Rants from the Crib

An Ob/Gyn gone mad

Archive for the month “December, 2012”

Is It Cynicism?

It’s New Year’s Eve and I’m struggling with a blog post.  I would love to share my New Year’s resolutions, but they are utterly pedestrian, and they are all the same as the ones I failed to follow last year.  New Year’s is a difficult time for me.  It is really a young person’s holiday, with the drinking and the partying and the staying up well into the night.  Those are all part of a lifestyle I’ve given up in the interest of family and being a functional adult.  I’m not wondering who’ll kiss me at midnight.  With any luck, I won’t be up at midnight.  If I am, I will have been called into work.

Of all the holidays, I like New Year’s the least.  It’s at the end of Christmas; at the end of all the holidays that make the winter bearable.  There is nothing but cold and resignation afterward.  We make resolutions; we don’t keep them.  We know we aren’t going to keep them when we make them.  We didn’t keep them last year.  There are the fireworks (here in the South they are legal, and we enjoy them mainly on July 4 and New Year’s Eve).  The catch is, it’s so dang cold on New Year’s usually.  It hardly makes going outside bearable, fun explosions or not.  And this year it is supposed to rain, all night.  That puts a, well, damper on the firework thing.

I remember when I was a kid my folks went to bed about ten o’clock on New Year’s Eve.  I never understood why, but I do now.  What was going to be any different in two hours?  Staying up until midnight was pointless.  We didn’t even have a TV.  No ball dropping for us.  What is the point of watching a ball drop in a city where you are not anyway?  It’s like being allowed to peek in the door of a party you weren’t invited to.

My favorite New Year’s was Y2K.  There was truly the possiblility of a Zombie Apocalypse, or some similar event (what is the obsession over Zombie Apocalypses, anyway?).  People had stocked up on flashlights and filled their bathtubs with water.  I thought the whole thing was ridiculous.  I prepared for nothing.  I woke up in the morning and the world was still there.  I was on call that year too.  The only thing that happened of note on that New Year’s Day was that I got somebody pregnant.  Literally.  I had an artificial insemination to do in the office on New Year’s because the nice lady was ovulating.  It later turned out she got pregnant.

One year when I lived in New Orleans we went out partying.  We went down to the river to see the fireworks at midnight.  The fireworks never came.  Mounted police came by on their horses to tell us there would be no fireworks and cleared us out.  It turned out the fireworks had exploded earlier in the day, on the barge, killing one man and horribly burning another.  How festive.

Another New Year’s, I went out with a boyfriend to see Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown play at a local club.  I was all excited because I was finally going to have somebody to kiss me at midnight.  The boyfriend was totally antiromantic and was in a cluster of people when the witching hour came.  I got no kiss.  At least he wasn’t kissing someone else.

So as far as I’m concerned, New Year’s is a total wash.  A total non-event.  I won’t be making any resolutions.  I probably won’t be keeping any.  And once again, I’m on call.  Mainly because I don’t mind.  Of course, my patients are giving me all kinds of trouble.  The nurses are blowing up my phone.  I have one in particular who has every kind of problem it is possible to have, at least it seems that way.  I have three different doctors consulting on her.  I am sure they are enthralled to be called out on New Year’s Eve.

So there you have it.  A total nothing.  I’ll sit here by the fire until I go to bed around 10.  Providing I don’t get called in.  Feeling sorry for myself?  Probably.  I excel at that.  Being realistic?  Also probably.  Here is my New Year’s question for you:  is it cynicism if it’s true?

American Girl Dolls

I will start with the disclaimer that I know nothing about dolls.  Never had them as a kid (except for one much maligned Barbie).  Never wanted them.  I was a tomboy with a love for animals, and I was going to be a vet.  But now I have a daughter.  And now I have to learn about dolls.  We started a few months before Christmas with the “but everyone in my class has one” discussion.  American Girl Dolls.

As near as I can tell, the American Girl Doll racket is one of the shrewdest, savviest marketers out there.  Not only have they been out for years and maintained market share, but they sell an amazing number of dolls and accessories, at the highest possible price.  My mom ordered my daughter one of those blasted dolls for Christmas after she begged and whined and wheedled.  Let me just say that my daughter has never played much with dolls and this is probably all peer pressure.  $129 for something she probably won’t play with for two minutes.

The choice of dolls is stunning.  They have a doll of the year, every year since I don’t know when.  You can special order a doll that looks just like you.  With freckles even.  My daughter wanted McKenna, the doll of the year who is a gymnast, supposedly.  McKenna does not exactly look like her.  She doesn’t have freckles.  But McKenna is what she wanted, and McKenna is what she got.

You can get matching outfits for the girl and her doll, so they are both wearing the same thing.  You can buy pets for your dolls.  You can buy schoolhouses and books for your dolls.  Along with getting that doll for Christmas, my daughter got one of the girl/doll matching outfits as well.  And let me tell you what else she got.  This is where the story gets ridiculous.

There are several American Girl stores around the country, in major cities.  But these are not just shops, oh, no.  They are full immersion ripoff centers.  I guess peer pressure never ends, because my mom heard her best friend tell about taking her granddaughter on one of these pilgrimages to the American Girl Doll store.  She decided that she would bring my daughter after Christmas during New Year’s break to Atlanta where the nearest doll center is.

So here’s the deal.  This trip is a full package.  You check into a hotel within walking distance of the store that has the American Girl Doll package.  There is a separate special check-in area for families with their girls with these dolls.  When you get to your special American Girl Doll room, the walls are printed bright pink and there is a special bed for the doll that you get to keep.  They bring pink lemonade and cookies to the room at night.  Then the doll fun begins.  You go to the American Girl Doll store, which has a bistro where you can dine.  They have special high chairs at the tables where the dolls can sit.  Once you go into the Death Star shop area, anything is possible.  You can go to a special salon and have your doll’s hair styled and curled.  You can go to a special area and get the doll’s ears pierced, for an exorbitant fee no doubt.  They sell all the American Girl Doll accessories, and when I say all, I mean all.  They have special movie nights with American Girl Doll movies.  These people are marketing geniuses.  And I can’t believe this child talked my mom into something like this, because it wouldn’t have even been considered when I was a kid.  Not that I would have wanted to go, being as I hated dolls and all.

So hats off to the American Girl Doll empire!  They have developed the most immense marketing racket of all time, practically.  And this has been going on now for about two generations.  When I told a nurse at work about my daughter’s little trip, instead of being horrified as she properly should, the nurse merely remarked, “Oh, I have five of those dolls.”  FIVE???  What the hell do you do with five $129 dolls (and that’s on Amazon, which is pretty reasonable)?  I guess you buy matching outfits, and books, and movies, and classrooms, and on, and on, and on.  And of course now there are myriad American Girl ripoffs – dolls about the same size and look as the originals, with cheaper accessories and such that will fit the real dolls.  Everyone wants a piece of that pie.  My daughter’s friends carry their American Girl catalogues to school with them, and sit and compare dolls and accessories and what they are going to ask their mommy for next.  Each tries to outdo the other.

I am amazed at the excess of the American Girl Doll immersion phenomenon.  It would never have occurred to me, did I not have a daughter, that this empire existed.  Now that I know, I am disgusted and awed.  I just hope that new McKenna doll doesn’t get tossed off to the wayside, with her newly pierced ears and styled hair, and special bed and Husky dog pet.  I do know that my mom and dad and my daughter probably had a weekend that they will remember forever.  It will be a great memory for my daughter.  But I know my daughter.  And we’ll see how long this phase lasts.

My Wonderful Husband

Well, here I sit on Saturday night, and I have not written a blog post today.  I have been writing a post a day for months.  I haven’t missed a day.  I am on call this weekend and I have already delivered three babies.  I just came back home from doing a circumcision and a c-section.  It is after seven o’clock.  I have no blog post.

I informed my husband that I have no blog post.  My husband said, “You always write about what a bad husband I am.  Why don’t you write a blog post about what an awesome husband I am?”

I said, “I write great things about you too.  You just don’t notice them.  But that’s a great idea.  Today I’m going to write a post about how awesome you are.”  So here is how awesome my husband is:

When I first met my husband, I was having a lot of problems.  He was one of the few people in my life who actually noticed that I was in trouble and he tried to help me out.  In fact, when my personal problems threatened to eat me alive, he put his foot down and asked me to choose between my bad habits and him.  He loved me.  I picked him.

He noticed that I was miserable in my current job.  So much so that when I broke a molar from grinding my teeth in my sleep, I was elated because I could spend the day in the dentist’s chair having a crown made and not have to go to work.  He felt this indicated a problem.  He helped me find a new job, one closer to my parents because we were planning on getting married and having a family.

He defended me against my mother when she decided that she couldn’t stand him.  He actually stood up to her and told her how much she was hurting me, trying to sabotage the relationship while we were planning a wedding.  She actually listened to him.  He’s a problem solver.

We got married and I settled into my new job.  He had made a sacrifice by leaving Atlanta, where he had been very happy and had lots of work.  He is an independent contractor, so he has lots of work everywhere.  And Atlanta was very convenient for him.  He gave that up.

A year later, we decided to get pregnant.  He had a surgery to make sure he was good and fertile.  I was already pregnant when he had the surgery.  We just didn’t know it.  He put up with my crazy hormonal pregnant crap for ten months.  Actually I was pretty good.  I just had this weird habit of bursting into tears on Sunday nights when he was about to leave for Atlanta the next day.  I was convinced his plane was going to crash and he would never see his baby.

He was right there in the c-section room with me when we had our baby.  And after that awful experience, he held my wrists for forty-five minutes to stop the shaking in my body that hurt my new incision so much.  And when our baby had horrible colic, he walked the floor with her for hours.  He jiggled her to sleep in his lap almost every night.  He carried her around in a little sling while he worked.  He took over when I was so dazed with postpartum depression and colic and sleep deprivation that I could hardly see straight.  He took care of her at home while I went back to work.

He tried working from home with a baby and a babysitter for six months.  He finally realized he wasn’t getting any work done, and we had to put her in daycare.  But he tried for half a year.  We went through four or five daycares before we found one where she could stay; where we felt comfortable with her staying.

Over the years, he has done the lion’s share of the work.  My only contribution has been to work long hours as an Ob/Gyn.  But to be honest, I just don’t get that much done when I am home.  He hired us a housekeeper, who keeps the place picked up.  He waters the houseplants and sprays the orchids.  He runs the vacuum, because dust bothers him.  He does laundry and arranges to get the lawn mowed and does all the yard work, keeping the roses trimmed back and the beds edged and the lilies cut and everything watered.  When the house is falling down around our ears, he does the research for the contractors and supervises them and makes sure the work gets done.  He works his butt off at his job, sometimes working from home and sometimes travelling.  He has done much more than his fair share of the work for years and he rarely complains about it.  He keeps on me to do the little things that he has me do around the house, and is more than patient when I don’t get them done.

He does more than his fair share of parenting.  He reads to our daughter almost every night, helps with her bath or her shower, gets her up and gets her dressed and takes her to the bus most days so I can sleep in.  He plays with her and practices softball and plays chess and tickles her and reads graphic novels to her and goes to all her plays and school lunches, because I can’t go.  He’s an awesome father and my daughter is a daddy’s girl who loves him so very much.

He spoils me.  He tucks me in at night.  He cooks for us.  He turns on the fire for me.  He brings me blankets when I’m cold.  He has allowed much more spending on my part than he would like to see.  He is understanding when I am tired coming home from work.

Most recently, he is allowing me to work part time.  My job has been wearing me down so much over the past ten or fifteen years, and it’s making me old and depressed and he notices that.  He has just sold his airplane that he loves because it will be too expensive to keep once I am only working part time.  He has helped me get a job as a locum tenens (travel doctor) and I will work two weeks and be off two weeks.  That way I can be more of a wife and mother.  Hopefully I will do more around the house, cleaning and organizing.  This way he will be able to travel for work in the weeks that I am home.  I pray it will work out for the best for both of us.  He deserves a happier, more giving, more present wife.  I hope I will be able to do that for him.  I WILL do that for him.

Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 In Pictures

These photographs are representative of my 2012 in photographs.  Actually, no.  These photographs are all of my daughter.  I guess that shows you the most important thing to me of all, in 2012 or in any year.  My daughter.  My beautiful daughter.

Three C-Sections, A Tubal, And A Clinic

Wow.  What a day.  And I’m only halfway through.  We started out with two c-sections scheduled for today.  Then one of my patients had her baby yesterday and needed to have her tubes tied today.  So we had to add that on to the beginning of the schedule.  Then a set of twins came in and needed to be delivered.  Third c-section added.  I was supposed to go over to my new hospital today, get processed, get a badge, get a tour and learn the new computer system, but that was supposed to be done at eleven, when the second c-section was barely over.  And then after a tubal and three c-sections, I have clinic all afternoon.

First, the tubal.  I had to wake up at six AM to be there before my seven o’clock start time.  They had kept the patient’s epidural from her delivery the day before to use as anesthesia for her tubal.  So they dosed her up and wheeled her back.  We had to give her quite a bit of sedation to knock her out.  I injected her navel with a numbing agent and made a one centimeter cut under it.  Her uterus was sitting right there, at belly button height.  I shoved that uterus toward the left and found the right tube and brought it to the surface through the incision I’d made (kind of like ice fishing).  We tied off a loop of it and cut the loop off.  We burned the edges to make sure she didn’t bleed.  Then we shoved the uterus the other way and got the left tube.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Then we closed her up and off I went, for c-section number one.

My partner was doing the first c-section and I was assisting her.  The patient had had a c-section before, so of course everything in there was all stuck together.  There was barely enough of an opening to squeeze the baby out.  Then there wasn’t enough room to pull the uterus out to repair it, so we had to sew it up while still inside the tummy.  We also had to get to her tubes to tie them.  Second tubal of the day.  Everything went fine and we scrubbed out to await the next c-section.

The second c-section was mine.  This patient had also had a c-section before, and again, everything inside was all stuck together.  Her uterus was stuck to the inside of her abdominal wall and we had to dissect it off to be able to exteriorize the uterus.  This baby came out without a hitch though.  We closed the uterus and it just oozed from where we had unstuck it from the anterior abdominal wall.  We had to stitch and stitch and then apply a special goo that causes blood to clot so it would stop oozing.  That took a good while.  We finally got the uterus put back and closed her up.  This was her fourth baby but she didn’t want her tubes tied.  So, no tubal.

The third c-section was mine:  the twins.  She had originally wanted to try for a vaginal delivery but got concerned because the second twin was sideways and she was afraid it would get stuck.  And her blood pressure was up, and she needed to be delivered.  So, a c-section it was.  The little girl delivered first and looked great.  We flipped the little boy to head down, and out he came too.  Both babies looked great!  Her uterus was a little mushy from being so stretched by two babies.  It took a little while to get the bleeding to settle down.  No tubal for her either.  We got everything closed up and – guess what – I was almost an hour late for afternoon clinic!  So, yay me!

I had patients waiting in all my exam rooms when I got upstairs.  I had to run and play catch up, because I was way behind.  I am now plowing my way through fourteen afternoon patients.  I write when my nurse is working someone up to be seen and I have a minute.  So here I am, gulping my diet Pepsi and writing my blog as I wait between patients.  I am more or less caught up now.  One of my patients had already heard that I was leaving this office to work elsewhere and she asked me about it.  News sure does travel fast in a small town!  That’s one of the reasons I’m kind of anxious to leave here.  I’m more of a city girl, myself.

So I did a tubal, three c-sections and missed my hospital orientation.  I was late for clinic.  Now I have like a million patients to see.  I was on call yesterday, and tomorrow I’ll be on call again, for five days in a row for the New Year’s holiday.  And I have two labor inductions tomorrow.  Bleah.  See why I need a break?  I am so looking forward to working part time in 2013!

Christmas At Beadstork’s


Christmas at our house was a success.  My parents arrived Christmas Eve in time for lunch – we had sandwiches.  After lunch, Amanda and her Grandmama made the traditional yearly cheese ball – I used to make them with my Grandma when I was a kid.  Amanda got to get up to her elbows in squishy cheese ball goodness to squish all the ingredients together.  We coated with pecans and voila!  Then she and Grandmama made the gingerbread dough to be chilled for the next day.

Christmas Eve dinner was our traditional oyster stew – passed down from Christmas Eves at my dad’s house as a kid.  Then we packed up the van and headed to the big city of Huntsville to see the Galaxy of Lights at the Botanical Gardens.  They were charging $20 a carful as a fundraiser for the Gardens.  It took us an hour and a half to make our way through the long drive through the Gardens and to see all the lights that lined the way.  The day was a success!

Christmas day started early (for some).  My daughter woke up at 2 AM and went into Grandmama and Tuppa’s room to inquire whether she might now open her presents.  She was told to go back to bed.  She woke up again at 3:30 and went into their room to inquire as to whether it was late enough for gift unwrapping.  She woke up again at 4:30 and decided to read a book.  Her dad woke up at 5:30 and read to her to help her kill time until the rest of us got up at 7:00. 

She really raked in the goodies this year!  Santa brought her a real camera and a new laptop.  She got a huge Lego house and an American Girl Doll from Grandmama.  As an extra special treat, at New Year’s, Grandmama and Tuppa are taking her to Atlanta where the American Girl store is for two nights in a hotel within walking distance of the store and bistro, with a special doll bed waiting at the hotel room, a high chair for the doll at dinner, pink lemonade and cookies at night and a movie night with her doll.  What a moneymaker those American Girl people have!  Grandmama said her wallet will be empty at the end of the trip.  They have a hair salon where the doll’s hair can be curled and styled, and you can get your doll’s ears pierced (no doubt for an exorbitant price).

I got what I asked for this Christmas:  a new Nikon Macro lens for my camera.  My husband bought it for me as long as I promised to study up on my camera, read the manual, and learn about the manual settings.  I started on that on Christmas day.  I also madly photographed any tiny thing that would hold still long enough for me to snap a picture.  I posted some of my photos on this blog yesterday.

My husband must have been good, because he raked in some stuff too.  He got some clothes, a cover and a docking station for his phone, some books and a sort of a joke gift (but not really):  a shirt folder like the one Sheldon had on Big Bang Theory.  When he saw it on the show, his face lit up and he said, “I want one of those!”  He didn’t know I’d remembered. 

Christmas dinner turned out pretty good.  We had a Honeybaked ham, which turned out a little cool for my taste.  They recommended that it be served at room temperature, but I wanted it a little warmer than that.  It wasn’t.  I tried to make Atkin’s-y things because my hubby and I are on that diet, so we had green beans with almonds, creamed spinach with horseradish and cauliflower/broccoli salad, because my daughter actually like cauliflower.  Grandmama had brought Christmas cookies and chocolate mint brownies from home, which of course hubby and I did not get to eat.  Sigh. 

After dinner, we baked the gingerbread men and my daughter and Grandmama and I decorated them.  We wound up making homemade icing because the cake icing from the store came out too thick in enormous globs.  We added currants and redhots and little holly leaves to the icing.  Little Bit got crazy and put all kinds of stuff over her cookies. 

After the cookies were done we retired for a while to our respective books and new gifts.  I took some macro photos (one of which is at the top of this post) and read my camera manual, as I had promised my husband.   After we settled down for a while, Mom wanted to watch A Muppet Christmas Carol, so we watched that.  By that time, the bad weather that was predicted for Christmas day set in.  There was a big low pressure front coming through and tornados were predicted across the South.  They were supposed to hit a bit south of us, where my parents live, so they were a bit concerned.  Fortunately, the storms weren’t as bad as predicted and there was no tornado damage.  There was a good deal of thunder and wind, however.

The day after Christmas, today, I had to return to work and be on call for New Year’s Eve weekend.  This holiday has been all too short and I have the promise of hard labor over the next seven days.  But Christmas was fabulous, our family was happy, and I was blessed to be there.

Macro Lens

Got a new 85 mm macro lens for my Nikon!  I have been shooting closeups of everything all morning.  I am having to learn about the focal lengths as it is difficult to focus if you get too close.  Here are some of my first efforts:

DSC_0035 DSC_0036 DSC_0037 DSC_0039 DSC_0041 DSC_0047 DSC_0049 DSC_0051 DSC_0062 DSC_0063 DSC_0069

Martha Stewart For Christmas

Courtesy, Flickr Creative Commons: Joits

For today’s Christmas Eve blog post, I am borrowing an email that’s been going around the internet:

Dear Family,

I know that you were eager to accept our family’s invitation to Christmas dinner when you found out that the famous Martha Stewart would be joining us.  However, due to scheduling conflicts beyond her control, Ms. Stewart finds that she is unable to grace our table this year.  With that in mind, there will be a few minor changes regarding the meal and decor, as outlined below.  Please be aware of them, and adjust your appetite and dress appropriately.  Thank you.

Our driveway will not be lined with homemade paper bag luminarias.  After several trial runs and two visits from the fire department, it was decided that, no matter how cleverly done, rows of flaming lunch sacks do not have the desired welcoming effect.

Once inside, please note that the foyer will not be decorated with swags of garlands and home grown holly.  Instead, we included our dog in decorating by having him track in colorful autumn leaves from the back yard.  The mud was his idea.

The dining table will not be covered with expensive linens, fancy china or crystal goblets.  If possible, we will use dishes that match and everyone will get a fork.  Since this is Christmas, we will refrain from using the paper SpongeBob dinner plates, the leftover Halloween napkins, and our plastic cup collection.

Our centerpiece will not be a tower of fresh fruit and flowers.  Instead we will be proudly displaying a hedgehog-like decoration hand-crafted from the finest construction paper and pine cones.  The artist assures me it is a reindeer, albeit one without legs, tail or horns.  The red nose is a fine cotton pompom.

We will be dining somewhat later than planned.  However, our daughter will entertain you while you wait.  I’m sure she will be happy to share every choice comment her mother made regarding Christmas, reindeer, stuffing choices, the turkey hotline, and, especially, her husband.  Please remember that most of these comments were made at 7:00 AM upon discovering that said husband had only remembered to pull the turkey from the freezer at 6:00 AM, and that the thing was still hard enough to cut diamonds.

As an accompaniment to our daughter’s recital of these events, I will play a recording of Native American tribal drumming.  Curiously, the tribal drumming sounds a great deal like a frozen turkey in a clothes dryer, but that only enhances the holiday appropriateness.  If our daughter should mention that we don’t own a recording of Native American tribal drumming, ignore her.  She’s only seven; what does she know?

A dainty silver bell will not be rung to announce the start of our feast.  We have chosen to keep our traditional method of assembling when the smoke alarm goes off.

There will be no formal seating arrangement.  When the smoke alarm sounds, please gather around the table and sit where you like.  In the spirit of harmony, we will ask all the children to sit at a separate table… in a separate room… next door.  And I would like to take this opportunity to remind our younger diners that “passing the rolls” is neither a football play nor an excuse to bean your cousin in the head with bread.

The turkey will not be carved at the table.  I know you have seen the Norman Rockwell image of one person carving a turkey in front of a crowd of appreciative onlookers.  Such a scene may occur somewhere in America, but it won’t be happening at our dinner table.  For safety reasons, the turkey will be carved in the kitchen in a private ceremony.  I stress “private”, meaning DO NOT, under any circumstances, enter the kitchen to laugh at me.  Do not send small, unsuspecting chilren, or older, helpful grandparents into the kitchen to check on my progress.  I have a very large, very sharp knife.  The turkey is unarmed.  It stands to reason that I will eventually win the battle.  When I do, we will eat.

For the duration of the meal, we will refer to the Kraft Cheese Sauce by its lesser known name:  gravy.  If a young diner questions you regarding the origins or makeup of the gravy, smile kindly and say that you know the answer, but it’s a secret that can’t be revealed to them until they are 18.

Instead of offering a choice among 12 different scrumptious desserts, we will be serving the traditional pumpkin pie, garnished with whipped cream and dog tongue marks.  You still have a choice: take it or leave it.

That concludes our list of alterations.  Again, I apologize that Martha will not be joining us this year.  Come to think of it, she probably won’t come next year, either.  Merry Christmas!

Nightmare Christmas

Normally, I will do anything to avoid WalMart.  As in, I don’t think I’ve been in there for a year.  But today, in the name of Christmas, I had to suck it up and go in there, because they have a Honey Baked Ham kiosk, and we have a gift card for Honey Baked Ham and a need for something to eat for Christmas dinner.  So I bravely took my daughter with me, and despite some serious trepidation, off we went.

First we had to park.  We drove up and down the vast parking lot, searching for anywhere to park.  I wasn’t being choosy.  Even a spot in the back would be fine.  We were nearly smacked into by aggressive senior citizens seeking spots close to the building.  There were bazillions of people milling through the crosswalks, so it was nearly impossible to progress to the next lane.  We finally found a spot far, far to the back, and of course it started to rain.  We walked a mile to the store and I was cursing my choice of footwear – boots with heels that looked very nice with my outfit but which felt not so good on such a hike.

We made it in the crowded doors and I began looking for the Honeybaked Ham kiosk.  I couldn’t see it anywhere.  I decided to go back and look for a Wii dance game I’d asked my husband for for Christmas – he told me to go get it myself and wrap it up.  As soon as we got back to Electronics, my daughter began begging for Nintendo DS games, and Pokemon games and a new Nintendo DS3 and basically anything she could see within eyesight.  It was annoying.  She begged and tugged at my arm until I couldn’t even think.  I told her to hush up and I got a kid’s version of the Wii dance game that came free with my version.

Off again we went to hunt Honeybaked Ham.  We finally found the kiosk over by the produce – they had three people manning one little booth.  They of course did not accept the gift card – those are only accepted by the real store.  At least they took the coupons.  I bought a boneless ham for Christmas dinner and a roast turkey for lunch the previous day.

Then we had to go stand in the checkout lane.  And we stood, and we stood, and we stood.  There were two girls in front of us who were so psyched about Christmas in the air that they were jumping up and down and bumping their chests into each other.  At least I think that’s what they were excited about.  I was holding two Honeybaked things and they were getting very heavy.  My daughter did not want to help and hold the bag from Electronics.

Next we set off to Publix – parking lot, same scene.  Awful.  We finally found a spot and went in with our immense list.  Little Bit threw a fit because she wanted a cart with a car on it – she is wayyyyy too big for those and I told her so.  So she pouted and climbed into the cart and sat where I needed to put my groceries.  The only thing that saved me was that she saw my Kindle and wanted to read a story on that.  So I gave that to her and was allowed to get my groceries unmolested.  Except for all the people trying to run me over.  They were out of several things I needed.  I had to call Mom and ask her to bring currants, because they didn’t have any.

The whole thing, needless to say, put me in a vile mood.  I am in a vile mood right now.  I feel a crash as hard as if the holidays were already over.  Letdown like they are already gone.  My husband managed to rip into the new lunch meat and sliced cheese that I had gotten for Christmas Eve lunch with the folks, and gave them to the babysitter instead, so now I will have used cheese and meat to offer when they come.  He didn’t even think to ask.  And he has burned up my new Christmas candle before Christmas is even here.  I spent the day cleaning the house and it doesn’t even look like any of it was cleaned at all.  And I’m on this stupid diet and I’ve missed eating all the good Christmas things and still have barely lost five pounds.  I have about forty to go.  And my daughter messed up the guest room bed by climbing on it even though I told her to leave it alone because I had fixed it up for my parents.

I’m about to go… batshit.  And the day after Christmas I have to return to work, to a clinic that is so full that it will run until one o’clock and restart at one fifteen.  And I am on call five days in a row for New Years.  I am only getting one gift for Christmas.  And I wrapped that myself, so it is hardly a surprise.  So I am having one big old feeling sorry for myself fest right now.  And I can’t get this album to play the songs in order on this stupid computer.  I can only hope things will get better tomorrow when the folks get here, but I think I will just feel put upon and irritable to have to do all the cooking and dishwashing that goes in when you have people over for the holidays.  So Merry f’ing Christmas.  And a Happy damn New Year.


Gifts were exchanged at work this year for Christmas and I both gave and received candles.  I just love candles.  My husband loves burning them to the ground.  He saw the giftwrapping on the stairs and said, “What did you get?”  I showed him the big tasty candle I had just gotten from Anthropologie – three wicks and a delicious smell.  I woke up this morning to find it half burned down in the kitchen.  “Smells like a French whore,” he said, happily.  So our whole house smells like an expensive whore house, the expensive because I know how much that candle cost, and the whore house because my husband is never happier than when he is burning up my candles and being inappropriate.  I didn’t exactly get to enjoy the ambience of my candle, since it was half gone in the kitchen when I woke up, but I should have known better than to show it to him in the first place.  Later he will do this excavating thing that he does with candles when he thinks they need rejuvenating and he will dig it and claw it and make it all ugly.  There will be no stopping him.  My husband needs to be kept away from candles.  Especially at Christmas.

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