Friday, December 30, 2011

Good riddance, 2011

Christmas 2011 was going along really well, at least a hell of a lot better than Christmas 2010, when we had double mortgages, sinus infections, terrible weather, and a catastrophic event that damn near ruined us.  This year, Christmas seemed like a nice, gentle, spring breeze in comparison.

By far, the best thing about this Christmas was that for the first time in recent memory, no one was going through hypermesis.  I was so thrilled about that.  Oh my god, was I ever thrilled.

My mom made vegan party potatoes, and they were delicious.  And I could eat them! Without feeling sick! It was amazing.  I was so, so thankful, that for all practical purposes, my sister and I are both done with hyperemesis forever.

After Christmas dinner, Will took a nap.  Rob decided he wanted to hike at Detweiller Park, and I went with him.  I guess I had momentarily  forgotten who Rob is because what he had termed as a hike was for me an all-out, balls to the walls, full steam ahead, trail run.  It was nice, though, and there were really very few times when I thought I was going to die by careening off a cliff face.

Chilled and kind of tired from the trail run, we still managed to stop by Amy MeyPfan's house (actually, her mother's house) so that she and I had a chance to see each other.  I was still feeling pretty good, though a little agitated because the trail run had taken longer than I'd anticipated and I was eager to get home and see what Will was up to.  Then I started feeling kind of bad.  For no apparent reason.  There was nausea.  Seemingly out of nowhere.  It was starting to feel like 2 of the marathons I've run when I haven't eaten for a long time afterwards and gotten really, really @#$%^& up.  I didn't think I could be hungry... I'd just had Christmas dinner.  Those vegan party potatoes.  God, the vegan party potatoes.  Let us not mention them again.

I decided that I was dehydrated.  I hadn't taken my own water on the trail run (thinking, mistakenly, that it was to be a nice and easy hike) and had taken only a sip or two from Rob's Camelback the whole time.  I must be dehydrated.  I needed water.

So we left Amy's, and I still thought I would be able to make a full recovery if I just got some water.  I drank.  I felt worse.  Rob drove, and I texted my Aunt to let her know we were on our way back to my parents.  She had been planning on coming over after Rob and I returned from our "walk at the park."

We got home, and I felt very, very bad.  I was freezing and I thought, I must have been out in the cold too long.  I was sure that drinking some water and taking a hot shower would bring me back to life.  I just wasn't sure how exactly I was going to manage to shower, because I could barely stand up.  Get it together, Melissa, I told myself, Auntie is already on her way over.

So I got in the shower.  The shampoo smelled gross.  The soap smelled gross.  Everthing smelled and felt gross.  Just like when I was pregnant.

And then, before I'd even been able to get my hair rinsed out, I had to bolt from the shower and projectile vomit into the toilet.  Just like when I was pregnant.  Jebus, the first 11 weeks of my pregnancy (the pre-Zofran weeks), I think I puked every time I took a shower.  It @#$%-ing sucked.

I did the mature thing, which was to start sobbing hysterically.

I tried to push all the nastiness aside, because I really wanted to see my Aunt.  Plus, I actually felt a lot better after I threw up, which was great.  That never happened when I had hyperemesis.  I thought it was strange, but it seemed like the most likely explanation was that I'd overexerted myself on the hike, perhaps too soon after Christmas dinner, and that I'd gotten dehydrated.  I've felt this way many times after running... although never to the point of actually throwing up.

Well, I was only able to see my Aunt and Uncle for about 5 minutes before I had to stumble back downstairs and puke again.  And again, and again.  It was scary as hell to me, because my hyperemesis began exactly 3 years ago to the day, when I woke up at my parents' on Christmas morning and puked in the shower.  It brought back a lot of memories, particularly of things that I would very much like to forget.

By the middle of the night when I couldn't go more than an hour without puking, I realized that this must be a stomach virus.

It is ironic, you know.  I was so thrilled about not being nauseous or vomiting this Christmas, and then *bam* the stomach flu.  I puked for maybe 24 hours straight-- even breaking my hyperemesis record of the number of times puked in one day.  After the puking stopped, I felt so completely wiped out.  As in, walking up a flight of stairs made me dizzy enough to nearly pass out.  It was actually several days before that went away.

As of now, I am pretty much back to normal.  The weird thing is, nobody else got sick.  I am so glad that I didn't pass it along to anybody, but it just doesn't make any sense... I shared a water bottle with Rob during our trail run, for crying out loud!  It's a mystery.

Good riddance, 2011.  Don't let the door hit you on the way out.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Dear William (28 months)

Dear William,

Today you are 28 months old.

You've been talking a lot more than in the past.  For example, you recently rammed my head with your (very hard) head, and I cried out, "Owwww." Then, perhaps feeling bad, you seized my face in your hands and kissed my eyebrow.  I said, "Thank you William!" and you ran into the other room to tell your father, "I KISSED MOMMY."

You sing a lot.  You like "Take Me out to the Ballgame" and "Itsy Bitsy Spider."  You love singing the ABC's and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."  You also taught us a new song that you learned at daycare:

Twinkle Twinkle Dinosaur

He lets out a mighty roar

When he walks he STOMP STOMP STOMPS

When he eats he CHOMP CHOMP CHOMPS.

I think you sing a song at daycare about a Baby Shark.  I don't know how it goes, but the other day while you were eating breakfast, you very clearly wanted me to sing Baby Shark.  I don't know that song, so I started singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and you got very frustrated.  You glared at me and said "KY-IT, MOMMY.  BABY SHARK.  BABY SHARK!!!!!!!"  I guess I will have to ask Mr. D, your daycare teacher, how that one goes.

This past month we had Thanksgiving, and you saw both sets of grandparents:





You went with Mommy and Daddy and helped us pick out a Christmas tree, which we then decorated:

xmas tree.jpg



We went to the mall, where you did some window shopping:




You pointed to a photo of Demi Moore and said "Mommy!"




You sat on Santa Claus' lap:




You fell asleep in the car while we were Christmas shopping:




We read lots of stories, especially before bedtime.  Your current favorites are When I Get Bigger by Mercer Mayer (you call it I BIGGER), and My Little Golden Book of Primates, which contains some factually incorrect information but has some great pictures.  You can tell the difference between apes and monkeys.  You point to the gibbons and say "GIBBON! NO TAIL!" and you can successfully identify the howler monkey as well as make howler vocalizations.  You also have an animal encyclopedia book that you love.  You can name every animal in that book.  I have no idea how you learned this, but about the second time we read the book, you pointed to the chinchilla and said "CHINCHILLA!"




Sometimes you insist on wearing your diaper on the outside:




You saw a Blue Angel and some dinosaurs at the Science Center:






You saw mammoths and cave bears at the Missouri History Museum:





You saw trains and flowers at the Missouri Botanical Garden:




We went hiking in the rainforest (okay, it was just the Climatron):




You enjoyed playing with your Mr. Potatohead:



You applied for a passport:



It has been a busy month, William, but you still find the time to be very sweet.  Sometimes you don't want to go to sleep because you'd rather keep reading or playing with Mommy and Daddy.  You say, "ROCK YOU," which means that you want me to rock you.  And so I do that.  You put your arms around me as we rock in the chair, or you put your hand on my cheek and smile at me.  You love hugs and kisses.  You are constantly hugging and kissing us.  That is so great.  I hope you always are so cuddly.

William, we have had such a wonderful month.  I am looking forward to each and every minute that we get to spend together.

Love you,


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Going places with William

A few weeks ago, we took Will to the Gardenland Express exhibit at the Missouri Botanical Garden.  He was more interested in running around than in actually looking at the trains or flowers, but every once and a while he did slow down enough to take a little bit of notice.  Unfortunately, he didn't slow down enough for us to get a good picture of the three of us while we were there.  That's too bad because it would have made an awesome Christmas card.





Holding Mom's hand


Will with Daddy


We also walked around outside a bit and then went in the Climatron, which was the most freaking awesome thing ever.  It was an honest to God indoor rainforest.  I could have spent days and days in there.  It was hard to take pictures inside because the instant you took out your camera, the lens would fog over.  It was beautiful and amazing.  It made me wonder what I am doing with my life and why I am not back in the jungle studying monkeys like I ought to be.




When we finally left, Will was tired and practically beside himself.  He would alternately throw himself on the ground for no reason, or just plant it and refuse to move.  I said to him, "Will do you want to walk or do you want me to hold you?"  He looked at me quite plaintively and said, "HOLD YOU."

Sometimes he doesn't get his pronouns quite right.

I picked him up and carried him the rest of the way, which was actually a long way, out of the gardens and back to the car.  My arms got very tired.  As we were walking throught he parking lot, he pressed his cheek against mine and he gave a little giggle.  I could feel him smile.  I said, "Do you want to press your cheek against Mommy's cheek?" He smiled again and said, "CHEEK."  He was very sweet and my arms didn't feel so tired anymore, and I was glad to be carrying him.

Last weekend, Rob was away somewhere with the car, and on Saturday morning I decided that Will and I would take the train to the Missouri History Museum to go to a Mammoth and Mastadon Story Hour they were having.  Will can be very slow in the mornings, or really, any time that you are trying to get him to do something on time.  I finally got him moving by repeatedly telling him that we were going to take the train and stressing how fun that would be.  Every other time I've taken him on the train, I've put him in the stroller to walk over to the station, but this time I decided to leave the stroller at home. The stroller tends to become a big nuisance when we get to wherever we're going because I've got to try to hang onto it in addition to hanging onto William (he generally refuses to stay in the stroller for long periods of time), and that can be quite a challenge.

The 1/4 mile walk to the train station was slow but methodical-- I was proud of William for moving along at quite a respectable pace for a 2-year old and not planting it or throwing any fits.

We had a very long wait once we got to the train station because on weekends the train only comes every 1/2 hour, and apparently we got there right after the last train had left.  But we got through it.  I told William to look for the train, and for the most part, he did-- he stood there and stared down the tunnel, every once and a while saying, "TRAIN COMING?"

At last the train arrived and he was very excited.  We got onto the train and he marched right over to an empty seat and climbed up in it to sit.  He was beaming.  This was the first time he'd ever been on the train when he wasn't in his stroller.  He really enjoyed sitting in that seat.

Unfortunately, the museum was only 2 stops away, so it was a very short ride.  He did not want to get off that train. A look of horror washed his face when I told him we were getting off the train, and he planted it.  He clung to the seat.  He cried.  He screamed.  He kicked.  Red splotches of anger appeared on his face.  I ended up having to hoist him up and haul him off of the train.  He cried and kicked and screamed all the way to the museum, about another 1/4 mile away.  I became very exasperated.

Once inside the museum, he was briefly assuaged when he saw the giant replicas of a mammoth and cave bear in the foyer.  He said, "ELEPHANT!" And "BEAR!"  I finally found where the story hour was being held (by this point, we were 1/2 hour late), and he walked in the room, made a big circle, and walked out again.  That was that.  Just not interested.  He then proceded to amuse himself by walking up and down the stairs to the upper and lower level of the museum.  It was exhausting.




He became a bit fussy and I asked him what he wanted and eventually he said, "HOME."  So back we went, to trek towards the train station once again.  We had another long wait.  I managed to distract him by giving him one of his animal books to read, and he promptly ripped out two of the pages.  "No, William, we don't rip pages in books!" I said.

The train arrived and we boarded, while he was still clutching his torn book.  We sat down together and he held the book out to me.  In a tone of both impishness and regret, he said to me "I RIP PAGE."

He did not want to get off the train at our stop, so I decided we could stay on until the next one.  It would be a slightly farther walk back to our house, but more through residential areas.  I knew at this point I would be carrying him most of the way, and I thought I'd prefer walking through quiet streets rather than a busy road.

So we got off the train and headed for home.  He was moving very slowly and I said, "William, would you like me to hold you?"  He said, "HOLD YOU."  So I picked him up and carried him the rest of the way.  My back ached.  My arms hurt so bad.  He laid his head against my shoulder and wrapped his arms tight, tight around me.  I said, "William, what would you like for lunch?"  He said, "CHEEZ-ITS!"  I laughed.  "You can't have Cheez-its for lunch!  How about you have some cheese instead?"  He giggled.  "NOOO."  "How about some apple?" I offered.  He giggled again and said no.  "Well, what else would you like, then?" I asked.  He thought for just a second and replied, "CAKE!"

It is really nice to have these little conversations with each other.  For so long, I have wondered what is going on in his mind, and although it is still mainly a mystery to me, it feels good to see it bit by bit.

Thanks for reading.