30 March 2007
Ugh? I complained about Ugh?
Sometimes I should just keep my mouth shut. I wrote yesterday’s self-pitiful post about how I feel less than fantastic, but, OK, honestly I’m not dying, right? I mean, hell, I’m just pregnant. Things could have been worse, right?

Well, they got worse. Murphy’s Law.

Christine has La Gastro, plus the rest of her laryngitis from last week, and a lovely rhynohoweverthehellit’sspelled thing so she’s miserable and shooting liquid sewage out of her rear end all over her clothes and the rest of creation (read as her mother) and drooling snotty drool and leaking gray matter from both nostrils. This has turned Little Miss Independent As Hell into Little Miss Hold Me Now Damn You Or I Will Scream Non-Stop Without Pausing For Breath. Did I mention the fever? She’s got that going on, too. So I’ve been stuck with a burning blob attached to my exterior since yesterday.

I called the local groupe médicale to try to get her in to see the doctor. They were booked full, but as they are simple country doctors, and absolutely wonderful, the secretary offered to call me back with an appointment as soon as she’d talked to the docs to see what was possible. I put Pooplette down for her nap. She slept, the lovely little shitty, snotty beauty.

Of course, she’d only begun to snore when the phone rang. “Dr. V can fit her in between two patients if you can come right now”. Fuck.

Quick, quick, pack Muppet off next door to Mémé’s house where Mémé was not feeling too hot either (Muppet eventually ended up helping Pépé cut branches off the tree in the front of the house and boy, that was some kind of fun, much better, in any case, than doing anything at all with Mom, no matter how much Play-Doh was involved), grab all my papers and Pooplette’s Carnet de Santé, toss the half-dazed, half-asleep, half-dead baby in her car seat and tie her down and try desperately not to speed the seven miles to the doctors’ office. Yea! No ticket. Boo! Back spasms.

Dr. V. also happens to be an osteopath, so I asked him if there was anything I could do to keep my back from making me continuously miserable. “Yes”, he says. “Wait until you’re no longer pregnant and it’ll go away on its own.” Gee, thanks. Not exactly what I was hoping for. He did eventually explain that the manipulation needed to alleviate the pressure on the nerve that’s making me so miserable is next to impossible to do when one is pregnant, and even if he were to do it, and do it correctly, the weight from the baby would just pull everything right back into whatever out-of-whack position it’s already in, meaning I’d be no better off and possibly worse. (Did I ever mention I hate being pregnant?)

We got back home and Pooplette was kind enough to continue her nap for a bit while her brother made my life miserable. He would not shut up. Or calm down. Or do anything remotely human in nature. I was stuck with some kind of creature with entirely too much energy and vocabulary for the state I was in. And then, POOF!, he calmed down. And at that very moment, POOF!, Pooplette woke up and began her 'Hold Me Now, You Bitch' song.

By the time Marc got home a couple of hours later, both the baby and I were exhausted from crying. Muppet, bless his heart, did try to be a good big brother, fetching whatever I though might possibly calm his sister down and giving it to her with all the kindness and love a little boy can have for his little sister. He was still a ripe little bastard with me, and refused to understand that using my kidneys as pedals for his imaginary bicycle is a sure-fire way to get a spanking. But he was an absolute darling to his sister, so I can forgive him a bit (now).

So, poop all day with the Poolette. It was a shitty day, pun intended. And then, at dinner, because I hadn’t had enough fun cleaning up crap all day long, Muppet decided to forget, all of a sudden, that he does indeed know how to use the toilet. So we had that to clean up, too. But by then the reinforcement had returned home and was able to provide support while I tried, desperately and without much success, to hold on to a tiny thread of sanity.

Bwahahahaha. Sanity is all gone now.

We did manage to get them into bed fairly early and I do believe that is what prevented me from taking them both to the river and setting them free to seek their fortunes in the world. Or the hereafter. Depending on how they behaved on the walk down.

Today Pooplette is a bit better. She’s less clingy but just as shitty. Oh, the odor! And Muppet is at the crèche, so that’s one less burden. But Marc’s in meetings again all day, with his afternoon meeting in Reims, an hour and a half away, meaning he’ll get home just in time to leave again for rehearsal. I’m not looking forward to tonight. I hate being the single parent on bath night with a sick kid and a monster from some place where kids are made of pure energy. I don’t hate it as much as being pregnant, though, so I guess I’ll make it through.

Anyway, I’m not complaining, as that just opens the doors for more crap to come flooding into my already crap-filled life. In fact, I’m just going to go have a lie-down and forget about everything for a while.
posted by Doc at 14:40 | Permalink | 5 comments
29 March 2007
That’s about how I feel today. Just ugh. I’m finally sleeping enough. Well, if you add all the time I spend snoring together then you get a pretty impressive figure. I just don’t manage to sleep very long stretches of time, and that, that wears a body out. And my body? It’s very worn out.

I’m probably the only woman on the planet who loathes being pregnant to this point. I hate it. HATE it. Not only is it long (and yes, I give thanks every single day that we are not elephants, but c’mon, 9 months is long), but it’s a pain in the ass, literally.

And this go ‘round it’s not been so bad. I haven’t been struck down with the ass-terror-roids that I had last time, or the Restless Leg Syndrome (oh Thank You God for that one). My diabetes is controllable through diet and my blood pressure nightmare seems to be calming down. And still I complain. Yes! I do complain. It’s my job.

Because I really HATE being pregnant. I hate the inconvenient contractions that, while far from painful, do make breathing EXTREMELY difficult for a few seconds. And I hate all that pressure on my pelvic bone that makes me feel like I’m being split in half all the time. I hate the inability to find a comfortable position in which to sleep without much difficulty and then, when said position is finally achieved, I hate that my bladder speaks up and makes itself felt in a painful way, even though we just were in the bathroom together five or ten minutes before. My bladder is not my friend.

I HATE my boobs. They are my worst enemy, well, they and my husband and kids who can’t help but touch them constantly even though I’m constantly SCREAMING at them to STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM MY BOOBS. They hurt, and if that’s not an understatement, then by God, we all should pitch in and re-elect Bush for a third term. The fact that I’ve been ‘engorged’ (the Exorcist’s word) with milk for MONTHS now isn’t helping things. And the fact that all this milk I’m carting around will probably dry right the hell up once the newest one arrives just makes it that much more frustrating. And my boobs, they stick right out there, assuring that if anything is to come in contact with my body, even by accident, it’ll hit the boobs first.

My hips are giving me constant hell, too. This is coming from that belly that technically sticks out a bit father than the boobs (but as it is lower, and not magnetically charged, doesn’t seem to get touched nearly as much). I’m all belly again this pregnancy, well as all belly as someone with an ass like mine can be, and all that lovely weight rests on my hips like a load of bricks. And my hips? They’re lazy. They don’t like carrying around bricks. Or babies.

And babies? Those other two haven’t gotten past the need of being carried and held and rocked and loved up. And all of this is just fine and good. It’s all part of having kids, right? But there’s the boob and belly factor, and Pooplette especially does not appreciate being kicked by her little sister and tries to avenge herself every single time I have to change her diaper—and trust me, lately that’s been about once every five seconds.

The kicks from the inside coupled with the two roustabouts wiggling around on the outside make for less than comfortable twinges of PAIN. I don’t like pain. In fact, after being pregnant, being in pain is the thing I hate the most.

June 4th cannot get here fast enough (and yes Deb, in reference to your smart-aleck comment about ‘not much longer now’, YOU can afford to say that since yours is on the outside now and time changes when that happens). In fact, the sooner the better, even though I have had absolutely no nesting instincts this time at all. Nothing at all. Baby coming? And? That’s about it.
posted by Doc at 10:10 | Permalink | 9 comments
26 March 2007
The end is in sight
I had my latest visit with the good lady exorcist last week. I’m happy to report that for once my blood pressure decided to behave while in her office, so I wasn’t held over for any extra tests. Good news all around this time, with the caveat of course that I continue to rest, rest, rest and try to live in as much calm as possible. (While I think the need for me to rest has finally sunk in for Marc, I’m not quite sure he understands the meaning of the world calm yet.) We were able to get down to the serious business of deciding when to harvest this weed growing in my belly. And I am happy to report that the date is June 4th—provided, of course, that all goes well and she doesn’t decide to dick with this plan the way her big sister did.

This means that I’ll get to celebrate the French version of Mother’s Day by checking myself into the hospital. Not exactly what I had planned on, but I doubt seriously my kids have much in mind, and counting on their father to guide them into a nice celebration for their mama is akin to banging one’s head against a stone wall. I think I’ll force them to take me out for a nice (early) meal before my 8 PM curfew.

The good news was followed by a nice evening out with the Hubz and some friends. I’ve been trying to get a group of these food-pretentious Frenchies to go out for Indian and it finally happened, sort of. Our group should have numbered around 11, but had withered down to five by the end of Friday. Oh well. We ate well in any case. And Indian food is just that much better when one is pregnant. Hubz was happy, too, as he had the distinguished honor of being drug out on the town by four women. He might not say much, but he does like being surrounded by the women. A lot. Especially when he sees first hand that all women really talk about is indeed sex.

Saturday was another farmer party with the Jeunes Alcooliques. It was a small intimate affair held at a gîte in the middle of nowhere and the kids were invited along. We left ours at home as they’ve spent the past week leaking their brains out of their noses and coughing up bronchial sacs. There were two kids there who are literally days younger than Christine and all I can say is “Holy shit! Pooplette is HUGE!” She’s more like the 18 month old kid who was running around making raspberries. But those little kids Pooper’s age? Man! They’re just starting to walk, they’re both tiny (well, comparatively speaking—one is actually on the large side of normal while the other is normal sized), and they move so slowly. I want one like that! Marc and I were both relieved to have left the kids at home. While it would have been nice to show off their super powers and stuff, they’d have tackled and beat up those other kids and the squealing/screeching/running/jumping/stair climbing lessons they’d have given their younger comrades would definitely put us on the black list with their parents. So we ate raclette in relative peace instead.

Now it’s Monday and the kids are back at their version of heaven on earth at the crèche, Marc’s in meetings all day and I have enough leftovers in the fridge that I don’t even have to worry about cooking. Calm? You betcha. Now I’m gunna go rest.
posted by Doc at 10:19 | Permalink | 6 comments
16 March 2007
I’m still having a hard time relaxing. It’s odd. Someone as naturally lazy as I am should have relatively little problem being a vegetable, right? What happened to my laziness gene? Has it mutated? Am I becoming some kind of genetically modified freak?

The bank has, without informing us, closed out our loan on the shit heap on the hill. This means that in addition to the double electric, double insurance, double everything we’ve been paying, we now have the entire loan payment to make every month instead of just the interest and the capital on the part that was at 0%. This is in addition to the rent we already pay here, which granted, isn’t very much. But it’s a big fat kick in the nuts while we’re already flat out with the rest of the problems.

Speaking of problems, we’ve had the judgment on the house from the tribunal de grand instance in Chaumont. We won. Anyone surprised? We have to have what they call an expertise judiciaire done and that’s going to set us back another 1500€, supposedly to be reimbursed by the sub-contractor when the expert re-lists all the problems the first expert has already listed, plus all the new problems that have cropped up since. They also have six long months in which to do this, and no, we cannot begin work on the house during that time. In the meantime, said sub is supposed to advance us the meager sum of 20 000€ so things can supposedly begin to happen (like maybe paying a bit of that loan off). This is just an advance—they’re responsible for all the work that needs to be done if the expert finds that they are at fault. The expert also decides how much each problem is supposed to cost to fix. While I’m happy we won, I still get the feeling that we’re going to take this up the ass. I’m waiting for the news that the subs have filed bankruptcy. It’s an SARL, so their financial responsibility is limited to something like 7500€. Any chance of getting any money in that case would just be tossed out the window because France will make sure she gets her money first, and we’d be at the end of the list. Like we were with the builder.

I’m ready to go after every and anyone criminally (builder for operating illegally, sub for operating without proper insurance), but that’s just one of those things that will cost us even more money that we no longer have (because we’ve wasted it all in the shithole on the hill that we’ll—and let’s be perfectly honest—probably never live in. (Ha, Word doesn’t accept shithole as a word and offers the word ‘tithe’ as a substitute. Thank you Mr. Gates for that bit of Comic Relief.)

The crèche has been a life changing ordeal as well. Muppet and Pooplette are both angels when going to bed at night. No longer do we have the half hour ordeal with the Muppet having to pee or needing to do this or that before he’ll lie down and snooze. He just goes to bed. Christine is an angel to put down as well. She’s so tired out from her non-stop world tour in the LARGE! OPEN! SPACES! she gets to wander around in ALL! DAY! LONG! That she SMILES at us when we lay her down in her crib.

Getting them up and ready in the morning is easy now, too. The glimmer of hope that today is one of those days when they get to go play is all it takes to get them moving in the right direction. I feel almost guilty when they don’t go in for the day because they both love the place so much.

Of course, Muppet hasn’t quite realized that the sun does not rise and set on his ass. When he does go in he announces his presence to the entire room as though they should bow down and worship him. The other kids are less than impressed with this delusion of his and tend to ignore him. Muppet is also quite the charmer in a political kind of way. If he wants a bike, for example, he doesn’t push the kid off and then take the bike. He gently tries coaxing the other kid into trying another game or toy, and when that fails, he points out his sister and tries to get the kid to go play with her. He’s smooth. And watching him work the room is like watching Clinton pocket million dollar checks at a fund-raiser. I don’t honestly know whether to be proud or sick.

Pooplette is often the first girl to arrive in the morning, and because of this she has her own fan club. There’s a pack of four boys who follow her around from the moment she arrives to the moment either she or they leave. Apparently she keeps them all in check and asserts herself to make sure that they don’t argue amongst themselves for her attention. Of course, her attention is something precious, fleeting as it is, as there’s all that SPACE! TO! WANDER! IN! Oh, and there’s the stairs leading to the slide, too. That’s a pretty important thing as well. (The slide can drop off the face of the earth as far as she is concerned. But those stairs? Up and down all day long.) Is fourteen months too young to have a fan club? Do I need to worry about her virtue already? I mean I know kids are growing up a lot faster these days, but surely I’ve got some time left to enjoy my little girl before she turns into a young woman, right?

Sadly the attention she receives at the crèche has only made worse her condition, the one where she starts SCREAMING anytime she’s left alone for a split second and continues SCREAMING until she’s loved up and her ruffled feathers are smoothed and caressed away. I really do not like this little bit of her character, but she gives such good hugs that I let her get away with it…for now.

Ebay is still an option, though.

For both of them.

Oh, and maybe the shithole on the hill as well.
posted by Doc at 21:38 | Permalink | 3 comments
14 March 2007
Bring on Harrison Ford and Sean Connery!
I’ve mentioned more than a few times the tiny role I play in local politics, notably as vice-president of the local tourism board in Joinville. If nothing else it’s given me an excuse to get out and acclimate myself as me, not Mme Marc or Pierrot’s daughter-in-law or Daniel’s niece. Basically I take up space and use oxygen. Sometimes though, these little gems fall into my lap.

A few years ago one of those gems was a translation job that paid very well at a time when we needed a few extra Euro coins in our pockets. On a few occasions those gems have been meeting people placed in the right places, meaning my paperwork has had a helping hand when needed. But mostly those gems have been little tidbits of knowledge, useless trivia really, that do little more than make dinner party conversations a bit more interesting. Little Dog Oil has always been a hit when talking with folks in the medical profession and still seems to make My Sister the Nurse recoil in pain.

For a little-bity unknown place, Joinville has a whole hell of a lot of history. Mary Queen of Scots is tied to the place. So is the Man in the Iron Mask (the real one). The list of historic figures with links to Joinville is rather vast, but one biggy sticks out—Saint Louis. He’s our big daddy person by way of Jean de Joinville, his personal chronicler, friend, and apparent life saver.

See, back during the crusades Louis got his butt captured and Jean, our local boy, had to get him out. Now, legend has it that Louis and his posse had actually found, wait for it, the Holy Grail on their little excursions in the Holy Land and Jean used this, with permission from the Knights Templar of course, to rescue dear Louis. Louis was apparently the only guy they thought enough of to even try to ransom, and Jean got the job of taking the cup to the baddies. Now, the legend goes on the say that Louis was rescued and eventually tracked down and put a hurting on the baddies, reclaiming the cup.

And why is this so interesting? Because the Holy friggin’ Grail is supposedly hidden in or near Joinville. Treasure seekers over time have all had their go at trying to find it, and have, of course, failed.

So I’m thinking, anyone up for a treasure hunt?

PS: Anyone interested in finding out more about J-ville (in French), go check out Yves’ site: Not only is the man BEE-Youtiful, but he’s got a lot of history goin’ on.
posted by Doc at 13:02 | Permalink | 5 comments
13 March 2007
I don’t get this whole ‘relax’ thing. I just don’t. I’ve put the kids in care two or three times a week so I can sit at home and be a vegetable. I’ve bitched and nagged the husband half to death so he no longer dares criticize the disorder of the house. I’ve done away with every piece of extra baggage I’ve been carrying around daily for the past six months of this never-ending pregnancy and I STILL cannot relax. What’s wrong with me?

Oh, poor Doc, right? She’s got it so easy and all she does it complain. Well, I know I’ve got it easy. I have no real responsibilities other than making sure my kids survive the day without any major disaster and granted I do manage to fuck that up every once in a while. Rationally I know I should just be skimming along singing ‘Zip-a-dee-do-da’ and doling out lace to the neighborhood birds to use in their nests.

But my life is far from a Disney movie. And it’s all because I keep getting pregnant. And I LOATHE being pregnant.

Don’t get me wrong: I like my kids. I just hate the nine millennia long ordeal to get them here.

And I still insist that I feel better this go ‘round than either time before, except…well, just except.

Last week I had my second visit with the endocrinologist about my fun gestational diabetes. I seem to be managing fine, except the last two days before my visit I was somewhat systematically over the 140 mark. Not exactly good when the target is under 120 at all times. Also, those two days my toes disappeared into the swollen blob of my feet which were both too big to put shoes on. OB/GYN-Kenobi had already warned me that foot swelling would be a feature of this pregnancy because back to back to back births wears one’s veins out. But added to this was the swelling in my hands meaning we were no longer looking at a problem with my veins being weak. This was something more serious. I explained to him about the non-stop headache I’d had for going on 72 hours and how my BP had been 160/100 the week before during my monthly visit. So he too took my blood pressure and found in to be a mere 150/90, very, very high indeed for someone who is supposedly healthy. So back to the OB clinic I was sent to see the good lady doctor/exorcist who is in charge of my care.

I didn’t have to wait long and she didn’t even need to examine me. The receptionist pulled my file while OGK explained that she was admitting me for more tests. Something was obviously not right and we needed to figure out what. So the receptionist escorted me down to the midwives’ offices, explained everything to them and arranged a nice private room for me on the GYN floor, away from those screaming babies because, as the one midwife said, “We don’t want yours getting any ideas.” At just under 27 weeks, I couldn’t have agreed more.

After a tearful phone call to Marc, who I’d yelled at just that morning for not understanding how horrible I’d been feeling and wouldn't he just feel like a dung beetle if they kept me that day ha ha ha, I went up to my new room for a round of BP and fetal monitoring.

Hooking a 27 week old fetus to a monitor is an exercise in absolute futility because they’re tiny, they move a lot and lets face it, these monitors are not made for babies that young. But I did get to catch up with the sage-femme who prepped me for both cesareans while we played chase the heartbeat. Fun stuff. And my BP? A whopping 100/50.

I had some blood work done, and I had to fill a jar of pee over 24 hours so they could get this tiny sample. If nothing else I got to prove to the doctor that I do in fact drink enough water. I had a two and a half liter bottle and filled it to the very brim, thankyaverymuch.

And the results of all this? What’s wrong with me? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. My tests weren’t just normal, they were perfect. My blood pressure was perfect, my blood work, prefect. Hell, even my sugar was perfect, hovering between 70 and 80 after eating like any normal, non-diabetic person.

So what gives? I’m not imagining all this crap, right? I already felt like an ass for taking up everyone’s time for absolutely no reason. And the only thing they can come up with is that I’m having these attacks of stress, like some people get panic attacks.

So I left the hospital with nothing more than a prescription for R&R on a regular, daily basis. R&R. Ha!

No matter what I do I just cannot seem to relax here. Even when the kids are gone, the hubs is working and the house is clean I find it impossible to just lie down and relax. It’s not happening. And I don’t know what to do.

(I know what I’d like to do, but tying one on at this stage of the game seems like a really bad idea. Still, a few ciggies and a couple of bottles of wine feel like very nice things right about now…)
posted by Doc at 14:52 | Permalink | 4 comments
05 March 2007
Surviving another weekend with the Sasquatches
I made it through the weekend without killing anyone or breaking anything! Yah for me!

Actually this weekend wasn’t too bad, considering how horrible the one before was—and let’s just say it was horrible enough that I could not write about it without risking a horrible divorce and ruining more that a few lives in the process. But this weekend, on the other hand, was fairly decent.

Saturday morning I had to trek out to the shoe store to find Muppet some new shoes. I had to find him shoes because the last pair were no longer serviceable. He ever so slightly ripped the soles off them. And he’d done it often enough that the glue holding the glue holding the glue wasn’t going to hold any more glue, much less the sole.

We’d lucked into those shoes at the time. I was shoe shopping with Marc, a task to be avoided at all costs because we have very different ways of seeing the world, especially if the spending of his hard earned cash is involved. (His cash, his right to bitch, right? Well, sometimes at least.) Finding shoes that we both agree on, at the price we both agree on, in the style/color/other ‘gay’ stuff that we agree on is usually a very difficult, often impossible task. It’s better to shoe shop alone and then listen to his grumbling afterwards. But this is not always practical when one has two screaming monkeys in tow and another baking in the oven. Sometimes Mom needs Pop’s grumpy, bitchy, whiny help.

So the last time we went to find shoes for Muppet was an ordeal. And just when we were both on the verge of tossing in the towel and screaming ‘Get thee gone, schmuck’ at each other, I stumbled across the perfect pair of shoes on the clearance rack. Marc immediately tried them on the Muppet while singing the praises of his wonderful Mama who’d just found these wonderful shoes. (Note: wonderful in Marc’s dictionary of terms means cheap.) Baby was happy, Mama was happy, and even better, Papa was not a grumpy old hag.

Fast forward a couple of months. Those shoes have been well worn and well used, and honestly, I can still say, with all the hell Muppet puts his feet through during any given day, we got what we paid for. They were not the highest quality shoes, and yes, Marc ended up gluing the soles back on more than once. So enough was enough.

Shoe shopping with two monkeys on a Saturday morning in France (even rural France) is not an enterprise to be entered into lightly. One needs reinforcements. Sadly, reinforced restraints are frowned upon here as I imagine they are in the States. And while it doesn’t really bother me if my children should happen, one day, to experiment in bondage, I’d rather they save those experiments for when they’re a bit beyond the Toddler Stage in life. Color me old-fashioned, but I don’t feel like paying for therapy for that when they’re teens. So instead of leather ties and Velcro, I opted for reinforcements of the human kind, notably in the form of one Tata Véro, the Evil sister-in-law (who is 180° from evil, really—and single and looking should any of you guys have a prospective Evil brother-in-law in mind for Marc).

And a good thing she came along, too. After finding a good pair of shoes for Monkey (that match a majority of his clothes, are stylish, and don’t seem like the kind that will fall apart after three hours—my criteria, and that are reasonably priced, are reasonably priced, and are reasonably priced—Marc’s criteria), said Monkey decided to take off on a solo flight around the store. Gah!

Fortunately the place wasn’t crowded—apparently we country folks are more afternoon shoppers than morning ones—so I wasn’t too worried about loosing him in the sea of people. But he is fast, and he’s little so it’s easy for him to disappear quickly. And because he’s so little, I was searching for him in low areas, like on the floor. Fortunately Tata Véro was there to save the day, and the Monkey, from certain doom.

See, Monkey wasn’t on the ground. Monkey was sitting astride an empty display counter pretending to ride a horse. He was ABOVE eye-level, in a place I would never have thought to look. And considering his complete and total lack of verbal response to my calling his name, I was practically right beside him when Véro pointed him out to me. I never would have found him—and he thought this was all jolly good fun. Little booger!

But he’s shoed, and we managed to do the rest of my shopping and Véro’s one errand all before lunch. A great start to a weekend, n’est-ce pas?

I learned something shoe shopping this weekend. My kids, they have big feet. Pooplette, who I already know is tall for her age, is going to be monstrous if, like a puppy, she grows into her feet. There was a little girl a little younger than Muppet shopping for shoes in the same aisle as we were who wears one size larger than our little girl. A year and a half older and she has almost the same size feet as our little girl? The scariest part of all of this is that if Pooplette decides to live her adult life in France, and her feet continue to grow at this exponential rate, she’ll be doomed to shopping in shoe stores for transvestites. And let’s face it, while the TV community usually has impeccable taste and a certain sense of style that is beyond compare, I doubt seriously Pooplette would be willing to shoe herself in platform heels and go-go boots for all her adult life. Especially if she’s already Very Tall.

But she’s not the only one with potential foot covering problems. Her brother, too, seems to have huge paws. See, Sunday Marc’s aunt stopped in with her grandson for a surprise visit. The grandson, Muppet’s 2nd cousin, is two years his senior, stands a good six or seven centimeters taller than Muppet, and in all likelihood will be a tall fellow himself. Marc’s cousin is taller than your average French chick and her significant other is tall, even by Scandinavian standards—he’s 2.07 meters tall (or something like 6’10). The kid’s got a pretty good chance of being tall, and for his age he already is. But, the little monkey wears the same size shoes as our monkey—and he’s two years older.

Is there some parenting fact that I don’t know about where kids’ feet stop growing for a while? Or are we doomed to forever having a hard time finding shoes?

Saturday night was pizza night with Tata and another old friend. Pooplette and I stayed behind while the others, Monkey 1 included (because it’s like his totally favorite activity) went out in search of pizza. I’m truly sad I missed this excursion, happy as I was to have a bit of a lie down, or as much of a lie down as one can muster while cleaning off (read as digging out) the table and feeding a toddler. Muppet’s a character. And I’m sure if my dad were still around to take credit for his personality, he’d do so with pride.

Muppet walks into the pizzeria with the rest of the crew, like any normal kid, and it went a little something like this (and yes, I’ve translated so you evil birches won’t jump in my shit again):

Muppet: Heeeey ladies!

Lady behind the counter: Good evening.

Muppet: Are you listening to me, woman? I want a pizza. Give me a pizza….please.

OK, having typed that I can see how it looses something, but you’ve got to see this kid. He’s all personality. He cracks us up daily. And he’s teaching his sister all his tricks.

We’re doomed.
posted by Doc at 15:08 | Permalink | 4 comments
02 March 2007
Feeling a bit critical of the French healthcare system…
You know it had to happen eventually. Too much of even the best of things can leave you with a bad taste in your mouth, and tonight I have had my fill of social medicine.

I am not one of those overbearing, over-caring, mère poule types. My kids get shots and I accept it as part of life. I don’t baby them, or sugar coat things or belittle their pain. I know it hurts. And I try to comfort the hurt when it’s over with, but in the meantime, get on with it already.

But what do you do when it’s a never-goddamn-ending ordeal?

Muppet had his first vaccine at the tender age of five weeks. It was a BCG vaccine, against that lovely disease TB. The vaccine itself was called Monovac and it came in a neat little delivery system that put the vaccine right under the skin where it needed to go. See, the TB vaccine is an intra-dermal vaccine—it goes between the layers of the skin.

Well, between Muppet and Piglet, they, with they being the idiots with the power, decided to get rid of this lovely vaccine. It’s been replaced by another vaccine that is sold in a TEN DOSE pack.

TEN DOSES for one person? Why?

Well, the vaccine still has to go between the layers of the skin, only now instead of the neat little vaccine delivery system it comes with a needle.

This vaccine is MANDATORY in a lot of collective child care centers, like the one where my monkeys will be going somewhat regularly starting next week.

Only the makers of this vaccine don’t seem to get that. Have you any idea how thin, how terribly fucking fragile a baby’s skin is? And now our great and kind doctor had to get one dose (out of a possible ten!!!) under Piglet’s skin without drawing blood.

She didn’t succeed on the first try, or the second or even the eighth—at which point we called Marc to come (from home) to help hold the VERY PISSED OFF Piglet down because she’d been stuck eight times already and was squirming so much I was having contractions trying to keep her still.

In the end she was held down by her father while TWO doctors tried to give her the vaccine and I just tried to comfort her as much as possible. Even then she only got half a dose, a questionable half dose at that.

I’m frustrated tonight. Why did they get rid of the Monovac? And if they had to get rid of it, why is this vaccine still mandatory for babies going into collective child care when the new vaccine is obviously designed for older children and adults? And why the fuck did they get rid of the old delivery system which worked and replace it with something that’s so difficult that it makes even the most experienced doctors tremble?

Christine has gone to bed with three bandages on her arms covering EIGHTEEN holes. Eighteen times we had to stick her for what turned out to be a questionable result. Worth it? For some reason I feel that answer is a resounding NO.

(And I have to say, as traumatized as the Pooplette was, the doctor was more so. The Pooper was all smiles again fifteen minutes after it was over, but the Doctor Chick was still quite visibly shaken—apparently she’s just a frustrated with this situation as we are.)
posted by Doc at 23:09 | Permalink | 5 comments
01 March 2007
My dishwasher is so much cooler than yours
Why? Because if you load it just right it makes this clinking noise that sounds exactly like the music to Lenny Kravitz’s I Belong to You. I’m going to have to experiment and see if it plays any other tunes as well.

Life is just full of random crap like that lately. Like did you know that REST! means VACUUM! and MOVE ALL THE FURNITURE AROUND! at the same time. I had no idea that REST had those meanings, but I’ve never exactly been the sharpest tool in the shed.

Oh, and my diabetes? Get this: I eat a pre-packaged sandwich and a coke and my sugar comes in at 89 (very good), but I eat a ‘real’ ‘balanced’ meal, and it hovers around 130 (bad). Coke, could be the cure for diabetes!

Hey, sanity now has a price tag! Yep! For 1.75€ an hour I can be mentally healthy! That’s the price to put my kids at the crèche, where they started today, and where I had to pry Muppet away from their toys (much cooler than here) and drag him screaming to the car. And the best part! When Monkey v 3.0 shows up, that price goes down…

Sometimes being poor is cool as shit.

My Thing just figured out that putting a bit of conditioner in his hair makes it more manageable. Any one else want further proof that he’s from another planet?

Because I have it! Remember that bump I complained about when Piglet was born? The one that made her look like a Klingon? And the same one that I eventually laid claim to because I found a photo of me with a humpy, lumpy head? Dude, it ain’t mine! Marc’s new nephew has the same friggin humpy bumpy ridge-y lump thing going on, only on him it’s like even uglier than it was on Pooplette, because that kid, he’s FUGLY. I have no idea what happened because when he was born he was rather cute. But man, now…ugh!

In fact, the only thing uglier than that kid is our house, where the creeping mold is taking over everything and, you know, I just cannot care anymore. The sub-contractors didn’t put up a time challenge thingy, so we’ll officially have the tribunal’s decision on the 8th of March.

Of course, this hasn’t helped the wonderful new situation with my blood-pressure. It was 160/100 during my last visit with OB-GYN Kenobi who promptly sent me downstairs to L&D to figure out if I should be admitted or not, put on a treatment or not, or just sent home with a warning. I ended up going home because I’m going through the same thing I did with Muppet. One minute the BP is too high (like 160/100), the next it’s too low (100/50). The cure? REST!

But, apparently I’m getting too much REST! (see definition above) and not enough REST! (see any dictionary). Is there anyone out there capable of making It understand that pregnancy changes EVERYTHING for me? And that maybe, instead of wishing things back the way they were or could be, It should just fucking adapt, too? It would probably make EVERYTHING a lot easier on EVERYONE.

But I did manage to get a pregnancy support belt thingy out of the deal and that, in the few hours I have had it and been able to glide around the kitchen with my belly supported and my back aligned, has changed a lot of things. I might actually be able to find a comfy position to sleep in now that my hips aren’t SCREAMING at me.

And speaking of, I might just go try to do that now…if I can convince someone the SHUT THE FUCKING TV OFF AND GO TO BED FERCHRISSAKE!
posted by Doc at 21:59 | Permalink | 8 comments