Friday, June 23, 2017

6 weeks

How preggo I am: 6 weeks and 5 days! Officially due on the 13th of February ❤

Baby size: 6 mm according to our ultrasound. The size of a chocolate chip, a blueberry, or a ladybug

I no longer look 20 weeks pregnant!

Morning sickness: Yeppppp. No puking yet, just one moment of dry heaving before breakfast as the cat wove around my ankles and Roxi whined for attention and as my toddler attempted to herd us all out of her way so she could shut the bathroom door while shouting, "aye-ughs, aye-ughs!" in my ear. Toddler speak for "Why are my morning eggs not yet cooked, servant?" Obviously.

Food cravings/aversions: Basically we have reached the, "All food sounds disgusting," phase. We try to watch TV at dinner now because it is easier to eat if I am distracted from having to taste it. I do still like sushi and watermelon though.  I had half a watermelon for lunch recently.

Other symptom: The heartburn and bloat have eased up a good deal, thankfully. I look much less pregnant again. I do however have this constant unpleasant taste in my mouth, that's a completely new one. And omg. Nursing is getting way more painful than I anticipated.

Weight gain: Still not a clue.

Sleep: Well Travis was gone this week and the cat chose to have a psychotic breakdown due to his absence.  I had to lock her in her kennel and place her in the guest bathtub, turn on the bathroom fan, close 2 doors, and turn on my personal white noise machine to the bacon sizzles setting to block her out. Now that hes back, she meows 2 or 3 times and settles in. And Lyra decided to get some teeth or something. So 2 nights this week were 2 to 3 hours of sleep nights which was a bit rough.

Mood: Mostly happy and hopeful tempered with a heavy dose of "I'm so fucking tired I have to stay on my feet and clean or I'll fall asleep instead of watching Lyra," and "I'm so happy I feel pregnant and nauseous but I don't want to throw up until I clean the toilets." So my house is clean,  that's nice.

Gender: I have one friend's vote in for boy so far. Any other guesses?? We (OK, I) have dubbed the baby, "Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All." Because Doctor Who.

Lyra stats: Still being Lyra this week.

What I miss: Still beer. And also wine. And my motivation to do anything.

Best moment this week: Getting our ultrasound! I mean, mostly baby was still way blobby but seeing that heartbeat was a big relief. And not seeing twins was a comfort, frankly. Plus the ultrasound tech let me pee before the exam, huge perk when they have told you to come in with a full bladder but you've slightly overdone it. So that was an extra awesome ultrasound experience. Also I have a posterior placenta this time apparently! Exciting because last time it was anterior (between the front of my belly and Lyra) and I didn't get to feel kicks very early on. Hopefully this one I get some earlier ones!

Our little blobby! The little black dot on the left is the brain. The right half of the big blob is the yolk sack, the left half is Stormageddon! 

Looking forward to: Being a little more in touch with how big Stormageddon is and being able to relax a little more.

And of course, our Facebook announcement. 


Friday, June 9, 2017

Week 4/5 ??

How preggo I am: I am somewhere between 4 to 5 weeks, still slightly questionable on the timeline due to not tracking and no period after the miscarriage. I have an ultrasound in 2 weeks and hopefully I can pin down the due date a bit. Sometime been the 10th and 16th of February, a Valentines baby!

Baby size: Somewhere between poppy seed and apple seed sized. Or somewhere between a water bear and a dot snail if we want to be slightly more unique.

Morning sickness: I think I'm starting to sense a hint of nasuea already but no puking, yaaaay! I'm hoping this is a good sign, I had no nasuea with the miscarriage  but toooons with Lyra starting around 6 weeks.

Food cravings/aversions: Horseradish. Specifically cocktail sauce. I was eating that with a spoon in Vegas before I knew I was pregnant.

Other symptom: Heartburn. I had a bit with Lyra in the beggining weeks but not this much. And bloat. I seriously look about 20 weeks pregnant (going off my Lyra scale) right now and it's really uncomfortable. I think it is really noticeable for me because I had bloat with the miscarriage that disappeared for a few weeks before I immediately got pregnant and bloated again. Didn't have this with Lyra if I'm remembering right. Oh, and I'm definitely on the must pee every hour train again.

Weight gain: I didn't track this with Lyra and I think I will only track this when I go to appointments. I struggled a lot with anorexia in the past so I don't keep a scale in the house anymore. But I feel comfortable finding out my weight with this baby. I'm starting out around 130 pounds.

Sleep: Soooo tired. But also I don't get to sleep in anymore. Travis is working on night wake ups with Lyra now, though.

Mood: Mostly happy and trying to enjoy myself but somewhat stressed/worried about these early few weeks.

Gender: I will be attempting to resist the temptation to find out because Travis really wants a surprise. We will see how that one works out. 😂

Lyra stats: MAJOR progress. She falls asleep in her own bed for nap and bedtime as long as one of us sits in the corner. Still working on night wakeups. She is still nursing but we're cutting back slowly since I'm tired of nighttime nursing and starting to get really sore, thanks to pregnancy hormones.

What I miss: Beer.

Best moment this week: Since this is my first post, I'm going to say finding out I am pregnant.

Looking forward to: Getting our first ultrasound and hopefully some peace of mind and a strong baby heartbeat.

My before picture, you really can't tell how bloated I am in a loose shirt. I wanted a cutesy in front of the barn door instagramey picture. I got a toddler and dog photo bomb instead. 

My face when I pulled my shirt tight and saw how bloated I was. Seriously, it is ridiculous. And it is as uncomfortable as it looks. 

No but really, I was 21 weeks and some change on the left with Lyra. What is happening. 


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Accidentally on Purpose

I'm writing this a few days after finding out we are pregnant again. I was torn between writing right away or waiting until we get an early ultrasound and see a heartbeat or we miscarry again. But then I was thinking well, we may miscarry after a heartbeat. Really anything can happen at any time so I'm going to do my best to be optimistic or at the very least, enjoy the time I do have. I would write out my feelings if I miscarried again, why shouldn't I write now too? This one feel different. But then again hindsight is 20/20. I had 3 miscarriage dreams the last pregnancy though, one the morning my miscarriage started. I'm also trying not to read into that though because it is on my mind now and I very well may have more of those dreams. And I dreamed Lyra was a boy 3 times when I was pregnant with her, never once dreamed she was a girl, and look how that one turned out.

I hadn't gotten my period yet after the miscarriage so I'm a little fuzzy on how far along I am. You can skip this paragraph if you don't want the numbers breakdown and internal monologue/debate of mine. I started spotting the 29th of April, bleeding the 3rd of May, and finally had the last day of spotting from the miscarriage on the 11th. The 11th was when I was very sure the pregnancy home test was negative as well. I also had blood tests so I know my HcG (the hormone home pregnancy tests look for, that is less than 5 in a non pregnant woman) was 25 on the 9th. From all that I was assuming my new cycle would start around the 12th, meaning conception could occur around the 26th and the earliest I could possibly get a positive (the kind you can barely see and may drive you bonkers squinting at it...aka the kind I got with my last 2 pregnancies) test would be the 3rd of June. Still only 8 days post ovulation for those of you familiar with the baby making crazies. Since we were going to Vegas the 31st, we made the decision to wait to test until after our trip. And I decided I didn't want to drive myself crazy with testing and tracking ovulation because I knew this cycle could be weird. Plus we wanted to enjoy ourselves in Vegas. I didn't want to skip drinking for phantom lines and disappointment. The morning we were set to leave Vegas I caved, tested, and I got a strong positive test on June 3rd. Now they say that the strength of the pregnancy test has nothing to do with how far along you are, but I've noticed a huge difference personally, between the early 3 week days where you can barely tell if you have a line and you might debate a bit, and the quick and strong lines that show up around 4 weeks or so. June 3rd by my figuring I would have only been 3 weeks along which seems real early for a good positive. But who really knows. My midwife said her estimation was that conception was around the 20th or earlier which would put me due almost a week ahead of my figuring. I guess she's thinking 10 days after HcG went to 0? And I guess if you count the day I started my miscarriage as my new cycle date I would have been 4.5 weeks on June 3rd. That one seems the least likely. I don't know. Pregnant right after a miscarriage is confusing but I'm so glad it happened this way. Not having a fairly accurate due date yet is making me a bit stressed but I also can't really count what day pregnant I am and that's forcing me to chill a bit. (Future Miriam edit here. I was pretty darn close with my final estimate I settled on. I guessed valentines day, my ultrasound says the 13th. About as spot on as you can get considering measurement error and having no set cycle date to start with.)

Anyway, we were both excited to see the positive and I wasn't too sad to skip the mimosas that last day. Turns out I think I have been unknowingly living with a dairy intolerance for years. I was off dairy for a while with Lyra nursing but I keep trying to add it back in because cheese and chocolate and butter are basically my 3 favorite foods. And everytime I'm very sorry I made the attempt. I guess I just thought random digestive problems were normal and I was feeling better lately just by forced healthier eating habits from having an allergy baby. Oops. So that sucks. I suspect we can both handle some of the protein up to a certain point. We both handle goats milk just fine (it has the least amount of the milk protein coincidentally 🤔) and she isn't bothered by dairy in breastmilk. I just can't find a safe threshhold for myself, so better to be off it fully and not tempt myself into overindulgence. But I had a good last hoorah with dairy and alcohol before leaving Vegas. So that timing was great.

I keep getting sidetracked so I guess this will be more a general update not just a, "Hey I'm knocked up again but more on purpose and less accidentally this time," post. It's nice to know we appear to be pretty darn fertile people, it just remains to be seen if we can usually make babies who can stick around long enough. We got one though, so that's a good sign. The next one will hopefully be just as stubborn!

Speaking of, Lyra is in full toddler mode now. We have at least 5 meltdowns a day because she wants, "Keem" (diary free ice cream) all the time. She wants to pick out wildly inappropriate clothing and shoes (think fleece pants and sparkly dress shoes for playing on the playground when it is 90 degrees out). And she wants to be like me and wear all my jewelry and do her nails.  She also climbs everything and always has at least one bruise or cut.  She's still obsessed with sharks and now Curious George or "eeeiii eeeiii" because that's the sound monkeys make.  She has started to eat more and nurse less. And her favorite food is still sushi. "Susu" could be an everyday meal at our house. The ladies at the sushi place in town recognize us all. "She came in with your mom the other day and ate 3 things of salmon all by herself!" Yep, thats my kid. Travis has been taking over bedtime and we are just no longer nursing in bed before bed or nap because it takes waaaay to long and everyone needs more sleep. She's even starting out in her own room every night now that we're in our new house. We really wanted that to happen before the next baby. My mom staying with Lyra for 3 nights while we were in Vegas really helped kick-start that process.

Travis is enjoying his new job. (That's basically all the updates you'll get out of him 😂).

I'm in a weird almost zen mood about things. I have moments of intense anxiety but mostly it's just moments. I'm about done peeing on sticks since I feel reassured about the little baby now. I've nicknamed the little fetus Stormageddon for now. Both because we love Doctor Who and because I need a good gender nuetral nickname if we're going to stick to this not finding out all the info we can about this little one. I'm planning on doing some more regular blogging updates about this pregnancy. So hopefully you'll hear from us soon!

Here's Stormageddon! 6 weeks and 3 days, 6 mm long, crazy how tiny they start out. The left half of the big blob is actually the baby (the little black spot is the brain!), the right half is the yolk sack. 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Unnamed

This is not my usual funny post. Please don't read this if you aren't in a good place to handle a rather uncensored, emotional, and fresh account of miscarriage. Thus post is unnamed, because that's how my baby forever is, and will remain, unnamed and unfinished.This is just something I need to talk about because I'm a talker in the processing department. Plus, this happens. A lot. I don't want to look up statistics because will,  doctor google will only do me harm at this point, but somewhere around 30 percent of the time I believe. I know a lot of people who have had miscarriages. Way too many. 

This Easter Travis and I found out we were going to have another baby. Slightly earlier than anticipated but we were excited anyway. Even though this was an accidental baby, this was definitely a wanted and loved baby. We somehow managed to find out a week before my period was supposed to start, just like we did with Lyra. It happened that I didn't want to eat my egg at breakfast (I had a huge protein aversion while I was pregnant with Lyra) and Travis jokingly said, "Oh god, you're pregnant!" and that made me suspicious enough to pee on a stick. Especially because it was a holiday weekend and we found out about Lyra on Thanksgiving. We laughed at the timing because I had kept saying I absolutely never wanted to move at the same time I was pregnant ever again. We moved last time when I was 20 some weeks pregnant. So naturally 2 weeks before our new house closed was when I found out we were having another baby. We told my mom and Travis' immediate family early because we've always said we want support no matter what happens. And I hate keeping fun news in. We were waiting to tell my brother and dad in person because they would be visiting in a few weeks. Unfortunately that didn't happen as planned. My closest friends also knew because I consulted with them over my faintest of faint positive test lines. That's what happens when you have no patience and test really early, you can't always be sure for a couple days. Plus one friend was coming to visit the next weekend and I couldn't hide it as our plans included drinking.

My due date would have been December 28th. This holiday season is going to be a tough one and I really hope we have a baby well on the way by then. The hard part is, best case scenario, the next baby won't be due until valentine's day. Best case scenario, I will barely be in my 3rd trimester when I should have been giving birth. this baby seemed real a lot quicker, than Lyra did probably because we've had a baby before, so it seemed less theoretical and was easier to picture.

The weekend we moved, I was 5 weeks pregnant. Lyra was sick so I had to cancel babysitters. We were in a rush to get everything moved in one weekend because of Travis' schedule and we didn't want to rent a u-haul more than once. Plus we wanted to get the bulk of it out of the way before morning sickness hit. And we've been moving since November so we were just so ready to be in this house. So Travis did all the heavy lifting and I put Lyra in the carrier on my back and moved everything I could manage. I started having light brown spotting on Sunday, mid move. I know logically, that you can't cause a miscarriage. I know that. I know that. But I can't stop feeling guilty, which is not a good feeling. Everyone says, "You can't cause a miscarriage, but take it easy." How do you do that when you have 25 pounds of toddler running around? Obviously, we were worried but I kept hoping I just overdid it and irritated my cervix or something minor like that. I talked to a midwife and scheduled an ultrasound. But we had to wait until Friday, when I would be 6 weeks because you can't really see much before then, and we didn't want to stress unnecessarily by getting an ultrasound when our baby was too small to see. I tried to take it easy, as easy as you can with a toddler during a house move. Then Tuesday night I dreamed I was having a miscarriage. I woke up on Wednesday,  had a gush of brown blood first thing in the morning and called Travis' mom (she's an OB nurse). We all still tried not too worry too much yet, it was just one gush and it was old blood. I took Lyra to the park to play to try and stay distracted. I started to feel a little crampy there and that's when I really started to worry but still really hoped things would be ok. I was in denial, really,  I knew it was over but it's hard not to hope.

When we got back from the park for lunch, I saw our sprinkler was broken and leaking water. Expensive water. Not a really important detail but it made me a whole different kind of stressed. And it is one of those weird little details that I focused in on and I will remember forever. As soon as I got inside and headed to the bathroom, I knew I was probably miscarrying. I was bleeding the same amount of blood I would during a period, not just spotting anymore. I didn't have the horror story of insane bleeding through pads and lots of clotting like a lot of people have told me about. Or cramping.  But I don't know why. Maybe because it was really early. My baby was the size of a chocolate chip at most. If it was developing correctly. I kind of think it wasn't, thats at least a little easier for me to think about than imagining our baby had a heartbeat already. I haven't had any cramping since having Lyra. So even the very light cramping was enough to make me know something was wrong. My cycles are always quick too, just 2 or 3 days. And Lyra's birth was fast. So I think my uterus is just efficient. My body likes to be an overachiever (like with my milk supply). Physically it seems like I "lucked" out, I guess. It isn't really lucky though. And I definitely don't want to minimize someone else's 6 week miscarriage. I'm just looking for my things to be grateful for, and my physical experience and recovery is one of them.

But I can't describe to you, how horrible it is to try and be a half decent parent to a little person who is 1 and a half years old while someone who is 27 days old is dying inside of you.

It's hard to explain what it is like when you're trying to hold it together because you have a tiny human to care for but you're falling apart. I stuck Lyra in front of the tv with some candy and just kind of lost it. She is young enough she wasn't super upset by my meltdown but you could tell she definitely knew something was up and was thrown off by everything going on. She sat quietly eating candy and watching tv for the better part of an hour. She isn't like that normally. I felt super alone but I didn't want to call anyone until I reached Travis. It took me probably 20 or 30 minutes to get a hold of him and then he had over an hour drive home. I texted one of my best friends though. I just couldn't face calling any of my mom people. It also felt less real if I didn't tell anyone. So I'm just pacing the house, crying, making macaroni and fake cheese and doing and redoing the math of how long I can wait for Travis before calling someone else. And then there was this weird tiny part of me that couldn't stop panicking about getting the sprinkler water shut off which wasn't very rational. Like it was a metaphor for everything that was flowing uncontrollably away from me. 

So while I waited for Travis I also started calling midwives, scheduling ultrasounds, and making lunch for Lyra. We tried a nap but I couldn't make it work. Travis is very calm in crisis and when he got home he put Lyra down for a nap and looked at the sprinkler and I tried to nap. I was so tired. Tired like I have never been before. I wanted to sleep for a year and wake up when it was all over. I'm not one to ever feel suicidal, that truly just is not me, but it is the closest I've ever come to viscerally understanding that feeling. I was just completely spent, I had no more left in me. I had an awful headache from crying and I ended up throwing up. Non dairy mac and cheese to be specific. Not pleasant. And I kept thinking, "I should be doing this in a day or two when morning sickness hits, not now." I think the nasuea was from crying or just thinking about what was happening, or all of it combined. I mean, how do reconcile the awfulness that is pasing the matter that was supposed to be a baby into the toilet? What do you do with that? What option is there? Those were some morbid thoughts I never wanted to have.  But honesty the headache and vomiting was the most physically painful part of the process. I feel guilt about even that experience. Shouldn't loosing a baby be the most physically excruciating experience of my life? Well it wasn't. Not even close. Not even top ten, physical pain wise. I wanted it to be, I wanted to feel some sort of sense of utterly painful loss, not this insignificant crap. Birth to Lyra was worse, getting my  wisdom teeth out was much worse, getting my iud in was worse, first period post iud (alone on my first tour of the slope freaking out because I was surrounded by men and was afraid I was having a miscarriage then and was in sooooo much pain and trying to remain professional at the same time) was much worse, rheumatic fever was worse, even having my hand roller bladed over when I was 12 was worse. Unpacking our stuff and finding the shirt we got Lyra that said, "Oh deer, I'm going to be a big sister," buried in clean bedsheets, complete with plaid deer, that was excruciating.

After the vomit episode, Travis and I got a nap in. I went in to cuddle and nurse Lyra when she woke up after a while (she is finally moving into her own room). When Lyra and I woke up, I found Travis wandering the house confused about where I had gone. Somehow, that seems poignant too.

Waiting for Friday's ultrasound was hard. I couldn't help but hope that I just had a bleed because that happens too. Or that I was miscarrying a twin. Not that I wanted to miscarry any baby, I just kept hoping we would have at least one healthy one left in there. But I was also trying to be realistic and not get my hopes up just to be crushed again. And hearing other people's stories made me stressed that I would need a D&C. I was bleeding a lot but I just didn't know what was supposed to be normal for a miscarriage. We were able to have a friend watch Lyra Friday, which made things so much easier. And the ultrasound tech was nice. She showed me there was nothing there. I mean, peace of mind wise, I just needed to see. And indeed, there was just an empty uterus on the screen. In the ultrasound they were playing Katy Perry's weird alien sex song and Robin Thicke's rapey, "Blurred Lines." And oddly, I love both catchy songs. And I am so mad that both are ruined. What horrendously inappropriate music to play in an ultrasound room. It made me feel like I'd be that person at a funeral, who laughs hysterically and totally inappropriately. I still have to get blood drawn next week to make sure my hormones are dropping properly because they technically couldn't rule out an ectopic pregnancy. But that's not what's happening, I would be in a lot more, one sided pain. My uterus is apparantly "unremarkable." Fucking sweet.

The past few days have sucked. I keep crying randomly. We got the sprinkler shut off finally. And we are still slowly moving in to our house. We got some craft beer after the ultrasound and had a beer and pizza and movie night. But I really was sad I was able to drink. Lyra and the cat are being cuddly and sweet and helping lighten the mood. Friends and family are checking up on us. But I still just feel so indescribably awful.

The guilt is hard, feeling like it's something I did (I know logically it isn't). And also because it wasn't planned and I know so many people try so hard but it was so easy for us. And that's not something I can help, it's just how I feel. I thought about not posting this, but I want to acknowledge my lost baby somehow. And I always said miscarriage is something that needs to be talked about. I've just been a little taken aback by how private I do feel about it when I'm such an open person. But in the same breath I want to scream, "But I am supposed to have two babies now, not one." And then I immediatly feel like an awful mother to Lyra, because she IS enough. And the immense weight of the guilt of this was "just" and accidental second baby. Plenty of people would be more than content with just my one Lyra.

Also, I get ahead of myself and worry. That it will be really hard for us to get pregnant again or that this will happen over and over. The unknown makes me crazy.  My mom had 4 miscarriages. She was pregnant 6 times and only had 2 children. That is TERRIBLE. I want to be like my mother in all ways but this one thing.

I'm also already annoyed with limbo. We want a baby now, this changed our timeline for sure. However, who know how long this will take. Still just sitting here bleeding and having to think about it every time I pee. It isn't a quick think, it has to drag on. And it hasn't even been more than a few days yet. Also who knows when my cycle will go back to normal. I'm trying to brace myself for not getting my hopes up if my period doesn't come back for 6 weeks or who knows how long. Plus, I want to watch and make sure I get a negative pee stick after this because I don't want leftover hormones to trick me. Not to mention we have a trip to Vegas planned at the end of the month (we are ditching Lyra with my mom for the first time ever!) and we want to just relax and enjoy ourselves. But that brings me to the funniest moment we've had the last few days (because sometimes you just need to laugh). I told Travis for the next little while I just want to not be tempted to overthink and stress and pee on all the sticks and track ovulation. However, we both know my lack of self control in that area. So I decided I'm locking them in the safe in our bedroom closet and Travis is taking the key to work until after Vegas at least. I told Travis this 100% serious and logical plan of mine and he laughed so hard. He said, "I'm sorry, I'm not laughing at you, really. It's just that, can you imagine, we die before we open the safe and everyone goes on the hunt for the key to open this mysterious safe. Then they open expecting money and valuables but all that's in there is a bunch of pregnancy and ovulation tests!" But I still think they're going in the safe, haha.

With all that said, if I manage to get pregnant, first cycle post miscarriage (unlikely), I may have a hard time making a due date guess, since I won't have a last period or ovulation date to go off of, and I will barely be finding out I'm pregnant before I should have been entering my second trimester with this baby. Not fair.

I'm trying to find the good things in all this because that's how I'm coping. Like I said before, I don't want to minimize anyone else experience or presume that the things that help me help anyone else.  It has been comforting to have Lyra. Not that I didn't want this baby just as badly as I wanted Lyra, just that I know I can get pregnant (easily so far), and can carry a healthy baby largely complication free to her due date.

And it's helped that this miscarriage happened early on. I didn't have as long to adjust to the idea of a new baby, I never felt this baby kick or heard it's heartbeat. Though that also sucks in its own special way. I don't have any ultrasound picture for this baby, I don't know if it was a boy or a girl, or even if it was nothing more than a bunch of cell with the wrong number of chromosomes completely incompatible with life or a blighted ovum or whatever the hell else crazy biology can do.

It's also helped that this was unplanned, again, not that we wanted it any less. Just that I didn't have the first 3 weeks of my cycle hoping for a baby. I don't feel like time was wasted in a failed attempt at making a baby. And finding out we were pregnant was a little more nervewracking because we weren't planning it and we had to have that talk of, "Soooo...how are you feeling about all this??" when it happened.

I'm glad we are at the tail end of our move with friends in this town. Had this happened a few months ago in temporary housing when we had no one here to help with Lyra or to talk to, that would have been even worse. I'm so relieved that my state of mind is in a much healthier place than it was in January or February.

So there you have it. This has been an awful week and we have some pretty crappy first memories in our new house. But, we have come much closer to the end of our moving process and will hopefully (never say never) not be moving in the near future. We have a house we love for making good memories in.  We have lots of fun things coming up (I won us a trip to the Tahoe area) and family coming to visit. Summer well on the way, our dogs will be returning to us shortly and our cat is not lost.

So everything is not terrible.

Everything is not terrible.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Another move, button batteries, and wisdom teeth

We are only a month into 2017 and we already have another move, a medical scare (Lyra's), a dental surgery (mine), and a trip to Colorado under our belts. Sheesh. Hopefully, February is a calm month.

We are still waiting for the Fairbanks house to sell but our household things made it down from Alaska to Nevada. They take a few weeks traveling by barge. So we were able to move from our temporary furnished apartment in Reno to our more permanent but still temporary apartment in Fernley with our things.  The move was not without complications. First we were delayed a day due to a snowstorm that stranded our movers a few hours away. Luckily by the next day the movers made it and were somehow able to cram the contents of a 1500 square foot house and 2 car garage into an 800 square foot 2 bedroom apartment. Unpacking was a challenge, let me tell you. But somehow we have managed to make a liveable living area and family bedroom. The spare room is stuffed to the brim with things we still have to sort though. At one point we were trying to dig out a few things from the back of the room so Travis was teetering near the ceilings on top of a box/furniture pile. I was gaurding the door and keeping an eye on Lyra who was parked on the couch with my phone, watching some cartoons. He said, "Hold on, someone is calling me," and somehow managed to pull out his phone. Upon glancing at his screen he said, "Oh. It's you." Sure enough Lyra was calling from the couch. That's one way to get our attention. 

After our snowstorm, we got flooding. Sadly, our broken down Trailblazer was not swept away, leaving with an insurance payout. We did manage to limp it to our new place though. Only to limp it back to Reno and trade it in for a new car. They gave us more than we were expecting though. Travis made sure to acquire the new car first and bring the Trailblazer to the dealership after dark.

We accomplished our unpacking (even with a toddler "helping") at record speed. We moved in on Friday and had the living, dining, kitchen, and nearly all of the bedroom/bathroom areas finished by the following Wednesday. This included cleaning out our old apartment. The bathrooms and bedroom need a bit more storage container to accommodate our downsizing. But I'm extra proud we managed to fit our kichen in probably half the space we had in our last house. Our timeline was dictated by my Saturday plane ticket to Colorado and the terrifying danger that is living in an unpacked house with a toddler. Lyra showed us this the Monday after we moved.

Monday was the first day of unpacking sans Travis and we hadn't managed to get the new car yet. So I was going to be at the new apartment with no car for 4 days. We got up bright and early and had breakfast and coffee before heading to the bedroom to start unpacking some suitcases. As soon as I opened the first one, I found a box I knew contained button batteries and a stack of clothing. So I picked it up first thing and turned my back on Lyra for maybe 5 seconds at the very most to move the box to the dresser 3 feet away. As I turned back around, my heart about stopped as I saw Lyra with a handful of button batteries, holding one to her lips. If you know anything about button batteries, you know how horrifying this moment was. They can eat through your esophogas in under 2 hours. They kill toddlers all the time. I have never been so worried in my life. Not even with the bloody poop diary allergy incidents. I immediately began making phone calls to Travis (who was over an hour away with our only car seat and working car) and to our doctor. Lyra seemed alright and this is the toddler who loves to chew things and spit them back out. I was pretty certain she hadn't swallowed one, but I wasn't positive that she hadn't and if I was wrong, she could die. So I was pretty freaked out. I ended up calling am ambulance on the advice of our doctor. The paramedics said when they arrived that they did not think she'd swallowed one (they said she'd be gagging and coughing) so they suggested waiting and calling back if anything changed. Travis was already well on his way back from work by the time I got ahold of him again and we decided to make a trip to urgent care for x rays to be certain. We weren't going to sleep at night unless we double checked. Especially after reading sometimes there can be no symptoms after swallowing a button battery. Luckily we just wasted a day of unpacking, racked up some x ray bills, and added a TON of temporary stress to our lives with that misadventure. Now all our batteries are unpacked and above our fridge and Lyra isn't allowed in suitcases before they've been safetly cleared.

Meanwhile, throughout this whole set of adventures, I was scrambling to get to a dentist because my tooth hurt and I knew I was leaving for Colorado in a week with Lyra. Turns out I have some previously unexplored intense dentist anxiety. I had been looking forward to my relaxing Colorado vacation after all this moving and stress. Naturally, I found out I needed all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed. And no way was I going to put up with the pain until we got back from Colorado. So I arranged to have them taken out while visiting my parents. That turned out to be the best plan though, I had extra help with Lyra from my parents and I got them taken out the same day Travis came to visit for the weekend (he was not there for the entire Colorado trip, just the small portion he wasn't at work for).

My main anxiety was originally the anesthesia portion of the procedure. I was pretty convinced I'd do something silly like confess to a murder (I've never committed one, honestly) or stab a dental assistant with a scalpel and wind up in jail for life. I know this sounds crazy, because it is. They strapped my arms down which actually did wonders for half of my anxiety and I felt no loopiness when I woke up. I think I'm going to ask for IV sedation the next time I need my teeth cleaned. Only half kidding.  At first the pain afterwards wasn't so bad. I thought I had it easy until a few days in when things started to hurt a lot. Like, really bad, excruciating, all consuming agony. I'd rather give birth than have my wisdom teeth taken out again if given the choice. I had been trying to avoid narcotics as much as possible since Lyra is still nursing. But I had to have my mother call the dentist after hours for me by Sunday night. So I upped my meds and turned over toddler care to the grandparents. Thank goodness for parents. Also one of my nerves was damaged because of one tooth being so close to it. So I had no feeling in my left bottom lip. None. So weird. 

Luckily after 5 months, my nerve damage numbness is gone. 😥 Get those teeth out early. And I'm not in jail for murder sooooo if I can do it, so can you!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Moving to the Land of Ufos and Cacti

Whew. What a month. And a half. I haven't written in forever. So I thought I'd jump back in with a post about our most recent crazy move across the continent. The last one for a while. I'm serious this time. Last one. I'm going to have to change the blog name though, there's no moose in Nevada; just UFOS, aliens, and the like. I'm accepting ideas currently. Of Scorpions and Saucers? The M-files? Hmmmm. I need to think on this big decision some more...(I haven't actually seen any scorpions or cacti, it's more foothill terrain here, really).

A move to or from Alaska is a big under taking for anyone. Then add two neurotic dogs (one of which is human sized) and a rowdy tiny human and you've got a logistical nightmare. Don't forget, add in holiday chaos for an extra treat. Travis took care of booking most of the travel arrangements while I dramatically moaned and lamented out fate. Mama llama stomps and pouts, jumps and shouts. Mama llama, please stop all this llama drama. I've read Llama Llama Red Pajama one time too many. Seriously though,  I was NOT happy. We've made the best of things though and this is how it has all shaken out travel wise, vaguely broken down by family member and general timeline.

First, Roxi left the 26th, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. She was headed to my parents in Colorado. Travis flew with her to Anchorage, checking her like a piece of (very overpriced) luggage. He couldn't simply ship her from Fairbanks without paying an absurd charge for a 2 hour potty break for her in Seattle. The only flight she could take would be a red eye where she'd need a kennel to pick her up and take her back again in Seattle so we didn't go with that option. From, Anchorage, Travis cargo shipped Roxi solo to Denver and my family who are stuck with her for the duration of our house selling and house buying process. Then Travis flew back home from Anchorage to Fairbanks.  Thanks to frequent flying and vouchers from the disastrous first flights with Lyra, this only cost us 20 bucks for Travis' flight plus the normal pet flying fees and a rental car for a couple hours. Now Roxi is contentedly getting fat and napping on furniture at my parent's house. My family is surprisingly not the biggest group of suckers in this story, you'd be interested to know. That honor belongs to my in laws who are stuck with the big moose of a dog.

Now my mother in law is a known softie for animals. Its why she owns an absurd amount of alpacas and a couple dogs. So Travis gave her a call when he knew his dad wouldn't be around to stop her.  He explained the situation. She agreed to keep Dinger. Someday we will break it to her that we meant forever. Trying to fly with Dinger is much worse than flying with Roxi. No airlines in Fairbanks will fly our massive dog. He's on the no fly lists. Which is kind of b*llsh*t because he is not a snub nose breed like they claim. But whatever. United will fly him but they only fly out of Anchorage. Oh, but they don't fly planes big enough from Anchorage to take him. Seriously. And he's a 130 pound runt of an English Mastiff, for goodness sakes.

So Travis left Monday the 28th with Dinger. They drove by car, through Canada in the winter, solo, to Portland, Oregon. Travis' drive was a five day journey in total.  Twelve hour days of solid driving with no extra driver, just for some perspective. Yaaaay audiobooks. And then also carting in a suitcase of cloth diapers (so the extreme cold won't crack the plastic material), two boxes of wine (so the cold won't explode them) plus the big guy and all the day to day essentials to a potentially sketchy hotel every night. Travis said poor Dinger was kind of depressed and only had three or four meals the whole trip, one of which Travis had to hand feed to him. Travis also said he woke up one night to find that Dinger had decided to sleep in the spare queen bed in their hotel room. I think he's lucky that Dinger had the courtesy to get in the other bed rather than share with Travis.

Dinger's kennel and kennel extension (I wish I was joking) were too large to take in the jeep from Fairbanks. So Travis shipped them to his sister who lives in Portland. From there, Dinger was shipped out (by extra large United plane) to Travis' family in Michigan for the duration. Sidenote here, I DETEST United with the fiery passion of 1000 burning suns. I could write a whole post on that. But I have achieved revenge by sending Dinger on their flights and through there kenneling facilities. I pity them. He was supposed to be semi sedated with doggie xanax for the first flight or so, but Travis abandoned that plan when Dinger seemed a little too woozy on the xanax test drive. Travis' dad said when he went to pick up Dinger, the United people were telling him all about this massive dog that had just been shipped that he had to see. And he had to explain that that was the dog he was there to picm up... 😂 Anyway,  that's how we sent Dinger to the farm. Travis continued onward to Reno, the Jeep's cargo hull (hold?) significantly lightened. He made it just in time to pick myself, Lyra, and my mother up from the Reno airport. Which brings us to that mess of logistics.

So while Travis and Dinger ran off on their adventure through the Canadian wilderness, Lyra and I were left solo to wrap up things in Fairbanks.  Now, I was not looking forward to dealing with 2 days of movers followed by a full day of plane travel while wrangling my tiny climbing/running scream demon (that's the scientific name for "toddler" in case you were wondering). So we arranged to have my mother fly out and help me with all of that.

Tiny detour here...at the beginning of the month I arranged to be on call for my birth photographer friend (the same one who took freaking awesome photos of Lyra being all alert and not newborny right after birth) to watch her littlest baby, Olin, during a birth she was attending. She assured me the mom would likely go early and we wouldn't run into my end of the month deadline. Naturally, all the babies worked their hardest to crush our plans. First, Lyra became horrendously ill about a week before the due date and took us off call. After 5 trips to the first care doctor, several days of 103+ fevers, too many force fed doses of ibuprofen/tylenol, an ear infection (Lyra's), a sinus infection (mine), posssible hand foot and mouth disease, and a round of antibiotics for everyone, we recovered enough to go back on call for watching little Olin. The pregnant client finally went into labor 2 days shy of 42 weeks, at 1 in the morning, the same day my mom was due to arrive, 2 days after Travis had gone, and 1 day before the movers showed up. Poor little Olin was not happy to be left with me. So we stayed up for the rest of the night and watched cartoons, much to Lyra's delight. Luckily the birthing mother had a short 4 hour labor and as soon as Olin's mom was back, he was all smiles and so perfectly thrilled to be around me. What a stinker! But after we took a short nap and had people over to measure for new carpet, we picked up my mom from the airport and had an otherwise uneventful day.

Thursday the 1st arrived and so did the movers. As well as snow and general crappy weather. Thanks, Alaska, if we could just pile on some more complications while moving that would be great. I stopped being able to make it up my driveway in the rental car and got stuck a couple times on our road. Luckily, I managed to get free on my own without a tow. The movers managed to get their truck up the drive most of the way by some miracle. It was a feat to watch. I ditched my mom and Lyra at a hotel to keep them out of the way and off the roads while I made various phone calls and supervised the movers and made emergency runs for things like bolt cutters. Because that's what happens when you have a locked shotgun case that needs to be shipped and you haven't got a clue where the keys may be packed. I seriously was wandering around the grocery store at 7:30 in the morning on 2 hours of sleep cradling a pair of bolt cutters. The movers part of the move actually went quite smoothly, though, all things considered.

Finally we arrived at the actual day ir travel for Lyra, my mom, and I. Our day of flying started off rough with several hours of delay but we salvaged it. I wish we hadn't gotten up so early and I'd had time for a real lunch instead of snacks but those are minor complaint as far as travel with a toddler goes. Plus we got free snack packs and an entertainment tablet (Lyra loved that) because of the delay. When our first plane touched down in Seattle we had 16 minutes until our plane to Reno boarded but we still managed to get off the last row of seats, do a diaper change, have a bathroom break, buy a water bottle, and change terminals to make it to our next gate just in time. My mom even had time to chase down a "lucky penny" that was weaving it's way along the ground for a long while between travelers and luggage along a busy stretch of terminal.

We are staying in a furnished apartment in Sparks (basically Reno) for the time being while we wait for our things and sell our house and find a new one. We will likely be getting an unfurnished apartment in the new year once our things arrive in Fernley, the town closer to the mine where we will be living permanently. So phase 1 of the move is complete but we are still very much in the process of moving for the foreseeable future. Wish us luck!

This is Lyra, getting ready to travel, she may incur me an excess baggage fee.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Holiest Of Feminine Care Products

Since I do considerably less adventurous things on a daily basis but still miss writing, I thought I'd branch out from tales of our day to day life and tell a story from my childhood. This is tale of Tampon Jesus.

Disclaimer; I mean no offense to anyone with my story of Tampon Jesus. Our family is actually fairly religious.  My dad is a pastor and my mom was as well, back in the day. Travis and I go to church with Lyra if everyone has had some sleep and no one is vomiting. We're not complete sinners. There's just a minor harmless streak of mischievous heathen running through the family. We still celebrate Christmas with candlelit services, but we had to get rid of the stocking hangers that spell out "Santa." They always mysteriously rearranged and spelled "Satan." Usually my mother would only discover the modification while giving company a tour of the house.  It made her rather furious, but my brother and I generally found it hysterical. But I digress.

Here's a little background for those of you who don't know my mother. She likes craft projects, creativity, and making a bold statement. And she does not do something halfway. These are great qualities, but sometimes she goes a little overboard and we must give her crap for all eternity about it.  Anyone in our family could attest to this. Like how we won't let her forget the time my brother and I had to drink 50 bottles of Snapples in a week for a summer camp project.

We'd be like, "Mom, I'm thirsty. Can I have some water?"

And she'd say, "No, honey, not until you've finished your 50 oz of daily Snapple."

This was back in the era of fruit smoothie flavored Snapples. I'm thrilled they discontinued those flavors.

Or another example is the time she decided to make 3D canvas pictures using fake flower petals. She scoured the thrift stores, bought about 20 cubic feet of fake flowers, ripped them apart, and sorted thousands of petals by color before gluing them back on canvas in elaborate patterns.

And it was recently I asked her for "a few" cloth wipes to try cloth diapering "if she had the time." I received no less than 200 wipes (probably more) plus burp cloths enough for quadruplets. She still talks about how I was such a slave driver when I was pregnant. Sheesh.

But anyway, let's talk about Jesus.

It started when my mom brought up a valid point one day. She'd seen different representations of Jesus as different races to depict that he suffered for people of all walks of life. But she never saw one where he was depicted as a woman. She set out to remedy this. And that's where the project began to veer from serious to semi satirical. How would my mom depict Jesus suffering as a woman, you ask? Let's not go with a boring old painting or drawing...let's make a life size model out of maxi pads. And thus, Tampon Jesus was born. More accurately he (I mean...she) should be called Always Stay Dry Jesus or Kotex Heavy Flow Jesus but his beard was made from tampons and that was good enough for us.

The glory of tampon Jesus was that the closer you looked, the the more glorious he became. He was nailed to his cross with stilettos. He was garbbed in an uncomfortable underwire bra and thong panty lingerie set. His face was done with makeup and nail polish. He even had a sassy hairdo, courtesy of a thrift store wig. He had a sparkly tiara.

I have made peace with Tampon Jesus as I have grown and matured, but as teenagers both my brother and I were vaguely horrified by him. It didn't help that we were pretty sure he was haunted or possessed. Or one of my parents liked to mess with us. Because wherever you went, Tampon Jesus was there. Turn on the light in the storage room while you're grabbing a can of peas for dinner; there he was, lurking in the dark corner. Walk into the office to print off something for school; there was Jesus, always watching over you. Spot a creepy looking object under a white sheet in the garage...Jesus. We dubbed that sheet the shroud of Turin, by the way. The phrase "finding Jesus" means something entirely different to my brother and me. Years later we even found Jesus (minus a beard tampon or 2 but more or less intact) under several boxes of fake flower petals in the back of the closet under the stairs while searching for Christmas decorations. But by far the most terrifying encounter with Tampon Jesus occurred the time I borrowed the van one evening, glanced in the rear view mirror, and saw Jesus' vacant eyes staring me down from the backseat.

I'm kind of sad to say that I don't know where Tampon Jesus got to in the end. I'm a bit concerned that one day in the far off future, after my parents are long gone,  my brother and I will find him lurking in an attic somewhere. If we do, we're locking him in a tomb with more than just a stone.