Thursday, September 28, 2006

More useless information

Sandra posted this meme. Thank goodness she did, otherwise this would be another bitch-fest post. I can hear your sighs of relief from up here.

1. Do you still have tonsils?

Yep. And my appendix, too.

2. Would you bungee jump?

Not on your life.

3. If You Could Do Anything In The World For A Living What Would It Be?

Professional student and published writer.

4. How many tattoos do you have?

None. Yet. But I want to get a Jizo tattoo at some point. I love the symbolism of him.

5. Your favorite fictional animal?


6. One person that never fails to make you laugh?

My friend Caragh. Who lives in Ireland, dammit.
And Eddie Izzard. Sadly, I don't actually know him.

7. Do you consider yourself well organized?

Ahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Um, no.

8. Any Addictions?

Coffee. Dark chocolate, especially if it's from these guys.

9. From what news source do you receive the bulk of your news?

CNN (I have the hots for Anderson Cooper), NPR and The New Yorker.

10. Would you rather go to a carnival or circus?

Carnival. Circuses are smelly, I always feel bad for the animals and there are clowns there. I re-e-e-e-e-eally don't like clowns.

11. When you were twelve years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Elizabeth I.
Second choice: veterinarian.

12. Best Movie You've Seen This Year?

Ummmm... I have no idea. I don't watch that many movies and none of them have stuck with me enough to say they were the best. I am highly (ha! highly) enjoying season one of Weeds, though.

13.Favorite alcoholic drink

Good red wine
Gin & Tonic

14. What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Nurse the baby.

15. Siblings?

One hippy dippy, earthy crunchy sister.

16. What is the best thing about your job?

The spontaneous hugs and kisses.

17. Have you ever gone to therapy?

Oh yes. I should probably start going again.

18. If you could have one super power what would it be?

That one the chick on Bewitched had - how cool would it be to just wiggle your nose and have shit be done? Really fucking cool, that's how cool.

19. Do you own any furniture from Ikea?

I do - my bed is from IKEA. It's the only place we could find an affordable platform bed. I luuuuurve IKEA.

20. Have you ever gone camping?

Yes. And I never will again. I hated everything about it.

21. Gas prices! First thought?

Hey, they're coming down.

22. Your favorite cartoon character?

Bugs Bunny. He never fails to make me laugh.

23. What was your first car?

1980 (I think) Subaru GL coupe. Brown. Five speed. I loved that car and abused it mercilessly.

24. Do you think marriage is an outdated ritual?


25. The Cosby Show or the Simpsons?

Neither. I think I'm the only person in America who doesn't like The Simpsons.

26. Do you go to church?


27. What famous person would you like to have dinner with?

Henry VIII. I have a bit of an obsession with him.

28. What errand/chore do you despise?

I hate all of them equally. First thing I'd do if I hit the lottery is hire a cleaning service to come in every day. I HATE doing chores. Hate it.

29. First thought when the alarm went off this morning?

Ugh, I have definitely not had enough sleep. Again.

30. Last time you puked from drinking?

College, probably.

31. What is your heritage?

Peruvian, German, English, Scottish and a tiny bit Irish. Mostly Peruvian.

32. Favorite flower?

Old-fashioned roses, the kind that smell divine and get all blowsy when they open. Lily-of-the-valley. Lilac. Johnny Jump Ups and violets.

33. Disney or Warner Bros?

Warner Brothers, hands down.

34. What is your best childhood memory?

We used to live in England. My father taught at a college in Leicestershire and he had to go to this very small castle (they really are all over the place there) to meet with someone. I was left to wander the grounds. It was a very misty day, typically English, and I walked thru the ruins of this castle, waiting and hoping that a rift in the fabric of time would open up and let me through. I used to hope for that on a regular basis. I had an over-active imagination as a child. I was always wandering off, hoping to get taken back in time.

Hmm. That's not too cheerful, is it?

35. Your favorite potato chip?

Ketchup chips. I can't find them anywhere down here.
Terra Chips. Mmmm. Good stuff.

36. What is your favorite candy?

Besides those chocolates referenced above, I'm very partial to sour candy - chewy Sweet Tarts, Lik-m-Aid, Pixie Stix, that sort of thing.

37. Do you burn or tan?

Tan. It's the Peruvian thing.

38. Astrological sign?


39. Do you own a gun?


40. What do you think of hot dogs?

Sometimes you just have to eat one.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Um, hello?

Remember me?
Name's julia. I used to post here regularly.
Now? Not so much.
Well, there's this baby, the Bug. She cries a lot. And there's her big sister, the Boo. She's on a nap strike. And O (who just turned 12 on the 25th), who has lots of homework and soccer practises and games and, and, and.... And then TCBIM is working a lot - good, because we need the money. Bad, because I feel like a single parent.

So, yeah.

I'm still around. Just kind of overwhelmed.

And next week? When TCBIM is gone? My mother will be here. I'm glad she's coming because I'll definitely need the help, but oh. my. god. I haven't spent this much time with my mother since...1988.

The most interesting news, though, is that my sister and her girlfriend are seriously thinking about joining a commune. More on that one later....

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

This post contains Too Much Information

The Bug has thrush. Rather, had thrush. I took acidophilus like it was going out of style and it seems to have cleared up. I think she has a yeast infection on her little butt, though, because she has a rash from hell and the Desitin isn't touching it.

I also have a whopper of an infection. It's disgusting. I got the tube o' stuff and have been using it, but now I'm bleeding. Which is decidely Not Right, since I'm breastfeeding exclusively and the baby is only 6.5 weeks old.

I called the midwife today, thinking the bleeding and yeast infection were one and the same and she insists they're not. So, what the fuck? She claims it's residual post-partum bleeding, but that seems really odd.

I've had four babies and this is the first time this has happened.

And the Bug? Still crying like a son of a bitch. I tried the baby burrito thing that someone suggested. Tonight, I'm leaving. TCBIM will be home in half an hour and I'm going out. I don't give a shit where I go, but if I don't leave, someone's going to get hurt. I don't know what to do for her. She just screams and screams and screams and I'm about to lose my fucking mind. Last night, she screamed from 2 a.m. until almost 4 a.m..

To make my life even better, I found out that TCBIM has to go to Philadelphia for a week, on October 2nd. Fanfuckingtastic. Can't hardly wait.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Drink up, me hearties, yo ho!

It's International Talk Like A Pirate Day.

Edited to add:

My pirate name is:

Black Jenny Rackham

Like anyone confronted with the harshness of robbery on the high seas, you can be pessimistic at times. You have the good fortune of having a good name, since Rackham (pronounced RACKem, not rack-ham) is one of the coolest sounding surnames for a pirate. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

Sunday, September 17, 2006

When in doubt, meme.

Stolen from Badger.

1. If you make sweet tea, or your favorite style, do you use Luzianne, Lipton or something else?
I use Barry's Gold from Ireland or Twinings Lady Grey for hot tea.
Iced is usually Rose's and I sweeten it with simple syrup because I'm a bit OCD and I don't like grains of sugar sitting in the bottom of my glass. And it's definitely not sweet enough to qualify as sweet tea.

2. What brand of toilet paper do you buy and is it the larger rolls or regular?
Scott. 1000 sheets per roll.

3. Which brand of bath soap do you use? Body wash or bar?
Dove Sensitive Skin bar soap. Because, goddammit, I am a sensitive, fragile flower.

4. What cereal do you buy for yourself?
Steel cut oatmeal (seriously) or Grape Nuts. Once in a while, I'll sneak a box of Captain Crunch with Crunchberries. My tastebuds love it, but the roof of the mouth? Not so much.

5. What brand of dishwasher detergent do you use? Liquid or tablets?
I use Joy or Dawn. I AM the dishwasher - I don't need no steenkin' tablets.

6. What’s your favorite fruit?
Summer? Plums, peaches, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, canteloupes.
Fall/Winter? MacIntosh, Gala, Cameo, Pink Lady, Fuji or Granny Smith apples. Forelle pears. Cranberries.

7. Which brand of laundry detergent do you use?
Liquid All HE.

8. Do you like chocolate?
Does a bear shit in the woods? Is the Pope Catholic?

9. Are you right or left-handed?
Right. The things I can do with my left hand shouldn't be repeated on a family blog.

10. Do you still write checks or use a debit card?
Both. Debit card more than checks, though.

I'm tagging whoever wants to play along.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Sleep Strike

I don't know who's child this is (and I'll take the picture down if I need to) but holy SHIT, I need this t-shirt.

The Boo is no longer napping. At all. This does not mean that she doesn't NEED a nap, because, boy howdy, does she ever. Come 2:30 in the afternoon and she is on full-out crank mode. I'm thinking of renting her out to the fire department or maybe the local Air Force Base as an air raid siren.

The Bug isn't any better. For the last two days, she hasn't slept more than 20 minutes at a stretch. Between this and the continuing projectile pooping, I'm a jangling bundle of rapidly fraying nerves.

I can't get anything done. I felt like I really accomplished something today because I washed the dishes. Whoop-dee-fucking-doo. Someone is always crying here (half the time, it's me). I snapped this afternoon and put the girls in the car and went for an hour drive. The Boo was fine, ate some crackers, looked out the window and babbled away. The Bug slept. For 30 whole minutes. The remaining 30 were spent screaming her head off as I tried to get back home.

Is it illegal to dope them up with Benedryl?


I know some of you are more experienced with Bloglines than I am so I'm hoping one of you can tell me what the hell is going on with mine. I have little exclamation points next to 90% of the blogs I'm subscribed to, telling me that bloglines can't find the feed.

If blogger has switched me to fucking beta automatically, I'm going to be pissed off. Is there a way to tell that?

I'm really starting to dislike blogger.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Nine Years

A couple of weeks ago, Sandra Miller wrote a post about her son, Joseph and their fairly unshakeable belief that there will be a cure for diabetes soon. I didn't comment at the time because I just don't share those beliefs.

Nine years ago today, O was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. The details of that time are horrific and still make me cry, all these years later. For over 8 months, I knew something was wrong. She wasn't talking much. I couldn't get her toilet trained at all. She slept all the time - very unusual for a kid a little over 2 years old.

I kept going to the doctor's with her. They said she probably had some learning delays, so they put her in Early Intervention. They said she probably had an immature bladder and to not push the toilet training too hard. They said she probably just needed more sleep than most kids.

And then she stopped walking. She'd sit on the floor at my feet and beg to be picked up. When we went outside, she'd walk for a few steps and then turn to me, put her arms up in the air and cry to be carried. She cried a lot those last few weeks before she was diagnosed. I cried a lot, too. I cried because she just wasn't herself. I cried because I was terrified. I cried because I looked at my gorgeous little girl and realized that she was nearly see-through. I cried because, at almost three years old, she only weighed 23 pounds.

After weeks of pushing the doctors to do something, ANYthing, to figure out what was wrong with her, someone at the practise finally listened to me. They did a urine test and sent me home, thinking, I'm sure, that I was just another paranoid mother, overreacting. I had no more walked in the door from the appointment than they were on the phone, telling me to get back there immediately.

And so began our lives. A new life of shots and log books and blood sugar tests. A life alien to the one I expected for my child, but still, a life. A life full of soccer and friends and sleepovers and makeup and clothes and crushes on boys. A life lived in spite of diabetes. A life lived TO spite diabetes.

For the first year after her diagnosis, she saw Dr. Craig Alter. He's a fantastic endocrinologist who has since gone on to head pediatric endocrinology at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. At the time, he told me that he firmly believed that there would be a cure within 5 years. We've almost doubled that time span and there is still no cure. When those five years had passed and there was no talk of a cure, I was furious. Furious that there was no cure but even more furious that the doctors had gotten my hopes up.

That, to me, is the cruelest thing. Why would you tell someone that you think there will be a cure for this disease when you don't know? Why would you get a parent's hopes up, only to have them dashed again and again? Why would you tell a CHILD that you believe that there will be a cure in X number of years? It's inexcusable.

I'm not saying that there shouldn't be a hope for a cure - of course there should be. But there shouldn't be a timeline. Sooner is better, but saying it will definitely happen in five, ten, fifteen years is unbelievably cruel.

This is why I've never talked of when there will be a cure with O. We keep up to date on the latest research and we talk about what it will mean for her and other people with diabetes. We talk about all the famous people who have diabetes - at camp this year, she met Will Cross, the man with type 1 who climbed Mt. Everest and she thought he was just about the coolest guy ever. She cheered on Jason Johnson, a pitcher (briefly) for the Red Sox, who has type 1. She's a big fan of Gary Hall, Jr., the Olympic swimmer. I want her to see what she can do, in spite of her diabetes. I want her to see how far she can go, how she doesn't have to let this disease shape her life.

But I will not hold out false hope for a cure. I don't want to do that to my daughter.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Because getting WIC isn't embarassing enough

Because we're broker than a broke thing at the Brokedown Palace, I checked into WIC. We qualified. I'm not thrilled about this, but we certainly could use the assistance. I hate taking handouts, but I'd also hate to starve and/or lose my house. So I swallowed my pride and went to the WIC office today.

While I was there, answering questions about our eating habits and getting information on CSAs and food share programs, The Bug decided to have a nice, wet-sounding poop - the kind that breastfed babies are notorious for having. Loud, Tiajuana two-step type poops. I got out the little mat and laid her on the table and took off her diaper. Naturally, she decided she wasn't done and she pooped again. And again. And again. And then one more time, only this time, she added a fancy, projectile-poop finish, christening her (white - naturally) outfit, the mat, the table and my leg. Fan. Fucking. Tastic.

The Boo is standing next to me during all of this saying "Ewww. Baby pooped, mama. Pie pooped." I'm dying. The WIC counselor was laughing her head off. I was, too, but in more of an if-I-don't-laugh-I'm-going-to-cry kind of way. A whole packet of baby wipes, a two-inch stack of paper towels and half a container of Clorox wipes later and I'm on my red-faced way. *sigh*

We're going to be getting 12 gallons of milk a month. Twelve. That's a shitload of milk. Do you know if you can freeze milk? We'll never drink that much.

Did you know that you don't get any fresh fruits, vegetables or meats on WIC? You get canned carrots and canned tuna and that's it. You get cereal, a shitload of milk, eggs, cheese and peanut butter, but no meat, no fruit and no veggies. Maybe the thought process is that by providing those things, it frees up a bit of money in order for you to buy meats, fruits and veggies. I think it would be better to pay for that, though. Then you'd be sure that kids were eating it.

I hate that I'm on WIC. Really hate it. It's embarassing. It makes me feel poor. Really poor, bordering on destitute. There's something debasing about taking public assistance that makes me feel beaten down, like I need to avert my eyes from everyone when I go to the market, like the cashiers and people behind me in line are judging me because I'm on WIC. I wish there was a way to make it a bit more discreet, but you have these big checks that you have to sign in front of the cashier. At least food stamps are on a card that looks like a debit card now. Most people would never know that you were using food stamps, but WIC is painfully obvious.

So, yeah. Another body blow to my self-esteem. Just what I need.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Ex-hole, part whatever in a continuing series

O's father called her tonight. He hasn't called her in over a month but now he wants to see her this weekend. She didn't want to talk to him and when she said she had to go, he got angry with her. "Oh, you don't want to talk to me now?" She doesn't want to go there this weekend, either. I don't think she has any desire to see him at all any more.

She started crying when she hung up the phone. She said he was going to call back tonight to talk to her and she's freaking out a bit over it. I told her that she at least has to tell him that she doesn't want to come over this weekend but that she'd write him a letter to tell him why. Hopefully that will be easier for her. She can't say it over the phone for some reason. I think she's afraid he'll start yelling at her.

I don't really know what to do. I'm not going to make her go if she doesn't want to, but I'm also going to have her tell him that she doesn't want to go and why. I think she should.

I just wish the fucker would stay gone instead of pulling this re-appearing act every now and again. It drives me crazy, but it really sends O into an emotional spiral. It sucks and I can't make it better for her. I hate that.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Cruel and Inhuman

So, I'm not a big hockey fan, but TCBIM is (surprise, surprise, he's Canadian - I think it's a law up there). He frequently checks the Boston Bruins website and today, he informs me that the Bruins have signed a new player. His name?

Wacey Rabbit.

I'm not kidding.

Can you imagine going thru life with that name? I think I'd kill my parents if they'd given me that name.

It's a good thing he's a big boy. He can beat the snot out of anyone who mocks him. And I'd imagine there was some mocking going on.

Wacey Rabbit. At least he's not from Walla Walla, Washington.

Friday, September 08, 2006

I'm an INFJ

You Are An INFJ

The Protector

You live your life with integrity, originality, vision, and creativity.
Independent and stubborn, you rarely stray from your vision - no matter what it is.
You are an excellent listener, with almost infinite patience.
You have complex, deep feelings, and you take great care to express them.

You would make a great photographer, alternative medicine guru, or teacher.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

God Bless The Great Indoors

(Name that tune.)

This is why I don't take the girls outside more often.

  • Gather up The Bug and The Boo.
  • Get stroller out of trunk.
  • Chase The Boo, who has run into the yard.
  • Get sling out of back seat.
  • Get Bug into sling.
  • Chase The Boo, who has run into the yard.
  • Try to get The Boo to climb into the stroller.
  • Fail.
  • Heave The Boo into the stroller while trying not to drop The Bug out of the sling.
  • Sweat.
  • Find pony tail holder in car and pull hair back.
  • Adjust The Bug, who has squirmed her head out of the sling.
  • Start down the driveway.
  • Get barked at by the dog, who wants to come with us.
  • Get pelted by acorns as we walk under the neighbour's oak tree.
  • Sweat some more.
  • Fix hair, which has come out of the pony tail holder.
  • Cross road.
  • Brush bugs out of my face.
  • Brush mosquito off The Bug.
  • Brush more gnats out of my face.
  • Breath in a couple of gnats.
  • Cough profusely.
  • Sweat.
  • Get grass blown on me by Mr. Oblivious on his ride-on mower.
  • Lawn mower wakes The Bug, who starts shrieking.
  • Curse.
  • Fail to notice huge puddle, walk thru it, soaking shoes and feet.
  • Curse.
  • More gnats up my nose.
  • Get barked out by a big, scary dog, thankfully fenced in.
  • Big dog wakes up The Bug, who starts shrieking.
  • More acorn peltage.
  • Realize halfway thru walk that I reallyreallyreally have to pee.
  • Speed walk home.
  • More gnats.
  • More acorns.
  • Narrowly avoid stepping in dog shit.
  • Push stroller up driveway.
  • Get The Boo out of the stroller.
  • Chase her as she makes a break for the yard again.
  • Get into the house.
  • Get The Bug out of the sling.
  • Pray she stays asleep.
  • Pee with an audience.
  • Remove sweat-soaked shirt.
  • Put on clean shirt.
  • Collapse on couch until someone needs something - time elapsed: 27 seconds.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

This is why animals eat their young


I'm going insane. The Bug has taken to shrieking and nursing, staring at about 7 p.m. and continuing until midnight or so. She'll eat, then pull away and scream. She'll fall asleep for 20 minutes and then eat again, pull away and scream. Sometimes she'll just scream for half an hour at a stretch. The binky doesn't help, the gas drops don't do jack and jiggling her up and down while I walk around the house doesn't do a thing, either. She doesn't like to be put down but holding her doesn't seem to appease her, either. She won't go in the swing and putting her in her car seat just provokes her.

When she does nurse, she'll suck and suck and suck, then practically choke on the milk. She latches back on, but then starts to pull away. With my boob clamped in her hard little gums. I? Am not Stretch Armstrong. And that? Fucking hurts.

I don't know what to do. Has anyone tried Gripe Water? My friends in England and Ireland say it's fantastic, but at $11 a bottle, it would be a pricey plastic bottle if it doesn't. If all else fails, I'm buying her this:

The Boo has also take to waking up several times a night and shrieking her head off until TCBIM goes in there and gives her back her binky. I don't know if she's having bad dreams or if she just wakes up without her binky, but it's driving both of us insane.

Like I wasn't suffering from enough sleep deprivation as it was, O threw me a blood sugar reading of 501 at midnight last night. No ketones, thank goodness, but still. Oy.

I'm so fucking tired. *whimper*

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Book Meme

Something to do on Labour Day.

One book that changed your life:
The Daughter Of Time by Josephine Tey. It got me started on a serious obsession with all things Tudor (I know it's about Richard III, the last Plantagenet). I know now more about Henry VIII than anyone outside of academia should know. And I love it.

2. One book that you've read more than once:
I've read a ton of books more than once. My favourite to read again and again is Little Women. I love Jo March.

3. One book you would want on a desert island:
How To Get Off A Desert Island by S.H.I. Precked.

4. One book that made you laugh:
Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams. If you've only seen the movie (my apologies), go read the book. It's seriously funny shit.

5. One book that made you cry:
The Sparrow - Mary Doria Russell. Sobbed like a baby.

6. One book that you wish had been written:
How To Avoid Marrying The Guy Who's Just Like Your Dad

7. One book that you wish had never been written:
The fucking DaVinci Code. Jesus, I hated that book.

8. The book that you are currently reading:
I'm always reading more than one.
Shoulder The Sky - Anne Perry
The Most Of P.G. Wodehouse

9. One book that you have been meaning to read:
Just one?? Good grief.
An Instance Of The Fingerpost - Iain Pears. It's been on my shelf for years and I just can't get into it and it sits there, making me feel guilty.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Go. Read. Enjoy.

You can even tell us what you think of us now, which scares me a little.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Jon Lester

I was going to write a really pithy post about the Red Sox and their ever-growing list of injured players, but last night, NESN reported that John Lester, the 22 year-old pitcher, was diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma.

He's got great doctors and it's supposed to be a very treatable form of cancer, but it's still cancer. And he's his parents' only child. And just starting his baseball career. And only 22 years old.

Here's to hoping the doctors can get rid of it and that he recovers completely and that it never, ever comes back again. If we see him at spring training next year, even better.