What You Won't See Here
Are those charming week-by-week pics of my belly growing. Why? 1. Because nobody needs to see that kind of carnage and 2. Because I'm chubby to start out with. Were I one of those skinny women with no previous belly to speak of, you'd see it all. But I'm not so just settle for knowing that there's a baby in here.
Woah. There's a baby. In HERE.
How It Is
Since I'm sure you're on the edge of your seat about this whole pregnancy business is going, I'll share some really fascinating tidbits.
- From weeks 4-6 I felt fine, if a bit bloated. I thought, HA! this is No Big Deal.
- Then I met my new friend, Morning Sickness. Just so you know, the term 'morning sickness' is one big fat lie. That shit goes on All Day Long. It's really fun.
- Some books say that my regular clothes might be feeling a bit tight by now. HAHAHAHA. I've been wearing a size or 3 bigger since week 4. Mostly from the aforementioned bloating and now from a growing belly.
I Prefer To Forget
That our Patrick has epilepsy. That the medicine he takes to keep that horrible condition under control is risking long-term liver damage. I just called for his refill and fully expect to get a call back saying he needs to come in for bloodwork before he can get the pills this time, since it's been a while.
I also prefer to forget that even with the meds, about twice a year he has HUGE ginormous, scary seizures that leave my most housebroken boy in a puddle on the floor, a puddle that embarasses both of us. And I definitely choose to forget about the very real fear that he could go into one of those seizures, then several more right afterwards like he's done in the past, that one day we won't be able to stop them and that will be the end of our life with Patrick.
I do NOT think about the week we were in DisneyWorld, when Thomas lied about being there at night, at the time when if Pat is to have a seizure, he will have one. How Pat and the other guys were all alone all night with no person in the house. How I can write off Thomas being young (as compared to a pre-meditated asshole) but you know, that wouldn't have helped if Pat had a cluster any one of those nights he was left alone. Nope, not a bit. (Though for the record, the kid did come over and feed them all but one meal, from what I can tell.)
It's easier to just keep giving Pat those pills every day and pretending that they're like Zeus' thyroid pills -- cheap little drugs that seem to have no impact on his overall health. That's a lot easier than knowing that the line between everyday life and tragedy is, in our house, separated by a little white pill.
I love you, Pat. You'll never be alone at night again.