Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One

I woke up yesterday with my left eye crusted shut.


I quite literally visited the doctor for the exact same symptoms last month, almost to the day. This time, I was managing to beat the actual sinus infection with the help of two or three sinus washes a day. It’s oddly satisfying to see all of the gunk that washes out. (Oh I’m sorry, were you eating?) It’s gross, I know, but it helps so much. My doctor confirmed that there wasn’t an infection present, just a whole lotta swelling and inflammation.

And the pink eye, you know. Looking sexy as hell over here. The pink eye is caused by the swelling in my sinuses, of course. My eye can’t drain, creating a perfect environment for bacteria or viruses to hang out in. It’s lovely.

Anyway, this is all ultimately due to allergies. Ugh. I’ve been instructed to head back to the allergist to up my doses of zyrtex and flonase and all that. I am feeling better, thanks to a pack of steroids (for the inflammation) and eye drops (for the pink eye).

2018 has really not gotten off to the healthiest start for me.

The good news is that I’ve found some really, really delicious kimchi. I made a batch after I decided to forego the allergy shots in favor of trying fermented veggies again. For some reason though, my kimchi didn’t turn out. You always look for the bubbles, when making fermented veggies. Bubbles up the side of the container is the sign of fermentation. You want lots and lots of bubbles! But there were no bubbles in mine. I was going to make a new batch, but in the meantime I picked up a jar from the local H Mart. That was a mistake, in hindsight, because it was absolutely delicious. The flavors were so much more complex than mine. So tasty!

So that’s where I am now. A little inflamed. A little infectious looking. A little spicy.


Polishing Up The Home, pt 3

I did it! The handyman was hired and the materials were purchased and the repairs have been made! We have now the proud owners of LED lights in our kitchen and utility room and a freshly-caulked shower. [Though, damn that handyman, because he came into our circa-1992 master bathroom and started talking about renovations and now I practically drool every time I step into the shower as I think about what it could be.]

Further polishings were attempted yesterday after the latch on our front door stopped working. Now, I’ve never repaired a door knob. Hell, I’ve never even closely examined a door knob, but I figured it couldn’t be too hard! Half an hour later, once I realized that I had to take the entire kit off to access the latch, I figured I might as well replace the whole thing. It was looking old and worn anyway. (Plus, it’s gold – might as well modernize it a bit!)

Home Depot proved invaluable and I quickly found exactly what I needed! Or so I thought, of course. I came home and … naively? optimistically? stupidly? … skipped right over the first step of the installation instructions. I bet you can guess what that step was: measure. Double check your measurements to make sure this thing will actually fit before you start, Belle! Ah damn it – you’ve already installed the latch anyway – well don’t say I didn’t warn you! <<< actual text from manual.

So yeah, I didn’t measure – jumped right into installation and had the new latch installed before realizing that the new handle was about an inch too long and didn’t line up with my hole. Not only did it not line up (which I would have at least thought about handling with my drill), the plate didn’t cover the old hole. I couldn’t have that, so I had to uninstall the latch and re-package everything. I returned it this morning and opted to just replace the latch. Now my eyelid is twitching because, during this little endeavor, I realized that our front door was originally painted teal. It’s now a matte black, but whoever painted it didn’t remove the fixtures to paint. The problem is that the new latch moves our door handle to the right about 1/8 of an inch, revealing a tiny stripe of teal paint. I hope I forget about it soon because my next overzealous burst of motivation may be to repaint the door.


It’s 6:45pm here. On any other day, we’d be starting the dumpling’s bedtime routine right now. Filling his bath, getting his room ready for nighttime. But not today. Today, as I was cooking an early dinner, I realized he felt warm. Too warm. Fever-ish warm. Sure enough, he was running just a hair under 101. My biggest concern with that is that just five and a half hours earlier, he’d had a dose of Motrin (he’s finally cutting those molars through, lol). He shouldn’t be running a fever and, more importantly, had a little dose of teething-related Motrin masked a fever all afternoon?

So we did what we could: dosed him with more Motrin; tried a cool bath, though that didn’t go over at all; and put him to bed. He fell asleep almost instantly, even though it was over an hour earlier than his usual bedtime. And now we wait. I’ve got both my sound and video monitor here, trying to keep an eye on him. I plan to take his temperature before heading to bed myself and briefly contemplated setting an alarm for the wee hours of tomorrow morning in order to give him another dose of Motrin (until I realized that would mean that I couldn’t take an accurate temperature reading in the morning).

And now we wait.

When you become a parent, new worries seem to crop up over night. When he’s brand new, you worry about breaking him – dropping your precious, but oh-so-tiny newborn. You worry about SIDS and your little one suffocating during the night. Then he grows a little bit and you worry about choking as he learns how to eat. Then he starts crawling and you worry about choking hazards around the house as he crawls, yet again, towards a random button you’ve never seen before. Then more worries come along with walking and then running and then jumping. But almost as quickly as the fear appears, it subsides. He gets a little bigger, a little stronger, a little more coordinated and suddenly you’re not as worried that he’ll fall as he runs in the park. This worry though, this fear for your sick baby, is always present.

Not only do I worry about the possibility of another febrile seizure, I’m also just plain concerned that he’s getting sick. Nothing pains me more than having a sick dumpling, mainly because there’s usually not much I can do for him besides keeping him dosed up on Motrin. And it’s not like you can talk sense into a toddler (you try telling him that he should really rest instead of run around the house in a fever-fueled frenzy). And and! It’s totally my fault. I’ve been telling everyone that the dumpling has been fine through mine and Luffy’s never-ending illnesses. I totally jinxed him. That and we shared a spoon today when we got fro-yo. All my fault.

And so, there’s nothing to do for now but wait and see. We’ll know more tomorrow.


We’re alive!

Blurgh – those were a rough few days, but I think we’ve turned the corner (frantically knocks on wood).

Luffy ended up going to urgent care at like 7am last Friday morning because he needed help with that cough. He lost his voice, he coughed so much. They gave him a steroid shot and a stronger cough medicine. He’s still coughing, but I think it’s less? So yay?

I cried uncle Monday morning. My allergies gave way to a sinus infection, which left me with excruciating sinus pain all weekend (even WITH sudafed). The last straw was pink eye. I woke up Sunday morning with some crust in my eye, but groggily wiped it all away without really inspecting the damage. Monday morning though, I couldn’t even open my eye so off to the doctor I went. Sinus infection – check. Upper respiratory infection – check. Bacterial pink eye – check. Lots of medication. Twas fun. Especially because this antibiotic gets the medal for being the first ever to make me vomit. Yay!! (It’s one of those that’s supposed to be taken on an empty stomach except that I can’t handle that and need to take it with a few crackers.)

So now that we’re all on the mend, I have a few important updates to get to:

I bought the dumpling a play kitchen and it truly might be the cutest thing I have in my entire house (except the dumpling himself, obviously).

We had an old gift card to Toys R Us lying around and I realized that we should use it pretty quickly if we wanted to use it at all. I’d been eyeing a few play kitchens recently, wondering if the dumpling was old enough to enjoy them now, so I decided it was time. With gift card in hand, I purchased a cute set on Saturday night and was astounded to see it on my porch on Tuesday. I put it together immediately because I have no cool, though I did at least have the presence of mind not to show it to the dumpling until he actually had some time to play with it (our nights are pretty busy between our evening walks and his extended dinner time). This morning he got up early enough to have some time to play with it after breakfast and I’m pretty sure he loved it. He was excited to find all of the little hidey-holes and things-that-open and things-that-make-noise.

In more adorable news, the dumpling has started taking a stuffed animal with him to bed. It all started Sunday night; in a typical act of toddler stalling, the dumpling was requesting item after item from the bathroom counter. In trying to appease him (and stave off the meltdown), Luffy handed him the humidifier cap. The dumpling then refused to let go of it while we were dressing him and getting him ready for the night. So much so that we couldn’t get it away from him when we put him into his crib. What’s the harm, we thought and figured we’d sneak in to get it after he fell asleep. We watched on the monitor as he fell asleep, holding the cap with both hands. It was precious.

The next night, Luffy gave him a stuffed dog to take with him and the dumpling was delighted with the new cribmate. Plus, watching your toddler cuddle with a stuffed animal is about THE most precious thing you will ever witness.

One last item, just for me. Yesterday I wore my very smallest pre-pregnancy work slacks for the first time. Go me!

Spring has sprung

…and it’s kicking our asses.

Luffy has had a cough since we caught that virus at the concert. It keeps getting a little better worse better worse definitely worse.

The dumpling’s been congested for a solid week or so now. Poor baby alternates between a nose that’s completely blocked or running like a faucet.

And me? Well I’ve been better, thanks.

Back in January, after I woke up to huge, puffy eyes again, I finally made an appointment with an allergist. (I don’t want to search through the archives right now, but in case I haven’t mentioned it, the puffy eye thing has actually been a recurring issue since that first time. It varies in severity, but it’s happened a dozen times or so.) Now, I don’t mean to brag or anything, but my skin panel was impressive – even to the allergist! I had a positive result for literally every single thing they poked me with*. Even worse news, I had severe reactions to at least one plant, though often multiple, in every season. So that means whether it’s spring, summer, or fall, if something is actively growing I can pretty much guarantee that I will be suffering from allergies.

Now, the allergist was quick to recommend allergy shots with “results like mine.” We looked into it and while it’s something that I might ultimately do, we’ve decided to hold off for now. They’re just so expensive, on the hope that they work well for you. Luffy pointed out that the severe reactions started shortly after I stopped eating kimchi like clockwork. If you do any research into fermented veggies, many people tout their usefulness in helping allergies. I rolled my eyes hard when I read that, mostly because you frequently come across sites that get a tad bit … carried away in their benefits list. Gastric problems! Allergies! Skin issues! Headaches! Cold/flu! Aging! Cancer! World hunger! World peace! THE LIST GOES ON!!!! Ahem. However, when Luffy made the connection, it did give me pause and I wondered if it might be more than just hippy-dippy nonsense. So I’m picking the kimchi habit back up.

Anyway, all of that to explain that these past two weeks have looked like this:

Tree pollen: VERY HIGH
Grass pollen: MODERATE

And so, you see, I have been better. I hope pollen isn’t wreaking havoc for you.

*The skin panel is done on your back, so you can’t see the results (obviously). As I was laying there, I remember the doctor only calling out a negative for one test spot. After I got home, I was eager to see the one thing I was actually NOT allergic to. It was the control. I laughed so hard at that. Officially allergic to ALL THE THINGS.


We’ve always had a small issue with sugar ants in our living room (of all places). I used to find a stray ant or two every once in a while, but now that the dumpling is older (and thus, 78% stickier and prone to leaving crumb trails behind), I really have to stay on top of vacuuming and pick-up to keep the ants at bay. I’ve figured out exactly where they’re coming from and have a few tricks to head off the masses that somehow seem to sense exactly when the dumpling has left his snack container out of sight. While I wouldn’t say I’m chill with their appearance, I have at least accepted it.

However, I can’t say the same for the ants that appeared in our kitchen, just inches away from my baby’s table over the weekend.

I first noticed one on Saturday evening. It was enormous, at least compared to the microscopic black ants that journey into our living room. It was scurrying across the window bench (we have a big bay window in the kitchen). I quickly disposed of it and prayed to the home-ownership gods that it would be the only one. Maybe it came in with the mail? That happens right?

My hopes were dashed when I ventured into the kitchen Sunday morning and found dozens more. Some were already dead, caught in the spider’s web (yay spiders!!), but most were still roving through our recycling and not really accomplishing anything other than freaking me out. I cleaned them all up (our trash probably had at least 50 ants in it by the end of the day), but the next wave appeared shortly after. It was then that I made a discovery: the window ledge had a little gap and they were pouring* out from there.

*Not literally, like apocalypse style, but it definitely felt like it. stupid ants

I sent Luffy to the store for caulk and a caulk gun because NO THANK YOU. I can deal with tiny sugar ants trying to abscond with graham cracker crumbs. I could not deal with these giants trying to abscond with my baby** while he eats his breakfast.

**Again, not literally, but you catch my drift. stupid ants

And so, after we put a very confused*** dumpling down for the night, Luffy and I tackled the ant portal. Neither of us had ever caulked anything and while I’m pretty sure caulk guns are supposed to be self-explanatory, considering they don’t even come with instructions, we had a heck of a time trying to get caulk out. We somehow managed to get it to come out the back of the tube before we were successful with getting it to come out of the tip. And, after thinking several times that I had cut the opening too small, our resulting nozzle tip could have accommodated a U-Haul. Thus, my “line” is more like a tornado’s debris path. But! We successfully closed the ant portal, so take that! Stupid ants.

And how was your weekend?

***Thanks daylight savings time!

Lessons Learned

I learned an important lesson today about why you always wait to tell people the news until you’re really ready to tell everyone – even if you’re not actually telling everyone yet.

I mentioned last week that we told our friend group after the ultrasound. I’m not quite out of the first trimester yet, but everything looks good so far. I also told my fellow group fitness instructors (mainly because I needed to tell my class owner and then I told all the rest of the instructors because I was high on spilling the beans at that point). Anyway, much joy and congratulations. The following day I also told my class (again, high on spilling the beans – it’s just so freeing to be able to finally tell people). As I sat on the couch on Saturday, thumbing through the pictures I had taken of our ultrasound pics, the idea of announcing on social media crossed my mind….

And I hesitated. Not quite yet, I thought. I decided to wait until my next scan – the nuchal test scan – at 13 weeks to make it “Facebook official” as the kids say (or wait, I said that back in high school, so maybe it’s actually what the almost-thirty-year-olds say). Anyway, cue ominous music and “famous last words”…

This morning, I log onto Facebook to find that one of my fellow instructors has tagged me (and two other instructors who are also pregnant) in a Baby Center post about … I don’t know… some new utensil to make feeding a baby easier. Something like that. Not really sure as I didn’t click on the article because my very first thought was just ugh, one more piece of crap pressed on me to “simplify” my life. And then I paused a moment and realized the implications of what she had done. I’d been outed to Facebook!

dun dun DUN!

Now, I don’t really mind because (a) most of our close friends already know, (b) it’s not like the post said “OMG SO EXCITED UR KNOCKED UP” and you’d sort of have to put two and two together to even wonder if something was up, and (c) I’m announcing in a couple of weeks anyway so meh. Not a big deal. I’m not concerned at all and I didn’t reach out to her in any way. However, it does prove the point that you honestly can’t tell people until you’re really ready to share the news. The more people who know, the more chances it has of getting out in a way you don’t want or aren’t ready for. Life lessons learned and all that.

And speaking of lessons learned, or rather, of lessons not learned – I have a small confession: I did lawn work on Sunday (don’t panic! nothing too strenuous or overtaxing and it was cool and breezy outside) and my back has never been this sore in my entire life. I keep talking about how I’m sore much more often and more intensely after my usual classes, now that I’m pregnant. I’ve come to accept the fact that, for some reason, my muscles seem to be either working in a different way or just harder now (or Luffy’s thought: the baby’s taking all of the nutrients/energy that would otherwise go into repairing my muscles) and that I need to back down on the intensity level some. But for some reason, I never really applied this logic to other strenuous tasks, like lawn work for instance. To be fair to myself, I would have stopped immediately had something felt wrong or if I had gotten tired. I was worn out by the end, but in the usual just-finished-attacking-the-leaves way, you know? Nothing ever hinted at the amount of pain I would be in following the chore and I still can’t quite figure out what caused it (the bending over to pick up leaves? the trimming along the fence line?). Regardless, my entire lower back feels like it has been through the wringer. The pain radiates from my lower spine, following up and out along the bones of my hips whenever I shift or turn. Today is the first day I would describe the pain level as “moderate” and it’s Wednesday. Ouch!

Anyway, hopefully I’ve learned my lesson now as I do not want to repeat this any time soon. Now I’m off to teach class! Note to self: don’t push it. You’re pregnant, not lazy.