April 09, 2005

Sleep Remedies

What I don't want to hear is a bunch of parenting wisdom about routine and strict bedtimes and such. Because it's been spring break here the entire week. And I had surgery. And Jenna slept at three different houses, well one wasn't different because it was her own, but still, maybe I should say strange houses. And routine unintentionally went out the window. And by the way, routine has never made a dent in my daughter's energy level.

The deal is, 7 years old. Never falls asleep without an hour or seven of reading and writing and artwork and mazes and puzzles and math problems. Favorite new activity: Writing three columns of alternating-colored vocabulary words, one letter per page, on large classroom poster paper, and rolling masking tape balls to stick on the back to decorate her room with the sheets.

Chamomile Tea doesn't work. Tried it. The good stuff too. Leaves in the tea seeping spoon. In the end, I drank it and felt great. Fell asleep before everyone else.

She has CRCT tests starting next week for two weeks. We have to be on time to school or they lock us out. She needs to sleep well or she'll get sick. That's the long and short of it.

Give it up parents. Confess it. What puts your older (as in 5-10 year old) kids to sleep? I need one night to get us back on track. I'm not talking long-term behavioral modification. I'm not talking phenobarbitol (although it worked for me as a kid). I'm talking, what WORKS and is LEGAL?

The dog and the fish

So Bando the mutt and Gil the beta are like, what do we have to do around here to get some attention--have a baby?!


Wednesday's Child

Quote of the day:

"It could be way worse. You could be a hamster baby in Jeneane's house."

This Hamster Shit Is Stressing Me Out

Oh good, forever more I'll be googled on "hamster shit."

Listen, the thing about hamsters is that they bury their healthy young (as opposed to eating their unhealthy or too numerous young) way deep in a makeshift nest, in this case 1st-grade lined notebook paper and super-absorbent paper towel pieces, so that you (or as we hear in group, keep it personal--"I") I mean, I, don't know if I killed the babies or not.

I think I saw one pink nose move.

Hard to know.

1 out of 13 wouldn't be a complete failure.

I bought Similac baby formula because I read it can help the nursing mother hamster. She doesn't like it. I don't blame her. She'll probably have nightmares of a huge cow stomping her nest.

The more I try to help, the more I don't.

In other news, school starts Monday, and with the time change I guess we'll be getting up about 2 in the morning now. That'll be extra fun. I told my friend, this is the time of year kids get run over by buses because we turn the time back and it's dark again at 6 a.m. She said, no, November is when they get run over by buses because it's dark in the morning AND at night. I said, no, I think there are more bus-kid accidents when the clock turns back. She said no, it's in winter, because it's dark when the kids catch the bus and when they come home.

I said whatever, I'm glad I car pool.

Hamster Watch Continued

What a night. I was prompted awake four times by the guilt of having accidentally deprived the mother hamster, who we thought was the father hamster, of her newborn babies for 12 hours yesterday until I "figured it out." Is it too late? Hard to tell. She's back on the makeshift nest today. This morning she was on the other side of the cage, as far away as she could get. I saw one little baby she'd taken out of the nest when I went downstairs at 7:00. I wanted to give him back to her--"Lookie, he's alive!" But I left them alone. When I went down at 10:00, he was nowhere to be found. I hope he's under her.

I'm off to get some formula for her. I read it helps the milk supply. I think hers may have dried up during the twelve hours she spent apart from the babies. I reached in to give her a scratch while she was eating. She rolled over asking me to rub her belly. She never does that. She's the mean one I thought was a He.

Now, about the "Royal Wedding..."


The sound of Dianna rolling over in her grave.

Listen, I'm all for going on with life after the death of a loved one. HOWEVER, this skank-ass-bad-teeth-man-hands-rediculous-hat-wearing homewrecker and her cowardly oedipus-complexed-immature-lying-mama's-boy-king-wannabe husband are responsible for inflicting some realy nasty trauma on young Dianna. Maybe more than that. So forgive me for not sending a card.

In a nutshell

Between my ablation and the birth of the new hamster babies, some alive and some not, cage swapping for the adults who have now fully digested aforementioned dead hamster babies, can I just talk for a moment about how bad my house smells?

No. Never mind. I won't.

You just take that tidbit to sleep with you tonight.

April 08, 2005

Saint Patrick, Thou Art a Stubborn Ass

I didn't know until today that Paul's mother died, and didn't know until I clicked backward that she passed away on St. Patrick's day. Familiar to me--the day my father died, the day my grandmother died. Now too when I remember them there will be a bright little patch of Paul's mom in my recollecting. I spend a lot of time recollecting on that day while the rest of America gets drunk.

Paul is there for his father, for whom the loss of a wife of nearly 54 years must be so very difficult. And now Paul's dad is in the hospital too.

Paul I send you some of the goodness I received virtually during my hospital adventure Tuesday, and some of my own prayers.

I never quite got that Irish thing anyway.

Oh for the love of!!!!!!

So I'm watching Marshmallow tonight wondering, why is she so skittish--she's just not taking care of the babies. Is it because we had to move them out of the wheel of death? Is it because it's her first time?

I'm watching, you know, coaxing her on--comeon marshmallow, you're doing good. You check on the babies, you take food in there, but you're not... doing......

I look over to Coco's cage, the dad, who has been asleep all day, man, why is he... so... tired.......


I grab Marshmallow, lift him/her out, look underneath, a thing, okay, looks like a hole, okay NO FRICKING NIPPLES. I shove him back in, grab Coco out of the other cage, hoping for an obvious penis, lift him/her up, and there is the evidence, clear as day, evidence we didn't see earlier.

OH SHIT! Tiny little babies, still squirming some, no milk in 11 hours, what are their chances. How did we get it wrong? Why was Coco eating them? Why was mashmallow protecting them? Oh man. I kind of told Jenna. We got it wrong.

She is thinking of new names for them. That's the spirit.

Anyway, I swapped the cages, turned out the lights.

I can't watch.


On Fertile Ground

One interesting thing about endometrial ablation is that you can't get pregnant after having one. Well, you can get pregnant, but it's a very bad thing, essentially guaranteed to end up as a tubal pregnancy, miscarriage, or a uterine rupture because the lining of the uterus has been removed by the procedure. Any small areas left aren't sufficient to provide nutrients for a growing baby via the placenta. Therefore, the placenta often attatches firmly into the uterine wall, and when it tries to detatch, results in rupture, hemorrhage, death--the kind of clinical outcome you'd really like to avoid.

All of this is to say, I was up crying last night realizing that my childbearing years are officially over.

That's heavy. I mean, I knew this before having the surgery. But knowing before hand and really knowing afterward are two different things.

So there I was, teary and sad last night, without being down really, more a profound understanding of the passage of time and opportunity, a full-stop within steady movement, the knowledge of such things making my tired womb heavy, and my heart too.

This morning I awoke to Jenna's near-hysterical voice:


I wonder, what TV show is she watching.


And it sinks in slowly. Oh no. Not the hamsters she got three weeks ago, the ones that were supposed to be two girls.... Oh no.... no.


There they were, mother and father in the habitat wheel, father munching on one baby, mother hovering over the others, the two parents starting to run inside the plastic wheel, which had the odd slow motion effect of spewing babies out of the wheel, down the slide, and into the shavings at the bottom....

Surreal...a hamster baby machine spitting out little pink hairless blobs.

Hamster babies being cranked out hither and yon.

"Oh my oh my oh my--go get Daddy."

That's what I said.

During the next half hour, we got Coco, the father, out of the cage and into his hamster ball, so he's rolling around the house, while I fill up a large bin with shavings. I can't tell you the iterations we tried--put Marshmallow the mom in the habitat cage and Coco the dad in the big plastic bin. But no, Marshmallow is intent on dragging all dozen babies back into the wheel, the problem being that, she's SPINNING the damn wheel while she's up there, and babies are flying around inside the wheel like popcorn at Walmart.

Marshmallow, you can't put your babies up there!

She remains determined.

So we take Marshmallow and the babies (using a tea strainer so as not to touch them) into the plastic bin, but she's distressed in there because it's unfamiliar, running around with a baby hanging out of her mouth, like, WHERE DO I PUT IT!?

I'm like, how do I know--I'M INFERTILE!

Then I get it! She wants her stupid wheel!

So I take the wheel OFF the habitat cage and anchor it in the shavings in the big bin (so it won't spin for God's sake), and scoop the remaing babies into the bin. Marshamallow then carries all I-don't-know-how-many-live babies -- maybe 10? -- left into her motionless-plastic-wheel den, where she's been sitting on them for an hour.

Marshmallow's got water, food, and a bunch of pink babies that seem to still be alive in her new big plastic bin.

Coco's got his cage back, minus the wheel, the hole plugged up by an expensive fruit bowl, and he seems full and rather happy digesting his offspring.

It's all really too much for me.

Actual Sessum Hamster pictures forthcoming.

little tiny semi thoughts

Inside my head, I'm still enjoying instant replays of semi-consciousness.

Wondering what the hell that big huge L-shaped black neoprene leg holder duct-tape-ala-home-made-torture-chamber looking thing was on the left side of the operating table.

Inside my head: "Whoa. 'The hell is that?"

And again observing with wonder the bigness, roundness, and brightness of the light positioned directly above where I was being placed.

Inside my head: "That is the biggest, roundest light I have ever seen."

And people saying my name. Like a game of red rover. "Jeneane, come on over!!!"

Inside my head: "Funny people - Why they're so far away?"

Semi-consciousness rocks.

Totus Towhom?

Thursday Questions

How does buying a bus ticket to Rome to see a dead pope make one a “Pilgrim”?

How does a man who headed a church that covered up the most widespread institutionalized incidence of child abuse earn talk of sainthood?

How long does someone need to be on display before you put them in the ground?

Where in the text of the scriptures that Catholics adhere to does it say anything about a Pope, about refering to any man as “The Holy Father” or about worshiping an elected official of the church?

Hello people of the world: Get inside your grieving and find what has birthed your hysteria. Could it be that once again you’ve let mainstream media channel and feed off your grief for its own gain? The Pope’s not the only one on display. Your sordid tiresome souls are bleeding through my television screen. Your pain is real, but it’s got nothing to do with the guy in red on the slab with three pillows under his head and a scepter under his arm.

April 06, 2005

In Praise of Good Drugs and Doctors of Faith

I am among you. For that I am grateful. Even moreso that I'm basically pain free today, even put away some laundry, walked around the driveway, and marveled at what it's like to have a surgical encounter go right.

From a mortal perspective, so much of surgery--even more I think than the skill of your doctor--depends upon the anesthesiologist. And man, did I have a good one. Oh boy oh boy. I don't even remember the OR. I was gone before they wheeled me in, or gone enough that I remember only two things: The Big Round Light and The Big Black Leg Holder, left side. And I remember my one pre-deep-sleep thought: "Wonder why there's only one leg holder?" night night. (I'm now assumng it's because they put the other one up once they have the poor woman on the operating table).

Before they wheeled me off to the OR, the very understanding anesthesiologist nurse--he was swell--got my cocktal ready for my IV. I'd had to wait about quite a while down by the OR, because they were wrapping up cataract surgery, and apparently you don't need leg holders for that, so they were switching the OR over.

Anyway, I start explaining to the nurse with the needle full of goodies that I don't like the feeling of being put under, that I hope whatever drug he's using is a gentle relaxer, because if it hits me like a ton of bricks, I will resist it. And he says to me with a smile, "You resist all you want, honey."

I imagined departing this realm with those as the last words uttered to me. Interesting. But alas, I awoke a couple of hours later, back in the same spot, wondering when they were going to take me to the OR. Imagine my surprise when the lady nurse said I was all done.

There's a comforting hymn--one I'd been humming to myself all week--that I spent a lot of quiet time humming to myself during the long wait before and after surgery. My OBGYN is a man of faith before he is a surgeon. He says a quiet prayer before he takes his patients into the OR. Me, I like that. The best surgeon's skill can stand some guidance, as can the most difficult patient's healing.

I learned I "went hypertensive" during the surgery, at one point I was like 196 over somethng, and they had to give me medicines for that. I guess I'm okay. I think I'll check my BP this week to be sure. I know that I was 120/80 at the doctor the Thursday before, so it must have been something about pain, bodily invasion, and or intense terror that made my pressure go haywire?

Anyhow, at least it's done. Now we get to watch the progress over the coming weeks and months to see if it worked.

If not, I know what anesthesiologist I'm going back to. Let's call him the Night-Night Doctor.

I'll spare you the truly gory details, but I really do feel good, and I really did feel you guys pulling for me. I felt some others sticking needles in their blogger voodoo dolls too, but they can just go back and write about politics and aggregators. I'm still here.

April 04, 2005

thought of the day

"Those who did not blog in the years before the revolution cannot know what the sweetness of blogging was." -- jonathon delacour

April 03, 2005

Count Backwards from 100.

They'll be putting me under at the hospital on Tuesday for an outpatient procedure of a feminine nature. If you are one of the visitors this place who was born without a uterus, you may or may not be interested. It might even give you a rumbly tummy, so don't look too far.

If you're one of the visitors to the place who possesses or once possessed a uterus, and who has bled nearly to death, missed vacations/weddings/work/life because of said uterus, or who has enjoyed the childbirth experience to a certain degree short of death and wishes not to experience it again, then you might be interested in uterine ablation.

Because I'm one of those tricky patients, and because they're throwing in a couple of other procedures for good measure, I get to go to the hospital and have it done. I went for pre-registration on Thursday. George and I sat in the waiting room outside of pre-op when Terri Schiavo died. They sent me home with a living will to fill out.

It's still in my purse. Next to my Xanax prescription. I'm more glad to have one than the other. Can you guess which?

I'm only midly anxious. If you count missing three finger nails "mildly." Generally I think that's pretty good. If it's fewer than five, I'm golden.

I don't like hospitals. No, I mean, I really don't.

So all in all I'm okay. Just thought you should know. Like, in case you want to send me an e-card Tuesday night or something.

A Rose By Any Other Name--Or The Apprentice

Looking at my nude ass is like knowing the square root of a million squared times infinity.

If I could fire bloggers, here's what I'd say:

If you are deciding what to write about by reading ANY of the Technorati Top 100, you're fired.

If you are about to tell me how you feel about the latest MSM story -- shit, if you are going to even think of USING the acronym MSM -- you're fired.

If linked in the last two days, or if you are planning to link to in the next two days, David/Doc/Jay/Scoble/Jay/Jeff/Dan/Dave, you're fired.

If you are waiting for RSS to tell you what to write about, you're fired.

You want to be lazy? Do it on your own time, because you're fired.

There is uncharted territory everywhere on the net. There are discoveries with key words like "peace, my ass" just waiting to transform your vague interest into a genuine passion.

I get calls all the time from NASA because they are worried that if everyone in the entire world thinks of my ass at exactly the same time... then the universe will supernova.

The Funny Papers

Hello, Paul Hornschemeier.

...with a shout out to the Holy See.

Yes, I Know Tourette's is an Illness...

But that doesn't make clicking on these idiots any less fun.

keep my desk fly

Now, I don't take shit from nobody, and I sure as hell don't take no shit from some bitch from Accounts Payable, so I picks up my letter opener and do some crazy kung-fu shit on her. "Flag yo' ass outta here, bitch, and keep yo' fuckin' cupcake shit offa my fly desk."

Not Blogging, or Shut Up.

In this nearly 2 weeks of not blogging, the most perplexing thing of all (for me at least) is that I haven't missed it. Not even kind of. No, not sort of.

Every time I've taken a break previously, I've found that I miss not writing, that the absence of blog noise is very loud indeed. That eventually I'm drawn back by the sound of my own voice.

Not this time.

So far, I've enjoyed travelling around as a reader, commenting here and there, and feeling absolutely no responsibility to myself, to this place, nor anyone else to actually 'write' something.

I've always said that I like making a living as a writer. Truer still, I really like NOT having to write. HA! I never thought I'd say that. I really enjoy the absence of the compulsion to say something here.

I really like not having to come here.

I feel incredibly free in this time of ambivilance. Joyously free.

I've found the "next wave" of blogging, and it's "not" blogging.


Free I say!

I find myself fully experiencing those curious moments that used to ignite in me the urge to blog. Instead of thinking, "I have to post about this," I've been, well, not thinking that. I've been present. I've avoided the fix.

In essence, I've gone back to the time of the wheel, and I am quietly amazed at its roundness.

Take a break. Plant your feet in the spring grass, dig your toes into the cool moist earth, and don't, not for a single second, think about blogging it.

Mmmmm. Heavenly.

This time, this place where you stand, is offering itself to you.

Take it and keep it to yourself.