For this month’s issue of Plano Profile, I wrote about the 77 days my daughter spent in the hospital as a preemie. Of course, I could probably write a book on the subject (Chapter 2: That Time I Got Hit By a Car, Like, As a Pedestrian) (Chapter 8: That Time Our Hospital Issued a Code Gray and Our Nursery Had to Take Weather Precautions) (Chapter 11: That Time We Thought We Were Going Home But Didn’t), but until that book happens, you can read this article instead:
For about a year after my daughter came home, whenever a stranger asked me how old she was, I tended to quote her adjusted age. Since DC was still rather small, using her adjusted age made visual sense to most people. Using her actual age, on the other hand, tended to invite more questions, which pretty much led me to mom-splain our back-story all over these polite, but not really interested, old ladies and passerbys.
There were a few times when the old lady or passerby would say, “yes, but what’s her real age?” One was a former NICU nurse, the others were grandparents of preemies.
At four months, my daughter may have been smaller than a typical newborn, but her eyes were wide open and she had this worldly-wise look about her. At one year, she had closed the developmental gap for cognitive and motor skills, but her height and weight were still tacking more closely to her adjusted age (she was still fitting comfortably into 6 month clothing). In other words, she was an impossibly small, physical dynamo…and I worried that she’d one day be conscripted into her middle school’s cheer-leading squad as a flier. Continue reading
Marianne Richmond’s If I Could Keep You Little is a sad-sweet little read and a wonderful gift for new and expectant parents. The rhyme scheme can be a bit clunky in a few places, but that hardly diminishes the book’s overall charm–like so many Pixar movies, If I Could Keep You Little is a gentle meditation on the passage of time as well as a mindful celebration of everyday moments.
And, I’ve got to say, it was a totally different book when I first picked it up about a year ago. Continue reading
I don’t remember when or why, but at some point after my daughter was born, I had decided to adopt a non-judgmental opinion of other mothers (though in reality, it wasn’t so much non-judgmental, as it was “whatever”).
I think it began in the NICU. Continue reading
So I joked with some of our guests over the weekend, that next year, I’m just going to bake a couple of bags of chicken nuggets and call it a party. The only thing is, I think I might actually do it…
I wanted to make this post something of a party debrief, but truth be told, I’m not sure how to begin. Should I start with the musky, fetid animal smell that had begun to emanate from the walls of the playroom/dining room once the weather began to warm up, a smell which might have been either squirrel urine (another story, another day) or a dead mouse rotting in the wall– Continue reading
It’s pretty shameful that my husband and I haven’t prepared a living will or a legal contingency plan designating guardianship for our daughter–especially shameful because my father’s legal expertise is in estate planning.
That’s not to say we haven’t talked about it, because we have. We’ve talked about it a lot. We’ll go back and forth on between one or two family members who we could blindly trust to care for our daughter, always coming back and agreeing on one single person. Though we have large families, many of our family members make poor life decisions, struggle with mental illness, or are crazy-financially strapped with more kids than dollars. So for us, this macabre conversation is hardly the stuff of Modern Family. Continue reading
My daughter’s first multi-syllable phrase was “cuppa coffee.” I shouldn’t have been so surprised, but I was. She was 17 months old when she said it, and she pointed at my steaming red mug that I carried into her nursery; “cuppa coffee” she said again, and smiled a rare smile, quite pleased with herself when I praised her for her cleverness.
If there has been any single running theme from the time I found out I was pregnant, to, well, now, (any running theme besides the obvious, of what an extraordinary person she is) it’s coffee. Continue reading
Measles is back in the news again, as approximately 70 cases in 6 different states have been documented with links to the Disneyland outbreak. Measles is a pernicious respiratory disease that was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000. However, because more and more parents are choosing not to vaccinate their kids, herd immunity has declined and measles transmission has been on the rise.
The reason why measles is particularly ugly is because infected individuals typically infect anywhere from 12 to 18 others (for ebola, the number is closer to 2). The virus is airborne, can incubate up to 21 days in a host (typically 10 days), and can be transmitted several days before the characteristic rash appears. You can fact-check me with these helpful links to the CDC and WHO measles pages, or you can briefly wonder why I even know all this shit off the top of my head. Continue reading