Escape of the Inner Monologue

World, inside of my head. Inside of my head, world.

X’d Out

There’s a trendy Facebook post going around right now called the Bucket List. It’s a list of lots of somewhat exotic activities, and you are to put an X next to the ones you’ve done and post it as your status. I imagine that there is the obligatory request to tag a billion of your friends in the original post, but like the geniuses they are my friends have skipped this part.

I decided, in a what the hell kind of moment, to do the list, but as I worked my way through it I realized some of the items needed some annotation from me. So here is my Not Actually My Bucket List But A List of Things Some People Do During Their Lives, with notes.

X Shot a gun. I have done this on two occasions. The first was the day of my mom’s funeral, when my cousin thought taking my brother and me to a shooting range would be cathartic. The second was at our next door neighbor’s birthday party.

Gone on a blind date. I have done very little dating in my life, let alone anything as exotic as blind dating. I think I would have passed out from nerves.

X Skipped school. My mom would sometimes let us take “mental health days” while we were growing up, and I extended this policy to myself during college and grad school. Although they were sometimes more accurately called “super fucking hungover days” at that point.

X Watched someone die. I was with my mom when she took her last breath, although I was too panicked and scared to hold her hand for it.

X Visited Canada. High school choir field trip y’all! My family also went to Niagara Falls where my favorite things were riding the Maid of the Mist and going to the Ripley’s Believe It or not Museum because I love hokey shit like that.

Visited Hawaii. Visited Alaska. Putting these two together because although I haven’t been, I fully intend on visiting both at some point.

Visited Cuba. Keeping this separate because I don’t have a strong interest in visiting. As someone with limited funds and vacation time, I have a travel prioritization list, and sadly Cuba, you haven’t cracked the Top 10 yet. No offense.

X Visited Europe. I wish there was a half an X I could make with a keyboard. I would put it next to this one. I have been to a handful of cities around the Mediterranean as part of my honeymoon after my first marriage. They were all gorgeous and amazing and I would love to go back. And I have a lot of places in Europe I want to visit – which is why you aren’t in my Top 10 list, Cuba. Sorry again.

Visited South America. Visited Asia. Visited Africa. Nope. And there’s no point in going to Africa now that Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard made the video I wanted to make about visiting there.

X Visited Las Vegas. I miss these annual trips! We used to go with a great group of people in the summers. R and I got married there!

X Visited Central America. This one is again a half X technicality. I’ve been on a cruise ship that stopped in Belize but I didn’t even get my ass off the boat. It looked pretty though.

X Visited Florida. My dad took us for the first time when I was in 8th grade. We went to Disney World and that trip remains one of the most magical trips of my life. Later, my brother was living there for a while, so Christmas was going to Disney and one of the many many restaurants that were open on Christmas Day. For someone who grew up in a place where the world shut down on Christmas Eve at 5pm, this was so weird. We’ve also sailed out of Port Canaveral and Miami on a couple of cruises. And I had a memorable Spring Break trip in Panama City my senior year of college. Although some truly bizarre, scary, weird shit happens in Florida, it is a nice place to visit.

Seen the Grand Canyon in person. There is a very dirty joke to be made here.

X Flown in a plane. In fact I fly so much I think I’ll volunteer to run the drink cart next time. Mostly because of the number of tiny booze bottles I could hide in my bra.

Served on a jury. I was called but the case ended before the jury was required. Sigh. I’d love to do this.

X Been lost. Not sure if this means physically, spiritually, or just in regards to what chore to do next, but yes, all of the above.

X Traveled to the opposite side of the country. Not precisely sure how this would be calculated from my current location, but as I’ve been to all the edges of the country, I’m gonna say yes.

X Visited Washington, DC. I love DC. The museums, the culture, even the Metro. DC is a city I could see myself living near. Not in, as I do not have the necessary personal wealth, but near. The first time I went to DC was on my first airplane ride around the age of 8 when I accompanied my mom to her stepdad’s funeral. His wife had to be sedated to stop her from throwing herself on the casket and screaming about how science had taken his eyes. My subsequent trips have been heavier on the fun and lighter on the funeral dramatics I am happy to say.

X Swam in the ocean. I did not see any ocean until the Panama City spring break trip I mentioned. Our first night there we went dashing out to the beach to walk around in the surf, by which I mean we started stripping off clothes and wandering around in the waves. Even though there was a tide warning because there had been storms in the area. Ah, college!

Played cops and robbers. Played cowboys and Indians. I do not remember ever playing either of these games. Although I did have my own game where I picked these weeds in our yard that looked a bit like wheat and collected them and added water and pretended to make bread like a settler. And yes I did so have friends.

X Recently colored with crayons. And you should too!

X Sang karaoke. In general, I do not do karaoke. But sometimes you are drunk on a cruise ship or at your bachelorette party or at a creative thinking retreat in a small New England town and a firefighter picks you up and puts you on a pool table and tells you to sing Shania Twain.

Sang a solo or duet in church. Where now? I actually probably would have done this during grade school, but since I wasn’t Catholic, but attended a Catholic grade school, I wasn’t allowed to join the group that performed at church.

Paid for a meal with coins only. This would require me to be organized enough with my pocket change to have it with me and counted and ready to pay.

X Made prank phone calls. At a slumber party at my best grade school friend’s house we were exchanging prank calls with boys and somehow talked my dad into calling them and pretending to be a police officer and telling them to leave us alone.

X Laughed until some beverage came out of your nose. This happens to me regularly. My life is blessed with laughter. Least painful to most painful: water, Diet Coke, milkshake, champagne, Four Horsemen.

X Caught a snowflake on your tongue. Only monsters haven’t done this. Not that I have an opinion.

X Had children. And I tell her every day how lucky I am to be her mommy.

X Had a pet. I actually don’t think there has ever been a time in my life when I haven’t had a pet, which is awesome.

Been skinny-dipping. Not the full monty.

X Been fishing. We used to fish with my Grandpa on Kentucky Lake. I caught a cat fish once and cried until they put it in a bucket and let it swim around. We also fished a bit when I was a teen, and during one of those trips my mom caught a snapping turtle. I recommend not doing that.

X Been boating. On one of our summer trips to Kentucky we were out on a pontoon boat in the middle of the lake when the boat broke down. My brother was wearing a tremendously fluorescent baseball cap that we used to attract the attention of a nearby boat. Bad fashion saves the day!

X Been downhill skiing. I went down a bunny hill twice, and the next most challenging hill once. I did this only because the guy I was dating at the time was a ski instructor, and we had only been on a couple of dates so I was still trying to impress him with how interesting I was instead of admitting that the idea of skiing terrifies me and I’d much rather be sitting in the lodge drinking alcoholic hot chocolate.

Been water skiing. I think this is even more terrifying than downhill skiing.

Been camping in a trailer/RV. Been camping in a tent. My one and only camping experience was with my Girl Scout troop in grade school, and it was more Camp Beverly Hills than camping.

Driven a motorcycle. Never driven, but I love being a passenger!

Been bungee jumping. No. No no no. Nope. Nope. No.

X Gone to a drive-in movie. This is, in my opinion, the best way to see a movie.

X Done something that could have killed you. For me, this includes walking, so yes.

X Rode an elephant. Rode a camel. At the zoo. Don’t go thinking I’m some awesome world traveler now, guys.

X Eaten just cookies, cake, or ice cream for dinner. See: college.

Been on TV. Not to my knowledge. If I have been, please let me know.

Stolen any traffic signs. No – not only is this a crime, it’s a lame crime.

X Donated blood. I try to do this whenever I can, and you should too!

X Gotten a piercing. Do ears count? Then yes.

X Gotten a tattoo. I have three so far.

Gone off road 4 wheeling. Ever owned your dream car. No, and owning a chauffeured limo with a champagne bar will not help me go 4 wheeling.

X Been married. Took me two tries to get it right.

X Fell in love. And I’ve been so grateful.

Paid for a stranger’s meal. The only time it occurred to me to do this I heard the person in front of me in line (my intended target) placing an order for his entire office. I’m generous, but not rich, and subsidizing donuts for an accounting firm isn’t exactly the point of paying for a stranger’s meal.

X Driven over 100 mph. When my grandma moved in with my dad, my then boyfriend and then best friend rented a car to drive down to her place to pick up her car for me to use. The rental car was this huge boat of a sedan, and I accidentally got it up to 120 without even noticing.

Been scuba diving. This is R’s department. They tend to want you to know how to swim in order to do this.

X Written a published book/story/poem. YOU’RE READING IT, SUCKERS. HAHAHHAHAHHA.

X Eaten snails. And it was a one time thing.

X Ridden in a Hot Air Balloon. R took me on a hot air balloon ride in Vegas as a Valentine’s Day gift one year. We got to help prep the balloon, help launch it, and help throw golf balls onto a putting green from the basket. The golfers did not appreciate that.

Rode in a helicopter. Perhaps I can take one to look at the Grand Canyon in person, and finally think of the right dirty joke to be made about that.

X Met a celebrity. I have walked straight into both Fiona Apple and Busta Rhymes. And I was in a play with Corky from Life Goes On.

 

So that’s me – 37 out of 64. I can’t see that number climbing drastically, as except for some of the travel things I don’t plan on adding many of these experiences. But it was a fun list just because of all the stories it reminded me of from my life. So thanks, Not My Bucket List for a fun walk down memory lane. Now off to spend the rest of my day thinking about the best dirty joke about seeing the Grand Canyon.

Sun Spots

Every year in January I try to get all my appointments out of the way. I hit up my doctor, my dentist, the gyno, and the eye doctor. It’s a simple way to stay on track with my health care, and it gives a bit of instant gratification to my annual “take better care of myself” goal setting.

I realized at my annual physical that it’d been five years since I’d been given a good once over for weird moles or rouge freckles. My skin tone is best described as clear. Google a picture of a baby manta ray and you’ll get a good likeness, not only of my skin tone, but also of the face I make if you wake me up in the middle of a nap. I’ve never been tan – the closest I come is getting enough freckles together in one spot that if you squint at me from a distance, I look a little darker. But I can burn in under 3 minutes. Plus, my family has some history of troubling skin spots. So I instituted a regular inspection appointment in 2000, and asked my doctor to check me over for areas of concern.

My GP gave me a cursory once over, said she didn’t see anything problematic, and offered me a referral to a dermatologist. I happily accepted and scheduled my appointment, quietly congratulating myself on being such a responsible and conscientious skin owner.

At the dermatologist, they asked me to strip down to my underpants and put on a stylish floral gown. The nurse then said that I was also free to remove my socks if I’d like the doctor to check the skin on my feet. “Wait – why wouldn’t I have her check my feet?” I asked, genuinely wondering if there was some secret dermatological protocol I’d be violating. “I dunno, some people don’t want their feet checked,” she responded, and excused herself, leaving me wondering why someone would be happy to let the doctor examine their butt crack and armpits for questionable lesions but would feel that exposing their feet was simply too personal.

The doctor came in and got to work, giving me my exam while seamlessly weaving together genuinely fun conversation with skin care tips. It was truly skillful. She went from making a joke about the weather to discouraging me from ever using spray sunscreen without missing a beat. They must practice on each other during slow times. “Ok now try to segue from your favorite hot dish recipe to a discussion on why rash guards are the best swimsuits. Go!”

After looking me over from my scalp to my scandalously exposed feet, she looked at me and said, “Ok, there’s a spot on your nose we need to treat. It’s a pre-cancerous spot and we can treat it right here in the office.” There was more after that but my brain had seized up and refused to keep up with her. The word cancer strikes fear in the heart of any thinking person, and if you’ve witnessed loved ones fight that particular demon, there’s an especially sharp edge to that terror. She must have caught the look in my eyes, because she paused her charming patter to reassure me that it was just a small spot, wasn’t yet a problem, and that she could treat it and it wouldn’t become an issue. I thanked her, and then asked if she wouldn’t like to recheck the rest of my body because holy fuck. She laughed and said that nothing else looked problematic at all, but that they’d bring me back in next year to take another look, and I could always come in if I thought something looked funny. She then asked if I’d like to have the spot treated that day. I said yes before she even finished the sentence. “Are you sure? Do you have any big events coming up, like a wedding you’re in, or a big presentation? The treatment will leave a red mark that will be there for a couple weeks, and it may blister,” she said. “Please to get the cancer off my face. Now. Please,” I responded.

Which is how I came to be looking down the barrel of a liquid nitrogen gun. She warned me that it was going to hurt, and that I should hold very still. She then shot my nose for a few seconds and told me to flip over so she could check my back. I was stunned that that was it. It wasn’t even all that painful.

I passed the rest of my exam with flying colors, and made my follow up appointment for next January. To be honest, I felt pretty wigged out for the rest of the day. (The kids are still saying wigged out, right?) Despite my hypochondriatic leanings, I didn’t suspect she’d actually find anything. I’m not even 40 yet, and I’m pretty dedicated to my sunscreen regimen. And my GP hadn’t noticed the spot, despite it being front and center on my face. I spent the rest of the day feeling happy that I had dodged a bullet and scared that I had been shot at in the first place.

So take advantage of your sunscreen dear readers, and stay on top of your health. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to invent a vat I can use to dip my daughter in SPF 100 every morning.

My Sleep Number is ZZZZZZ

When R and I first started discussing the relocation, I told him that my condition on agreeing to the move would be that we’d invest in a new bed. We’d been putting up with a crappy Ikea king size mattress for years. I was waking up in so much pain I was unable to fully straighten my legs for about 20 minutes after getting out of bed. And R is a professional snore generator, so I specified that I wanted a fancy bed with a button I could use to smother him raise his head when he woke me up for the fifth time in a night.

Several months passed in the new house, and we still hadn’t done anything about the bed. While on our recent vacation, R and I discussed our goals for 2016. And we both agreed – good sleep was a primary goal for the whole family.

And thus, on Christmas Eve, I found myself wearing my pajamas, lying on an air bladder, trying to ignore the salesperson hovering nearby, while also trying to give the impression that I was seriously considering the information he was sharing about the mattress instead of just trying not to nod off in the store.

The mattress shopping experience was an interesting one. R is one for intense internet research, and he hit up the Reports de Consumers for recommendations. Those people love them some Sleep Numbers, so we went to the store to check them out. They do this demonstration where they have you lie down on a specific bed that then creates a rendering of your personal high pressure points when laying down. Although, assuming the average customer doesn’t have a case of elephantiasis, I’m guessing the results are pretty similar for most people. Then they adjust your number until all the pressure goes away. Voila, your Sleep Number. Then you go around to the other mattresses in the store and lie on them with your Sleep Number in place and decide if you want to commit. All while trying to not continuously make eye contact with the crotch of the salesperson who is standing nearby earnestly describing the different kinds of foam cradling your butt. Seriously, it was like the Mona Lisa, always following you. Every time I opened my eyes, BOOM, stranger crotch. It wasn’t deliberate – I had no sense that he was some kind of passive aggressive harasser. It was just badly awkward timing between his laps of the bed and my eyes opening. I started just keeping my eyes shut until i had sat up completely, so he wouldn’t think I was some kind of ball stalker.

I forced us to visit another store to try out some traditional mattresses, because I can’t spend significant amounts of money without performing comparison shopping first, and I needed new crotch level scenery. We agreed that we liked the Sleep Number better. Now we had to decide which one.

Having mandated that I wanted to be able to adjust the angle of R’s thunderous sleep trumpet, we knew we were going with at least a half split mattress. That way his head can be elevated but mine can still be flat. We then had to decide if we were going full split. Which sounds like the name of a Bruce Willis movie that takes place at a gymnastic competition. (“Stick this landing, mother fucker!”) But it actually means that our king bed would essentially be two twin beds – allowing for fully independent motion of the head and feet for each of us.

The most interesting part of this discussion was when we asked the salesperson why people typically decide against the full split, he said it was because they didn’t like the distance it created between them. Interestingly, a colleague at a recent work dinner raised this same point when I was singing the praises of the new bed. I told my colleague that although I was flattered by his concern about my ability to get sweet lovin, a half inch depression down the center of the bed was not exactly the equivalent of the “leaving room for the Holy Spirit” style of couples dancing they enforce at Catholic grade schools. Perhaps if R and I were cuddlers when we sleep we’d feel differently, but we’re secure enough to agree that we sleep much better when we’re not trying to battle for arm location supremacy. Which is why we have a king size bed in the first place. It’s just like Patrick Swayze’s rules for dance space in Dirty Dancing, but about sleeping. Also no one is carrying a watermelon.

So having overcome the awkward discussion of the strength of our marriage with a mattress salesperson we had met a mere 45 minutes prior, R and I signed on the line and went for it. I am happy to report that if you need people to recreate the Craftmatic adjustable bed commercials, we are now fully equipped to do so. And let me tell you, it’s been great. No more morning pain, awesomely comfortable reading positions, and the fun of watching the cats freak out as you suddenly deflate the bed beneath them. That alone is worth every penny.

Ah The Holidays

And we’re back!

I hope everyone had a terrific holiday season. We had the chance to host one of our dearest friends for Thanksgiving, and showed him all the wonders our new home town had to offer. Just kidding, we totally sat around in our pajamas eating too much and watching movies. I did get to share the wonders of a much loved family recipe with my awesome new MN friends, who loved it as much as we all have for years, so that was very rewarding.

We spent the middle of December on a boat. Our second Disney cruise, to be precise. Disney has perfected vacations and cruises are no different. We sailed on the Disney Wonder and got to enjoy being unplugged for a solid week. Then we spent a quick weekend with friends in Houston and it was back north for Christmas.

I felt mixed emotions about being gone for 10 days of my precious Christmas season. I really really love Christmas, and I did miss being away from our new home and experiencing the season just as things were starting to ramp up. Between that and the odd weather, I just never got around to feeling Christmasy. Until Boxing Day, of course. Timely as always. But then again I’ll never complain about being on a cruise.

New Year’s we went to the birthday party of a charming young man, the son of one of my MN friends. L had a ball playing with all the kids and talking to the birthday boy’s uncle for the better part of an hour about her sippy cup and snacks, while he very patiently did not ask her to please stop standing in front of the football game he was watching.

An overall low key but enjoyable holiday season.

I didn’t end up making resolutions for this year, really. Last year proved that anything can happen, so fuck your plans. Instead I decided to pick my focus for the year, a focus I could apply to decisions, plans, and the day to day. This year’s focus is self care. I’ve been letting a lot slip when it comes to slowing down and taking time and energy to serve my own needs. So now every day I try to set aside some time to think about what I’ve done and what I can do to make sure I’m taking care of myself. I know it’s only day 22 but so far so good.

I hope you all had a wonderful season and set sail with happy hearts in 2016.

Daughter Wisdom

How has it been more than a fricking month since I posted? Insane. Time flies… as does judgment. It’s funny, but I find myself second guessing myself so much. I’ll think of something that might be a fun blog post and then I just mentally shoot it down until it doesn’t exist anymore. I mean, I’ve got a bucketful of excuses about how busy we are and how quickly the days move and whatnot but it really comes down to feeling like I can’t think of anything worth posting about.

Enter my glorious daughter.

We had just returned from a really fun weekend celebrating the marriage of two amazing people. We had had to get up super early for our flight home, and there was all the usual travel nonsense of driving, turning in the car, riding on a tram, hanging out in the airport, plus the actual flight and drive home …. all the waiting and sitting that 2 year olds really don’t care for. But she was, as usual, such a patient little traveler. So when we got home and she asked to go outside, I was more than happy to follow her lead and let her drive the next day part for a change.

She asked for her chalk and told me she wanted to draw airplanes on the driveway. We did that, and then I was instructed to draw a shark, a BEEEEG dragon, Totoro, and a snake. Then she wanted to sit down and color on her own for a while. She told me to sit next to her, and she happily started chalking away. I watched her for a few minutes, admiring her creation. She noticed I wasn’t drawing, picked up some pink chalk, and said, “Draw Mommy.”

“Ok. What should I draw?”

“Draw.”

“Ok.” I sat and stared at the blank pavement before me. I fiddled with the chalk. I stared some more.

“Mommy. Just draw.”

That kid is a genius, I tell you. I drew a heart, because in that moment she made mine feel very, very full.

Two Lessons Learned in the Past 24 Hours

Lesson One: Technology = Getting Slapped in the Balls

So if Murphy wrote laws specifically designed for blogs, I bet one of them would be “When you finally decide to publicly announce that you’re spilling your inner musings onto a web page, when you’ve mustered the courage to offer up your tender inner vulnerable core of feelings to the world, when you throw caution and fear of judgment to the wind and throw open the gates to your private mind…. you will inadvertently install a WordPress update that ruins your custom theme and makes your blog look like a piece of poo that’s been sitting out in the elements for two weeks.”

So high five there for me! The format of the blog has been fixed, although I will continue to tweak it back to how it was. But it is once again legible, so I’m ahead of where I was yesterday.

Lesson Two: Ironic Sex Toys Save Bedtime

Once many years ago, my mom bought me riding crop as a joke. I sadly cannot even remember the exact circumstances under which this happened, but I’m certain it either had to do with me being a bitch or my mom trying to get me to be a bitch. Believe it or not I used to have a problem with timidity. Anyway, point is, I own a riding crop that has never been used for anything other than making cleaning people and movers feel uncomfortable as they pick it up and relocate it while they do their respective jobs. It’s one of those things that I keep thinking to myself, man, I should throw that away. And then I go about my life and promptly forget all about it.

Last night, L was super overtired and grumping to an unusual degree about falling asleep. She has been refusing to sleep in her room since we moved into the new house, and as such has been sleeping with us for the last three weeks or so. This is really the only thing she has had any trouble adjusting to with all the massive changes recently, so we are giving her the time to work through things. But, last night, she was literally flailing her exhausted little limbs around with frustration about bedtime. And then at one point, she pitched her binky behind the bed.

These binkies are the Kong of the toddler world – they are a higher level of indestructible than the average bink, as cutting molars leads to a lot of vigorous and destructive chewing. As such they are more expensive. So I don’t own a billion of them like I did of her other binks. However, I did have a spare on my night stand, so I handed her the other bink, and prayed I’d remember to retrieve the exiled bink from behind the headboard in the morning. She rejected this new bink, and cried for the other one. So, thinking I was super clever, I took the new bink, got down on the ground next to the bed, and happily popped up a few seconds later proclaiming “found it!” I handed her the bink – no dice. She totally knew I was totally faking and she was totally not having it. She cried harder and demanded her original bink back again. I turned on the light and looked under the bed. The bink had landed in the wasteland of the under the bed space that I can’t reach from either side. Because life.

So, I cast about for a way to retrieve the bink without having to move the bed… and thought of my good ol’ riding crop. Turns out it is the perfect tool for retrieving binkies from underneath king sized beds. In fact I am surprised that isn’t their slogan. “Riding Crops: Giddy Up Little Binky!”

(I just had to google how to spell giddy up. THANKS BRAIN.)

So That Happened

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and the reason is that I’ve been caught up in a sea change – my family relocated from my lifelong hometown to Minneapolis. My husband was offered a fantastic job, and we decided to go for it. And we’ve been packing, moving, working logistics, and reorienting for the last month or so.

I’m still feeling so greatly overwhelmed by this whole thing that I still can’t truly put it into words. I’m in a new city for the first time in my life. It’s exciting and scary, and stressful and energizing. I have no idea why I’m shying away from writing about it however – it’s like my brain is standing there, staring at the sausage machine (not a euphemism for a body part), with its little brain hands full of words and thoughts and feelings and emotions, and saying, nah, I really can’t bring myself to cram all this into the porous intestinal casing of the English language right now.

It’s unusual to me to feel so stymied about a topic. So I’m going to divide and conquer – fingers crossed. I’ll start trying to write little posts about small aspects of this huge event, and see if that makes it any more approachable. And then we’ll take it from there, my devoted eyeballs. All two of you. 🙂

But please forgive my absence, and know that if it were not for the fact that my emotions have been doing their best impression of Houdini’s water escapes recently, I would have been faithfully posting.

Things I Have (Mostly) Stopped Myself from Saying in an Elevator Full of Strangers

“You ever stop to think about which corner of the elevator you’d use as a bathroom if you got trapped in one of these things?”

“You seem pretty dedicated to being the Big Spoon here.”

“I am assuming you saved someone’s life this morning, and that is why you reek of sweat and week old stroganoff. Not simply because you didn’t bother to shower.”

“Do you see a guy putting on his Superman costume in here? No, you don’t. Because this isn’t a phone booth. Hang up your damn cell.”

“Did you know 30 people get killed by elevators every year?”

“Let’s play a carnival game! Let’s all try to guess how many cigarettes she’s had today based only on how she smells!”

Me and My IUD

Our daughter is the light of my life. My husband and I adore her more than words can say. But we are a one child type of family. And I’m either just so constantly enthralled by the very deepest mysteries of the universe or so tired and forgetful that I have gotten a little, shall we say, flexible with the taking of my birth control pill. Several friends of mine had given their IUDs rave reviews, so I decided that perhaps something that did not require daily attention was a good idea for me. I made the appointment and immediately began psyching myself out about how painful the procedure would be. Remember, the last time something traveled through my cervix it was about as enjoyable as gobbling up glass shards covered in sriracha, so I was a bit gun shy about the whole idea.

Having received no warnings from my midwife to pre-comfort myself with ibuprofen, bring a friend to drive me home, or make sure my living will was on file, I guessed that the procedure was not a big deal. Still, I was a bit amused by the regularness of the whole thing. No special room, no special gown, no lecture from the nurse about after care. I felt the occasion was a bit of a milestone – a reversible milestone, but still a marker of the end of my reproducing years. An acceptance and official recognition that I will never again sniff a fresh baby head that I made, mix up a bottle of formula of my choosing, or try to negotiate a breastfeeding attempt at 3am with an infant who feels very strongly that no matter what we try it is all wrong and terrible. As you can guess, some of these things made me a bit sad, and some of these things were a big relief.

The first step of an IUD insertion is having your uterus sounded. I happened to know what sounding means, as during a wine fueled evening of raucous laughter with R and some of our best friends, we got into one of those conversational tangents that led to an Incognito-Mode exploration of some of the more hilariously NSFW sites online, and discovered the wide world of medical fetishism. Evidently some people derive pleasure from having the depths of their urinary or reproductive organs measured by way of insertion of a metal stick with markings. My personal experience was almost completely unnoticed by yours truly, as I asked how long it would take and my midwife replied that she had finished already.

The point of this exercise in this case was to determine how long to cut the strings that hang off of the IUD, through the cervix, and into your vagina. After all, you don’t want danglers. But they have to be long enough for you to check that they are still there every month, so you know that your IUD hasn’t perforated your uterus and gone wandering around your body, wearing socks with sandals and stopping to take tourist photos on busy sidewalks. Or giving you sepsis. The most disturbing part of this is that evidently you can’t feel it when an IUD perforates. Notifying you that there has been a perimeter breach is not high on the list of things to do for the average uterus.

Once the IUD has had its haircut, it’s insertion time! This process takes about thirty seconds, and for me, was about as painful as a hard pinch. Then it was pants on and pay up time.

I went home and spent the rest of the day having pretty bad cramps, which they said was normal. I think this is why they want you to be on your period when they place the IUD – all the cramps just blend together and by the time the week is over it’s all a hazy menstrual memory.

It’s been a couple weeks at this point and I’ve had no issues so far. I still sometimes stop and wait to see if I’ve managed to sneeze hard enough to dislodge it. Have to keep yourself entertained somehow.

On a Roll

It’s been one of those times around our house. You know, the times that cause other people to wonder which deity you managed to piss off so badly. I even got sent pity flowers by my stepmom. That kind of time.

Two weeks ago on a Saturday, I came down with strep throat. I had a fever so high my doctor later chided me for not going to the ER. Tuesday afternoon, my daughter had a playground accident. She and another kid were evidently doing their best impressions of freight trains and ran full speed into each other. She bounced and landed on her elbow, fracturing it. We spent the evening in the ER (at least someone got to go). On Wednesday she developed a fever. I took her to the pediatrician who said she either had strep or a sinus infection and regardless here are some antibiotics. We went to the orthopedist on Thursday and got her cast put on. Then on Saturday, my husband started to come down with the strep throat.

And then on Sunday, the dog got into the act. And by the act I mean her ass exploded. And not in the traditional way asses explode, but rather in the way specific to dog asses, where their anal glands become infected and then rupture. I had noticed on Saturday that things were looking a little harassed in Buttland, and made a mental note to call the vet on Monday. And then BOOM went the poop and puss filled dynamite. All. Over. The. House.

Happy Mother’s Day indeed.

So she got a trip to the ER. (I was starting to feel left out.) We followed up with our vet later in the week, who recommended a laser treatment for the dog’s butt. Yes, my dog is now just like a Kardashian, having fancy laser treatments on her butthole.

At least I had the entertainment of watching my 2 year old repeatedly get her cast stuck inside the dog’s cone of shame. Together they formed a hilarious, awkward, and adorably conjoined mess.

Here’s hoping we’re all healthy and happy soon!