Ode to a breakfast taco

I was going to write another sonnet (and, once again, defy the name of this blog). But all I could manage this morning was:

A breakfast taco is made of love
The kind of love that squishes like boobs

So I thought maybe I should take a break from sonnet writing and just sit here at the kitchen table and enjoy my thoughts of breakfast tacos.

In a happy accident yesterday (or, rather, a divine intervention of space and time), I discovered that breakfast tacos can be made with mashed potatoes. This is world-rocking news. What a concept! So out of the box! So synergized with the eggs and cheese! Because, at the end of the day, all breakfast tacos are made with the same ingredients – it's how you smash them together that makes them special.

This lady, right here, in the taped up kitchen chair, is throwing her .1 horsepower completely behind the synergized gloopy breakfast tacos from Tacodeli.

So.

I don't know what to do with this post anymore. It's gotten weird with the marketing speak and the tacos. I don't know what's happening over here. Usually when I get excited my southern accent spontaneously appears. This is the first time my marketing speak has spontaneously appeared. There is probably a clever way to end this post – with more marketing speak and a big TA DA about potatoes. But I can't figure it out.

I could also end the post by videoing myself taking a huge bite out of a gloop-filled taco so that you can see the wonderfulness for yourself. Alas, I do not have a taco today. 😦

So instead, I will end this post with the two lines that should end the sonnet I have not written:

It is clear we are not boob haters
We just really like our mashed potaters

Observations I have made this morning while trying ot avoid hallucinating from Teh Sick

1. I want to go to Vancouver

2. Why does being sick give me a sweat mustache? And a sweaty chest? My body is turning me into Sweat Burt Reynolds.

3. 3 days. that's how long I give it before Ike-a-saurus is sick, even though I'm wearing gloves when I touch him. (That's right. Non-latex exam gloves. Because I am crazy? Or because I am cautious? You decide.)

4. The new TV (for our anniversary yesterday!) makes it look like Liz Lemon is actually in my living room. So while she is hallucinating Bon Jovi in her dentist office, I am hallucinating her in my house. Very meta.

5. My pants are old

6. Like old old. I wore these pants when I was pregnant with the wee one.

7. Too sick to chase Ike up the stairs. Too sick to take him to the ER when he falls. Catch 22.

8. "How would you categorize the importance of wax today?" This is what the dude on TV just said.

9. I think I might be burning soup right now.

10. Can you burn soup? Maybe I should just cut to the chase and say I thinking I might be ruining a soup pot right now.

11. I don't think I can stop this list

12. My hair right now is doing a thing that might be considered a hot mess, if I was hotter, and someone had done this to my hair on purpose

13. I am not being consistent with my punctuation today

14. Snow is very sparkly. It is also very white.

15. Oh shit, the soup.

Untitled Sonnet About Why Clothes Are Necessary for the Winter Olympics

[This is cross-posted from my KA Holt blog. But I thought you guys might like to mock it, too.)

The competing Greeks saw no need for clothes
No use for cloth despite sweat and oil
They had no shame with their Olympic flame
Though it showed lack of girth and moyle.
Soon, though, the weather inclemented
And winter sports, they came to pass.
Trouble rose ‘mongst the oily scented,
Hopes were dashed with smashings of ass.
So it came to be, clothes were now seen
On those with wintr’y pursuits
They padded their asses and replaced the sheen
Slathered on their birthday suits
If the Greeks have taught us nothing at all
At least we avoid the naked slalom.

Top ten great things about having a trach

10. If you choke on a button, you can still breathe

9. If your brother strangles you with a rope Santa brought him (wtf, Santa?), you can still breathe

8. It makes a great place to store pieces of chocolate

7. It matches everything

6. If someone strange gets too close to you, you can use it to shoot flying blow darts of slime right into their eyes.

5. I'll say that again – shoot blow darts of slime – FROM YOUR NECK!

4. Stuffed up sinuses? Who cares!

3. Lots of extra KY jelly around the house

2. When you put your finger in it you can go "ARGLE ARGH BA BA BA BARGLE
BLARGH" over and over and over while your mom is on the phone

1. Breathing!

Happy Trachiversary!

Admittedly, I have been mostly a cry-y mess for the past several days. But I AM happy about the trachiversary, too, so the conflicting feelings have been interesting to sort through.

This morning, as I woke up, Ike-a-saurus was climbing all over me. Knee to the eye, fist in the belly, accidental somersault off of the mountain of headache laying under the covers… He was like a puppy in a cartoon.

While I was hiding from the day, I heard the little "plink" of my phone being set into its charger (just before I heard the much larger CRASH of my phone banging into the bedside table, then the wall, and then falling on the floor).

That was the same "plink" I used to hear over and over while I was on bedrest, always fiddling with my phone.

And that little "plink" this morning made me feel incredibly grateful for where we are today, even if where we are today gives me a panic attack (hence the headache this morning from the xanax last night).

I am not sure there is anything worse than being pregnant, and in bed, trying to desperately stave off delivering your baby at 20 weeks. Well, yes, there are worse things. But it's hard to compare them, you know?

So I was in bed this morning, letting the covers fall from my head and I saw Ike-a-saurus' little yellow sweatpants-clad butt in my face as he clamored over me to get back at my phone and I got a little cry-y, because wow. I spent so many hours in that bed, with that phone, programming in times to remember to take my meds, and watching the stopwatch to time out too-early contractions, and dreading the reminders for all of the awful appointments where we were told awful things…. Seeing that little butt and that smiling, mischievous face made me take a deep breath. The deepest breath I've taken in a long, long time.

Even with the trach, things are so much better than they were all those months ago. They are better today than they were this day last year. They are better than I dare to believe. Ike-a-saurus is a lovely, smart, hilarious, wonderful little dude who we weren't even sure we would get the chance to meet.

Today is the trachiversary, yes. And there are things about that that make me sad and angry, but in the whole grand scheme of things, I am incredibly grateful for this day. Incredibly grateful.

Sweet boy.

Happyike

And just so you don’t think I’m a complete basket case

I really don't spend ALL my time sitting around weeping about the past.

The wee one and I had a wonderful Friday night date night, wherein we were the super nerdy nerds who were first in line for the 9 pm showing of Percy Jackson. This is a full hour and a half past his normal bedtime, so I let him enjoy a nice, late night buzz of sour patch kids and sips of my Coke. We had a great time. He loved the movie even though it scared the shit out of him at first. (Yikes, Mrs. Dodds!) And he REALLY loved being out late at night.

I also got great news from my agent today… I'm allowed to share the cover art for the BRAINS book that's coming out in the fall. I've plastered it all over facebook and twitter, but if you haven't seen it yet, you can go to my KA Holt blog and check it out. (It's sooooo awesome.)

As a bribe for not being able to go to the movie tonight, I bought the wee-er one a doctor dress-up set and she spent all day in scrubs, administering shots and blood pressure checks to her babies and to the wee one. She is now determined to wear her scrubs to school. Who am I to say no?

And Ike-a-saurus spent the day eating his weight in 400 calorie chocolate and toddling around the house lickety split. I only fell down the stairs once trying to save him from himself.

So even though I keep posting these terrible down in the dumps things, I want you to know that really, I might not be as much of a basket case as I seem. I am working to find that funny groove again.

See, look, here's a knock knock joke for you:

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Ice cream soda
Ice cream soda who?
I scream soda people can hear me.

Thank you very much. I'll be here all night.

On this day in history…

don't keep looking back
sometimes it's all I can do
I'm trying to stop

2/13/09 was a very bad day last year. A very, very bad day, even though
technically the worst part came at 3 am so it was the 14th. Even so,
2/13 = bad.

Though if you think of it in a glass half full way, hearing a PICU intensivist say, "Don't worry, we only had to do chest compressions for under a minute. He shouldn't have any brain damage" is probably the best thing you can hear, because it means that that miraculous woman just saved your baby's life AND his brain.

Oh, boy.

Suddenly, I understand why I've been so emotional today.

The onslaught of anniversaries is upon us. Did I warn you February would be full of woe-is-me posts? I should have warned you.

2/13/09 – all hell breaks loose, finally someone discovers Ike does not have croup. They discover this when he turns blue and stops breathing. Best friend is at the hospital with me, gets to witness not only the very, very sick baby being rushed away from me, but me, doing a full-on impersonation of every extra on ER when they flip the fuck out and you think, "dude, people don't do that in real life."

We had spent the entire day of Friday the 13th in the ER, and then late that evening Ike-a-saurus was admitted to the hospital. By midnight, he was obviously struggling hard to breathe, and I guess it was around 3 am on the 14th when he was intubated in the PICU and we heard "something is wrong with his airway," for the first time.

My husband and I were allowed in to see him after he stabilized. Nightmare, and yet… not. He was alive. But he was sedated, paralyzed with medication, he had a central line stitched into his leg. A foley catheter, no clothes, a tube down his throat, taped to his face. A machine was breathing for him. Wires wires wires. So many machines – there were two trees of automatically timed syringes pouring drugs into his little body. There was a crash cart in the room. I couldn't reach him over the crib rails – was not allowed to hold him for another 9 days.

I'm not sure how, at the same time, things can be so detailed and so blurry when I remember them. I didn't sleep for weeks, really. I still don't sleep, to be honest. But now is nothing like then. I really fucking didn't sleep. Today, in fact, I had a meeting here at the house to update Ike's medicaid waiver and the two women who came were telling me how much better I look now than when they first met me in the PICU a year ago. (Ha.) I didn't recognize them at all. I know I must have met them. Their names sounded familiar. I think I might have even sat in a conference room with them to sign papers last year. But when they came to the door this morning, I didn't recognize them at all. Useless information an emotionally and physically exhausted brain chose not to register.

It was a bad time. A Bad Time. Those first few days in the PICU were incredibly perilous. On the 17th he went in for his bronchoscopy and we told two things: 1) he would probably need a tracheostomy 2) he might not make it.

At the time, our wonderful community of friends were in full swing, planning bake sales and auctions and all kinds of events to raise money and pour love on Ike and the family. But I had to ask them to please stop for that day. I couldn't have them planning a bake sale if he wasn't going to make it out of surgery. So (I heard this later) many of them came secretly to the hospital to pray for him. There were prayers and vibes and good wishes and lit candles shooting into the universe for our family and our baby from seemingly the entire town – the entire country.

So when I think back on these days last year – the days that started on the 13th and just went on and on, I think of them as the worst days of my life. But there is some conflict, because it is a time in my life when even though I felt broken and lost, I felt most loved.

My life skidded to a complete halt on this day last year. I was going to say it hasn't gotten on track yet, but that's not true. It's just on a different track now.

Obviously, I'm still in kind of a precarious emotional state about things. I'm not sure if anyone ever gets over something like this. Or maybe you do and it just takes time.

Regardless, I may be weepy and shaky to think of this day last year, but it is because of this day last year that my life is so full right now.

February is a fucking brutal month around here.

Whew!

five days since blogging
I'm not sure how that happened
oh, yeah, FML

Whenever we have a bad week around here, I always think, "Well, it could be worse." And it could be. It has been. So I have to try to put things into perspective. But you know, there are levels of shitty. Like the Homeland Security Terror Advisory System. Only it's the Uh-Oh, Watch Out, Shitty Week Advisory System.

In the Uh-Oh, Watch Out, Shitty Week Advisory System, blue is the worst and red is the best.

    BLUE: Blue baby week, not a lot of breathing, emergency tracheostomy

    GREEN: Baby breathing OK, but with oxygen. Trapped at hospital while husband is out of town

    YELLOW: In the hospital, but only for a few days, mostly everyone is tired

    ORANGE: The sun is out, the nurse is at the house, maybe just one doctor's appointment

    PINK: Rosy-cheeked baby, eating well, playing, learning to talk and walk, la la la happy

Last week felt like a green week, but really it fell in between orange and yellow. Ike was sick for most of the week, but we didn't have to go the hospital. Yay! His nurse got sick too, though, boo… so there was a lot of frantic schedule juggling and screamy mommy time as I tried to wrangle sick trachy baby stuff, and two crazy kids.

Ike-a-saurus is MUCH better now, though apparently his funk is actively trying to kill his nurse. Hopefully she'll feel better soon, because damn. Sometimes you forget how much you really and truly depend on other people to get through the day. Not that I forget necessarily, but I don't like to think about it. I want to be independent and worry about my baby myself, and do simple things like pop him in the car and drive to pick up the wee-er one at school. But I've had to learn to give up some of these notions. At least for now.

We DO need help. We DO need nurses. And it's great to have them. I hate that I'm dependent on them, but I imagine this feeling can't be that much different than how a mom feels when she has to drop her kids off at school or with a nanny so she can go to work everyday, you know? I mean I know it's different, but still sort of similar. As much as moms want to be able to do every single thing for their kid, it's an impossible feat. I have a hard time admitting the impossibility of it all, and an ever harder time accepting it.

So last week was shitty. And there was no time for blogging because I was on the phone fighting with people, and on the phone begging people, and suctioning a trach 50,000 times a day, and trying not to be the Worst Mother Ever to the wee one and the wee-er one.

Remember when this blog used to be funny? Sigh.

Go read some of the archives from 2004-2006. Funny stuff in there. Way better than this mopey stuff.

OK. I gotta go try to finish writing a book. Ha, ha, I know.

Lemon out.

Wouldn’t it be ironic to strangle yourself with oxygen tubing? A pictorial of my day.

A pictorial
minute-by-minute account
of my shitty day

Ike-a-saurus is on day five of some kind of sick. Coughing until he barfs, runny nose, good times. No fever, but no appetite either. It's been (barely) manageable up until today when the oximeter went APESHIT CRAZY.

Photo 3(2)
 
Can you see its glowing, evil face?

We are all minding our own business, trying to feed an angry (almost) toddler strawberry pediasure, when suddenly BEEPBEEPBEEPBEEP. It says his O2 sat is 50. If it was 50, he would be blue and almost unconscious. I've seen him at 50 before. And when you're pissed enough to have the monster strength to heave your glass bottle at your mom's coffee mug and break the fucking handle off, you're not at 50.

Photo(38)

Not at 50.

So the nurse and I are all, WTF? (After we are all, "Holy SHIT did you SEE that?") And then I remember the night nurse had had some WTF moments with the blasted oximeter, too (but not with bottles used as deadly weapons).

I know you're supposed to look at your baby to see how he's breathing (duh), but when he's trached and he's sick, and you don't know how well his body has adapted to low sats over time, you need an accurate machine. Right? Right.

It's still early yet, and the medical supply company has lovely banker's hours, so I call the after hours folks and tell them we have a faulty machine and need a new one asap. No one calls me back. My husband calls, and within moments someone claims to be sending a respiratory therapist out with a new machine for the day, while a different model is being shipped to arrive tomorrow. Nice work, hubby, but WTF? No one calls back the mom but the dad gets prompt attention?

Sexism

If only I had this close of a relationship with the medical supply company

The nurse and I decide that rather than arm wrestle each other over who gets to drop kick the pulseox out the window, we will patiently wait for the new one. In the meantime, we get to listen to BEEPBEEPBEEP about 65,000 fucking times, all while worrying, "Is really at 82? On 8 liters of oxygen? Do we take him to the ER? But he looks fine." This goes on ad nauseum. Ike even starts to take the machine's beeping seriously, and as it beeps at him he turns and points at it, all, "Eenh!" which is his polite way of saying, "Shut the fuck up."

Photo 2(3)

Do you hear that? Maybe it's beeping because the probe is in my hand.

So we wait and we wait and we wait and we wait.

RipVanWinkle6

We waited so long Ike's nurse grew a beard.

Of course, six and half hours later no one has shown up with anything. Or called. It is like being stood up for prom, if prom consisted of waiting for someone to show up at your house with potentially life saving equipment for your child. So, not like prom, technically, but still filled with rage and sweating and stress eating.

I call the medical supply company and I'm all, "Um, hey where's that pulseox you promised us?" And they're all, "Hahahaha, what? We can't hear you? You're not a dude." And I'm all, "Shut up, assholes, where's my goddamned pulseox?" And they're all, "Your whowhat?" And I'm all, "MY GD OXIMETER, BITCHES." And they're all, "Oh, right, that's not coming in until tomorrow." And I'm all, "What about the one you said you were bringing over today? To prevent me from having to take my baby to the ER for no reason other than your sorry ass faulty medical equipment?" Them: "Ain't go nothin' for ya." Me: "I'M GOING TO PUNCH YOU IN YOUR GAPING EAR HOLE." Them: "See you tomorrow! Maybe! Except that the RT who's supposed to bring the machine to your house is off tomorrow. Bye now!" And this is when I start smelling burnt toast and having an ice pick stabby feeling in the base of my skull.

Ragestroke

Rage stroke. All the cool kids are having them.

By this time, it's late. Our nurse has gone home for the day, the wee one is home from school, there is an adundance of screaming and crying and shouting and watching of Kipper, just like every other afternoon. Only, with a sick Ike-a-saurus on top of everything, I don't have time for a lot of the shouting part. This is why the wee one goes out in 52-degree weather to ride his scooter. Shirtless.

Once I figure this out and force him back inside (by gesticulating wildly through the window), I decide to try to cook dinner while still keeping tabs on the coughing, de-satting Ike.

Photo(36)

Bad idea

Then I give up on ever feeding anyone again and decide maybe a nice fuzzy-headed baby nuzzle will make everything better.

Photo(37)

Bad idea, II

Finally, my husband gets home from work, he manages to feed all of us, bathe some of us, and allows me to shoot tiny tranquilizer blow darts at others of us. (Kidding about the blow darts. Too bad.)

I get the kids to bed (after the wee-er one demands to wear her "Firetrucks and Ho's" jammies for the second night in a row. (Sigh. She means "ho ho ho's". Santa pants. And a firetruck shirt. I promise)).

And now I am here, typing this out and thinking, "What the hell am I doing? I should be sleeping." So I am off to go try that out. The pulseox is still not working right, and the poor night nurse is fiddling with everything and Ike is trying to sleep amongst the hubbub. It really is a disaster.

Epic_fail

Like this, but with the oximeter on top of the cage and the rest of us inside of it

I wonder what tomorrow will bring? Do I dare to dream it will be a WORKING PULSEOX? I guess only time will tell.