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Why you don’t mix the government and money

I keep meaning to tell you this story, and what better time than during a government shutdown? Er, slowdown. Or whatever we’re supposed to call it. It just seemed like a good time to reaffirm what every American already knows, which is that our medical system and government are—SURPRISE!—not actually operating as smoothly as they’re supposed to.

Try to contain your shock.

So! Perhaps you remember that about a year ago, I took to the blog to detail how we’d finally gotten Chickadee qualified for Medicaid coverage while she was hospitalized. That was a really big deal, both because the process is crazymaking and because if she hadn’t, we would’ve been on the hook for medical bills we had no reasonable way to pay. At the time, I thought getting the Medicaid approval would be the end of our financial issues related to her illness.

Haaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahaha! Yeah. Pull up a chair! (more…)

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Relaxing?

Otto and I have a quaint little Monday morning routine, and it goes like this: My alarm goes off, and I commence slapping my clock in sleepy annoyance, and Otto says, “Why does Monday morning always come so EARLY?” I grunt in response, and thus our love carries us through another week.

Oh, wait. Actually it’s COFFEE that carries us through another week. That charming exchange we have every Monday morning is just that precious little reminder that when you truly love someone, you forgive them for trying to have a conversation with you before you’ve had your coffee. And then you pack a lunch for your beloved and you don’t spit in it or anything. Because TRUE LOVE.

I think the problem is that every week, we have this idea that the weekend is going to be relaxing, and then every weekend we think OOH! AAH! NO WORK! Now we can do OTHER STUFF! And then the “other stuff” ends up being just as tiring as work, and/or we stay up late, forgetting that we are old and require a lot of sleep.

Let me just grab another cup of coffee and tell you all about the weekend. (more…)

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Hipster me this

[Before I get into the actual post, a great big sloppy thank-you to everyone who responded so kindly to my last couple of posts (and the corresponding post over on Alpha Mom). I am emerging from the fog and hoping I never have to switch medications ever again. Thanks for being patient with me.]

Remember how last summer Monkey got glasses and there was much rejoicing? There was also some self-flagellation, because he’d been having trouble seeing for a while, and I hadn’t kept up with yearly exams, but all of you assured me that these things can happen and the important thing was that it had all been resolved and it could’ve happened to anyone. I like you, have I even mentioned that?

So a couple of weeks ago when Monkey started complaining (again!) that he was having trouble seeing, I was all, “Oh, we’re probably due for your yearly exam very soon,” and then I went and checked and, yeah, His last exam was in June. Whoops. I like how I totally learned my lesson from before, don’t you? I went ahead and made him an eye appointment. And then listened to a week of “Mom! HEY MOM! Can you read that from here? Because I can’t! I can BARELY SEE IT!” (more…)

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Things which suck

1) Feeling like you’re failing your kids.
2) Feeling like you’re failing yourself.
3) Feeling crappy.
4) HAVING MANY FEEEEEEEELS, period.
5) Sometimes not wanting to talk about those things because there will always be someone ready to tell you that you’re doing it wrong.

A thing which (hopefully) does not suck:
Me, over at Alpha Mom, reassuring you that you can manage depression and parenting and not ruin everything.

Yeah, it would be better to never be depressed and just naturally be a perfect parent, but it would also be better to own a glitter-pooping unicorn and never have to say, “Please don’t speak to me that way.” We don’t always get what we want, so let’s make the best of what we have.

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Groggy

“You have to blog so I have something to read on the way home,” my father said to me this morning.

“No pressure!” I answered, and we laughed. Then I told him I’d try to come up with something.

When my folks come to visit for less than a week, it feels like they arrive and we eat and have some wine and some ice cream and then they leave. I never know where the days go. It is never long enough, and yet after they go I reassemble the house—taking the place mats off the dining room table and replacing the decorative runner that indicates we are normally an eat-at-the-kitchen-table family, stripping Chickie’s bed and putting her sheets back on and the guest sheets and towels in the laundry—and then curl up with Licorice and take a nap. I’m completely exhausted.

To be clear, it’s not my dad and stepmom who are exhausting. It’s probably just life, but somehow we stay up a lot later when we have company, I guess. (more…)

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Birthday bonuses

I neglected to mention that about a week ago, Licorice and I had our birthdays. (Hers is the day after mine, according to the rescue from which she came, and also karmic math equations wherein your birthday + a dog’s birthday the very next day = The One True Dog.) It’s hard for me to verbalize why my attitude towards my own birthday these days is pretty unenthusiastic. It likely has something to do with the speed of time passing, the unexpected loops life has thrown our way the last couple of years, and gravity. (Mostly that last one.) Regardless of the cause, my excitement for marking another year of my life is hovering somewhere between “NO” and “whatever.”

On my birthday morning I woke up to a very excited family, a pile of small wooden boxes, and a weird paper thing. Following instructions from Otto, I eventually assembled this tableau:


(more…)

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If my GPS could talk

This morning Chickadee had an appointment at Emory for chapter 593 in Mystery Rash: Where Is It Now, And Which Med Student Hasn’t Seen It Yet?, and because getting into Atlanta on a weekday is always an enormous clusterfuck, we left nearly three hours before her scheduled arrival to be ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN of getting there on time.

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahaha. My optimism! It never fails to slay me.

There’s this whole time window calculation with heading into the city, too, where if your appointment is too early you get stuck in rush hour GOING, but if it’s too late you get stuck in rush hour coming BACK, and then there’s this whoooole fuzzy gray area where you’re likely to catch the tail end of rush hour no matter what you do, and so leaving at this time is functionally the same as leaving half an hour earlier, blah blah blah blah. I thought I had it figured out, is my point.

But I was wrong, because: Rain. RAIN! OH NOES! Quick, everyone veer off the road! Still: THREE HOURS. For a drive that should take 90 minutes, tops. What could possibly go wrong? (more…)

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Things I do when I should be working

The thing about working from home is that—while those of you working in offices may recognize when you’re wasting work time via, say, watching cat videos online—my time slippage is a lot more insidious than it used to be. That goes double now that we’re back to school, because hey, sometimes Monkey really needs me to help him with his work, y’know?

There’s too many possible rabbit holes in my day, here. Because Monkey really needs me to help him with his work and THEN he has to show me this new thing in Minecraft OR he can’t find a syllabus and so I HAVE to orchestrate a clean-up mission. OR it occurs to me that I should probably get dinner started and then it seems like a GREAT time to try a new recipe even though I have a million things I really ought to be doing, instead.

[Sidebar: Remember the whole "Oh, hey, SURPRISE! Chickie has ADHD!" thing? I'm now reading Smart But Scattered Teens and... holy Chickadee. Holy Monkey. HOLY ME. I can't decide whether to be pleased with myself for not being a hot mess 100% of the time or aggravated that I still wander off when I see something shiny to this day. Executive dysfunction: A family affair!] (more…)

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It turns out that being a grownup is a grind

I spent most of the last week trying really hard not to whine about not feeling well, because there is little more annoying than listening to a grown-ass adult complain because she has the sniffles. But I didn’t feeeeeeeel goooooooood and that was HARD. Because of the sniffling. And the feeling yucky. And wah wah wah. The truth is that I always get sick after I travel, and that was WEEKS AGO, now, and instead of getting full-blown, plague-level sick right away, I was just kind of stuck in this Victorian-fainting-couch level of feeling unwell for weeks, not getting better, but not really getting worse, either. Basically I had a cold.

And then last Friday I woke up with an awful earache, because I am three. Naturally I handled this situation with maturity and aplomb, which is to say that I stayed in my pajamas for two days, whining about how I AM TOO OLD FOR AN EAR INFECTION. I also took a lot of drugs (legal ones; nothing fun) and ate all the vitamin C in the world and drank a lot of water. I bemoaned my fate as The First Person Ever With The Cold That Would Never Go Away. And then yesterday I woke up feeling fine.

I should’ve been elated, but instead I was 1) slightly embarrassed by all the carrying on I’d been doing and 2) annoyed that this meant I no longer had an excuse to avoid being productive. (more…)

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My own series of bumper stickers

As an added bonus to my usual case of return-from-flying-the-friendly-skies-in-a-giant-germ-filled-metal-tube plague, both kids appear to have… something… as well. As in, they were sick before I got home, so I didn’t give it to them. No one is deathly ill, we’re all just ill-ish (is that a thing? I feel like if I were cooler, ill-ish would actually be a compliment, no?) and grumpy and SUPER FUN TO BE AROUND. Also, shut up and stop looking at me.

Needless to say, this has made that whole getting-back-into-the-swing-of-things endeavor even more painful than anticipated. Because what now? We’re out of milk? And you can’t have cereal because there’s no milk? Why don’t YOU go to the store for more milk? The fact that you’re not old enough to drive is not an excuse. Wait, you ARE old enough to drive, but your meaniepants parents won’t let you get your learner’s permit? It’s probably because they want you to die alone, carless, and without any milk. Clearly.

A couple of days ago Monkey started the day by flinging himself down on the floor of my room while I was in the shower, and when I emerged he told me he felt “really sick.” I assumed he was dying, but it turns out he just has sniffles and was really sleepy. Still! Points for identifying feeling yucky! (more…)

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