Your Proverbial Mother Was Right

May 26th, 2008

Today I went back to the doctor’s office about my mysterious illness—the one with the baseball bat and the tailbone hammer. It just wasn’t getting better.

That was at 11:30. That doctor decided I should get a CAT scan, in case something was wrong in some vital organ, namely a reproductive one I don’t ever care to use again (i.e. my uterus). Since it’s SUNDAY, the only place to get a CAT scan is the ER. Here’s how I passed the ensuing NINE HOURS in the ER today:

- Listening to the same poor old woman ask for a glass of water—yes, for all nine hours (she wasn’t allowed to, because of certain tests she had to have)
- Joking with my sister about the doctors’ finding Violet’s twin—a little knot of hair and bone with a face—in the CAT scan
- Noting what a dump the ER is in so many respects
- Using the bathroom once and then eventually having to pee again but holding it (see above)
- Feeding a smuggled-in Violet while wearing a hospital gown … ah, memories
- Counting my blessings, like the one about how I was not having contractions, and the one about how there was no blood gushing out of my mouth
- Holding onto and caressing my cell phone like it was a security blanket
- Eating nothing except the two granola bars Steve smuggled in for me … what’s with our hospital trying to STARVE ME???
- Resisting the urge to push buttons on machines with which I was left completely unsupervised for hours at a time
- Listening to a crazed drunk man having an exchange with the nurses about signing himself out, a decision the nurses forbade
- Listening to another man get scolded for trying to sneak out to have a cigarette as nurses were waiting for his Dilantin levels to stabilize
- Watching my first nurse prove her ineptitude several times in ways I don’t really want to talk about here … All I’ll say is, she repeated this phrase: “It was the wrong anatomy” enough times to take me beyond Mission: Decode into Mission: Escape With My Life.
- Watching the security guards chase out two twenty-something guys and tell them not to come back again … one of them was wearing a Penn State hat, which I wanted to snatch off with the indignant explanation that he was shaming the Lion
- Missing Violet
- Feeling mad that my visit with my sister has been all about my being ill, again
- Eventually finding out nothing is wrong with me. Nothing. At all.
- Wishing TO GOD I had thought of the old warning to always wear nice underwear in case you get in a car accident or, say, end up in an ass-bearing gown in the ER … Of all days to be laundry-down to the old red pants!


May 25th, 2008

We went to the Farmers Market this morning. It was chilly, so we had to dress Vibb in her hobo clothes.

Classic Hobo Look

Your Hobo Look Bores Me

Bodily Function Junction

May 25th, 2008

Right now, these are the sounds coming from the kitchen—See if you can guess what’s happening:

“It’s not dried.”
“Oh my God.”
“Uh! It’s pretty bad.”
“Holy fuck.”
“Don’t go anywhere.”
“Nope, not done.”
“A lot of pinch action.”

Did you guess that Stevel was cleaning Linus’ ass? Congratulations if yes! Once again, as so many times before, a sniff-vestigation revealed that the source of a mysterious and horrifying odor was indeed Linus’ ass. The one he doesn’t clean for himself. That one. Stevel says, “It must be embarrassing, having your roommate clean your ass for you.” But I’m not convinced Linus feels embarrassment like other cats.

Just before this ass-cleaning, I had brought Stevel a clean shirt, because Violet threw up on his shirt … and on his face. It was an astounding amount of vomit, and did I mention it was on his face? Since there wasn’t time for a photo, I made you this diagram.

We had a great luncheon with friends today in Old Town Pasadena. Cheri, Violet, and I met up with Sarah-Architect, Sarah-Novelist, Christina, Rachel, and Erin at Sushi Roku and then did some shopping and had some dessert at Leonidas Chocolates. Delicious food and a wonderful gathering.

I only wish I hadn’t been feeling so poorly. I’m stricken with the third round of the same mysterious ailment since Violet was born … something determined not to be a yeast infection, possibly (but then again probably not) a bladder infection, maybe the result of nursing hormones causing swelling in various vital organs, but really an unknown thing. Basically, it feels like someone took a baseball bat and whammed me across my lower abdomen and pelvic bone, while that someone’s accomplice aimed a hammer at my tailbone and let fly. The doctor suggested a CAT scan, so if it doesn’t go away with antibiotics, I guess I’ll do that. Meanwhile, I’ll just continue taking Ibuprofen and keeping the entire Internet updated about my very personal illness. Sound good?

HMF and Cool Weather

May 25th, 2008

It’s been rainy here, and that’s so weird for this area, this time of year, that I can only assume Abigail caused it by sending Vibble this darling, knit cardigan along with the wish for cool enough weather for her to get to wear it. I should have made it known that there’s no need for cool WEATHER in order for Violet to get to wear warm, cozy things. Our A/C cranks most industriously into Violet’s room, so she can always use warmies to wear when we’re hangin’ out in her digs.

News and Thoughts Today

May 22nd, 2008


There is a new and VERY fun/exciting item in No. 6:

Wii Fit


Yesterday I saw a tourist risking his life on a busy street trying to get the perfect photograph of … a gas-station sign! Yep, that’s right, here in Cal-ee-fornia, we have even higher prices than they do wherever you’re visiting from. Steve said to me recently something I remember Bridget saying once, that the only way our country is going to invest in alternative, more planet-healthy fuels is if gas prices increase past the point where drivers use gas without thinking about it, in order to create opportunities in the marketplace for competitive forms of fuel and transportation to court consumers.


We had a fun visit from our friends the Kadoshes the other night. Take-out and games, including GTA IV. I’ve been seeing a lot of GTA billboards around town, and they sort of screw with my brain. The thought of Niko not being someone who lives in our living room, whose decisions are made by us and us alone is troubling. That there could be OTHER Nikos out there … it’s unacceptable to me, like if I saw a clone of myself cross the street in front of my car or something.


In case you didn’t notice in the video, Aunt Cheri is here. [smile]

It’s like the Post Office Knew I was Coming

May 20th, 2008

Seriously. How could I not purchase these?

Why I Don’t Like Squirrels

May 18th, 2008

[1] They are vermin
[2] They have claws
[3] They hiss and are cranky
[4] They run in front of cars
[5] They infest

Domestic Bliss

May 16th, 2008

I’m sitting here at my desk. Stevel is at his desk, too, behind me. Vibble’s asleep in her swing in between us. She just farted in her sleep and then made a little gasping sound, and Linus, asleep in the sun under her swing, woke up briefly to look around for the source of the noise.

Steve’s working from home today. This is because we had a pediatrician appointment. Despite her incredible and irresistible chubbiness, the kid weighs not quite 12 pounds. This is a healthy weight, but we had estimated higher.

She has two new Snoopy Band-Aids on her thighs. The shots were clearly painful but, as Stevel points out, not as painful as polio.

The doctor asked if she changes the position of her head when she sleeps. Um. Yes. Because she is a Steveling who makes little anxiety sounds in her sleep and moves her head back and forth, back and forth, thereby creating, maintaining, and always growing this astonishing bald spot on the back of her head.

I don’t mean to imply that Stevel has a bald spot, just that she, like him, sleeps in an anxious state. Like him, she can also be difficult to awaken, unless she is actually not all that asleep, in which case, she’s happy to abandon sleeping in order to talk to us instead. Like when she’s fallen dead asleep at midnight and I tenderly lay her in her bassinet, and her little eyes pop open and then promptly squeeze almost shut to make room for her big baby-grin, and she laughs up at me, and from the other side of our bed Stevel says, “What’s up with Violet?”

In other news, I had a decent Mother’s Day. Vibble gave me two diaper bombs of baby crap. Thoughtful.

Her ears are getting bigger, by the way. And sticking out. Somehow she is still the damn cutest baby around. Everywhere we go, we are set upon by admiring women and men alike. Vibble is charming and grins on cue. Stevel finds it most disturbing to be out someplace holding her and turn around to unexpectedly find two or three middle-aged women bent toward his shoulder-level. Recently in a restaurant, this happened no fewer than three times. When we’re out in public, we hear frequent exclamations of her cuteness. I keep trying to teach her to thank these people, but she is a rude baby. Very rude.

And now a glimpse into our domestic bliss.

Off the Grid

May 11th, 2008

Happy Mothers Day to all mothers. Stevel, Violet and I will be enjoying a day together tomorrow with cell phones turned off, Internet unplugged, and ringers turned off on the house-phones. Don’t hesitate to stop by, but don’t bother trying to reach us electronically. We’ll be living the prairie life. Except with Mario Kart. And a microwave. Oh, and toilets.

Dry Ice, and Slimey the worm is a muppet

May 10th, 2008

Violet has a new little nickname around here. That nickname is “Slimey,” and we’ve taken to calling her that as a result of her new favorite pastime: sucking on her hands and rubbing the spit all over her face. She sucks on her hands so much that I fear she may eventually dissolve the hands altogether and wind up with wrist-stubs in their place. For now, the main effects of this obsession are (1) her hands are always wet and cold, and when I’m nursing her, she likes to run them all over my warm belly and chest while she enjoys a hearty meal and giggles at my misfortune, and (2) absolutely everything fabric within two feet of her mouth is soaked at all times.

I can’t hear the name “Slimey” without thinking about the Sesame Street character by that name. From his meaningful relationship with Oscar the Grouch, to his extreme adventures with his fire-fighter girlfriend, to his six-week journey into space in season 29, Slimey is a likeable friend and heroic role model.

And no, I didn’t just “know” those random facts about Slimey. I found them here: The rocket was launched using Snuffleupagus’ trunk

In other news, we just enjoyed a four-day visit from some Georgians in the Edgar family. Vibble met her Great-grandmother, my Nana, who made the trip escorted by my sweet-hearted cousin Chelsea. The trip was an 80th birthday gift for Nana from Chelsea and her sister, Sarah-Nicole, and it was wonderful to see Violet and her great-grandmother meet. One highlight of the trip, for me, was hearing some of my Nana’s stories about her life, including what it was like to grow up as a first-generation American, her parents and sister having sailed from Czechoslovakia before she was born, and what it was like dating and marrying in the 1940s. Her husband died of cancer in the 1960s, and she raised their five children by herself. “I never felt sorry for myself,” she said, “I felt sorry for Bill [her husband], because there were so many more good things than bad that followed, and he missed them. He was cheated.” Of course, we heard all about when her five children were babies and what it was like in those days to care for an infant. Uncle Don apparently liked to throw his baby bottle out of his bed, so there was often BROKEN GLASS to be cleaned up off of the floor.

I also got a kick out of spending time with Chelsea. I remember meeting her when she was around two weeks old. We called her “Lady Poo” because of her smelly diapers. (Sorry, Chels, but you knew I’d have to find a way to get that out to the Internet!) Now she is a sophomore at Georgia State with a HOT Navy boyfriend and a level head on her shoulders. She’s studying accounting, but before you go imagining her at a desk, she has no intentions of working in an office. She thinks she maybe wants to do investigative accounting work and TRAVEL as much as possible. She’s a sweet, generous, generally happy girl. A bright light to be around.

In other-OTHER news, I woke up a week ago Friday to find THIS BOX OF AMAZINGNESS outside our front door.

Pause and think about it a minute. There was a CHEESECAKE on DRY ICE at my FRONT DOOR. I had to blink a few times to make sure I was awake, because THIS IS WHAT I DREAM ABOUT AT NIGHT! It was a thank-you gift from Sarah-Architect’s brother and sister-in-law for our having helped her with her surgery complication nightmares. Of course, there was no need to thank us—Sarah’s been there for us many times, too, and that’s what friends are for. No need … but plenty of enjoyment of this cheesecake! Meanwhile, my dad has sent us some Chicago deep-dish pizzas, just as a treat. They are so delicious and sweet, and the crust is so flakey, Stevel calls them “Pizza Cake.” As a result of these deliveries, I have reached two conclusions:

(1) Anyone can send food to my door anytime they want, and
(2) Dry ice is the shit.

And now I urge you to make sure your bomb shelters are well stocked with canned goods and drinking water, because Violet LaVietes has not pooped for three days! When it happens, it’s going to be explosive enough to level Los Angeles.

Dani Update

May 5th, 2008

Dani had surgery yesterday and came through it just fine. She’s not likely to have any visible scars. She’s headed home today to start her recovery.


May 4th, 2008

My niece Dani is not feeling too great right now. Dani was riding an ATV with her dad yesterday when they had an accident. She had to be helicopter-flown to Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital, where she is staying now.

Things that are fine:
- her brain
- her spine
- her vision

These were all concerns, and we are relieved to know they’re OK.

Things that aren’t fine:
- her nose (broken)
- her cheekbone (broken)
- the bones in her eye-orbits (broken)
- her lip (split open)

She is swollen and black-eyed. Her face hit the handlebars pretty hard. She’s going to need surgery tomorrow, likely involving a plate in her face to make sure the bones heal right. She’s in a lot of pain, and though they’re giving her drugs for it, the drugs also make her sick.

Dani’s five years old. She has her parents with her, of course. Erica is having some trouble seeing her baby sister so banged up and upset. Everyone is. It’s hard to see this in a positive light right now, although we’re all obviously glad she’s alive and that she’s going to come through it with no lasting repercussions. It’s just a lot of hurt for such a little one.


May 4th, 2008

Of all the kid gear, which item do you most wish came in an adult size?

[ ] play gym
[ ] baby bathtub with temperature monitor
[ ] swing
[ ] bouncer
[ ] stroller
[ ] other