Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Overheard between Hubby and Peanut:

“Can I have some chewing gum?”

“Sure. But only chew it. Don’t swallow it. Spit it out when you’re done.”


A few seconds later…

“Can I have another one?”

“Did you swallow it?”


“Open your mouth and let me see. Where is it?”

“In my tummy.”

“Don’t swallow it means don’t put it in your tummy.”

“Can it go in my leg?”

“No. Only in your mouth then spit it out when you’re done.”


Putting Peanut back on a potty schedule has drastically reduced pee accidents. Yay!
The outcome of Mom's hearing was as expected - she'll be held for 6 additional months.

I asked Mom what was going on and she said she’s feeling a lot of guilt over being in the hospital and her inability to help when the baby comes. I spoke a few days later to the doctor who reiterated the same. Mom is anxious, depressed, and feeling helpless. Oh, and our visits stress her out, too. (I had already guessed at that). She’s brought all this up in therapy and mentioned how Gramma used to do the same to her. Gramma was a pro at guilt-tripping (and was likely bipolar).

So now I’m feeling bad. I know that Mom’s illness is hers alone and my life really has nothing to do with it. But still, it’s hard not to feel a tiny bit shitty that our visits get her into a tizzy and that my pregnancy has contributed to her decline.

I’m also relieved. Her original release date was about a month before my due date and I can’t imagine dealing with her and a newborn. I can imagine her calling me multiple times a day, unable to cope, wanting to move out of the group home, and wanting me to take her to the hospital. I can picture me, a newborn, and Mom sitting in the ER for 4-10 hours waiting for a bed to open, all the while her begging/griping at me to leave, that she doesn’t really need to be there, doesn't want to be there…

(I have an unspoken rule: if I take Mom to the hospital, she’s not leaving until she’s been evaluated.)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

My talk with the boss helped. Post-Doc has been much kinder to Nice Coworker. The lab has been downright peaceful. She still mutters under her breath and gets a bit preachy, but it's so much better.

I think she has mental issues. Seriously.

She told Nice Coworker that she yells at her because "My work is flawless. I hold myself to a high standard and expect the same of everyone else. So I need to yell at you for you to perform to my standards."

Apparently she and another employee talk about Nice Coworker and me in their mother language. She's convinced that I understand them and have been eavesdropping on them. I'm a stereotypical monolingual American. I can pick up a few words or phrases (mostly dealing with law enforcement) but do not understand them.

It just gets better and better!
Beware the Ides of March!

Today is the 14th anniversary of when Hubby and I started dating. It's a date he arbitrarily and jokingly picked. We started hanging out with each other sometime in February of 1994 and transitioned into a more serious relationship. Neither of us thought the other was interested in dating at first although we were both attracted to each other.

We first met during the fall semester of 1992. I was a sophomore transfer to the university we would graduate from; he was a junior. We met in a Cell Biology course. Most courses in biology had fewer than 30 students and were taught in lab rooms. We sat at opposite benches, facing each other. We both noticed each other early on, but didn't realize it until after we were dating. I was still in contact with my high school boyfriend back home (although the relationship was dying a slow death) and he was living with someone. We only spoke to each other once or twice during the semester, but the class was small enough we could ovehear each other's conversations or would get involved in larger conversations with other students. That's how I learned he was with the other person and was into martial arts.

Oddly, after that class ended, we didn't see each other again until the spring semester of 1994. That was amazing considering our university only had about 3000 students and the biology department was obviously much smaller. Most of the biology majors knew each other by sight if not by name. We never passed each other in the hall or bumped into each other at the library or a party.

This time, the timing was right. Creepy (aka Shithead) boyfriend broke up with me right after Valentine's Day. Hubby was in a casual relationship with someone else (not the person he had been living with). Hubby would make passing conversation with me before class. He invited me to go for a motorcycle ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway and I was hooked. I invited him to a "love sucks" party that a friend had after she was also dumped around the same time as me. Hubby and I began to spend more and more time together, he got up the nerve to kiss me, I asked him to my sorority formal and that was it. He did go through a typical guy freakout of the "We're spending too much time together and I can't handle it" variety which pissed me off since he was the one calling me almost every day! We backed off and within a week or two he was calling again.

We survived my semester of undergraduate research in the Northeast and Belize, me going to grad school while he moved back home as a teacher (his support helped me so much in dealing with the stresses of a grad student as well as living with the crazy roommate), and me moving here for my job. We broke up for a few months (I was tired of the long distance deal) and he decided to get a teaching job here. Teaching sucked, he decided to go to the police academy at night, and as soon as he was done, he quit teaching and became a cop. Now we have Peanut, one on the way, the pets, and the house. It's all good.

I love you, Hubby.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Well, the shit hit the fan in our lab. Of course, Post-doc decided to go medieval on the other person's ass when I wasn't around (as usual). A couple other employees were in the lab and witnessed the verbal assault. While Nice Coworker (the victim) and I were discussing what happened, one of the other employees overheard and agreed the situation truly was That Bad.

So far, Nice Coworker (NC) has been blamed multiple times for things she didn't do. As in she had no part in collecting the samples in question and had no part in some plants that were slightly damaged by a pesticide. Yet somehow she is fully to blame. These sorts of accusations have been going on for a couple of months and NC stated she was able to handle the situation. As of this last incident, she's not so sure, is having stomache pains at work and is starting to consider looking for a new job.

What I also learned: Post-doc gives her a hard time over taking full lunch breaks (that we are provided BY LAW). Post-doc expects her to stay late and finish projects/prep materials for the next day even though she leaves at or shortly after 5. As in "I need this for tomorrow and expect it to be ready when I get here" (which generally is 15-45 minutes late). NC is salaried and receives no pay for extra hours. Post-doc hints at or even asks NC to come in on weekends. NC hasn't taken the bait on that.

I let things settle down and mulled it over for a couple days then went to the boss and filled him in. I didn't feel good about doing it, but NC deserves to be treated with kindness and respect. We all do. She doesn't deserve rants, lectures, condescending talk or to be yelled at.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Spring has arrived here in our part of the world. The azaleas and trees are flowering. The scent of citrus blossoms is heavy in areas near groves. Mockingbirds are singing and ospreys are nesting. Oaks have put on flushes of brilliant green new leaves. I still miss the “real” spring season of the North, but spring is lovely, although more of a transition than an actual season.

Mom’s hearing regarding her healthcare status is today. The initial plan was to recommend her discharge in May (after her 6 month involuntary order was up). I spoke with her on Sunday and she was having a bad time and reported that she would be staying in longer. A call to her social worker confirmed that the doctor has changed her mind in the past couple of weeks and will now recommend that Mom stay another 6 months. She is concerned for Mom’s safety if Mom is released. I trust the doctor’s judgment. Ultimately, the decision rests with the magistrate and lawyers, but they generally follow the doctor’s lead. I’m sad she’ll remain in the hospital (a depressing place), but relieved that they’re taking her case seriously. I’m also relieved that she won’t be released a month before my due date.

The pregnancy seems to be going well. I still worry all the time and have fears of another premature birth, but I’m trying to focus on the good. I think I’ve gained less weight than I did at this point with Peanut (as evidenced by photos – my face isn’t round like last time). I think I was already starting to retain water at this point and have no swelling now. I hope that will hold off for a while. I was miserably uncomfortable last time.

Peanut is still having lots of attitude interspersed with sweetness. He’s been wetting his pants over the past few days and Hubby and I aren’t sure what’s up. He peed himself 3 times yesterday (not a bladder full, but enough to soak through to his pants). Hubby put him in the extra thick training pants last night and he had another accident so Hubby made him wear a diaper to bed. Peanut cried and cried over it. I’m not sure I agree with putting him back in diapers (which could backfire), but Hubby was really frustrated. Two of the accidents happened shortly after he asked Peanut if he needed to pee. We were letting him tell us when he needed to go, along with occasional reminders. I guess we’re back to making him go potty at regular intervals.

I made it to the breastfeeding class over the weekend (I missed out on it with Peanut – he was born a couple days before the class and I was too exhausted to go). I already knew most of the info and felt a little weird – I think all the other women were first-timers. We did watch an amazing video of newborns wiggling, scooting, and rooting to the breast – with little or no help. I got teary eyed watching all the little ones and thinking of how different my situation was.