Dear Universe,

I'm sorry you make me call you an asshole all the time.

Today, you are not an asshole. Thanks for helping my husband get a great new job! I mean that, Universe, you did good.

I would say we owe you one, but actually, Universe, you owed US one. But I'm willing to let bygones be bygones (as long as we can work out a deal with this trach thing, too).

Let's still be friends,

I know you shouldn’t put any stock in those growth charts

Always ignore the growth charts, only pay attention to your child's individual growth curve… yeah, yeah, I know this. I believe it. It's something with HAVE to do with Ike-a-saurus because he's always been so tiny. Even for his adjusted age, he's never been on the chart. Not a lot of 16 pound nearly-15-month-olds out there.


I am going to negate everything I just said up there by letting you know that last week Ike finally hit the chart for his height. And we are THRILLED. We had to adjust his age (11 months instead of 14) because of his prematurity, but as an 11-month-old, he's on the chart! 10th percentile for height!

So, ignore the charts. Except for when you finally make it on there. Then run home, get out your measuring tape and verify what the doctor said because you don't believe it. After you verify, sit back and grin.

I'm not a reach-for-the-status-quo kind of person, but I have to admit that being on the chart is a bit of a relief. Now if we can just get there with his weight I might throw a "Maybe We Won't Need Growth Hormones After All" party. With a follow-up "He's Big Enough To Have His Airway Fixed" party. And then a bon voyage "You're Weird For Wanting Your Kid To Be In ICU For Weeks, But Maybe Not Weird For Wanting The Trach Out, Have A Great (?) Trip" party.

You'll all be invited.

The clinic-ing and the trach-ing and the pigg-o-stat-ing and the eyelashes

trach clinic over
all day at the hospital
hands still smell like soap

Today was trach clinic. Once upon a time, we were told we had to go to once a month. But then, after the first time we went and found trach clinic to be pretty harrowing and ultimately useless, we stopped going. No big deal. We just make appointments with our various doctors and see them when we need them. This bucks the system in that we don't see everyone in one day – but improves the system in that we only see people when we need to, not on some arbitrary day.

Boring. I know. I'm getting to the fun part.

So today we went to trach clinic for the first time since April. It took about one million hours just like it did last time. But this time I didn't have to worry about pumping, and I remembered to bring food, and our nurse came along for the ride, so that made things much better.

We saw the pulmonologist, the ENT, the RT, the ST, the trach nurse, the dietitian, the case worker, the social worker, the x-ray guys, and Mary in the lab who is a bad ass.

It was a busy day.

Ike-a-saurus tolerated the first two thirds of the day very well. By the last third he had HAD IT. He totally hulked out in the Pigg-o-stat (look it up. I call it the Baby Can) and tried to climb off of the little bicycle seat, thus requiring me to hold his arms and another dude to hold his legs. It turned into an impromptu baby rack/iron maiden combo created out of clear plastic, a leather strap, two adults and an unwilling baby. For real. It was that fun.

But now we have chest x-rays to send to Cincinnati.

"Sending Chest X-Rays to Cincinnati" sounds like a Butthole Surfers song.

I digress.

Pigg-o-stat was unfun. But other potential unfunness was thwarted by a little heads-up our nurse gave us. "Psst," she said, without moving her mouth. "A nursing student wants to practice drawing blood on Ike. Maybe you want to go to the lab?" No words needed uttering. Just looks of gratitude and then several brisk strides to flee the scene.

I will take a moment here to say hello to any nursing students who may be reading this blog: Hello! I just want to let you know that I think your chosen profession is noble and selfless and it is something I could never do in a million years. While I was in the hospital, and the past few times Ike-a-saurus has been in the hospital, I have always agreed to let nursing students have a look at the trach, and ask questions, and practice taking vitals, etc. But after a long day of trach clinic today, we needed someone who was going to find a vein, get that vial of blood, and do it quickly, assuredly, and without any talking.

So no offense, nursing students. We have helped train many of you. But not today. Today was not a good day for that.

I digressed again, didn't I? Alas.

So we made it through clinic today, and now we're on the week-or-so  watch of "dammit, what kind of asshole germs did we pick up this time?"

And by "asshole germs" I don't mean germs of the asshole. I means germs that ARE assholes. Big difference. Though, to be honest, we don't want any of either one.

Lots of tangents in this post.

Hopefully, we did not inhale any critters while in trach clinic today. Hopefully, the folks in Cincy will see the chest X-Rays, fall in love, want to marry them, invite us to the wedding, and then announce over cake and champagne, that they will perform a laryngotracheoplasty with an anterior graft, free-of-charge, to the person who introduced them.

I'll let you know how that works out.

Until then, no more trach clinic until March, unless I just jinxed it. And if I did, then DAMN IT.

Oh, I forgot about the eyelashes part of the title. Yes. Eyelashes. Ike-a-saurus has very long eyelashes. Everyone thinks so. They also think it is unfair that boys get the long eyelashes. I am going to start carrying a flask with me, and every time anyone at any doctor's office mentions Ike's eyelashes, i am going to take a shot. Except this will require taking a taxi home, or asking our nurse to drive, which I think is against the rules. Not that taking shots at doctors' offices is part of the rules.

I'm really tired. That is probably evident.

Also today, we saw a flat bed tractor trailer hauling bundles of flaming paper. Actually flaming paper. I don't know what that means, other than it was kind of awesome and it offered a one-of-a-kind distraction from the still simmering trauma of the Pigg-o-stat.

I can't figure out how to end this post.


My emotional Spanx

not a social life
but socialness in my life
scary, exciting

I feel like I haven't been blogging as much lately. There have not been nearly enough angry rants directed at strangers. But there's good reason – I've been busy taking a break from Kari Anne Roy, and enjoying some time as K.A. Holt. School visits and parties and book festivals – it's all out of my comfort zone and therefore hugely, crazy exhausting. But the more I get out, the more I like it, and the more acclimated I get to actually talking to other grown-ups. Dare I say it: it's fun!

This weekend was HUGE, with the Texas Book Festival. I got to meet so many great local (and non-local) authors, learn so many new things from readings and panels, climb a little more out of my shell… it was really energizing.

For such a long time, I've been trapped in this house. Years, really. And it's no one's fault. I've never been a very social person, so initially, being trapped in the house wasn't a very big deal. But now that my book is out, and the new book is coming out, it's important for me to be able to leave the house. not only that, I crave the attention and the insights and the critiques from my writing community. I don't necessarily want to soldier along alone like I've been doing.

It's funny, because I had this realization last year with my mama community. I didn't want to ask for help, I didn't want to accept help. I wanted to hunker down and hide in the house and just push through everything as best our family could. But then I realized that my mama community, my friends – they ARE my family. And to accept help from them wasn't a sign of weakness or fragility, it was an acceptance of love.

Now that might sound kind of cheesy, but it's true. And now I'm learning that the same thing can be said for the local writing community. They are here as support and empathy and encouragement – and as friends. It's not something I should shy away from just because I feel that writing is solitary. The writing process can still be solitary even while you have a community supporting you – and that you support as well.

It's nice to be around people. Sometimes that obvious statement isn't so evident when you're kind of fighting the tsunamis that life keeps throwing at you. Saying that I've been treading water is incredibly cliche, but it really is the best metaphor. A wave come, threatens to drown us, and yet, our heads pop up above the surface.

I know there are more waves. There is a lot still to come this year with Ike-a-saurus. But it is less daunting when I realize I don't have to face it alone. And as far as the books go, I am just thrilled to be sticking my nose into a community of such creative, supportive, amazing folks.

You guys are like my emotional Spanx. And that is awesome.

I'm going to re-post this over on my KA Holt blog, I think, so feel free to drop by over there. I blog over there about writing and meeting authors and things like that. I've started writing a short story a day for the month of November, too: ShoStoBloMo. I just made that up, and it's incredibly fun to say out loud.

So, anyway, drop by the KA Holt blog, if you're so inclined. You don't have to, though. This is still my primary blog – the place I go to vent and laugh and go insane.

OK. Must relinquish computer to the charger, strangle the wee-er one for getting Nerds ALL OVER MY SOFA, and get in a shower before the day does its best to wallop me into submission.

This was a weird post, I know. More serious than usual, more intorspective. Forgive me. Poop jokes will commence shortly….