Thursday, June 02, 2011

New Me, New Blog

So I'm blogging over here now. I will keep this up as an archive of the old me. I may even export these posts to my new blog. We'll see. I'm torn!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Daddy's Eyes

Yeah. Yeah. It's been a while since my last update. What can I say? Murphy pretty much ran roughshod over us during June...but more on that later this week.

I've been thinking a lot about daddies and daughters. Daddy's Eyes by the Killers has been going round and round in my head. It's odd but I have my daddy's eyes and Nyx has her daddy's eyes. That realization spurred some introspection. I started to think about the very unique relationship between girls and their daddies.

In general, our fathers set the standards for our future interactions with men. If our dads work hard, we want men who aren't afraid of a little hard work. If our dads treat our mothers with respect and display their love for them, we want men who open doors and treat us like equals and who aren't afraid to hold our hands in public or give us the occasional loving swat on the tush while we finish dinner.

When I see Nyx's eyes light up the second Dave walks in the door, I get all mushy and happy. I see how completely ecstatic she is to see her daddy and I just know I made the right choice. I chose the right man. I chose a guy who is willing to work long hours and lots of overtime without complaint so his family can have a really wonderful life. I chose a man who still writes me love letters and brings home flowers for no other reason than he saw a pretty bouquet that he knew I'd just adore. I chose a man who is providing exactly the kind of stable, loving and respectful relationship I one day hope Nyx will share with her significant other.

So a belated Happy Father's Day to all those wonderful daddies out there! I'm off to listen to The Killers one last time.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Yeah. Yeah. I know that's not the way you say it but I really love Wilford Brimley's pronunciation of diabetes. He makes it sound so folksy and innocuous.

Those of us with family members or friends enduring the disease know better than that. I've watched my grandparents, father and now husband deal with diabetes and search for the balance between disease and life. It's not easy but it can be done.

Dave recently moved to insulin as part of his daily regimen. He'd done the diet, weight loss (one hundred pounds or so) and exercise thing with a little Metformin for years and it worked okay. Lately though his blood sugar levels just wouldn't get in line. A lot of that was likely stress and living out of hospital food courts. Some of it is just a progression of the disease.

We were both concerned about the effects insulin would have but we've been pleasantly surprised. Dave's blood sugar levels are better than they've ever been. He has much tighter control and doesn't experience the wide swings between low dips and outrageous highs. I have to say it's kind of a relief to know he's got this thing under control finally.

You see my father is now on the opposite end of the spectrum. His diabetes wasn't well controlled for years. Now he suffers near constant foot pain and has endured multiple cath procedures to place stents in his arteries. All those years of excess sugar spilling into his blood stream and tearing up his blood vessels and organs have finally taken their toll.

And it scares the ever-livin' shit out of me . I watched my grandfather lose both legs and die from diabetes complications too young. The thought of my father suffering the same fate paralyzes me with fear. I can't tell you how much I've cried over the last year. Having a sick baby and a sick dad was almost too much for me. I worry constantly about my dad's ability to continue working and maintaining insurance coverage. I worry about the high stress of his current job and the kind of damage it's doing to his body.

On the flip side, I'm lucky to know a bright, brilliant and totally happenin' young woman who has lived with Type 1 Diabetes for, like, decades. She uses an insulin pump and as far as I can tell has never allowed her disease prevent her from following her bliss.

So hop on over here and read a couple of posts on the life of a diabetic penned by Lauren Nygard, architect and photographer extraordinaire. You just might learn something interesting!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

I'll admit these first eight months of motherhood weren't anywhere near what I'd envisioned when Dave and I finally got pregnant. After a textbook pregnancy, I expected to take home this squishy little bundle and settle into motherhood. As we all know it couldn't have turned out differently.

And yet I wouldn't change a thing. In the last eight months, I have learned so much about love and faith and joy. I've learned to live in the moment. I've learned to see the beauty and wonder in something so simple as Nyx's smile or laugh. I know how incredibly lucky and blessed we are to have made it through those hellish days of uncertainty.

Becoming a mother has changed my relationship with my own mother too. We've always had a close and honest relationship but now we're even closer. Knowing I have someone I can bounce ideas off of or seek advice from without fear of feeling silly or being chastised has been so helpful. Mom's support while Nyx was in the hospital for her surgeries was priceless. I don't know that Dave and I would have made it without my mom here to help with the housekeeping and cooking and shopping and doctor's visits.

The fact that I never had to ask, that my mother just knew that I needed her, showed me the depth of my mother's love for me. It taught me that no matter how my life changes she will always be there for me. Someday I hope to be that person, that rock of support, for Nyx. When she's twenty-six or thirty-six or fifty-seven, I want Nyx to know I'm always there for her just like my mommy has always been there for me.

So Happy Mother's Day to all you mommies out there. To all of you still waiting for that positive pee stick or that successful adoption, I wish you the very best luck this year!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Cinco de Mayo!

Happy Cinco de Mayo! No margaritas or other tequila tastiness around here unfortunately. I'm still breastfeeding so alcohol is off-limits. We're doing some fajitas on the grill though. Not sure Nyx is ready for something that spicy yet so she'll probably have some rice and maybe a pinto bean or two.

Anywho. Enjoy your day! Be safe if you're drinking! A designated driver is a good thing.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Feed Me!

So Nyx has been eating solids for a while now and it's going well. We tried that whole pureed food/rice cereal thing but it was a disaster. With every spoonful of goopy bland puree, Nyx exhibited an expression of pure loathing and hatred. Dave and I tasted that jarred grossness and realized it was disgusting. And we even bought that expensive organic stuff so it wasn't like it had been sitting on the shelf for ten years or something.

Dave and I were at a loss until we remembered reading about Baby Led Weaning/Baby Led Solids during our breastfeeding class. We did a little research and decided to just dive in head first. And you know what? Best decision we ever made.

With this method you basically skip all that nasty jarred goop and go straight to "people" food. Nyx's first food was fork mashed Russet potatoes. Within a few weeks, she was eating peas, green beans, sweet potatoes, avocados, carrots, pears, plums, steel cut oats, bananas and homemade apple sauce (no sugar.) Her first meat? Texas style ribs straight outta the crockpot. LOL. Kid loved 'em. She's fond of chicken too but hates pork. Lately she's developed a love for whole wheat pasta. Odd but there it is!

And, no, she has no teeth yet. But this child can gum with the best of 'em.

With Baby Led Solids, you encourage your baby to feed herself. She's 7 months old and eating straight off her tray or plate. Sure, she makes a mess but so what? It's all part of the learning process. Don't get me wrong. There are meals where she demands we finger feed her and that's okay too. I think she likes the interaction and gets some kind of power trip out of opening her mouth like a little bird and gesturing toward her food of choice. She does something similar with her sippy cup. She's getting better at picking it up herself but still needs a little help.

I guess this method isn't for everyone. I mean, you have to be okay with the sight of your baby gagging and be confident in your ability to help your baby if she chokes. We've been doing BLS for almost two months and we've had one choking incident and that was because she laughed while she had a piece of plum in her mouth. It was no biggie. She actually cleared it herself and just kept right on laughing.

What can I say? Nyx laughs in the face of danger.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Serenity NOW!

You know that old Seinfeld episode where George's dad, Frank (Jerry Stiller,) screams, "Serenity NOW" every time he's angry and his blood pressure is skyrocketing? Yeah. That's my new mantra.

The claims for Pumpkin's surgery are starting roll in so you can guess what kind of mood I've been in lately. First of all, I'm stunned by some of these charges. You'd think after racking up nearly half a million in medical bills between September and December of last year, I'd be used to these ridiculous and obscene amounts but no...not so much. The anesthesia used on Nyx--just the anesthesia and equipment, not the actual doctor--was $7300.

Hey, wanna know something else really funny? Our policy doesn't cover most of that anesthesia. Isn't that fantastic? Apparently they expected Pumpkin's surgeon to pull a Turk (Scrubs) and operate on her while she's under hypnosis. I mean, seriously, what the flying fuck.

So now I'm waiting for the bills to come so I can compare the billed charges to the insurance claims. Then I can figure out if it's a coding issue or if it's a policy thing. I'm hoping against all hope that it's just a coding problem. If not, we're already on the line for the 5K max for the out-of-pocket portion of our policy and then about 20K so far in not covered/denied charges.

And they still haven't processed any of the claims for her ICU stay (the last one was $125,000 for three-and-a-half days of room and board and meds,) step down stay, the emergency chest tube to reinflate her lungs, the multiple doctors who visited in the ICU and on the 15th floor, the medications, the operating room, the anesthesiologist and so on and so forth.

On top of all this poo, I'm buried in deadlines. I've been working until one or two in the morning. Nyx likes to wake up at six. Luckily she's shifted her last nursing session to midnight or one so once I get her popped off the boob she sleeps for four or five hours. It's exhausting but that's just life I guess.

I keep reminding myself this is just one season of my life. Giving up sleep to care for my sweet little Pumpkin, advance my career and bring in enough income to cover these outrageous medical bills is all worth it in the grand scheme of things.

And when that doesn't work I just throw my head back and scream, "Serenity NOW!"