Strep is just stress spelled funny

Turns out the Chapel Hill kids have strep throat, and now Norah's got it, from the raging fever to the tonsils the size of my last sausage biscuit (come on, you think I quit 'em cold turkey?) She was all hot last night, so we dosed her with Motrin and sent her to bed... which was fine, until about 6:00 this morning, when I heard this pitiful little "Mama, open the doooooooor" over the monitor. Ordinarily she wakes up singing "Good Morning Baltimore" (and you have no idea how hard I've worked to get THAT one in her head, just because it's hilarious to hear her tiny little voice sing about the bum on the barroom stooool) or something similarly chirpy, so this was clearly a bad sign.

We got up, we came downstairs, she was fine, if a little peaked. And hot, the hot was back, so I gave her some more Motrin and vowed to call the pediatrician when, you know, the sun rose and the earth started to turn again. We had a little OJ, we watched Jojo's Circus, we buried ourselves under the big pink blanket on the couch and prepared for a sick day, and then we got the juice back. OH GOD, did we get the juice back, in fountains and streams and fire hose-like JETS. Nonos managed to hit every cushion on the couch, every single one, and it is a testament to how far I have come as a mother that I remembered to grab a dishtowel and hold it under her face before I high-fived her for her incredible aim.

So it's not been the most funnest day around here, although she perked up some when I gave her a popsicle at 10:00 in the morning (what? her little throat was all fiery, and it was one of those wannabe-healthy fruit ones, so at least I tried.) Now she's back in bed, having been dosed yet again, and an appointment has been made at the pediatrician's tomorrow morning. And I'm here trying to convince myself that my throat is so not itchy, and I'm definitely not feeling warm around the face...

9w3d: Publication!

I got this email a while ago, and meant to post it, but you know, I'm only using the parts of my brain that tell me to eat everything in the house. So I forgot.

:: Schmap Philadelphia Fourth Edition: Photo Inclusion

Hi Annie,

I am delighted to let you know that your submitted photo has been selected for inclusion in the newly releasedfourth edition of our Schmap Philadelphia Guide:

Please Touch Museum

Thanks so much for letting us include your photo - please enjoy the guide!

Best regards,
Emma Williams
Managing Editor, Schmap Guides

This is pretty cool - for one thing, I DIDN'T submit that photo, they just emailed and said they wanted it. I'm not really sure why they picked the one they did - it's Nonos on a tractor, in case you didn't click through - because it's not really one of my best in terms of photo quality. But who am I kidding, I'm totally flattered, even if it is some random Flickr-stalking website thingie.

So Thanksgiving is over, and we're literally picking up the pieces and watching the dust settle - my dad brought 87,000 tools with him, and we sawed a giant hole in the wall and put in a window in our dark, cavelike little living room.

This is Rob preparing to make the hole. There was much measuring and counting, which made Norah, my mom, and me very bored, so we went to Michael's and bought pinecones and glitter, two staples of holiday bacchanalia.

And here is the hole, with Rob in it:

This is my dad, outside on the scaffolding we had to rent. Hearts and flowers to Home Depot for renting it to us on the cheap.

And here, in all its beauty and glory (I'm telling you, put on sunglasses or the sheer force of my beaming, grinning teeth behind the camera will blind you for life) is the way it looks right now:

Please to ignore the pile of laundry in the chairs in the foreground - it's catch-up day, and I like to fold in here so Norah can narrate what I'm doing. "This is your sock? No, this is Daddy's sock. I will wear this shirt. This shirt is BLEEEEEEW! I do not like blue shirts, but I do like them. I think I will wear this pants today, ACKSHULLY."

It's gonna be a big day.

The best news is that I am no longer addicted to sausage, and have moved on to eating anything I can get my hands on. The barfery (Patty!) has slowed considerably, and now i'm just hungry all the time. Fortunately, things like celery seem to work as well as anything else, so I'm not wolfing down mayonnaise-covered quarter pounders at every opportunity... but hey, the way this crazy pregnancy is going, give me time. I love it.

Knocked-uppedness is kind of gross, really.

I added one of those baby tickers to the sidebar over there, because I am nothing if not a sucker for a blog widget, and DAMN, that thing MUST be wrong. Seven weeks and five days (as of right now)? That's IT? No way, I say.

I guess the first rule of pregnant club is that you don't talk about pregnant club, especially when it goes surprisingly well. With Norah, it was like playing at being knocked up - I was never sick, the weight gain was mostly in my belly where it belonged (okay, yeah, and my puffy little cheeks, but that was kind of cute, right?) and labor was a fairly brief, only slightly painful experience. I tried not to gloat, because everyone hates a gloater, and I declared myself "just lucky" if anyone asked.

Well, thou shalt not declare thyself lucky, because thou shalt be proven a big fat bloated LIAR the second time around. I am lumpy. I am exhausted. And I have been tossing my cookies like it was my job. I can NOT. STOP. PUKING. Mornings, afternoons, midnight for the last three nights in a row - all are appropriate times to worship at the shrine of unpleasantness. I've tried avoiding certain foods, but this gets more complicated when you eventually have to avoid all foods. Apparently, even plain toast is enough to start the hamster wheel of vomit in my belly a'turnin'.

There is only one thing I can continue to eat, and it's the weirdest, nastiest food I can think of: sausage patties. Specifically, the Jimmy Dean ones that come precut in a flat little tray. Good lord, do I love sausage patties. I was in Target with Nonos, staring at the hot dogs she likes and trying really hard not to think about the churned-up ingredients in each one (and Mills, I know dogs are your favoritest, but I just couldn't handle it) and there were the sausage patties. I tasted them on my tongue, I smelled their fried goodness on the air, and zip! they went home with us. And we have not been parted since.

Friend Mills says this is revolting, and she's absolutely right. Ordinarily I am not a huge sausage fan, and prefer bacon on my breakfast buffet plate. But damned if I can stop with the patty goodness. They stay down, they soothe my hungry belly monster, they amp up my blood sugar while simultaneously providing some form of protein (I guess...) and I have not yet thrown them up, which is a definite bonus. I can't eat tomato soup, french fries, or (and how this hurts me to say it) Chick-Fil-A, because I've tossed 'em all - but me and my patties are still BFF.

My mother suggested that I write to the company and tell them this story, and maybe it would score me some coupons. Clearly I have pregnancy brain, because I hadn't thought of this, and it is utter genius! I'll keep you posted.

There is another plus side to the puking, aside from hopefully landing the free sausage - that the constant barfery means the little bugger is hanging on in there. Everyone has their special sickness-related theory: it means it's a boy, it means it's twins, it means it'll be big, small, funny, happy, born with a caul, God only knows. The only theory I subscribe to is that the hormones are still UP UP UP, and the risk is going down down down. That, and sausage.

In other news, my parents are coming on Saturday and we're busting a wall out of the cave our living room and putting in a window. Happy Thanksgiving to ME!

To do, and to did

  • In the last five days, these things have happened to me:
    All the shelves in the monstrously long closet in our bedroom, which also houses my desk and photo equipment, collapsed in the middle of the night. This episode was made much worse by the fact that I was sleeping at the time, and woke up screaming, thinking the judgment was upon me, and here I completely forgot to get religion! All the stuff is fine, if a little dusty, but I may never be the same.
  • The pipes going from the house to the water heater and the supply line sprung various water-gun-style leaks, which meant we had to replace about three miles of worthless plumbing. Turns out it's all polybutylene, which is very bad, especially since we can no longer get help replacing it. There was a class-action lawsuit, and we missed it, dang it.
  • My camera quit in the middle of a wedding... just after my assistant went home. I had no backup. NO BACKUP. Kittens were had.

However, in the last four days, these things have happened to me:

  • The closet has been completely redone, from drywall to shelving units, and it's actually much more efficient this way. Hoo-rah, Closetmaid and your handy kits.
  • Rob replaced the pipes with much swearing and bumping of head in the crawl space - and now we don't have to worry about those anymore. Cross whatever fingers and say whatever prayers you can that the rest of the pipes don't turn sprinkler and destroy the inside of the house.
  • I got a new camera and had the other one fixed, with much swearing and beating of head against wall. So now I don't have to worry about that anymore.
  • A friend of a friend, who showed up to finish Saturday's wedding, turned out to be an awesome guy who wants to break into the weddings market, so we've agreed to back each other up for a year or two, which is perfectly perfect.
  • The bride and groom weren't mad, and in fact insisted on paying me anyway, even though I missed the cake-ing and other shenanigans at the reception.

And Lisa tagged me for a meme, which I didn't even know about until just now, because I'm blogging when I should be playing with my kid and providing stimulating and educational entertainment. I'm just TIRED, is all, and she's happy with her blocks and cars, so we're taking a break.

And so! Meme goodness!

Jobs I've had
1. Antique appraiser/store clerk
2. Librarian
3. Preschool teacher
4. Planner of massive, expensive parties

Places I've lived
1. Madison, IN
2. Baltimore, MD
3. Catonsville, MD (which is a totally different universe, ask MB)
4. Durham, NC

Foods I love
1. Indian food (oh gosh yes, Lisa)
2. Mashed potatoes and corn and gravy, mixed up (I am so gross sometimes)
3. Red velvet cake
4. Diet Coke, of which I get far too little right now

Websites I visit
1. Triangle Mommies
2. Perez Hilton
3. Craigslist
4. My photo one, to obsessively make sure the slideshow is working, because I'm a nerd

Places I'd rather be
1. Sleeping (duh)
2. Jasmine's house
3. In a pool
4. At the mall with Norah, because the fountains make her giddy and it's fun

Movies that I love
1. Gone With the Wind
2. Chocolat
3. Blades of Glory
4. Mary Poppins (wait, that's not mine, that's Norah's)

TV Shows I watch
1. Lost
2. Law & Order
3. CSI: Miami
4. The Backyardigans (wait, this is Norah's too! What the heck?)

People I tag:
(Anyone else will totally slap me around for it)

Oh, and one more thing I did recently: got Norah's birthday present. Turns out she's getting a sibling, and it's even the one with stylable hair and real crying action. Who's a good mom, huh? :)