Hack

I think I’ve put enough space between the last entry and now that I can continue on life as normal. I would like to say how much I appreciate all the people who came out of the woodwork to send along supportive emails, notes, comments and more. That was really awesome and it reaffirmed my love of blogging. I also suspect I made some sort of internet tabloid, because I got a huge wash of new readers and by the end had accumulated around a dozen emails where people said something about coming over for a trainwreck and finding something interesting instead. So, to whoever is doing that… thanks!

When I first created the blog domain last month… or two months ago, or something… I went back and began tagging some of the more important “life history stuff” entries under the ‘history’ tag specifically for new readers who are interested in getting backstory for all that weird shit I keep referencing. It’s not a complete list by any means, but it’s a start. I get regular emails about this so I figured I should probably get on that. If you’re one of the newer readers and have no idea what I’m talking about most of the time, that may help. I mean, not really, but we can pretend. The tag cloud should be to the right of the page, and a bit down.

And now back to your regular scheduled programming.

What the fuck is in the Neutrogena products? I mean, I’ve never actually used any of them before because I need serums for ‘younger looking skin’ like I need breast implants, but I do find the idea of the little makeup-remover washcloth things really convenient for all the wrong reasons. They aren’t usually be my cup of tea, because washing my face is generally something I actually enjoy doing when I have neat products to use. It becomes a delightful ritual to go through all the steps from getting the water warmed up, laying out the powders and products out and smell that absolutely heavenly scent of all the aromatic ingredients mixing together. Even the act of rubbing it everywhere smells delightful. Afterward my skin is like silk and it looks as good as it feels, which gives me that wonderful satisfied feeling.
It’s like masturbating, but for your face.
But if I don’t have the time, or the spoons, to devote to that ritual I find that I won’t do it at all, which is kind of stupid for someone who values face washing. Half-assed still counts, I mean you have to at least try to get some of the makeup off. Which is where those little face-washy-clothy things come in. My knees have been bad lately which means I can’t stand up and bend over for more than a minute or so before things get stiff and hurty, so the little aisle of face-washy-clothy products was appealing to me more than usual when I last went shopping last week. I picked out one that appeared to be a good balance of inexpensive and more on the natural side, and the Neutrogena brand originally seemed to be a good choice. I suppose I believed the hype of their marketing campaign that convinced me they use high quality products, so clearly it wouldn’t be full of half-assed crap.

I used one on my face once – ONCE – and while it did take all the make-up off it left a whole lot of crap behind. The following day I was itchy and bumpy. Now, this isn’t entirely unusual because I suffer from dermotillomania and always feel bumps on my face regardless of whether or not they’re actually there, and when I’m going through a bad period where I “feel lots of bumps” I tend not to look at myself in the mirror because I’m afraid they’ll actually be there and it’ll trigger my OCD to go into overdrive. The only way I can control it is to not look at myself and not touch my face until the urge goes away. Foolishly I thought this was my own hysteria getting all up in my face, very literally, so I ignored it for as long as I could. However, by that evening I could no longer stop myself from searching my cheeks for bumps to dig out and upon doing so I realized that it actually hurt when I touched my skin. This really wasn’t my normal brand of neurosis, so I figured it was probably time to sneak a peek. When I finally went to look at myself in the mirror I was not expecting what I saw: my entire face, forehead, neck, cheeks and even eyelids were covered in hives and welts. I looked like a goddamn burn victim. It’s horrible. I know I’m my own worst critic and all, but really, this is a, “I don’t ever want to leave the house again” brand of horrible. I’m pretty sure no amount of makeup is going to cover this shit up.
At first I did not connect it to the face wipes, but further examination showed that the only places the hives were not present were on my temples. I never put makeup, even foundation, on my temples and thus never use the face wipes there (I almost never wear foundation as a total cover, and instead just use it as a spot concealer). The worst of it is concentrated around my eyes and mouth, which is where I scrubbed harder to get rid of lip gloss and mascara.

You may wonder why Curtis, the love of my life and ever devoted spouse, did not point this out to me earlier. He has 20/500 vision – I’m not even kidding – and even with his glasses on he really cannot see worth shit. He honestly did not notice. Before I fully realized what was going on I complained to him about my gross, bumpy-feeling skin and he looked over at me from across the couch and said, “Well, if it helps, you can’t notice it”. It did help at the time.
Until I actually saw myself.
After I had realized the full extent of the issue I approached him and demanded, “Seriously? You can’t see this? It’s awful!”
He squints. “No?”
“Feel!” I took his hands and put them on my face. He paused a moment to carefully consider his response; some sort of cross between honesty and a desire to survive the night.
“It feels bumpy. But you look fine!”
I sigh and move my face to within 4 inches of his. He takes a moment to focus his eyes and then abruptly pulls back. “Oh my god, what’s wrong with your face?! It’s like you’re covered in hives!”
“How did you not notice this?”
“I don’t know, I don’t notice these things!”
“Clearly!”

I realize I’m both neurotic and extremely self-conscious, which generally translates to ridiculously vain, but seriously this isn’t cool.
What the fuck are in those cloths? It’s day four now and it’s only just starting to return to normal. I can still feel the awfulness around my mouth and eyes, where it’s taking the longest to fade back to normal. I feel like this has to be some sort of horrible karma for buying the environmentally unfriendly products after being so devoted for so long. I swear, Earth, I’ll do better. Just please leave my face alone!


Zephyra is beginning to talk, but she has her words all wrong. I kind of love this stage, because it’s always good for a laugh. Mothers shouldn’t say those things, but you know, we all think them.
For instance, anything that is small and cuddly has become “D’Argo”. As in, my mother’s cat who lives with us due to her bitchy landlord-like-person. The kitten is D’Argo. Chloe is D’Argo. D’Argo is D’Argo… and Taliah is D’Argo. She’s small and cuddly too, right?

More than once Marika has accidentally left her door open while Taliah was sleeping, only to find Zephyra has sneaked her way inside, climbed onto the bed, picked up Taliah under her arms and is holding her against her chest, swinging her around like she does the kitten. As Marika enters and cautiously advises her to please – for the love of god – put the baby down, Zephyra replies, “Dah doh! Dah doh gentle!” and then thrusts her out for Marika to take.
It’s funnier than it sounds, trust me.
We’re so lucky Marika isn’t the crazy new mom type, because she really wouldn’t survive here otherwise.

On that note, Zephyra has started saying a few words.
“D’Argo” is anything small and alive, as noted above. This includes all the cats and the baby, as well as any other baby she sees when we’re outside the house. We constantly correct her when she’s talking about Taliah.
“Dah-doh!” she says.
“No sweetie,” we say, “Taliah.” We draw out the sounds slowly.
Once or twice now we’ve heard her say, “Hi leah!” to Taliah, but this generally only happens when we aren’t watching. As soon as she realizes we’re right there and listening in she goes back to calling her D’Argo.
She loves Taliah like crazy. This morning Marika came out with her while Zephyra was sitting on the couch and she immediately went to work with the air-grasping and noise-making in that please give me the baby right this minute way that only a toddler can. Marika sat down next to her.
“Do you want to hold Taliah?”
“D’Argo!” said Zephyra.
We sat Zephyra in the middle of the couch and very carefully put Taliah in her lap, while I supported her head. She went from crying in frustration to cooing in adoration in half a second. Her head tilted to one side and she made kiss noises at Taliah’s face. It was so cute. SO CUTE. After about thirty seconds of holding and very precious cuddling she looked at me and said, “Off”, pushed the baby away and slid off the couch.
She does this on a daily basis. Seriously, she loves this baby. Occasionally Marika asks me to watch her or hold her while she goes to the bathroom or takes a shower or something, and if she cries Zephyra insists I nurse her. I never do, obviously, but if I pretend like I’m going to she’ll immediately get jealous and push Taliah out of the way so she can nurse instead. Toddlers are the most amazing little creatures.

Speaking of toddler: seriously, I cannot believe she is almost 17 months now. That’s kind of insane. Pretty soon she’ll be two. She’s approached or is approaching all of her “kid” milestones: talking, walking and potty training. She’s nowhere near completely potty trained yet, so hold your jealousy, she’s only vaguely interested in the idea that the potty is a mysterious object that adults sometimes sit on and make funny noises into… but we’re getting there. I’m not actively potty training/learning her at this point, just responding to her desire to sit on it and play around with the idea when she asks. We’ve caught a few poops, but nothing has really stuck as far as “potty learning” really goes. I think she’ll probably be close to 3, if not over, like the other kids were. That seems to be how things go.

She’s also got in most of her molars. Which is weird, because she’s missing all the teeth in-between her front ones and the molars… it’s all gappy and strange looking. At least she’s moderately more content now that they’ve broken through. She’s spent the last several months of her life in hand-chewing agony over it. I’ve never had a kid go through teething as hard as she does.
I really need to get some updated pictures of her, but that would involve time and planning, two things I am lacking in lately.

Yesterday was doctor day for Xan. He had to stay home from school because the appointments were during the day and can’t be changed without waiting another six weeks. This will happen again on Friday, but that one’s a little different: he has to fast for 12 hours prior to a lactose tolerance test and I really don’t want him to go through the daytime without food so I scheduled it for 8:30am. On top of being absolutely starving we also have to force him to drink some sort of foul tasting liquid and stay in the office for two hours until the test completes. That will be great fun, I’m sure.
We saw the allergist yesterday and came home with bunk. His IgA is very high which generally points to allergies or autoimmune, and his celiac panel was clear. He had an allergy scratch test, which was a bust because for some reason he did not react to the histamine control. At the very least, the specialist was the legitimately concerned about his constant tummy aches and has referred us for several tests. If those come up empty he may have him get a scope. That certainly won’t be comfortable, but I’d rather we know for sure what’s going on and explore the options rather than let him continue to suffer. He had a terrible ache later in the day that actually put him down for an hour. We cannot figure out where they’re coming from, and nothing seems to help. We’ve tried everything we can on our end from elimination diets to fibre supplements and everything in between and haven’t seen any notable changes. It’s really frustrating; I’d just like to know what’s wrong so we can fix it.

On another note:

Some of you may have noticed already, as I got several emails and messages about it, but my domain was hacked and destroyed a few nights ago. This appears to be a deliberate and malicious attack, as a completely unlisted domain (and hosted forum software) was compromised and everything else was screwed around with… but not deleted… except for this blog. The blog was removed from the web all together. It was the only thing that was actually deleted.
I managed to salvage a back-up and get it back online after about 10 hours. My web host, Dreamhost, has been extremely unhelpful. I’ve been a customer of theirs for almost ten years and have never ever hosted anywhere else but with them. I was loyal to them back in the days of the Dreambook on my ridiculous old Star Trek fan sites. Suffice to say I’m extremely disappointed with their automated emails full of near-gibberish (thank god I know my way around my files) and the live chat response of, “Gee, that’s too bad“. Literally.
As I said, I managed to get my blog back online, but my other sites like the domain for our local infant loss support group, or my business website, seem to be permanently destroyed. The files are still there, but most are infected or otherwise fucked up. I originally purchased my business site through BluDomain, which was an extremely popular host for photographers several years back. Turns out they are massive scam artists. I figured this out about two weeks into buying (past the refund time, of course) when their customer service proved to be entirely useless. And absent. It was only after threatening to take my business away during the refund period that they finally responded with something helpful and I managed to get my site online. Once that happened and the refund period expired, they were gone for good. I searched around and found this was the case for everyone else, too. So let me go on record: BluDomain is a horrible, horrible company and you should NEVER purchase anything from them. Ever. EVER. I’d rather you make your own site with Frontpage than purchase and host with Blu.
Now that I’ve had my site hacked and all my files fucked up this is even more apparent, as I know they’re useless. And with that, the last remnants of my business have been destroyed. Thanks, hackers.

I also received an email from sort of online fraud company about a phishing attempt from my site. I originally thought this was spam and ignored it, but it appears it’s actually legit. My business site was apparently zombiefied and used to hack a major banking website. They want me to send them a bunch of files, but haven’t specified which ones, and I have no idea who they are or what the fuck they’re asking except that everyone seems to want me to comply with them.
So there’s that.
At least I got the blog back online. Venting is important for shit like this.

After spending hours trying to restore things after the hacker attack I decided I needed something to drink, and at the liquor store I had the most amusing pick-up attempt ever. I never, ever get flirted with, so this was a pretty memorable event.
I was standing in line when two very young men came up behind me. They looked young enough that their proudest accomplishments in life were the ability to grow the hipster beards they were sporting. One of them took a step closer to me and with breath full of whiskey he slurred: “Hey, lady. Can I see some… ID? Heh.”
The other guy, who was just as drunk, looked at him in confusion and said, “Dude. You don’t work here.”
The first guy glared at him and frantically gestured to me in a very, ‘I’m trying to SCORE here’ type of way. “DUUUUUDE!” He turned back and grinned. “Hey.”
“I’m probably a lot older than you,” I said.
“Well, YOU LOOK GOOD.” Initially he laughed at his own joke, then paused to consider what I could have possibly meant.
I finished paying and decided I would let this hilarity play out. I was in need of a good laugh. “How old are you?”
He paused for a very long time, looked at his friend, then back at me. He shuffled, scratched his head and coughed before finally replying, “Uh… I’m… Twenty. Twenty-tw–SIX. Twenty six.”
The other guy put a hand up, “And it’s his birthday. TODAY.”
I smirked. “And I’m still a lot older than you.”
I started walking out, and just before the door closed I heard him yell, “You would look good for 22!”.

The best come-backs always come later, and I really wish I would have responded, “I’ve been with my husband longer than you’ve been able to grow facial hair. I’m too old for you.”


Pictures of the day!

Brother’s little girl, Sophie, just turned two the other day. Originally we had a family “party” planned where we’d get together and exchange gifts, but all celebrations and parties were abruptly cancelled on account of Brother developing [ diverticulitis ]. Our grandmother had it too, so we all know what it is. She ended up with a significant portion of her bowel removed and a colostomy bag… fortunately he caught his early, but he’ll be in for at least 3 months of recovery. He was rushed to hospital after he pockets formed in the lining of his bowel and collected enough matter to turn into massive infections, and then develop into large (and very painful) abscesses. He recovered, and is doing well now. As worried as I was for his health, I couldn’t resist the obvious joke and texted him as soon as I knew he was stable :
“So it finally happened: you were hospitalized for being full of shit.”

While he recovered, I finished up Sophie’s gift: a full set of amigurumi play food.

Seriously how cute is this stuff?

Sushi and nigiri.

Fruit salad and whole fruit.

Veggies.

And a BLT sandwich.

And Zephyra with Serendipity. Her and the kitten are absolutely the best friends ever. It’s tooth-rottingly sweet.

Xanism of the Day:
This one comes from Marika, who took Xan out to the store to buy a danish. As he stood in the bakery deciding on what he wanted, he thought aloud about his choices:
“Do you know the difference between a cinnamon bun and a danish?” he asked.
“No?” Marika replied.
“Cinnamon buns are much more funky. And berries.”
“You mean they have raisins?”
“Yeah. Funky berries. They’re funky.”

And another one from the other day.
“I think migrating birds – ducks – are like little Santa Clauses.”
“… like Santa Claus?”
“Yes.”
“Why?”
“Because they fly all over the world really, really quick.”

Comments

comments

13 Comments

  • courtney says:

    ugh, so sorry to hear about your brother. I’m fortunate enough not to have diverticulitis, but I got peritonitis from a ruptured appendix a few years ago & thus know ALL bout painful bowel abscesses. my joke was always that your lower GI is like Vegas–what happens there needs to stay there.

    hope he’s on the mend now & able to keep things under control for the future.

  • Karen says:

    Heather, you have ankylosing spondylitis and your brother has diverticulitis – perhaps you should send a stool sample in for calprotectin testing to see if there are any inflammatory markers. And has he been tested for the HLA-B27 gene? Perhaps there’s an underlying inflammatory bowel disease lurking in your genetics.

  • Lisakat says:

    you are amazing! that play food is fantastic.

  • Jessica says:

    I am so happy to hear his Celiac panel was clear 😉

    But….so sorry….I HAVE to say this…..as someone who has Celiac (and who knows way too much about all things related to it and suffered 30 years of being mis-diagnosied over and over) that doesn’t really mean alot. So many people get ‘cleared’ when that really is the problem all along; False negatives are so common and something both DR.’s and specialists don’t want to admit or talk about!

    Also many people don’t have Celiac itself….but are just gluten intolerant….or a combo of gluten/soy, gluten/egg, gluten/soy/egg etc;…..the combos are limitless, sadly. And so many people think “but we tried all different elimination diets “etc;……..but few realize it can take YEARS for your insides to heal from such things, thus the diets themselves were working, but it takes along time for the damage to be mended, and the only way to mend is to keep eating said diet….you can see I’m sure what a tangled web the whole thing is! Another thing to keep in mind is contamination….with gluten it only takes 1/4 a tsp. for a reaction inside you……so even a crumb via contamination/vapor etc; can cause agony.

    Some Dr.’s just don’t ‘get it’ (and people for that matter) either…..as you said above….it isn’t about poop/anxiety etc;………..I had so many Dr.’s tell me to eat more fiber when it was the fiber that was doing it in the first place!….and not that it matters but my bowels were ok in the first place. Then there were the Dr.’s who said it was emotional and shipped me off to a psych. I know they mean to help….but sometimes they cause more harm than good, I mean if you don’t know what it is just say so, don’t ship me off to a shrink! Yikes!

    Anyways….sorry, I really didn’t mean to go on and on – I’m SURE you know a ton about all this and have done a ton of research….it’s just I’ve lived almost all my 34 years dealing with the mis-diagnosis/treatments/different diets etc;….so I feel really compelled to try and share info when I can. I hate hearing about and seeing anyone suffer with similar health things as I have…..so I sure hope this all gets resolved for you all! I sure hope that further tests can better pinpoint what his possible intolerances and/or allergies are…then maybe you can at least know what direction to go in and what to try/re-try etc! Hugs to you all!

    • Babyslime says:

      I did know all about this. I have several friends with celiac disease and/or gluten intolerance, and there’s obviously more to this than I’ve gone into, this is sort of a vague summary. 🙂 Thanks for this though.

  • Pamela B. says:

    The Z pics are killing me. Soo cute!

    I’ll be curious to see what they find with Xan. Zack has had mysterious stomach aches for two years, and he’s had X-rays, blood tests, urine tests, and lots of random poking and prodding from pediatricians, but they’ve found nothing, and I’ve never really pursued it further (sometimes I’m not sure whether it has a physiological basis or is psycho-somatic). It can be severe at times, but usually it’s just a lot of complaining about having a tummy ache (pretty much every single day). Staying tuned…

    • Babyslime says:

      Lots of people write it off as poop problems or anxiety, but it happens regardless of his bowel (we’ve done fiber and dietary things) and it’s been going on for as long as he could speak about it. :-/

  • Delphiki says:

    If Xan ends up needing to have an endoscopy- it’s not that bad. Mine had it a little under a year ago and I was expecting it to be horrible, but he didn’t have any side effects at all.

    • Babyslime says:

      That’s actually a huge relief. Was he put to sleep for it? Any pain afterward?

      • Colleen says:

        I’ve had two–granted, as an adult–and was under conscious sedation for both. I was awake (apparently) but darned if I can remember any of it. The only after-effect I had was horrific heartburn (which is what they were investigating in the first place) as a result of fasting and having to skip my morning medication. I don’t remember any pain after the first one.

    • Karen says:

      My eldest daughter was scoped in 5th grade to identify whether she had gastritis (agonizing upper GI pain that left her unable to eat, gah). She was panicked about the IV, but once we got past that she was fine. They gave her conscious sedation and watching her come out of that was fantastically entertaining. We recorded her and showed it to her later and got a ton of laughs.

      Her GI put a special device in her esophagus to measure its motility – it stays for about a day and then falls apart. She claimed to feel discomfort from that and whined about it for a few days. She still says it was painful 2 years later, so I guess it was.

      Her GI treated her for GERD for about 2 years. She feels much better now. I think it was the onset of puberty that got her gastric function all messed up and triggered some reflux issues. The proton pump inhibitor she took (Dexilant) did a great job.

  • Linette Greene says:

    Waaaay too cute, those little play food things! And how horrible about the hacking. It does seem personal. Xan, as usual, is a hilarous and trippy little man.

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