Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Giving Up is Half the Fun


We're working on tooth number three. It's poking out of her top gums, a hard little spot that can seriously pinch when she chomps down on a finger (which she occasionally does, I think just to remind me that she can). Days like these I'm glad we had to bottle-feed from the start. She can bite that bottle all she wants while we have our afternoon cuddles, ain't no skin off my nose.

Unfortunately, it does seem to mean that sleep has become a mystery of the past that we can no longer unravel, like the Rosetta Stone or the Shroud of Turin. I could write you whole books on how much I wish I had appreciated sleep while I had it. In fact, lots of moms have written books on that particular subject. I've read a lot of them. I will probably read many more, you know, whenever it is I am able to find time to read again.

Yesterday when I picked her up from daycare, she had just fallen asleep when I got there. I had to wake her up to leave, which is never my favorite thing to do, because it sets in motion a whole terrible series of events:

I get her home. She eats and falls asleep. She wakes up ten minutes later angry because I let her fall asleep. We play for a bit, then she eats some more and falls asleep again, and wakes up ten minutes later. Wash, rinse, repeat, think idly about when I used to read books a lot.

I decided I was just done with that yesterday, after a certain point. I was tired of the circle we were going in, and I had roasted a whole chicken and a pile of vegetables Monday so we had plenty of leftovers to eat. I was done fighting her and trying to force her into a nap she didn't want to take, wasn't going to take. She had apparently decided that if she had to go down she was taking me with her. I was just done. It wouldn't even be a long enough nap to matter if I even could force her into it, we'd have to get her up for her bedtime routine before it could even be restful.

I couldn't fight her any longer.


So we laid on the bed and played with her bathtime ducks until Jason came home for dinner.

It was lovely. She was all giggles and tired eyes and happiness and "duh.. ugh,  duh... ack... duh duh" while she fights to figure out how it is we're turning those syllables into words. There were pillows and blankets and snuggles and no fights at all.

Of course, she then woke up every two hours all night long thanks to that tooth. Turns out top teeth are worse than bottom ones because they mess with her sinuses when they come in.

Here is what baby books should say about teething:

Hold onto something solid, this is going to undo everything you thought you knew about parenting one tooth at a time. You'll think you know teething and then a new one shows up and you realize all the rules are different for this one. Forget sleep, just forget you ever had any, it'll be a pleasant surprise when she's thirteen and you get to wake up after sunrise, not before. Forget dinner, forget the dishes, forget it all. Lay in bed and play with ducks, and thank God for the smiles and those halting little consonants that remind you that you wanted every moment of this, and you still want it, and you'd do it all over again and again and again. 

Also, invest in caffeine.



Lots and lots of caffeine.

Friday, April 24, 2015

this moment: little discoveries

THIS MOMENT: a Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember.

little discoveries.


.

runner-up for this week:
little feet.

.

'this moment' idea from natalie over at natalie creates.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Just Keep Swimming


I am basically up to my neck in stuff I should be doing. If I were anywhere near as productive as I need to be in order to pull off my whole life right now, I'd be busy something like 2434332432342 hours a day. As that amount of hours does not exist and even if it did, I'd probably still play video games for at least 3345432 of those hours... well.

The house is a mess. I need to sweep and pick up and there are so. many. magazines. on the coffee table.

At least Audra's room is clean. I spent a few breathless minutes running around getting it picked up while she had her last bottle of the night with Jason.

Jason and I are... not people for whom housecleaning and organization comes naturally, or at all. Jason's a pretty neat guy, don't get me wrong - in both senses of the word. But we're kind of distracted. When we're home, we're primarily invested in keeping Audra alive and ourselves alive, in that order.

Our days go like this: Wake up, make breakfast, Audra wakes up halfway through eating breakfast, inhale what's left of breakfast, go change/feed/talk to/love Audra, get her ready for daycare, get ourselves ready for work, run out the door. Daycare dropoff, then work day. I get out earlier than Jason, so I come home and grab Audra from daycare, feed the animals, start on dinner. Get dinner ready. Eat dinner with Jason literally right after he comes in the door. Immediately after dinner, Audra gets her bath, her bottle, and goes to bed. With what time we have left, we carve out an hour or so to interact with each other as adults and not parents - sitting on the couch watching The Layover together or playing video games or reading or making tea or just talking.

Then we go to bed, because if we stayed up long enough to actually accomplish anything we'd be sacrificing what little serious sleep we get at this point.

Audra is basically sleeping through the night, but "sleeping through the night" at this point means she sleeps from roughly 8 pm until 2 am. This actually counts, according to official guidelines, because official guidelines know we will take any lifejacket they throw us, but also likes that lifejacket to hit us in the head first. Then she wakes up, drinks a few ounces, and goes back to sleep. Usually she wakes up around 6:15 to 6:30 for her morning wakeup, but sometimes it's 5:30, or 5, or 4 am, and we want to have maximized our sleep potential on those days.

Unfortunately, she seems to have decided her afternoon nap is for sissies because this whole week she's gone down perfectly like normal while she and I have our afternoon couch-cuddle. Then I lay her down (she does not even twitch or remotely wake up) and I go start working on dinner. And exactly thirty or forty minutes later she bursts awake like she's been shot out of a cannon and she must take some kind of shriek-based revenge. Yesterday I ended up badly burning some food I was cooking and damn near set a fire in the kitchen because I was trying to take care of her and kinda sorta forgot how high I'd set the heat on the frying chicken.

Text to Jason "Well, the good news is I didn't burn the house down. The bad news is I almost burned the house down."

MAGICAL.

Basically, what this means at this point is that the last half of making dinner inevitably consists of me carrying her around or putting her in her high chair, where she yells her fool head off unless I'm looking at her and interacting with her because she is just so tired but refusing to sleep (and no, just leaving her in her nursery doesn't work, for those who are about to suggest it because obviously I couldn't possibly have tried that brand new piece of information already. I ain't new to the Cry It Out game, folks, it just. doesn't. work. for us. because somebody's baby is very stubborn just like somebody's daddy is, not to mention her mommy and wow this parenthesis has gone on forever).

I found one solution was to strap her into her high chair and give her some of her puffs or yogurt melts, neither of which she eats during these times but will happily smash into tiny damp piles of what kind of looks like the worst version of Play-Doh. It buys ten minutes.

Or... it did, until she figured out that instead of having to smash these things, she could just drop them over the side for the dog to eat.

Which... hey, at least she's entertained and quiet while I'm cooking?

Mother of the Year, that's me.

We run and run and run and run and basically life is a series of emptied diaper genies, mugs of coffee, finding baby toys in new and unusual places, and an 8-month old who exists entirely on my left hip as far as I can tell.

I live for Saturdays, where at least we're all together and can go out for breakfast or lunch or something and just be a family, no pressure, no rush, no schedule.

I had leisure time, once.

I remember leisure time.


Now I have this.

And 'this' is way better!

I just wish 'this' would stay a-freakin'-sleep for thirty more freakin' minutes.

Friday, April 17, 2015

this moment: little sleep

THIS MOMENT: a Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember.


.

'this moment' idea from natalie over at natalie creates.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

5 Things - The Tacos, Teething, and Greenville Goods Edition


1. I used to pick up Clean Eating magazine all the time. Unfortunately, Jason and I didn't really have the money to buy most of their 'clean' substitutions. It felt like all the 'clean' stuff was going to be really pricey, and so many of their recipes kind of fell by the wayside for me and I eventually stopped buying it. Exceptions to this rule include the roasted chickpeas that I make for snacking all the time and I think a pumpkin soup recipe I used at one point.

Well, I recently picked up another issue, and we've made two recipes out of it and both were exceptional and not particularly expensive! They didn't include the pricey substitutes that have been such a problem for us.

We made Kimchi Fried Rice and Kimchi Tacos, although instead of using tempeh for the fried rice I just used tofu, since it was on sale at Publix this week.

Kimchi is a pickled-cabbage-and-veggie condiment prized as basically the Korean equivalent of ketchup, in that it's everywhere and you put it on everything. It's pretty common in several Asian countries, because it's delicious. It's an acquired taste, definitely - a little like sauerkraut but with a much spicier and sweet-and-sour thing going. We used to keep kimchi on hand all the time and hadn't in a while, so a couple weeks ago I picked some up at an Asian market on the way back from my friend's house.

Then we ate it all in like three days.

So I bought some more at Mekong restaurant, who sell their own homemade kimchi, which is definitely sweeter and less spicy than what I've bought in the past.

Then we ate all of that in like three days.

So... clearly we like kimchi in this house, is where I'm going with this.

So we ate the fried rice and the tacos, and they were both really, really good. The tacos were my favorite of the two recipes - the addition of peanuts and cilantro and lime juice made sort of an odd fusion-thought into a really delicious idea. I would totally make this again. In fact, I almost certainly will make this again.

You know. The next time we decide to eat a whole jar of kimchi in less than a week.


2. The Illustrated Guide to the 5 Stages of Teething, from howtobeadad.com.

So far we've only made it to Stage 2, but it seems deeply accurate.

At least she's a cute rabid chipmunk?


3. There are days that I wish I was less of a rollicking tomboy and more into wearing things like dresses. It's usually on days when I see something like this.

I'm sure not a single eyebrow will raise in surprise when you see it's from Boden, one of my all-time favorite brands, although it's a brand I find tricky when it comes to fit and what styles will look good on me vs. what won't.

Still.

They have some dresses that are seriously making me reconsider my tomboy ways.

There's the Francine dress above, but also this lovely Easy Day Dress in the yellow and gray, the Breezy Emma dress which seems to have been designed a unflatteringly as possible but has a gorgeous print, the Rosalyn dress... it just goes on and on like that. If only I weren't a gigantic tomboy with no money. Sigh.



4. I've discovered a new brand of clothing and toys for kids, and that is becoming an increasingly dangerous knowledge. The brand is Wee Monster, and they do mostly baby and toddler clothing but with a darker spin to it, instead of the saccharine sweet that your normally find with baby and toddler stuff.

They have all kinds of stuff I'm head over heels for, like this sweatshirt or this T-shirt, but what I'm really, really staring wistfully at is Marcos the Fox up there and his friend Lewis the Raccoon. They're kind of the coolest stuffed animals I've ever seen.

The upside to children, I suppose, is that there is always an excuse to buy them more presents lurking around the corner, right?

I'm keeping my eye on this brand. Brands like this, Jessy and Jack and Zutano all kind of give me hope that there are other people out there who want their kids to look a little offbeat like I do.


5. If you've been reading for any length of time, then you know that I love my adopted town of Greenville, South Carolina. We moved here in August 2010, taking kind of a chance. Jason had been born and raised here, but I'd only visited a couple of times and neither of us had work lined up. While Jason's family still lives here, it felt like a huge risk to just close our eyes and go. We saved up enough to cover the move, leased an apartment, crossed our finger, and prayed we'd find jobs before the savings ran out.

Five years later, we still live here, and you'd have to pay me quite a lot to convince me to leave.

Greenville is a great place - it's enough of a city for me to have access to both delivery pizza and delivery Chinese, there are Vietnamese, Mexican, organic, and Columbian restaurants all a stone's throw away. The city throws great downtown farmers' markets and events like Artisphere.

And best of all? The people. Greenville small business owners are insanely supportive of one another, attending each other's events, talking each other up, buying each other's products and basically just taking care of one another.

Greenville Goods is a new brand started out with just that idea in mind. They're just getting off the ground and currently only sell a few things, but keep an eye out on them to see what happens! Right now they have signs from Olive & Grey and Pallet and Crate and necklaces from Laura Cox Designs (Laura also runs the Reedy Review and you've probably seen her around - she's a fixture at Greenville events, mostly recently at the Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery's Spring Flea). I try to support Greenville whenever I can, so I'm keeping an eye out on Greenville Goods to see what's coming up! (Also, dreaming about picking up one of Laura's necklaces - they seem like the kind that can take a little bit of a beating from an infant who thinks any and all things should be chewed or pulled on at all times)

Friday, April 10, 2015

this moment.

THIS MOMENT: A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment i want to pause, savor & remember.

little hands


little hands.


'this moment' idea from natalie over at natalie creates.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Searching for Sunday: Book Review & Giveaway


I grew up in church pews.

There are stories still told about baby-Katie falling asleep under the pew or crawling around in some new adventure. I have early memories, fuzzy as they are, of the way the floor felt under my toddler hands. The first pastor I have clear memories of talking to wore a cowboy hat sometimes and he had a toy horse in his office, which endeared me to him immediately.

I did Sunday School and VBS and all the stuff that kids do.

Somewhere along the way, though... things began to change. I wasn't comfortable with the kids my age at church - they were mostly into much different things than I was, and we were standoffish with each other at best. That they seemed to all get along with each other led to a feeling of being more than a little bit left out. My usual way of dealing with this - to befriend the adults as i did my teachers at school - didn't work, as it seemed like the adults weren't interested either. I began to feel more than a little out of place. I wasn't really listening to the sermons - I was reading through the Bible during that time, just waiting for the next hymn to begin.

(Hymns are my favorite part of church and always will be, I think - at least when they're the old-school piano-and-voices hymns and not the contemporary songs that are popular now.)

Then, later, things just... stopped.

I stopped going to church except for Easter or Christmas and sometimes not even that. It just didn't seem like a place for me any longer. As an adult, I've taken up trying to get back into it. I church-hopped for a while last year and the year before. I tried churches that were too "cool", churches that were studiously uncool. I tried the Unitarian Universalist church, which I loved for its social messages but which frankly just does not have enough Jesus in it for me.

I stumbled into a Presbyterian church and stayed there for several weeks, and have continued to attend off and on, but I'm pretty much the definition of the "problem with Christian millenials" that is being analyzed and beat to death and then analyzed some more today. I don't want a church with a coffee shop or guitar strings or sermons that bring politics into the sanctuary. When I research before attending a church, I look up their mission statement to see if they've added something in there that references politics. I don't want what many churches are selling and I'm not going to return to a place that, for instance, implies heavily that putting your kid in daycare will somehow result in her becoming an HIV-positive prostitute... but don't worry, with the power of Jesus she'll forgive you. (Yes. Yes that was a real sermon in a real place. This was several years ago, and my husband and I (both daycare kids from babyhood) sat there in stunned silence.)

So what do I do with that? What do you do when pat answers aren't even beginning to touch at your questions, and 'Christian culture' is telling you that your problem is just that you're not politically conservative enough, that you would be fine and faithful if you would just get better at keeping your mouth shut? If you're Rachel Held Evans, you do the exact opposite of shutting up and keeping your opinions to yourself; you speak up and write one of my favorite Christian memoirs, become a famous blogger, and then you write some more.

I've written about her before a couple of times here (I even met her once and made a fool of myself and hopefully will one day get to do so again). I love her self-deprecating, frankly pretty funny style of writing. I love that her books have not been neat and tidy and wrapped up in a bow at the end. Christian memoirs tend to push the "conversion narrative" - bad things happen, some more bad things, suddenly the writer realizes she just doesn't believe hard enough, with Christ all things are healed and end on the happily ever after. But life isn't like that, and neither is faith.

Rachel has a new book out on April 15 - Searching for Sunday: On Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church.

It's a book written for me, and for those like me, people stumbling around trying to find their way through faith crises and life changes and all those things that take us from the certainty of the young into the more unsteady places of adulthood. Rachel was raised a conservative evangelical, 'sword drills' and all, and her stories about her upbringing will resonate with other raised in that tradition. I have a friend raised very much similarly who often nods when I talk about these things and remembers them pretty well herself. In college, in the wake of 9/11, she underwent a serious shaking of the foundations of what she thought she knew about religion and about God and Jesus. She went through some crises of faith and has found her way now to attending an Episcopalian church. Searching for Sunday is, in effect, a series of stories about her finding and losing church, one way or another, and then coming to rest again.

Her book is informed by the liturgy of Episcopalians; she sets up the chapters around the Sacraments, which gives each section a natural beginning and ending point even as the messier stories unfold within. She writes about the overt politicization of churches, the heartbreak of speaking to the people wounded by these churches who somehow, miraculously, can find faith again even if not with the people who shunned them and turned them away. She writes about a failed church plant, what it means to be a famous Christian writer and what it doesn't mean, and in my favorite turn of phrase she has coined; she writes about the simple truth that Christians, in the end, as 'Resurrection People'. We made our faith out of walking out of Death, and that churches are losing attendance and having to change to come out of the ashes may not be the death-knell that all those railing about millenial apathy want it to be.

Or, perhaps, it's the death-knell we need.

Full disclosure: I received an Advance Copy as part of the Launch Team for the book. That I love the book is a bonus. I have already marked it up with pen and will probably mark it up more than a few times more.

I had planned to purchase it as soon as it came out, but with the ARC in hand, I don't have to.

Which means I'm going to purchase a copy for one of you!

The winner will receive a copy of Searching for Sunday. I'm also going to throw in Faith Unraveled (formerly Evolving in Monkeytown), Rachel's first memoir and the writing of hers that has resonated most deeply with me. Giveaway will run until April 15th. On April 16th, I will contact the winner and get an address for shipping and get your book on its way!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 6, 2015

8 Months


Some things about Audra at 8 months old:

1. She has two teeth. This has given her new and incredible powers, including the ability to use her teeth (both her bottom front ones) to slowly scrape the sides off a strawberry. Yes, large parts of the strawberry end up smeared in her hair, on her face, and down her shirt... but she definitely eats at least a quarter of what she gets into. Then she smells like strawberries all night, even after bathtime! Really, it's a win-win for us. Except that those two little teeth are sharp. I keep thinking one day she's going to draw blood.

2. She can mostly hold her own weight if you stand her up. Granted, she has yet to show any interest on doing any of this for herself. She's content to hang out on the floor and wait, because sooner or later somebody's going to carry her around somewhere and she's sure wherever we're going? Super cool. But not sure enough that she cares to get there under her own power.

3. Basically still won't hold her own bottle. She can do it, she just... chooses not to. Laziest. Baby. Ever. Every once in a while she won't be paying attention and she'll be holding it? And I will see her realize I'm watching her hold it and she'll just let it drop. Silly baby.


4. Favorite foods - the aforementioned strawberries, an apple plum kamut pouch from Earth's Best Organic, vanilla teething biscuits, bananas, and grits. Least favorite foods - scrambled eggs. Which is a problem, because all the books swore up and down she'd love eggs for breakfast, and she is very much 'meh' on eggs. On the other hand, the dog is here to help whenever we have extra edible anything on hand, so... he's makin' out like a bandit.

5. She's got a cold (woooooooo the never-ending cycle of illness with infants...) and so she's kind of miserable at night right now. We've gone three nights in a row where she can't sleep and just sort of rolls around whining, keeping us up. I was up shortly after 4 AM this morning with her, and she could not relax enough to fall deeply asleep. It was pretty heartbreaking. Although of course when I got her to daycare she was all smiles and cheer and light while I tried to explain to the daycare ladies that she might be fussy. I think she enjoys making me seem insane.


6. She likes to sit up more than she likes laying down right now, so I try to always sit her in front of toys that are easy to play with that way. Stacking rings are a definite favorite at the moment. She can sit up perfectly well, but she's got kind of a big head so she tends to wobble as she gets tired and her body kind of realizes 'wait, two-thirds of my weight is all above my neck'. Then she faceplants into the carpet.

7. On a related note, I am buying 9 - 12 or 12 - 18 month old clothing for an 8 month old, entirely due to neckline on the shirts. Unless they have a button, snaps, or some kind of adjustable neck situation happening she can't wear her own size. But the size-or-two up I end up buying looks too big, so then she's kind of a ragamuffin child. I've decided to just embrace it. Just call me Mommy Ragamuffin.

8. She's joyous. No matter how tired or cranky she is, she's always got a smile for me. No matter how much she and I might spend our day alternating our whining back and forth, she'll flash those teeth when we talk to her. She snuggles into our bed sometimes in the early morning and she'll get right between Jason and I, take a deep breath, and drift back off to comfortable sleep. Or when I try to slide out to go to the bathroom, she'll roll towards me or reach out her little hands. Or even this morning, after we'd been fighting back and forth to get my poor coughing baby to sleep, just to sleep... she buried her little head under my chin and made a few short happy 'ma-ma' noises. No, they're not words - she doesn't know she's saying 'mama' for me or anything. But it was still wonderful to hear.


9. We think her first word will be 'no', because she's definitely started to go "NA NA NA NA" when she doesn't like something or want to do it. So now we hear a LOT of 'nananananana' when we're changing her, trying to get her to go to sleep, moved her leg one inch further to the left than she prefers it to be, or once when we committed the unpardonable sin of trying to move a load of laundry from washer to dryer instead of looking at her. I'm really looking forward to seeing the first time she really realizes what she's saying. It's gonna be awesome.


Well... briefly awesome. Then really, really annoying.

Friday, April 3, 2015

this moment.

THIS MOMENT: a friday ritual. a single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. a simple, special, extraordinary moment. a moment i want to pause, savor & remember. - natalie


Those of you on instagram or my personal facebook have already seen this, but I've been looking to link up to Natalie Creates' Friday posts called 'this moment', and I can't think of a better photo I took this whole week. Just me and my baby and her hand on mine.

Want to post your own? Link up in my comments or over in Natalie's! If you have an Insta, Facebook, twitter, blog, or whatever that you do a 'this moment' photo for, I'd love to go see it! I really like clicking through them, and it can take a harried Friday into a super calm one.

Man, I need to clip my baby's nails.

Crap, I just failed at the 'no words' part.

Um.

Everyone just sssshhhh and look at the picture.

I SAID SHUSH.

Oh wait.

I'm still talking.

Um.

I'll just go now.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Tale of the Sinus Infection That Would Not Die

Photo unrelated.
Photos of Audra in her adorable dress and a headband with a flower on it made by my cousin Beth Ann for my brother's wedding were requested, however.
Also, I have it on good authority that wedding programs are delicious.

When you first put a kid into daycare, they tell you to prepare for them (and you) to start getting sick like crazy all over the place. There are just so many new germs and bacteria for your delightful child to discover, and especially infants have a compelling need to put literally anything and everything in their mouth for exploration, even things that just came out of another infant's mouth.

Especially those things.

Prepared for the six-to-twelve(!!!) colds the internet told me to expect within her first year at daycare, I was a little bit surprised when it seemed like I had three immediately, back-to-back-to-back.

Then, the last one didn't really go away.

Audra fights little bits of new ones off, but seems to be getting more and more able to handle it as time goes by. Meanwhile, I was being knocked flat on my butt something like one day a month. February, I was lucky it was during a weekend, not a huge deal. March I basically lived on the couch Sunday and had to miss work Monday.

Jason kind of forced me to go to Urgent Care that Sunday because things had really and truly gotten out of hand. All the honey, orange juice, vitamins, and Traditional Medicinals teabags in the world weren't fixing this and I couldn't keep powering through. It hurt to eat broth. At Urgent Care, they diagnosed me with a sinus infection, probably a result of having so many colds that eventually overwhelmed my system, and gave me amoxicillin and a cough suppressant and sent me on my way.

I did my round of antibiotics, and I started to feel a little better... but it never quite went away. By the time I had been finished with it for a couple of days and truly became aware that it hadn't worked, we were about to leave town for Bryan's wedding and I didn't have time to make it back to talk to anyone. So I shrugged and figured, how bad could it be?

Handsome husband, adorable baby... everything is comin' up Katie.
Also, Jason doesn't know how fold-over socks work.

Well, the upside is that my sister has had bad allergies for a very long time and so her purse is a treasure trove of ways to treat the symptoms I was having. Around early to late afternoon my throat would start to swell and feel like razor blades every time I swallowed - ibuprofen and a decongestant from Christina would fix that for a little while.

We made it home, but by the time we got there I was starting to really, really, really feel it again.

I went to work on Tuesday, but started running a fever shortly before I went home. I drove home with the weird I-don't-fit-in-my-skin slightly dizzy fever-feeling I know pretty well. I had set an appointment with Urgent Care for Thursday. My friend Liz, who with her boyfriend had kept our dog for us while we were gone over the weekend, brought Indy back and stayed for dinner.

I. Was. A. Wreck.

I couldn't get warm. I spilled hot tea all over myself and had to change into pajamas. I was able to get Audra to sleep, but that was about all I had in me. Liz offered to change our dinner plans to a different night, and I had to ask her to stay because I wasn't sure I could take care of Audra until Jason got home if she woke up and needed me to have, um, the ability to leave the couch. I was shivering under two layers of blankets. We ended up having delivery Chinese food. The hot & sour soup was delicious but the cashew chicken tasted like nothing to me. Liz was incredibly nice, staying to talk to me and helping make me more tea. We should do dinner again when I am not an invalid.

By the time I got to bed I told Jason I needed to go to the doctor the next morning, I couldn't power through this, I couldn't wait for Thursday. Ibuprofen was dropping the fever, then it would wear off and the fever would spike again. It would help my throat feel better, but twice when the ibuprofen wore off I'd start coughing because my throat was too inflamed to swallow easily. My thigh bones and calves hurt, which is one of my telltale fever signs. Cycle and repeat.

Wednesday morning I dragged myself up. Jason took Audra to daycare and basically had to do everything for her that morning, because I had nothing. There was nothing in me. I drove to Urgent Care and emailed Jason to let him know that I really probably should not have been driving. I was starting to have weird vision stuff from the fever. Since I'm kind of a cautious Grandma-driver, that just made me drive even slower, but... still.

At Urgent Care, I was seen by Dr. Sunshine. My previous doctor had been Dr. Strange.

Neither of those names is a pseudonym.

Babies love other babies more than anything else.
This was, of course, after Audra decided to absolutely destroy her pretty dress.
Just... I can only describe it as 'carnage'.

Dr. Sunshine looked with his little light-thingy and we talked about what had gone on and he gently informed me that what the last round of antibiotics had done was simply to kill off the weak and sickly bacteria, leaving the strong ones to gather in the corner and plan a counterattack.

"Is this because I refused the steroids before?" I asked, already knowing the answer.

Dr. Sunshine sat back, paused for a moment, and then said slowly, "Well, I would say that I would really urge you to take them this time."

So I left with four, count 'em, four prescriptions called into our closest CVS.

I went home still shivering. Took my antibiotics, my steroids, and settled in under the blankets with a giant Venti Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks. That Caramel Macchiato factors into the story for two reasons - the first is that it's my final Starbucks purchase until May 2nd, because I have decided I can no longer buy Starbucks for that long, just to see if I can pull it off. I can have it bought for me. I cannot buy it for myself.

The second reason?

I fell asleep less than halfway into it and had to throw it out when I woke up long after it had gone cold.

Yesterday was a day of letting things go cold - I made no fewer than three cups of tea that I just sort of forgot about or fell asleep or wandered away from. Some of them Jason drank as iced tea when he got home later, one I forced down. I still managed to drink at least one while it was still hot.

Sometime around 1:30, my fever broke for the last time. I could tell because instead of just feeling slightly better and having my temperature show up better on the thermometer, I actually broke out into a cold sweat and went from shivering under two blankets (and a dog and two cats who declared an all-out snuggle-a-thon) to being so hot I could barely stand another single second of being on the couch. I still felt like I was hit by a gigantic, possibly building-sized truck, so I asked Jason to be on Baby Duty and spend most of my evening on the couch sort of blearily staring off into space at Netflix.

Then, because I believe I have mentioned my child's impeccable sense of timing, Audra chose last night to be her night to wake up every hour from teething troubles. Jason took the first half of the night, I grabbed the second half, and between the two of us combined I think we cobbled together something close to seven hours of sleep. I managed to get her to daycare and get myself to work and I'm all drugged up on steroids and antibiotics and orange juice and tea.

I feel significantly better already. If my throat remains un-razor-blade-y until noon, it will be approximately one full day of it not being hard to swallow, which is the longest it will have gone since I got sick in the first place.

Okay, so one more with the pretty dress.
She really did look adorable in it.
Also, if you're wondering why I'm not writing about the wedding itself, well...
some stories belong to their people, not to me.
I'll just tell you it was lovely and he kissed her and they're married, amen.