Less itchy. Still worried. And some updates.

Dermatologist didn’t think it was scabies, but she wrote me a scrip for Elimite, a permethrin cream, anyway. Much waffling later, I’ve decided not to use it but to continue the hot Epsom salt baths, washing and drying as hot as I can bear to, and waiting, waiting, waiting until the bug guy can come Monday morning. Anyone I’ve spoken to on the phone has been confident that the problem is something different from what the previous guy thinks.

Yesterday, I found two dead critters in the bathroom, so we think the diatomaceous earth and Lysol may be doing the trick. However, Dadawa caught a live critter on his monitor in his office today. Not good. He checked the attic for rats or birds and didn’t find anything conclusive. I’m just tired of not knowing what is eating me alive. It’s almost all I can think about. Thankfully, the earliest bites are healing, fewer new ones appear every night, and the itching is not unbearable any more.

On top of this and the burglary, did I mention that our health, dental, and vision benefits elections for this year did not get taken up into the HP system correctly? This also leaves me with no vision plan, Pickle Pie without dental, and us with no FSA allowance.

Good news: I am hobbling crutch-free about two weeks earlier than after the other foot’s operation. My replacement laptop, a Macbook Pro, arrived, and I am loving it. One of our best friends is coming to town this weekend. A couple we consider dear friends is having their wedding mass Monday, and I’m a bridesmaid, despite my hobbling (we were talking about crutches and tulle, just in case) and the pockmarks from my rash. Ah, vanity.

Not news: I haven’t been able to post as regularly as I intended because I couldn’t log in to the blog from any computers and was making do with the WordPress gizmo on the iPhone.

You know how Dadawa fixed the problem?

He told me to log into the correct site. Ugh.


It’s a mystery, this crazy-making itchy rash I have had since just before the burglary. I have already spoken to two pest control companies about a few suspicious critters I’ve caught on tape, literally, but I want to try to rule out a disease or allergy before resorting to chemical warfare. If it’s critters, after all, they are going to be neither cheap nor easy to take care of. It’s bad when a diagnosis of, say, scabies would NOT be the worst case scenario.

So finally, after learning six times between Monday morning and yesterday afternoon that the dermatologists still had no last-minute openings, I am elated that my actual appointment is just a few hours away.

I’m have been a little paranoid about spreading whatever this is, but no one else seems affected. Pickle Pie, Cammie, and Dadawa are bite- and rash-free, long may it last. If I didn’t have physical symptoms, I would have sought treatment for delusions of parasitosis several days ago. Coating myself in calamine lotion has allowed me to snatch a blessed three or four hours of sleep each night, but tonight’s hot Epsom salt bath has been even greater relief.

An upside exists. I have read more about critters than I ever would have otherwise. And I have learned about diatomaceous earth. I highly recommend a quick wiki or google browse if you haven’t heard of the stuff.

My bet is that it’s bird mites. Sigh. I am praying it’s not bed bugs. But hands down, the best news would be that all this just a freak reaction to an unspecified virus. At least then, I could stop changing the sheets every night and washing and drying them on hot as a stopgap until we know more. And I am hoping very hard that I can know more very soon.

Regardless, can I say, ewwww?

Fingers crossed.


I believe it’s my mom’s good coffee and not shock keeping me awake to post this… But our front door was busted in yesterday evening, and (as far as we can tell) a bunch of electronics and some jewelry were stolen. None of us were home at the time…a blessing, most probably, so we are all fine. Scratch that; the cat will probably require hour-long tummy rubs and all-you-can-snarf tuna for seven weeks at least.

I do wonder what the thieves made of my beautiful hand-dyed mama cloth, a dozen new pairs of panties, and my cloth nursing pads laid out to dry all over our top floor landing area.

Right now, the front door is only secured by Dadawa’s having piled a bunch of crap behind it, but I don’t (yet?) feel vulnerable, violated, or victimized, though we are and we have been.
I’m just not one who has ever gone around believing that I am safe or that I am entitled to feel safe. Most of the time, I just figure that my life and my stuff aren’t worth a criminal’s trouble. I definitely never think “X will never happen to me.” I tend to think, “X is unlikely to happen to me, but if it did …” and then I go through too many hypotheticals. You might be surprised if you knew that I have gotten mentally prepared for an undetermined but really large number of crazy stuff. Or if you know me, you might be shaking or nodding your head going, “Umm, yeah, that’s not a surprise at all.”

Fortunately, it really is just all replaceable stuff, as far as we can tell. I am concerned about identity theft, because they got computers and laptops, but all the wraps, slings, and other babycarriers are accounted for. 😉

They left my wallet, our biggest TV, and the DVR (won’t miss the Runway finale!!), the server, all our backup drives, the AppleTV, and all our wifi hardware. They did snag a lot of easy-to-fence gear and didn’t really trash the place, so I figure the entire thing was simply… well, a fundraising effort.

Dudes, next time, could you just ask me to write a dang check? No? Well, fuck. I mean shucks. Fine. Don’t come back now, ya’hear?

A word inventory for Pickle Pie

Spoken words

Kug-ches: crutches. Nigh-niiigh: Good night. Daduh and da-daaaaaaa: Dad. An-nah: Banana. Aah-bow: Apple. Kees: Keys. Da-DINGGG: Ding dong. O’Mine: Come in. DISSS: This. Lloh: Hello. Buh-byeee and Bie: Bye-bye. Ormee: Stormy. Nooooooooee, Nah, Noh, and Noe: No. Eddy: Ready. Oh-ben: Open. Pish and Peez: Please. Yeish and Yah: Yes. Tadoo: Thank you. Eckoe: Welcome. Lullellella: Umbrella. Att: Cat. Amie: Cammie. Emmo: Elmo. Mehk and Myok: Milk. Kugkee: Cookie. Gackhet: Jacket. Fahvfers: Flower. Die dowwww: Lie down. Dit: Sit. Bakk: Back. Neee: Knee. Noh: Nose. Dthoo-dthoo: Tutu. Top: Stop. Goe: Go. Bat: Bath. Boh and Pao: Ball. Bahs: Bus. Dhite: Light. Zzzuh: Zoo. Ammo: Camel. Yehyi: Sherri. Yuyi: Julia. Yaiiiyyy: Yay. Boh-boh and Boo-boo: Injury. Mmuh-ohh: Uh-oh. Dunn: Done. Bebee: Baby. Buhboe: Bubble. Glubglub: Water. Yiyss: Ice. Yies: Rice. Om: Home. Oh-wah: Pickle Pie.

Signed words

Up, down, change, more, eat, drink, milk, bed, sleep, brush teeth, bath, music, zoo, elephant, dog, cat, bird, yes, no, thank you, please, come, chips, french fries, fish, rice, ice, apple, banana, orange, pickle, bus, car, truck, airplane, helicopter, train, boat, home, wind, rain, snow, hat, back, jacket, shoes, socks, hair, head, open, baby, done, red, out, outside, stop, go, walk, sit, wait

Nana, Bubba, Ama, Kong Kong [Kog-kog], Mama/Mum, Dada/Dad, Apa, Pa Kong. Me? Me-me-me-meeeeee.

Babbling phrases: Tickle-ickle-oo-licka…. Badda badee baddabadda da bah… Illee illla illeee… Baaka backa bicka…

I’m sure there’s more, but that’s what I can remember for now. This is just so we can look back on it, but maybe some of you will get a giggle or two from it. She understands a lot more words than she uses.

Describe your biological father, part 1

Intense. Awkward. Dutiful. Defensive and paranoid. Intelligent. Close-minded. Hypocritical. Vindictive. Mean. Strategic. Defeated. Republican. Controlling. Jealous. A hoarder. Competitive. Racist. Homophobic.

He might be slightly different now. After all, the last time I interacted with him was in 1999, early summer, and we exchanged about 50 words, give or take.

I waited at the front door of my childhood home, in a swarm of mosquitoes. Should I ring again? Knock harder?

The deadbolt clicked. The door opened, and I braced myself. I was ready to enter, because we were raised to get in and out of doors quickly to keep the mosquitoes out. But the chain was still latched. Over it, he said, “What do you want?” which wasn’t that bad, really.

I probably stomped my feet a few times to deter the biting insects, needing a second to reroute my thoughts from “Fine, and how are you?” to explain, as I had on the phone earlier, that I had brought my diploma (hefting the large frame) to give him as a gesture of appreciation for his having paid for my college education. He looked at it. “If you don’t want it, that’s okay,” I remember saying.

I don’t remember what he said exactly, but I do remember standing for a second to let him close and unlatch the door. Long enough passed that I realized he wasn’t going to, so I shrugged inwardly and handed the frame to him at an angle so it would slip into the house. More silence. More standing.

The door began to close but opened again.

“Do you need to come in to use the bathroom or something?”

“No, thank you,” I said. I’m pretty sure it was exactly that.


The door closed. Locked.

I didn’t cry, walking off the small porch and across the lawn to my little truck (RIP, Truk!) or even driving back to Houston. I didn’t play any music, either. I don’t think I had any feelings for a couple of hours.

I am pretty sure I saw him while we were both checking out at a Sam’s Club in Houston just a few months ago. I didn’t approach him.

I do remember some good times. The earliest memory I can locate is of him spinning me around in a pillowcase in our den. I remember laughing and wanting more. We ate well (my mother was involved in that), when he wasn’t spiking my Coke with beer as a joke (that was only once or twice), and we had books and toys and vacations. But I don’t remember feeling loved, even if I do concede some allowances for his culture and gender.

I have thought about writing him a letter about Pickle Pie, but I’m just not convinced it is a good idea.

Frenchmen are useful

Mine makes crepes with nutella for breakfast almost every weekend. We enjoyed the ones from this morning with some coffee, The Incredible Hulk, and some rain.

When he curses, my baby thinks it’s hilarious, and we are unlikely to get in too much trouble even if the little monkey does start imitating him.

When he orders French wine or beer locally, the servers look at him like, “WTF?” so he takes a breath and he repeats himself with less authenticity so we can get dinner started.

But he doesn’t like cheese! Oh wait. That’s useful too. More for me.

(an aside) Wait, did I already commit?

I’m finding it difficult to do this blogging thing, right from the start. I have started a few entries, but they’re all stacked up in the drafts queue. The few people who will be reading this are people I care about and whose opinions I respect. I want their feedback, and I want to respect their privacy, but I want to push at my comfort levels with regard to exposure and honesty. How? Ugh.

One of the problems I’m hoping this will help with is reviving my relationships. I treasure the magnitude of my attachment to little Pickle Pie, probably the deepest as-yet-unspoiled relationship I have. Lately, it just emphasizes how disconnected I feel from all the adults I love. I may have built my walls too well, and now that I want to take some down, it’s a struggle.

If I try anything too hard, I could fail. I remember a therapist once suggesting I had a fear or success. I think it’s really a fear of failure, of sucking. I do want to be accepted, but on my terms. Gaining acceptance on others’ terms is really easy for me. I’m perceptive, adaptable, and a facile communicator, but when I check my temperature, I still feel lonely.

Mum gets off her tush

…and picks up the laptop.

And no, not to shop online or participate in a community on babywearing or breastfeeding or parenting or motorcycles or any other focused interest.

I am a journaller at heart, but I have tried to avoid pressuring myself to keep one. What that means, because I overthink things, is: I have been repressing guilt at NOT having kept a journal, even sporadically, for the past 5 years or so.

I’m going to start now, because one more friend just published a blog he’d been keeping since January, and it has inspired me. I have wanted to start using this space to work out thoughts (and document how I am changing) after reading other friends’ blogs, too, but this was the final straw. He got so many things right, and he described feelings and specific episodes I know he will treasure having captured. I want the same thing for myself.

I will be posting as regularly as I can. Navel-gazing, here we come!