Tuesday, January 31, 2012

But Of Course

Urgh. So guess who had a suspicious looking rash on her torso and face last night? And who woke up with the telltale slapped cheeks look today that is basically proof positive of Fifth's Disease? No, it wasn't me at least, but I woke up feeling achy and tired and nauseous and told Jim that I felt like I was coming down with the flu. A few hours later I Googled around about rashes some more and realized what Addy had. Dum dum dum. I called our family doc, who confirmed without even seeing her that she almost definitely had it, and told me to call my OB right away since it's way more alarming for a pregnant woman to get it than a six year old. I'm waiting to hear back from the OB about blood work right now, but I certainly feel crappy enough that I'd say there's a decent chance I have it too.

I'm not entirely sure of what the protocol is if I do have it- one website said something about weekly monitoring and ultrasounds until they're certain the fetus didn't contract it, or weekly ultrasound until delivery if they can verify that the fetus does have it too. I know Katy had experience with this in her last pregnancy- anyone else have a Fifth's Disease anecdote for me? Preferably reassuring of course, but either way I'd like to hear about it.

*Oh, and how ironic is this? First thing this morning, before I put two and two together and realized what Addy had, my doula client who's due in a week called to let me know that she was diagnosed with Fifth's Disease about a week ago! Fortunately she's so far along that the risk of her baby developing anemia or anything is very very slim.

Monday, January 30, 2012

It's Monday- You Get Bullets

-My second doula client is due pretty much any time now. I keep skipping chores in favor of going to bed early because what if tonight's the night I get a call? Gotta sneak in that sleep. My house is seriously suffering for it, since nighttime is when I usually clean. I was back in the routine for about a week once the whole morning sickness/stomach bug madness was over, then I realized that I should really be trying to make sure I'm well rested each night. So, we have returned to the chaos. At least we're pretty much used to ignoring it by now!

-Speaking of stomach bug, my mom is out of the hospital and they're chalking all her symptoms (passing out, alarmingly low blood pressure, elevated pancreatic enzymes, extreme dehydration) up to a bad case of food poisoning. I know I personally will be avoiding Taco Bell for awhile.

-The dog is getting a bath and a teeth brushing today at the groomer's. I'm very excited to see if he'll stop smelling like a gassy, unshowered old man for at least a few days.

-The refinancing is complete! Phew. And we're getting close to actually breaking ground on the addition. So far we have met our contractor, electrician and foundation guy, so now I know whose faces are going to be randomly coming and going for the next few months! Downside: does this mean I need to have my hair brushed and a bra on at all times? And no more schlepping around in sweatpants? BOO.

-GIRL GIRL GIRL THE BABY IS A GIRL! Still can't believe it. It seems too lucky to be true.

-I finished The Hunger Games trilogy this weekend and I cannot get it out of my head! Whenever I get into a series like that and am reading pretty much every spare minute, it always takes me a few days to absorb the fact that I have finished the last book and it is all over. It's like a grieving process when I turn that final page. Man I'm such a geek still. Also, beyond experiencing a total nerd-like immersion in the world of Panem, did anyone else who read the books keep feeling really old every time they remembered that the protagonists are teenagers? I get so wrapped up in stories like these, so lost in the world of the main characters, but with these books every few pages I would suddenly remember, "Wow, these kids are ten years younger than me. I would be way too old to even participate in the Hunger Games." What a buzz kill. Nonetheless, you can bet I am counting down the days til the movie comes out.

I will not, however, be camping out all night for tickets, or writing fan fic or lurking on message boards. Gotta draw the line somewhere. Apparently I will draw it at publicly admitting I got a little obsessed with a book that's aimed at sixteen year olds. (Or no? Is this technically YA fiction or not?)

Friday, January 27, 2012

It's A.... Stomach Bug!

Hi! Everything is fine; sorry I didn't post the news last night, but I didn't even get home from the ultrasound, which was in a city almost two hours away, until eleven thirty at night. There was all sorts of chaos, including my sister, who was with me, getting sick on the way home, and my mom being hospitalized with food poisoning and/or pancreatitis while we were gone. Luckily we had the two older kids with us to make all the driving in the fog/rain and the alarming phone calls and the puking on the side of the road extra fun!


It is a girl. :)

And I have some adorable pictures of her sweet little face to scan and post as soon as I get the kids settled with my sister and then leave to visit my mom in the hospital, and bring Sprite to my OTHER sister, the barfy one, who also got violently ill last night! And I did mention that our entire family eventually got the barfing flu after I did, and so I feel really guilty for apparently spreading my flu to every single one of my relatives?

AND I should mention that the ultrasound tech did a bunch of measurements and that she was finding me to be seventeen weeks along, not sixteen, which would be concurrent with my EDD based on the date of my last cycle but which is obviously a week off from the gestational dating ultrasound, which was done pretty early. The tech last night said sometimes in women with tipped uteruses (which I have, pretty severely) it's not uncommon to have trouble getting the gestational age right at the beginning because of where the embryo is or something? I don't know. I just know that one week disappearing before my eyes felt a little alarming! Guess we'll see what's what at my twenty (or twenty one!) week scan.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Kids, Bump, Teaser

So this hairy little monkey has turned into quite the expert at mischief. Beyond the usual stuff, the constant "no"ing and the sudden appearance of temper tantrums at the slightest disappointment, he has also learned how to climb up into chairs. And further, apparently. Today I looked up from my desk to see him standing in the middle of the kitchen table, cackling wildly and waving at me. Not even ten minutes later, I found him digging in the kitchen trash can, trying to suck out the remnants of an empty milkshake container while simultaneously dripping it all over himself and the floor. When did he turn into a toddler? On a related note, I think I see the beginning of the end of my favorite stage of infancy, ten months to eighteen months. Might need to amend that to more like fifteen months, I think. At least he sleeps through the night regularly! A full night's sleep covers a multitude of sins.

More happily, it seems the internet has worked its magic again, specifically the never-failing phenomenon of posting about a problem with your kid only to have said problem resolve itself. The last two days, Eli has been golden. A model child, I tell you. No tantrums, no accidents, kind to siblings, polite to strangers, eating meals, behaving himself for sitters, handling minor disappointments with proportional dismay rather than falling prostrate to the floor in rage, etc. I have been lavishing him with praise and kisses such that you'd think he'd cured childhood leukemia, but dang, I have to keep this ball rolling, you know? When he's not a roiling pit of emotional lava just waiting to spill over, he is seriously the greatest kid to hang out with.

And since apparently I'm doing an update-and-picture (and brag) style post, I can't leave out my oldest child, who is now reading, full sentences and whatnot, and asking me to read her chapter books that don't have pictures. This child that I fretted over all summer because she was only mildly interested in books and hated practicing phonics with me, which I was sure translated to some kind of learning delay and a lifelong disinterest in reading. Ah, catastrophizing. It's my favorite hobby.

I obviously don't mean to imply that reading at age six is anything remarkable, but it's well within the normal range which is very relieving to us. She has a ninety eight percent in phonics, so there is absolutely no cause for concern. And! She has a hundred percent average in math. I think it's becoming clear that she and I do not in fact have the same brain or personality. Man, someone should tell you this when you have a baby, right? That they are actually not just a mini you on which to project your own hubris and anxiety, but in fact an entirely different person altogether that just happened to grow in your abdominal cavity for awhile? (At least we agreed on those Strawberry Shortcake lotions being awesome.)

And last but not least, baby number four here is still alive and kicking and all that biz according to today's check up. (Also at today's check up? Doctor walks in and says, "Oh dear, have you been sick? You are so pasty!" She actually said pasty. Gah. And then I laughed awkwardly and said, "Well, pasty with pregnancy acne!" and she laughed and nodded along and then said, "But seriously... low iron? How was your blood work last visit? Are you taking your vitamins?" Yes, hi, my name is Sarah and in the winter, like most Caucasians, I'm PALE. Get over it.) I'm fifteen weeks and five days along, all is well, and I have gained five pounds of thigh baby to prove it.

And guess what? Tomorrow I'm getting a 3D/4D ultrasound and we're going to learn the gender of this little bump. :) I'm so flipping excited. OBVIOUSLY. Anyone wanna really quick weigh in with their guess?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

3 Out Of 4

Hey guess what? I'm having a good day so far. I know. Mostly it's because I am getting brave about trying fun foods again (pizza with something other than cheese! chocolate! donuts! COFFEE!!) and even when it's a fail (see: chocolate, donuts) just knowing that I am totally on the tail end of this nausea thing is vastly relieving. Also, every single room in our house is tidy right now, which has only happened one other time (appraisal) since I've been pregnant. This time the contractor was supposed to come out to make plans about the remodel, but he actually rescheduled for tomorrow just as we finished our whirlwind-cleaning. I was slightly peeved, since I am super excited to get the ball rolling on Operation: More Than One Toilet, but overall I don't care too much because now I can even vacuum and dust before he comes, and really impress him! (Yes, I know that he's a guy and a builder and probably wouldn't notice either way, nor be impressed, but I will feel better about myself so WIN.)

It's kind of weird, though. I mean, our house used to regularly be this tidy. Most days, it looked like this. Now I feel like I'm in a house of glass and sand and that any wrong move will send the whole thing crumbling around me. Plus what are the kids supposed to do? Just tiptoe around, not getting anything out until tomorrow? How did we used to DO this? Wow, did my standards erode but quickly. Oh well. Isn't the secret to happiness lowering your standards, anyways?

By the way, the refinancing of our house went through, so that's exciting me too. Fifteen years, baby! There is a bit of a pang when I reflect that we could have stayed with thirty years and thereby lowered our mortgage by a significant chunk each month and had a lot more financial wiggle room, but I know in the long run this is a better plan. (I hope, fingers crossed.)

So those are the good things. But lest this post get too Pollyanna on you, it may comfort you to know that Jim and I keep getting in stupid fights about the remodel (we... have very different personality styles when it comes to timelines and deadlines and planning and communicating about said issues) and about how to deal with Eli OH WAIT I MEAN AN UNNAMED CHILD NOT THE ALWAYS PICKED ON MIDDLE ONE GAH. You should understand that for us a fight, like an actual yelling and saying things you really don't mean and swearing kind of fight, happens like maybe four times a year. So having two in the course of three days kind of sucks. Although, it often happens that way, I've noticed. Something about the catharsis of actually RAISING ONE'S VOICE and saying all the things you usually just mutter to yourself while you're loading the dishwasher later that night (what?) just emboldens you for awhile. It's the gateway drug into further yelling and unfair fighting practices. Yesterday I was even thinking about throwing a glass. I just wanted to break something. I was so. damn. tired. of thinking about and feeling guilt and confusion about my son's behavior and second guessing myself and Jim about how to deal with it and I just wanted to smash something.

Then of course today said son went and behaved perfectly and ate without complaint the apple slices that he yesterday ruined an entire morning over and is now happily playing with his sister. I just don't know. Every time I think, "Ok, these fits are just getting beyond normal, maybe he needs more than we can offer him, maybe I should call someone, maybe I need a referral, maybe..." he straightens up for a few days and acts like a model kid and I just shake my head and hope he's rounded the bend.

I do see that it's improving, bit by bit, from where we were a year ago, but it's still hard when I think about preschool this fall- I just start cringing, imaging his having daily angry/wounded meltdowns whenever another adult gives him instructions or another student won't share, and being sent home with notes from the teacher wanting to schedule meetings to discuss "discipline strategies" and diagnoses. I so badly want school to be a positive experience for him, not a place where he begins to question his worth or his capabilities, the place where he begins to compare himself with others and find himself lacking. I know that in some ways this is school for everyone, and there's no way around it, but... You know what I'm saying. I want him to stay at home in his jammies and play Super Mario and Candy Land with me and hide him from everything hard for a little longer. Or, for him to magically outgrow having tantrums by age five. And maybe he will. Either way, we all know what a lot of good worrying about it will do, right?!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Misery = Company

So now everyone's had the flu but Jameson. At this point I figure he is nothing but a ticking time bomb, and everyone knows if someone's going to be puking, a baby is the worst- they have no clue how to aim and are totally unpredictable. And you know he's going to be clingy and want to sleep with me. Sigh.

All I can say is thank goodness I got it first and got it over with so I've been well enough to help with Jim and Addy. Eli actually got it the same night I did, so Jim took care of him more or less alone. And thank goodness the morning sickness is MOSTLY faded to the background so that I'm not (extra) miserable to be around barfing people. Still not my favorite thing, though!

Good grief this has been one nauseating winter so far. I have never spent such a long chunk of time trying not to throw up, throwing up, thinking about throwing up, cleaning up other people's throw up, etc. Just a suck fest, basically. Plus some extra family drama thrown in the last few weeks for good measure.

This is going to sound pitiful, but it's just the truth: besides Christmas, I can literally only think of three specific times in the last, oh, three months that I have had a good day. (I'm meaning one in which mentally AND physically I felt healthy and well.) Once, when Jim and I went out to dinner and Christmas shopping for the kids. I splurged with a Zofran, and ate a baked potato and felt ok and had an actual date night. Second was when my sisters and I went to see The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and I was completely riveted and loved it despite initially being very wary. And third was a day a few weeks ago when it was unseasonably warm and the boys and I went to the playground and for a walk with some friends. Other than that, most days have more or less been blah or downright bad lately. That's kind of depressing.

Spring had better have some pleasant surprises in store for me.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Wisdom Of Others, The Barfing Of Myself

Oh man you guys. Nothing like a twenty four hour stomach flu to remind you that maybe the dry heaves and the nausea and the food aversions of morning sickness aren't so bad compared to an entire night of projectile vomiting and subsequent raw throat and painful dehydration symptoms. Perspective! See! Isn't that a cheerful spin to put on it!?!?!

Ahem. Moving on. So I'm a little tired and delirious and also woefully, woefully behind on laundry once again thanks to literally spending an entire day tucked in bed recovering from said flu (and begging God to please oh PLEASE not let anyone else get it.) The only interesting thing was that I of course lost a few pounds, in the course of emptying my body of every fluid and then not being able to eat anything but Jello and graham crackers the next day, and therefore my belly was much more taut than usual, giving me an unusually clear glimpse of my actual baby bump. Still not very big, I have to say. I hope that's ok.

I am feeling little twinges here and there that are maybe movement, but I couldn't say for sure. This is disappointing, since with Jameson I could absolutely feel him moving at least a couple times a day from thirteen weeks. I know that's a rarity, but I was hoping it would happen again. My stupid fetal heart rate monitor thingie also completely died on me, so I have to settle for waiting to be reassured at my sixteen week appointment, like a common CHUMP. Humph. Though, I guess I could let the only slightly lessening nausea (flu aside) comfort me that all is still well. When that magical fourteen week marker came and went and I was still retching at the smell of the garbage can, well... panic set in a little, I must admit. Is it possible to have had normal, done-at-the-end-of-the-first-trimester nausea three times in a row and then have it the whole unlucky nine months with your next? Never mind, don't answer that.

In conclusion to further barf talk and complaining, I give you, in lieu of anything meaningful from myself, Erin's wonderful, wonderful post, which is kind of about MLK Jr. Day and kind of just about life, and of course made me well up in tears and wish that everyone had to sit quietly in little kindergarten chairs and just listen to her. She also links to this post, written by a teacher and called "On Gifts and Talents," and it too was so wonderful and well worth the read. As Erin explains, the gist of it is so simple: are kids are ok, and will be ok, if we can only start actually believing that they are ok and making sure that they know it.

I have certainly had my moments of worrying that my kids were not ok, that something, somewhere was off and needed fixing. This was such a good, such a wise, such a calming thing for me to read. Yes, it's concerning that my four and a half year old still has almost daily meltdowns despite our constant attempts to help him control himself. But to my nagging fear that oh no something is wrong with him this post was soothing truth. One way or another, he is ok, just exactly who he is. And he is going to be just fine as long as he knows that his parents believe that.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Healthy AND Female

So here's the thing, which everyone around me already knows: I really really REALLY want a girl this time. It would be a huge consolation prize for me in this unexpected pregnancy sitch, if this little belly bump turned out to be of the female persuasion. I know some people think it's kind of horrifying to admit even to yourself, let alone out loud and to others, that you have a gender preference. But I'm all about brutal honesty, like how I admit that finding out I was expecting a kid a year and a half before I had PLANNED to have said kid threw me for a total loop. You wouldn't think a year and half would make such a difference, or that choosing to try to get pregnant vs. having it just happen to me would make such a difference, but boy did it ever. Maybe it reflects poorly on my character, this reaction- in fact I think it does indeed, but it's the truth and I admit it. I am working on it.

However, I do not think it reflects poorly on anyone to say that they are hoping for one or the other sex when they're expecting a baby, and I get really tired of people kind of half whispering, "Well, I always thought I'd like a boy first but..." then rubbing their belly and finishing sanctimoniously, "as long as it's healthy!" I always want to be like, "Er... can't you wish for health AND male genitalia? You know that health and penises aren't generally mutually exclusive, right?" Obviously I get what they're saying, but I just think it should go without saying. Of course I know you hope for a healthy baby MORE than you hope for a boy, but that's not what I ASKED, is it?

I also think we're all big kids enough to let it go unsaid and assumed that of COURSE once you find out the gender, whether at twenty weeks or at delivery, you either instantly get over it or actively work on getting over it. You embrace your child for who he or she is, and, especially if you have a religious or spiritual perspective, believe that this is exactly the child you were meant to have and you don't wish it any different for a second. I always think of what a friend of mine's MIL says, when asked if she ever wished one of her four kids, all boys, had been a daughter. Apparently she laughs and says, "Which one? Which one would I trade in for a girl?"

So yeah, whenever anyone asks me if I care this time, I answer emphatically, "Yes, I want a girl!" I want Adelay to have a sister, to enjoy that experience that I had (threefold!) and if it's not now, I don't know when it will be. Will I try again when she's ten or something? That seems too far apart. Honestly I had already kind of given up worrying about it, because I didn't plan to have another baby until Jameson was three or so, and Adelay would have been eight-ish, already seeming too far removed from this hypothetical sister to have much of a bond during their childhoods anyways. But now there is this unexpected surprise, and Addy will still be six-ish when this sibling is born. Six years doesn't seem so horribly far apart. Six years seems like a bridgeable gap.

Also, and I'm just going to be SUPER brutally honest here: the idea of three boys in a row, especially within five years of each other, makes me want to give up on my sanity altogether and just go ahead and preemptively schedule a psychiatric evaluation for about two years from now.

How about you? Did you start out wishing for a different gender/gender combination/birth order than you have now? Did you ever admit it to anyone? Did you struggle with it much if/when you found out you weren't going to get what you wished for?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

You Take The Good With The Bad

Good: My sister gave me two giant bags of winter maternity clothes today, all of which are actually cute and fairly new, since she just bought them about a year and a half ago. My stuff is looking pretty dumpy after three pregnancies, and also, I had exactly one pair of jeans (with a bleach stain on the leg) since I've always had babies in the late summer/early fall and never really needed maternity pants, just maternity shorts and capris. With this kid though: fourth pregnancy, plus due in earlyish July, well, let's just say my rubber band to stretch out my jeans waistband trick just wasn't cutting it anymore. I mean, it still worked, technically; I'm not huge yet or anything. But it is so uncomfortable, and when your pants are unbuttoned the waistband always rolls when you sit down and... You know. It just looks dumb and it feels uncomfortable. I should have just asked her for the pants about a month ago, but for some reason it felt like a jinx to start wearing maternity clothes too soon. But I will be fourteen weeks Friday, so this seems like a safe, and not laughably early, time to start putting on the stretchy waistbands.

Bad: My van needs new rear brakes and possibly a new transmission. This is going to pretty much suck up (and then some) the three hundred dollars I was prepared to spend taking Fonz to the vet for a check up and teeth scraping. Crap.

Good: At least Jim can do the brakes himself.

Bad: I just found out that my client's OB refused to sign her birth plan, saying he "couldn't" based on hospital policy or something. I had a bad feeling about this doc right from the start, so now I'm nervous that we're going to have a fuss on our hands anytime she wants to deviate even slightly from the hospital norm during this birth. Sigh. That's never fun.

Good: My nephew turned one yesterday! Happy birthday, Smith!

Monday, January 09, 2012


Well, I am able to eat salads again, and occasionally even chocolate, so I must be getting better! On the other hand, the smell of coffee is still awful to me, I am nearly homicidal towards the poor dog every time he breathes in my vicinity, and I am still violently dry heaving by noon-ish if I go without the Zofran. I keep skipping it in the mornings, seeing if today will be the day I magically feel well again, and I made until twelve forty five today without getting sick. We even went outside to a playground and for a walk! ...And then I bolted indoors, ran for a trash can and started gagging, but still. Kind of a win.

I've been in a big funk lately, I'll be honest, but getting some fresh air today helped a lot. So did scheduling an appointment to get the dog's teeth cleaned at the vet to see if that might significantly help his breath. (Two! Hundred! Dollars! worth of help, so it had BETTER be significant!) We also heard back from our appraisal and it went better than we had hoped, enough that I think we're going to go crazy and switch from a thirty to a fifteen year mortgage, so that we can hopefully be done with house payments around the time the kids start college. Doesn't that just sound... amazing? Not having a house payment?

What else... trying to think positive here, so yesterday's road trip to my sister's house, during which I got a five hour headache/migraine thing, probably doesn't count. Oh but the zoo! Saturday night we took the kids to the zoo's annual Holiday Light show, and we all walked around bundled up, sipping hot chocolate and enjoying seeing the zoo from a whole new perspective. That was fun, and it was something I had been bummed about, thinking we had missed our chance over Christmas, but they had one last encore of it this weekend and we somehow got our act together and made it!

I also have a prenatal massage gift certificate to use as soon as I feel better, which has to be pretty soon, so I'm getting excited for that.

Lastly, and off of the Being Cheerful topic but big enough and time sensitive enough that I want to get everyone's opinion: my doctors are strongly encouraging me to get progesterone shots (weekly from sixteen to thirty six weeks of pregnancy) due to very encouraging research showing that it can prevent cervical thinning and preterm labor symptoms in women previously susceptible. I didn't do it last time despite their urging, and now, two years later, the research is even stronger, and I'm a little bit more eager to do anything at all to possibly avoid being on bedrest, you know? BUT said shots cost FORTY FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS per five week dosage vial. I would need FOUR of those five week dosages.

Insurance doesn't cover any of it, but it does at least count towards our deductible, so basically if I agree to order the shots we will have met our deductible for the year by... February. This seems nice, but doing this will also absolutely jack up our insurance rates again for next year, for not only our family but everyone else in the company, and I really hate that. Our family has definitely been a real drain on our small company's insurance plan, and I hate making everyone else pay for our expenses, basically.

What would you guys do? If I had ever had a preemie I would say yes to the shots in a heartbeat, do anything for my baby's health, obviously. But since bedrest HAS always worked and we've never even had a baby have to stay an extra day in the hospital or anything, I'm basically spending this money gambling that it's going to spare me, and by extension everyone close to me, from the annoyance and frustrations of bedrest. Is that worth it? Am I being selfish?

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

More of the Same

Wow, this may be the longest I've ever gone without posting. Sorry. As usual when nauseous, blue light from electronic screens makes me sick, so I mostly avoid looking at TVs or comnputers. I do remain pregnant, I'm happy (and slightly astonished, still) to report. Twelve weeks and four days, to be exact, and heard a heartbeat again last Thursday, so it seems all systems are go. Especially whatever system it is that makes my stomach churn and my mouth taste like metal and my gag reflex to kick in at the sight of a dirty sink or the opening of the fridge door.

I've been doing all sorts of things to suppress it: hiding in a dark room in bed, obviously; eating nothing but complex carbohydrates and drinking mainly 7-Up; sea bands, which help a little, I think, but really kind of HURT because they have to be pretty tight on your wrists to actually apply pressure, so most days I skip them; and Zofran occasionally. Not regularly, though, because a) I keep worrying about side effects to the baby and b) it's not helping that much this time anyways. It mostly suppresses the urge to dry heave, so when I'm going out in public for any length of time I usually take it to avoid embarassment, but at home I mostly don't bother because I still feel nauseous a lot of the time either way.

It is getting more bearable. I think I'm rounding the curve and that the nausea will recede with the end of the first trimester, as usual, so I just keep thanking God I'm not one of those women who feels sick the whole time. I'm also thankful I've been mostly able to keep from actually vomiting this time around. I have definitely felt just as miserable as in pregnancies when I was throwing up, but at least I've avoided the mess and grossness and dehydration aspects. I remember when I was carrying Jameson thinking that if I could just puke I'd feel better. Not so much. Then I just ended up throwing up all day. It was like uncorking a damn or something. So this time I really fought the vomit urge right from the start, until I could almost always force myself to just gag, but not actually throw up. (This is such a nice topic, no?)

But I know I'm lucky, and not everyone can do that. Whenever I read about people with hyperemesis gravidarum or whatever it's called, I just can't believe they go on to voluntarily get pregnant AGAIN, sometimes many times! Proof positive that the biological baby urge often utterly defies logic or self preservation instincts, no? Right now I am feeling like it would take an absolute miracle for me to ever want to get pregnant again. (Of course, it basically was a miracle that I got, and stayed, pregnant THIS time, so...) It's just such a bizarre and overwhelming experience: I go from being a fairly energetic and productive and fun person to being a miserable hag with stringy hair who drags around the house in sweatpants, cringing every time I enter a new room because of the unbearable smell of the dog or the kids or the coffee or the AIR.

So yeah, I was a lot of fun during the holidays, obviously. Feeling like a slightly depressed spectator at Christmas was possibly the lousiest part of the whole morning sickness thing. But I'm grateful: Jim did a LOT this year, from shopping to wrapping to making Christmas breakfast. And he's basically done all the dishes and tidying lately, and all the dog care and pretty much all the morning kid care during Christmas break, so that I could stay in bed until I felt okay-ish. Today he is back to work, and I miss him already. I also miss his ability to run out and try to find food that might tempt/help me, because I've already exhausted all my fail-safe foods and am feeling the queasy heaving coming on again, despite much teeth brushing and sipping on Vitamin Water and all my other tricks.

You know what else makes me sick? (You: Oh YAY, we're going to talk about this some MORE!) The sound of several of the kids' movies and video games, because they've been on so much while I've been sick that it's become like this... soundtrack to my misery. Every time I hear Mario Brothers I want to barf. I've also grown to despise the color of our kitchen and am desperate to repaint when I feel well, because that's the room in which I most often feel sick, and so, again, the color has become like this symbol of feeling ill, I guess. Anyone else ever get that? And anyone else sort of LOATHE their pets when they feel nauseous?

But there is good stuff going on. We're refinancing our house, which is very exciting to me, and plans are in motion to finally do that bedroom/bath addition very soon, which is THRILLING to me. It probably won't be finished before baby comes, but close at least, and since the baby will sleep in our room for a few months anyways it's not a big deal. But oh! A master bathroom at last. And a guest powder room, separate from the family bathrooms and free of underpants on the floor and mildewy bath toys lurking in hidden corners!

But before that, there is much, much work. Like today, when I desperately need to pick up this trashed house and vacuum before the appraiser for the refinancing gets here tomorrow. I was very optimistic about all my cleaning plans last night ("Tomorrow I'm going to feel great! I'm going to be back to normal and swing into action!" etc.) But I already just want to hide in bed again while the baby naps. Sigh. Oh well. Maybe if I appear truly, pitifully pregnant and forlorn, the messy house will work FOR us and the appraiser will take pity and give us a higher estimate?