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Her First Word

Her first word was really “no.” She says “Na na na na” and waves you off to reject whatever you have offered her that she does not care for. She started this around 10-11 months.

Her second word is “duck.” She whispers it once and does not repeat it. We only know this because we have independently experienced this phenomenon at 14 months and one week.

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A Real Cookie Monster

I just ate 5 giant spoons of Nutella, and I don’t really know why.

Actually I think I know why. A new bakery opened, and I want to go there, but I can’t because of Covid and work. This bakery has consumed all my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about how much I want cookies from the bakery. My belly, which when I fold the fat can have a full blown conversation with me, wants these cookies.

I need for the following to happen:

1) Baby sleeps in (this is never going to happen).
2) For me to get up early and be front of line for the cookies, to minimize exposure to people.
3) For the cookies to be ABSOLUTELY AWFUL SO I NEVER CRAVE THEM AGAIN. I need them to be straight up cardboard.

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Emissions Inspection Letter

My car failed emissions inspection today. I had given the car to my parents because we leased another car when we were expecting. The person doing the inspection asked if I had used the car recently, and I shared it had been pretty much un-driven for the past eight months. He said the scanners could not pick up the information, and I need to drive the car 100-200 miles.
“What? Where am I supposed to go?!” I asked, because it’s Covid time. “I’m not planning to go anywhere,” I said. They shrugged and said I had to drive the car.

My dad knows the father of the person who did the inspection, so when I told him about this, he asked me to bring him a pen and paper, so he could write him a letter. He wrote one line in Farsi with some of the best penmanship I’ve seen from him in a very long time. Then I asked him to read to me what he wrote. He shook his head and said that he could not read it. He put the pen down and said he has Alzheimer’s.

He can still remember things, he just can’t remember letters and words. This is aphasia. So I told him he doesn’t have Alzheimer’s, he just has a problem with words. Then I held back tears so he wouldn’t see me cry, because telling stories and writing emails was something my dad did all the time. I did tell him Alzheimer’s would be worse, because if he didn’t remember us or other people or events, things would be even harder.

I got to see my parents today though, so that was good.

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It’s 2:40am. I just emptied the dishwasher and specifically put the cups back in incorrect spots in the cupboard because David didn’t wash my breast pump flange when doing the dishes. Tomorrow/later today we will have this discussion:

David: Hey, thanks for emptying the dishwasher! But this is not where the tea cups go. And the wine glasses go up here. You put two of them next to the tea cups.

Me: mhmm. Hey thanks for doing the dishes last night. Why didn’t you wash my pump?

Then we will stare at each other.

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To Do

Things I need to do:

1) Write down memories of my dad, pre-stroke. Also write down anecdotes and poems he shared.
2) Find a way for him to communicate his recipes to me and my mom. That’s pretty advanced for right now, but we should figure out something.
3) Eat again. My dad wanted me to lose the baby weight, but not like this, I’m pretty sure.
4) Get Power of Attorney.
5) Find a way to consolidate updates for friends and family. Updating people individually is a waste of time.

Edit: This blog is not the solution to #5. His friends and family do not need to know one daughter is insane.

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Not a Happy New Year

It occurred to me yesterday I may need therapy, but I don’t have the bandwidth for it. Any time I spend talking to a stranger is time and money spent away from family and child, so I will not bother. I will write things here at random times that suit my schedule. That will help.

My dad had a hemorrhagic stroke on December 27. And we’ve been at the hospital since then. So far he has survived the stroke, which is good. We were assigned a general practitioner group to coordinate recovery, and in our first meeting with them they made it sound like he would be on a surgically inserted feeding tube and we had to think through whether we wanted to end the whole thing. I quickly decided he was an idiot and was relieved when his rotation ended and we were assigned a different doctor. My dad is not on a feeding tube. He can’t feed himself or eat solids, but he’s not on a tube.

He can’t speak or understand words, they say. His intelligence is still there, but the communication portion of the brain is impaired. I think he understands and he communicates with me through expressions. But the therapists and doctors can’t read his expressions, plus they speak to him in English, which is unlikely to be the language he understands when he’s under duress. Initially he was still laughing at appropriate moments. Now he doesn’t laugh at all, and on Sunday he slept all day because he was so exhausted. His blood pressure is either high or low. He’s going to be discharged from the hospital today, which is good. I tried to get him discharged into a rehab facility instead of a nursing home, but we couldn’t. That was disappointing, especially because I had such
high hopes. Everyone we have talked to so far and the internet has shared recovery stories. People say you need to wait to see what his new baseline is. I need to remind myself that.

David shared on Day 4 he was exhausted from child care all day and we should look into getting help, which is fair. And he was wondering if we really had to cancel an upcoming trip, which is fair. I got really mad at him for both of these things though. I didn’t say I was mad. I think I just said, “That’s fair, I’m so sorry,” but in a tone that conveyed I was livid, it’s not fair, and I was not sorry. Then I apologized. It’s a lot, I know. He’s doing a great job. She has her vaccines today, so we’re both staying home.

I think I fluctuate between tears, optimism, and anger. I accused our new general practitioner today of not knowing anything about strokes. “How many stroke patients have you worked with? You’re not an expert in strokes,” I said in response to something he said that sounded condescending and demonstrated that he was not actually familiar with my dad’s file. He was a jerk. He looked taken aback and shot back “that’s medicare fraud” in reference to discharging someone to a rehab facility to see if they can make it and then if they can’t, to a nursing home. This is incorrect. When we toured the nursing facilities, who actually know about medicare, they explained that is a route people take, and medicare covers it. So I KNOW he was just saying that because his ego was bruised and he didn’t have the bedside manner to explain things to me well. This doctor had someone there he was training too, and I wanted to tell him right there his mentor was not good. The general practitioner last week had better bedside manner. Anyway, I was super upset Monday because my dad had been showing such progress Saturday. I hope seeing the skilled nursing facility today does not depress him. I hope my mom gets through this. I can’t lose them both. I wanted my daughter to get to know them.

I also hope my milk supply isn’t diminishing.

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Week 9

Week 8 involved the two month check up, vaccines, and a panic that our child doesn’t hold her head up at 45 degrees like other kids we saw on the internet. Also she sleeps through the night, so I am worried my milk supply is going to dry up, but I’m also sleeping more. And her poop is green. I’ve always been interested in poop texture and colors based on health and diet, but I’m concerned, because she ONLY EATS ONE THING. The pediatrician didn’t seem too concerned about the green poop, but that pediatrician also doesn’t seem interested in kids. I really need to be more clear with the receptionist when I am scheduling that I want any doctor in the practice but her. Like maybe I name all the other doctors when she asks if there is someone we would like the appointment to be with, even though I haven’t met them.

Our marriage is okay. I speak to our baby in my native tongue so that she learns it, and David has resumed his vigorous Japanese studies…which to be clear is not the language I speak with our baby, my relatives and at all the family gatherings. “When she asks why daddy doesn’t speak the language I’m just going to have to tell her he didn’t love us enough to learn it,” I said yesterday, which I regret now. I wouldn’t say that to her for real. I think instead I’ll tell her that it’s important to diversify when it comes to speaking different languages in a household, and if we ever have an emergency that requires negotiations with the Japanese at a second grade reading level, daddy can help.

I saw Seth Myers’ stand up special on Netflix, and it was inspiring. I am planning to watch it again so I can study it and start writing my own jokes.

I’m also thinking about resuming meeting with my comedy group. Right now I’m in the doctor’s office waiting for my final blood draw to see if I still have diabetes. Let’s hope not because let’s just say I certainly haven’t been eating as if I have diabetes.

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Week 28

We went to an infant CPR class. In the class they show you a video of a baby who has stopped breathing, and then in the dramatic re-enactment they switch to a doll so they can go through the steps. We are watching this in class, and I just start crying I’m so upset the plastic baby has “stopped breathing” in the video. I’m trying to hide the crying, but David looks over and sees the tears streaming down my cheeks, and he mouths, “PULL IT TOGETHER. IT’S A VIDEO.” I’m fully aware of how ridiculous this all is, so I shift to trying to stifle my laughter through tears, because I can’t let the class think I’m _laughing_ at a baby not breathing, and David bit on his fist to avoid laughing as well. Of course I’m sitting near the front of class, so most people don’t notice. The instructor probably thought I was insane.

Anyway, this was not good, because I had been telling David that I’ve been sad and he hasn’t been emotionally meeting my needs, and he just shrugged it off and told me to stop reading about tragedies in the news, but after this class incident he was like, “Clearly your hormones are completely out of control.” It’s like he was vindicated in ignoring my demands for more attention!

On Friday (6/21) I had my gestational diabetes test – they make you drink a glucose liquid and then take your blood. I’ve been worried about having this condition and diabtees in general, because I don’t always make good food choices, and I pretty much stopped exercising as soon as I got pregnant.

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Post Show Thoughts

Hello my sweet! Please know that even though I don’t update daily, I am thinking of you. Take solace in knowing that when I am especially angsty, I think of coming to you second, dear blog. David is first. He will always be first. There’s nothing you can do about that. It is how it is.

So! A few things have been going on!

First, on the procreation side, this was a month “off.” No drugs! No needles! And if you are wondering whether I lived it up – I assure you I did. I had coffee; I had caffeinated tea; I had a glass of wine twice a week, and one night, I drank a martini! It was amazing. I ordered mochas, and they had decorations in them, and I appreciated every sip.

Then, I was late. My clockwork period was late! I thought, “Uh oh…what if my relaxation this month resulted in a baby!? Could it be?! What a lovely story that will be! Truly it was procreation stress all along!” I took a pregnancy test: nothing. As usual. That was disappointing. I think one of the most frustrating things as someone who is _trying_ is to not get your period AND to have negative pregnancy results.
Well anyway, after days of negative pregnancy tests, the red vixen has arrived, on my performance day no less!

So let’s move on to the performance! I was very nervous about the show, because technically I was directing it. Our group assigns directors, but truly all the shows are collaborative. And the actors are very strong, so they really shape the delivery. As a director, one of the most important things you can do is trust your actors. I learned that from Joan Darling.

Anyway, I was very nervous about this performance because:

1) All of the sketches were new.
2) We did not meet Thanksgiving Week, so we only had two rehearsal sessions.
3) There were a lot of lines to memorize.
4) Two of the sketches were controversial, because they touched on race and gender.

Well we had our first of two performances tonight, and honestly, I thought it went okay! I forgot some key lines; other people forgot key lines, but all in all, the audience seemed to genuinely enjoy the show. They laughed the whole time. And that is the most important thing. I would consider the show a success. I’m usually quite critical, but I genuinely felt we delivered a quality product with some gaffes. So I was pretty annoyed when I heard someone from our group – who was not part of the show – giving my actors a slew of criticism about the show immediately after the performance and recommending sketches to cut. It put a real damper on the whole thing, and I was seething. We knew where we had gone wrong. And by focusing on where we had gone wrong right away, it detracted from the places we had gone so right.

I won’t leave you with a negative note, my dearest. I don’t believe in doing that! Here is the bit I hope to remember about this performance: in this show, I do a bit about Mrs. Claus doing a tight five. So, it’s Carol Claus doing a stand-up routine. It went well! The audience laughed and laughed. After the show, Emily shared that she was watching David who was laughing so hard that he “looked like he was going to pee.” David insisted that wasn’t the case when I shared this story with him, but I know it to be true. That warmed my heart. I love him so much.

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