Wednesday, October 31, 2012

a few notes to ze kid

1. Daddy and I got a puppy! He is THE cutest. You have a lot of competition, so step up your game in there. His name is Louis Tully and we'll make sure you get the reference as soon as you have the attention span for movie-watching. There may or may not be more pressure on you to nail down Ghostbusters trivia than there will be for you to get good grades. Or a job.
(Just kidding, get a fcking job already.)
2. I'm totally slacking on the parenting prep reading. And nursery decorating. And everything.
2a. Reading Game of Thrones. ACTUALLY finished Game of Thrones, now on Clash of Kings. Not because they're necessarily good, but Mama gets just the teensiest bit addicted to plotlines, and has to see them all the way through to the end. She also read the entire Twilight series. Spoiler alert: They were terrible. The main defense of these books is that the main characters didn't have premarital sex, I believe. Look, kid. I would rather you have premarital (consensual, safe) sex than become obsessed with a pedophiliac sociopath. Seriously. I'll start a birth-control-fund for you now.
2b. Please see point #1. Louis Tully is just THE CUTEST and I just want to squish his face all the times!!
3. So. How's it going in there? You just experienced a 4 day sugar rush, combined with the surging adrenaline of terror, so sorry about that. (Good idea: stocking up on junk food and nothing else when a hurricane's coming THE NEXT DAY. More different good idea: watching a crazy scary movie as you're counting down the moments to a power outage. And just got a dog that makes weird noises around corners where you can't see him.) I'm working on getting back on track, but also your kicks are pretty sporadic, and I don't quite know what to make of that.
Miscellaneous other stuff:
-If I suck in my stomach, I can look not pregnant. And I was 19 weeks a couple days ago. So I feel like I should be a lot bigger. I KNOW I KNOW I'll be regretting these words in a little while, but COME ON I just want to look legit pregnant.
-Maybe goes under point #1, but we FOUND LOUIS TULLY'S BROTHER!! Or one of them. I was walking him a few days ago, and some people stopped me, confused that I had somehow stolen their dog. This other nearly identical. Same age, same history (high-kill shelter in West VA until being rescued and fostered), both have double dewclaws (which is apparently super rare). We introduced them, and they were in PLAYTIME HEAVEN. And these people live just around the corner! Every time we walk by now, LT tries to bolt for the yard. His name is Potter, by the by. So both named after fictional characters. Word.
-The Foliage is in a wedding in 1.5 weeks, so I need to nail down a rehearsal dinner AND superfancy wedding outfit. I think I have options for both, but I need to try them on to confirm. And also maybe start working out again, because all I've been doing lately is walking the dog.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

change of heart

I am not a person who has ever cared about animals. Ever. Mostly, I just could not understand people who seemed to care about animals at the expense of human relationships. That I still don't get. But we're adopting a puppy! And holy crap. I can't BELIEVE pet sales are allowed to happen. For health reasons like allergies, OK. Not all breeders are terrible people, and there are lots of people who sell ethically. But even when they're selling, there doesn't seem to be much follow-up.
Here's what we wanted:
-2 puppies
-Small ones
-Super tiny smushable ones
-After the baby arrived
We figured we'd have to buy. We went to the puppy store and SWORE if we bought we'd just never tell anyone that's how we got the dogs because people are a leeeeettle ridiculous about their puppy store anger.
And the lady at the store was talking to us about breeds and needs of brand new puppies (they sell miniature breeds of dogs almost exclusively, and their thimble sized bladders need to be relieved like every 45 minutes) and suddenly I was all, "huh." We walked out of there with me springing a new plan on The Foliage:
-1 dog
-A medium sized one
-Still pretty young
-Maybe nowish
Because we like to go on hikes! The Foliage is a frisbee addict who runs FOR FUN ON PURPOSE! We like to do stuff and I have no desire to carry a dog! Also I kept visualizing a tiny little Maltese-mix totally exhaused and tangled up in weeds on a trail. And I was already annoyed with this stupid little dog. And we want to be able to train it and socialize it and get it settled pre-baby. In my family, babies happened first and there were no dogs until I was in college. I feared the same thing would happen to us. I really can't picture having a kid and then being, like, "Hey! Let's add something potentially messy that can't communicate and has the strength and claws to rip apart a baby!" Somewhat unlikely. But I would like our kids to grow up with dogs.
So we went to the humane society! And there were several dogs that were pretty adorbs, but MAN it's hard to get a sense of the dog's temperament in that setting. So many things happening! So much barking! ZOMG all the people! I can imagine if I were a dog in there, I'd be pretty overwhelmed and terrified.
Are you reading this?? Empathisizing with DOGS??? It's like I'm a totally new person! A totally new super annoying animal liking person!
And while I really liked 2 dogs at the shelter (we were still debating between 1 or 2 at this point) - a female snow-white American Alaskan and a male red long-haired Chihuahua (who seriously looked just like Sir Dydimus, I shit you not) - The Foliage was not convinced. They would have been named Zuul and Vince Clortho, by the by. So we went home. And I went online to adoption websites. And came across a puppy being boarded just a couple miles from us and ZOMG HIS FLOPPY EARS AND CUTE LITTLE FACE OMGGGGGG.
The Foliage agreed. This dog was cute with a capital HOLY EFF. And we emailed. And the adoption rep lady said there were a bunch of inquiries, so we figured no dice. Keep looking. But all the other dogs, while still adorable because duh puppies, were just unsatisfying. But then they asked us to come out for a visit! And said our application was at the top!
So yesterday we visited. And today a guy from the agency looked at our house. And the agencyguy and the puppy foster mom are recommending us!! And we could have this dog as early as this weekend. Which is nuts because 1 week ago we had COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PLANS for this whole thing. As soon as we get him, pictures will be forthcoming. Assuming we can get him to hold still for the camera. That cannot be guaranteed.
Anyway, here is my rage: looking on CraigsList for dog supplies on the cheap, I keep seeing dogs for sale. Puppies. Older dogs. For hundreds of dollars. No questions about the buyer. Nothing about the dogs' health/reproductive status. I couldn't help but think of all the dogs in the shelter, many of whom were probably purchased from people who, "just can't handle it," or are, "moving and new place doesn't allow pets." Dogs aren't always convenient - no commitment is. But HOLY MOTHER. Did you not think about this at ALL?! I think not being able to handle a dog is a totally valid status. That's how I've been in my adult life until now. But people getting dogs without actually committing to see that shit through? That is just unfathomable to me. Just don't get a dog! For crissakes! And how can anyone look at a litter of puppies and just take money for them without making sure their new owners don't suck? Or neutering them?
Separate rage: 101 Dalmations. An entire plantation of inbreeding, sexually intact dalmations? Seriously? That's your dream world? You are douchebags, Mr. and Mrs. Radcliffe (Dearly in the book, FYI).

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

two roads diverged

The first real career aspiration I ever had was to be an OB/GYN. This was when I was 12 and continued through until I turned 14, I think. Whatever age I decided rockstar/taxi driver/model/cop/teacher probably wasn't going to happen (I might be the only girl who lived through the early '90s without ONCE wanting to be a marine biologist). I knew nothing of holistic medicine in the modern world. I just knew that women's bodies and their capabilities were FASCINATING, and I wanted to be someone who knew all there was to know about them.
First blow to this dream: someone told me how long school would take to become a doctor. Holy intimidation for a 14 year old, Batman. Also my grandparents were pretty discouragey, which I know NOW is their tactic for figuring out whether you REALLY want to do something, but is a really stupid idea if you're talking to a kid who has been conditioned to acquiesce to whatever you say in most cases, to make problems disappear. Really. Stupid idea.
Second blow: I hated Chemistry. Took it in high school, didn't really pay attention because I was talking to friends, and I'd been able to do really well in other classes without paying attention, so was UTTERLY SURPRISED that this strategy didn't work. I got good grades, but I retained next to nothing. Took it again freshman year of college, and...didn't pay attention, or didn't show up. The class was at 8am or something and I was IN COLLEGE in a SUPER FUN HALL where we DIDN'T GO TO SLEEP UNTIL 4AM OMG. All my pre-med friends (who liked chemistry in general) were absolutely miserable in their organic chemistry courses.
Medicine did not seem like a realistic option for me.
So I became an accountant, through a few twists and turns and several full-time jobs and evening classes. And now I'm an accountant! And I really like it! As long as I'm working for an organization I believe in, I love it.
But recently I've been all, "I want to be a midwife. Why didn't I become a doctor in the first place? Nevermind I don't want to be a doctor. BUT MAYBE I DO I HAVE NO IDEA." And on and on. Here's what you need to do in the state of Maryland to practice as a midwife:
-Become an RN (2 year program and a qualification test)
-Get a masters in nursing, midwifery specialty (so continue on for bachelors in nursing, then additional year or two for masters)
-Have an obstetrician sponsor you or something
-A zillion hours of clinical work
-Continuing education to maintain license
-Then I guess there's a residency period, maybe? Something like that?
So. Color me intrigued. Because here's what I want:
-To practice as a midwife
-And an herbalist
-And maybe an acupuncturist
-And dietary advisor
-Et cetera, blahblahblah natural living consultant
-Hopefully to affect legislature to make this ish more available to people
-While working on that, providing the care in areas that are usually neglected or can't afford it because it isn't covered by standard insurance
In a dream world, I'd immediately start a nursing program, become an RN, work as an RN while finishing my BSN and then MSN and getting lots of hours of experience. Then, once working as a midwife, taking herbalism and acupuncture classes, among others.
Yesterday, The Foliage and I went to an information session at Montgomery College, whose nursing campus is only 2 metro stops from our house. Score! Classes are super cheap, too, which is obviously handy. But there are a few drawbacks:
-There is one prereq Biology class I'd need to take to even apply
-Then there are 2 Biology classes that, if I were to complete them before applying, would increase my chances of being accepted
-I'd have to get SO MANY SHOTS. OMG. I haven't even heard of most of these things, and the ones I have heard of, I'm vehemently opposed to having in my system. I am super crazy anti-flu shot. Completely. And I'd have to get paperwork from a doctor each year saying I've had one, just so I can go to classes. It seems nuts to me that I'd need to subscribe to the western medical model to be allowed to practice holistic care, but LOLZ that's the system in Maryland. This idea also makes me nervous about doing 5 years' worth of schooling. How do I stay motivated to take classes that teach things I don't believe? Tough one for sure.
-The schedule. Is crazar. I'd definitely have to quit my job. For example, in the first semester, one of the classes is a 4-hour lecture, accompanied by a once-a-week 10-hour clinical shift in a hospital. And there are no genuine evening classes. At all.
-Along those lines, say I've given birth and then I start the program a couple months later. How does one pump breast milk every few hours when one is serving an intense clinical shift, during which one is supposed to be making a fabulous impression with the staff to hopefully get a nursing job upon graduation?
Half of my brain is saying, "If you want to make a change, then make it! There is no time like the present. You'll only regret the time you wasted waiting for the moment to be perfect if you don't act." The other half is all, "DO YOU THINK MONEY GROWS ON TREES?! How about babies? Because those grow IN you and then they feed ON you and you're seriously going to spend the years you plan to be knocked up and breastfeeding in college? When you've already graduated once??" and also general discouraging-about-curriculum-type thoughts.
All valid points, self. Way to be multi-faceted.
I think for now, I'll try out biology. And see how it goes. I know plenty of people who have switched or started careers later on in their lives...but I'm the first I know of in my peer group. So. Kind of trying to feel my way along and stay excited about the opportunities and just swallow the terror.

Friday, October 5, 2012

this is not my beautiful house

So Romney's economic policy is to let banks foreclose on houses, then private investors will buy them, fix them up, and rent them back out to the original tenants? There are 2 ways this goes, and I know people who do both:
1. They make the properties legitimately nice, then the foreclosed-upon owners can't afford the rent/selling prices and are displaced. Gentrification occurs. Similar to Imminent Domain, but with less government involvement.
2. They fix up the properties only to the extent that the law requires (add railings to stairs, etc.) and charge cheap rent, but usually still more than the foreclosed-upon owners' mortgage payment had been. Which then increases every year because HAHA it's rent! So people are more strained to live in their same crappy properties.
Also this puts more control in the hands of people who can already AFFORD to have control, further widening the income gap. And that is the whole point of owning a house - having control of your residence, your finances. Not having money does not mean you don't deserve your own home. Or at the very least, doesn't mean you deserve to be thrown out of your home over and over again because someone considers you to be just a byproduct of a crappy job market. I don't know where the line is between bailing out every single person and letting the economic cycle run its course, but this idea truly terrifies me. Slumlords and hugely wealthy developers are not the backbone of a stable housing market. People without money are still people. I'm pretty sure the Mormon rules include "shelter the homeless" too.
I know most people who read my blog already agree with this, so it's really just preaching to the choir. But MAN. That guy...ugh.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

good night moon

Laying in bed, almost midnight:
Me, to my stomach: Hey, kid! Wanna hear a bedtime story? OKGREAT! Once upon a time, your father wouldn't turn off the goddamned lamp, and your mommy was soooooo tiiiiiiiired-
The Foliage: What the?
Me, still to Sprout: And he had to play with ALL the apps - not just some of them. Oh, look! Now he's mapping things! The fck are you mapping?
TF: I'm seeing where my friends are!
Me: ...there's nothing on that map
TF: I have no friends
Me: Turn off the goddamned lamp.
(Lamp is off. iPad continues to glow.)
(iPad is turned off.)
Me: And they both slept happily ever after until 7 o'clock!
TF: (Shifts arm to cover my mouth.)
We can barely even put ourselves to bed, how are we supposed to calm a freakin' infant?

Monday, October 1, 2012

my urinary tract: a manual

If you are grossed out by the topics of urinary tracts or feminine-specific health, just look away now. There's no point in you toughing it out - it's not going to get better.
Here's the thing: I've had more urinary tract infections (UTIs) in my life than I can count. I am crazy prone to them. Like, so much so that if I drink too many sweetened (or LAWDY artificially sweetened) beverages relative to my water intake, I'd feel one starting immediately. I took antibiotics ONCE, they didn't completely get rid of it, so I took matters into my own hands. For the past, like, 10 years I've employed a regimen of increased water intake, D-Mannose, and being really stringent about going to the bathroom after sex. It's always been super effective.
Here's the other thing: Ladies are all kinds of embarrassed to talk about them, so I had NO idea what was going on the first time, and have always been super awkward about making excuses for myself, and this stigma pisses me off. I shouldn't have to squirm and stammer about why I can't take part in long outdoor events sometimes. If I were sick, I'd say "I'm nauseated" or "I have an upset stomach." If I had a headache, I'd just say so. Saying, "I have a UTI and I'm just really uncomfortable at the moment," should not be a big deal. But it is. Especially if you're talking to dudes. People who are not sexually interested in vaginas I can excuse. But for anyone who wants the pink? GET COMFORTABLE. I assume you want to experience only healthy vaginas, so maybe become an active participant in that being a reality. Blah. Soapboxes.
Here's the otherest thing: When I was 7 I had a kidney infection, and then a bladder infection. Because this whole system of mine is just such a frigging mess.
So. On Friday I started to feel symptoms. They came on faster than usual, but I drank probably a gallon of water over the course of the day, and wore loose clothes, and figured that would be that. Saturday was worse. That evening I made an emergency run to the store for my D-Mannose, and felt slight relief. Sunday morning I took another supplement, drank a ton of water, and....felt worse.
The Foliage suggested I call my midwife, but NO WAY was I going to do that. It's just a UTI! We are old pals! I got this! I hate saying UTI out loud! Then, in church*, I was so miserable just being confined to one non-bathroom place for AN HOUR, and afterwards couldn't even bear to do a single lap of the farmer's market, I figured I'd take a look at my midwife emergency-situation-list.
They give you this card that they mark on during every visit, and you keep. It has your blood pressure, fetal heartbeat, etc. On the back is a list of call-immediately-do-not-wait-or-email situations. About halfway down the list is a bullet point that describes the symptoms of a UTI. Well shit. So I called, and told her when things had started, my history, and that I really try to avoid antibiotics.
Then she voices the fear that my reasonable mind has been whispering for days: "I don't want this to progress and have you end up on an IV in the hospital for a kidney infection." That. Would be terrible. And obviously then I'd be forced to take a TON of antibiotics, and the natural route didn't seem to be working, and apparently pregnancy causes UTIs to progress WAY faster than normal, because everything going on in the cervical/vaginal area is just rife with moisture and therefore a breeding ground for problems.
She had me come over to her house immediately, and called in a prescription for me, and collected a sample. At her house. That was strange and might be its own post eventually. And now I am on antibiotics. Which is kind of upsetting to me, but the potential relief and peace of mind is worth it I GUESS. Dear kid, you better appreciate the fact that I am currently murdering all the good bacteria I've worked to build up in my body, so I can save you from my hypothetical kidney infection. Ugh. You just take and you take. Love or whatever, Mama.
If you are also someone who has had, or is suffering from, a UTI - I'm sorry. That sucks. Here's what I recommend:
  • Avoid antibiotics. In my experience, they just make your body resistant, and then you get even crazier strains of the infection.
  • Drink a ton of water. A TON.
  • Cranberry juice hasn't ever worked for me, but I have heard that the PURE stuff, mixed with water, is effective.
  • Always go to the bathroom after having an orgasm. Or after fooling around/whatevs, even if you don't get off. If you have the latter situation, adjust your life, because that's only acceptable like once a year if you're super tired or distracted.
  • If your partner's going to manually stimulate you, his/her hands should be clean. This sounds obvious. But sometimes sexytimes start when no one's expecting it and you're not thinking, "this guy was pulling weeds like 5 minutes ago."
  • Front. To. Back.
  • D-Mannose is THE TITS.
  • I also know someone who has consumed vinegar, with apparently good results. I tried doing this once and couldn't handle it. But I was also pretty wimpy at the time, and found the tasteless D-Mannose before I got that desperate again.
You're not alone. You and your effed up vag are in my thoughts. Godspeed.
*One of the lines in the Gospel this week was, "...anyone who is not against you is for you." Which is not a sentiment often voiced by Christians, and I found to be fascinating. Of course the priest's homily focused on the later lines that said things like, "If your hand's making you sin, cut it off!" Which, duh, is hyperbole. Got it. I could probably write an entire post on considering this one quote. Probably won't. But could.