I realized this morning that I haven't left the house since Friday. One of my biggest pet-peeves is when people go out in public while sick and leave their germs everywhere. I try not to be that person, plus I just haven't felt up to going anywhere. I've been so congested that I splurged last night and took a full dose of cold medicine before bed. I usually take a half dose, because when it comes to medicine, I'm a glorified lightweight. Also, this cold medicine I've been taking? It's the same medicine my parents gave to me as a child. So yes, half a dose of a children's medicine will give me a hangover the next morning. Last night around 8:30 I took a full dose and was out like a light before 10. It's currently 1:04 pm and I feel like I just drank a bottle of NyQuil. That'll teach me to do that again.

Today has been especially hard because I've been slightly drunk on Children's Dimetapp, and Gracie has started showing signs that she's getting my cold (help us Lord Jesus). She hasn't wanted to leave my lap unless it's to stand at the coffee table and look for pens and car keys to throw. I also woke up in a vaguely bad mood, but I couldn't figure out why until last night's dream suddenly hit me while Gracie was ripping her hair out of a ponytail for the 30th time this morning. There's this girl I sort of knew from my high school days. We went to different schools and knew each other, but not well and not someone I would consider a friend. I dreamed she bought my childhood house and made me come see how she renovated it. She painted over my blue bedroom walls and completely gutted most of the house. I was furious with her. I was yelling at her for destroying my home when James woke me up when he left for work--both likely responsible for my mood.

Gracie has been refusing her morning naps all week. I've spent the week trying to keep her entertained for as long as possible so I can put her down as close to her normal afternoon naptime as I can, because the later the nap, the shorter that terrible stretch between naptime and bedtime. This was also the logic I used when I would take my lunch break at 2:00. If I let her fall asleep at 11, I can kiss my precious afternoon quiet time goodbye, and I cannot do that. The timing of naps is an art I am still trying to master. However, we've only been making it to around noon until she has an exhaustion-induced meltdown. She's not the only one.

Other ways I've been trying to pass the time until this evil virus leaves my body:

+ Rewatching my favorite routines on Dancing With the Stars. I'm not even ashamed about how much I love that show.
+ Binge-reading Miranda Hart's book.
+ Scrolling through statuses and comment wars on Facebook about Target's new bathroom policy.
+ Making a huge pot of spaghetti while Gracie destroyed the kitchen with a spatula and a banana.
+ Going through my to-read list on Goodreads over and over, trying to find the exact right books to request from the library, and then once I see I'm on a longish waitlist, I request even more books, and they will inevitably all be ready on the exact same day and suddenly I'll have three weeks to read ten books. It happens every time and I will never learn my lesson.
+ Watching The Little Rascals (thanks, Netflix!) and then spending the rest of the afternoon googling the entire cast and stalking their social media accounts. Did you know they had a 20th anniversary photoshoot in 2014 and recreated a bunch of old pictures? It made me happier than I care to admit.
+ Thinking about getting rid of Twitter once and for all.
+ Facetiming with my mom for three hours.
+ Taking pictures of Gracie crying to send to James so he knows what he's missing and how hard I'm working while I'm sick.
+ Killing MORE WASPS IN MY HOUSE. And then texting James to pick up the book on the table with the mixing bowl on top when he gets home, because there's a wasp under the book somewhere and I don't know if it's dead or alive because slamming the book on it(and putting a mixing bowl on top for added security) is the extent of my bravery.
+ Tracking the weather in hopes a stray storm pops up because I'm in desperate need of excitement.

And just like that, the babe is already up from her nap. That's not the kind of excitement I had in mind.


the cold

I woke up Thursday morning feeling like I had run a couple marathons in my sleep. Fatigue doesn't even begin to describe it. I felt worse as the day went on. My tonsils were swollen. Invisible men with hammers were pounding on my head. All I wanted was to lie down and take a nap. I was downright cranky. Was it the rainy weather? Stress? Had to be. There's no way I could be sick!

The first stage is denial. It's always denial.

The sore throat hit on Friday. It got worse every minute, until I woke up Saturday morning feeling like I was breathing fire and razors and in so much pain I had to communicate with James via sign language. And we don't even know sign language. It's just allergies, right? Is it because we slept with the window open? Or is it something more serious like sudden stage 4 cancer?

There's no way I'm sick. I don't get sick.

The sore throat slowly subsided as the congestion moved in. By the end of the day, I couldn't breathe through my nose and I felt like I was drowning in my own mucous. I could feel the cold virus infecting every single healthy cell until it took over my entire body, forcing me to flop my diseased self down on the couch and binge watch season 1 of Mercy Street. Those poor, injured Civil War soldiers. I almost understood their misery.

The second stage is panic.

I can't be sick! Doesn't this virus understand I have a child to take care of? What if she gets sick, too? It is not scientifically possible for her to not get sick. I'm the only one home taking care of her right now. It's one thing to be sick, but to also have to take care of a sick child while sick? It can't be legal. There's probably a country song written about it.

The third stage? Anger.

I am furious and I resent this and there will be hell to pay. Where did I get this? Was it my friend's house? The library? The grocery store? I spend the afternoon blowing my nose and mentally retracing my steps and calculating the incubation period. I will pinpoint the very second this virus had the nerve to infect me, and I will track down the evil villain who went into public while infected. And I will yank his or her hair until he or she begs for mercy. It's a hate crime and VENGEANCE IS MINE.

The fourth stage is unwilling acceptance.

I wear my pajamas all day long. I drink pot after pot of tea. I remind everyone around me and far away that you guys, I'm really sick. I snuggle with the Kleenex box and stand in the bathroom, clad in my pink old navy pajama shorts taking shots of NyQuil off the bathroom counter like a college kid in a bar. I walk around with bedhead, moaning and groaning, sniffling and sneezing. I cough so hard that in the words of my dear friend Ferris Bueller, it feels like I'm barfing up a lung. "But I'm sick!" becomes my new mantra. People talk about the dreaded man cold, but I think I'm giving it a run for its money. It's just that I feel so awful and even though it's no big deal, it feels like this is the worst thing that's ever happened to me. What did I do to deserve this? I eat spinach and berries, for crying out loud. What does it feel like to be healthy? I've already forgotten. I know a cold only lasts about a week, but a week in cold time is 5 years in healthy time. I feel like a prisoner in my own, infected body. My nose feels like it's the size of a house and I fantasize about chainsawing it off. It's 2016--why haven't we developed a cure for this yet? How long am I expected to go on like this?

It's a cruel world we live in.


life lately

It was 88 degrees yesterday! EIGHTY EIGHT! I have a slight sunburn!!! My pre-pregnancy shorts are almost too big! Small victories over here.

There hasn't been too much going on over in these parts. We've just been trying to keep busy. Running errands, hanging out with friends, making new friends, evenings in the park, Sunday afternoon frozen yogurt dates, lunch break walks, etc. I can't complain. We've been having fun. Sarah and her family were driving through Columbus last week, so I forced/begged them to come over for dinner. I was dying to see them again, plus it gave me an excuse to buy ice cream for dessert. Sarah's mom was with her, and the last time I saw her I was 8 months pregnant. Gracie must've remembered her from the womb, because she only wanted to be held by her. It was precious. We had the best evening with them, and I nearly cried when they left.

Don't let that picture fool you. For every cute picture involving toddlers, there's 100 more that look like this:

Yes, that is a skein of yarn on the floor. Annabelle found my yarn stash, conveniently located in the dining room, because where else? Gracie and Annabelle passed some toys back and forth, an improvement after only staring at each other the last time they were together 7 months ago. Sarah and I are convinced they will follow in our footsteps and be the best of friends. 

In other news, I've killed two giant wasps in my house over the last few days. TWO WASPS. Each one has been smothered to death by a John Piper book. It's not you, John Piper (though you are a little wonky sometimes), it's just that I can't bear to sacrifice my Bonhoeffer book to the cause, and you're the only other hardcover book in striking range. Every wasp death has been followed by 30 minutes of shaking and telling myself how brave I am. The wasps and constant sweaty bras are reminding me why I love winter so much. But all this warmth and outdoor time has been so good for my soul. I put Gracie in shorts yesterday and be still my heart. Baby shorts are just the best thing to ever happen to motherhood. I wish looking at my thighs would make me as happy as looking at hers does.

Speaking of babies. Gracie and I had to make a quick trip to Target yesterday for a few necessities. I was walking toward the self-checkout and pushing her in the cart, minding my own business, when an old man walked up to me, dangled a cord in my face, and asked where I could find a cord replacement for venetian blinds. I shrugged and apologetically told him I had no idea. In fact I'm not even sure I know what venetian blinds are (update: I googled. They're just boring old blinds that sound like a hotel in Vegas...that was a disappointment). He was highly put off and turned to the lady walking next to me who was also pushing a baby. I was waiting for him to ask her about the venetian blind cord replacement, as that is clearly the area of expertise of all mothers, but he complimented her child instead. Fussed over her baby. You guys, her baby didn't even have hair. The only thing I can assume is that wearing a tan shirt with a diaper bag strapped to me combined with the fact that I was pushing a cart with a baby and bandaids in it caused him to think that I was either a Target employee or venetian blind expert. Both logical assumptions. Either that or he's repulsed by babies with hair. It's the first time Gracie's hair wasn't the star of the show, and I was not sure how to handle it. 

Something to also file under things I'm not sure how to handle: leaving Kroger and walking back to my car to find an old man trying to open the driver's side door of my car. 

I've had some weird experiences with old men lately. 

Anyway, The Hair and I zipped by the library real quick after Target. I plonked her down in the board book section where she truly and honestly hyperventilated from excitement. She would sharply gasp and squeal every time she pulled a book off the shelf and opened it. Like mother, like daughter. She was especially spellbound by a book on tractors. I was simultaneously beaming with pride and trying to cover my hysterical laughter. It bought us some time before we met James for a walk around the block on his lunch break.

All this running around exhausted little Gracie, and that's truly the best reason to run errands. It's less about having groceries and more about ensuring I have some time in the afternoon to read for awhile. I've been a morning person ever since college, and while I still consider myself a morning person to an extent (provided I have bottomless mugs of coffee), I now consider myself an afternoon person. Once Gracie is down for a nap, I throw a load of laundry in, make a cup of coffee and maybe a little snack, and curl up with a book. It's the highlight of my day, every day. And if the weather is good, we go for a walk and play in the park when she wakes up, making it home just in time for dinner and a bath. If the weather would stay 75 degrees, I would gladly do this every single day.

Now I just have to figure out where we're going to go today. Here's hoping there won't be any more incidents with strange old men. 


a spring playlist

I have a total vision for this playlist. Imagine you're sitting on the front porch of a cute little white house somewhere in the country or the mountains. There are apple blossoms, magnolias, cherry blossoms--everything. All the trees that bloom are blooming all around the porch. There are lilacs and a blooming hydrangea bush and birds and probably lots of sneezing, because well, it's spring. You're just casually rocking in a wooden rocking chair in your distressed jeans and sandals with this music wafting through the air. You're sipping on an iced tea or iced coffee with cream. Pick your poison. If you were to go inside (but why would you?), you'd find a blueberry pie cooling on the counter. The windows are open, so you can smell it. The sun is shining, and life is good. The house is clean, everything is done, and you're just basking in the goodness of life. Maybe this isn't your kind of spring music, but it's mine. Nothing calms and centers me quite like the twang of a banjo or an acoustic guitar. I have no explanation for this, other than the fact that banjos are the friendliest instruments (to listen to, not to play). They're what life should be.

Now that you're all cozy on your porch, turn some music on. Some is old, some is new, some is punchy, and some is sleepy. All of it is good.


it took me like three hours to finish the shading on your upper lip

Back in the good old days before my parents moved and they were unloading all my childhood things on me, I found my old sketchbook. I've never been even slightly artistic and I've never been under any illusions that I am, but that didn't stop me. The book is full of horse drawings from my old favorite "How to Draw Horses" book, a picture of my middle school, and a few self-portraits,  because before Instagram existed, we had to actually draw our selfies with a pencil and paper.

Anyway. There's one particular picture which I thought was SUPER GOOD at the ripe old age of 11, but when I re-discovered it at 26 I had to hold on to a piece of furniture so I didn't fall over laughing.

Please notice the tattoo choker.

For the life of me, I couldn't figure out what this picture reminded me of, but I knew it reminded me of something. It's been bothering me for weeks.


Last night, James and I were up super late because we were laying in bed quoting Napoleon Dynamite and laughing (marriage!). And then it hit me. Trisha! All I'm saying is, I think Napoleon and I must've taken the same art classes.

As you can see, I still have to practice my upper lip shading.