Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Hearing Problem

I have a little bit of a hearing problem. It's not that I can't hear. It's more that I hear too much. Or too often. Or things that I'm not supposed to hear. The Husband calls it eavesdropping, which IT IS NOT, because I do not do it on purpose, mostly. But sometimes I am overwhelmed with hearing things that other people are saying and I cannot stop. I mean I guess technically I CAN stop if I try really hard, but well, that's hard.

So the other day I took The Boy to school and walked to the coffee shop to do some work on my computer. This is what I love about Athens: there is a coffee shop within walking distance, the kind of place where you can get some work done and do some people watching and see townies and stay at home moms and band guys all mingling in the same space. And the baristas are the perfect mix of charming and uninterested in you, and they talk to each other and tell jokes and stories, which I accidentally overhear.
-"My great-grandfather's name was Scrappy Harrison, and he was a train conductor. Isn't that the best name for a train conductor?"
-"No. That's the best name for ANYTHING."

I smiled to myself, got my chai and sat down to do some work. Boring insurance billing and invoicing and returning emails. I'm chai sipping and email returning, minding my own business when these two guys came in and sat at a table very close to me. Note: there were other tables available that could've given them some more privacy and they chose to sit close to me.

So the one guy looks like he worked very hard to look like he just got out of bed. He has on a Kurt Cobain inspired flannel shirt, opened, on top of a concert t-shirt. He has on jeans and boots. The other guy looks like Steven Tyler, and his hair is shorter but jealousy-inspiring. We made eye contact, did a polite, tight-lipped smile to acknowledge their presence, and I went back to my work.

A few minutes later their words started flooding me, even as I tried to work.
Something was happening.
A breakup.
I wouldn't have pegged them for a couple, but who knows.

Really esoteric. A lot of it is personal pressure.......A mistrust is a problem..... 

I remember one practice with Eric's group......that was real. 

Ah, maybe it was a band breaking up? That would be SO Athens. I am potentially overhearing history here. 

Even if we don't do that, I just want to do something. 
.....Moving forward.....Situation.....Not the right time....I'm not living as I'm capable. Respect that space..... 

Okay, maybe it IS a breakup. Maybe they are dissolving the relationship AND the band they have. Man, I was trying so hard not to listen. I was trying to work. Work, work, work.

You ok?....Just thinking.....Making more room for pursuing other things..... I've been finding myself gradually weaning myself over the past couple weeks..... No, I know what you're saying. 

Whatever is happening, one is clearly the breaker and one is the breakee. The breaker is trying to be sensitive. What raw emotion. Please, whisper....don't make me hear this. I am embarrassed for the breakee that I've heard his heartbreak and I simultaneously want to give him a hug. I want to tell him there are plenty of fish- and bands- in the sea.

I realized.... I'm bound.... Let me finish.... I've hit a roof.... Distance.... The longer I stay.... I could feel his negativity.... Not to get away. To develop. Put these childish things aside. 

Oh no. Now I've heard too much. If I get up they'll know I heard and it was awkward. If I stay, it's awkward. I'm inside their breakup. Oh, the throws of love! The emotion. The passion. The deep and vulnerable esoteric musings about life.

I'm not very well liked by the staff.....No, I understand....the kitchen...It would be hard to stay there.....

WHA? I just overheard a guy quitting his cooking job? With passion and emotion and sensitivity and vulnerability. Oh bless us all. I huff a sigh of relief. I am not in their breakup after all, mostly. And that's another thing I love about this city. People care about stuff. I don't know where they work(ed), but the next time I'm eating downtown I'm going to take a moment to reflect and wonder if as much passion went into my meal as went into conversations about kitchen staff changes....while I try not to overhear what the table next to me is saying. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

FAQs of this pregnancy

-When are you due? 
August. We're halfway there. Woohoo!

-Do you know if it's a boy or a girl?
Yes. The Boy will tell you here:


Part of me was hoping for a girl JUST so their blog names could be The Boy and The Girl. Iknowright? But alas, the little lass is healthy and we are all happy. 

-Have you been feeling okay?
Not really. I've been ultra nauseous this go 'round. I've puked at our new house, at nanny's house, at my niece's 5th birthday party, in a plastic bag in the car, at family Christmas, in the shower, in a church parking lot at a Christmas cantata, and once, with no warning, all over myself as I was driving down the road. One day I realized I was vomitting in the toilet with a Buzz Lightyear in my hand. I'm happy to say I think I'm getting past the  all day  morning sickness and nausea.

The Boy likes to stand outside the bathroom and narrate my vomitting. "Mama! You said 'blarg'......'blech'.....'gurg'" Then the Husband intervenes and says "mama doesn't feel very well. Let's leave her alone for a few minutes." This week The Boy came eagerly in the bathroom and said "I need to spit out a yucky." Then he fake spit and sputtered in the toilet, grinning, and turned to me and said "mama, can you weave me awone?" Gladly. 

-What does The Boy think?
He's excited. He's a little disappointed that the baby doesn't have a tail. He pats my belly and says "hey baby!", and one day looked into my belly button and said he saw a foot. He spontaneously talks about things he'll help the baby do, like play the guitar and walk down the stairs. He doesn't realize the two are related, but he's also excited that he's now allowed to drink "spicy water" aka Sprite, and eat pita chips for breakfast. In my bed. I don't think he knows how his life is going to change... Since the first day we told him he has consistently announced that the baby shall be named BeYoYo.

Me: Well, BeYoYo is a good nickname but me and daddy haven't decided yet what his name will be.
The Boy: But I already decided. BeYoYo.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Pity, Party of One

Warning: graphic pictures of hives ahead. 

We have been sick. Like, sick sick. In August I had mono, which pretty much wiped me out for about 3 months. Then the flu over Thanksgiving. The Boy was on two steroids between Christmas and the end of the year for croup. Then I developed a bad sinus infection, and what I thought was pink eye. Turns out I just had so much mucus in my body it was draining out of my eye. And that infection, along with the flu and mono, left me with a weakened immune system. I got a nasty ulcer in my mouth that made my whole jaw sore and heavy. All the mucus made me nauseous, and when I went to spit it out, my jaw throbbed from bending over. Plus, you know from yesterday's post that I'm pregnant, and I had super pregnancy nausea and was hurling or on the verge of hurling at all times. The Boy said "mama, in de bafroom you say '(insert gagging noises/laughter here)'".

So all of that was starting to clear up, thanks to steroids, nausea meds and an antibiotic, when I started itching. One Sunday night two months ago I got itchy for no reason. We went to see my grandmother, we ran errands, I went to church. Then when we got home my itchiness increased. The Boy was in bed and The Husband was cooking dinner. I started to get a rash on my arm. Then my leg. Then The Husband said "let me see your face. You've got them on your face!" I thought he was kidding. He was not.

It was hives. For the first time in my life I was breaking out in hives, having a reaction to some unknown allergen. Apparently you can develop new allergies when you're pregnant. I started to fix myself an oatmeal bath, and they were popping up so fast I was watching them appear. I looked like a medical textbook, and I was part freaked out and part fascinated. I'd not eaten anything different, not changed detergent or used a new soap. Hives appeared on my arms, my inner legs, my stomach and torso, my neck and face; and boy, were they itchy. I dare you not to feel itchy just looking at them. 

Even my eyes had hives. My skin was writhing, and the oatmeal bath was not helping. I called my midwife at 9:30 on a Sunday night, who told me to take Benadryl and go to bed. Why didn't I think of that? We prepped the spare bedroom just in case we had to go to the ER and call someone to sleep at our house. 

Eye Hives: AKA, I'm An Avatar

The next morning they were a little better, but still covering much of my legs. They'd morphed into one giant hive on my stomach. I went in to the midwife. It's never a good thing when you show your midwife something and her reaction is to gasp. She was unsure what "environmental allergen" had caused it, but prescribed me some predisone to help clear it up. She told me to take more Benadryl and go to bed, and to use some OTC cream.

Over the next two days the hives improved. On Wednesday morning I woke up writhing and covered again. Even my eyes were swollen and red.  I hadn't been exposed to anything new. So bizarre. I went back to the doctor, and got a higher dose of prednisone, a prescription cream, a prescription for itching meds, and a recommendation to take Zantac (yes, Zantac) and Claritin.

Over the next week they cleared up and I haven't had any new outbreaks. I've been to the allergist, who said "huh. You've got hives. We may never know why..." He wouldn't do a scratch test because I'm pregnant. Thanks. Since then we have been back to the doctor with another case of croup, which the petri-dish of a kid passed on to me. Last weekend we moved into our new house while The Boy had a temperature of 103. Where'd we pack the meds? 

While The Boy bounced back quickly, I'm now on day 12 of this snotty-coughing-sore throat virus. The Husband has single handedly moved every thing in the house on his own (including new appliances and a new hot water heater) while The Boy and I lie around watching cartoons. I feel like I have been useless since August. Or at least November. 

On second thought, what have I got to complain about? Maybe it was all worth putting my feet up during the move. And the packing. And the working. And the construction. And the Holidays. Can you say free pass? Cough, cough......

Here's hoping we're on the mend! 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Our Week In Review

Welcome to Georgia, where there's snow on the ground but it's 60 degrees.

When you last heard from us, The Husband was desperately trying to be a survivor man in our snow storm but we weren't in much need of survivor skills, seeing as how we kept power and most of the state cancelled any need to go anywhere.

We bought a house this week. Remember how we accidentally rented our house, and we have been squatters at The Husband's Nanny's old house for the last 8 months? We've put offers on 3 houses in the past year and this one finally worked. We like it.

We went over on Friday before the closing to do a walkthrough. Luckily for The Husband there was plenty of ice left on the driveway that he could shovel and scrape and be a survivor man. I was just glad he was making me a safe path to walk on, I didn't care what his motives were. A neighbor heard all the scraping and came over and introduced herself, all neighborly. She stayed for a minute and went back home, as neighbors do.

Then another neighbor came over to introduce himself. Within the first 90 seconds of meeting him he'd told us he was in plumbing distribution, he was a former federal agent, a former Henry County detective, a former triathlete, he doesn't drink Bourbon, and that his wife's sister was fat and could eat us all. The Husband and I decided later that he might not have been a good federal agent if it only took him 90 seconds to give himself away. But, he chipped in and started shoveling while our realtor supervised.

We closed on the house. We camped out in the house and ate pizza and slept on a mattress in front of the fire place. Happy Valentine's Day to us. The Boy was so excited he kept dancing and singing and squealing. This was very cute, for about 10 minutes. It lasted hours. The neighbors brought us warm pumpkin bread fresh out of the oven to welcome us. Holy cow we moved into the 50s. It was grand. 

When it was time for bed, we laid down and told him to go to sleep. He laid down, but his excitement was too much for him, and instead of sleeping he loudly sang his favorite ravioli song. He cannot actually say his Rs or Ls, so it comes out like this: "Waviowi is the one for me! Do I have it in my hair? Yes you have it in you' hair! Waviowi...." 

I asked him nicely to be quiet. So obviously he whisper sang "Wavioli is the one for me...." I clarified that he should be silent. 
"What siwent mama?" 
It means stop talking. 
"Okay, mama. I stop talking. I not gonna talk mama. I gonna be siwent. You gonna be quiet mama? You gonna be siwent? I be siwent now mama....." Then he proceeded to talk to himself and his toys. 

He eventually went to sleep, and not having any internet or tv or other entertainment, we followed suit. The Husband and I woke up at 3:00am. For no reason other than we went to bed at 8:30. We did not sleep well on a mattress in front of the fireplace in the new house. At 6:00am The Boy woke up and rolled over close to snuggle with me. He said "Mama, guess what?" 
What, honey? 
"How was you work?"
I wasn't working, I was sleeping. 
"How was you sweep?"
It was good. 
Yes, honey? 
"Waviowi is the one for me!"

The Boy's Valentine party was cancelled due to the snow last week, and it was rescheduled for today. We made Valentine cards with little canisters of Play Doh and I let him play with the leftover dough. 

There are 13 kids in his class. I made 13 Valentines cards. That means I even made one for him to get, right? Then I got the email from his teacher saying to send 16 Valentine cards. 16. Sixteen. I do not know why we needed to send 16 cards. Was this a teacher conspiracy to get candy and prizes (we sent them chocolates, FYI) or have I been sending the wrong number of string cheeses when it's our turn to do snack? 

We did not actually have 16 play dohs. Well, we did, but The Boy had played with one. It was no problem to print out another freebie card, but he had made a church and a tree and a mama out of the play doh and it wasn't looking so hot. We could have bought a new play doh, but I forgot until the night before. "Honey!" I called to The Husband last night as he was in bed. "I need you to work on this play doh, make it look presentable and like we aren't giving used play doh to someone for a Valentine present." The Husband never questioned it. So 10:00 the night before the party The Husband was in the bathroom, wetting and pressing and working the play doh to pass off as a gift for a two year old's party while said two year old slept. 

The Boy was happy about his party and never knew we re-fashioned and gave away "his" play doh. My apologies to the parent who might have received that. Let's hope they think their kid took it out, made a tree and a church and a mama out of it at school and pressed it right back in the can. Let's hope their parents don't even notice. It's not like they'll be federal agents or detectives or anything. Happy Valentine's Day!