Thursday, August 6, 2015

Curious George and The Terrible Itch

Warning: Author is itchy and bitchy

I'm developing an obnoxious pregnancy complication that I had during my last pregnancy: obstetric cholestasis.

The nontechnical explanation is this. It's where you itch like you have a full-body mosquito bite, especially at night when you're (fer the LOVE of GOD) trying to sleep. Your palms, soles of feet, cheeks, upper back, upper arms, boobs, skin between the toes, and pretty-much-everything-elses itch. But yeah, especially the hands and feet.

It's getting bad enough that I've scratched open some of the skin on my feet from scratching in my sleep.

The technical explanation has something to do with the liver, gallbladder, bile acids/salts in the bloodstream, sensitivity to pregnancy hormones, a medication called Ursodiol, another medication called Benadryl, utter exhaustion, and wishing one were able to unzip and remove one's own skin. Oh, and weekly or twice-weekly fetal nonstress tests. And hand-wringing (mine), because stillbirth is a little more likely than in usual times.

The only thing that helps the itching is NOTHING WHATSOEVER OMG. It doesn't help that the temperatures outside have been hovering around 100.

The poor kids are sick of my being sick/bitchy and quite ready to return to school, I think.

The only good news is that I have some really awesome sitters helping me (Joe is away on a four-day bachelor party right now, because of course), and that this stupid complication means they'll be inducing me early again this time. Thankee Jesus--no need to worry about having a baby on the side of the 405.

My prediction is Sept 17th, though they (docs) haven't committed to anything yet. But the 17th would be good, because Will wouldn't have to share a birthday (his 10th birthday!) with Baby George. Did I mention we're probably naming the baby George?

--

Lately Zach has taken to lifting people's shirts, exposing their bellies, and saying, "Baby George?" He especially loves to do this to Daddy. I wonder if he is expecting Curious George The Monkey to come out of Mom's tummy at the end of all this, though, because that's one of his favorite book characters and the only frame of reference he has for "George".

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Death of a SalesVan

Our dejected minivan finally shucked its mortal coil.

It happened during our multi-state road trip a few weeks ago. We'd just reached an elevation of approximately 11,000 feet, near the top of Mount Crumpet or something like that (read: overlooking Denver and 45 minutes shy of our ultimate destination, which was my brother's house). We'd already seen the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and hiked briefly through Bryce Canyon. We'd stayed in and around the "parks" region of Southern Utah enough to be getting antsy of all the Mormon/cowboy weirdness, obligatory tourism, and blazing heat, and were driving intently toward Max and Megan's. The kids had only been mildly to moderately obnoxious that day, and Joe and I were just starting to shout to each other--over the usual child-related din--about how the minivan was doing with this grand journey.

Me: (puts feet up on the dashboard, and aims the A/C directly at pregnant torso) So how's the van doing?!
Joe: You know, it's actually doing amazingly well for being at almost 200k miles!

(5 minutes later)

Minivan: RATTATATATATAT! GRrrrrrrRRRRRR! (Horrible engine noises) *Car refuses to accelerate*

Me and Joe: Oh shit.

We put the flashers on and pulled over into a weigh station area for large commercial vehicles that was right near the tippy-top of the mountain pass. The kids started to get nervous, but we reassured them that everything was going to be fine; we just needed to put a little bit of oil in the car and all would be right as rain. Somehow we managed to coast in the far right lane to a gas station, where Joe poured in, like, four quarts of oil. The van was still loud, lethargic, and very unhappy. And the minute the guy at the repair shop heard the noise the car was making in an idle, he began to shake his head in a way that was both definitive and sad.

"The damage is done," the repair guy prognosticated. Due to some kind of loose bearing rattling around all over inside, the engine was probably minutes away from seizing. But that wasn't before he informed us that there was exactly jack-sh*t on the mountain in terms of towing, car rental services, or places to comfortably stop (other than where we were standing). We could cut our losses now or we could try to make it through THE ONE LAST TINY HILL of the mountain pass (about 3 miles long) before a long downward trajectory to the city.

Naturally, we decided to try to coast it.

100 feet into the THE ONE LAST TINY HILL, the van went to the little diamond mine in the sky. Indeed, it proved to be worth more dead than alive because the junkyard (after much ado and effort to get the title) offered us more for it than the CarMax dealership would have, had it been in any way serviceable.


(This was taken after Triple-A finally showed up and the van was towed to the bottom. And Zach was the only one who didn't get the memo about making a sad face.)

Anyway, the van's long-coming martyrdom was a sacrifice that won't soon be forgotten; we got a much nicer car after Megan came and picked us up. The American Dream was alive and well for us that day, as we bought a very-gently-used, pricey foreign dream car with all the accompanying bells whistles, extra seats, and safety features.

Fast forward to today: I take four kids to the DMV to register a vehicle purchased out of state and only cried twice in doing so. Alas, that is a story for another day.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Toddlers Are Funner Than Tweens

Today we were running an errand that required being in the car for awhile, and we were short on time. Being a mother of nutritious integrity I made a hasty lunchtime stop at the Bad Place of Poison Burgers.



Somewhere along the line, James decided that throwing his entire hamburger across the minivan and calling me a b*tch was an age-appropriate and prudent way to communicate his displeasure with my particular choice of eatery (point taken). His reason for the insult--which was technically not swearing since he spelled the word out instead of saying it--? The burger smelled "like chemicals" and was giving him a headache.

"Fine," I said. "Starve." And sentenced him to clean out the whole minivan by himself. Because, like Tina Fey, I Will Not Have That Sh*t.

Anyway, the commotion of all this prompted Zachy to start chucking McNuggets at my windshield from his carseat. But hey, at least that made me laugh a little bit and marvel at his hand-eye coordination. Things took a turn for the worse when, shortly after that, I peed my pants for good measure a few times while sneezing and driving. This was also the same day I discovered that one of my favorite bloggers, The Coquette, has been DELETED by Tumblr for what is sure to be a very, very foolish reason (she completes me! Well, she and Julie Robichaux).

....Just in case you're ever wondering what that smell is when you're driving my van.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Man in the Mirror

Some stuff that came home in Elise's backpack this week:



I'm imagining the lesson: "and that's what's known as 'parental regurgitation behavior', kids. Okay, class dismissed for lunch."



Not sure what to think about this, entitled The Mirror.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Why I'm A Little Bit Scared

Top 10 Reasons I'm A Teensy Bit Scared To Have Another Son (Yes, these are all sexist)

10. My downstairs bathroom already smells like the reptile house at the zoo; more boys in our family = more packs of neighborhood boys coming over and missing the bowl.

9. Potty training and the accompanying public urination phase. (My big boys used to do it from the top of play structures in public parks.)

8. Even more broken bones and trips to the orthopedist. (James just got his cast off after he'd climbed the fence for a "shortcut" and fell onto the concrete fountain in our backyard.)

7. More trips to Wal-mart to buy cheap shoes. And socks. (Will wears out a pair of sneakers every two weeks, then the hole(s) in his shoe creates the same problem in his sock.)

6. The noise, oh the noise! It's just gonna get louder up in here. (Zach is entering the screaming two-year-old phase.)



5. The punching, oh the punching!

4. More years of accidentally stepping on legos with bare feet and gingerly putting away lego creations for safe keeping.

3. Energy requirement: I'm tired just thinking about chasing another little boy through toddlerhood.

2. Needing to remember all the Thomas The Tank Engine characters' names, personality traits, and political orientations for that much longer.

1. It's a little bit scary how sweet a son can be.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Toddlerspeak: A Few Definitions

Big Tom (n.)- See Also: Grandpa Tom.

Big Truck (n.)- (1) Any large vehicle; (2) alias of Uncle Chuck.

Elmote (n.)- A device that, when pointed at the TV, summons Elmo to the screen.

Gramma Kiss (n.)- See Also: Grandma Kris.

Nack (n.)- a fruit snack.

Monday, April 27, 2015

You've Got Male: Part Two

Boy #4 is a go! (And thank you, higher powers that be, for an apparently healthy baby!)

Elise was a little sad that it's not a baby sister, yes. But she is okay now.

OMG, what am I going to do with FOUR BOYS running around my house?!?!