Today was the last day of preschool. A stunningly non-momentous occasion, made even more so by the facts that the end-of-year party already happened yesterday, and that our classroom's little fake diplomas had mysteriously gone missing. We were presented with a laminated piece of construction paper with a poem on it instead. I'm sitting here staring at the thing, thinking...well, I guess I'm supposed to keep this, because they LAMINATED it,, I guess I'll just put it up on the fridge, or something. Or in this nice pile of bills. The year ended with a whimper and a sensory bang, as Noah whined all the way to school that he didn't waaaaant to go to school for the paaaaarrrrty, he waaaaaanteeeed to goooooo toooo Bennnnnjaaaamiiiinnnn's houuuuuuuuuuuuusssssssse, and we were late and I was annoyed and had left my coffee on the kitchen counter and realized that the baby had horked blueberries onto my boob and was busy trying to adjust the sling to cover the stain when Noah took one look at the brightly-decorated classroom, with paper lanterns and inflatable beach toys hanging from the ceiling, and decided that whining was not enough to express his displeasure and launched... Read more →

Evaluation Nation

Where do I begin? On the one hand, I'm glad I never got around to writing that entry about all the fabulous leaps and bounds we've made with Noah over the past couple weeks -- at least not the version I had in mind, which was puff full of Confidence! We've Turned a Corner, Everything Is Fine Now! We're Totally Going To Rock This Evaluation Wheeeeeee! (I just love setting myself up to look like a complete jackass on the Internet. I really do.) On the other hand, I'm glad I at least mentioned it, because otherwise you'd all probably pelt me with your liquor bottles when I tell you Noah's results: Motor: Failed. Spectacularly. Vison: Passed. Non-surprisingly. Hearing: Abstained. With EXTREME PREJUDICE. (Though his tympanogram looked fine.) Cognitive/Educational Concepts: Passed, sort of. It's complicated. We'll say: Passed. With EXTREME ASTERISKS. Speech: Ha ha ha ha. Wait. No. Sit down. Speech: Passed. Spectacularly. The speech therapist praised his articulation (ha ha ha), his ability to label objects and actions and answer questions, his spontaneous speech (which mostly consisted of elaborate protestations and declarations of woe, misery and the unfairness of life as he knows it) and finally admitted that she... Read more →

So Many Entries to Write, and Yet I Give You This

I am losing mah mind over here, people. You know it's bad when I start breaking out the phonetic Southern accent that I don't actually talk with. 1) My baby is SIX MONTHS OLD today. Six! Such a random number to get worked up about, I know, but six! Half a year! Totally in need of a long detailed entry about the state of every tiny little thing he does! But who is going to write that, I ask you. WHO? All my ghostwriters called in drunk. 2) Noah's evaluation with the school district is TOMORROW. At the crack of 9 o'clock. And I've got a whole entry about THAT percolating in my brain, in which I confess that the last couple weeks have actually been w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l and we've made a lot of great p-r-o-g-r-e-s-s and now I have NO idea what to expect from him tomorrow, like I think there might be a chance we get sent home with zero services and I think I might be okay with that, because seriously: w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l. But the minute I say all of that out loud I just know I will jinx everything and come home tomorrow feeling like a truck up... Read more →

Square One

Our insurance company finally reviewed our claim for Noah's proposed speech therapy plan. Denied. Thanks. Assholes. I...I just don't even have the energy to get worked up about it. We'll appeal the decision, of course, but Lord. We waited close to two months for the initial evaluation. We waited another two months for the insurance company's decision. And now. Pfft. There's a "private" rate for the therapy, of course, but I know it's more expensive than another speech/OT program in the area, a program that I think is more comprehensive, a program that I didn't contact initially because...they don't accept our insurance. Our insurance which, on paper, offers fantastic coverage for speech therapy, so it seemed like a logical trade-off. But if we're going to be paying out of pocket ANYWAY...I should...we should...should we? And then there's another, even better program in the city, which we could afford if we downsize to a condo and reduce our mortgage and again, if we're going to be paying out of pocket ANYWAY, if Noah ends up needing private schools ANYWAY...should we? What if Ezra needs early intervention? What if Ezra doesn't? The school district evaluation has become our own personal red wheel... Read more →

I spent all weekend planting things. OUTSIDE things. OUTSIDE, where there are bugs. Worms. Dirt. Nature. After working diligently for two whole minutes I commented to Jason that this wasn't so bad. This wasn't so bad at all! We've spent the last 10 months or so going back and forth about whether we really want to stay out here in the suburbs -- we kind of hate it, honestly -- and we were *thiiiiiis close* to making an offer on a condo in our old neighborhood (hell, practically in our old building) right after Ezra was born (hell, he was still pruny and gory) but then waffled for five minutes because HELLO, pruny gory baby and our house wasn't ready to sell (despite our best psychotic nesting efforts) and then the condo went under contract and All The Stuff With Noah happened and finally we both admitted that yes, we really really really do want to move back to the city but it's just not the right time yet, maybe next year, in the meantime, let's get outside and plant some goddamn tulips. So there I was, planting things -- some bulbs for next year, some shrubs and groundcover and... Read more →

Oh my God, y'all. So Monday night* the phone rings, it's my mom, my dad is back in the hospital. Irregular EKG, lung problems, dizzy spells with chest pains and problems breathing, yadda blah etc. By midnight, he's been admitted, by Tuesday morning the doctors are all, MEH, go home, it's all probably nothing. Have some more Xanax. (My mother is EMPHATIC that these episodes are not panic attacks, as he already HAS panic attacks and takes Xanax for them but there is also Something Completely Different going on that no one seems willing to get to the bottom of.) Oh, but before you go home this here nurse is gonna draw some blood and slap a bandage on you while completely forgetting about the massive amounts of blood thinners you're on and WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU ARE THINKING WE ARE ALL MAYBE LESS THAN COMPETENT? I was all set to do that EVERYBODY! IN THE CAR! NOW! thing that I do, but I woke up with a cold, another blablittyblatbitch cold, hopefully the last one for winter (just in time for ALLERGY SEASON!). But still. Two topics that this blog has covered a few too many times in... Read more →

My coffeemaker randomly overflowed AGAIN this morning, despite my remembering the inner basket and the filter and the carafe and it wasn't my fault and basically I HATE IT AND ITS ASS FACE. *** The unthinkable (yet long-predicted-by-readers-of-this-blog) thing finally happened last night: Jason and I both turned to Noah -- our precious little speech-delayed child -- and begged him to please, just shut up for a goddamn minute, just be quiet, oh my God, my eardrums cannot take another second of full-volume chatter about goddamn Corduroy and his goddamn button and HERE COMES THE CAT! HERE COMES THE CAT! HERE! COMES! THE GODDAMN! CAT! and seriously, child, do you ever stop to breathe anymore? *** (I assure you that last bit had a LOT fewer "goddamns" in real life.) *** I went ahead and sent in our deposit to the Montessori preschool. I just don't feel -- right now, anyway -- that Noah's little quirks and "issues" and "whatevers" are enough to justify pulling him out of the mainstream. I...yes. I feel that. I'm still not totally back up to my old confidence levels regarding my decision-making skills for him, but I finally pulled my ass out of that... Read more →

Dad Update: His left lung, the one that collapsed, has been drained of fluid and...uh...reinflated? uncollapsed? You know. Whatever the proper technical term for WE DONE FIXED IT is. But! Now he has pneumonia in the right lung, and is hallucinating from a lack of oxygen to his brain. And not fun hallucinations that we can tease him about later. Scary dreary hallucinations about death that are making my mom cry and me stress-eat the hell out of a pan of brownies. AND THEN there are a couple heart-related things that I cannot spell but we are assured are at least somewhere in the realm of "normal" complications. So...yay for that? Noah Update: Despite waiting for almost two months for yesterday's evaluation appointment, I sincerely wished I could have rescheduled. Y'all know what the past few months have been like, health-wise, over here, with the colds and sinus infections and ear infections and ear infections LEAKING OUT OF OUR EYEBALLS. So you know that I know Sick. I am an expert at Sick. And yesterday I was indeed at the level of Sick where I shouldn't have been anywhere except my bed, researching the same damn breastfeeding websites, hoping for... Read more →

Done But Not Over

The breaks. We cannot has them. Since I posted on Friday, things went from Fine to Not Fine. "Kaflooey," is my mom's technical term for it. My dad's lung collapsed, his blood sugar went through the roof, he developed an arrhythmia and most likely pneumonia. He's had his lung drained of fluid and several panic attacks because he simply can't breathe. He's been on and off oxygen treatments for days, constantly dancing around the edge of ventilator territory -- improving a little but not quite enough, remaining solidly in the high-level cardiac care unit, which we keep telling him is actually a million-dollar spa getaway when the nurse comes to thump away on his back. I'm sure his insurance company would find us HYSTERICAL. On the other end of the whining spectrum, I woke up on Sunday with another cold. Meaning I could do nothing more for my dad than miserably wave at him from the doorway while covering my mouth and nose, and could do nothing more for my mom than drape myself over the chairs in the waiting room and pretend that I was still awake. My body just plumb gave out, so I came home. And yet... Read more →

The Worst Thing Ever That Actually Really Wasn't

I have been writing posts nonstop in my head since Friday -- nothing I ever intended to commit to the keyboard and publish, just a endless series of disjointed paragraphs that bounced from topic to topic and argued with straw men and imaginary bureaucrats. On and on, my brain kept going and talking and spinning. It kept me awake and anxious at night and distracted and disconnected during the day -- all the signs of an obviously superior coping mechanism. Those of you who follow my sporadic dispatches over at Twitter probably Know Of What I Speak. Here, like a Band-Aid: On Friday, Noah's teacher unleashed a long litany of behavior complaints at me, many of which I was hearing for the first time, others which I thought were already being addressed, all of which together painted a very bleak picture of an overwhelmed, uncontrollable child with no attention span who simply could not function in the classroom. A child whose continued enrollment in the school was in serious jeopardy and was on a one-way track to being dismissed from the school. Here, like a bottle of alcohol emptied on the open wound underneath the Band-Aid: Expelled. From preschool. Merry... Read more →