Friday, February 18, 2011

Vacuum Cleaners Hate Me

I sweep my carpet.

There. I said it.

I sweep my carpet and I'm not even freaking Amish! I can totally say that without being offensive because the Amish don't blog so they'll never see this. At least, I don't think they blog. They don't blog, do they? There's nothing wrong if they do blog. In fact, if they did I'd really like to read their blog because I watched a documentary about the Amish recently called Amish at the Alter and I have questions about it so if they did blog and I read it I could probably ask them questions in the comment section like how do you make your noodles?

Look, I believe in machines and electricity. I believe in vacuum cleaners. In fact, I strongly believe in the self-propelled vacuum cleaners because then I don't have to exert too much physical energy sucking up the living room rug. But vacuum cleaners do not believe in me.

In the past three years we have gone through 4 vacuum cleaners. Hoover. Eureka. Bissel. Some off brand no one could pronounce. They all broke. They all smoked, caught on fire and left the rancid smell of burnt belt odor hanging in our home.

The majority of the floors in our home are hardwood or tile. We have three small bedrooms with carpet and two area rugs. And to be honest, it's not like I have a regular vacuum cleaning schedule so it's not like the vacuums are being overworked here. And yet, they continue to break.

I feel lost. Rejected. Alienated from the rest of the vacuum loving world. What I wouldn't give to be able to shout at the top of the mountain I LOVE MY VACUUM!

After this 4th one bailed on us I've decided it's best if I just don't get involved with another vacuum for a while. At least not until I heal properly. I'm just not trusting anymore, you know?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

You don't need sleep - You have a BABY!

My beautiful, brave, intelligent, courageous, friend Lena, has just given birth to her very first child. This morning when I logged on to Facebook I read a post on my wall from her -- typed at some ridiculous hour of the night:

my. god. how did you ever sleep?

My Dear, Sweet, Silly Lena,

Forget about sleep. You will never get it again. At least, not in any regular and discernable pattern. In time, you will find yourself scheduling unnecessary dental procedures for the 20-minute nitrous oxide gas nap and announcing you've got a bad case of irritable bowel syndrome which will provide you exactly twelve minutes of pretend diarrhea time while you actually sleep on the bathroom rug (any longer and someone will come looking for you, blowing your cover), but for now, at this moment, sleep is utterly elusive.

Sure, people will tell you to nap when the baby naps, but let's be honest: four days of old sweat, rank body odor and dried breast milk caked on the inside of your used-to-be-white-now-dingy-grey tank top is going to convince you otherwise.

Not that you'll enjoy that little shower of yours because forty-seven seconds into it you'll convince yourself the baby has stopped breathing, suffocated on his own vomit or has been kidnapped by super stealthy ninjas that entered the home through the garage door that you swore was locked but now you aren't so sure so you'll have to get out of the shower and check right now this very second. Then you'll slip on the kitchen floor because how could you dry off when the baby's life is in danger? While you're moaning naked beached whale style on the dirty linoleum the baby will wake up and start crying. Guess who wants to eat? Now you're spraying breast milk across the floor cursing the fact you drank that whole bottle of wine and did those tequila shots eleven months ago.

When the baby is tiny, like yours is now, you'll actually get more accomplished in your day because they sleep. Yes, I said sleep. I know it doesn't look like their two hour intervals of infant-immobility mirrors our adult version of sleeping, but it's the closest thing to it. You'll be able to swaddle the baby and then actually walk away and across the house to grab a cup of coffee, bottle of NoDoz and recreational methamphetamines... give it a couple months and that bundle of cuteness isn't going to let you walk out the room without wailing. (That's when it really gets tough.)

But, I promise you, you will get through it.

You won't think that you'll be capable of it, but you will. Because you'll be able to pull your husband to the side and say (with much conviction) things like if you do not allow me to sleep for the next seven hours uninterrupted I may chop off all my hair and run naked through the streets screaming quotes from Edgar Allen Poe and as sexy and thrilling as that might sound to you, I can assure you the police will see otherwise and I'll be sent to the local insane asylum while you are left all alone with the baby for three full days. THREE. FULL. DAYS!

You will also realize that things like dishes and dusting and ironing do not have to be completed. Ever. Or at least for the next 14 months or longer.

And one day, even though you haven't had sleep in what seems like years and you're sobbing at the fact it takes too much physical energy to brush your hair, it will suddenly hit you: my God, how beautiful my son is! And you will forget all about your hair. And you will forget about lack of sleep and you'll just revel in the grand awesomeness of being a mother. And then you'll snap quickly back to reality and start bawling because what kind of mother am I if I can't even brush my own hair?!

I know because I've been there.  We have all been there.

On a serious note, my advice to you would be this - do not be afraid to ask for help. Every mother will say the same thing: Ask for help. We know this because we could all use it. Mothers of older children will tell you that looking back they wish they would have exercised their right to ask for help more often than they actually did. So, ask for help.

No matter how independent, how in control or how all alone because I just moved to an entirely new corner of the world you happen to be... ask for help. You will be surprised at how many people feel good helping someone else. (Especially new mothers.) Believe it or not, people will want to send you dinner, drop by a gallon of milk, pick up your dry cleaning, and dust and vacuum your house just so you can spend a few extra stress-free moments holding your baby. And then, when he sleeps, you can sleep... because everything else has been done for you. But know that nobody will know what you need unless you speak up and ask for help.

If I were you I'd invite every single mother, aunt, cousin and friend you have to stay with you for a week. In exchange for free room and board they have to get up with the baby in the middle of the night. (With your family & friend's list you'll be booked well into the kid's third birthday.)

I'll leave you with this Twitter post from @Katecake:

So when my husband asks me what I did today
I'm going to tell him I kept a human being alive
using my breasts.
Beat that, employed man!

PS: I'm totally kidding about the methamphetamines. It's actually a pretty bad idea. Just thought I should clarify since lack of sleep can make you do some pretty crazy things....

Monday, February 14, 2011

Doctors Annoy Me... No, Front Desk Staff Annoy Me: Reason #582

The Bean stepped on a piece of glass at the Sadie Hawkins Dance this past Saturday. It was right at the end of the dance when her feet had been completely blackened by the barefoot dancing she had partaken in. Partook. Whatever. She was dancing barefoot. Her feet were filthy. When it was time to go so she stood up and went "AGGGHHHH! MY FOOT!" and quickly sat back down to examine her foot. One of the chaperone's walked by and said, "It's time to go!" and she said, "oh my god! oh my god! My foot is bleeding! I think I stepped on a piece of glass!" and the chaperone looked at her and yelled, "IT'S TIME TO GO!" so she hobbled out of the dance with a dirty foot dripping blood.

At home we washed her foot with warm, soapy water, and then attacked the hell out of it with a tweezers. We must not have done a good job because I got a call from the school Monday morning telling me there was still a piece of glass in it and it's green. I suggested the school nurse pluck it out with her tweezers but I was informed she can't touch the foot nor pick the remaining shard of glass out of the foot because she's not authorized to conduct medical procedures. This is good to know because I had that school nurse on speed dial for my upcoming liver transplant and open heart surgery.

The school suggested taking the Bean to the Emergency Room which costs me $60 for the co-pay. However, an actual office visit has no co-pay; I pay nothing and my awesome insurance covers it all. I'm cheap so I opted for the office visit.

First, I called Dr. N. Out today. Sorry.

Then I called Dr. P. No appointments available today. Absolutely booked.

Then I called Dr. Q who scheduled an appointment for 2:30pm. Yeah!

Then I called my mom and said, "Mom, I'm at work and I know you're already watching the baby for me and also you're busy feeding sheep for my brother with the bad back and also you have to be at home to sign for the FedEx delivery that they won't leave without an adult signature and also you have to pick up my 9-yr old at 3:15pm from school, but hey, how about picking up the Bean at 2:00pm from her school and then driving her twenty minutes to the doctor and I'll meet you there since I'll be coming from the opposite direction so she can get glass removed from her foot?" And she said that would be fine because obviously she does not have enough to keep her busy during the day.

And then I forgot about it.

Until I received a phone call an hour later from Dr. Q's office telling me they have to cancel the appointment because the system shows the Bean has already been established with Dr. G and I said, "who the hell is Dr. G?" and then they reminded me that over a year ago she had gone to Dr. H for something kinda wonky and Dr. H was all, "This is kinda wonky... you should go see Dr. G." and so we did and Dr. G basically said, "this is kinda wonky. Let's just watch it and see if it gets even more wonky."

So, after the appointment with Dr. Q was cancelled, I called Dr. G and asked for an appointment and they were all, "why the hell are you calling us?" and I was all, "because she's established" and they were all, "do you even know what that means?"

So I was directed back to Dr. H, the doctor that told us to go to Dr. G in the first place, but the Scheduling Nazi informed me that her computer screen said the Bean was already established with Dr. G and she "didn't want to get in the middle of it." She switched me to Dr. H's nurse as soon as I started sobbing.

The conversation went kind of like this:

Hello. I'm a very nice nurse with years of experience and would love to assist you on this beautiful day.

Look lady, I'm actually going to have a nervous breakdown in less than twenty seven seconds because no one in the flipping medical world will take a shard of glass out of my daughter's foot and gangrene has probably already set it and it'll probably need to get amputated before I can figure out who her flipping doctor is and I'd just go ahead do it myself but I don't think my flipping hacksaw would be very effective.

It sounds like someone has a case of the grumblies. Let's just pull up your daughter's chart, okay?.... Oh, it shows her that she's already established with Dr. G....

Yeah, about that... I don't even know what established means and we only saw that doctor one time because Dr. H told us we had to and she wasn't even that nice and also her nurse shushed us when we sitting in the exam room waiting to be seen because we were laughing about the time the Bean was getting a wart removed and it hurt and she was reading the medical literature in the room to take her mind off of it and was all "Gentle warts? I want a gentle wart!" because she couldn't really read very well and had no idea it was a pamphlet about genital warts so I don't think they even like us and to be honest, I don't think they even want us to be established.

I see that you only saw Dr. G once and that was at the direction of a very likeable, competent physician. I think someone made an oopsy-daisy and accidently changed it in the system. How about I set up an appointment first thing tomorrow morning with Dr. H?

So now, even though I'm incredibly annoyed, I can't be, because that nurse was so incredibly nice. Like abnormally nice. And you can't hate someone who is abnormally nice. It's like hating the Easter Bunny for being bouncy and delivering baskets of jelly beans and those oozing fake-yolked Cadbury Eggs. It would not paint me in a good light at all. I'll say this, though - there better be one huge hunk of glass in that kid's foot to make all this worthwhile.

UPDATE: The Bean had a huge piece of glass removed from her heel this morning. Dr. H referred to it as "a lot of fun" and "just like treasure hunting." It took twenty minutes of careful digging. Then, just as the doctor held up this long piece of clear glass to admire it, she dropped it on the floor of the exam room. The doctor, the assisting nurse and I all started crawling around on our hands and knees in an attempt to find it and show the Bean. (It was REALLY long!) We finally gave up, they flushed the puncture wound, cleaned her up and sent us on our way.... then they closed the exam room until housekeeping could get in there to (hopefully) mop up the piece of glass before anyone else stepped on it.