Apr 30, 2009


I'm really busy at work these days. Lots of grants (five of them due tomorrow) plus the annual golf event on May 11th. No time for the blog.

Griffin had his first two spills this week. He took a header into the coffee table while he was standing on the couch and then he fell against the ottoman while he was holding onto it (this doesn't sound painful, but it's the ottoman that came with the glider and has some wooden parts on it, so he had a bit of a bump near his eye).

I hope to be back to blogging as soon as the golf event is over.

Apr 27, 2009

A guy in a bunny suit

I haven't found a really good blog in a long time. And then I found this. I've only read a few of his posts, but this one made me laugh out loud at work. Thankfully, my boss had already left for the day.

I'm looking forward to reading more.

The swine flu

Just something else to bring out my OCD.

Just one reason why I'm proud to live in Iowa


Apr 20, 2009


I've had this blog long enough that I have started to recycle titles to my posts. I'm almost positive I've used 'Waiting' before and the other day I really wanted to use 'I'm all about them words' instead of 'A quick update to forgetting' but I couldn't, in good conscience, knowingly repeat a clever title.

Anyway...I'm not here to talk about that. I'm waiting to hear from a very close friend. She went to the doctor this morning to see if she is going to need chemo to help her finish off her battle against breast cancer. I don't expect her to call me because we're not family (though in a way we are - she's Griffin's day care provider). I want to call her because I'm concerned about her and her family. She is only a few years older than me and has three children of her own. I don't want to upset her if she did get bad news, but I also don't want her to think I don't care by not calling her. It's such a fine line to walk. I'm concerned. I care. We love her to pieces. She's wonderful. She totally understands me and vice versa. She can breathe through Griffin's meltdowns better than I can. She loves him and he just lights up when he sees her. I don't want her to have to go through this. I don't want her to have to go through any more than she already has.

I leave in about 2 hours to pick up Griffin from her house. I will know then. I can only pray that she got the good news she deserves.

Apr 15, 2009

A quick update to 'forgetting'

I am in love with words. I write for a living and I hope to continue to write for a living - whether that is writing grants or a novel. I love talking and I love finding the right words. Sometimes I can't even finish telling a story if I don't find just the right word to complete my thoughts. And yes, it is just as annoying of a habit as it sounds. Words are what ground me in my crazy world. They are what calm me down. They are what make me feel alive. When I was a little girl and would see a sunset or sunrise, or a full moon high in the sky, I would always say the same thing, "If I could paint, I would paint that." I am not an artist, but I can paint with words. Beautiful watercolors. I feel like that is slipping away from me and I am scared.


I met with my neurologist on Monday and we determined that while it is still too early to tell if the Topamax is working, I will stay on it for another few months to see if it eventually will decrease the number of migraines I get each month. Unfortunately, he isn't able to increase my dosage because I already am suffering from some "language deficits."

Language deficits is a nice way to say that last week I could not remember my own phone number. Well, I knew the first four numbers, and technically, I knew the last three, but did not know what order they went in. And the real kick in the pants? On Monday, while I knew Griffin's middle name, for the life of me, I could not spell it. I had to write it on a piece of paper a couple of times before I got it right. Sometimes I am at a loss for words - literally. I confuse words. I say "feathers" when I mean "fabric." I say "curl" when I want to say "turn." I stop in mid-sentence because I completely blank on what I am trying to say. I stumble and stutter. It's strange because I can feel my brain slowing down. My mouth is going as fast as it always has, but my brain is putting on the brakes. Sometimes words come out of my mouth and I can't stop them - they just don't make sense. They might sound similar (like curl and turn) or start with the same letter, but they don't make sense within the context of the sentence. It's frustrating and I'm becoming so aware of it that I'm paranoid when I have to talk to people outside of my family and friends. Can they tell, or is it just me? I've described it two different ways. One is that my mental dictionary is shrinking. The other is that the medicine has taken away my ability to small talk and engage in witty banter and has revealed a layer of stupidity. Seriously. My writing seems to be fine. But verbally? I'm shrinking.

Apr 14, 2009


I just want my life back. I just want to be happy again. I just want to find joy in the things I used to find joy in. I just want to feel creative again. But I'm tired and I've been worn down. My brain feels slower. I'm sad a lot. I've been crying more often. I don't like this.

Apr 10, 2009

My 15 minutes

When I was 20 years old I had a boyfriend that I was absolutely crazy about. He was sort of that brooding wanna-be writer who had travelled the world and was taking time away from college to "find himself." It was summertime and when he would leave work late, he would stop by my parents' house and we'd take these long walks by the lake at the end of our street. We would always stop underneath these tall weeping willows and lay down and talk - those long, philosophical talks you can only have when you're 20 years old. Do you think we'll know each other in 20 years? Why do you think we met? Do you believe in fate? Do you think this is fate?

For the majority of my whole young adulthood I never had a curfew, but my mom was not a very big fan of this boyfriend (maybe it was all of those tattoos - thankfully she never knew he smoked a pack of Camels a day...a habit I wasn't all too fond of myself), so she wanted me home at a certain time. He and I would lay under that tree and talk about life and talk about us and I would dread having to go back home because I loved being with him and at 20 years old, I could have stayed there forever. Eventually, I'd ask him what time it was. He'd check his watch and tell me that we still had another 15 minutes. We would just smile and then giggle and then we'd laugh about how we'd probably just spend the next 15 minutes giggling about how we had 15 minutes left.

That's exactly how I feel when I wake up and everyone else is still asleep in my house. It happened this morning (Griffin's home from day care today since it's Good Friday and I have to go to a meeting at the local United Way office which is right by my house and it's pointless for me to cross the River to go to my office first so I'm hanging out at home for a couple of hours). The same question runs through my head. What should I do? Laundry? Write? Read? Watch TV? Then I realize that I'll probably spend the entire time trying to decide what to do that I won't get a chance to do anything.

Last night I took Griffin for a walk and as he fell asleep I wrote what I thought was a beautiful post in my head and I wanted to write it on paper as soon as I got home, but he woke up and I never did. So this morning, I decided that I would at least get this down on my blog before he woke up. Of course, he woke up as I was typing, but I did it. I still hope to write that other post at some point today before I forget it - I really liked it and it has been something I've been wanting to write for a while and this last night's walk really helped it come full circle.

Apr 8, 2009

You're fired...


[caption id="attachment_692" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="The Donald"]The Donald[/caption]

And after...

[caption id="attachment_693" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="The Griffin"]The Griffin[/caption]


I used to work for the American Academy of Pediatrics - specifically on a major Immunizations project, so I've always known their stance on immunizations and autism. But once I had Griffin, I couldn't help that little voice in the back of my mind as he got that first round of shots. What if?

This post from Dooce is exactly what I've always thought about this topic and she says it better than I ever could (scroll down to read her post)...

Apr 7, 2009

My birthday

This year my birthday came and went without much fanfare. It happened to get lost among the excitement of the presidential inauguration and the shock of my father-in-law's death. The morning of my birthday, I walked into the cardiac intensive care unit and received a few gentle hugs from my mother-in-law and brother-in-law. Someone handed me a card, but I didn't open it until later. I was OK with that. I didn't want to celebrate. I didn't even want anyone to mention my birthday. Everyone wanted me to know that they didn't forget and we'd celebrate later. Yes, I told them. That's fine. Don't even worry about it.

Patrick looked at me that morning and was so sad. I know he hadn't given a single thought to my birthday, but I didn't care. But that night, he handed me a birthday card and apologized. I still have that card and it still makes me sad when I think about it now. It's not because he gave it to me at the end of the day of my birthday. It's not because he didn't say happy birthday to me or give me a gift. It was because every year since we've known each other, Patrick has picked out these beautiful cards and has taken the time to write something thoughtful. He always says he's a horrible writer, but I love what he writes to me. But this card was different. I knew he had picked it out at the hospital gift shop where he had the choice between two or three generic birthday cards - I got the one with Barack Obama on the front. On the inside he just said that he loved me and how sorry he was that we had to spend my birthday in the hospital. Everytime I read that card I imagine him standing in the gift shop, just a couple of floors from his father, trying to find the energy to buy me a birthday card. I know he was embarrassed to have to buy me a card that he didn't think was romantic. When I got home that night, I placed the card next to me on the bed and went to sleep. I kept it there every night until he got home.

So we never have celebrated my birthday. My mother-in-law took me out to dinner in early March, which was so nice, but when we left, Patrick told me that he and Duncan wanted to celebrate with me separately. They never did. I feel selfish for thinking about it, but at the same time, it's the only day of the year when we feel like it's our day, right? It's the one day when we get a bit of special attention. I just missed that this year. I can't say anything because it will hurt Patrick's feelings, but at the same time, mine are hurt too.

Do you think this means I can just be 36 again next year?

It's a 'toofer' tuesday!

Griffin is getting his first tooth (or 'toof' as we affectionately call it on our house). He has been sick for the past week with an ear infection and although he has been on an antibiotic, he suddenly got really cranky for a couple of days. We thought the antibiotic wasn't working and brought him to the doctor for a follow-up, but everything looked great. After a rather cranky day at day care yesterday, I checked his gums while he was babbling during dinner and lo and behold there it was! It is barely poking through his gums and feels like a shard of glass. Just last weekend he started crawling and now a tooth. Oh...and tomorrow we're finally getting rid of the Donald Trump comb-over. Sweet.

Apr 5, 2009

Excuse me while I reboot

I am in the process of detoxing from all of my migraine medications. Everything except Topamax. And in case you're wondering...this was not my decision. I'm not that stupid.

I called my doctor on Friday because I had a horrible migraine and I didn't know what else I should do. I'd taken the maximum dose of Relpax and I'd already taken an Excedrin. He had already denied my request for a refill for my painkillers. So I'm forced to leave a message on his answering machine where I probably sounded like a desperate drug addict looking to score. Now that I think about it, I was. But I digress. His nurse called back within a couple of hours and told me that I was most likely suffering from rebound headaches and I needed to increase my Topamax and stop everything else. I can't even take Excedrin. I seriously started to sweat when she told me this. Since I had Griffin, I've been taking Excedrin EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Like, I should have bought stock in that company. I only did that because the migraines were so bad after he was born that I had to devise my own little system for rationing my medication. I knew my insurance would only give me so many Relpax in so many days and I knew my doctor would only give me so many painkillers in so many days and so on. So I supplemented everything with Excedrin.

So I'm currently detoxing and it sucks. Big time. I was supposed to start yesterday, but Patrick and Duncan had baseball tryouts all day and I was supposed to be alone with Griffin. I woke up at 3:30 AM with a horrible migraine. When I woke up again at 7 AM, it was worse. I tried taking a nap at 9 AM and woke up an hour later and couldn't open my eyes. That's when I decided to take a Relpax and start over on Sunday. Don't judge me...you don't know the pain.

So today is officially day one. It still sucks.

Apr 2, 2009

Wake up!

Paresthesia. Pins and needles. Numbness. Tingling. Whatever you want to call it, it's happening to me. I noticed it in my hands while I was driving to work this morning. To me it feels like that very final stage of pins and needles, when everything starts to come back to life and it feels all light and tingly. When I'm working or moving my hands I don't really notice it, but when I stop, I can definitely feel the tingling. It's weird to close my eyes and suddenly be aware of a part of my body that I wouldn't otherwise feel. It's sort of like being pregnant and suddenly being aware of your belly when you close your eyes and the baby moves.

I don't know how I feel about this yet.

Apr 1, 2009

An urban legend...

I woke up this morning and learned of the death of a beloved college professor {I thought about changing 'beloved' because it sounded too dramatic, but in this case, it really does fit}.

If you do nothing else today, please read this article.