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March 2011
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May 2011

I had to ask what, exactly, a "word retrieval disorder" meant, when we met with the child psychologist to go over the action-packed, 25-page report on Noah's evaluation. I understood most of what was in there -- ADHD, auditory processing, some too-early-to-tell red flags for dyslexia for us to "keep an eye on" -- but the word retrieval bit was a new one. Was it like apraxia? I asked. No, she said. That's an inability to form words. This is more about plucking the right word from your brain soup. Basically having it right there on the tip of your tongue, but unable to remember it, or only coming up with words that are similar in concept, but not quite right. For example: saying shovel when you mean hammer, bicycle for motorcycle, or in a unique-to-Noah coping mechanism the psychologist noted, expanding a simple sentence to include a ton of extra, early "filler" words, thus buying himself more time to come up with the more difficult verbs and nouns that would come later. That was really fascinating to see, she said. He's already very aware of what's difficult for him, and is coming up with his own accomodations in lot... Read more →

PREGNANCY PRO TIP: Once your belly reaches a size where it starts provoking unsolicited comments/predictions from strangers regarding your due date and/or the likelihood of you "making it" to said due date and/or shit like "another MONTH, plus some? whoo-boy, get ready for a 15-pounder there, mom," consider dressing in clothing that allows you to blend into the wall color. I find it incredibly slimming. Read more →

Hidden among my father's rows and rows of books -- every book that had ever landed on the high school English curriculum list, plus a few from the banned column, for good measure -- was an impressive stash of Cliffs Notes. I remember being surprised by the huge number of yellow-and-black-striped study guides one day while digging around for something to read, something more challenging than the pathetic selection of Christian young adult fiction-with-a-Jesus-message my school's library offered. I think I was on a Thomas Hardy kick, or maybe it was Vonnegut by that point. Either way, I knew I'd find something that would alternately impress and/or horrify my own English teacher, but I wasn't expecting the Cliffs Notes. I knew exactly what they were, and how most of my peers used them: For cheating. You read the guide and not the book, and hopefully gleaned enough information to bullshit your way through class discussions and tests. They were a safer bet than renting a movie version that might have changed everything, but of course they cost a lot more, and you ran the risk of having a teacher or parent catch you with them. And then there was my... Read more →

Why is today still spring break? Why wasn't one whole week off from school enough? Why this one extra stupid day -- the same day, of course, that I traditionally spend alone and gleeful as I thoughtfully and judiciously "edit" the contents of my children's Easter baskets because THAT BUNNY HAD NO RIGHT TO BE SO GENEROUS -- of stir-crazy kids running around the house begging for peanut-butter eggs? And honestly, I'm not so sure Noah is particularly thrilled with being home with me anymore either. He's bored and done and over it too. Especially since I won't let him ride his little brother like a donkey anymore or swaddle the dog like an infant. I am No Fun, you guys. And he is done with me, professionally. *** You know what IS fun, though? The new car. The kids looooovvvvvve the new car. They want to live in the new car. Yesterday, in a fit of We're Completely Out Of Activities related boredom, we simply opened all the doors to the new car and set them loose in it to climb and explore and turn traction control on and off. Jason and I kicked back on the grass with... Read more →

A long time ago, back when I only had one singular solitary child, my car had to go to the shop for a few days. I rented a car in the meantime, but when I arrived the rental place had given away the last mid-size class car I'd reserved. So they offered me a minivan. I think they thought I'd consider this a fabulous upgrade, since I was clearly SUCH A MOM and all, but I made a face, like, really? Ugh. My mom car is a Subaru WRX! It's a turbo. And a stick shift. It's fucking fast as shit. We used to take it to the racetrack for rally-car driving lessons. Until we got tired of replacing the tires so often. And, you know, we had to put a car seat in the back and a stroller in the trunk. And stuff. But I took the minivan. And to this day, I remember that moment out in the Enterprise parking lot when I opened those remote-controlled side doors and saw how easy it was to get Noah in and out, and all the interior room, and how smooth and quiet it drove and was like, damn, I could... Read more →

Guess what! Guess what guess what! I AM FEELING SLIGHTLY KIND OF A LITTLE BETTER. Definitively, objectively so, even. (Still in bed, however. I left the house exactly once this week, to take Noah to karate, but I sat down the whole time. I PROMISE.) (The previous parenthetical written for 1) my mom, and 2) several of you adorable people, who have been leaving clucking comments of concern and ordering me not to do anything at all, YOU MEAN IT.) The turnaround came from the proper combination of drugsdrugsdrugs, in my case an antibiotic and 12-hour maximum strength Mucinex. The problem, however, is that one of these drugs lists "tiredness" as a side effect and the other one lists "drowsiness." Taken together, I have been experiencing something that can only be described as "HOLY SHIT COMPULSIVE ALL-CAPS EXHAUSTION." Thus, every time I go to write anything I keep *zzzzztt!* doing *snarfhuh?* this thing *headjerk* where I'm *drool* falling asleep *ggguhhhh* in between every other *zzzzzzzz* word. Oh, and did I mention it's Noah's spring break this week? Yeah. I did enlist as many extra babysitting hours as I could finance, but still. It's been super edumacational and stimulating around here,... Read more →

The fun continues. If by "fun" you mean "AMY IS SICK AGAIN AND TALKING ABOUT BEING SICK AGAIN." Which I am guessing is not at all what you meant. So. 33-week OB appointment this morning. Highlights for discussion included: 1) The flu, the aches, the misery, the two-week-old cough that's getting worse instead of better, probably because I keep thinking I feel a little better and then immediately rush back out into the germy world to Get Shit Done and/or Not Neglect My Children and/or Completely Overdo It (see: the rest of this entry). 2) More weight loss thanks to coughing fits leading to vomiting fits several times a day, and a doctor who finally stared at my weight numbers and made a face, like, HMMMMM, but then went on to insist that it won't affect the baby... 3) BUT since it's obviously kicking the ever-loving hell out of me, I should go ahead and stay in bed for as much as possible this week. 4) Also, here are some precautionary antibiotics that I just know aren't going to do a thing because it's a FUCKING SUPER-VIRUS FROM HELL. (AKA YOUR LOCAL PRESCHOOL CLASSROOM.) So far staying in bed for... Read more →

Because I am pretty sure this pregnancy JUST WON'T COUNT without at least one unwarranted, after-hours trip to Labor & Delivery, I went and diagnosed myself with pre-eclampsia last night and called my doctor's answering service in a panic. I'd had a headache all day that was getting worse by the hour, and I was feeling increasingly woozy and tired and out-of-it. My body was a mess of weirdly unspecific aches and pains in my back and sides and shoulders and maybe my abdomen or maybe my uterus, I don't know, it just allll hurts, and I was having these really ridiculously violent coughing fits where I would basically cough until I threw up. By the time I realized I was ALSO running a fever, I was convinced that I was dying of pre-eclampsia or HELLP syndrome or an acksploded gallbladder or something else bad and awful and very dramatic, I am sure. The on-call doctor returned my call, listened patiently to my moaning and agreed that the headache in particular was disconcerting. I put on my shoes and made a mid-air thumb-wrestling gesture to Jason that completely baffled him, even though I don't know HOW it could have been... Read more →

(Actual word-for-word transcript from actual video taken on Monday, which is sadly not exactly suitable for public consumption because one of the on-camera participants was only clad in his underwear, and the other one decided to take off his pants at some point during the conversation as well, and I don't really remember why that was exactly, but they were also standing on top of a wobbly rattan ottoman they'd placed on top of an unsteady upholstered storage bench so they could yell HI! HI! HI! out an open window to random strangers on the street, and then Ezra attempted to climb out the window entirely so really the near-nudity thing was the least of the problems we had going on that day.) Noah: The people in Japan need our help! Amy: Really? Why do they need our help? Noah: Because the earthquake and the wave. And all the guys had to run away! Like this! Noah: *mimes running motions with fingers across his torso* Amy: The guys? Noah: Yeah, the guys! Had to run away from the earthquake and the wave, and then everything got broken. Amy: So how can we help Japan? What should we do? Noah: We... Read more →


Everyone -- okay, well, not EVERYONE, but enough people for it to feel that way -- keeps telling me how lucky I am to have the new baby to look forward to. How thankful I must be! What a wonderful thing! What timing, in the midst of so much sadness, to have something so purely joyful and happy to focus on. The problem is: I don't feel any of those stupid things. The oh-shit moment of general pre-baby non-readiness has morphed into full-on crazy anxiety about the reality of what's coming. Three children. Three! As in, the two I already have, plus ONE MORE. WHAT THE FUCK KIND OF MATH IS THAT. Obviously, I'm feeling a bit over-pummeled in general right now. I'm trying to grieve for my father, support my mother, adjust to an entirely new diagnosis for my son, juggle a full work load and the four-frillion mundane details of everyday life that we all have going on a regular basis, plus, you know, GESTATE. There are probably even more people than that phantom "everyone" I mentioned telling me to be gentle on myself, to cut myself some slack, that there is no right way to navigate losing... Read more →