not sure if you've heard, but it's October

I stole this from Callie, because it looked so fun! And I will take any excuse to talk about this time of year. I also think it's worth noting that while I write about fall and Christmas, Gracie is pretending to be the Easter bunny. 
1. Pumpkin spice latte or peppermint mocha?
Oh man! This is hard. I don't like the Starbucks version of either because the intense sweetness makes me sick. I love them both, but I'm feeling a peppermint mocha at the moment. 
2. Pumpkin bread or pumpkin pie?
Confession: I never make pumpkin bread because you just can't top the boxed mix from Trader Joe's. Blasphemy, maybe. I love both, but I'll go with pumpkin pie since I don't have it as often and it feels special.
3. Thanksgiving dinner or Thanksgiving leftovers?
4. Candy corn or Tootsie Rolls?
I know people hate on them, but I love them both. I'll take either one.
5. Haunted house or pumpkin patch?
Pumpkin patch. I'm not a haunted house fan or a fan of anything scary or creepy. Not my scene.

6. Corn maze or hayride?
Hmm. Corn maze probably. We did one last year that was really fun despite getting totally lost with a crying 3 year old. I wanted to this year, but I just wasn't feeling up to it yet.

7. Caramel apple or candy apple?
I don't know the last time I had either! And have I ever actually had a candy apple? I'm not sure. I love caramel, so I'll go with caramel apple.
8. Boots or scarves?
Boots probably. I need a good pair of boots. I have some brown ones that I like the look of, but they could stand to be more comfortable. 
9. Holiday movies or holiday music?
Don't you DARE make me choose. How about White Christmas, since it's the best movie ever AND has great music? 
10. Tire swings or jumping in leaves?
Jumping in leaves. I hate tire swings. The spinning always made me so sick and dizzy. I'm so fun at parties.


monday morning currently

Good morning, friends! It's a chilly, foggy October morning over here. Gracie is in school and I'm not in the mood to clean, so I thought I would blog. It's nice to be back in the internet world. 

watching: Downton Abbey. We only have a couple episodes left, and then what will I even do with my life? We've also been watching the Great British Baking Show on Friday nights, even though I have to hide whenever they start using real food. I love Noel Fielding so much. He's just a gift.

listening to: Daisy the Great, especially this song. They remind me a bit of old school Ingrid Michaelson and Pomplamoose. Getting REAL close to busting out the Christmas music. Real close!

cooking: I cooked for the FIRST TIME this weekend since probably July. I've been dying for soup lately, so I made tortilla soup. I didn't even barf once. There is hope!!! 

drinking: orange spice tea. I'm so hooked on tea right now. I still can't go near coffee, but I drink so many kinds of tea every day. I swear it helps settle my stomach, and the occasional mug of black tea gives me a tiny zip of caffeine to help me feel human and alive again.

thinking about: everything I need to do but don't want to do.

smelling: my sweet cinnamon pumpkin candle. Surprisingly, candles aren't bothering me this time around.

munching on: powdered sugar donut holes. Whoops. I can't stomach anything but carbs. Bagel for breakfast, waffles for lunch, donut holes in between. I'M TRYING. Whatever the opposite of the keto diet is, I'm doing that.

reading: I've completely lost my desire to read lately, but I picked up Martin Luther by Eric Metaxas last night. I've been dying to read it, and with Reformation Day around the corner, it felt appropriate. For some reason the thought of a novel feels very blehh to me right now, but heavy nonfiction? Sure.

loving: CHILLY WEATHER. Rain coming this afternoon. My mom is coming in a few weeks. Maternity leggings. These donut holes, which are almost gone now.

laughing about: these are some internet things/memes people sent me that have had me cracking up over the last few months. And that was a time where nothing was making me laugh.


a weekend of milestones

I'm writing this from the comfort of my fuzzy purple robe. It is absolutely freezing in my house, but I REFUSE to turn the heat on. My warmblooded child thankfully is not fazed, lest you think I'm torturing her.

This was a big weekend for me. I haven't gone anywhere outside of preschool and the doctor in many months. Last week, my OB tossed yet another prescription at me. It's not necessarily for nausea and vomiting, but she thought it would help. I was highly skeptical, but dare I say I think it's helping?? Either that or I'm starting to turn the corner anyway. Of course, I threw up a lot this morning, but overall I'm feeling a little bit human again, and it is amazing. I so rarely take medicine in my normal day to day life, but now I have an entire pharmacy to sift through several times a day. Anything to feel alive again!

All that to say, I thought that maybe I could handle a trip to the pumpkin patch this weekend. We pick pumpkins every year, and it's the highlight of the fall for Gracie. I did not want to skip just because I'm a prisoner to nausea this year. I loaded up on nausea meds and off we went. It was festively freezing outside, and it was crawling with people which was not ideal. Gracie was playing on some bouncy thing, when a kid who was near her coughed and said his ear hurt. His dad told him could have more antibiotics later. STOP TAKING SICK KIDS OUT IN PUBLIC! I was so, so close to mouthing off at him, but James kept saying we had to go see the bunnies, so I took a deep breath and walked away. 

The pumpkin farm we go to has a million activities as well as a petting zoo. I have a particular love of farm animals, so I was very eager to see what animals they had. James led us over to the bunnies, where he had befriended the softest little grey bunny. I have always loved bunnies and couldn't get over how sweet they were. The girl in the bunny enclosure told us the bunnies were actually for sale, so we could take one home if we wanted. I laughed it off until I saw the look on James' face.

Long story long, that's why we currently have a pet bunny named Annie. I was not prepared to adopt a bunny, but James and Gracie were smitten with her. I'll be honest, after a friend of mine adopted a pet bunny in college, I've wanted one. But I didn't except to adopt one last weekend. No one knew how old she is (one girl said she's a senior bunny, but we're not sure how accurate that is) or really any info at all, but we don't mind. She's an easy, low stakes pet and she's SO SOFT AND SNUGGLY. We talked it over while we picked pumpkins, and I came around pretty quickly. I mean, how could i not?

It was good timing, because we unfortunately had to rehome our cat this weekend. This has been a long time coming. She has not done well since Gracie was born, and a new baby would send her over the edge. She's been my companion for 8 years, so it has taken me years to come to this decision, but I knew as soon as I got pregnant that we would have to do this. Thankfully, my MIL has been wanting her for years and was all too eager to take her home. I know Noel will be much happier where she won't have to hide from kids and she'll get someone's undivided attention, and I can see her again and get updates. So it really couldn't be a better situation. If it weren't for Annie the bunny, I think I would have already adopted another cat. I still really have no idea what to do with a bunny, but James had one growing up, so he's taking the lead. So far she's been incredibly easy, other than figuring out how to potty train her.

My MIL was here this weekend for James' birthday, and as I mentioned earlier, to get the cat. She wanted to go to Cheesecake Factory for lunch one day, and I was STRESSING about eating in a restaurant. So many smells. So much food all around me. The benefit of the 52 page Cheesecake Factory menu is that I figured there had to be something that tasted good to me. Thankfully there was. I kept my head down and didn't look at anyone else's food, and I survived. This sounds so small to everyone, I know, but eating in a restaurant after severe morning sickness is a HUGE DEAL. For months, I threw up just walking in to the kitchen or after opening the fridge because food is the enemy. I kept waiting for someone to hand me a trophy, but someone must have forgotten.

My MIL wanted to take me shopping for maternity clothes, which was an experience, but I was very grateful since I threw most of mine out for various reasons. I've been walking around for a few weeks with my fat pants unbuttoned, so the time had definitely come. They say you start showing earlier with the second, and they are NOT KIDDING. Your hips also start falling apart months earlier, but no one remembers to tell you that part. As I was waiting to pay for a couple shirts, the cashier told me she's pregnant and due nearly two months before me. I almost thought she was lying because her stomach was FLAT, but the horror in her eyes as we compared war stories of pregnancy convinced me that she's telling the truth. Of course, two people that morning had already told me how pregnant I look. Some women get all the luck, and some of us look like beached whales immediately. At the rate things are going, things are going to look comical in the spring.

Anyway, it's so nice to look somewhat pregnant, have an excuse to wear maternity clothes, and to be slowly feeling better. These are the 5 minutes of pregnancy I thought about the least 5 years and that convinced me that perhaps I can survive it again. I even made it to my bible study today for the first time in months, and I didn't have to run out again thinking I was going to heave from the smell of someone's essential oil bath. It has taken me hours to finish ordering groceries, because scrolling through food online is making me sick, but baby steps! Baby steps. Next up, maybe I'll finally clean my house.


as it turns out, I was pregnant all along, and other updates from the past few months

The last post I wrote, back in July (!), was a funny story about Target Lady asking me when I'm due when I was 0% pregnant.

The truth is, I had a very small sneaking suspicion that pregnancy was actually a possibility. But I was also in denial, despite crying at the zoo and gagging over bacon. Not even a week a later, a slew of pregnancy tests confirmed that as usual, James knows when I'm pregnant and I never do. And apparently Target Lady as well.

And I've been throwing up ever since!

For those who remember, my pregnancy with Gracie was the stuff of nightmares. Nonstop vomiting for half my pregnancy. Emergency room IVs. Losing a lot of weight. Lots of fun times.

This pregnancy has been only slightly less awful. But any improvement is a HUGE win for me, because usually a second pregnancy after an experience with HG means even more severe Hyperemesis. My only goal was to stay out of the hospital, and so far I've managed that. It's taken three nausea meds and a lot of prayer, but I will take what I can get.

I know a lot of people like to have their babies back to back, but I'm going to be a spokesperson for large age gaps between siblings. I knew that IF we had another baby, Gracie would need to be much older and somewhat self-sufficient in case I had a similar pregnancy. I couldn't take care of myself, much less a young toddler as well. She has been the perfect age for me to be pregnant again. She understands what's happening, she can get her own snacks, she's potty trained, she brings me my medicine, and she can even make me some food. She doesn't flinch when I suddenly start vomiting and she does what she can to help me feel better. She's taken better care of me lately than I have of her. She lives up to her name daily, full of grace.

This pregnancy has been so different from my first, and yet so similar. Last time I was blindsided by both the pregnancy and the severe morning sickness that hit only a few days later. This time I wasn't surprised by either. I mentally prepared myself as best as I could to be incapacitated indefinitely. It didn't make the intense nausea easier to bear, but it was nice to at least know what's coming. I went into a crazy nesting mode and cleaned and organized the house until I started going downhill. All of that has been completely undone as I've been unable to do any housework, but that's ok. Actually it's not ok, the messy house is driving me up a wall, but some day I'll be able to walk through my house without throwing up from random smells.

The point is, I've felt so much calmer this time around. Last time, I cried all night from every single emotion after seeing a positive pregnancy test. This time, I just smiled, went to bed, and had a great night of sleep. I'm less spastic about what I eat and drink (which isn't much at this point) and about the fact that I can't keep my prenatals down, I'm mildly less worried about the state of the baby, and in general just feel so much more at peace.

However, this pregnancy has been the same in that FOOD IS EVIL. All of it. If I smell it, I'm throwing up. I don't care what it is. There are no such things as cravings, only aversions. Being at war with food is the suckiest thing of all time. Even making eye contact with something in the freezer has had me running for the bathroom. The aversions started when I was 5 minutes pregnant and have only gotten more intense with time. I haven't eaten a meal in the same room as James and Gracie for months. Years ago, I once saw a pregnant mom say online that she craved spinach and grilled chicken her first trimester, and just how special it was that her body craved just what her little baby needed. I have laughed like a maniac at that ever since. This baby is built on nutella, pop tarts, and the occasional slice of pizza.

When I was 9ish weeks, Sarah came to visit. We had it planned before the morning sickness hit, and I was not about to cancel no matter how wretched I felt. Her pregnancy was even worse than my first, and there is NOTHING more therapeutic than spending hours talking to someone who knows what it's like to explain to people until you're blue in the face that yes, the nausea meds are working even though I'm still vomiting, because I'm alive! I've kept down food today! And no, I will not get magically better at 12 weeks (I got even sicker that week!), and no, there's nothing else the OB can do. This is just life with HG. Not having to explain your situation to someone is truly a breath of fresh air, especially when they don't mind if you're on the couch in your pajamas in the fetal position the entire time.

Gracie started preschool about 6 weeks ago, and it has been amazing for us both. Three mornings a week, I can come home and go back to bed and nap while she learns and plays with other kids. I was on the fence for months about registering her, and I don't know what I would've done otherwise. Preschool and the OB are the only two places I've gone since July. Before she started school, I spent an entire month at home. Literally did not leave my house once, for a full month. For sanity reasons, I don't recommend that. But if it kept me from throwing up, I was all for it.

I don't take this pregnancy lightly at all. The older I've gotten, the more rampant infertility seems to be. The majority of women in my life have battled it in one way or another. The last thing I would ever want to do is grieve someone with my pregnancy announcement. I don't want to come across like I'm complaining about my morning sickness when I know so many would trade places with me in a heartbeat. The internet is so full of rosy pictures of pregnancy and no one seems to talk about how the first trimester (and sometimes the second, and the third) can turn your life inside out and affect every single aspect of it. I had no idea it could be as bad as it was until I experienced what I did with Gracie, so I like vocalizing the struggle in case anyone else is feeling isolated by it as well. I am grateful for this pregnancy with ever fiber of my being, as miserable as it has been at times.

So that's where I've been the last few months! I completely removed myself from real life and internet life out of pure necessity. A quick scroll on my phone would ignite the nausea like a flame on dry wood. When Gracie is in school, you can find me napping or watching Billy Joel concert videos and some of my favorite jazz pianists on youtube while weeping like a maniac over the spectacular majesty that is music. Pregnancy hormones are NOT A JOKE, my friends. I've been rewatching Downton Abbey with James in the evenings, and the first time I heard the theme song again, I burst into tears like I was reunited with a long-lost friend. I have no control over myself. Or my pregnancy dreams! Last month, I dreamed Kim Kardashian and I chopped up a dead body and hid it in the microwave. Rest assured, ever since that dream I've been every bit as worried about the state of my mental health as you are right now.

I'll stop rambling, mostly because I need to free up my hands to drink the strawberry milkshake James just brought me home as dinner #fitpregnancy. Stay tuned for photos of our gender reveal party!!!!!


I would never ever ever throw myself a gender reveal party. But last week I did dream I had one. Thankfully no one was dead this time; it only involved me eating an entire cake in one sitting which is somewhat realistic.


if you mean pregnant as in full of donuts, then yes. I am.

In the spirit of sharing silly stories again....I'm going to share a silly story. This story is powered by my iced coffee and grocery store donut that has already disappointed me because all the chocolate icing got stuck to the bag. I've also had to get up FIVE times to attend to my child since I started writing two sentences ago. That's the kind of Monday I'm dealing with over here.

So I had a rather terrible weekend. It's ok. Life is good--we are happy, healthy, and have more than we could ever need. But sometimes you just have a string of bad days and everything is dumb.

I was so profoundly tired last week that I daydreamed all week about sleeping in Saturday morning. Guess who woke up on her own at 6:30! I did. And then James woke up to discover his glasses somehow broke in his sleep? Before I knew it, I was crawling out of bed to go buy him superglue so he could try to fix them while we wait for new glasses to come in. He ordered new ones with transition lenses, and honestly I am so mad at him about this. We do not see eye to eye on the awfulness of transition lenses--pun intended.

Anyway, Saturday continued in a pretty terrible fashion, including a phone call from my MIL about another mandatory beach trip with her. It's fine. It's cool. Tomorrow will be a new day!

It was not a new day.

We got up for church and were so proud of ourselves for remembering to go the back way, since the main road we take is closed for construction. Then we realized the back way was also closed due to the Ironman race. We got to church 20 minutes late, and the doors were locked. The doors were locked! Someone found us pretty quickly and let us in--the locked doors were a total accident, but truly felt like all the powers of the underworld were trying to keep us from getting to church.

We grabbed lunch after and went to Target. We went to Target because you never run out of just one thing. No--we run out of toothpaste, toilet paper, bathroom cleaner, dish soap, shampoo, hand soap, trash bags, etc. all on the same day. Every time. Every few months I'll have a day where I run from cabinet to cabinet realizing we are out of absolutely everything, and somehow I didn't realize we were low on anything. Sometimes I wonder why I'm allowed to be an adult. It's a miracle if I find extra toilet paper in the house, but I ALWAYS buy new sour cream and then come home to realize I already have two containers of it in the fridge. Seriously--don't talk to my husband about the sour cream. It's A Thing right now.

I'm going to be real--it was a tense afternoon. It was hot outside, we were all tired, attitudes were plummeting. We get to the check out line at Target, James and I fighting with our facial expressions, Gracie is crying for a toy, and as I'm grabbing bags and putting them in the cart, the check-out lady speaks up.

"Oh! How much longer until your due date?"


"Your due date, not much longer?"

"....I'm not pregnant."

She grabs my arm and says "Oh my goodness! I just feel so bad. I made this mistake awhile ago and felt awful for months. It's just that you look like you're wearing a maternity top."

"Nope, it's just hot out and I wanted to wear a comfy dress."

I was so flustered that I tried to walk away without paying. That was way more mortifying than her assuming I'm large with child.

My favorite part is that she didn't ask if I'm pregnant or how far along I am, but just assumed I'm on the verge of giving birth. I'm no supermodel, but I also don't look 9 months pregnant.

Here, I'll prove it to you:

This was me, 9 months pregnant. I love this picture because 1. I was so pregnant I couldn't be bothered to take my pants all the way off to try a dress on, and 2. I was 38 weeks but so tired of the one or two shirts that barely fit that I bought myself a maternity dress that I then wore every day until I went into labor. If only you could see the cankles my pants are covering up. They were a thing of beauty.

And this was me last month. If you're new here, I'm the one in the black striped dress. That's also the dress I wore during The Incident. I'd say the two pictures are fairly different. My friend next to me in the blue dress is actually very pregnant, but you can't even tell. She always looks amazing.

For the record, I wasn't even offended. It is not worth getting offended over ridiculous things like this. This isn't me fishing for compliments, either. This is just another ridiculous moment of my life that made me question my favorite dress and whether or not I should be wearing it.

So naturally, I'm going to eat another donut until I actually DO look pregnant.