8.20.2017

a life update


I'm coming off two weeks of ridonkulous insomnia, so the past few weeks are a fuzzy haze. If I didn't have pictures in my iPhone, I wouldn't be convinced that any of it actually happened.

Also during that insomnia, a certain toddler went on a wicked nap strike that is still not over. So what I'm saying is that I have been totally rested, rational and unemotional the past few weeks. But that's neither here nor there.

Actually, if you want the truth, 2 weeks of nonstop toddler chatter coupled with almost zero sleep might have been partially responsible for me swearing at a woman in the grocery store. NOT THAT I DID THAT OR KNOW ANY SWEAR WORDS. And if I did, just know she totally deserved it. Not that it justifies that kind of behavior. THIS IS ALL HYPOTHETICAL.

Anyway.

My mom came to visit last week. I feel bad that I was in a haze of exhaustion the whole time and dozed off in a restaurant booth, but it was glorious and wonderful (her visit, not the doze). My parents have moved so many times since I started college that I've lost track, but they finally found the box I took with me to my very first dorm room TEN, count them TEN, years ago.

AN ENTIRE DECADE OF LIFE AGO.

I still vividly remember standing in the Target 15 minutes away, picking out dishes and rugs and storage bins. Gracie's baby clothes are currently housed in a cracked, plastic container with a sticker slapped on the side that says "College '07" on it. It used to hold my seahorse sheets shoved under my dorm bed. Anyway, I finally have the few dishes I took to college, and am now drinking coffee out of a ten year old Starbucks mug with a blue and green argyle pattern. The last time I used this mug, I was in a dorm room in southern Ohio, planning to be a nurse, and that is all just weird.

But anyway, my mom came and it was so nice. Gracie was out of her mind insane with joy. When we put her to bed the night my mom came, we heard Gracie lying in her crib saying "I love Grammy!" I can't handle it.


We had the best time. We went all over the place, seeing things and eating things, and just having a good time. They just opened an Ikea 15 minutes away (!!!!!!!!!!) so we went. The last time we went to Ikea together turned out to be A Major Event, and I was a little anxious to see if we'd have a similarly ridiculous experience, but we did not. James and I have been aggressively house-hunting lately, so I had a running commentary of "well, if we buy this house, I want that sink, but if we go with that other house, I want that" and so on and so forth. Of course those houses have been since ruled out but WHATEVER. It's fine. I'm fine. #debatable

I had exactly two things I went to Ikea for: picture frames and photo ledges. I've had a whole thing schemed up in my brain for Gracie's room and our living room. Those are the two things Ikea was sold out of. Rows of shelves as open and frustrating as a cold shoulder shirt. But it's fine. I walked out with a step-stool for Gracie so she can reach the sink, a pillow case that matches the color of the couch but nothing else, and a dish brush. Totally normal. My mom bought me a tray with birds on it and it's perfect. Gracie has been serving me lunch on it with her play food every day.



Gracie's favorite part of Ikea was the showroom with the beds. Before I knew what was happening, she had tucked herself in. I had to physically remove her from the showroom and left a trail of tears and despair in our wake. Hand to God, I think she would've gone to sleep there. Maybe from now on I'll be at Ikea every day at 1pm for nap time. Don't be surprised if am.

On our last day, we had lunch at one of our favorite places--a french cafe. My french teacher in high school took us there on a field trip my senior year, and it's been a favorite place ever since. It was the first place I took Gracie that wasn't a doctor's office. She slept in her carseat while I ate prosciutto, brie, gallons of coffee, and everything I wasn't supposed to have while pregnant. I've been going there for 10 years now, and I knew the family that runs it is from France, but I never paid close to attention to the pictures and letters on the walls. Apparently, every anniversary of D-Day, they pay special tribute to WWII veterans. It is so sweet. The family had written a letter to the veterans they were honoring 20 years ago, thanking them for risking their lives to free their country from tyranny. I was nearly in tears. How great is that? My mom also sent me the obituary of her 6th grade teacher who had just died. It read like a movie script. Unbeknownst to her, he had been a POW in WWII and then went on to become an amazing teacher. Emotions.

The greatest achievement of my mom's visit was introducing her to The Office. This sounds especially shallow after the previous paragraph, but go with it. She's heard me talk about it for years but had never seen it herself. I wasn't sure what she'd think, but once I saw her dissolve into laughter over Jim putting Dwight's stapler in jello, I knew she'd be a fan for life. What's the meaning of life if not to make your loved ones uncomfortable via the antics of Michael Scott?

I am unnaturally excited about the solar eclipse tomorrow. I didn't buy the glasses, but I also don't plan on staring at the sun, so whatever. I'm just excited for it to get weirdly dark at 2:00 in the afternoon. We're not in the path of totality, but we're not too far, so it should be pretty decent. I plan to sit inside and eat snacks, with maybe a very quick glance at the sky. Don't worry, I've read the fear-mongering articles. I'm so stressed about my retinas that I'll probably wear sunglasses while inside with the blinds closed.

So we've been house hunting. Our new realtor is a dream and everything we've been needing. The third time's the charm! Other than that I don't have much to report other than I have driven myself insane. We found a house that had the potential to be a dream house, but in its current state was a hot mess. Despite that, we loved it. We decided to take some time to sleep on it (it was such a hot mess that it was relatively immune to the ferocious market), but the funny thing is I didn't sleep at all. I laid awake at night wondering how we could renovate the kitchen and thinking about paint colors and wondering about room arrangements, garden placement, etc. Honestly, this probably had no small part in my insomnia, but I cannot emotionally separate myself from the houses we look at.

James, on the other hand, handles all this completely different. He came home from work one day, and I had worked myself into a frenzy wondering what to do about the house. I could talk myself into it and just as easily talk myself out of it. I asked him what he thought, and he said "I honestly haven't given it a single thought today."

Over-analyzer, party of one.

My evening walks, my desperately needed moments of solitude, have been destroyed by thoughts of commute times, distance to the nearest grocery store, and WHERE WOULD WE PUT THE CHRISTMAS TREE?!?! Is there enough cabinet space for my food processor? Where would we store old baby things? BUT THOSE BUILT-INS ARE PERFECT. What paint colors should we choose? WAIT NO I CAN'T DO THIS. And then half the time the house is sold before I answer any of my own questions.

It has been an utter joy and delight to be married to me lately.

If only our wedding vows had included "Do you solemnly swear to rip up the blue carpet and paint the living room before moving in? And can we please get a new fridge?" so I could stop asking him 247 times a day. Not that it matters because there is no telling where we will end up, but I'm sure there will be ugly carpet to rip up and walls to paint.

If I took him to Ikea with me and told him all my ideas, it might be the breaking point in our marriage. Or maybe he'll just join Gracie for a nap.

8.13.2017

unpopular opinions

You asked for my unpopular opinions, so here they are. You've probably heard me rant and rave about some of them before. Be prepared to be offended and triggered. Get your safe space ready. You might read this and think "hey, I do one or all of these things. Does Michelle think I'm the worst?"

The answer is yes, I do. I think you're totally the worst ever.

I'm kidding! This is all for fun and meant to be tongue in cheek. I love each and every one of you. I don't think less of you if you're into these things, I just think you're very wrong.

I'm kidding! Let's hug.

1. Essential oils. More like UNessential oils, amiright? I AM SO TIRED OF THESE I COULD SCREAM. Listen, I know they have helped people. Friends and family I trust have used them for medical purposes with good results. I get it. I'm talking about the people who diffuse them, bathe in them, snort them, eat them, clean with them, roll around in them, swipe them on their feet, whatever. I do not see how high levels of exposure to something like that can be healthy, "natural" or not. Whenever I walk into a room where they're being diffused, I have an immediate allergic attack. I can't even walk down the laundry aisle in the store without sneezing, so I sure as heck won't be asphyxiating myself with essential oils.

You're probably like "you know, there's an oil to brainwash you into loving oils" but let me stop you and say no---there's not. I WILL NOT BE BEWITCHED.

2. There's a meme floating around out there that says something like I don't know what it is to be held hostage, but I have been in a group text. It's funny, and I'm sure we've all fallen victim to an endless group text we didn't want to be a part of. However, I love group texts in general and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I have one with my family, which is always a good time, and I have a couple with my funniest friends. It's what gets me through the day. We talk about everything from tv shows to is this something I should call the pediatrician about? and everything in between. We have all the banter of sitting in the same room together, but I can also get the laundry folded at the same time and not brush my hair.

3. The lettering craze. I've unfollowed so many people on Instagram because out of the blue, they suddenly started to post 257 hand-lettered inspirational quotes instead of their normal coffee and baby pictures. For the record, why do we call it lettering? Lettering sounds like you're spelling with letters, not drawing them. Isn't it technically calligraphy? Little details like that drive me crazy. ANYWHO, a part of me likes it and I would love to be able to have such gorgeous handwriting since mine handwriting is a bit masculine, but it all looks the same. To me, lettering is just everyone writing in the exact same style. It's like mimicking a font on the computer. Sure, it's pretty, but IT ALL LOOKS THE SAME. One of these days, no one is going to be able to distinguish anyone's handwriting, because every millennial woman learned lettering (for real though, how pretentious is that word) from the same book.

4. MLMs, aka a centimeter away from being pyramid schemes. Don't @ me on this. I stand firm. It's hard to judge where most people fall when it comes to Lularoe (LulaNO) leggings and wraps and shakes and whatever else is out there, so I'm not sure how much of an unpopular opinion this is. You either love it or you hate it. There's enough of it out there that apparently some people love it. I hate them. It's not even the product, it's how it turns everyone into a salesman. Social media is a constant commercial for whatever people on your friends list are peddling that day. The market is so saturated with these products, I don't understand how people can make money off these things anymore. I don't like feeling as though someone is trying to take advantage of our friendship by pressuring me to buy something. Good for you trying to make money, but there has to be a way that doesn't annoy the majority of people in your life.

For the record, I do not feel this way about Etsy shops. That takes a specific talent and sales skills. Props to people with Etsy shops. Just keep your overpriced, eye-blinding leggings away from me.

5. Snapchat/Instagram filters. JUST SAY NO TO THE PUPPY DOG FACE. You know how we make fun of the duck face of 5-10 years past? That's going to be the way we view puppy dog/flower crown filters in 10 years. Mark my words.



6. I don't understand Beyonce. Why am I supposed to love her? Because I don't. I think she's obnoxious.


7. Ditto, but with Taylor Swift. No thanks.

8. I don't understand adults who are obsessed with Disney. I find that to be very weird. Do you still play with your old Barbies, too? I mean, I like Disney. I love the classic Disney movies from our childhood and I had a blast at Disneyland as a kid, but other than that I just don't care. The obsession weirds me out.

8. I am a white girl and a stay at home mom, but Target is not my mecca. I could do without it, honestly. Sure, I've gotten some great things there over the years, it's a good place to waste some time, but I think most of their things are a bit overpriced and not great quality. I swear, if I see one more crop top in their clothing section....I'm not going to do anything, but I will roll my eyes.

9. I want to take a needle and thread to every cold shoulder shirt I see. SO FUGLY.

10. Road trips are awful. I hate them. They stress me out. I would much rather go through the hassle of flying and get there faster than spend an entire day in a car.

11. I don't know if I'm allowed to say this as a hashtag girl mom, but.......I don't like big bows on babies. It seems cruel to put a bow the size of a house on your newborn's head when she can't even hold her own head up yet. I am pro-bow, but I'm pro-bows that are proportionate to the size of the baby. In this same vein, I hate staged baby photos. You know the ones, like putting a baby in a watermelon or a pumpkin. Or a bucket. Wearing nothing but a 5 pound bow.



12. Award shows. The Oscars, The Academy Awards, The Emmys. Whatever. If I ever need to be punished, then force me to watch one. I don't care one tiny bit about celebrities. I don't care what people are wearing. I don't know why I should be expected to care that they wear dresses more expensive than my car and are congratulating themselves for movies and tv shows I have zero interest in watching. I want no part of it. Yawn.

13. I enjoy doing laundry. It's by far my favorite chore. It's so easy! You throw dirty clothes in the washer, and they're washed for you! Then you put them in the dryer, and they're dried for you! Putting them away isn't always fun, but Gracie puts her own clothes away now, and she helps me with the rest, so it really doesn't seem that awful to me. It gives me all the satisfaction and very little frustration.

14. I can't do Breaking Bad or The Walking Dead. I watched a little of each, and they left me feeling gross. I won't touch Game of Thrones with a ten foot pole. I am bored to tears by Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. Maybe this means I'm not smart enough to understand, but so be it.

15. YA literature is the worst. My teen years were not easy, and the last thing I want to do is relive the stress and awkwardness by reading about it again, and I always find it strange that grown adults like reading novels about teens. Every time I've broken my No YA rule to read something, I've regretted it.

16. I do not understand the Hamilton craze. PUT DOWN YOUR STONES. CALM DOWN. Maybe it's amazing, I don't know. I've only heard a little and just, meh. Everyone is ripping their hair out over it which means I would probably hate it. I could eat my words on this one day, I KNOW. I just really don't like modern day Broadway or musical theater. I find it annoying. I know people are trying to punch me through their screens right now, especially my fellow music nerds, but give me the old stuff instead!

17. Abbreviated words and phrases are v annoying to me, tbh.



Do you agree/disagree? I want to hear. What are your unpopular opinions?

8.10.2017

a peaceful evening stroll

I lean toward being a morning person by nature, but my evening walk is the highlight of my day. It's my proverbial glass of wine; it helps me unwind, relaxes me, and leaves me feeling a little buzzed. James has been on a business trip all week and Gracie chose that time to go on a nap strike, so my need for quiet and alone time had hit a critical level by the time James got home yesterday. I was so tired I was frantically looking for my coffee earlier in the afternoon until I realized I had been holding it the entire time. Even so, my need for time to myself trumped my need to face plant in my bed where I could be found at a moment's notice by a toddler with strong opinions on her impending bath time.

A few steps out the door I was attacked a dog. I like dogs and don't mind a dog excited to see me, but its barking was so loud and shrill I could actually feel my eardrums bursting. After multiple days of a toddler crying for a different pair of pajamas and food we don't have, a barking dog was at the bottom of the list of things I could tolerate. It jumped all over me while the owner stood by laughing. After several awkward moments I got away, and then took a different route since the still-barking dog was going my normal route.

I got to the park and hid in the bushes to dodge the unconfirmed sighting of a park friend. She caught me on my evening walk recently and gave me her number to text her so she can come with me some time. She's so sweet, I enjoy seeing her at the park, and I really will invite her to do something, but much like nap time, my evening walk is a sacred time for me to listen to podcasts, music, and not talk. I felt bad, but an exhausted mom's gotta do what an exhausted mom's gotta do.

A few minutes later, about a mile away from home, I felt something in my hair. The only way to describe it was a cross between a twig and a small bird. It felt like nothing I've felt before and I freaked out. When I was 12 or 13, I was at an Ohio State football game and ran my fingers through my hair. A bee had been lurking in my frizzy brown locks and stung me. Every time I feel an unnatural movement in my hair, it's panic mode. I bent my head down and violently waved it around. I jumped, I leaped, I screamed. I think I tap-danced a little. In hindsight, it probably looked like either a sudden demonic possession or an exorcism. I was too scared to look up and see if anyone had been watching. I finally got enough nerve to reach my hand back up, and whatever had been in my hair seemed to be gone. I walked a little longer, and once I regained brain function, I used my front-facing camera to see if I could see anything still there. What I saw was clumps of my hair pulled out of my bun, hanging wildly.

I fixed my hair, giving it one more good shake, and somehow managed to lose a contact in the process. I have a strong prescription, so walking a mile back home with one contact in and one out is out of the question. I've learned from experience that it results in a headache and nausea. By a stroke of luck, through my vision-corrected eye I found my contact lying on the sidewalk, undamaged. I scooped it up, spit on it, stuck it back in my eye, and all the germaphobes of the world had a collective seizure.

It wasn't until the panic of the hair fiasco started to fade that I realized what I had done. In the chaos of the moment, it had felt like the exact right decision.The things that have happened on that sidewalk. The dogs, the bottoms of shoes, the insects. Have you thrown up yet? I'm no germaphobe, but I started to fervently pray away any kind of grungy sidewalk eye cancer I had obliviously stuck in my eye and continued my walk, determined to forget what I had done, even though saliva was seeping out of my eyeball. It may be psychosomatic, but there is a very dull ache in that eye, even though that contact is deep in the trash. If I wake up in the morning with zero vision in my left eye, at least I'll know why.

I kept walking on the cracked sidewalk, under the cover of mature trees, listening to my September playlist. It's what I call the music I gravitate toward every late summer/early fall. Lots of acoustic guitar, a pinch of banjos, and the occasional fiddle. You can feel the temperature drop and smell the pumpkin spice lattes brewing with every song. Jamestown Revival started to play. It's the only band I could listen to my first trimester. I listened to it every time I drove to and from work and all day at work. All other music actually made me nauseous, but Jamestown Revival and their star-spangled, all-American sound would soothe the morning sickness to the point that I could stop pulling the car over to throw up. For a year after, I couldn't listen to them without getting sick. It took me back to the hazy, puke-infested months of early-mid pregnancy. I can usually listen to them now and be fine, but occasionally that sensation will hit and I'll have to change the song before hurling. It's been three years, but the wave of nausea bowled over me on the sidewalk last night to the point that I had to stop and dry heave.

Once I regained my composure, I kept going. A herd of grandparents, grandchildren, and a gaggle of wagons and strollers pushed me off the sidewalk. I tripped trying to get out of the way, and my iPhone disconnected from my headphones, flew out of my hand, and barrelled down the sidewalk.

I walked back through the park on my way home. In the distance, I saw a man dressed in all black, sitting alone on a bench. It unnerved me a little. He stared me down as I got closer, and I started to wonder if he was going to kill me. Or talk to me. Or talk to me and then kill me. Thankfully he chose to talk to me. I had been getting in the zone listening to The Oh Hellos, and even though headphones are the universal "don't talk to me" signal, he opened his mouth.

"Are you here for the raid?"

"The what?"

"The raid."

I had heard him the first time, but I was very confused. My very first thought was that he was an undercover cop about to go on a drug bust. That was ridiculous considering the fact that he was in a park in a suburban, well-to-do neighborhood. I had also wondered if he said "rave," and even though it seemed like a strange location, I could've gone for a dance party.

"What raid?" I asked.

"The Pokemon raid!"

Oh barf.

I told him I was not there for a Pokemon raid, which should've been apparent by the fact that I was on a walk and clearly leaving the park area. He gestured toward my workout gear and said "you know, my wife and I downloaded the app, and now we walk an extra mile every night." I didn't even know what to do with that. Even though I was slowly stepping away, he filled me in on Pokemon and how now there are original birds and how this area is a stop and honestly, he could've been speaking in Korean for as much as I understood him. I chose not to tell him that my days of hating Pokemon go back to the 5th grade, when it was all people would talk about at school and it drove me crazy. My dad had been teaching me to shoot at the time, and I had gotten a Pokemon poster that came free with something. I used it as target practice at the gun range. I finally got away, promising to send any Pokemon lovers I came across to the park, since apparently they needed more people for their alleged raid. A few minutes later, I passed a nerdy, awkward guy wearing short shorts. Had I not still been recovering with what felt like a conversation with Michael Scott himself, I might have mentioned it to him. Something tells me I didn't have to. Not that all Pokemon lovers are nerds or guys, but you didn't see the boys in my 5th grade class. I can't separate the two.

I got back home to find Gracie's Pooh Bear, soaking wet, sitting on the green chair next to the front door.

I don't even know, but at that point it was a sight for sore eyes.


Sore eyes that will probably be looking through glasses for the foreseeable future.


8.07.2017

currently, vol. 32





reading: Charlotte Bronte: A Fiery Heart by Claire Harman. Her books are making so much more sense now.

watching: always The Office. I'm going to need some show recommendations one of these days. You all know me pretty well, what should I watch?

drinking: coffee. This isn't new information, but you'll see why I especially need it in a little bit.

eating: a few chocolate covered pretzels

smelling: the rain outside. I'm reeeeeaaaalllll tempted to pull out a fall candle.

loving: remember the donut saga? I finally got them on Saturday. They were absolutely worth the wait.

dreaming: my brain went completely off the rails the other night. I made the mistake of scrolling through a reddit thread about a missing person and all the conspiracy theories before bed. Even though I chased it with 30 minutes of a Charlotte Bronte biography, I dreamed that my cousin was missing. In my dream, I had a magic wand I could wave around to see if he was hiding nearby, but I had to be careful because he didn't want to be found, and if I found him he would kill me. I woke up in the middle of the night from Gracie screaming hysterically. She very rarely wakes up at night, and I never fully came out of my dream. I became hysterical that she was upset. James was already up using the bathroom and I started screaming about how something is wrong with Gracie and he needs to go check on her. I was too scared to go in her room because I was afraid my cousin was hiding there and he'd kill me but I couldn't get the words to explain it to James, all I could get myself to say is that something was very wrong. He couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. I also thought it was 11am and James was leaving for the airport for his business trip, and I thought it seemed dark for late morning, but that it must be raining or something. It wasn't until James went to calm Gracie that I looked at my phone, realized it was 2:36 am, and slowly started to separate reality from my dream. I fell back to sleep and had several dreams about blog friends, one including a road trip with Sarah to a yodeling festival. I HAVE NO IDEA. It's no wonder I woke up with a throbbing headache and feeling like I was hit by a truck. A few nights before that, James told me I was "crying wildly" in my sleep which I've never done before. I'm starting to understand why I've been so exhausted lately.

intrigued by: my grandma took a DNA test to get a better idea of our ancestry. As expected, I'm mostly British/Irish/Scandinavian, but I AM ALSO JEWISH. Is it weird that I'm very excited about this? Never in a million years did I think I was Jewish. Granted, it's only a very tiny amount, due to a fleeing Jew who married a European relative in the 1700s. My parents FaceTimed me to tell me this interesting piece of information over the weekend, and now I'm demanding we celebrate Hanukkah AND Christmas. It's just nice to know I'm one of God's chosen people.

cooking: spinach lasagna

listening to: I'm in a music rut. Help.

buying: my beloved mustard cardigan finally had to be thrown out a few years ago once it became full of holes from years of wear and tear. As it's illegal to be a millennial female and not wear a mustard cardigan every October, I've been on the hunt for one for two years, but last fall they were sold out everywhere. I bought one on Sunday. It's oversized and chunky and long, and I am now ready for summer to end. It's currently in the 60s during what is usually the hottest time of year, so I think this cardigan may have some special powers.

annoyed by: this is probably an unpopular opinion (I could write a whole post on those), but I am so tired of people selling their clothes on Instagram. I mean, I understand wanting to earn money, but I am NOT going to pay $5 less than what you paid for it, especially when it's been worn and even damaged. It shocks me what people try to sell used clothes for. Maybe give baby clothes to a pregnant mom? Or donate your clothes where people less fortunate can buy them? It just irks me.  That being said, my friend just posted a banner for sale that I've been wanting for years but didn't want to spend money on, so I snagged it for a little cheaper than new, so I guess a part of me understands. Also annoyed by: people who have unhealthy obsessions and/or instagram accounts for their pets (same goes for babies). Also: any and all pyramid schemes (I know, I know, they're technically MLMs, but the line is so fine and STOP TRYING TO SELL ME THINGS), and boomerangs--especially when someone is shaking a drink or waving paper or something. Instant nausea.

Go ahead, stone me.

excited for: MY MOM IS VISITING NEXT WEEK! I could cry I'm so excited.

8.02.2017

if blood tests were graded, I would get an F

some pretty flowers to distract from the horrors to come

The theme of this week has been blood and doctors.

Don't worry, it's a little less horrifying than it sounds.

I haven't had a physical in three years because TERRIFYING. The last time I went, in 2014, is only because HR was giving out free fitbits for anyone who got a physical, and I was 5 years overdue.

I think you can see where doctor visits go on my list of priorities. In my defense, I went to every OBGYN appointment and I've kept up with the dentist, annual skin cancer checks, and the eye doctor. They're usually about 6-12 months late every time, but I still get them done.

I've written about it before, but I have crippling anxiety about visiting the doctor. It's ten times worse when you're taking your child to the pediatrician, but that's another dramatic post for another time. The whole doctors office environment makes me cry for my mother. I hate it. I avoid it all costs. But now that I'm a mother and especially now that I'm getting regular migraines with no relief, I knew I needed to find a new doctor since my former one moved away.

I had my first appointment with my new doctor yesterday morning after nearly two years of James telling me I need to find a doctor. Usually I spend up to a week before the appointment stressing, but the nerves didn't hit until the night before. I got almost zero sleep I was so nervous. Thankfully the doctor was kind and understanding and I really liked her. She wrote me a prescription to help with the migraines and scheduled a follow up to make sure I'm doing alright. As I was walking back to the front desk, an old man bellowed "tell that young lady she's got a nice pair of legs!" It cracked me up. If only he had said it when I had been staring at the number on the scale 20 minutes earlier.

I spent the afternoon on the phone with Gracie's pediatrician's office. We've been battling a terrible rash going on 3 weeks now, and we've tried everything under the sun. The nurse confirmed we're doing everything they recommend, but she had a couple other ideas up her sleeve. We tried them all out of desperation, including me getting in a baking soda bath while wearing my clothes to hold a traumatized Gracie. It seems to be helping, which is good, because her pediatrician's office is next to my doctor's office, and I'm already tired of driving over there.

This morning I had to go to the lab first thing for blood work. No one had told me I would need to have fasting labs done at my appointment, and since I'm such an infrequent patient, I didn't realize my greek yogurt breakfast would give me such disappointed looks from office staff. I couldn't eat anything after dinner, which would normally be fine, but since I knew I couldn't eat, I was starving. I have never woken up at night hungry, but I woke up multiple times last night with a growling stomach. I rolled out of bed at 6:42 and walked into the lab at 7:00 on the dot, when it opens, and yet there was still a line of people in front of me.

I wasn't as anxious as I was before my appointment, but I wasn't not anxious either. I don't handle needles well. Even after 14 hours of debilitating back labor, I still winced when the nurse put in my IV in the hospital. After 30 minutes, I was finally called back. I noticed a Dwight Schrute bobblehead and mentioned it. The tech and I talked about our love of The Office, and I told her we had watched it last night. It was the episode where Andy proposes to Angela and steals the show from Jim and Pam. We laughed about it, I was at ease, and how bad could this be?

She put the tourniquet on my arm and flicked my veins over and over. Something about that sensation was like nails on a chalkboard and I wanted to snap. Then she did it to the other arm. Then a different tourniquet back on the original arm. I felt like I was being taunted. Is it time? No? Not yet? When? HELP. It reminded me of when I used to get my eyebrows waxed, and the lady's hand lingered next to the strip of hot wax on my eyebrows. I would brace myself waiting for the stinging, burning pain, never knowing when it was about to hit. Back and forth she went, trying to find a viable vein. My blood pressure was skyrocketing. Just get it over with already. Finally she thought she found a vein, and she grabbed the needle. "Are you sweating yet?" she joked. Oh, I was.

She jabbed the needle in and it didn't hurt as much as I was expecting, but I could not for the life of me relax. "If you lean over any further you're going to fall off the chair!" Hand to God, I thought I was sitting straight up. "Don't bend your elbow, stop leaning, wait stop--sit up, arm straight, no! Stop bending! Relax!" I had zero control over myself. I think my body was involuntarily trying to curl into the fetal position to protect itself from more trauma.

She couldn't get any blood to flow. She dug the needle further in my arm, swirled it around, pulled it out, put it back in. Nothing. I was about to climb up the wall. I was trying to think back to our conversation about The Office and pictured Andy singing "Under my Anger-ella, ella, ella, ay, ay, ay" and giggled, because as the title of my future memoir says, I'm laughing so I don't cry. My bravery levels are at an all-time low first thing in the morning with no coffee.

She pulled the needle out and released the tourniquet. "We're going to have to try your hand." I knew you could get an IV there, but I honestly did not know you could get blood drawn there. Feel free to laugh at me, but I just never thought about it. I asked if it would hurt more or less. I already knew the answer, but I was hoping she would tell me something different. She did not lie to me, because I had to stifle a bloodcurdling (pun intended) scream when she stuck the needle in. I realize I'm talking about getting blood drawn here and not a biopsy or childbirth, BUT IT HURT SO BAD. It at least distracted me from worrying about the results. I will swear till my dying day that I'm not a hypochondriac, but if you pressed me, I might admit that I'm concerned the results will not have any actual numerical results but will just say CANCER across the board.

[Update: the results are and I'm healthy. Phew.]

This isn't the first thing I've irrationally worried about this week. James has woken up the last two mornings with a bloody nose. It was on the sheets yesterday morning, so I had to wash them before my appointment. When I stumbled into the bathroom this morning, there was a large drop of blood on the counter. When I went to wipe it off, all the Dateline episodes we've watched lately came back to haunt me. What if something actually happened to him, and this blood is evidence? What if they can tell blood was wiped away and they think I'm trying to cover up the fact that I murdered him? What if I'm convicted and spend the rest of my life in prison? Thankfully he was perfectly alive and well.

If only I could bleed as easily as he does, I may not have had such a traumatizing morning at the lab. I would say it's going to be awhile before I visit another doctor after this week, but as I was writing this, my dentist's office emailed AND texted me that I'm overdue for my appointment.

Maybe I should've gotten my blood drawn at the dentist's office, because they never fail to make my gums bleed buckets.