Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009

Due to our friends' twins refusing to sleep at our house, the New Year's get together we hosted crashed and burned early. That leaves me alone with my "alcohol removed" champagne (in case you're wondering, no, it's not a better substitute for sparkling grape juice) while W sleeps and B naps. It also gives me a little time to do the obligatory 2009 reflection post.

2009 was an interesting year. Lots of ups and downs. It got off to a bit of a rough start, you know, with our horrible little newborn who refused to sleep. But I started my current job at the first of the year, which was a great career move for me. I loved it then, and I love it now. The position is a great fit for me, and I'm truly fortunate that I was hired (even though I'm a bit bummed that we're not getting raises this year...when I started, I figured I'd would make up the pay cut in about a year, and that's not going to happen without a raise).

Things got better on the baby front as the year wore on. W finally chilled out a little, started sleeping, and got fun. This summer was a great one. B was working, I was working, W was happy and thriving.

Things got rough again this fall. B got laid off. Again. We started dealing with W's health issues. I got fucking pregnant. Again. The highlights were W turning one and B and I buying our first house.

This winter has continued to be a bit rough. I'm struggling with a lot right now, including hormones and the resulting crazies. W is still super fun, but it getting more and more frustrating. Turning a baby into an actual human being is hard work. The child also continues to come up with new and interesting medical problems, which are going to drive me nuts (and possibly bankrupt us). B has been off work so long that he's getting stir crazy, which is, in turn, making me crazy. The pregnancy continues.

I have high hopes for 2010. I do at the beginning of every year. I hope that several life issues are corrected or resolved in the coming year. I hope that by the end of the year we might be in a position to take an actual vacation. I hope that having two kids doesn't push me over the edge or cause me to run away. I know I shouldn't hope because it will only cause hurt, but it's tough not to.

I hope everyone is having a fun, boozy New Year's Eve. See you in 2010!

Monday, December 28, 2009

A diatribe on pharmacies

I was truly planning on letting my annoyance with pharmacies go, but tonight sent me over the edge.

Over the past month or so, I've had to venture to a pharmacy four different times to fill prescriptions.

Once was for a simple refill that I didn't have a single problem with.

During the second incident, the pediatrician's office e-mailed two scripts to the pharmacy at about noon. I told the doc to send them to a pharmacy near work (and consequently not near home) so I could pick them up on my way home, figuring that five-ish hours would be plenty of time. Five hours later, I go to the pharmacy to get the prescriptions. First, I get stuck in the drive through line behind someone who is clearly yelling at the pharmacist. I wanted to leave the line and go inside, but the guy behind me was on my ass, and the lane was too narrow for escape. So I sat. For a good fifteen minutes. When I get to the window, the perky intern tells me that it's going to be at least another hour before the prescriptions are ready. I'm annoyed, but figure they're busy, and it won't kill W to wait one more day to start his medicine, and I go on my merry way.

I stop back the next morning to get the medication, and find that, literally, all they had to do to prepare these prescriptions was slap a label on a box. That was all. I thought it was ridiculous that it would take them 6+ hours to accomplish that task, but, again, I figured it was a busy day, and let it go.

That takes us to incident three. W needed two more prescriptions (yeah, the kid's sickly...I get it). I got to the store before the pharmacy opened, so I stood around and waited for someone to arrive to take my prescriptions from me. I was the second person in line. I would have been the first, but some a-hole butted in front of me. *Ahem* Within 30 seconds of the pharmacy opening, the tech had the scripts in hand. I told her I was going to be waiting for the prescriptions. She told me it would be 15-20 minutes, and I went about my grocery shopping.

I came back to the pharmacy about 30 minutes later, only to be told that the prescriptions weren't ready yet. Fine. Luckily, I had a book in my purse, so I sat and read. For almost 45 minutes. The tech finally calls me up, I get the meds, and head out. It's only after I get home that I realize one of the prescriptions required them to slap a label on a box, and the other required them to add some water to some powder, shake, and slap a label on a box. This time, I couldn't excuse waiting for over an hour because they were busy. They weren't. And I was the second customer in line when they opened! And it's not like these particular medications required any complex counting or intense mixing or anything like that.

Which brings us to tonight. W had yet ANOTHER prescription to be filled (that brings us to one albuterol, one steroid, one antibiotic, and two ear drops in less than a month, in case you're counting). The ENT called it in around 1:00 this afternoon. I thought ahead and had them call the pharmacy near our house, in case it took forever and a day to prepare this script. I didn't want to stop in after work while I had W, so I decided to go out after he was in bed to get the prescription. The ONLY reason I went out in the snow and cold was to get these stupid ear drops so W could start using them and knocking out his ear infection first thing in the morning. I pick up a few items at the store, then proceed to the pharmacy counter. It's 8:15 PM. The tech asks for the name, and then spends 10 minutes looking for the prescription. She finally comes over to tell me that they don't have the drug we need in the store, so they sent it to their central processing facility, and I can get the ear drops tomorrow after 1:00 PM.

Seriously??? They couldn't give me a courtesy call to let me know my prescription won't be ready today? Most pharmacies have automated phone systems for that sort of thing, don't they? It seems to me if you have an antibiotic prescription for a kid, it's safe to assume that it's going to be picked up the day it's brought/called/e-mailed in. I'm severely annoyed that this place didn't value my time enough to let me know not to waste a trip.

All of this ranting brings me to the crux of my complaints: what the eff is wrong with these places??? WHY does it take ridiculously long amounts of time to fill prescriptions that literally require next to no work from the pharmacist/tech? WHY do they fail to extend the common courtesy of telling you they don't have your medicine? WHAT do these people do all day (as they clearly don't spend their time filling prescriptions or practicing good customer service)? It boggles my mind. Absolutely boggles it.

I think I need to find a new chain of pharmacies to patronize. Although these incidents occurred at different locations, they're all part of the same chain. Well, all except for the good, problem-free experience. That was a separate chain. I'm thinking I need to switch to them for all my pharmaceutical needs. I don't like leaving the pharmacy with my blood pressure up several points. That seems wrong on several levels.

Happy belated birthday to B

Yesterday was my love's 27th birthday. I spent the entire day feeling like absolute poo, so we didn't do anything exciting. Nor did I write him a sappy blog post professing my love for him and my gratefulness for our years together. Since I'm already late, I'll save you all the pain of reading that and just wish him a happy belated birthday. Birthdays are no big deal to B anyway (despite my best efforts), so I'm sure he doesn't care.

So happy birthday, baby. I hope next year's is better for you.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Raising Forrest Gump

My child is slowly turning into Forrest Gump. Sort of. I mean, I’m pretty sure W has at least three-quarters of a brain in his little head. He’s way too sneaky to be that dumb. And he wears glasses. I don't think Forrest wore glasses.

Anywho, on top of his defective eustachian tubes, and his bug-eye glasses, he’s bowlegged. Bowlegged enough that a whole houseful of physical therapists told me that he needs to see an orthopedist, and one of the pediatricians in the practice we go to agreed.

I have no idea what they do for bowlegged kids (and won't until early next month), but I keep picturing these awful, Gump-esque leg braces. Poor kid.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas to all!

Even though I'm bummed that I have to work today, I'm ready to start celebrating Christmas. We'll spend today with B's family, and tomorrow with mine. This is the only time of year I really get to see my aunts, uncles, and cousins, so I really love our Christmas get together. I'm excited for W to have his first real Christmas (even though I'm sure he won't really get it or care until next year), but I'm dreading all the obnoxious toys that are sure to be coming home with us.

I hope you all have a very merry Christmas. See you in a few days!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

An environmental PSA for lawyers

I’m not generally a crunchy, green kind of girl, but the blatant abuse of paper usage at work is getting on my nerves.

I’m currently working on a case that includes a two-inch binder full of exhibits. Of those 60 or so exhibits, the majority are either excerpts from depositions or copies of cases. Which leads to my public service announcement:


Point one: if you cite to a deposition transcript in your memo, there is absolutely no need to include copies of the pages you’re citing as exhibits. This is assuming, of course, that you’ve filed the depo. I’m not going to read your stupid excerpts mid-memo. I’m going to read the whole deposition so I can get a feel for the context of the page you so graciously copied for me. If I have questions about parts you cited while I’m reading the memo, I can very easily look them up in the transcript. The excerpts are wholly unnecessary.

If, on the other hand, you choose not to file the depo, but only file copies of pages as exhibits, I’m likely not going to believe anything you cite because I’m going to be wondering what’s hiding in the transcript that you don’t want me to see. I don’t like being forced to take things that appear favorable to one side out of context. The cited excerpts rarely support the citing party quite as much as the party would have me believe. While I completely understand that it’s your job to convince me that you’re right, you know the whole picture is eventually going to come out, so you might as well file the whole transcript and save us all some time and annoyance (remember, you don’t want to piss off the staff attorney/law clerk/judge’s bitch).

Point two: if a case is widely available on the internet, there’s no reason to give me a copy of it. I think it’s relatively safe to assume that most court employees have some access to a legal research website, which enables them to look up cases. If you’re citing to a published decision – or, in Ohio, a case with a web cite (Year-Ohio-Number) – it’s pretty safe to bet that the court employee reading your memo can get the case on their own.

For unpublished, pre-web cite decisions, a copy is nice but not necessary. If you choose not to include a copy, though, make sure you’re not just citing to one research site’s citation (e.g. Year Lexis Number or Year Westlaw Number). If your court employee only has access to the opposite research site, it’s difficult to find the case. As an alternative, give citations to both publishers. Or, even better, follow the standard state citation rules, which (in Ohio, at least) tell you to include the appeals court from which the decision issued, the appeals court’s case number, and the date on which the case was decided. It’s much easier to find State v. Smith (Apr. 7, 1987), James App. No. 85 CA 465* than it is to find the same case cited as 1987 Westlaw 490572349 when you only have Lexis access. Do you have any idea how many State v. Smith decisions are out there???

The case that sparked my environmental outrage not only includes the two-inch binder, but also includes five deposition transcripts. The total pile of depositions is only about a quarter of an inch thicker than the binder. If you took the depo excerpts and easy-to-find cases out of the binder, there would be far fewer than 60 exhibits, and the stack would probably be less than a quarter of an inch thick. I mean, we’re talking an over an inch and a half of wasted paper here! That has to be close to a full ream, which is what, like, two trees?

Do us all a favor, copier-happy lawyers, and don’t kill so many trees. It’s not nearly as helpful as you might think it is.

*Case entirely made up. There’s not even a James County in Ohio.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy birthday to me (2009 addition)

Today was the 27th birthday. I'm now officially in my late-twenties. Slightly scary, but no big deal. B was told on Saturday that I was going to let me sleep in, so I got an extra hour or so before I was awoken by B yelling at W for eating wipes (oh, the joys).

My mom came up to watch W, and sent B and I out for lunch. We went to Granite City Brewery (our first trip there), and it was pretty tasty. They had a brunch buffet that we both got, and both enjoyed. B also sampled all of the beers they brew, and we ended up bringing home a growler of one of them that B wants to take to his parents' for our Christmas Eve get together.

We also took a trip to Costco, and spent way more money than we planned on. Since when does a trip to Costco for batteries and toilet paper turn into a $200 endeavor? Oh, wait, I guess that happens kind of frequently...

Afterward, we came back to the house for cake and presents. B baked me a cake all on his own - I was so surprised and proud; he's not the type at all - which my mom and W decorated while we were gone. B bought me the toothbrush holder, tumbler, and trash can for the bathroom that I've been lusting after since I got my shower curtain three years ago. In addition to lunch, Mom got me a new winter coat (that I may or may not have decided I wanted when we were shopping last weekend and she was buying my sister a coat for Christmas, and that may or may not be the same coat my sister got, but in a different color), a gift card to Sephora, and a maternity shirt. I was pleasantly surprised by the presents this year...I never expected so much!

Once the celebrating was over, I got down to business for the rest of the evening. I'm hosting my girlfriends' annual cookie exchange tomorrow, and there was a LOT of work left to do (like 85% of the cleaning, all of my cookie baking, and a bazillion other non-cookie-exchange-related things). I think everything is under control now (though I'm still going to have to do the actual baking of my cookies after work tomorrow).

I had fun today. It was nice to get a date with B - I couldn't tell you the last time the two of us went out without the baby. It was a good birthday. Now, on to Christmas.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ridiculous, disjointed, hormonal ramblings

I know there are probably people out there who read this blog that hate me about now because they so badly want what I have. I understand that, and deep in my heart, I wish I could change everything about me and how I handle anything related to my childbearing. But the fact is, I can’t change it. Believe me, I’ve tried. A lot. And whether you believe me or not, I truly am grateful that this baby is healthy and doing well. As for the rest of it…

I know I’m never going to be able to explain myself so that someone who is in a rational state of mind really understands where I’m coming from and why I’m upset, but I’ll try. I feel a need to defend myself from all the unspoken and thinly veiled accusations directed toward me, both in real life and on the interwebs. I’m hoping those who have gone through an unplanned/unwanted pregnancy might get it a little better than others. There are a lot of feelings involved with that situation that aren’t there when you plan and want a pregnancy.

I spent last night communing with my good friend google trying to validate myself and the absurd feelings and reactions I’ve had about this pregnancy. As usual, google pulled through for me. I found a whole bunch of stuff from other women who had reactions similar to mine. A common theme I found was that these women felt like they were mourning the loss of a daughter they had never and will never actually have.

I have never, never wanted more than two children. After having W, I determined that I was only having one. When I found out I was pregnant again, it took me a long, long time to accept the idea that I was, in fact, having another child – like it or not (and I did/do not). I don’t think I truly got to the point where I fully accepted that, but I was getting close. I had started hoping, somewhere in a small back room of my mind, that this baby would give me the “perfect” family I dreamed of when I was younger: me and a husband, one boy and one girl. I never really felt like I was having a girl (or a boy, for that matter), but I was hoping.

I’ve said before that hope is dangerous, and I still firmly believe it. If you don’t hope, your dreams can’t be crushed. I need to remember and follow that advice more often. Life would probably be much less painful for me that way. At least I know boys don’t come out girls. When they tell you it’s a boy at that ultrasound, you can expect a penis at the birth (unlike with girls, who do occasionally come out as boys). This little fact effectively crushed any tiny glimmers of hope I had left. So all hope in this matter is gone, and I can get on to just dealing with it.

A lot of the nameless, faceless women on the internet who told their stories of being disappointed about having another boy talked about a sense of loss. While I don’t exactly feel a sense of loss about a daughter who never existed, I do feel a sense of disappointment that my “dream family” will never be realized. We are NOT having any more children. Period. I will do whatever it takes to make sure we don’t. We can’t afford it, we don’t have room for it, and I’m not sure I could mentally survive it. This means, however, that I will never have a daughter. I’ll never get to buy cute dresses, put hair in pigtails, play Barbie, shop for prom dresses, plan a wedding, hold a hand through pregnancy. I’m always going to be the mother-in-law. That makes me really sad.

The silver lining is that I’ll never have to deal with periods, boyfriends (well, maybe), giving the sex talk (that one’s all B), cattiness, slutty clothes for little girls, junior high and high school girl drama, or the pink aisle in toy stores. I realize this somewhere in the back of my mind, but it doesn’t bring much comfort right now.

Another issue is that the only experience I have with my offspring is with a boy. I know all kids are different, but my previous experience tells me that a male child borne to me and B will be a colicky, fussy, un-sleeping, bad-at-nursing, crazy-active, crazy-in-general, loud, wild, attached-to-my-hip, mostly-un-cuddly-and-un-lovey, generally-as-frustrating-as-he-is-fun, major-mama’s-boy, mini-B. I know I could very well have ended up with a girl who is exactly like W, or have a boy who is nothing like him. But that’s not what I have experience with. I’ve experienced a boy, and I know that having two 18-month-apart little Ws running around will be the death of me.

I. Can. Not. Handle. That.

(Telling me I can doesn’t help, but thanks).

Rationally, I know this is no big deal, I’ll be fine, I’ll love the kid, blah, blah, blah. But it’s hard to hear the rational voice over the crazy (reason #472 I’m concerned that my mental health is deteriorating a bit). Have I ever mentioned that I hate being pregnant and all the awful things it does to my mind and body? (reason number, um, 2 or so that we’re never having any more children. Well, I suppose B can, if he wants, but they won’t be with me).

I’m finding it especially difficult to assimilate my dreams into the apparent reality of my situation. The death of a dream is sometimes a hard thing to handle, especially if it’s a major or long-held dream. I guess I can’t explain or justify things any better than that.

I think that’s enough rambling for one day. You may still think I’m a selfish, soulless, heartless wench, but, if nothing else, at least you got a peek into the workings of a crazy mind.

If you really want me to punch you in the face...

Say some variation of one of the following things to me right now:
  • "It'll be ok."
  • "Every child is different."
  • Anything about my hormones.
  • "Oh, but they'll be best friends!"
  • Anything pitying or with that pitying look in your eyes.
  • Pretty much anything else about the baby.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm a donkey on the edge right now. I think the fact that I was trying to choke back sobs while sitting on the exam table made my OB take my claims of feeling more crazy than normal lately less seriously than she generally would have. (Oh, and, Dr. P., telling me about the problems you're having with your five-year-old son did NOT make me feel better about the prospect of having TWO of those. Thanks for the effort, though). I honestly didn't think an unexpected, unwanted pregnancy could get any worse...

As an added bonus, this kid didn't give us a profile shot either. My kids suck.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Don't wanna talk about it

Don't ask. I don't want to talk about it. All I'm going to say is it's healthy, B's testicles and I are no longer on speaking terms, and I still can't figure out why God hates me.

A dream

I had a dream last night that it's a boy.

We got this really cool ultrasound that was super 3D and looked like a computer animated cartoon. And there was very clearly a penis. I cried (in the dream). Also, our ultrasound tech was that one judge from So You Think You Can Dance (which I think I've watched like three times in my entire life) with the short blonde hair who kinda looks like a guy and tends to wear big, ugly glasses.

I have no idea what my dream means, but I hope it's not an omen.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My 20 week ultrasound is tomorrow. I'm dreading it. I'm not worried about the baby being healthy and growing correctly (I'm sure it is), however. I'm worried about the gender. B and I have discussed finding out what we're having this time. At first, I thought this was a good idea; if I'm having another boy, I'm going to need some time get used to the idea, as the thought of another boy terrifies me. Then again, if it's NOT a girl, I think I'm going to be really upset and disappointed (particularly given my sort of fragile emotional state lately). I don't know if I should subject myself to that right now. On yet another hand, if we don't find out and I pop out a boy, there's a pretty good chance I'm going to be really upset when I hear the doc proclaim, "It's a boy!" I mean, I really don't want another kid, but I really, really don't think I want another boy (the one I have is more than enough, thankyouverymuch). How ridiculous is that?

Really, the only reason I kinda want to find out is because my sister-in-law is finding out what she's having. I'm secretly hoping she's having a boy and I'm having a girl so I'll have the first and only granddaughter on that side of the family. Then we'd have the only boy on my side and the only girl on his. Again, how ridiculous is that?
Gah, I hate pregnancy crazies.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Where's my Christmas cheer?

December is my favorite month of the year. Despite the craptastic Ohio weather (which, admittedly, has been less craptastic than normal this year), I love December and everything that comes with it – parties, presents (giving and getting), shopping, baking, speech tournaments, Christmas cookies, my mom’s chex mix, birthdays (mine, B’s, and Jesus’), getting Christmas cards in the mail, decorating, Christmas trees, and all the general hoopla.

So, why, in the midst of my favorite time of the whole entire year, am I in such an awful mood? I have just been cranky this year. Nothing has gotten me in the Christmas spirit. Hell, nothing has even gotten me in a good mood most days.

I’m leaning toward blaming the pregnancy. I went through a phase like this when I was pregnant with W, but I thought that was purely related to my work situation. It also occurred closer to the end of my pregnancy than this. Regardless, with W, I would spend hours at work sitting at my desk fuming, no, seething, about stupid stuff said or done by bosses or coworkers, and composing nasty tirades in my head that I only wished I could scream at them. Needless to say, I was super pleasant to be around.

I’m not quite that bad right now. I haven’t really spent any time sitting around seething, nor have I berated people in my head (much). I’m just cranky. And grumpy. And completely out-of-sorts. And tending toward getting irrationally angry about dumb things. I find myself dreading the things I normally love, like shopping and decorating. Nothing and no one has been able to pull me out of this funk.

I need something to pull me out of my December blahs. Normally, the Christmas-related stuff would do it for me. I’m always in a festive mood this time of year. But since that isn’t working, I need some new ideas. How do you snap yourself out of a winter funk?

Oh, and, P.S., being pregnant at Christmastime sucks. There is all kinds of delicious Christmas booze that I am unable to consume, and I’m just too damn tired to want to stay up to do things like shop or party. But at least I have a legitimate excuse for gorging on cookies this year.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fun days

There are days when watching W grow up is so much fun. He's been going through a bunch of rapid changes over the last few days, and it's great to watch him turn into more and more of a little person. He's starting to talk more - yelling "gat!" any time he gets near our cat and even saying thank you about once out of every 10 times you give him something he wants - has almost, almost grasped the concept of using a spoon, runs and climbs like a champ, and has figured out how to get down stairs without falling and killing himself. Days like this are when motherhood is actually fun. They're few and far between, so I treasure them when I can get them.

Friday, December 11, 2009

It's that time of year

Festivus is right around the corner. You know what that means, right? That means it's time for the airing of grievances. In Festivus tradition, the airing of grievances requires telling those close to you how they've disappointed us over the past year. In my world, an airing of grievances is having a frank discussion about behaviors that are driving me nuts. As I've been on the verge of murdering my husband at least once pretty much every day for the past two weeks, I think it's about time to schedule one.

The airing of grievances happens around here every so often, and doesn't usually go well. I'm pretty sure B just tunes me out until I sound like a Peanuts teacher. But it makes me (temporarily) feel better. I remain convinced that some day, some sweet, sweet day, my complaints suggestions (that are along the lines of "you need to do your 1/3 of the housework, sweetie") will actually sink in and stick. A girl can dream, can't she?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My baby's having surgery tomorrow

W is getting tubes put in his ears tomorrow morning. While I'm excited that the tubes should help alleviate his frequent ear infections, and I know that it's a simple, 10-minute surgery, I still have this underlying feeling of "mah baybee is getting surge-ree!"

I almost broke down crying when the nurse from the surgery center called this morning to go over the instructions.

I'm kinda freaking out about the whole thing.

I bet I cry tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A conversation from our living room

B (picking something up off the floor and examining it): "Honey, did W have raisins today?"
Me: "Yeah, why?"
B (brandishing a raisin): "Oh, good. Otherwise we'd have problems."
Me: "Uh, that's awfully big for a mouse turd."
B (putting the discarded raisin back on the floor where he found it): "Then we must have a rabbit infestation...stupid hippity-hoppity fuckers."

I don't know where I found this guy. But I'm glad I did. His stupid humor cracks me up.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy December!

I cannot believe it's December already. This year has flown by.

December is my favorite month of the year by far (except for the cold and snow and general weather-related nastiness). It's always chock full of parties, family, friends, speech tournaments, Christmas music, Christmas lights, Christmas shopping, Christmas everything, my birthday, Christmas, B's birthday, and New Year's Eve. It's such a festive and fun month. And I just love it.

It's amazing to me to think back on where I was a year ago. I was a struggling new mother with an awful little newborn. I spent my nights not sleeping and my days cursing my decision to procreate. When I went back to work at the end of the month, I did a little happy dance in my head every morning because it got me away from B and the baby. The hell that was my work situation had nothing on the hell that was my home life. I wanted nothing more than to rewind my life a year and try again.

Fast forward to now. I'm still struggling with motherhood, but not like I used to. Now I think my struggles are normal mother-of-a-rambunctious-toddler struggles, not woman-who-wants-nothing-more-than-to-return-her-child-and-pretend-the-whole-thing-never-happened struggles. I'm pregnant again...who the hell saw that one coming? Certainly not me. I love my job. I don't dread going to the office in the morning, nor do I dread coming home at night. I don't want to run away from my life (most of the time). And I would rather shoot myself in the head than rewind to this time last year.

Even though it's taken me a year to fully realize it, I'm so grateful that things did, in fact, get better, just like everyone told me they would. It's taken a lot of work to get to this point, but I'm glad I'm here.

So welcome to December. It's a month full of parties, celebrations, and, apparently, reflection.