Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Conversations with the Monster: Part 12

Me, muttering to myself while looking at a what appears to be the debris from a curry rice-bomb in my living room: Oh, what the hell?

*Several hours pass*

LM: You said what the hell but we don't say what the hell we say what the heck but you said what the hell. Say what the heck.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Now That I'm Calmer...

I can write a less explitive-laden post than I would have initially.

I mentioned that we'd been to get the results from my anatomy scan. Everything, apparently, looks good. I was measuring 4 days ahead of where I thought I was (I was one day ahead at 12 weeks. Maybe I'm having a giant?), organs and everything look good, so great.

(Dr. Illegible is on vacation for the next month or so, and has been since the beginning of July, so I've been seeing Dr. Ginger, who was on call in the emergency room when I took the monster in a while back.)

So after telling us that everything with the ultrasound looked good, Dr. Ginger tells us there was something weird with the genetic screening blood work. Of course, my heart jumped into my throat. Then she proceeds to tell us that the weird thing is, they didn't run the labs.  Apparently, they lab (not the one in the hospital here, the one they send blood to) somehow got the impression that my due date was a full month earlier than it actually is. The screening has to be done between 16 and 21 weeks. I was 17 weeks when I got my blood drawn, but they thought I was 21. They didn't bother to call my doctor or the lab here to find out why they'd be requesting those tests, or to clarify what was going on. They just didn't do it.

Of course, I didn't find this out until I went back in for the anatomy scan results, so at that point, I was actually 20 weeks + 4 days. On a Friday. They won't even draw the blood here past 20+6, so I had to go straight to the hospital lab to get the blood drawn again. The lab tech was very nice (and annoyed on my behalf) and told me that honestly there's a chance that the lab won't run the tests now, since I actually was so close to the cut off. They will only send the results to Dr. Ginger, not to the lab, so I have no way to know if they did it, or what the results are, until November 1st.


I'll be 23W1D. Of course it's not something I ever even want to think about, but if there was something severe (I mean like incompatible with life type severe), they basically would have forced me into either a late term abortion, or carrying a baby to term and watching it die in the hospital. Because they can't fucking read paperwork.


I also had thyroid blood work done, or it should have been done, at the same time, which I completely forgot to ask the doctor about, 'cause my head was still swimming from the unexpected news that this little goblin is a boy, plus being pissed about the genetic screening. I'm supposed to have my thyroid checked every 3 months, especially since they've recently changed the dose on my medication. So if they didn't bother to run those tests, I'm going to be even more pissed. Actually, I'm going to call the clinic on Monday and find out if they bothered with that or not, because otherwise, I need to get my blood done again.

I kind of suspect that the issue lies with Dr. Ginger, because of a couple of things: one, when she was filling out my paperwork for the second set of tests, she asked if this was my first pregnancy - while my 2 year old played a couple feet away - after we'd discussed my pregnancy with him earlier in the appointment. And two, when I went to get said blood work, I noticed she'd written on the requisition that this isn't a singleton pregnancy, which it definitely is. I like her, she's nice, she actually explains stuff when you ask her, rather than assuming that you couldn't possibly understand without a medical degree. But she is absent minded. I wouldn't be all that surprised if she wrote a date down wrong, somewhere.

So, that's where we are with all that. Just counting down the days, waiting for them to tell me that the goblin is good and healthy and that he's negative for any of the markers that indicate a genetic issue. Fingers and toes crossed.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Survey Says...

It's a boy!

I don't know why I put that in blue, it's a bit gendery, but whatever, it looks nice.

I was absolutely sure I was having a girl - and absolutely shocked to feel actual disappointment when the doctor told us otherwise. I honestly and truly believe the only difference is what's between the legs, and since I already know how to change boy diapers, I've no idea why I was suddenly overcome with what I felt, which was grief.

It's not that I wanted this baby to be a girl. I was sure he was a girl. Like, deep down in my soul, sure. I think I'd built up this fictional daughter in my mind, I knew her name, I had dreams about her being born - I knew what her face looked like. So I think it was more that I was mourning a child who never existed. Part of it is knowing that number two is our last, so I know now that I'll never have a daughter. It's not that I think I'm going to miss out on mother-daughter bonding, or tea parties or dress up, either. None of that has anything to do with the sex of my baby.

The worst part was the doctor, suddenly going from saying they were really quite sure to maybe you'll be surprised in the delivery room - not because it was so fake, which it was, but because I could tell it was a reaction to my reaction - that I had utterly failed to hide my totally irrational feelings.

I cried pretty much all day. Mostly because I was so mad at myself for being anything other than over the moon with excitement. Because I know that my son is who he is and will be who we raise him to be, and that his genitals have nothing to do with any of it. Because Mr. Wolfman kept trying to comfort me by saying we could have a 3rd child, like this one is somehow insufficient.

Anyway, it only took me a day to get comfortable with it. One more day to get over my initial reaction completely, and now I can say I'm really excited about boy #2, our little Hobgoblin. Mr. Wolfman and I have been talking over names, and I feel like we're almost decided. We're leaving room for the possibility we'll see him and rethink our choice, but I'm pretty happy with our current selection, and I feel like it'll stick.

We don't stress sex and gender, so I don't think the monster has any idea what a brother is, vs. a sister. He's excited about the fact that the baby will have a bed, and he has his own bed, which has blankets and a pillow. Also, he knows that the play kitchen in fact belongs to both of them, but that he doesn't have to share with the baby until he can walk, which won't be for a long time. And, as the monster is fond of pointing out, he can already walk, and no one is stopping him from playing with the play kitchen.

Also, the monster knows that the baby is in my belly, that we went to the hospital in [town] and the lady pushed buttons and we saw the baby on the computer screen - but none of that is anywhere near as exciting as the fact that the lady pushed some other buttons and the bed came up. That was clearly the highlight of the trip for him.

I have a rant coming, about Dr. Ginger and the absolute clusterfuck that was my genetic screening blood work - and possibly one about yesterday, the horror show that wouldn't end,  but I'll save those for another day. Right now, the monster has (yet again) ransacked the entire apartment and between that and trying to get stuff ready for Mr. Hobgoblin,  I have a lot of cleaning to do.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Stealth Veg Salmon Patties for Picky Eaters

I've written before about the horrible stomach flu of '15, the one that resulted in the monster refusing pretty much all solid food from about a week after we introduced it at 6 months until he was over a year old. When he started to accept puffs and mum mums and other flavoured starch, we fed it to him gladly. And now we have a monkey who basically only wants starch and/or sugar.

We're not a sit at the table until your plate is clean kind of family. We don't bribe with treats, we don't ever force the monster to eat an arbitrary number of bites to say that he is "done". But, while I don't doubt our food-related philosophies, it can't be said that I'm happy with the monster's diet.

So, without further ado, here's a recipe for salmon patties that I made/stole/heavily modified in order to get some green stuff in his stomach. The monster LOVES these things, despite them being full of veggies that he wouldn't normally touch with a ten foot pole.

This recipe probably makes 12-14 patties, which should theoretically be enough to freeze leftovers. But I wasn't exaggerating when I said the monster LOVES them, so I've only managed to freeze some once, and they were gone by the end of the following day.


  • 1/2 to 1 cup of vegetables*
  • 1 can of boneless, skinless salmon (in water, not oil)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups of bread crumbs
  • Some butter (unsalted)
  • Black pepper to taste

Also, a piece or two of paper towel.

*With regards to the vegetables: I don't have a specific list, and you can put whatever you want in there. As long as your little one doesn't hate it, I feel like onion is a must. If you're going to be eating these things too, as long as you don't hate it, celery. Celery and salmon were made to go together. It's practically criminal not to include it. I've never tried it, but I would avoid really distinct flavours like broccoli; you don't want to overwhelm the salmon.

Despite being picky, the monster loves strong, somewhat spicy flavours, so our usual mix includes 1/2 a white onion and a clove of garlic,  as well as 2 sticks of celery and a small parsnip. Today, I also snuck in a carrot, some green onion and an extra celery stick.

  1. Finely grate vegetables. I like the graters that are kind of like pyramids, so the veggies are contained when you're finished. Also, I'm paranoid about celery being a choking hazard because it's so stringy, but with these things, the stringy bits get left on the outside of the grater, so they can be thrown out. Also, you can grate green onions to a point, but the actual green parts, you'll need to mince, if that's something you decide to include.
    • Handy tip: don't cut off the bit of the veg that you plan to throw away (the carrot top, celery bottom, etc); it makes a great handle so you can grate more of the usable part without hurting your fingers.
  2. While the veggies are still inside the grater, tilt the plate or bowl or whatever you're grating them onto so that all the liquid pools and soak it up with the paper towel. Onions and celery are especially watery, so this bit is important.
  3. Drain the salmon. You don't need the water, so it can go down the drain, unless you have a purpose for keeping it.
  4. Add salmon to the veg mixture and flake it with a fork, while stirring it into the vegetables. Add black pepper to taste. Make sure the mixture is pretty consistent. I feel like I should throw in the word heterogeneous, which is accurate, if a little pompous. 
  5. Beat/whisk eggs in a separate bowl, then add to the veggie/salmon mixture. This bit looks gross, just FYI. Mix well.
  6. Add some bread crumbs. Not all. I find that if I dust the top of the mixture, stir it, dust it again, etc. That works best. You want to get it to the consistency that you can form it into patties. They should be uncomfortably sticky, but not gluey. Basically when you remove your hand from a patty, you can expect some residue, but you shouldn't have big chunks of stuff sticking to your hands.
  7. Once you form a patty, place it in your remaining dry breadcrumbs, then flip it over. It should be nicely coated. It helps to pour some of your remaining breadcrumbs into a bowl first, and keep some in the measuring cup. That way, if you don't use them all, you can keep them, rather than worry about raw egg/fish contamination.
  8. Fry in a small amount of butter on medium-high heat (reduce if your butter starts to burn, but keep in mind, you need to make sure the eggs get cooked) until brown & crispy.

Possible substitutions: I'm assuming you can replace the eggs with whatever you would normally replace eggs with, if you're vegan or allergic or whatever. The purpose of the eggs is basically to hold everything together, so if you have something else that will do so, go for it. I'm certain you can switch out the butter for a little bit of olive oil, because I've done so with very little change to the taste/texture. And I'm pretty sure that you could remove the salmon altogether, though keep in mind that the breadcrumbs kind of dull the flavour a bit, so a small amount of salt or maybe other spices wouldn't go amiss.

Freezing: You can freeze these (once they're cooked) and then just bring them out and fry them from frozen. I like to cut little squares of wax paper to put between them, to stop them from sticking together.

Some non-food-related posts will be along in a bit.