Monday, November 28, 2011

Little Comforts For The Holidays




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When I was little we spent many Christmases on vacation, preferably somewhere warm, but the years we didn't hit the beach we went to my grandparents' house.  My grandmother LOVED Christmas, and their house was just the absolute perfect place to celebrate.   When I was a little older, they lived in Angel Fire, NM and the mountains and snow and smell of pine trees and wood fires couldn't have been a cozier setting for the holidays.  There was always a huge tree that was decorated over every square inch, and all around the house would be jars and candelabra filled with the extra ornaments that just didn't fit on the tree.


I remember going to bed on Christmas eve in my incredibly soft feather bed, so chilly when you first climb in and then slowly warming up and becoming the perfect little nest to sleep and dream.  And waking up well before the sun, so excited for it to finally be Christmas, only to come out into the living room and see that my aunt and uncle were already awake, even more excited than I was.  We would all gather around the tree, exclaiming about the embarrassingly huge pile of presents, and drink coffee (not me), laugh and talk while everyone opened their gifts.  Later would come an amazing meal, and then relaxing on the couch in front of the fireplace watching classic movies, or maybe we'd go sledding.  It was always such a magical time for me, really some of my very best memories from growing up.

My grandmother was an amazing cook and candy maker, and she would fill cookie jar after cookie jar with homemade pralines, cookies, fudge, toffee and other treats.  They would sit on a small side table, and all weekend people would be reaching into those jars and grabbing a treat to snack on no matter the time of day.  I can't recreate the Christmases of my childhood for my kids (which is ok, because we are creating our own traditions and great memories), but I can bring back a little of those feelings by cooking my grandmother's favorite recipes at Christmastime.  I have started collecting pretty glass jars and containers, and this year there will be a side table in my home filled with some of my favorite treats.  And along with those treats will come all the memories of my wonderful grandparents, and all of the magical Christmases I spent at their house.


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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Well, It's Not Twins

I had my first OB appointment last Friday, and with it my first ultrasound, and basically the confirmation that there is indeed only one baby in there was the only good news.  Oh sure, baby looks healthy and strong and measured bigger than just 9 weeks (which is pretty normal for babies around here) and that is all good news of course.  But I was really hoping for a vast improvement in how I feel, and that just doesn't seem to be in the cards.

I did get a prescription for Zofran for my nausea, so the constant vomiting has stopped, which of course is nice.  But combine a medication known for causing constipation with my already barely functioning digestive system and you do not end up with a happy camper.  I'm really not sure the nausea wasn't better- I mean, if the choice is going to be between not keeping any food down at all and keeping it with me forever... I don't love those cookies THAT much, you know?

Anyway, I seem to just have traded one stomach ailment for another, equally uncomfortable one.  Not super thrilled by that.  And I'm already so uncomfortable in the abdominal region I seriously have no idea how I'm going to even be mobile in 7 months.  The desire to have literally nothing press into or even really touch my stomach might end up with me totally naked and lying prone by June.  Won't that be a pretty sight.

I guess I'm due all of this - I did manage to get through three pregnancies without any sickness or major discomfort (barring the 9 month, duh) so it makes sense that I taunted fate by having another kid only to have it smack me down.  Whatever.  I just hope this opposite trend doesn't carry through the entire pregnancy because my deliveries were super easy too.

I'm scared.

Monday, November 14, 2011

5 Down, 75 To Go

As a parent, I have many goals and aspirations.  Nurture their dreams, foster loving trusting relationships, instill a sense of self confidence and pride in a job well done.  But perhaps more important than all that: never let them know how much loose teeth freak me out.

I don't know when it started, but I have a total paranoid/ phobia/ squeamish issue with loose teeth, and teeth falling out or getting knocked out.  You will never, EVER see me run down a flight of stairs for fear I might fall and knock out my teeth. I'm not worried about breaking an arm or a leg, or my neck, just knocking out my teeth.  Gross.  And random. 

I remember losing my teeth as a kid - I'd twist those suckers around and wiggle them for all they were worth. It was fun, and not at all gross, although that squishy stump left behind after they fell out was a little iffy.  But in general didn't bother me a bit - I even remember one I had that would twist around twice without falling out which at the time was very cool.  So I really don't know exactly when I started being completely freaked out about it, but indeed I did.  Which makes the fact that Izzy is tooth losing age oh so fun for me.

Saturday night she pulled out her own tooth.  I had just put everyone down for bed and gotten in the shower, when she came into the bathroom and announced she had yanked out her own tooth.  A tooth I had wiggled recently (shudder), and which didn't seem nearly loose enough to be ready to come out.  I immediately got out of the shower to see her smiling full of pride, blood coating her lips and teeth. 

Oh, and the tooth in her hand - still had some fleshy bits attached.  Gah.

We got rinsed off and cleaned up and stopped the bleeding (I made her swish with salt water to stop the bleeding and she didn't even make the slightest comment about how horrible it is - she's amazing cause that stuff used to gag me), and she told me all about how she turned it all around and then just pulled until it came out.  Wonderful.  I sent her off to bed to await the arrival of the tooth fairy, then I went downstairs to try and block out the image of teeth being twisted and yanked and the bloody, mushy root stump.

La la la la, I can't hear you!!

Even now, a couple of days later, I'm finding it sort of difficult to look at the big gaping hole in her smile (and because she had such a big gap between her teeth to begin with, losing this tooth left a BIG gap - it's like she lost three teeth instead of one).  This is actually the fifth tooth she's lost, but the others were a little more ready to come out and had adult teeth grow right in to replace them, and none of them were bleeding and completely nauseating.

So gross.

But she has 15 more teeth to lose, and there are/ will be three more kids after her, so I must continue this charade of thinking each lost tooth is as magical and wondrous as they believe so they don't figure out how easy it would be to torture me by wiggling loose teeth in my face.

Never let 'em see you sweat.

Monday, November 7, 2011

I Didn't Even Have To Rest While Writing This Post

Today I actually put on makeup.  And got dressed, albeit it still in leggings and a t-shirt, but still, a step up from the sweatpants and even sloppier t-shirt I have been wearing for the better part of two weeks.  I didn't even take a nap today! And you may be scoffing at the pathetic nature of these achievements (and perhaps you should), but let me assure you, they ARE achievements.

Because so far? This pregnancy is kicking my ass.

I got so spoiled having three super easy pregnancies.  No real nausea, no first trimester symptom more serious than a little extra sleepiness easily managed by a nap or early bedtime.  So I was not prepared to be knocked flat by exhaustion.  Yes, I'm queasy, yes I'm often "refunding" my dinners if I eat even a bite more than I should, and yes, these are super annoying things to deal with.  That feeling of being too full to hold even the slightest sip of water or bite of food, accompanied by intense thirst and/or food cravings? Way fun.  Can't recommend it enough.  But I can deal with it.  I'm drinking my Perrier, and eating whatever doesn't gross me out at any given moment, and if I don't let myself get too hungry or thirsty I can avoid most of the nausea. I can avoid vomiting by limiting how much I eat at one time, which is actually the hardest part since I kind of want to eat everything that crosses my mind.

But I can't do anything about being tired.  Sleeping more doesn't help, although I have been sleeping more.  At night and around 1pm I suddenly start shutting down like I've been drugged, and I go to bed.  Problem solved.  Except when I wake up I'm not all rested and refreshed. Instead, I feel like I'm recovering from a long illness, and I keep finding myself thinking I can just do everything tomorrow, or later, or when I feel better, forgetting that I probably won't feel any better for another month or more.

Super.

So you can see why actually putting on clothes and makeup and staying awake the entire day seems like an accomplishment.

This better be one great baby.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

NaBlahPoNot So Much

So, I've been toying with the idea of doing NaBloPoMo this year, mostly as an excuse to get back in the habit of blogging regularly even when I have nothing to say.  Earlier in the year I thought I might try NaNoWriMo again, but, yeah.  That's not gonna happen.  So, blogging it is.

Except... I'm so freaking tired!

I got tired with my other pregnancies, but it was sleepy tired - all of a sudden I'd be hit with insane drowsiness, take a nap of the dead or go to bed at 8pm, but the rest of the time I was pretty much normal.  This is totally different.  This time I've been hit with the occasional (ok, pretty much everyday) 1pm sleepiness, but even when I'm awake I'm exhausted.  Like, recovering from extreme illness exhausted.  I remember having mono my senior year of high school, and when I finally returned to school I was given an elevator pass that was good for three months.  Well, after about a month or so, I felt pretty good, and I was sick of being late to all my classes because I had to wait for the elevator so I decided to just take the stairs - I didn't even make half a flight before I had to sit down and rest.

This is kind of like that.  The mere act of moving my body from one place to another is brutally tiring.  I can totally get through stuff I have to do if I just keep moving, but I have to maintain the mentality I imagine marathoners have of "just keep putting one foot in front of the other" because if I actually think about what I'm doing I might have to just stop and sit on the floor.  And even getting off the couch to get started takes a whole new level of willpower. Kind of pathetic when the actions we're talking about are going upstairs or refilling my water bottle.

Also new is the nausea.  I've had a few issues with my stomach just being like "nope, you ate to much. Refund."  which really only happened to me during my ninth months before when my stomach just had no room for food because my body was so full of baby.  Not sure why it's happening now, because none of these episodes was preceded by anything approaching an overindulgence in food.  And while my nausea isn't bad enough to render me incapable of functioning, it has been kind of a downer.  And also really hard not to post on facebook how gross I feel every five minutes.  The worst part is that the nausea seems to be in direct proportion to how hungry or thirsty I am at the time (and I am SOOOO thirsty!!), making it a vicious circle wherein I get even more hungry or thirsty because the thought of ingesting anything is impossible, which in turn just makes me more nauseous.  Such a fun catch-22.

Anyway, being rendered even more boring and slothful than normal lately, I think the odds of me completing any sprt of NaBloPoMo is highly unlikely - especially given the fact that i already cheated by just posting pictures of Halloween on yesterday's post (which was put up today and backdated anyway).  But it's probably for the best - who wants 30 days of "I feel like vomiting" anyway?

BlogHer Book Club: Theodora: Actress. Empress. Whore






Based on the life of a real Roman Empress, Theodora Actress, Empress, Whore by Stella Duffy is an engaging piece of historical fiction.  The characters and cities are so vividly realized, that is is easy to forget the story is based on real events and someone's actual life - the events unfold so perfectly that it could be any novel with an almost fairytale ending.  Born to a performer mother and bear trainer father, Theodora is sold to the stage at a young age after the death of her father.  In those days (early 500's) being an actress meant performing off stage as well as on stage, and she performed as a whore as well as a dancer, comedienne and actress as early as age 12.  This story of how her intelligence, skill and no small amount of manipulation by others allowed her to move from this low, if publicly celebrated, position to become the Empress of the entire Byzantine Empire is fascinating and highly entertaining.  I have no doubt the author took liberties in telling the story and imagining exact conversations and events, but historical accuracy or not, I highly enjoyed this book.

I was compensated for this review through the BlogHer Book Club, but all opinions expressed are my own.