Saturday, August 9, 2014

So, I may have disappeared for a while, both electronically and in person...

Hello blog. It's been a while. I blame...mostly sickness. More on that in a sec. It's also not nearly as fun to write blog entries about my quiet little home life as it is to write blog entries about European travels. Sad but true, though I don't mean to diminish the importance or the joy of a quiet home life. More on that in another sec.

Pregnancy this time around. Oh my. I found out earlier this time than I did with Madelyn and so I got about two weeks to revel in the happiness of my secret. Last time I was terrified from the beginning, even though we'd been hoping for it to happen. This time I was thrilled. I felt like I was glowing and smiling everywhere I went (you know, the way you always thought you were supposed to feel). Then the sickness hit and I was completely unprepared. Last time I was sick. Couldn't go in the kitchen, couldn't smell chicken cooking, couldn't walk into Panda Express, couldn't eat anything but fruit, cheese quesadillas, and Cheerios with a ton of milk. I imagined I would probably have to deal with that again, but I really hoped this time would be different. It was - it was a lot worse! This time I had to fight not to throw up. And by the late afternoon or evening I would throw up anyway, once, twice, sometimes three times. I tried the things you're supposed to try, including a vitamin/antihistamine combination that the doctor recommended. After weeks and weeks of debilitating misery I buckled and started taking Zofran. Sometimes it helped me manage the nausea. Sometimes I threw up anyway. It was tough to feel like I couldn't take care of my daughter, my husband, or my house. Really, I have no idea how Madelyn survived those months. I don't know what she ate. I think she probably watched WAY too much Curious George.

I mentally crossed off all the days on the calendar as they passed. I knew it was going to last at least through June. I was desperately hoping I'd be through with it by the beginning of July (a few weeks past the first trimester mark). I wasn't, but the nice thing was that my energy returned at the beginning of the 2nd trimester. Somehow the renewed energy made the nausea something I could deal with. And after a little bit I was taking Zofran every other day, then every three days. Finally, at the mid-way mark, I can say I'm down to only short-lived bursts of queasiness. I feel like myself again! I can happily do things like blog, and get some work done for the patient company that contracts my writing services, and take my daughter to the zoo (her favorite place in the world other than her grandmas' houses. Before I got sick and hot, we went at least once a week), and take down my Easter decorations (yep, that happened the day before the 4th of July), and do the laundry and go grocery shopping, and go on dates with my husband, and... smile again, heh. I can be happy about this pregnancy again. I can be thrilled about the second little girl who is coming to our family.

So when I'm NOT sick, I actually love being home all day with my toddler. Who knew there could be so much personality packed into that tiny, 21 pound frame!! I mean, yes, this personality comes with all the goods and bads. She is strong-willed, determined, independent, and opinionated. She whines and throws tantrums, just like toddlers are supposed to do. Sometimes I am too tired to handle it and I kind of lose my cool. Sometimes I think her tantrums are hilarious. I saw this "46 Reasons My Three Year Old Might Be Freaking Out" article once and I find myself making my own mental list sometimes. We've had tantrums because:
  • She couldn't walk correctly after putting on mom's shoes
  • She couldn't get her shoes to fit on mommy's feet
  • We wouldn't let her drive the car when we were going somewhere
  • We made her sit down in the bath
  • We forgot to let her throw her dirty diaper away
  • We didn't have time to stay and play with the Bull Mastiff who lives upstairs and might weigh 5 times what she does
  • We wouldn't let her play with the bathroom plunger (this is a constant battle. For some reason one of her biggest desires is to carry the plunger all around the house with her.)
But Madelyn is also very sweet and affectionate. She has an incredible zest for life and wants to explore and experience everything. She is extremely social and loves gathering all the people who love her around her. She is (mostly) fearless. She is a practicer; when she wants to become good at something like climbing stairs or walking a narrow ledge or jumping or drawing tiny, intricate spirals she practices over and over again. Every day. She has a fun sense of humor and loves to dance and twirl and "lead" the music while she sings. She loves to run...well, scamper really, her feet pattering energetically over the floor, legs flying sideways, her cute little diapered bottom wiggling. She has big blue expressive eyes and warm, golden hair that curls magnificently over her ears and around the back of her neck. She loves blowing kisses and giving hugs. When you're lucky, she'll snuggle into the hug, lay her head on your shoulder, and gently pat your back.

Madelyn loves to be outside. We have loved living across the street from a big park where she can swing and climb on the playground or see the ducks at the pond. She also likes to push her little car around the driveway and color with chalk or blow bubbles. But for the last couple of months it has been way too hot to be outside, at least for this pregnant mamma. So Madelyn has had to find ways to amuse herself inside and it has been so sweet to see the nurturing part of her nature emerge. She discovered the bin of stuffed animals in the corner, most of which are the ones I would never let my mom get rid of from when I was little. Madelyn especially liked the BIG ones, the bear that is two times wider and about as tall as she is, the floppy pig that, again, is about as long as she is, the Little Foot dinosaur that is half her height. For weeks she carried them around with her, changing their diapers (wiping and all), wrapping them in her blankie and singing them a little song and patting them "good night," putting them in her high chair and strapping them in, occasionally reading them books. When we bought her her first baby doll after our mid-pregnancy ultrasound, Madelyn was so excited. "Baby" is her new little full-time charge and goes all around the house with her. Now, when I rock Madelyn and sing to her before bed, I also have to rock and sing to Baby. Every nap and night when we lay Madelyn down in her bed, Madelyn asks for Baby to come lie down next to her too. Even last night, when we were transferring a very sleepy Madelyn to her bed from the car after a fun, late night with family, we got a quiet, sleepy "Baby?" from her before we left the room. That little voice about melted our hearts.

Yesterday I was looking at Madelyn pictures from a year or more ago and thinking how much she has changed in the last six months. She is absolutely a delight, opinionatedness and all. I am grateful for the privilege to watch and marvel all day long.