Phew.

Thank you sweet baby Jesus, Christmas is finally over.

My job makes us work the seven days leading up until Christmas. The way my days off played out, I worked 10 days in a row. The ten days before Christmas. Which for those of you who work in the retail slash service industry, you know that those are the ten worst goddamned days of the year. IN A ROW.

That does something to a person. Somethin uuugly.

It also seriously must compromise a person’s immune system, because guess what? I’m sick again. And not just a little cold, no no. That’s not how I roll.  Friday morning, Christmas Eve Eve, I woke up with some ear pain. As the day progressed, it got worse and worse. By Saturday morning, Christmas Eve, I was in quite a bit of pain. Even with enough ibuprofen in me to stun a yak, I was struggling. I got lucky and got out of work early, and raced straight to an UrgentCare. But they were already closed. So..I sat there, thinking well, first thing Monday morning, I’ll go in.

But it just kept getting worse and worse. It woke me up a bunch of times that night. I was really in a lot of pain. So..at 3:30 in the morning, I woke up John. “I’m going to the ER. I can’t take this shit another day. Might as well go now. I’ll be home by the time X wakes up.”

Well..I wasn’t. Apparently, earaches fall pretty low on the emergency scale.  Eventually, the doctor made his way over. Said “Yea..that’s doubly infected, inside and out. Here’s a stack of prescriptions. CVS is open, head on over.”

So, I did. Eardrops, antibiotics, and two kinds of pain meds. Oh yes. I made it home about 9:30. Xavier had pooped on his Christmas pajamas. Mom and John were waiting, Xavier’s excitement was palpable:

And Squirt could barely contain his overwhelming joy:

 But John was ready: (to start drinking. Ha!)

So, let’s start the show. We start with stockings. First, my mom looks through hers. Finds a chocolate orange. She’s pumped about it.

John tricked her into wearing that hat. I love this man.

Then we opened Xavier’s stocking. I handed him his first gift, expecting him drool as he dropped it on the floor. But instead, this happened.

DUDE. LOOK AT HIS LITTLE FACE!!!!

How cute is that? He’s all “Oh yes, this is relevant to mah interests!”

Stupid little set of teething keys dazzled his world. Babies are so funny.

I’d like to post more pictures, but stupid WordPress is being slow and if I keep waiting around to do that, I’ll never get this finished before Xavier wakes up.

So..the day after Christmas, John, Xavier and I made our yearly trip out to the stores to get the goods on next year’s Christmas decorations. My theme for next year is certainly more challenging than red & white was, but I think I did okay and I am pretty damned excited about it.

Also..next year, my mother has decided she wants a tree for her area also. So that’s TWO trees to decorate. I don’t think she’ll let me get all OCD on her tree. But I really wish she would. She’s probably going to get all obnoxious drunken fruity pebbles vomit on the damned thing just to drive me batty. *sigh*. I suspect she just doesn’t like next year’s colors. I’d tell you what they are, but then you’d try to copy me. So you have to wait, suckas.

Anyway. When I went to the ER Saturday morning, they told me if I’m not much better by Tuesday morning, I needed to go see my For Real Doctor. So..Tuesday morning I was still really struggling. I tried to go to work..and it was a fail. I couldn’t take the serious pain meds they gave me and drive or groom dogs, and trying to groom dogs in that much pain…well. It didn’t work out. So I left work and went to the doctor.  It was worse, my face was swollen, and now my left ear was aching and crackling.

And this is where we discuss bedside manner and it’s importance. A doctor should not take one look at a person’s ear and say “Oh no! It’s really bad. Like..REALLY bad. You need to go see a specialist. NOW. Right NOW. It’s reaaaally bad. I’m going to find you a specialist to go to, right now. This is serious, I’ve seen people go on IV antibiotics for less. YOUR BRAIN IS IN DANGER!”

And then disappear for 10 minutes.

Leaving me just…sitting there. Apparently, in grave brain danger.

So she comes back, gives me an address and a number and tells me to “Go right now. Just go NOW okay?”

OKAY I’M GOING!!! FUCK!

In a rare exception from my usual stubborn to the core independence, I had had John accompany me to this appointment, in case they wanted to dope me up or something.  So he was with me, thank God, because I was actually sort of scared. MY BRAIN WAS IN DANGER, for fuck’s sake.

So I went to the specialist. And waited for over an hour and a half before he wandered into the exam room. Which had a big scary dentist like horror movie chair in it with lights and pokey things. And there were all these instruments that looked like something out of the SAW movies. GAH.

I might have peed in the chair.

So he takes a look in my left ear, the newest arrival to the party in my head. He’s like “Yup, infected. We’ll flush that sucker out and give you some drops. NBD.” Then he looks in my right ear, and says “This is really bad.” He says my ear is completely clogged up, and the antibiotics they had given me in the ER were not strong enough. Since my ear was closed up, there was no way for the drops to get down in there, so they just kinda built up and gummed up the works even more. So..we’ll have to suction that out. Then flush. Then we’ll have to insert a wick so it can drain.

Oh..that sounds magical.

He says “It’s going to hurt. If it doesn’t hurt I’m not doing it right. Sorry.”

So he pulls out this thingy. It has a four inch or so metal tube that’s very narrow, like the inside of a ballpoint pen. He STICKS THAT IN MY FUCKING EAR. And then he turns it on. And it’s like the suction thingy at the dentist, only it’s metal and it’s in my ear. And it’s sucking the danger out of my brain.

It was unpleasant. But I have to say..it almost felt better. There was a lot of pressure in that sumbitch, and that relieved a good chunk of it. Then he goes around to my left side. Takes this giant metal syringe thing..and a metal vomit catcher pan, you know, the kidney bean shaped guy. And he comes straight for me. This ain’t gonna be nice.

But again, not that bad. He sticks the giant metal thing in my ear and it’s like a firehose jammed into my brain. The kidney bean was to catch the excess.

(Are you grossed out yet?)

SO THEN. He comes back to my right side. And he’s being very descriptive about what he’s going to do my ear. Which I appreciated, I don’t think I would’ve taken too kindly to someone just cramming stuff and shooting and suctioning on my orifices without an explanation. (That’s what she said.)

He shows me the wick he’s going to put in my ear. He shows me what he’s going to use to put it in with. Explains it’s purpose and when it needs to come out. I really liked this doctor.

(Dr Tarro at RI Ear Nose & Throat in Cumberland RI)

So then he tells me it’s gonna hurt again. And I brace myself. But it wasn’t that bad. Certainly no walk in the park. He says “Wow. You must have a really high threshold for pain.”  If you’ve read my birth story, you know why that is.

So..I did take the day off work today. I’m in quite a bit of pain,  and I can’t hear very well, and I’m still quite loopy from the Vicodin regimen. But I’m getting better, I can tell.

And one last thing before I end this, speaking of getting better. The Reglan is working like gangbusters for my milk supply, it has totally pulled me off the ropes in that battle and I’m in the fight again and swinging. When I first started breastfeeding,  I honestly wasn’t sure I’d last the week. But when I did, I said “Six weeks. I probably won’t be able to do it after I go back to work.” But I was. so I said “I’d like to make it til Christmas, that’s just about six months.” I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to make time to pump because it gets so insanely busy. But I did. I made it. So. I’m not going to set another goal. I’m going to keep going until I stop. So far, I have had zero side effects that I can’t handle. Hopefully that continues. HOORAY FOR BOOBIES!

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas..

Christmas in Texas, anyway. How bout this crazy ass 65 degree weather in December here in Rhode Island? What the what?! Last week, I stood outside putting ornaments and lights on our potted stoop trees, and realized I was wearing a tank top outside. Comfortably. And my country ass was barefoot too!

On the serious, I pretty much love it. It’s just weird as hell. My brother, who is ACTUALLY in Texas, got two inches of snow. I’m starting to think that perhaps that whole global warming thing isn’t just a bullshit scare tactic made up by Al Gore. (Sarcasm. It totally was.) (Sarcasm again, did you actually think I thought that global warming is made up? Who thinks that!)

But at any rate..I’m fucktastically excited for Christmas this year. So, remember how I told you guys that we didn’t do holidays for awhile? Right, we didn’t. So when I decided we would start doing them, John agreed that I could pretty much do them however I want. And that means theme trees. Ridiculous, beautiful, cohesive, OCD theme trees. Last year, it was teal and silver. And I’m not dumb, I hit up the stores the day after Christmas, and bought all my coordinated shit in advance at like 75% off, so it cost me about $4 in total. (Estimate.)

So, here was last year’s tree, and it was the first tree I was 100% responsible for. This is a crappy cell phone pic, sorry.

See how pretty it was? *sigh*

But when I shopped last year for this Christmas, I knew I was pregnant. And I knew I’d be taking a boatload of pictures, and when I look back on those pictures of Xavier’s first Christmas, I wanted them to look classic and timeless and not too trendy. So I decided to go with a red & white theme this year.

However, I did not know my mom would be here this year, so I only purchased three stockings. Now I have one mismatched stocking and I can’t remember where I bought these, and I haven’t seen them on the shelves at all the usual suspects. So I have an odd man out. Screw it, it’s fine. It’sfineit’sfineit’sfineit’s fine.

It’s FINE.

Okay? Also, since Xavier’s little, no need to be stealthy, I can already start stuffing his stocking, he doesn’t care.

 

So. I also snapped up these cute little tree thingies from Target. (IfuckingloveTarget)

Cute huh?  I love them!  Here’s how I decorated the banister:

 

You like the way my balls dangle, don’t you?

Now…I do normally let the hubs do the outside. He likes to be spastic and crazy, with all the colors, like someone puked up Christmas Fruity Pebbles all over the place. But since he happily obliges me when I say “This tree is all wrong, please help me take it all down and start over”, I let him go nuts. This is his favorite tree, it reminds him of Charlie Brown, I guess. I’ll show it to you, and then we’ll never speak of it again.

 

 

He’s mad because I’m not showing it to you lit up. But…I think you get the idea don’t you?

Now. Let’s move on. We have two Arborvitae trees in pots right outside the front door. Like I said, normally I let him have the outside, but I’m pretty sure this still counts as inside. So..clear lights and red ornaments:

Notice the one that’s in the pot now? Yea…John found that in the driveway this morning, a solid 20 feet away. The hook part had been ripped off and split in half. Stupid raccoon I bet,  I hear they like shiny shit. Tried to jack my shit but didn’t make it too far before he realized it wasn’t food, or treasure, or what the hell ever he thought it was. John thought it was appropriate to just place it back in the pot.  Maybe if the little vermin returns he’ll take that one again rather than trying to pick another?

Okay so I’ll quit dicking around and show you my tree now. But before I do, I need you to know that both my mother and I are allergic to natural trees. We break out in hives, so don’t give me any shit about my fake tree.

 

Pretty awesome huh? That thing I said about taking everything off and starting over again? Totally happened. And yes, the wrapping paper is coordinated with the tree. Christmas just cranks my crazy right up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And fun facts:

Xavier started solids this week. Not entirely unrelated, Xavier pooped on me. And the floor. He has also started giving drooly open mouthed kisses, so it evens out. We’re giving peas a chance.