Mar 31, 2009

Mar 30, 2009

That 'thing' is called a baby monitor

Well, it finally happened. The stupid has set it. I've joked for the past week about how now that I've started taking Topamax, I'll start forgetting basic things and won't be able to find the right words in conversations. Last night as I was going to bed, I said goodnight to Patrick and asked (or at least tried to ask) my usual question.

Me: "Do you want me to turn up thing?"

Patrick: "What thing?"

Me: "This thing." {pointing}

Patrick: "The baby monitor?" {smiling}

Me: "Shut up."

Mar 28, 2009


[caption id="attachment_652" align="aligncenter" width="499" caption="Baby Griffin at 3 Days Old"]Baby Griffin at 3 Days Old[/caption]

Mar 26, 2009

Day one

I took my first Topamax last night. No allergic reaction, so I was very happy about that. The only thing I noticed was some drowsiness. I took it at 8:30 PM and by 9:15 PM, I couldn't keep my eyes open. A true side effect, or just psychosomatic? Dang, I just love when my psychology background comes in handy.

I woke up at 3:30 AM, lifted my head off the pillow, and said, "I'm so tired" before falling back onto my pillow where I stayed until my alarm woke me. When I woke up, I felt groggy and have felt like that ever since. Not sure if this is just a coincidence or something I need to prepare myself for. In the long run, I can handle groggy. If the alternative is mind-numbing, debilitating migraines 10 to 15 times a month...let me take the grogginess. Although, I'm only on 25 mg of the medication and I need to double that next week. I've read that most people with migraines take 100 mg. So, who knows how groggy I'll feel. I doubt that the grogginess grows exponentially with the dosage. Eh. I'll still take groggy over migraines.

I swear I'm just waiting for the confusion and loss of concentration to set in. Everytime I can't think of a word or a name, I start to panic and think, "Is this it? Am I officially Topamax-stupid?" I know. Only one pill, right? I have a flair for the dramatic.

Mar 25, 2009

Major mango mess

Griffin loves mangoes. He also loves to rub his face when he's sleepy. This is what happened when I fed him just before he needed a nap:


{Note that I'm using alliteration in my title since once I start taking Topamax, I might completely lose any sense of literary ingenuity.}

Pulling out the big guns...

My neurologist has prescribed Topamax for me to take as a preventive treatment for my migraines. This is not the first preventive treatment I have been on. In 2004 I took my birth control pills nonstop to eliminate the number of migraines I was getting. Since I had menstrual migraines and was getting debilitating headaches during the "off week" from the pill, this made the most sense. It worked for a while, but after 4 straight months, my body just felt...icky and I had to take a break. As soon as I stopped, I was hammered by a 3-day migraine.

In 2005-2006, my neurologist prescribed me a triptan, but had me take it every day for a week (during the off week). My doctor was a top neurologist in Chicago and while the medication was FDA approved, this course of treatment was not, but was something he had been researching. Did it work? Eh. Sort of, but not enough to make him keep me on this plan.

In 2007 he prescribed me nortriptyline (an old-school antidepressant) which is supposed to help prevent migraines. No such luck, but I did get some of the best sleep of my life. The next class of preventive treatments are beta-blockers. Unfortunately, due to my asthma, these are off-limits since they can aggravate the situation.

This brings us to the final preventive treatment available. Anti-seizure medications. This is Topamax. My neurologist in Chicago mentioned this to me over the past few years, and we've agreed that this would be my last resort. He called it "pulling out the big guns." Antidepressants? No problem. I've actually been on those for depression, so I wasn't worried about taking them. But anti-seizure meds scare the crap out of me. It's big-time medication and the potential side effects are scary. There's the usual loss of appetite (although weight loss can be quite significant), fatigue, change in taste (especially carbonated beverages), etc. Not too much to worry about there, but then there are those other side effects - the ones that really freak me out. Tingling/numbing in fingers and toes and sometimes the face. Short-term memory issues. The inability to find the right words in conversations. Losing your train of thought. Misspelling very familiar words. Slurring of speech. Stuttering. {And don't think I'm freaking out unnecessarily - the concentration/focus/memory issues strike approximately 40% of patients}

I'm starting this medication tonight and I'm scared. So scared. I know that this could help me with my migraines, which have grown out of control since I had Griffin (hormones combined with the lack of sleep and additional stress have been kicking my ass for the last 8 months). My new doctor said that I should stay open to trying Topamax - he'd hate to see me suffer like this and not even give it a try. So that's what I'm doing.

I've always said if you don't go in, you can't find out, but holy crap I'm scared.

Mar 23, 2009

Screw you Blue Cross/Blue Shield...

I got a letter this weekend from our health insurance company telling me that to help save us money, they are implementing a new "step therapy" plan for migraine medications. They are forcing me to take a generic form of Imitrex before they will cover the cost of my other migraine medication. How can they do this?

I was prescribed Imitrex in June 2000 and took it for 6 months. My doctor ended up prescribing me another medication because the Imitrex wasn't effective for me. Since then, I have been on five different "triptans" (a class of migraine medications). How dare they send me back to square one by taking a medication that didn't help my migraines! It's like going back to the Stone Age for me.

And I'm not an idiot. When they say that the new program "is designed to help lower your out-of-pocket costs" what they really mean is the program is designed to help them save money. Because really...what's more important? What I want to know is where I should send my bill when I end up in the emergency room with an IV full of Nubain because the generic Imitrex didn't work. Oh that's right, they won't cover that either...


Mar 19, 2009

I {heart} the Cubbies...

Here's something from one of my favorite blogs:

How to torque off a Cubs fan (without really trying)

A guide for broadcasters (some of whom we will only listen to this time of year because there isn’t always a WGN feed).


Thank you.]


1.  Talk about the curse as much as possible.  Remember, there are several to choose from; make sure and cover them all!  Accuracy isn’t as important as pointing out that your team has been to a World Series in the last 64 years (or didn’t exist).  High points include:

--1945:  Some guy brings a goat to the game.  He gets refused entry, or thrown out, or the goat eats PK Wrigley’s hat and throws up on the ivy.  Or something.  Seriously, it was 1945.  Cubs lose.

--1969:  A cat crosses Ron Santo’s path at Shea.  As a result he contracts diabetes.  Cubs lose.

--1984:  Bowie Kuhn tells the Cubs that they have to install lights to play in the post-season.  After a group of irate Cubs fans torch his car, Kuhn resigns, handing the reins over to Peter Ueberroth and secretly traveling to San Diego to ensure a Cubs loss in the NLCS using his ninja skills obtained from the secret training given to all Commissioners of Baseball (how else do you explain Bud Selig?).  Also, there was some thoughtcrime or doublespeak or something.  Cubs lose.  (Ueberroth finally forced the Cubs to install lights in 1988 by threatening to make them play their post-season games at Comiskey.)

--1989:  The Cubs, like many animals, were thrown off by the impending earthquake when they got to San Francisco.  Cubs lose.

--1998:  Three words:  Smoltz, Glavine, Maddux.  Cubs lose.

--2003:  Some @$$#0!€ with a seat on the line... too soon?  Too soon.

--There are also some theories that involve events before 1945.  Feel free to totally B.S. your way through those.  Bill Veeck’s name can be brought up liberally.

2.  Be sure and paint the Cubs fans as unemployed alcoholics.  After all, they attend a ton of day games, so they must all be losers, right?  And the parking is awful, so clearly no one is doing well enough to drive, right?  And have you seen the bars around Wrigley?  They’re everywhere!  It’s like having an AA retreat next to a Bierhall.  During Oktoberfest.  In Munich.  If you’re broadcasting tee-vee at Wrigley, be sure and get a few shots of the local establishments.  Preferably one with a drunken horde standing around smoking.


3.  Any Cubs fan you interview or show on tee-vee that isn’t hammered should be a Chad or Trixie wearing 87 different pieces of paraphernalia that make it painfully obvious that they are some once a season attendee that drives to the Skokie park and ride “because taking the train to Wrigley is so cool” but does not know who Ron Santo is.


4.  Mention Ron Santo’s repeated failed bids to get into the Hall of Fame.  Bonus points for interviewing a current HoF’er about it.  Double bonus points for Joe Morgan or Mike Schmidt.


5.  Attempt to convey that failure in the post-season is somehow offset by “Beautiful Wrigley Field.”  Remind everyone that this is the NL’s cathedral, and how nice it is to play here, even if there hasn’t been a new gonfalon to hang since 1945.  Also try working in the word ‘gonfalon’ as much as possible.  It’s fun to say!  It’s even more fun to win (or so I’ve been told)!


6.  Mention HWSNBN (woo!).  Just once.  Then make sure you can hear him in the background for the rest of the game.


7.  Steal one of our radio guys.  (Thanks, Uecker.)


8.  Complain about how the NL doesn’t use the DH.  Because everyone in the NL loves hearing about how the DH makes for better baseball.


9.  Spend an entire half-inning showing close-ups of people on the rooftops across the street.  Also the AC sign.  We love being reminded of that.


10.  Use the phrase “Loveable Losers” as much as possible without being repetitive.  (Aw, hell, go ahead and be repetitive.)


11.  Try to do anything for the 7th inning stretch.


12.  Spend all your time smack-talking and fail to mention that the Cubs have won the NL Central TWO YEARS IN A ROW.

Mar 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

When your parents name you Griffin Delaney, you know they want you to really live it up on St. Patty's Day...


Mar 12, 2009

E = mc2

When is it OK for babies to get a haircut? Griffin is almost 8 months old and he's starting to resemble Albert Einstein {edited to add updated photo}:


Mar 11, 2009

It's all in my head

On Saturday I finally got the chance to go to lunch with my friend, Jason. We met a number of times last year up until I got too pregnant to risk the drive to DeKalb by myself. We met at Portillo's, ate lunch, and chatted for a really long time (we could have sat there for a few more hours, but I think we would have been missed in our respective homes).

The drive takes me almost two hours to go from my driveway to the front door of Portillo's (the drive through campus and around town is what adds an additional 20 minutes). Anyone who has taken that drive on 88 knows how rural and gorgeous the scenery is - farmland for miles and miles. Nothingness, yet absolute beauty. I started the drive by listening to a book on CD. Listening to another person talking relaxes me, yet keeps me awake. The strange thing was that I found my thoughts drifting away from that story and toward another one - one that I had been trying to write for a long time. I've had various characters in place, yet they changed a bit here and there...nothing particularly clear. No one that I was growing close to. It was the same for the plot. I've gone back and forth on a couple of ideas, but I always ended up asking myself the same question: Who cares? Who is going to care what happens to this person? I wasn't even that curious. But all of a sudden, on this long drive to DeKalb, things started to become more clear.  This woman I wanted to write about (she still doesn't have a name) started to develop a face with distinct features. She started to develop a personality and motivation. Then I started to picture another person, and the same thing happened with him. I became curious about them. It was all swirling around in my head and for the first time in a while, I was excited about writing again. My story, the one I've struggled with for so long, started to take shape.

It all felt so different than before. I actually felt like I had a beginning, a middle, and an end to my story. These characters were not the ones I initially started out with, and the story is nothing like what I had envisioned about a year ago. This is what amazed me. Somehow, this drive through rural Iowa and Illinois sparked something in me (it also might have something to do with the bad country music that was on the radio - not much good music through those parts).

So here I am with what I think is a pretty good story floating around in my head. I've managed to go four whole days without losing interest in the story or the characters. In fact, I'm more interested in them than ever. I have jotted down some notes and some questions that I know need to be answered. I just need to carve out some time to do more. That's the only hard part...when do I do this?

In the past couple of years I've begun to question whether or not I really want to write. I say I do, but if I really wanted to, wouldn't I find the time to get it done? Now I'm starting to think that maybe it wasn't a question of want, but more an issue of not having the right story to tell...

Mar 9, 2009

Thankfully, Patrick doesn't read my blog

I'm writing about my backup husband. Patrick and I have had this conversation numerous times - who would we marry in case things don't work out between us? For anyone who thinks we're not taking our marriage seriously, I say this:'re no fun! Get  a sense of humor.

We've even gone as far as breaking it down into the following categories: Backup boyfriend/girlfriend, backup husband/wife, and backup the-person-I'd-have-a-one-night-stand-with-if-I-ever-did-that-sort-of-thing. Seriously, our dinner conversations are awesome.

I know who his backups are and he knows mine, and we often tease each other about our choices. His pretty much stay the same, while mine tend to fluctuate a bit more. I'm just moody like that.

So my new backup husband (although he really fits into all of the above categories) is William Elliott Whitmore. He's a blues/folk musician and has the most amazing voice. I discovered him about two years ago and I just fell in love with his music, his voice, his lyrics. He's an amazing writer...a genius writer, and I just love that.

Then I saw his picture, and yowza...I fell in love. I want to live on his farm with him and have his babies. Is that so wrong? I don't care if he doesn't have electricity or indoor plumbing:





Would you really care about peeing in an outhouse? I think not. And the best part? He lives in Iowa! Boo-yah!

Mar 6, 2009

Most interesting spam subject yet...

This was in my spam filter at work:

"Let's visit land of cakes tonight"

Um...OK! {I love cake - especially since giving up all sweets for Lent - but now I'm wondering if this is some sort of euphemism for a weird sexual position/activity that I'm too old to know about, in which case I change my mind. Maybe.}

If I didn't live in Iowa, I'd probably find this a lot funnier

OK, so I don't live in rural Iowa, but still...

Mar 3, 2009

Does this mean that I'm really, really lazy?

I've been sick for two weeks...taking care of a baby who has been sick for two weeks. We're both on antibiotics. We're both cranky. We both need more sleep than we're getting. Add to the mix that I have an all-day retreat with our board of directors tomorrow morning to discuss strategic planning, and I'm about to slit my wrists.

I'm home alone tonight and decided that I was just going to take my shower this evening, saving myself some time in the morning when I assume I'll still feel like crap. Normally I can't do this because I've been cursed with curly hair and after a night of sleeping (or tossing and turning), let's just say it's not a good look. To make things even easier, I straightened my hair so all I have to do is do a quick touch-up.

So after my shower I start to put on my jammies and I think that I just might wear the black tank that I plan on wearing underneath my sweater tomorrow. I hate waking up in the middle of the night and feeling really warm and a tank is perfect because I can always throw on a zip-up sweatshirt if I feel too cool. The bonus is that I'll already be wearing part of my work outfit.

Then I hit a new low when I spotted my bra and slipped that on underneath the tank. Lazy or just really efficient?

Mar 1, 2009

When in doubt, post pictures...

[caption id="attachment_577" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Old Blue Eyes"]Old Blue Eyes[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_578" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Scootin' around..."]Scootin' around...[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_579" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Sprouting some new hair..."]Sprouting some new hair...[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_580" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="So serious..."]So serious...[/caption]