Believe in the Flowers.

Carol of the Zombie Jesus!

Namely, it is 5:30 AM AGAIN and for some reason I am up. I'd make some kind of sarcastic comment about the sunrise, but it has been raining for several hours on my end of things and as such the only thing that's visible is a bunch of nasty-looking gray that I'm assuming is supposed to be clouds. This irritation (DO NOT LIKE) has coupled itself with our leaky roof, meaning that now, instead of just having water running down our walls at the most inopportune times (like, say, when Colin has his computer plugged in and running), we also get this painfully obvious "drip" sound.

The dripping, you see, is from the ceiling of the floor above us. Dripping down onto the drop-ceiling tiles that we've been blessed with. Only, it's dripping down onto ONE tile in particular, and said tile is beginning to sag and look generally displeased with the water that is collecting on it.

Naturally, this tile is the one DIRECTLY ABOVE Colin's computer. If it fell I can only imagine the amount of disgusting, moldy, sitting water that will dump itself onto his monitor, keyboard, computer, power strip - you know, anything and everything useful and irreplacible. Not to mention all of the shit on his desk that I'm fairly sure he doesn't want drenched with moldy water.

The solution to this is, of course, to have someone come in and fix the roof. Except our lease technically ends today (although we're being given the "right" to stay until our house has, uh, flooring and appliances, imagine that) and the bank probably couldn't care less at this point if the house was crumbling on top of us, as long as it wasn't, you know, something they could get sued for. So instead of fixing the problem, we have a leaking ceiling. I would hate to think about what the floor above us looks like - I'm actually trying not to - and instead am focusing completely on the fact that THIS IS SO FUCKING IRRITATING.

I kind of want to scream and cry for a while.

Lastly, for today, everybody go add to the 1000+ notes of congratulations: Dooce had her baby. Marlo Iris Armstrong (MIA! Yes!) is a badass of a newborn who had the audacity to arrive ON HER DUE DATE. Seriously. She is one cute kid.

So a couple of days ago I started having some issues with swelling in my feet and ankles. This is incredibly normal for pregnancy, so I thought nothing of it. The next day I noticed that the swelling was capable of something called "pitting" - meaning that if I pushed a finger into my foot or ankle, I would leave a small indentation that remained for upwards of 30 seconds or so, or until I rubbed it out. Typically this is a sign to watch your sodium intake and monitor for further swelling elsewhere on your body (hands, face). By that night, I felt disgusting - a headache coupled with diarrhea and nausea that thankfully never turned into vomiting. I was exhausted and somewhat lightheaded, which led to me running to a local Hy-Vee to check my blood pressure (an unremarkable 130/62) - and at the behest of my husband and mother, the next morning I started making phone calls. It took the equivelant of several eons to finally get in touch with an overworked triage nurse who revealed to me, a couple of hours after the clinic I visit opened, that they were massively short-staffed. I was scheduled for an emergency appointment later that day with a doctor I had never seen or heard of, and told to keep my feet up and drink water until then.

My appointment was, at best, incredibly boring. I ended up waiting upwards of an hour just to be put back into an exam room, and once in, I had to wait another 45 minutes for the mystery doctor to show up. The highlight of my entire time there was when I attempted to give the obligatory urine sample and somehow managed to get my hand caught - resulting in the spillage of my own bodily fluids onto the back of my jeans. Sigh. I explained it away to the nurse who had been attending to me up until that point as nothing more than a simple accident - that I had put my pants down into a puddle of water on the floor in the tiny lab bathroom (the sink is directly next to the toilet in the world's best example of awkward positioning). I was too lucky that it didn't smell, and as soon as I got home I ripped my pants off and happily told Colin the same story I had told the nurse who had asked why I was trying to dry off my butt. Anyway, long story short, my blood pressure has not escalated to a dangerous point, despite my headaches and nausea. I drink plenty of water, so dehydration is not the cause. My heartrate is somewhat elevated, around 100 beats per minute, but my urine is clear of protein. Unfortunately, my feet are still swollen and a lot of the problems I started out with the other day still exist and are actually worse to some extents.

But none of this explains my frustration.

When I spoke to the doctor I saw, she told me that if I truly didn't feel well, and since the swelling and pitting was likely not going to go away, then other than a good pair of support hose the best I could do was stop working. My work conference call was switched from this morning to last night, so I emailed my supervisor to inform him that I would be stopping work earlier than expected. Of course, I'm an idiot and didn't give him a clear indication as to WHEN, but I thought I had implied that it would be ASAP - meaning that though I was scheduled to work today, I wouldn't be showing up to do so. My boss said last night on the call that he and I would discuss it today at some point, but gave no indication as to when, exactly. So I emailed him. No response. Called him this morning, left a voice mail, no response. Now I am stuck - do I go into work anyway today since I'm still technically scheduled and risk getting in trouble for having gone in if he has already removed me from the payroll temporarily, or do I not go in and risk getting in trouble because I was supposed to? I'm going to try to call him once more, but it has been agreed between Colin, my mother, and I that if I can't get a hold of him, I'm going to work this evening.

So, yes, I am frustrated - very frustrated. Sigh.

Work beckons in just a few hours, and I've been up for two and a half hours now, struggling desperately with acid reflux problems that were kind enough to stop when my insomnia kicked in about an hour ago. I'd say I'm honestly not tired in the least, as when I got up originally the sky was dark but the birds had decided that 3 AM was a GREAT time to start making all sorts of ungodly noises. Now, the sky's getting lighter by the minute. I swore to myself an hour ago when it was still perfectly dark that I would crawl back into bed, in front of the air conditioner that's running steadily and optimistically on "fan" and the "fan" that is running on "medium" in a desperate attempt to keep at least one room of this apartment livably "cool" (and yes, I know that spellcheck says "livably" isn't a word, but it doesn't offer any options that make sense, so I'm leaving it).

Severe thunderstorm warnings have been popping up off and on for the last hour or so, all about 15 minutes to our north, although the rain itself is a guarantee that I'm only waiting for right now. Thankfully, it seems we'll be escaping the baseball-sized hail yet again. Needless to say I'm okay with that, seeing as how our windshield already has a crack we can't afford to repair at the moment, and shattered dents bigger than my fist seem like an added inconvenience that I have no intention of humoring. My phone is set up to receive weather alerts from various sources - mostly the incredibly vague, irritatingly slow-updated Weather Channel - and when I hear it make that lovely little dinging noise from over by the bed I take a moment to glance at my email. Yes, I get numerous weather alerts from multiple sources. When you feel like you're living every day in fear of tornadoes and other massively unpleasant weather events, you feel justified in being over-prepared - and constantly nervous and jittery. Anyway, I tend to know that if I'm getting messages before 9 AM, it usually isn't good - either someone's trying to inform me of some life-changing event that I probably didn't want to know about in the first place, or the weather is about to try to kill me and it's time to go into panic mode until I have satiated my need to know exactly what's coming, when, and how. The problem with the updates from The Weather Channel is that they send you county-specific warnings that boldly proclaim in the first few letters that they are YOUR CITY, IN YOUR COUNTY, IN YOUR STATE, OH DEAR GOD, BETTER RUN FOR IT WHILE YOU CAN. This is, obviously, not always the case, as severe thunderstorm or tornado warnings are specifically issued for smaller areas that tend to encompass only portions of counties. Therefore, while a warning may be issued for a part of my county, that is absolutely no guarantee that my city is actually affected or is anywhere near this warning. Imagine being terrified of spiders, then getting alerts every 10 minutes or so from someone reminding you that even if you can't see them, there are typically spiders within five feet of EVERY SINGLE PERSON NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE. Especially when you sleep. And they're all brown recluses or wolf spiders (regardless of your location and their ability to survive there), and they all want to kill you. Specifically. They want to come and find YOU and crawl into every orifice. Maybe lay some eggs, who knows what they feel up to today. It's kind of like that.

So here I am, listening to the occasional and relatively faint rumble of thunder, watching the sky get lighter, KNOWING that these warnings have absolutely nothing to do with me, but dammit, I'm up waiting for the rain anyway. I can tell already that it's cloudy; the typical pretty sunrise colors that I've gotten to see off and on throughout my pregnancy-induced insomnia episodes have been absolutely glorious. Today, however, the sky is nothing but a muted, dark gray. There is some indication of texture, but it's discreet, and thanks to my failing eyesight I honestly couldn't tell you for the life of me if that texture is real or if it's me hallucinating my morning away.

Other updates are relatively innocuous - we will be staying in our current apartment until the house we wanted from the beginning of this process has appliances and flooring. Personally, I'm willing to get the hell out of Dodge as it is and live out of boxes and coolers for a while, but the owners seem to think that isn't feasible, so for now, we wait with bated breath to be told we're allowed to finally move. Our lease ends on the 16th of this month, and our original fears of being homeless between living arrangements were thankfully culled when we were informed that there was no need for us to do anything differently. Now, the problem is packing. A woman who is eight months pregnant and constantly has a two-year-old in tow has no real desire (believe me) to pack up the contents of an apartment that, originally, was intended to be a long-term dwelling. We have shit out of our ears, to be honest, and while I can't say that I'm happy about it, this is a perfect opportunity to grow the hell up and start getting rid of a few things. We've done so off and on thus far, but haven't made a serious attempt to dive into the worst of it - that, of course, being the basement and two closets. We know we have between three weeks and a month before moving day, but unfortunately, that will also be pushing it frighteningly close to the arrival of Kid #2. Here's hoping all goes well and that the little punk has no intention of making his way into the world early - I've never heard of anyone HOPING to be overdue, but this one time, my God, I want to not pop 'till the end of the month. Please grant me that one wish, won't you?

Financially we are still struggling, always struggling. Things will only get worse, for sure, when at the end of the month I finally stop working. I was loathe to set a date but realized that by putting it off I was, at best, inconveniencing the guy who had agreed to take over for me (ironically enough it's the same guy that was doing this before I took over his position). My last day will either be at some point in the last week of June or July 5th, depending on the other guy's vacation plans for that weekend, if any. If he's on vacation, I'll be working on the 5th. If not, I won't be - that simple. As it is, work has been getting more and more difficult. Standing for long periods has been hell, and the supposedly-unrelated-to-anything dizzy spells (accompanied by nausea and the distinct sensation of wanting to black out, never mind the cold sweats) have become more frequent. I am running out of clothing that actually fits, and am left with three pairs of incredibly ugly scrub pants that my mother purchased for me a couple of months ago, and a few skirts that are not considered acceptable for work. The pants, of course, are not only big around the waist but also happen to be incredibly large in the crotch - so much so that even when I pull them up to just under my boobs, the crotch of the pants is still hanging somewhere around mid-thigh. I have never felt so hideous, so exposed, so traumatized when wearing those pants. They make me feel as though I can never hope to be taken seriously.

Add in that I sweat like a half-ton man in 120 degree heat in the desert and I'm sure you can see why nonabsorbent light khaki-colored blends and I just don't get along. Because, yes, I sweat EVERYWHERE.

Pregnancy, I hate you. You're lucky the outcome is adorable.