Cinco de años

Friday, February 26, 2010
Many of you don't know this, but I've been married twice. To the same man. A man so nice, I married him twice.

D was not-so-happy about getting married in Miami but had patiently, albeit a bit detachedly, let me plan our snowballing-out-of-control wedding extravaganza. And our friend, Hallisomething, had offered to get ordained through the intrawebs and preside over our ceremony, which suited us just fine seeing as neither of us is religiously inclined and we both have Hallilove. A month or two before our wedding, Hallipriest got unordained through no fault of his own. Long story short, we had to get married before getting married. So we went to our small town driver's licence/building permit/dog licencing/marriage licence building to sign our lives away legally declare our love for each other.

But that was sooo unromantic. So I planned a surprise for D. Mostly because I love him but partially because I felt guilty that D had selflessly allowed me to plan our wedding on his birthday (our only other option was mid-June and I was not trying to get married in mid-summer Miami heat with hair like mine) and because did I mention D hates Florida? I did a little googling and found SkiRev, a man who will ski wherever whenever to marry you. I asked him to meet us at chair 3 at 3:00, sent him a check and mass emailed our local friends.

It was a bluebird day. We spent the morning tearing up the powder and enjoying the sunshine until it began to snow. One of the best mans (we had two) was in charge of the rings and also in charge of getting D to our rally point. As they approached us, D started to look suspicious.

"Wanna get married?" I asked.
"Now? In my snowboard pants?" he asked incredulously.
I nodded, so excited by the surprise in his eyes.
"Dude. Wanna come to my wedding?" he asked the friend standing next to him who would not be making it to our "real" wedding the following week. D laughed again as it dawned on him that that was the reason our friend was there.

Snowflakes fell on us as we stood on Windows Deck, surrounded by people we loved who loved us. Our rings got passed from hand to hand so that everyone could wish good things on them.

D grinned as we signed the marriage certificate. It reads that we were married on February 26th, 2005 at 12,000 feet (instead of at 3:30.)

So here's to us. We've made it 5 years (10 years altogether.) From the sleepless nights of new love to the sleep-deprived nights of two newborns. There is no other man I would have rather married.


This picture is obviously not from our Vail wedding. But as sweet as some of those pictures are, they are not in the least bit flattering. So I picked my favorite picture from our Miami wedding, and if any one of you is ever getting married in Florida and are looking for a kick-ass photographer, check Karla out. Also know a really good wedding planner. One that will dispose of a dead mouse and make sure you have enough Jaeger.
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I am in love...

Thursday, February 18, 2010
...with E for giving me the gift of the first nap of the year. He hasn't napped since 2009. Till today. Because he woke up before 6am. And was a mess. An angry, messy mess. But when he's sleeping, he's an angel.

...with Tide Stain Release.* I put six of E's stained shirts into the wash with a scoop of TSR and our usual save the earth hippie laundry soap and five of them came out completely and totally stain free. Hell ya.

...with D for being a good and patient husband who is in charge of date night this week. Last week was the induction date night and we had crab claws by candlelight and sat at the table and reminisced about the past ten years. We talked about us, not the kids. Ok, we talked a little about the kids. But then we talked about us - we laughed at that one time we went camping and we each drank a bottle and a half of cheap pino grigio by the campfire and then crawled into the tent, which I proceeded to puke in because my drunk ass couldn't unzip the tent fast enough. Which caused D to run out into the woods and puke his guts out, chain reaction style. We sat at the table for a long time, reminding ourselves of all the reason we fell in love and should stay in love.

...with B. She is beautiful and sweet and a total badass. I worried that having her in the carrier so much would slow her physical development. I carried E all the time, but I was also very conscientious about tummy time lest he be one of those kids who grew up to have lobster claw-like hands that couldn't hold a pencil (does anyone even use a pencil anymore?) because his horrible, careless mother didn't put him on his tummy enough times. B usually ends up on the floor because E fell off the ceiling and needs a kiss or because E is about to suplex the cat and needs to be redirected or because...well, you get the point. So imagine my surprise last week when B went bloop! and flipped right over onto her stomach from her back and did it again and again and again. "The hell you say! She's only 17 weeks old!" The hell I say. She's a maniac, maniac on the floor.

* Tide is not paying me to tout the magical powers of their latest product. But they should. Because I'm going to tell everyone I know how much I love this stuff. Everyone!

And we have good insurance

Monday, February 15, 2010

The potty seat flew about three feet up in the air before it cartwheeled down a flight of stairs and clattered onto the tiles of the entry way. I slowly peeked around the corner and there was E, standing at the top of the stairs in nothing but a shirt and socks. He'd peed in the potty four times and gotten four jelly beans as reward. But pooping - pooping gets you two jelly beans and the kid is going to give himself a hemorrhoid he's trying so hard. E was trying to back that ass up onto his potty seat and the seat kept slipping out from underneath him. I kept offering to help, to pick him up onto the seat or to hold the seat while he got on it by himself, but no, he wants independence...for now.

We'd taken a break from potty learning with all the hospital stuff going on, but while killing time at Target today, we saw a 6 pack of underroos, two of which would effectively put his bottom in the loving embrace of Tuck and Ming-Ming, and so we had. to. have. them. And then we picked up a bag of jelly beans and jumped feet first into this whole potty training thing.


We have decided not to subject E to the endoscopy and colonoscopy. At least not yet. I was supposed to hear back from Stephanie, the GI doc, last Monday. She asked me to call her and leave a message and I did, but when I hadn't heard back from her by Tuesday afternoon, I was calling the lab to see if our results had come in before calling Stephanie again (there's a fine line between being an actively concerned mom and being a crazy mom, and I'm ok with walking on the line but I like to avoid crossing it if possible.) The results had long been in but they were getting lost somewhere in the system and the GIs couldn't see them, but the lab could. So the very nice mom lab tech literally walked upstairs and gave the GI nurse our lab results so that they could call me and tell me why the face. Stephanie called and was apologetic, but gave us good news. All the lab results to date were normal. Which led us to the bad news - if we were going to find something wrong with him, we were going to have to literally pull it out of him. And since knowing is half the battle, I asked a litany of questions and whoa. Basically, E's problem could very well be a food allergy. But the GI department doesn't do allergy testing and so that's why Stephanie hadn't suggested we do it. But yes, there's a very, very good chance that what he has is an allergy that would be quickly and easily (but not completely painlessly) tested for. And yes, there's a really good chance that the endo/colo will come back with nothing because we'd only be looking for two things, one of which would be unlikley to be the problem based on the lab results. So wait...why are you suggesting we starve our two year old and give him liquid drain-o for 36 hours before putting him under general anesthesia, shoving a tube down his throat and up his butt and doing biopsies of his insides? Oh, because your department can't bill for allergy tests. Thanks.

So once we got to this point, Stephanie very kindly suggested a really good pediatric allergist and then mentioned that if that turned out to be a dead-end, we also had the option of giving E a high-strength antibiotic and following it with lots and lots of probiotics in case the problem was that he had an imbalance of healthy intestinal flora. Huh. And then if that didn't work, then we could do the procedure. Thanks.

The allergist she suggested is booked till end of May so we're seeing a woman who was a resident under him, and for her we only have to wait till mid-March. We went ahead and cut out dairy sometime last week and he's already sleeping better. But that could also be because when I realized that I had taken the good news conversation upstairs and out of earshot, I staged a conversation that I made sure E overheard, very loudly exclaiming that I was so happy that everything was ok and that the blood results were all good and that everyone was sooo healthy and wow, now I can sleep better because I was really worried but now that I know that everyone is ok...just in case he was losing sleep over all that was going on.

Too hot to touch

Sunday, February 7, 2010
D leaned over me and asked in a whisper, "What time do you want me to wake you up?"
"Um, I'm awake right now..."
"Oh, ok. I just didn't want you to be late."

I got to the yoga studio 20 minutes before class starts to make sure I got a good spot. And by good spot, I mean 1) not in the front row next to Pretzel Girl and Iron Man and 2) with a view of the mirror so that I can check my form because I have a tendency to crank my back knee out while in most twist poses. As I was stumbling into the locker room, our friend Belle* was walking out. "Hi! S told me you guys were meeting here so I figured I'd join you." I'm super excited because now instead of just being yoga with my friend S, it's girls yoga.

I slap my mat down next to E and ask her how her wedding planning is coming along. Because I'm soooo sleep-deprived, it takes all my concentration to follow the conversation and not just let words come puking out of my mouth. When it's my turn to talk, I confess to Belle that I had to dry shave up to my knees because the only yoga pants I had were calf-length and now my legs are a little itchy and dry.

"There's lotion over there," Belle says, pointing to a generic bottle of mint green creme.
"Oh, sweeeeeet." I pump a squirt or two into my hands and lather both my legs up at the same time. Snif. Snif snif. It smells like...HOLY SHIT. There was a 20 second lag before my legs began to burn. My eyes watered. I wanted to claw the skin off of my legs but when I looked over at Belle, the look of guilt on her face made me shut up. Obviously, it wasn't her fault and I didn't want her to feel bad and by that time S was walking in the door. When I told her what I'd done, she laughed and said that it wasn't lotion I'd slathered on, but China Gel.

The instructor comes into class, obviously just home from a trip to Jamaica or something, as the theme of class is the ocean and the soundtrack is 90% Bob Marley, including a mix I'd never heard. I'm totally off my game - my shins are ablaze and right before she sets us loose on the self-directed portion of the flow, my milk comes in. Awesome. I briefly wonder if breast-milk, which is great for treating pink-eye amongst other things, would neutralize the acid that is eating the skin off the lower half of my legs.


"Do you think you need to go to the emergency room?!?"
"I need SOMETHING! Google couldn't help me. China Gel's website doesn't say shit. Urgent Care is closed. The yoga studio didn't answer their goddamn phone and Poison Control has no idea what the fuck I'm talking about. I need SOMETHING! Do I need to go to the ER? If they are the only ones who can give me some information or provide me some relief, then YES! I need to go to the ER!"

Now, I am not one prone to melodrama. At least not when it comes to something like this. I can probably count on two hands the times I've taken Advil. I finished out my shift as a waitress in college before going to the hospital to get a couple of stitches put in where I'd sliced my hand. I got a concussion and fought with Ski Patrol, trying to convince them that "riding the sled down the mountain was for pussies," promising them that I wouldn't hit any jumps and that they could follow behind me but that there was no way I was getting on there. The worst pain I've ever been through was while I was pregnant with E and I refused to take pain-killers for it because I was pregnant and there wasn't enough data on the effects of Celebrex during pregnancy. Once they figured out what was happening (degenerating fibroid), the nurse told me that if I could go through that pain drug-free then labor would be nothing. So believe me when I tell you that my legs. fucking. hurt.

"Poison control. What's your poison?" That's not exactly what she said, but can you imagine if that's how they answered their phone?
"Well, it's not quite an emergency but I think I'm having an allergic reaction to China Gel."
"To what?"
"China Gel."
"Spell that, please."
" in China. Gel. G-E-L."
"Oh, like lotion." Yeah, lady. That's what I thought, but it's not like lotion. Unless the lotion is made of molten lava.
I explain to her what happened. She asks if I washed it off immediately and I explained that no, I didn't because yoga was about to start and they lock you out of class if you're late and then my other friend showed up and I was trying really hard to be brave and...
"So let me make sure I've got this down right in my notes. You had shaved about 45 minutes before class. Dry shaved. And then you put on this China Gel. And then you spent an hour in a hot and humid room doing yoga. Did you sweat a lot? I'm sure you did and your pores were probably wide open."
As she's clarifying her notes, I'm thinking that while I knew it was my own fault, I didn't realize just how stupid Poison Control could make it sound. Now not only did my legs burn, but I felt so bad about myself.
"And this was about 12 hours ago? Did you wash it off as soon as you got home?"
"Well, kind of. I took a shower."
"Did you soak your legs? We recommend that you soak for 20-30 minutes."
"No, I didn't soak." And I didn't even take my usual long-ass weekend shower because D wanted to go for a bike ride before heading out to a 3 year old's birthday party. (Happy Birthday, N!)
"Well, I can't find China Gel anywhere in our computer. It comes back as an unknown substance."
Now, this stupid conversation goes on for another 15 minutes or so. This lady must not get a lot of calls. She reiterates what an idiot I am and then suggests that I go soak my legs, warning me that it might not help much 12 hours after the fact but just in case, I should go do it and if it in fact does not help, I should go ahead and go to the ER.


"Call L2!" L2 (not his real name) is a paramedic.

Which reminds me of a really funny story. Quick sidebar? Quick sidebar: When B was born I had a really bad reaction to the anesthesia and I kept passing out. At one point I remember coming to and L2 was there with my brother and S, who is one of my best friends and also my brother's live-in girlfriend. A nurse came in to check on my sutures and she leaned over and asked if the boys needed to leave the room.

"No. They're my brothers."
She looks over at them and I realize that they're not both my brothers, even though L2 has been a part of our family since he and my brother were in middle school.
"No. One is my brother and the other is a paramedic." Realizing that that didn't make much sense either, I tried to clarify to a nurse who probably had stopped listening at 'No' that "One is my brother and the other one is a paramedic who is like a brother." Satisfied with my answer, I passed back out.

"Call L2!"
I hear D out in the hall. I'm soaking my legs in the tub while E is taking a bath. I look down and my shins and calves look like they belong to a fat white guy who applied SPF 8 to his own back before falling asleep on a beach. The strips of white are being swallowed by the inflamed red stripes where my fingers smeared the gel on.
"How bad do they..."
"It feels like jelly fish wrapped around my legs and set themselves aflame!!!"
D hands the phone over and L2 is stifling his laughter. After a series of questions to determine the extent of my injuries, L2 reminds me that I'm a big girl and that I probably just have 1st degree burns. If my skin starts to blister or if it feels hot to the touch, then I need to go to the ER. Otherwise, I need to suck it up and shut it up.

"Why don't you just take some ibuprofen?"
"Because I'm nursing." I say it all shitty, as if to imply that while he might be ok poisoning our baby girl with an OTC drug, I am too tough for that. I'm pissed at D. Here he is, a grown man who is rendered couch-bound and pathetically useless by the sniffles and he's got zero sympathy for me. At least my brother shared a funny story about when he found himself in a similar situation after laughing at me.
D brings me two ibuprofen and I swallow them, grateful for the relief they promise.

As I'm laying in bed, I realize that my legs no longer burn. And I realize that while the pain was intense and I was really, really hurting, more than anything else, I wanted someone to take care of me. I spend all my time taking care of B and E and worrying...about my family (immediate and extended), about the cat, about our finances and my friendships and whether or not D and I are doing a good job as parents. I'm terrified about what Stephanie (the GI specialist) is going to say on Monday when the blood results come back. I realize that every once in a while, all I want is to curl up on someone's lap and be taken care of, to be worried about. I laugh at how pathetic my cry for help was. I take a deep breath and kiss B on her beautiful little head before drifting off to sleep. I don't dream of jelly fish or hot lava. But at some point in the middle of the night, when B wakes up to nurse and grunts these tiny little puppy grunts as she scooches towards me and snuggles in, I do sigh a little sigh, grateful to have so many people I love and so many things to worry about.

*With her permission, I refer to our friend as Belle because she is so pretty that the people who represent Walt Disney's cryogenically frozen head hired her to be the Belle that walks around Main Street in Disney World.