15 February 2014

A Bunch of Sickies

Thank you all for your kind thoughts and words of advice on my whiny/ER post. The good news is that I was able to get Abigail to drink a little bit more each day, and even eat a bit of full-fat yogurt and we had a...break through (if you get my drift)...on Friday. But this morning she woke up with a small fever. Which got worse as the day went on. And now it's accompanied by gas and diarrhea. So we went from constipation to diarrhea in a week. Since I didn't give her anything other than juice to clear up the constipation and she's got a fever, I think Abigail may have some sort of stomach bug. And since we like to go big or go home around here, Matt has all Abigail's symptoms, meaning double the fun. Thankfully no one is vomiting. I put both of them to sleep around 6:30pm tonight.

Another mark in the "good news" column is that I have neither fever nor diarrhea. I am still fighting this nasty head cold - which is completely non-responsive to pregnancy-approved meds - but I'd way rather have a cold than a stomach bug. Another bit of good news is that since everyone is sick, no one is very hungry, the lack of food around here hasn't been noticed, which is excellent because this sick, pregnant girl is looking for every excuse in the book to avoid going out in the cold and lugging home groceries.

This cold has been a doozy for me, so much so that I called Matt at work on Thursday and asked him to come home early. When the alarm went off on Friday, I asked him to stay home completely. It's kind of a big deal for me to ask Matt to take a day off work. A few weeks ago, I had migraine remnants and was passing a kidney stone and I didn't ask him to come home. Heck, I'm the one who encouraged him to go back to law school less than 24 hours after Abigail had been discharged from the hospital following heart surgery. I feel like I need to be on death's doorstep to ask for help or else I'm just being weak and whiny. But being pregnant...and almost at the third trimester...it changes things...it zaps you of what little energy you have every day...I know I'm making excuses, but I'm basically trying to explain how desperate I felt to have to call him home.

But the funny thing is that the two of them being sick suddenly gave me this ability to power through my cold and take care of them. I'm all sneezing, blowing my nose, and washing my hands every five minutes, but I'm also dolling out water and Tylenol, refilling toilet paper in the bathroom, and changing Abigail's diaper a few times an hour like I'm Super Mom. Being needed and having a clear job to do is keeping my mind off my sinus pressure and achy back.

Since me and the deaf cat are the only two souls awake around here at this crazy-late hour of 7:10pm, even though I'm sick and could use the extra sleep, I'm really enjoying the silence. So I'm gonna stay up a little longer, blog a bit, doing some crocheting, and then maybe I'll join the rest of my family around 9pm or so. The whole family asleep by 9pm on a Saturday. Even though I've never been much for partying, 18-year-old Jacqueline still probably would have been in shock at the concept. But 27-year-old Jacqueline thinks that sounds blissful.

Cloth Diapers
I expanded our collection with a Fuzzibunz Elite (the brand-new model, which I hear is significantly improved over the older versions) and a new BumGenius pocket diaper with velcro. We now have 4 cloth diapers total. I didn't think I'd really care about velcro vs. snaps, but I actually really like velcro better. It's faster to put on and I don't have to obsess about which row of snaps is the better fit. I also really like brand new diapers over used ones because they are softer and the newer models are using a different material for the inserts that dries faster. I sat down a few days ago and ran a whole bunch of different calculations to figure out which diapers we wanted, who had the best price, and exactly how many I think we'll need for two kids. I went over the details with Matt and we picked a plan that will have us fully stocked in cloth by the time the baby I'm carrying is about a month old without stressing the budget. Once we get a cloth stash built up, we'll hopefully be able to slash the amount of money we spend on diapers now down significantly and funnel that money somewhere else. I'm looking forward to that. In the meantime, cloth diapers are so new, novel, and exciting right now that I don't mind changing her diaper : ) Although she'll be rocking some serious disposables until she's over this stomach bug. I'm not even going to go there.

The Baptism Gown
Things are moving along really smoothly thus far. No problems with the pattern and the lacy look is so beautiful that I just want to keep going. I don't get crocheting in while Abigail is awake though. She's not a big fan of Mommy working on something she can't "help" with.

The dress is taking a long time though, there is no way I'd be able to make and sell these (Sorry, TB). I've been working on this dress for 2 weeks exactly today and I'm only about 1/4 of the way done with the skirt. Then there's the bodice, the sleeves, the final details...I think if I got in a good 3-4 hours of crochet time, 7 days a week, I could probably finish a dress in one month. But I'd have to sacrifice all other craft projects, reading, pretty much everything else I would want to do for fun, and I'd have to charge several hundred dollars. When it comes to yarn-based projects, it is incredible how much more cost-effective it is to have a machine do the work. And it isn't necessarily true that handiwork is higher quality than machine-made. I think largely the "handmade" aspect is more for pride/bragging rights, both in the short-term (when I show off our new baby in this on at her Baptism), but also because that pride will probably keep things like these in the family longer.

Sorry these photos are so dark and the color is so inconsistent. I take these in the location I usually do my Etsy photos, but I don't wait for the ideal day/time for lighting and I don't photoshop them to make them prettier because that takes time. When I finish the project, I'll doctor up those photos for maximum blog beauty.

The Memoirs

I have a few copies back from my peer-reviewers and am expecting the remaining comments next week. I'm excitedly tearing through everyone's notes and looking forward to digging back into the manuscript. I want to wait until I get all the copies back before I start working so I can look for common themes that need changing. It's amazing how two people can read the same exact paragraph and some readers really connect with it while others feel it needs significant improvement.

Before I sent out the manuscript, I did some reading on various writer's websites to prepare myself to handle the critiques without taking things personally. It does help that I've worked in design since graduating college, so I am familiar with having people hate something I put lots of work into. But I know that one of my personal weaknesses is taking criticism. I have been surprised at how not-offended I have been thus far. I really do genuinely appreciate people's honesty. And while it's not easy to see someone circle a paragraph I was particularly in love with and write, "hated this" next to it, I would way, way, way rather have my friend who cares about me say, "this part sucked - fix it" rather than an editor who certainly does not have my best interest at heart tell me what they didn't like about my work.

I have this fantasy that once I get everyone's comments back, I would rent a hotel room with an amazing view somewhere nearby-ish for a few nights and just hole up on my own personal writer's retreat. Just me, my computer, and my stack of insights for a few days, typing away with zero distractions. Taking breaks by strolling up and down a sandy beach, wrapped in a warm sweater, drinking a hot chocolate; feverishly scribbling notes on scrap paper in my cheap blue, but writes incredibly well, pen; sucking up every blissful moment of that "OMG, I got this paragraph just right, that sounds amazing, I love writing" high. Writing at home in few-hour chunks during nap time, or squirreling away in the bedroom when Matt's home at my workspace located next to a leaky bedroom window that overlooks a parking lot is not exactly conducive to serious productivity. But running off to a cozy bed and breakfast on the coast of Lake Michigan to work on my first-ever book that could very well never make us a dime is not exactly in the budget right now. And even if it was, I'd rather have a second car, celebration party for the girls, kayaks, a new couch, etc, etc before I ran away on a personal work trip. So it's just a fantasy while I pay my dues as a newbie writer in the trenches of editing hell.

Sorry guys, no proofreading tonight, but to make up for it, here are a few cute photos of Abigail in the 12-hour period she enjoyed between the constipation and the diarrhea. The poor girl. Before her heart surgery, Abigail's Godparents gave us a small vial of healing oil from the a statue that cried tears of healing oil in Europe (maybe in Medjugorje? I can't remember off the top of my head and I know they did some traveling while they were over there. Sorry, I blame it on the pregnancy brain/head cold). Even though I used it often before and after her surgery, just like the widow in the Old Testament whose jars of flour and oil never ran low after she made Elijah food, the vial never seems to get low, so I break it out whenever the poor girl is in a rough way.

*Later that night: It's almost 10pm now and I've been in and out of the bathroom since I posted this around 8pm...with Matt and Abigail's symptoms...looks like I might have a stomach bug plus a headcold? Someone please say this is a random fluke and I'm going to wake up tomorrow morning perfectly fine. Please?


Diane said...

Oh, you poor thing. I really hope it is a fluke. If not, I hope it is a fast moving virus.

I hope you are better soon. My pregnant daughter has also been fighting the never-ending cold while nursing her toddler and husband through a throat infection.

Cam Wollner said...

Oh no! Hoping you guys are all feeling better very soon!

And that baptismal gown is going to be beautiful! I can't wait to see the finished pictures!

Anonymous said...

I'm crushed! J/k, I totally understand about the gown. :-)

We had a similar bug a few weeks ago and it lasted twelve hours. I was scared because I was still in my first trimester, and it WAS awful, but only twelve hours...if that helps... :-)

We've just been slammed with nasty colds this year. It's amazed me how bad it's been and I can't wait for summer!


Anonymous said...

You are all in our prayers! So glad the first problem resolved itself but thinking about you all as you get through the flu. Hang in there!