Saturday, February 29, 2020

A long week of nothing much

As you could tell form the approximately ZERO POSTS last week, it was a slow one around here.  

Ben got over the flu, and Jack missed a couple of days with a cough and a headache, and I wallowed in work deadlines and all of the house stuff.  Maybe drowned is a better word?  

Ben threw his back out and was completely out of commission a couple of weeks ago, meaning I had to do all of the things.  Then he got the flu and was SO FREAKING SICK, so more burden-- rightly-- fell on me.  BUT with these 2 things in a row, I am starting to really feel the squeeze at work.

I made a genius solution, though. I scheduled a meeting last week to set deadlines for an amorphous but really time-consuming project I am working on.  Then I made an appointment for the week after next to film videos.  This means I MUST write the scripts for these video lectures next week no excuses. Way to force myself to get the work done, huh?

I have also returned to inbox zero, meaning not only do I clear out all of my emails everyday, but I also do all of the things the emails are asking me to do everyday.  So many letters of rec written the day they're requested! That March 25 exam is COPIED AND READY TO GO.  It's shockingly awesome.

Other things I did last week: learned a new braid technique
 Disinfected the heck out of the living room when Ben felt better enough to leave the couch
 Looked at all of my favorite IG influencers selling spring break stuff and bought this coat:
 Dorothy was busy getting a head start on her school birthday by making this poster.  She worked really hard on it, as you can tell from the fact that every inch of the page is covered!
If you want to hear more about me being a pregnant old lady (AND WHY WOULDN'T YOU?), you can read my newest Madison Mom post right here.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Influenza, A?



Yes, he got a flu shot.

(Harry, Cooper, and I are on preventative Tamiflu. Ben is on Tamiflu. Jack and Dorothy are on their own.).

Even a constant rotation of Tylenol and Motrin can't touch Ben's headache or totally break his fever.  He is MISERABLE.  And!  We went to Pekin to visit my mom Friday afternoons/Saturday (and you thought we came empty handed, mom! HA! Surprise! VIRUSES!). 

He really didn't feel very well yesterday, and I offered to drive home. He was all yeah right-- like that would make me feel better, which is fair.  So, he drove, and then collapsed on the couch the moment we got home with a 102+fever.  He's basically been there ever since, sans a quick trip to urgent care for a flu test (and a bonus strep test!) and the aforementioned metric ton of Tamiflu prescriptions.

Actually, I had to pick up the Tamiflu today because Walgreens didn't have any last night.  OF COURSE. I was sort of glad to run the errand, though-- I have been doing this thing where every time I go to the pharmacy, I tell the pharmacist something about my dad. Not anything major or that he's dead-- I just make small talk and work him in.  This will only get weird if I start seeing the same pharmacist again and again-- so far, all different.  Today, we bonded about how annoying people who can't swallow pills are-- you can swallow food can't you? She told me that people who can't swallow Tamiflu open up the capsules and dump them in applesauce or yogurt.  THAT'S SO MUCH WORSE.

This is basically the only picture I took: (We also checked out the Illinois state high school speech tournament to see some campers from last summer.)
Okay, but before the flu, Ben finally got to take possession of his league's fantasy football trophy because he was the big winner this season.  Look at this thing!  It is a real treat for the eyes:

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

ISO: Perfect gold hoop earrings

Join me, won't you, on my quest for gold hoop earrings.

I don't know if I mentioned this, but, you know, I'M PREGNANT (And currently barefoot. And also 41, but let's just leave age out of for a moment), so I have decided to spend my shopping dollars this year on jewelry, not clothes.  Mostly because I am a little bit in denial that I am going to un-lose those 20 pounds I finally shed and also because I want to invest in things I'll actually wear again once I have the baby.  Although, listen, I am going to be 42 when she is born.  I might just decide to spend the rest of my life in maternity leggings, and if I do, can you even blame me?

First up on my shopping list? Perfect gold hoop earrings. Like these from my new online retail obsession AUrate:
hoop earrings
I like the size and the classic shape, and I love that they are yellow gold, a hole in my jewelry wardrobe for sure.

I already have some white gold sparkly ones like these that Ben bought me to fill the jewelry box my mom and dad got me when I turned 40. I also have really huge (fake) gold hoop earrings like these that were an awesome stocking stuffer. My friend always hosts a Mother's Day jewelry party, where I have been able to snag these, but still, the plain gold hoop box goes unchecked.


trades of hope

OF COURSE, I always get distracted on my way to actually buy gold hoops.  Case in point: rose gold necklace INSTEAD of earrings I couldn't resist on the AUrate cite:

aurate necklace
 Look how delicate and pink it is!
AND! Unless I gain most of my pregnancy weight in my neck (please don't let me gain most of my pregnancy weight in my neck), I can wear this baby ATER the baby. Winning!

Ok, talk to me about must-haves for my old lady jewelry box.  What do you consider an accessory necessity?

This blog post is the result of a partnership with Nakturnal.  Thanks Nakturnal!

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The cat is FINALLY out of the bag! So to speak. Actually, that's a weird metaphor about pregnancy...

BABY NUMBER FIVE is on HER way! We expect to meet her around August 23, and we could not even be more excited.

We found out I was pregnant right before Christmas, which, in terms of timing, was not ideal.  So many alcohol-fueled holiday celebrations where I had sparkling water on the rocks or dumped champagne in the sink when no one was looking.  And! Because I am world-record-book old, I was worried about miscarriage, of course, so I didn't necessarily eat with wild abandon, which everyone knows is the very best thing about being pregnant over the holiday season.

I have been wretchedly exhausted, though, so, in that regard, the timing was good.  Ben had already taken vacation over the kids' winter break, and I had a few more weeks off after they all went back, and I was able to lie on the couch like a sad sloth for most of Christmas-MLK day, when I started to feel a little more human.

 Instead of morning sickness, for the whole first trimester, I felt horrible between 3pm-8pm, which was my bedtime. But because the kids had NO IDEA (until yesterday), I still had to function when they got home from school, make dinner, sit at the dinner table and try not to vomit everywhere, etc.

Sunday marked the official start of the second trimester, and I have a little more pep in my step, but I am still ready for bed at about 8, and I am still feeling queasy and sluggish all evening.  My midwife tells me I should feel really good in thew next couple of weeks.  CROSS YOUR FINGERS.

I have seen the baby's heartbeat at my 8 week pregnancy coordinator visit (That's how it works at our HMO-- you see a nurse practitioner who does a pregnancy intake and helps you choose a care provider, get set up with all of the first trimester testing, schedule appointments, etc.  And that's how I knew my last pregnancy was probably not viable because she tried to listen to the heartbeat and could not hear it.  This time, she saw it right away on a tiny little ultrasound machine because things have gotten even cooler since my miscarriage and SO MUCH COOLER since I was pregnant with Dorothy.  Having Harry was like a 1950s hospital experience compared to today, and it's only been 13 years!) (THIRTEEN YEARS BETWEEN THEM! HE WILL BE A FRESHMAN IN HIGH SCHOOL, and SHE WILL BE AN INFANT).

I have also seen the baby on a dating ultrasound, had all manner of blood tests and genetics  tests, which have come back OK-- and let us know the baby is a GIRL at just 11 weeks via wizardry, and heard her squirmy little heartbeat at the midwife yesterday.  I also swear to you that I felt her move at a hockey game when I was wearing high-waisted skinny jeans and sitting way forward. If that was really her, it is TOTALLY fitting because I knew I was pregnant at hockey practice when I almost threw up from the stench of the locker room as I was tying Cooper's skates.  I literally dry heaved, and when another parent looked at me all freaked out and disgusted, I was like omg how can you stand the smell in here? and he was like what are you even talking about? 

It was like a master alarm started bleating in my head-- PREGNANT PREGNANT PREGNANT.  I went straight home and rummaged through my vanity for a pregnancy test, which of course I had because I used to be addicted to them.  And then I took like 14 more just to be sure. And then I cursed myself for not waiting a week or so and coasting through Christmas.

My insurance changed the hospital we can deliver at, so that's going to be weird.  But! It's also amazing because now I can use a midwife, which I always wanted to do. And, as I found out yesterday, I can do WATER BIRTH!!! if I want to.  At the other hospital, we could labor in the water, but we had to get out for the actual birth part, which was difficult.  (I will never forget the nurse drying me off after I got out of the tub between contractions and then had one instantly-- she did such a good job I have used her technique on the kids).

As Cooper said last night after we shared the news, it's also going to be weird that this baby will never meet my dad.  We told the kids it's their job to tell her all about him, so she feels like she knew him too, and they seem up to the task. I remember standing up at his funeral and telling everyone I didn't want to make any new friends ever again because how could I be friends with someone who wouldn't know my dad-- and now! There's a whole new person we're introducing to a world without him.  It's just another sneaky way that grief bridles joy.

Speaking of joy: Here are the kids finding out they'll have another sibling:

Monday, February 10, 2020

Putting "Fashion Show Judge" on my CV


We had the best date night last weekend.  I took my lovely pedicure from Laquerus out for a spin.  We had a delicious grown up dinner, AND we attended a fun charity event where I got to serve as a fashion show judge.  WHO ARE WE EVEN??

All dressed up with somewhere to go!
 The fashion show was part of a fundraiser for the Madison Reading Project, an awesome local organization that ams to put linguistically diverse, culturally relevant books in the hands of Madison school kids.  The organization recently handed out their 100,000th book, and this year, they hope to donate 60,000 more to classrooms and individuals.  Their biggest push this year will put literally thousands of brand new books in classroom libraries at two targeted area schools, but they also serve the wider community with a book bus.  It's a seriously fantastic cause, and I am delighted to take part in it.

For the show, local businesses and partners entered literary-themed designs made entirely of paper! Models walked this incredible runway, then the crowd used an app to pick the top 3 designs.  From there, a panel of judges (including me!) got to vote for the winning design, and we bestowed an award for best use of paper.
 Rocking day two hair and some perhaps ill-advised illuminator on my forehead.
 This dress was one of two Narnia-inspired creations:
 This was GORG and made of doilies
 This is the look that won best use of paper-- This outfit looked like FABRIC, and the details were incredible.  Not only were the pants pockets lined in a coordinating print, but the model even wore paper earrings.
 Icarus with vintage wallpaper wings:
 A Victoria dress made of atlas pages!
 This local teacher and her students were wearing 1,000 paper cranes!  They were an exhibition act and couldn't win, but I think they were my favorite.
 The top 3 looks!
 The winner, covered in famous feminists.  All the heart eyes, for sure.
Such a fun night! I hope I can do it again next year.

Wednesday, February 05, 2020


In at the Deep End by Kate Davies: Funny, but weird.

The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter: Schlocky, but I knew that going in.

The Grammarians by Cathleen Schine: I did not love this, but it as pleasant.

Creatures by Crissy Van Meter: This is lovely.

More Than Words by Jill Santopolo: I really like this author.

All This Could be Yours by Jami Attenberg: I am a huge fan of hers, and this was a fun read.

Long, Bright River by Liz Moore: Yes! I loved tis thriller.

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood: YIKES

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid: YES!  READ THIS ONE!

Count for the year: 9/100

Book-of-the-year contenders: Maybe Such a Fun Age.

Hockey weekend, nails, and gray hair

At Cooper's hockey tournament last weekend, this group of dads was grilling brats at 8am. I was all Who eats a brat at 8am?

And then this guy walked up to me:
Cooper's team played great!
But they had FOUR GAMES, so it was a looooong day of spectating.  We found a cool new brunch spot by Ben's old school, though:
And we killed an hour at some batting cages
More winning!
We found a cute little candy store

On Sunday, we had a pre-Superbowl party, and it was peeeeerfect.  I am doing this every year.
I also got to check out a new, non-toxic, waterless nail salon thanks to Madison Mom and looooooved it!

Ok, friends.  That's all I got.