New Words

Hey guys! The adoption is still stuck stuck stuck. We are basically 2 months past when we expected to be ready as recently as 3 months ago.

So therefore no news = no posts. But AmoebaJr has been having some life events that I thought I’d share.

AmoebaJr, just within the past week, has been using all kinds of words! Water (wah-er) and bubbles (BUB-el). She’s now saying “mama” and “dada” at everything, usually at pictures of us. She’s saying no as well now. Previously she said “yeah” and then added in “okay”. There are other things where she makes a consistent sound for the item so we understand, but she doesn’t say the word. She’s doing a few others very intermittently, but those are the words we hear regularly.

Also as a bonus, she’s got spots. I’ll have to tell you about that next time.

Books Not Tuberculosis

In celebration of an upcoming literacy day, the local McDonald’s hosted some bloggers from around town at the Ronald McDonald house to promote their program to give one of four books in each kids’ Happy Meal.

I mentioned this the other day and was planning on going. However I have a horrible dry cough that has been sitting in my lungs for like two weeks now. I decided if there’s any place you don’t want to be spread germs it’s in a place where lots of people are meeting each other (handshakes et cetera) and where people with hospitalized children are staying.

So I bowed out and missed the event. I was planning on doing this as a favor to a friend, not because I was going to be compensated. Well, along with attending I was also going to promote the event on social media. During the event I was not spreading my germs at I went to twitter to follow and post to hashtag McIndyMoms. I got a few interactions (retweets and replies) so it wasn’t a bust. I did miss out on missing some local bloggers I’ve wanted to meet for a while though. :-/

But the last thing I need to be putting into Happy Meals is SARS or some unidentified alpaca flu.

Halloween in November

Well Halloween as come and gone. Because of storms through a good portion of our state with tropical storm force winds, Halloween was moved to the following day. Which means Friday (yay!) but November (boo!).

I really enjoy Halloween but it was a bit lackluster this year. In addition to the day getting messed up, costumes didn’t happen. We were trying to do a family muppet theme, but it didn’t work out. AmoebaJr ended up a T-rex and Hermoine was going to do a cave woman. I was going to be an asteroid. I never got with the program and got it taken care of and Hermoine’s cave woman sucked, so it was just AmoebaJr.

I stayed home to pass out the candy instead of leaving it on the porch like last time. And even that was lackluster. We live in a somewhat secluded neighborhood that is on the small side. I probably got a dozen kids total in about 5 groups.

So here we are approaching mid-November and I’m starting to free base Whoopers since we still have so many left. The good news though is that there is lots of good quality candy to slowly eat over the next 12 months.

Happy Meals Just Got Happier

McDonald’s is hosting local bloggers at the Indianapolis Ronald McDonald house this week. Coming this month to McDonald’s locations nationwide, books are now going to be inserted into Happy Meals for the first 2 weeks of November in celebration of National Family Literacy Day.

In addition to 1 of 4 children’s books in each Happy Meal, McDonald’s of Central Indiana starting a “Give a Book, Get a Book” campaign.

• Book donation sites will be set up around the area at the Ronald McDonald House, local libraries and Indy Reads from Nov. 1- 14.
• In exchange for the donation of a new or gently used children’s book, customers will receive a Be Our Guest card for a free Happy Meal.
• In addition, participating libraries will host a “Happy Meal Day” with activities for kids and McDonald’s Happy Meal books.

To participate, drop of books at any of the following locations:

• Hussey-Mayfield Public Library (Zionsville, Ind.)
• Attica Public Library
• Elwood Public Library
• Barton Rees Pogue Memorial Library (Upland, Ind.)
• Brownstown Public Library
• Indy Reads (2450 N. Meridian St.)
• Ronald McDonald House (435 Limestone St.)

Unless I find out otherwise, the only compensation I’m receiving for support the campaign through social media is refreshments at the blogger’s event.

*edit* no compensation, I missed the event.

More Than 7 Billion Results

Did you know you can use Facebook’s new(er) search for all kinds of crazy things? For examples, if I was trying to find a girlfriend and I lived in Milwaukee I could search for that.

Search for gender: girl, status: single, current city: Milwaukee, likes: OKCupid. I can even put in religion or age. That’s mildly creepy. And now all I have to do is look for her profile on OKCupid. (Actually, I have no idea how dating sites work. If you can believe it, I met my wife before that was really a thing.)

Ok, so maybe we flirted at the pharmacy while I was buying toenail fungus remover but I didn’t pick up on it so I need this to hunt her down after I realize it. Or maybe, you know, I’m just that creepy.

The interesting thing I found the other day was you can search for people you aren’t friends with. This could come in handy, if I liked some obscure bluegrass rapper and wanted to find girls that are single in Milwaukee that like this obscure Facebook page and are not already my friends.

Apparently, though, you can just search for people that aren’t your friend. (Of course you should be able to do this, but as the only operator, it’s a bit weird.) There are currently 7.12 billion people on this planet. The only thing I’ll find in doing a search for people I’m not already friends with is the number of those 7-plus billion who are on Facebook.  (One and a quarter billion people currently have active Facebook accounts.)

They do seem to display them in a way that isn’t totally random. Taking a look at the first 3 presented to me, all 3 are white freelance writers who live in the US. I’ve actually met two of them in person; twice, even!

Not Friends

That Week I Almost Met Jim Beam

It has been an emotionally draining week for me. I stand by that I think parenting isn’t hard. But it is damn exhausting sometimes. With AmoebaJr not being able to communicate but be old enough to have not only needs but now also wants and opinions, it’s becoming increasingly frustrating. Have you heard of the website that posts pictures of kids crying with an explanation of what made the kid cry? It would be something like a kid crying in front of a birthday cake because they wanted purple frosting instead of yellow; or something equally benign.

Let’s talk about AmoebaJr. Walks to the fridge, holds her arms up indicating she wants to get in. I say “do you want some water?” and she replies “yeah.” Because that’s essentially the only word she says. I grab the water and attempt to hand it to her. She vigorously shakes her head back and forth and creates a noise at a pitch which I’m not entirely sure doesn’t permanently damage my hearing more and more each time.

Well, fuck me! I’m such a bad parent. I deserve to be removed from my limbs.

This happens probably a dozen times a day with various things. And I’m ready to dig out my ear drums with a milkshake spoon.

Our adoption thing is going nowhere. And it’s going there so slow, I could run past it. It was supposed to be like a 2 week thing. And a supervisor was going to be out, so really it should have been pushed back no more than end of September. It’s mid-October and I’ve gotten more answers from a Magic 8 Ball. We’ve even been spoken to regarding a possible placement already, but we can’t get enough info to make a decision until we have our license.

Then there’s all this bullshit sexual crap going on in my “other” circle. So I try to hang out with moms, but I’m not really accepted. (No dad has reached out, but that’s another story.) Even among local bloggers (you’d be surprised how many people blog from Indy), I can’t get noticed.

I try to hang out with other mental health bloggers, but they have real problems. Not this bullshit that’s decently controlled by my meds. And nothing I can really help them with.

I also align with the science communicators online. These are scientists, journalists, or enthusiasts that blog, tweet, or otherwise post science-y things online. I don’t have a graduate degree, I’m not published anywhere, and I haven’t been able to fit in there either.

I have, though, met some genuine people in all 3 circles. I see a lot of people that have connected on social media in a way I never will, so I don’t know that they’d call me friends, but I have met some wonderful people.

Well, it’s that science circle where the shit has hit the fan over the past week. Someone came forward with a detailed account (not merely an accusation) of sexual harassment from a person that is extremely well-known, loved, and respected in this community of science communicators. And then another. And then another. So we now have 3 women on record with their name detailing the inappropriate behaviors. How do we respect the victims but not let someone that has made great impact into so many lives feel like he has no shot at redemption? It was much harder when their was only one. Now the pattern is emerging. As my friend said, “no one does this to just one person.”

I privately contacted two of the women, because they are in my circle (the original one, I do not know). I just told them that what happened was horrible and that sharing their story was the right thing to do. I thanked them for sticking their neck out so this wouldn’t happen to more women. I received a response from one of the two thanking me for the support. There’s just too many feels. I realize I have a big heart, but I’m amazed at some of the callousness some men in the circle have shown.

About a month ago, a local mother who blogs (virtually the only one that interacts with me) unexpectedly lost her infant. I can’t imagine that hurt. But she has 2 other kids she has to hold it together for. I haven’t met this person, but I’ve never seen anything to suggest that she’s anything but an A-1 class act person. We discussed a play date before this tragedy. Needless to say, that’s on hold. So yeah, I haven’t met her, but she’s about as close to a friend as I’ve made online in my 4 years on Twitter and off and on of blogging. I just want to reach out to her. But I can’t help her. What the hell can any of us do? A few weeks after she lost her daughter I sent her a Facebook message and told her I saw the outpouring of support and didn’t want to get in the way of her connection with friends. I offered to help, but I like I said, “whoopity doo.” Unless I can invent a freaking time machine, there’s nothing I can do. On top of that, she was at an outdoor activity with her kids when some father of the year reject made a passive-aggressive judgement, publicly, on her parenting skills. Obviously she was crushed. I just reached out and told her she’s a good mom. Hopefully affirmation helps. If there’s nothing else I can do, I can always have nice words for people that need them.

And while this was unfolding, I started on a new medicine. I’ve recently been experiencing high blood pressure and despite the fact that I am on a blood pressure medication which was working, it seems it’s back up. Not as high as it was, but still more high than it should be. So I start this new medicine on Wednesday morning. I feel a little weird on Wednesday, but almost all of the medications I take have dizziness listed as a possible side effect. So I experience some dizziness fairly regularly. I didn’t think much about it. On Thursday, it was worse. I take AmoebaJr to music class and I was having a hell of a time staying vertical.

By dinnertime, I’m convinced this isn’t my normal amount of dizziness. Because I’m still getting dizzy sitting still, head forward and not moving. Remember the blood pressure thing, I told Hermoine we needed to check it after dinner (it has to be 30 minutes after a meal). I said that it felt like high blood pressure but that if it was the new medicine, I don’t think I could take it again. In addition to being dizzy, it presents as what I can only describe as a jolt of electricity. My ears basically go deaf, save for a weird zapping sound. And a flash goes over my eyes. This happens in milliseconds. And then I go back to just being dizzy.

Eventually get to my blood pressure and it’s high, but basically where it has been the past few readings. Not nearly as high as pre-BP medicine recordings. When heading to bed, I feel ready to fall at any moment and just sit there with the dizzy head and the jolting. We decide I should skip the next dose of the new medicine and see what happens. Thankfully, I’m feeling better today. At least physically. We’ll see how the doctor responds to that news.

It was a hell of a week. And I don’t drink, but the thought of a light sedative was quite tempting. In all honesty, I probably needed weed. Which I’ve never done and wouldn’t have the first clue as to where to get some, anyway. I should just stick to the Pepsi.

You’re Gonna Stick That Where!?

Sadly, the interobang has fallen out of favor in recent years because it seems that would be a perfect place for one.

By my Instagram posts, you may have picked up on the fact that life hasn’t been normal around here lately.

It started a few weeks ago and it goes a little something like this:

I’ve mentioned my IBS before. Well, because of that, I was sent a gastroenterologist for a colonoscopy. This was 6 years ago; the same time I started getting treatment for my mental health problems. They were both interlinked.

Well wouldn’t you know, when they went in there the doctor didn’t find any answers. But he did find additional problems. I had a polyp.

I was in my mid-twenties and now on the five year plan for colonoscopies. Just to give you an idea of what’s normal, it’s recommended that people get a colonoscopy at 50 and every subsequent ten years.

I think back to that time and I basically remember being hungry, having to drink the nastiest laxative mixed with Sprite, and pooping every few minutes from about 5 in the evening until about 2 in the morning. Needless to say, it wasn’t until less than two years ago before I could drink another Sprite.

Well. Here I was. Just over five and a half years later and faced with another round of clearing out the dozens of feet intestine which shares my abdomen with 80 pounds too much adipose tissue.

The laxative changed since last time, which was nice. Of course, upon reading about colonoscopies on the Web, I learned they stopped using that particular way of clearing the system because of too many people developing renal failure. So now it was doubly nice.

I loaded up on different drinks and foods that were not red, purple, or blue. Then I prepped the 64 ounces of laxative drink that I was to consume. And we’re not talking about a little bit of laxative. I was to use Miralax and consume somewhere between 6 and 7 ounces as well as two pills of a different kind of laxative. Then I had a few handfuls of M&Ms and headed to bed.

The next morning I’m officially on a clear liquid diet. I feed AmoebaJr breakfast and start sucking down the liquids in hopes of filling my stomach early and minimizing the hunger pangs. I sat down on the couch with my orange, apple, grape, pineapple concoction that I picked up at the store. Of course, AmoebaJr wanted to share.

I made some jello, or rather, way too much jello and started sucking down the white Lifesaver mints while the kiddo was napping. I wanted to start my laxative early in order to get more sleep this time around, but no such luck. I was supposed to start at 2 and wanted to start at noon, but I couldn’t do that for risk of having to take care of AmoebaJr while permanently attached to the toilet seat.

Hermoine worked late, for whatever reason, but I started early anyway. I pushed it up an hour and began with the pills. Three hours later I’m supposed to drink the first 32 ounces laxative laden Gatorade. In increments. Yeah, 8 ounces every 15 minutes for an hour. Repeat in 3 hours. I had a hell of a time finishing that second half. I was supposed to be done by 9 according to the scheduled, but remember I started early, so when I was still struggling with the last pint at 10 I was quite disgusted with whatever flavor Gatorade I had chosen. By 10:30-10:45 I finally finished.

Now, at this point I’ve been on laxatives almost 10 hours. I think I only had 3 or 4 trips to the bathroom. This was a very different from the first time, where I was definitely in the bathroom long enough to name the mildew colonies on the shower wall.

Convinced it was still coming, I stayed up until 2 am so as to not get woken up because a disrupted sleep cycle sucks. Wouldn’t you know, I ended up sleeping through and then just one more trip at 6 when I woke up before heading to the gastroenterologist office.

I get there and have to make a dash in the rain. Sign in, am taken in the back, and told to change into the hospital gown with the flap in the back. After a few minutes I was rolled into the procedure room, verified my identity for the dozen-th time. Then it was sleepy time. With the first colonoscopy, I could actually feel a little bit and feel like I heard some of what was going on in the room. Not this time, though. Woke up back in my room and was ready to go home and eat!

I took it easy with basically just some grapes. But definitely was ready to eat a real meal by dinner. I told Hermoine ahead of time to plan on pizza. By the next day, I was completely back to normal. And weighing in 2.0 pounds lighter than when I started.

The Cold Call

So AT&T has been calling for days and I needed it to stop, so I answered the phone. Hermoine asked if we still had any accounts with them and I said I was pretty sure we don’t. We were fairly sure it was a sales call, but still. Sometimes you have to answer.

I was writing this out as a Facebook update, but realized it was long enough to break into decent paragraphs and bore my blog readers with. At least they know what they’re getting into when they read here. Anyway…

Dude wants to sell me U-verse. I tell him I don’t have cable nor an interest in having cable. –My only lie. If I was rich, I’d have cable again. DirecTV, all premiums, and Sunday Ticket HD.– He says he just wants to give me something I’d be interested in and wanted to know if that would offend me or hurt my feelings. I said it would if the conversation continues. Oh no, he didn’t stop.

He kept asking questions and trying to pump for info asking why did I get rid of cable and if he could solve those problems would I listen to him. I was microseconds from hanging up on him when he muttered something under his breath and told me to have a good day.

I don’t get it. I told him I wasn’t interested. He kept pushing, so I told him he could give me his spiel if I could put the phone down and not listen. Is he trying to sell me because he has to sell or because he has to give his spiel? Know what I mean?

Then he kept digging in. I told him I would be interested in it if he genuinely wanted to give it to me. If it was free, sure I’d take it. But he wanted something in exchange for it and what he wanted was a limited resource–at least in this house. Turns out not only did he not want to give me anything, he didn’t even want to keep me from being offended.

Beautiful way to gain customers. If you offend them to get them in the door, what are you going to do when they want to walk out?

 

I’m Not Infectious: 1
AT&T: 0 – The harder they fight, the more they lose.

Well Color Me Sweaty

As you may have seen from a fw auto uploads of pics I uploaded to Instagram, I did another 5k this weekend. Like the last one, I walked it with AmoebaJr but unlike the last one I didn’t start late nor finish last. But my not finishing last was because this was a “fun run” situation where there was no time keeping and a particular pace didn’t have to be kept.

Color Me Rad is a type of event that has popped up nationwide over the past two years or so, which you may know by its main competitor’s name, The Color Run. A color run is a 5k that is notable for its use of colored corn starch which is thrown all over the participants (by the participants as well as the race coordinators). For the most part, people wear white shirts and go about as crazy as people can without being drunk in public.

RADgirl

Screenshots for promo

RADgroup

It was a good time and something we would certainly consider again. Hermoine is a regular runner and participant in organized runs so it’s likely we will do it again. But before then, I’m sure we’ll do a different one. She’s a fan of waking up early on Thanksgiving mornings and doing a 5k before the cooking begins. Ugh.

CMR

Above is the shitty picture that I’m in.
Or rather, the single picture I’m in which is happens to be too small to see if it’s worth buying for minimum ten bucks.

Pulse

So if you are one of the 4 people who read the blog you are probably one of the 6 people I’m friends with on Facebook. If you’re not, then you might not know my computer was basically out of commission for a week and a half. Thank god for my tablet and smartphone!

At the very beginning of this whole ordeal, I thought I would write a blog post about leaving Windows and going to Ubuntu. Within a day or two, it became such a headache that just keeping track of what I did would have been a major pain in the ass. So you get the short version that will probably be longer than you care for anyway.

My PC is 4.5 years old and system resources are being drained too often. I told you this. Well I installed Ubuntu and formatted the entire drive, making 3 partitions. The two operating systems would each get one and then, because they don’t like each other, the third partition would be where I store my mp3s, documents, videos, etc.

Upon re-installing Windows, I had boot problems. And then my BIOS was acting up and the computer would boot for 5 minutes and then die. ARRRRGHGH

I finally got that all fixed (I hope) after like 4 or 5 days and then went to setup my Plex media server. If you’re not familiar with such a thing, it’s basically a way for my media to be delivered to other places on my home network that aren’t another computer. Televisions, blu-ray players, and devices like Apple TV, can all be loaded with the technology to “talk to” the computer running the server and load the content. We are currently using two Roku boxes and Plex, the piece of software that makes the connection.

I had issues with Plex seeing the media on my storage partition. It turns out that the way Plex installs, it becomes a separate user on Linux. So with a separate user account comes separate user file permissions. I basically spent 2 days’ worth of free time figuring that all out. But right now, I can turn on at least 6 devices I can think of and have them run content from my computer.

Yeah, that was definitely the short version. It all sounds so leisurely and light. I promise it wasn’t. I haven’t had those kinds of brain stoppages since organic chemistry class. But I swear it was because of me, my hardware, and the complexity of things I was setting up. Ubuntu install is actually easier than Windows, and even Windows install isn’t that bad these days.