Saturday, April 26, 2008

The end of a punctuation mark

I don't know why we call menstruation periods, but we do. We also give them my favorite moniker Aunt Flo. We women experience this "visitor" about once a month. It is an event we anticipate with part delight and dread. Delight, if we don't want to be pregnant, dread when we realize the inconvenience and discomfort this time causes. As we age, we eventually see the last of Aunt Flo. However in some cases Aunt Flo turns on us.

I am having Aunt Flo evicted on April 30. Auntie Flo turned evil about six months ago, and decided to keep her visits longer, and come more frequently with intermittent "phone calls" (cramping, discomfort, spotting, etc) in between. The doc suggested THE PILL at first because, I am after all 45, and could be peri-menopausal. Maybe a bit of extra estrogen will regulate things out. Let's try this for a few months and we'll see how it works. Ok, I'm game, as it was becoming bothersome. Did those 60 buck a pack pills help one bit?? HECK NO!!

SO we did the vaginal sono-gram. For any of you who have had one of those, you know what I mean when I say, I thought the tool looked like something from one of those sex shops, even more so when they put the little condom like cover on it. It was hard to keep a straight face, OR get that image out of my brain...snicker..its still there. Of course the tool was anything less then pleasurable.

Right away, We discovered the squatters. I'll call them Earleane and Bubbatte. Bubbaette is 3 cm, think golf ball sized hail, and growing happily at the top of my uterus, while Eearlene is smaller, near my cervix and is mean tempered.

My last period, and the week I took the last of those over-priced bp pills was the worse I've ever had. And I had horrible ones as a teen, cramping, throwing up, passing out. I almost called the ER because I'd never gone through pads that quick. In fact Always's "have a happy period" pads failed me. I had to go to the store to buy the super-sized, super-thick overnight pads, cheap store brand.

Ok, I need to take a moment for a side rant. I sure would like to strangle the writer of the slogan "have a happy period". A happy period, HA!!!!! Now if he meant have fun using punctuation, I could understand, but not for a sales gimmick for a product we all wish we didn't have to use.

Back on track now...

True to form, I get a ten day break, then HELLO, back again and its even more "fun" this time.

On Wednesday, I can shout (through my drug induced haze) from the operating table "BEGONE! Ye Evil she-devil, and take your ugly cousins with you!"

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Joy of Motherhood

I actually wrote this a few years ago in honor of a sister in law who was pregnant with her first child. It has been published several times, online, including and in print. As Mother's Day is fast approaching, I thought I'd post it here as well.

Welcome to the sorority of motherhood. You've done the Lamaze, read all the books; you've gazed wistfully at those tiny pairs of favorite slacks hanging in your closet. You've prepared the baby's room and have the doctor's number on speed dial. You think you are all prepared for what lies ahead. But there are a few areas that no book or class can quite prepare you for. As a friend and sorority sister, I am going to clue you in to those little secrets all mothers learn.

Sleep: Pregnancy prepared you for short sleep times. The baby will need to eat or be changed or both every few hours. If you are nursing, you are it. Dad ain't got the equipment, and besides WWIII isn't going to wake him up at 3 am.

Multi-tasking: When the baby gets older, he will have a scary dream, and you will sleepily let him climb in with you. You will soon learn to sleep with an elbow in your ear, a foot in your rib, and a strangely warm but damp feeling creeping underneath you. This will last till grade school.

You have eyes, ears, a mouth and two arms and two legs. Plan on using all of these simultaneously and all with individual tasks. Here is an example.
You are on the phone with the pediatrician (holding the phone with your shoulder), while looking for your car keys, while listening for the dryer to buzz, while zipping the baby's jacket, while keeping him from eating your earring, while opening the door with one foot while keeping the cat outside with the other. You will get very, very good at this.

Romance: The number one reason there are baby-sitters. Even though romance caused the baby, the baby now has the ability to thwart romance at every turn. GO OUT! Or pray that baby will sleep just 15 more minutes.

Listening Skills: Not only will you be finely tuned to the sounds of your baby's voice, you will also be able to pick his cry out from a room full of crying wee-schoolers. WARNING! All small children seem to say "Mommy" almost exactly alike in certain conditions, like at a playground. Don't be surprised to go answer the Mommy call along with ten other moms. Don't worry, the child will sort out the correct Mommy.

Art Appreciation: Your refrigerator is your child's personal art gallery and bragging corner. This will last for at least 18 years. Decorate around it. Toddlers also delight in the wonders of nature. They are master explorers and discoverers. You must lose your fear and repulsion of frogs, bugs, worms, dirt, and undecipherable lumps. Enjoy their curiosity. Try sharing with them the excitement of their find before they eat it.

Education: Read up on everything you can or leave the TV on the Discovery Channel, 24/7. The "Why" stage is coming. You cannot out-why a 4 year old. Every answer prompts a new why question. "I don't know" prompts a why, "I'll tell you later" prompts a why, "Go ask your father" prompts a why question. That is why God invented kindergarten.

Housecleaning: It will be a long, long time before you see your house totally clean for longer then it takes for your child to take a nap. But that's ok, life is short. Dirt will always be here, children grow up. Leave the vacuum in the closet and go play tag with your child.

Entertainment: Telle-tubbies, Barney, Veggie Tales, Bob the Builder. You will get very, very familiar with these characters. You will get very, very familiar with the songs that go along with these characters. You will sing the theme songs to these programs in your sleep, or Barney's "I love you" will keep you up at night. Thankfully your child will eventually outgrow those shows and prefer programs like "Power Rangers" a slight improvement on the intelligence scale. Very slight.

Humor: Don't ever lose it. Children can drive you bananas sometimes, but right before they send you over the edge, they make you laugh at something they say or do. Enjoy every phase of their life. In a blink they are born, the next blink they are walking, the next playing t-ball, the next driving a car. You will laugh, cry, worry, yell, sing, punish, reward. You will have moments of great disappointment and of great pride. All are part of the great institution of motherhood. It's exhausting, never ever boring, but oh so worth it.

Welcome to the club sister.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A bump on the Corner

Yesterday my youngest was at the corner of a local street waiting on a light to change. It turned green, and her side of the traffic started to move. As she was making right hand turn she began that process only to get hit by someone who had run a red light. Thankfully she's just a bit sore from the seat belt, but her little 98 Plymouth Neon didn't fare so well. It lost its entire front bumper assembly. The other driver's insurance should pay the repairs or just total the car.

What gets me is that in the two years we have lived here, my family has been involved in FIVE accidents, none of them our fault. We've witnessed several others. I was nearly t-boned by an SUV who clearly ran another stoplight. He missed me by inches. When I lived in the NC mountains we had two fender benders over an 18 year period. Since we moved to a more metro area the quality of drivers we encounter has plummeted.

I suspect that people are too big in a hurry, too distracted, too rude, and don't remember how to drive defensively. Or they are wannabe crash-em-up derby racers and are practicing. As I am still relatively new to city driving, I am having a hard time adjusting to other people's driving methods. Of course I doubt they could as easily navigate the mountain tracts I used to have to. Narrow curved roads are a whole other beast to conquer, and conquer well.

I wonder if I can bubble wrap our cars? That may keep our cars out of our favorite body repair shop. They are very nice, but I would rather not have to be sending my crashed up vehicles to them.