Sunday, February 28, 2010

california day #7, also known as a dedicatory post to the ultrasound tech who earned himself a cold fold-out chair for his eternity in the fiery place

i realize that i'm pretty much all over the place with my postings, but what can i say? i'm a random gal.

i wrote earlier about one story about our trip in december to california, and i figured i'd share another, mainly because i can now find the humor in it.

but at the time it happened? not so much.

it was the day before we were leaving, and what should have been my 3rd day in disneyland. we had also made a little baby-sitting swaparoo deal with carrie & troy:

(a visual for your pleasure. they are even less normal than they look in this picture.)

where one couple would put all of the kids to bed while the other couple was able to go back to the park and actually ride some adult rides. (not that the 20 times on the "bug's life" slower-than-molasses toddler train isn't a blast.)

on the first night, we had watched carrie & troy's kiddos & the 3rd night they were planning on taking care of our hooligans.

but unfortunately, i woke up on disney-day#3 with some pain in my stomach. i got up and got ready anyway, and ate a little breakfast.

big mistake.

as soon as i put something in my stomach it was rejected and i ran for the bathroom. the sharp, upper abdomen pains didn't go away after the food found its way back out of my esophagus. in fact they increased.

i came out of the bathroom, told ben that i wasn't feeling well and he should take the kids without me, and hopefully i would be able to meet up with them later. i was bummed, and hoped it would pass.

but 7 hours later, i was still in a crazy amount of pain and running to the bathroom about every 20-40 minutes. there was nothing i could do once the stabbing pain would start and i had experienced this same illness right before thanksgiving. same pains, in the same place. and they were only getting worse.

so when ben called in the afternoon, i asked him to call our insurance to see if we had out of state coverage. i didn't go to the dr. the first time i had gotten sick in november, but was starting to wonder if these were gallstones or something.

unfortunately the only thing our insurance covered was an out of state ER visit. well i felt that was a bit dramatic, so i decided to just wait it out.

ben and the kids came home that evening, the kids ate dinner and went to bed. i was still sick. and by this point, add a bit teary to the story because it had taken MONTHS to save up for this dang trip and i had missed out on an entire day of fun, not to mention what should have been a date night with ben.

at about 8:30, i couldn't stand it any longer. it wasn't just the pain and the barfing, but also the knowledge that we were leaving first thing in the morning for a 6 hour ride home. so if there was something that i could do to feel better before hopping in that car, i wanted to do it. and take 10 of them.

finally at 9pm, i had had enough. the kids were asleep, we left the adjoining door of our hotel room open for carrie & troy and left for the ER.

i have been a part of many an ER visit and i know that the term "emergency" is used loosely around there.

about 2 hours later, i was finally seen by a doctor who said that i needed to get an ultrasound done to see if there were any gallstones or kidney stones.

and this is where our story begins. (all of that rambling was just backstory info. bet you're wishing i had told you that sooner, huh?)

the ultrasound tech came sauntering up with a wheelchair, looking a lot like this guy:

mustache included.

i got in the wheelchair and we took off! meaning he went fast. a little too fast, because one of the wheels caught mid-spin and the wheelchair lurched forward, almost dumping me out of it.

ultrasound tech dropped the F-bomb and slowed down. at this point i realized that i had more to fear then the stomach pains i had been enduring.

i lay down on the bed, and since i was merely clothed in a hospital gown & my birthday suit, ultrasound tech put a blanket over my legs so i could expose my stomach without exposing the rest of my goods.

as he went to squirt the freezing cold ultrasound jelly on my stomach he looked down and said, and i quote:

"woah! just had a baby, huh?"



it took me a minute to figure out what he was implying.

i looked around like this:

and then like this:

and when i realized that he was referring to my stretch marks, looked like this:

and this:

{ now here's the deal on stretch marks. i think they are totally lame. not in the fact that when we as women get pregnant, get them, but more in the fact that it seems like there is such a stigma attached to them.

the women who get them (myself included) seem to just want to DIE the minute they see one forming. not all women, i'm generalizing here. we pull out our cocoa butter and oils and lather ourselves up in hopes of stopping the metaphorical tear in our nylons.

and the women who don't get them seem wear it like a badge of honor that their skin is still unscathed and they are just born blessed, lucky and chosen. (again, generalization.)

and some women? they. just. don't. care. and these my friends, are the women to be jealous of.

here is how i feel about stretch marks in general, and mine in particular.

when i was pregnant with caleb, i didn't get one stretch mark until the day he was born. then i think because he hadn't dropped at all and my body just went from:

hey! i'm carrying 17 extra pounds around! no big deal!


holy mother of pearl! there is something inside of me and moving very quickly in the southern direction and i have no control over this! let's stretch out to make room for the party going on!

i remember the utter and sheer disappointment i felt when i came home from the hospital with four small stretch marks on my lower abdomen.

when i was pregnant with leah, i vowed to not have the same thing happen. but right around 8 1/2 mos along, my body disagreed. i ended up with about 6 more stretch marks, all again on my lower abdomen. none of them even reaching my belly button. i realized i was still disappointed about getting them, and decided to change my frame of mind.

so. now how do i feel about them?

well in my quest to figure out why we as women judge each other so harshly, and hold each other up to an insanely high standard...

i own my stretch marks.

i'd like to say i love them, but i haven't quite gotten there yet.

however, i love my children, and they are the cause of the map on my skin and if i had to trade the smoothness of yore for the silvery lines of today i wouldn't.

they signify the journey. so i own them. and quite frankly, if you have them, i think you should too! }

back to the story. there was a purpose for telling you that.

so when ultrasound tech said,

"woah! just had a baby, huh?"

all of that "i own my stretch marks" stuff flew out the window. i became completely and utterly self-conscious.

"well, uh, yeah, uh, a while ago, uh," i stammered.


"jeez. must have been some baby." emphasis on the some.


excuse me?

he did NOT just say that to me!

so i had gone to flustered and self-conscious to ticked off and indignant.

"what is that supposed to mean?" i asked him. with a tone.

even though he was an idiot, he realized his mistake.

"oh, um. nothing. so what's going on with you? why are we doing an ultrasound?" he changed the subject.

"well i've been having some really severe sharp stomach pains and the doctor just wanted to check and make sure i didn't have gallstones or something," i answered, just trying to make it through the rest of the ultrasound without taking the jelly out of his lame hands and squirting it into his eyeballs.

he started laughing.

"what's so funny?" i asked.

"gall stones? doubtful. you're caucasian. my guess is that you ate some spicy mexican food last night and can't handle it." and kept laughing.

that was IT.

"you know, it's really going to SUCK to be YOU if these stomach pains turn out to be pancreatic cancer or something and you just sat here laughing at me in pain," i retorted.

he stopped laughing. cleared his throat. ahem. ahem. aheeeem.

"well, no gall stones," he said quietly.


my tone was icy.

he wheeled me back at a normal pace in silence.

now i ask you.

what kind of an ultrasound tech asks these sort of questions and makes these sort of comments?

that's right. the kind that earns themselves a cold fold-out chair for their eternity in the fiery place.


{ p.s. no, i did not have pancreatic cancer. the doctor had said that when i got back home i needed to be checked for an ulcer or hernia. no i haven't gotten checked for those. because i chalked the experience up to food poisoning (which my bro-in-law also came down with the next day). caused by what? spicy chinese food. take that ultrasound tech! }

what is it with my kids and birthday cake??

caleb, 2006

leah, 2010

even after giving them a taste (against their will) neither of them "got into it."

he ended up in tears...

she ended up sharing.

with the next kid i'm thinking we might just give them a cucumber and let them go to town,
since that's what both caleb and leah wanted anyway.

it's times like these that i have to remind myself that they are in fact my children, when evidence like cake-eating points to the contrary.

luckily they both provided me with lots of leftover goodness.
and that's really what it's mostly about anyway, isn't it?


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Friday, February 26, 2010

the babelet conundrum...continued.

another alternative to the babelet.

this may not solve the party in the back problem, but it helps create a diversion by providing some excitement in the front.

caleb is not a fan, to say the least.

as soon as she walked up to him, he yelled out,


and vowed not to look at her until it was taken out.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

there are times when...

after my kids are in bed, i am often caught reading posts like these, and crying.

it is hard to read of others' suffering, especially when it comes to beautiful babies like layla, being stricken with something that is beyond anyone's control.

i pray for this little baby girl who has been so strong and fought such a good fight, and who is quite possibly losing this battle. i pray for her parents, and her sisters and others who surround her who try to make sense of an enormously un-sensible situation.

and i pray for myself. to have no regrets with my children. to enjoy each moment, instead of counting the minutes until nap time, quiet time, bedtime. to enjoy their soft, slobbery kisses a little more. to play with them and spend time with them all day long and remember that they are a direct gift from God who has given me the blessing of being their mother.

off to spend time with them:

Saturday, February 20, 2010

a late valentine's night out

it started with these...

(which hasn't happened since...ummmm, 2006)

and ended here...

we had such a good time talking, laughing, and dipping dipping dipping.

it was our 3rd date in 2 years and what we have lacked in quantity, we made up for with quality.
(not that i recommend this pattern for other couples. it's good to have frequent one-on-one time and it's something that we are recommitting to make a priority.)

while we were getting ready to go, caleb was asking us what "dates" were and when he would be able to go on them. we talked about him being 16 and then eventually marrying someone who he dated a lot.

as we walked out the door, caleb yelled to me,

"have fun with your husband, mom!"

and i did.

Friday, February 19, 2010

a late valentine's night out

it started with these...

(which hasn't happened since...ummmm, 2006)

and ended here...

we had such a good time talking, laughing, and dipping dipping dipping.

it was our 3rd date in 2 years and what we have lacked in quantity, we made up for with quality.
(not that i recommend this pattern for other couples. it's good to have frequent one-on-one time and it's something that we are recommitting to make a priority.)

while we were getting ready to go, caleb was asking us what "dates" were and when he would be able to go on them. we talked about him being 16 and then eventually marrying someone who he dated a lot.

as we walked out the door, caleb yelled to me,

"have fun with your husband, mom!"

and i did.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

a purposeful babelet??

well this is like the 20th posting i've done of leah. and i have other things to write about, but today was like "rite of passage day" in every little girl's life. bare with me.

okay, so.

after months of waiting...and calling her


baldy mcbalderson,

mr. clean,

(in earlier, more hair-free days...5 months old)

leah finally has some hair.

(which by the way ben takes complete credit for. granted, he is the one who started brushing her bald noggin nightly after her bath, and he feels this is what stimulated the hair follicles. or something like that...ask him about it. i'm sure he'll tell you.)


it's taking longer for the top to catch up to the back. most of the time she kind of resembles mr. stutz, my 7th grade science teacher, who had a combover that was out of this world.

exhibit A:

notice the side swipe? mr. stutz should have patented that little move. he could be a billionaire by now.

and here is the closest thing i have to the back of her hair, even though it's more of a side shot.

exhibit B:

i have to be honest here, and hope i don't offend the masses.

but i am NOT a fan of the baby mullet. i will call it the "babelet." and i haven't been a fan for years. it doesn't seem to matter how darling the face can be in front of the party in the back, i just can't get on board with it.

so my idea was to give her a little hair cut in the back, just enough so that it wouldn't hang over the back of her collars and stuff. giving the top a fighting chance in the race to the finish.

however, ben was completely against the idea.

like whoo doggy! AGAINST.

he was so dramatic about it that he could have physically thrown himself over her head of hair, yelled out "take me instead!" and i wouldn't have been surprised.

cutting this little girl's hair??? after it's taken so long to grow??? i should be ashamed!!

so i backed down. gritted my teeth, tried to calm down her flying hair when it drove me nuts and i saw visions of this little family swimming in my head:

but then today? i may have seen a little bit of the "mullet light."

because after about twenty minutes of trying to figure out what in the world i was even doing, i came up with a semi-finished product of how to work around the "babelet."

and here's the debut:

yes, they look more like upside down pigtails. and yes the back looks horrendous. but like i said, it took me 20 minutes and a whole lot of distracting her to stop pulling it out or arching her back while simultaneously yelling at me.

and it worked...for a few minutes. but at least i saw a hope of what could be.

i'm not sure yet that i'm entirely convinced. the pigtails are cute, but i also like the idea of a cute little round pixie-head until there's enough hair to go around.

any thoughts on the babelet??