Monthly Archives: October 2014

A Little Helen, A Little Louis

July 30, 2014

Yesterday was a fun day. It was a long day, but it was really kind of like three days.

Day 1: Loyola

My mom and I stopped by Loyola’s Rogers Park campus because I wanted to go to the bookstore and buy a new sweatshirt. Or fleece. I really wanted to get a fleece cardi. (Kellogg gave me a nice MSU one at this year’s DD Conference, and I thought it would be nice to have one from my actual alma mater.) And since we were there, we decided to wander around campus for a bit. It looks amazing. It’s weird because they’ve torn down multiple buildings, but what has been built in their place is very nice. The buildings that came down had bad ’60s architecture that clashed with the more classical style of the older buildings. The new buildings fit in. I do wish that Jes Res Lawn still existed, but the plantings are beautiful, and I could see being happy to hang out on campus if I were a student there today.

Day 2: Ikea

From Rogers Park, we drove to Schaumberg. Yes, we had lunch at Ikea. And then we did a little shopping before driving on to Skokie because that was really the reason we were in Chicago in the first place.

Day 3: Wilmette Public Library

Lisa is a youth services librarian in Wilmette, and they have an awesome reading program. It’s a mother-daughter reading group. (My mom and I agreed that if our local library had done this when I was a kid, we definitely would have participated.) Their book this month? A biography of Helen Keller. My mom’s pre-retirement career? Teacher consultant for the visually impaired.

We had a blast. They discussed the book. Then my mom showed them how to be a sighted guide if they ever meet a blind person who says they need help.

And then? Then she talked a little bit about Louis Braille before launching into an explanation of Braille. The girls loved it. They were excited to use the Braillers. They were excited about the slate and stylus tools that she brought.

Now, there’s something you should know about using a slate and stylus. You have to not only know Braille. You have to literally know it backwards. You punch from the back to the front and then turn the paper over to read what you wrote. You write from right to left with the cells that will appear on the left on the right and vice versa. One of these girls? Fish to water. She looked at my mom and said, “So you do it like this?” My mom started to correct her and then realized, nope, kid is doing it Exactly Right.

Who knows? Maybe we managed to inspire a couple of future special ed teachers!


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A Live Post! Because It Matters!

Yes, there’s no date on this post.  That’s because I’m posting it now.  When it’s still relevant.  Not that what I normally write isn’t relevant.  It’s just not time sensitive.  But this?  This is time sensitive.

Knowing the circles I run in and that most of my readers are my friends, you probably don’t need to be reminded that there’s an election coming up.  But just in case you’ve forgotten…

Hey!  You!  Yeah, you!  There’s an election next week!  You should go out and vote!

WordPress offers the following tool to get more info.  I, personally, highly recommend the League of Women Voters Vote 411 website.  You can read through your ballot and print off a copy complete with your selections so that you’re all set when you get to your polling place.  I’ve found the LWV to be a wonderful non-partisan resource for as long as I’ve been able to vote.

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October 29, 2014 · 5:05 pm

Not My Finest Moment

July 28, 2014

I finally got the bill for my IUI. I’ve been curious to see exactly how it would get billed. I mean, if Dr O isn’t supposed to be doing IUIs because it’s a Catholic hospital, what would it get coded as? Artificial Insemmination. Yep. Right out there. Not even abbreviated as IUI. I don’t care. And obviously Dr O doesn’t either.

But I found it interesting. So I mentioned it to Courtney.

“You are saving all of your bills for the hospital, right?” she asked.

Well, no. Of course not. They can’t pay them. They don’t want an itemized list from me. Assuming I decide I want to take their money in the first place.

“They can’t pay it,” I replied. “It’s a Catholic hospital.”

“Oh, right. But you’re still saving them, right?” she pressed.

And I snapped. I said to drop it and never mention it again. I said that’s why my blog post said that it was probably the last time I would mention the hospital and money again. (So much for that…)

She apologized. And I, of course, feel bad. Because I really shouldn’t have snapped. I could have been nicer about it. Even though she’s one of those friends who understands. (She is really concerned about whether or not my chart has a PTSD flag on it in case something happens and I wind up being seen by someone other than my regular care providers.)

The truth is that I haven’t decided what I want to do. I need to get through this trimester. I got pregnant more quickly than I expected. I got a nice raise, so my personal finances changed. And the thought of taking a flat payment instead of simply having them pay my bills leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

So, no, I don’t want to talk about it. Let’s just find it interesting that I got a bill from a Catholic hospital for a procedure that is against the Catholic Church’s teaching. That’s really all I wanted to talk about in the first place.

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Nine Week Happiness

July 25, 2014

I can hardly believe that I’m more than nine weeks pregnant already.  And this has been a week with a lot of little things that made me smile.  Here are the highlights:

  1. NPR’s summer reading recommendations have been books about modes of transportation.  So they asked Bob Mondello what he thought.  Naturally, he waxed poetic about musicals with songs about transportation.  Or songs performed on various forms of transportation.  Naturally, I was sitting in my office singing along.  (And continuing to sing when the piece ended.)
  2. And then, on Here & Now, they started talking about being an adult and buying children’s clothing.  For yourself.  And I had to smile because I have no intention of shopping for anything other than boys’ sneakers the next time I need a new pair.
  3. You, of course, remember “Gangnam Style”.  Well, some lads from Yorkshire are doing it up “Yorkshire Style.”  Be warned.  They are from Yorkshire.  It may take you a minute to get your ear attuned to their accents.  But trust me, it’s worth it.  Thanks to my brother-in-law-in-law Jonny for finding this.
  4. And finally, just when you think Audra McDonald can’t get any better, she does.  Thanks to Courtney for sharing this.

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July 22, 2014

I’m finally an official OB patient again.  I had my intake yesterday and saw Lori today.  Even though I’m only 8 weeks, Lori tried to listen for the heartbeat.  When, naturally, she couldn’t hear it, she announced that we’d go around to their old ultrasound so that she could measure it that way.  Yes, she admitted that she wouldn’t do this for most patients.  But I’m not most patients.

This is such a relief.  I mean, I’m glad to be going in for B6 and getting my blood pressure and urine checked twice a week, but there’s only so much care the MAs and LPNs can provide.  It’s a relief to know that people with more specialized training are now also on the case.  Not that there’s really anything they can do right now.  But it’s still reassuring to know that they’re there.

Lori said I definitely look pregnant and my uterus feels pregnant.  She said my cervix looks fine, too.  And the best part?  She said I could wait to take a glucose tolerance test until I’m 22 weeks.  Since I didn’t have it last time and there’s no family history of diabetes (not to mention that the morning sickness makes even the thought of swallowing the Glucerna nauseating), she thinks taking one now just because I’m 36 is unnecessary.  And since they check my urine at least once a week when I’m in for the B6, if I suddenly start spilling sugar, they’ll see it and know that I need a GT test.

And now?  And now we wait.  And try not to vomit.  And try to stay hydrated.  And curse our left sciatic nerve because really?  Sciatica already?

Speaking of morning sickness…  I’m back on the Unisom.  I was really hoping to avoid it, but the Zofran just didn’t cut it.  The Unisom lasts longer.  Sunday was particularly rough, so I decided I really needed to pick up more Unisom.  Here’s hoping my morning sickness doesn’t last for 32 more weeks!  (Okay, only 31.  Planned sections are usually done at 39 weeks, not 40.)

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8 Weeks Happiness

July 18, 2014

  1. Drugs are making me happy.  This past week has been rough.  I’m happy to have B6 injections.  I’m happy to have Zofran.  And I’m happy to have Unisom.  Yes, I’ve been on all three on a regular basis over the past week.
  2. I’m happy that I can do work from home.  On the weekend.  I felt so sick this afternoon.  And Courtney is very sweet, offered to top off the hot water in my mug (I was drinking hot water with lemon which seemed to stay down reasonably well).  But I was so on the verge that I came home at 3 today.  Yes, it was probably a good thing that I did.  And I’m glad that I can make up the time that I missed by studying for the CCMEP exam this weekend.
  3. There’s asphalt!  Okay, you may or may not be aware of the vast amounts of road construction surrounding my apartment complex.  But the route to/from work is now half-paved.  They’re still finishing up the repaved lanes, but at least I can see the potential for the lanes to shift soon.  This will put the torn up lanes on the opposite side of the street from my complex and will mean I have freshly paved lines to drive on every day.
  4. Pop Culture Happy Hour recently held another live show.  And since their live shows are twice as long as a regular podcast, it became episodes 199 and 200.  And given the news of bombardments between Israel and Palestine and the Malaysian airliner being shot down over Ukraine (Lusitania, anyone?), I definitely needed something lighthearted.  I listened to these episodes at work and giggled almost all the way through.
  5. Elaine Stritch died this week.  No, of course, this isn’t making me happy exactly.  But this means multiple tributes, hearing her belt “The Ladies Who Lunch” and “I’m Still Here”, and hoping we can all grow up to be as unapologetic about our chutzpah as she was.  I’m probably going to have to pull out my copy of Elaine Stritch: At Liberty to listen to in the car… Or at least the original cast album of Company.
  6. Betsy has written an awesome blog post about picture book illustrators great difficulty drawing knitters.  I have to smile at her statement about not having taken to knitting herself.  No, she really didn’t (although I can vouch for the fact that she did learn how).  But she, unlike me, did take to spinning.  I seem to recall the two of us working together on some tams.  She spun the yarn and I knit it.  I do appreciate her taking on these poor illustrations of knitters.  Few things annoy us more than portrayals of knitters obviously done by someone who doesn’t know how to knit.*

*Side Note:  When I was a freshman in college, I played Mrs Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank.  There is at least one place in the script with stage directions for her to pick up her knitting.  Now, of course, I already knew how to knit, so the director decided to keep the stage direction as written.  I researched what type of needles and yarn I should use as well as what style I should be knitting (continental, for the record).  The director rolled his eyes and told me no one would care.  I responded, “At least one person will know if I’m doing it wrong.  My mother will be in the audience.”

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Random on a Wednesday

July 16, 2014

Thing One: On Monday, I finally told my boss that I’m pregnant. I kind of felt that I should give him an explanation for why I didn’t get to work until 11 when my dentist appointment had been at 8. (The reason is that I had my B6 injection scheduled for 10:30.)

Thing Two: I really wish my boss could be a bit more circumspect. Or at least a little quieter. Pretty sure half the hallway now knows that I’m pregnant. Or at least suspects as much.

Thing Three: They talk about this “warmed-up effect”, and they aren’t kidding. If I’m not careful about how I adjust my clothes, I look like I’m about four months along instead of just two.

Thing Four: I had lunch with Nicki yesterday. We had to speak in hushed tones because some of her colleagues/our mutual friends were in their offices with their doors open. But it was, of course, good. It was good to be able to voice to someone other than my mom (or the nurses at the clinic) that I’m terrified. Quote of the event: “I know when you’ll stop being scared. Oh, I’m sorry. I should have been more clear. You’ll stop being scared when you’re 102 and dead.” Thanks, Nicki. It’s nice to know you think I’ll live that long. You do realize this means you have to live to 103, right?


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