Seriously. I just added it all up. Three months. Now, this was a heavy quarter for us, as it included:

  • C.J. contracted a mild pneumonia and was hospitalized for 5 days and 4 nights, including an ambulance ride and an emergency room stint
  • a c-section delivery
  • two echocardiographs at two different hospitals to check out newborn Martha’s heart murmur
  • the 8th and 9th months of a pregnancy including a bunch of prenatal visits, an ultrasound, and some extra lab work due to gestational hypertension
  • A day admission to the hospital to watch for pre-eclampsia because of that hypertension
  • a middle-of-the-night visit to the Children’s Hospital ER as we were antsy about a nasty cold and fever so soon after the pneumonia
  • three separate allergic outbreaks for me, resulting in a diagnosis of a new allergy to English Ivy
  • Oh, and Sam got a whooping cough vaccine, so he contributed a whopping $90 to the total.

Now, we paid incredibly little of all of this (sub 10%), as we have great health insurance (thanks, ULI!). But without insurance, this obviously could have been catastrophic for even financially comfortable families.


Between facebook and twitter, I’m connected to a lot of my blood relatives on social media. In facet, if you count non-blood relatives like my in-laws and the extended families of both of my step-parents (with whom I’m close), I have several dozen relative-friends on social media. Their behaviors fall into three categories, largely correlating to age:

1. Normal Behavior (roughly ages 25-55)

These folks post updates about their thoughts, feelings, and activities. It’s great to connect with them and learn about what’s going on in their lives and I also like that they expose me to things that my self-selected friends don’t generally do, like bible study camps and people who don’t support Obama, for instance. They also exhibit very normal interactions like compliments on photos of my daughters, expressions of sympathy when I post sad or angry or frustrated thoughts, and cheerful notes on birthdays and holidays. These interactions are total wins and I want more of them.

2. Stalkers (over age 55)

When I friend these people, or they follow me on twitter, I often forget that the virtual relationship exists because they never post anything. Silence. Crickets chirping. My mom has two different facebook accounts, one with 5 friends and one with 6. To date, neither one has acknowledged my request to link to her as my mother. Yet, when I talk to my mom on the phone, she’ll ask me about my trip to Ikea or the splash park and I have to remind myself that she knows about these mundane details through her twitter stalking. Who knows how many of these relatives there are, but I’d venture dozens.

3. People who post updates that I literally do not comprehend (under 25 year olds).

Seriously, it’s like these folks are speaking a different language. Here are some examples:


I’m guessing the first one is about a messaging service and the second is about a class schedule, but the grammar just makes me feel old.

I’ll keep following and maybe I’ll understand more of it.

In the mean time, enjoy Aziz Ansari on the subject:




6:30 Wake, without alarm. I’m a creature of habit.

6:45 Swim, soak it hot tub

7:30 Admire chocolate covered fruit and “Happy Birthday Disney Princesses” balloon that Sam had sent to my hotel room.

7:45 phone “chat” with C.J.

8:00 Commence long day of work, punctuated by:

  • three excellent catered meals
  • a “facebook birthday lovealanche” (term coined by Brett Lider)
  • a smattering of birthday emails, calls, texts
  • a walk outside in the cold air and falling snow
  • two beers

10:30 Finish long day of work, whilst drinking cabernet from a coffee mug. (We worked so long that we outlasted the catering staff who replenish glassware.) Talk with Sam.

A pretty great freaking day. I’m a happy girl and going to bed!



The Huffington Post delivered Tom Morris’ little gem ” Twisdom: Twitter Wisdom” to me today.

Just last night, Sam had a work function for dinner, so I was home alone. (Well, not alone, but with the parrot, the dog, and the guinea pig, none of whom are good conversationalists during a health care speech.)

So, I settled into the couch with the TV on and my iPhone in hand. By following twitter, it was like I was getting to watch the speech with ten or twelve other really smart people, and I didn’t actually have to share the couch or even the snacks.

So it was a treat to read someone else’s genuine appreciation for the interaction on twitter this morning.

Jeff Speck’s little piece in Metropolis this month is hilarious. But the commenters are really great, too:

from Randall: “I’m a louver lover myself.”

from Shamus: “8 pages wasted on ice cream makers and 10 on Philadelphia. More focus on wood slats please!”

I felt the immense pressure that you sometimes get when you’re late responding to an evite and there have already amassed a number of witty responses. Usually, in that case, I’m just forced to respond without comment. Since I couldn’t do that at Metropolis, I’m blogging my admiration here and hoping they get click-throughs.