Tuesday, June 23, 2009

In Which I Attempt To Thank People For Throwing Me A Baby Shower, But Mostly End Up Rambling a Lot

Pin It My seven year old, who I call Sarah on the blog (but who is not really named Sarah, so it seems silly to keep calling her Sarah, because what am I - Pioneer Woman, that I should be important enough to have stalkers? Please. And yet the completely paranoid part of my brain is convinced that if I were to utter her Actual Name dangerous predators would descend from the blogging sky, search the town for children with a similar name and spirit her away to the Land of Stolen Blog Children - so I guess I shouldn't tempt fate and should just continue to call her Sarah), has to have surgery next week.

I would tell you all about it except that Sarah is a little embarrassed about the whole thing, and would rather that I not go around spouting her diagnosis all over my blog. (I'm feeling a little guilty now for my semi-hysterical and very specific Facebook updates, except that I know she will thank me when people drop by afterwards with things made out of chocolate (which I'm assuming they will, because seriously, what is the point of even HAVING surgery if it doesn't result in chocolate)). (For the mother.) So I won't get into the details of the surgery, but I'll tell you that she'll be in the hospital for a few days, a problem will be fixed, and her surgeons are excellent. The surgery is invasive but relatively safe, so I've decided to pretend she's getting her tonsils out or maybe having some hair implants, something fairly benign like that.

(In other words, I forbid anyone from expressing the words "I'm sorry," "I'll pray for you," or anything else that sounds even vaguely compassionate in the comments, because a) people who are going to be FINE, JUST FINE, TOTALLY FINE, don't need compassion and b) concerned comments would imply that there is cause for concern, and there isn't, no there ISN'T - LA LA LA LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU.)

(However, comments like "SUE - your pet monkey is ADORABLE" would be very much appreciated, per usual.)

(This is Sarah taking a pre-surgery class at Primary Children's hospital - a class designed to help the kids work through their fears about what will happen on surgery day.)

Sarah is imaginative and smart, and the combo means that she is an expert worst-medical-case-scenario brewer-upper (she probably gets this from her father). She packed a bag for the hospital the other day, and when she solemnly showed me the carefully packed suitcase with her favorite chapter books and favorite stuffed animal and a note she wanted me to give her little sister on surgery day my heart went crackety-crack. My poor sweet, sensitive little girl. Oh how much I love her.

The baby is still in my stomach, cooking away. I know this because he kicks the living hell out of me all night long. Last night I don't know what was going on in there - soccer drills or something - but I stopped being amused after about fifty-seven straight minutes of it.

On Saturday morning some neighborhood friends threw me a mostly-surprise baby shower. I say mostly-surprise because one of the women in my neighborhood dropped off a gift for me about a week ago, with a note that said, "sorry I couldn't make the shower," which was my cue to badger the living daylights out of my husband - who was throwing it? when was it? where was it? would he warn me in advance so I could get my roots done ? who was throwing it again? - but he wouldn't crack.

I was so touched by the shower. Not just that someone threw one for me, or because I was grateful for the stuff - but the who/what/when/where/why of it all. Throwing a shower for someone is like publicly declaring your friendship for someone, like publicly saying, "OK, yes, I admit to being her friend." That's sort of awesome, especially if you really adore the people who threw you the shower. (And now the women who threw the shower are thinking, oh, CRAP, I didn't realize THAT was what it meant. I just wanted her to get some stuff. HA-HA-HA - sorry girls, IT IS TOO LATE, THERE IS NO RETURNING FROM THIS.)

This neighborhood is FULL of women I really like - including many who I really want to get to know better, but never quite get around to getting to know - partly because we are all busy, and partly because I am a dork.

Sometimes we'll have a girls night out or I'll be at book club and I'll end up sitting by someone who I know casually but not very well, and I end up thinking I LOVE HER, and I HAVE TO GET TO KNOW HER BETTER but then I do absolutely nothing about it, mostly because I have no idea what to do. I'm horrible on the phone, the most awkward dork in the universe, and the idea of making a phone call without having a SPECIFIC PURPOSE for making the phone call absolutely horrifies me.

(I can't imagine what people say when they call people for no reason - just to chat. How do you do that? What do you say? Do you make up a reason? I suppose if I answered the phone once in a while I would have a better idea of how that works.)

/End Tangent

Oh. Wait.

I have to say something about book club. I've been in a book club for the last four years and I love the other women in the group. We talk about books, we talk about life, we eat, we talk about books and life some more. The women in the group are wonderful, and every single time I leave book club thinking, OH MY GOSH, I LOVE HER (but I end up thinking it about twelve women at once, which is fairly overwhelming).

I have to remind myself before it starts not to talk too much, because I tend to get all overly excited and blurty and almost anxious. Sometimes I write little reminder notes on my hands, things like "don't talk so much," and "it is rude to interrupt people even if you are excited about what they are saying." (That one is long - I have to write that one on my arm or stomach.) (Although frankly, writing it on my stomach makes it more of a problem as far as reminders go, what with it not being visible).

Anyway, between book club and girls night out and the outlawed-by-our-bishop bunko group (long, strange story), there is a circle of women who I interact with more frequently, who I admire and respect and enjoy, but I STILL don't call them on a regular basis, other than to arrange for my kids to play with their kids. Sometimes if we're already on the phone I'll get really brave and ask a question about something non-kid related and we'll end up talking.

I'll get off the phone on this post-phone-talking high because I ACTUALLY TALKED ON THE PHONE, and then I eventually realize the other woman was trying ever-so-graciously to get off the phone for at least the last ten minutes, and I did not notice because I do not speak ever-so-gracious and because I kept having to tell her one more thing, and one more thing, and oh, wait, ONE MORE THING, and then I feel like a moron and swear off the phone FOREVER. Again.

/End Tangent
On Saturday night I went out and bought thank you cards and a little thank you gift for the women who organized the shower and carefully filled out the cards, but I still haven't delivered them. I don't want them thinking I'm some kind of overly eager dork who was counting the minutes until she could express her (possibly inappropriate amount of) gratitude, but rather a cool, cool cucumber of a normal-type friend who was just the right amount of socially acceptable grateful without being a total freak about it.

(Except one of them reads my blog, so the jig is probably up anyway.)

(So maybe I should just go deliver those cards.)

(Yeah, I'm leaving now.)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

I'm Not Quitting My Blog, I'm Just Sparing You Posts Like This One

Pin It Despite the long periods of blog silence, things are actually quite normal over here at hypochondria central. Would you like to hear about it?

And would you like to hear about it in run-on-sentence form with no discernible punctuation?


First of all, you should know that every other week or so I wake up at night feeling a sharp stabbing pain in the front of my calf, kind of like a really ticked off hornet is messing with me. I always reach down to brush it away, then realize there's nothing there, then start to say "SON OF A -," then I realize the pain is gone, and then I go back to sleep.

I keep meaning to talk it over with the doctor, but whenever I go to see her I completely forget to mention it, so distracted am I by our regular monthly discussion/game of "so when exactly do you think my uterus might rupture?"

Her standard response is some variation on "there's really no way of knowing if it will, or when it will, but let me know if you have sudden sharp uterine pain," and then I ask her to quantify what she means by pain, exactly. The sharp pain I sometimes get when I sneeze, is that a rupture? Or when the baby kicks an internal organ really hard and I have pain, is that a rupture? Or when I feel this sharp stabbing pain in my leg, is THAT a rupture? And could she possibly give me her cell phone number so that I can call her late at night when I feel a pain that might be a rupture?

By the time we finish having this discussion, she is usually giving me this look (this look like, who referred you to my practice again?) and I've completely forgotten about the leg thing because I'm busy rocking back and forth on the exam table imagining my own death.

Most likely the pain in my leg is from a (non-imaginary) blood clot, and probably I will die. (Farewell, internet.) The good news is that I'm so forgetful lately that most days I don't remember my impending death and life proceeds quite normally.

The first real day of summer vacation for the kids was Monday. I've been busy reading things like Last Child in the Woods and Free Range Kids (which I LOVED and made my book club pick this month), and I'm determined to make sure my kids spend their summer out exploring NATURE, dagnabbit. We have a perfectly good gully across the street with a stream in it, and a park down the road with a stream in it, and mountains five minutes from our doorstep, so in theory we are all set. Now all I need is a non-pregnant friend to con into taking them on all of these nature adventures while I lie on the couch.

Yesterday I took the kids swimming at a completely fantastic pool down the road (complete with water slides, a lazy river, play structures, and water shallow enough to keep my non-swimmers from drowning). They loved it, and I loved it too - as long as I stayed in the water. Since I am not one of those adorable little pocket-sized pregnant women with a cute baby bump, I don't look pregnant - I just look incredibly fat.

I'm fighting the urge to iron a patch onto my swimsuit, something about baby on board, something that will make it obvious to everyone that YES, I'm fat, but at least some of it is virtuous baby-related fat (as opposed to my regular slothful, doughnut-related fat). It turns out that all this time I thought it was obvious I was pregnant, what with my shirts stretched against my baby belly, but a few of my real life friends had no idea because apparently that's JUST WHAT I USUALLY LOOK LIKE. Egads.

By the way, thanks so much to everyone who so sweetly and generously offered to send me baby and maternity stuff after my last post. Hormonal as I am, I sniffled my way through most of those comments. Whoever says blogging friends aren't real friends - well, the maternity shirt on my back is here to tell you otherwise.