Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Buster Voodoo

Thank you Dr. Yuan

I almost kissed a pulmonologist yesterday. My boy started snoring a few months back (maybe May?) and that was followed quickly behind by sleep apnea. We have been to the pediatrician several times asking for a referral to an ENT (ear/nose/throat doctor) but to no avail. Every time they blamed the breathing issues on his weight, and they are right, he is a chunk. So, we met with the nutritionist. Then back the pediatrician. Then to a new pediatrician (who.was.horrible.) Got a referral to a pulmonologist. After having the same 30 minute conversation we have every time about what Austin eats (everything), how much he eats (a lot), how active he is (very)… after the weight conversation, the pulmonologist looked at his tonsils and suggested we go to an ENT. No kidding! But really, I’m not bitter. I’m too happy to be bitter.

Thank all that is good in the universe. Austin will be going to the same ENT that changed Maya’s life for the better 8 years ago.


My daughter has informed me that she has counted and there are 44 days until her 13th birthday. So there’s one less thing for my to-do list. Count days until Maya’s birthday. CHECK.

HOLYHELLWHATTHEFUCKOHMYGOD. I am about to be the mother of a teenager. That is not possible. I’m too young for this. Excuse me while I grab a paper bag to breathe into…

Items on the birthday girl’s wish list include:

  • Cell phone (I’ve been telling her for years: not until high school, missy.)
  • Horse (HA! Maybe when I when the lottery.)
  • Computer, her own (HA! Hahahaha. Ahhh. Good one.)
  • DSi and/or PSP (handheld game systems, if you don’t know.) (Meh. Maybe. (She already has a DS, but the DSi and PSP are more better.))
  • New bike, preferably a beach cruiser (NOW we’re talking.)

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Fixer

Looking forward to hear from you if you are still alive

In my line of work, I get A LOT of those phony emails that start off with "congratulations, you have just inherited $24 million USD from my client who died somewhere on the continent of Africa..."

This is by far the BEST bogus email I have ever recieved. Enjoy.

From: elra harrison []
Sent: Thursday, September 24, 2009 8:20 PM
Subject: Looking forward to hear from you if you are still alive


We write to confirm the information we just heard from a man named Mr. Peter Obi, he came to our office to inform us that you are dead and during your illness you instructed him to claim the Federal Government Compensation fund of $4.5 Million on your behalf in case you die. So He made things very clear to us that you are dead and he’s the only person you disclosed this matter with and you have instructed him to come and claim the money since you are dead.

Therefore, we want to confirm if you are dead or Alive and failure to reply back in the next 24hrs simply means what Mr. Peter Obi said was right that you are dead because Mr. Peter Obi has ordered us to release the ATM Card that contains your Compensation of $4.5 Million to Mr. Duane Ben. from United 3States and he has agreed to pay the needed fund valued at but we have not gotten the money from him yet as we want to find out if you are dead or not, so if you are still alive you are advice in your own best interest to reply back and so we can stop further communication with Mr. Duane Ben.

Note: that for we to know that you are alive and any mail we receive is from you, you are to reconfirm the following: - your name, phone & fax number, House Address Occupation and your Age. Beside if you fail to comply with the needed $210 US Dollars required there’s no way we can post the ATM Card to you but you can come to Benin by yourself to pick up your ATM Card.

Contact Dr.David Moore
For further clarification you can reach him on telephone number+22997 629 092
Looking forward to hear from you if you are still alive

Yours truly,
Mrs.Elra Harrison

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Catch that Train

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Lactation or Bust

Something I wrote a couple years ago...

I’ve had two babies. I tried to breastfeed both of them. I failed both times.

With my daughter we quit completely when she was about a week, maybe two weeks old and it was obvious she wasn’t getting anything from me*. The general consensus of those around me was that if I stuck with it eventually it would have worked. But I was broken, emotionally and physically. I was done breastfeeding. I was only 19.

Nine and a half years later, pregnant with my second child, I was determined to make it work this time. I was healthier and more mature. It was going to work.

It was going fine in the hospital after he was born. He latched on well; I was thinking good, positive breastfeeding thoughts. Colostrum was flowing, well, as much as colostrum can flow. Our last night in the hospital was a rough one. He started cluster feeding, but without any breaks between clusters, and I started to go nuts. A nurse who I had thought was an old meanie turned out to be very supportive and told me all was normal, hang in there. All the next day was the same and I was exhausted, but it was time to go home and that was all that mattered. That was a Friday.

Our first night home was a nightmare. He suckled but only got frustrated. We tried and tried but nothing. We were both in agony. By morning he was pushing 24 hours without a wet diaper and I started to panic. I wouldn’t let him get any more dehydrated than he already was. Unfortunately, it was very early in the morning and we didn’t have any formula in the house. I had been so convinced I could make it work this time that I had deliberately not bought any formula before he was born. I woke my husband and asked him to go to the store. He was startled by the fact that I was very upset and he got angry with me, but he went anyway. While he was gone I boiled the bottles (I had bought some of those). By this time the baby’s eyes were a little sunken and he had become listless. I decided not to take him to the doctor because I knew they would just give him formula there, and I could do that. I was sure he didn’t need IV fluids. He had a two ounce bottle every two hours for the next two days and recovered beautifully. I took the rest of that day off from breastfeeding, but started pumping the next day. The volume I got from the pump was painfully underwhelming.

The following Monday, my third day out of the hospital, I had what’s called a “Great Start” appointment where you see an OB/Gyn, pediatrician and lactation specialist all at the same time. The pediatrician said the baby looked great and I worked with the lactation specialist for quite a while, she was the best. She told me to limit the formula I was giving him to one ounce per feeding and put him back on the breast. I was supplementing. We made a follow up appointment to see her again a few days later.

At the next appointment the lactation specialist recommended mother’s milk tea to help boost my production and gave me a supplemental feeder. This consisted of a bottle with a very small gauge tube coming out of if that I was supposed to slip into his mouth when he was on the breast so he would get formula and breast milk at the same time. I thought it was great at first, but gradually became less satisfied with it.

Another week later, when my milk production still wasn’t what it needed to be, the lactation specialist put me on supplements, fish oil, blessed thistle and one other that I can’t remember. I was taking 6 of each a day which meant I was spending a small fortune at Henry’s, but I was determined to try. Two weeks after that my milk production was still low and the lactation specialist had to let me down easy, we had tried everything she thought would help. I decided to breast and bottle-feed as long as it would work to do both, even though it was exhausting and time consuming. I still had two months off from work to be with him full-time.

Right before I went back to work, I had an appointment with an OB/Gyn that I had never been to before. I talked to him about the breastfeeding problems I had and he gave me the same line so many other people had. He said that if I had stuck with it, it would have worked eventually. After all, what do you think women in third world countries do? They just have to tough it out. I was pissed, but I was too tired to counter. I wanted to say “What the fuck are you talking about? Do you know the infant mortality rate in third world countries? I wonder if dehydration could have anything to do with that you fucking moron asshole!” But I didn’t. What difference would it make right? The damn difference would have been that maybe he would have thought before saying something so stupid next time.

For every function of the body, there are people in the world for which that function does not perform normally. There are people who can’t process sugar, or pee on their own, or conceive a child, and both society and medicine do their best to help them compensate. But for some reason, breastfeeding is supposed to be an exception. It’s not that I couldn’t make it work for a physiological reason, but that I didn’t try hard enough. At least that’s what so many people seem to believe and what I’ve been told many times over. To hell with that. I wanted to breastfeed so bad I couldn’t stand it and I tried everything they told me to try. But I wasn’t going to let the baby get sick or suffer beyond reason because my body didn’t work right. I did what I had to do. I wish I could have breastfed him full-time until kindergarten, but I couldn’t. At six months he stopped wanting to nurse and was on the bottle exclusively. It broke my heart to quit.

I guess the moral of the story is that if you are having trouble breastfeeding, do what you can. Relax, be positive, eat and drink plenty of good things, try your best. But even if it doesn’t work the baby can still grow up strong and healthy, and you won’t love each other any less.


*I must have been supplementing from the getgo with Maya. I was so sick** the day she was born I barely held her, so maybe they started in the hospital. I really don't remember for sure.

**I am miserably allergic to morphine and spent 12 hours vomitting violently, mostly dry-heaving, which is especially horrible after a C-section.

Friday, September 25, 2009

What boys are made of

Who needs TV when you have a 3-year old boy, a dog run and a hose?

He is LOVING it.

Get in mah belly.

Here I'm trying to stay out of range of the hose.

What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails, and puppy-dogs' tails,
That's what little boys are made of.

Starting Over

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Iron & Wine, Love Vigilantes

Salty Sweet and Bitter Shadows

From where I sit at my dining table I can see my neighbor’s horses through the window. My favorite, a palomino named Aprisa, shades herself under a large pepper tree.

According to the calendar it is fall, but today’s temperature will lap at the 100° mark. But better that than snow.

When I have the presence of mind to do so, I say some version of the following prayer each time I sit down to a meal.

I give thanks to the Heavens and the Earth for the nourishment I am about to receive, and for the wellbeing of my family and the love I may give and receive.

Some days ago my therapist asked me whether – maybe, perhaps – I create drama in my life because I find contentment boring. The drama she was referring to was my tendency to spend money I shouldn’t and to overeat. Both of these behaviors lead to some kind of fallout which may or may not include friction in my marriage and/or feelings of guilt. This has led me to the realization that (1) the feeling I associate most with contentment is a full tummy and (2) the feeling I associate most with anxiety is hunger. [Note: I will never be anorexic. Also: being broke = future hunger.]

Interesting, says I.

My father left me and my mother before I was a year old. My relationship with him has been superficial at best and incredibly painful at worst. He and I have not seen each other in nearly 20 years. This abandonment left me feeling worthless and unlovable (once I was old enough to perceive his absence and my resulting feelings). As an infant I was sick often and clung to my mother desperately. It didn’t take her long to learn that one sure way to calm me was to feed me. I don’t blame her for that. She wanted her baby to be content.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I and Love and You

For PF :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

No mas

The majority of what is occupying my thoughts these days cannot and/or should not be blogged about. So, I think, I’m done for the time being.

Take care of yourselves out there. I'll be reading.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sweet Face

Story: World's oldest person dies in Los Angeles at 115

I don't know if I would be that cheery about living to 115 (which would be the year 2092 by the way!) but bless her heart.

I don't usually get worked up about this kind of thing, but...

Dear readers, are you all familiar with this 2012 business? Apparently, some interpretations of the Mayan calendar point to apocalypse somewhere around December 21, 2012.

I can’t believe I’m even touching this nonsense, but I’m more than a little upset about it. Especially this effing movie. To say that I’m DISGUSTED by the fact that some effing studio is trying to make money off of something that some people are truly afraid of would be a real understatement. It pains me to even look at the poster. And don't even get me started on the goddamn History channel. History my ass.

Without getting specific, I will ask you this… Did you know that a large portion of the human sacrifices in the ancient Mayan world were of children? Did you know that those sacrifices were meant to stave off the end of the world?

There are people out there who are honest to God afraid of what may be coming in just over 3 years. And my logical self knows that there is less than no point in worrying about it. But the part of me that wakes up at 2 AM on a semi regular basis worries that if nothing else, what about the people who are so afraid they might take some kind of drastic action? What if this is a self-fulfilling prophecy?

In all likelihood, this is just Y2K all over again. Folks will stock up on food and water and ammo and then… nothing much at all will happen.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hope and Hard Work

My daughter’s school district DID NOT stream the President’s speech into the classrooms. They did not take the kids to the multi-purpose room to listen. They are only providing a link to it from their web site to listen to on our own time. I knew that was what was happening last Thursday, and because I’m often tired and usually overwhelmed, it didn’t occur to me to email the school board members and say “why not? I want my kid to listen in school and be MOVED and MOTIVATED.” I should have done that, but I didn’t.

When I told my mom that Maya’s school district would not be playing his speech for the students, she made some noises along the lines of “why is he butting in? We don’t need him indoctrinating… the kids don’t care if he wants them to work hard…” And I said, “BULL, I know Maya would love to hear it, she loves all that stuff.” She is and always has been very impressed by the stature of The President [even when it was Bush.] And the thing is, my mom used to be such a good liberal, and even a women’s libber back in the day. But she’s moved right in her autumn years. But that isn’t what this post is about.

This post is a shout out to Obama to say thank you for that speech. I am glad for the kids who did hear it in school and I am grateful for whatever portion of it they took to heart. This post is a reaching out to Ms. Moon who is scared that healthcare reform is maybe being irreversibly sabotaged. This post is a raising of my voice on the side of hope and determination.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Not Measuring Up

I am too much sugar and not enough sleep.
I am too much thought and not enough do.
I am too much want and not enough money.
I am too much TV and not enough read.
I am too much eat and not enough walk.
I am too much laundry and not enough fold.
I am too much mother and not enough wife.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009