Sunday, May 24, 2009

Holiday weekend quatrain

1. B had to work Saturday, leaving me solo parenting for the day, but we both have today and tomorrow off. Two day weekend, yippee!

You know, that last sentence encapsulates almost perfectly why I'm tired so much of the time.

2. We broke out the wading pool today, to K's great delight. Tomorrow, we're meeting a preschool friend at a local park that has a little model town that kids can ride their tricycles around in and a water spray pole for hot days. Summer is icumen in.

3. We finally dug the basement out tonight, which actually took much less time than I had anticipated. And we have achieved an incredible milestone - all of the books in our house are on shelves! Mind you, I wouldn't want you to look too closely at those shelves since their lack of order is a disgrace upon the name of our double M.L.I.S household, but still. All out of boxes! It's been years since that's been true, like since before K was born.

This, of course, is our cue to move again.

4. Things are pretty much set with both workplaces for maternity leave. I'm working at the library until the first weekend in June, when they will give me a nice little baby shower (in combination with an appreciation ceremony for the volunteer with fatal liver cancer... just a bit of mood whiplash there). My last day at the online job is June 12. I will be officially quitting, but have been assured that there is enough turnover that it shouldn't be a problem for me to get my job back whenever I'm ready to come back.

Part of me likes the idea of the more relaxed lifestyle of only having one job and being able to be home with the baby most of the time. But I also liked our growing savings account this past year. I guess I'll know better what I want after the baby is actually here.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Lily got home from the vet last Friday night (in a very long involved saga that involved trying to pick her up between trekking between multiple pharmacies trying to get the antibiotic prescribed by our pediatrician after K spiked a fever not two hours after said to the pediatrician on the phone, "The urine culture from last week was positive? That's funny, she hasn't been showing any symptoms." The story culminates with me travelling 15 miles to the suburbs to a 24 hour Walgreens at 11:30 at night, but really, it was more frustrating than interesting).

Anyway, Lily is sporting a lovely cyberpunk-style belly scar, shaved forelegs that give her a bit of a poodle look and a flexible blue plastic collar around her neck that makes the fashion statement "Look! It doesn't need to be raining for me to wear a raincoat indoors!" She's spending a lot of time sleeping and definitely isn't her old self yet. She used to leap mountain-goat like up the tall cat tree in the living room, and yesterday, I watched her do the undignified cat-splat against the arm of the couch when she tried to jump on it. But she is certainly acting much better than she was before the surgery. I can't imagine how much pain she must have been in, poor kitty. She is clearly happy to be home, and was happy to see us until we started holding her down to give her medication twice a day (antibiotics and a pain killer, although a couple times she didn't get the pain killer because we decided any cat that could fight that hard and run away that fast clearly wasn't in that much pain). We're happy she's home too.

K, our other household sickie, is on the mend after a feverish Saturday. I would like to note that the urine culture that came back Friday was from urine taken the previous Friday, a day when she seemed a little sick, but well enough that I would have just waited to see what developed if it hadn't been Friday and I wanted to avoid dealing with trying to treat a sick child on the weekend. Ha. Anyway, I suspect this is just the previous UTI that didn't get killed completely dead, so hopefully the stronger antibiotics will take care of it. Having dealt with the scourge of the recurrent UTI myself, I would give quite a lot to spare K that quite literal pain in the butt.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Good and bad


B and I saw Star Trek on Tuesday. It was freakin' awesome. I think I would have been deeply conflicted about what it did to Trek canon when I was 16, but that was before my affection for Star Trek was stomped on, ground into tiny pieces and fed to crocodiles by the never-ending parade of mediocre series that followed over the next decade. I think any loyalty I had to Star Trek canon ended at about the third episode of Voyager, because if canon is going to include that? By all means, feel free to change it.*

What I cared about was that it was very well-cast with actors who did a great job recreating the classic characters, it was exciting and it was interesting. Some of the action scenes towards the end were a bit overbright and choppy for my taste (although I'm a bit oversensitive to that sort of thing) and the implausibility of the science was migraine-inducing, even by Star Trek standards, but I went in with my brain mostly turned off anyway and I didn't care. It was fun to watch and I would gladly see what J.J. Abrams would do with a sequel.

*I remember the precise moment I was really, truly Over Star Trek. It was when I was in grad school watching tv in the middle of the day and over the credits, I heard an announcer say, "Tonight on Star Trek Voyager : a transporter accident turns Neelix and Tuvok into one creature - Tuvix!" It took me several minutes to decide I hadn't hallucinated hearing that.


Lily is currently at the vet, recovering from surgery to remove a string she swallowed that got hooked around her tongue but managed to make its way down to her colon, cutting up her small intestines in the process. Ack. Poor little kitty. They sewed her up as best they could and she seems to be doing fairly well. We got a call this morning saying that she had a bit of a fever, but cats usually get fevers after this sort of abdominal surgery and they haven't called since, so she presumably hasn't taken any major turns for the worse.

I'm trying not to obsess too much about how hideously expensive this is going to be. Because of course this is exactly what we needed only a month before we have a baby and I stop working for two months, cutting our income by a third: emptying our savings account! For the cat! I mean, I really believe that getting a pet involves being willing to pay for reasonable health care (I wouldn't pay for cancer treatments, but I do feel things that are quite treatable and within our means should be done and this qualifies), but I have to admit, when B took the call from the vet this morning, while most of me was concerned about Lily's health, there was a little part of me that kept thinking, "She had better make it, because if there's anything worse than paying all that money, it's paying all that money for a dead cat."

Sigh. This is going to make life difficult. There are only three things we still need for the baby: diapers, car seat and bouncy seat, and we should be able to still afford them if we're frugal in other areas. But I had been trying to figure out what to do with K over the summer, since we were concerned about the effects of giving her a baby brother and yanking her out of her routine and away from her friends all at the same time. But I don't see how we can afford to continue to send her to her current preschool if I'm not working without dipping into savings, savings we no longer have. Argh.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Life is life, with parentheticals

We're all going along with life at the moment, in the general round of work/school/come home/go to sleep/get up and do it all again. I felt a little badly this morning when K was so surprised that neither B nor I was going to work today. It will be nice this summer to have both of us home all weekend to provide a little more continuity and relaxation in our schedule(B's library doesn't have Saturday hours in the summer and I'll be on maternity leave), although I suspect the tiny detail of having a newborn will cramp our style more than weekend work hours ever could.

We had a pleasant day today. B's uncle is in town for a conference, so he came to spend the afternoon with us today. We all went to a local park and fed bread to the geese and their adorable goslings, then watched K happily run around in the sunshine. Then we came home and I set K up with warm water and lots of bubbles in the sink so she could wash her rubber duckies (mind you, the reason the duckies were being washed was that they had mold in them after spending a winter in the garage with the insufficiently washed-out wading pool, and when I told her she couldn't play with them yet because they needed to be washed, I meant with bleach. Ah well, as long as she wasn't sucking water out of them, they weren't that hazardous). I left K happily quacking at her flock of biohazard ducks while I had a nice long conversation with my mother. Quiet and pleasant all around.

We are all healthy for the moment, although I am studiously ignoring a suspiciously sore throat and drippy nose in the hopes that the Christian Scientist approach of keeping my thoughts on higher plains will do more for preventing disease than anything else we've tried (mostly cursing and complaining a lot, which I guess is the approach of keeping our thoughts on lower planes).

I am still thoroughly bitten by a swarm of sewing bugs. Hopefully this week I can get some pictures up to show the mildly insane scope of it all.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I've been having a problem with Dollhouse lately.

It's not that I don't like it, or don't think it's good. The first few episodes were rather bleah, but once it hit its stride, it showed all the Whedon brilliance you would expect. And let's face it, the first few episodes of Buffy showed a lot more potential than quality (life-sized Xander-molesting insect teacher, anyone?).

It's that it's a show about rape. I don't feel like some do that it glamorizes rape, or does anything but condemn it, but that's what the show is about. And that's just too heavy a topic for me right now. These days, I'm just not finding myself wanting to watch things that are grim and morally complex. The economy is the pits, the environment is circling the drain, I'm 11 million months pregnant and a walking petri dish of disease. In true introvert fashion, my reaction to this sort of stress is to retreat to my cave and think about butterflies and flowers. None of this adds up to wanting to pull out old episodes of Battlestar Galactica to rewatch.

Instead, I'm really enjoying Castle, watching old episodes of Psych and Monk and really hoping that Chuck gets renewed. The common thread here is that these are all shows that have enough mystery and intrigue to be interesting, but are funny and make virtually no emotional demands on the viewer. I can watch them, enjoy them and then leave them entirely behind without a thought. Food Network gets pretty heavy rotation for these reasons as well. Dollhouse, on the other hand, I watch every Friday but never bother to rewatch episodes. A couple times, it's even taken us a couple days to get around to watching the week's episode. I find myself hoping in a vague way that it will get renewed, but I suspect I won't be hugely upset if it isn't. Because emotionally, it's like swallowing a gigantic lead weight at the end of the week.

So one more episode and then I'll crawl back in my cave for a while to indulge in utterly mindless entertainment. I'm starting to remember why it was so nice to stop working at the end of April last time. It was largely the physical exhaustion, but I don't have much mental function left these days either. I'm planning to work at the library until the beginning of June and, well, I still need to e-mail my supervisor at the online job and tell her I'm pregnant. Sigh. It's just so easy to let that slide, and I keep hoping I'll be able to find out if I'm going to be offered a contract for next year soon so I know if I even need to worry about whether I should quit or not.

Friday, May 1, 2009

It wasn't so much the fact that I'm on my fourth cold in five weeks, or that this one involves the sore throat from hell, enough green goop in my lungs to make the props department at Nickelodeon jealous and periodic loss of voice.

No, it was the realization yesterday afternoon that what I thought was an eye reddened by hayfever was hurting, not itching, and allergy eye would probably be affecting both of my eyes equally instead of just the one giving me a distinctive Popeye squint. What I had here was pinkeye. THAT was the final sour cherry on top of the pathetic sundae that is my health lately.

I... don't even know what to write any more that isn't plaintive mewling about the general level of disease in this house. I mean, I could talk about swine flu (which is to say, write about the general level of disease outside our house), I suppose, but I'm mostly avoiding the majority of coverage on it on the theory that if Philadelphia turns into a danger zone we'll be warned about it, and in the meantime all reading about it would do is make me engage in obsessive pregnant hormonal fretting (and given that I'm about to have a newborn and have no choice about giving birth in a hospital, it's really best that I avoid that avenue of thought unless I need to).

Most of what I'm doing these days (besides oozing from various orifices) is sewing. Lots and lots of sewing, all by hand. I'm not sure why nesting for me should take the form of patiently sewing millions of stitches by hand, but I find it soothing, it can be done while I languish on the couch and it's certainly useful. So far, I've made: three dresses for K, a new sling, a cover for the cushion to our papasan chair, covers for new pillows for the rocking chair and am currently at work on some diaper liners. My realistic goals for before the baby is born are a few more dresses and a bunch of cloth wipes. My hormone-fueled not-so-realistic goals involve elaborate hand-sewn toys and swaddling the house in cloth. After I finish gathering lots of twigs and leaves and arrange them to my satisfaction, of course.