Thirty-five weeks today. After a few weeks of quiet gloating that I hadn't even had the first whisper of a contraction, I got walloped with a huge one on Sunday; they've been sort of on and off ever since. Not strong, but definitely noticeable, and they were quite clear on the fetal monitoring tape on Sunday night.
Hang on, you say. Why were you on a fetal monitor on Sunday?
Oh yes. Well. That. Very compressed version of events: a week of mild flu symptoms with no fever, followed by a freaky-looking rash that appeared on Friday morning and by Sunday was so itchy, painful, and generally distressing that I called my midwife. Who told me to come in to the ER. Which I didn't want to do, because our local ER is awful. But she was in L& D delivering a baby, so she said, come in here and I'll look at you. Which she did. As did the on-call OB. Who both said that the baby looked fine, but that I had, um, shingles.
So, now I am on antivirals, the kids had to get varicella shots because even though they're going to get chickenpox or not no matter what at this point, the shots should make it milder and make it less likely that I will come home with a newborn baby to a houseful of poxy children.
To say that I am wildly uncomfortable at this point would be an understatement. The shingles rash doesn't just hurt, it itches; the rash on my legs itches; I'm still, after seven months, congested and coughing at night; I'm having contractions, and, you know, I'm eight months pregnant, so I'm huge, slow, and I have to go to the bathroom every thirty seconds. But as much as I'd like this part to be over, I don't want it to be over for at least another two weeks and much preferably another three, so that nobody will be contagious anymore by the time IY"H the baby comes. We'll see how that one works out.
Avtalyon's new thing is putting on his big brothers' underwear--one pair per leg, usually. He pulls them on, stands up, and they fall off. Then he tries again. Sometimes he takes underwear out of their drawer and brings it to me to put on over his clothes. Which, obligingly, I do. I'm happy to report that neither of his brothers really seem to mind this much, as long as he doesn't do anything like nab Iyyar's most bestest Super Grover underwear. He's very into fire trucks, especially the fire truck pages of one particular truck board book; he imitates Iyyar imitating firetrucks, and it can all get very loud. Phrase of the week: "Oh no!", accompanied by theatrical pressing of palm to cheek and, occasionally, dramatic intake of breath.
Iyyar is getting really good at the alphabet. He can identify most of the letters and today, out of nowhere, drew the letter R. Then he showed it to me. "Look! It's a R!" And it was. He is having a really hard time sitting still--I remember this from when Barak was in the same playgroup, that he'd come home and just want to wander/run around the house all afternoon. I don't mind this at all in principle but it's hard when I'm trying to feed him dinner or something like that. He still wants me to tuck him in at night and occasionally wakes up at night crying that he's not tucked in. Absolutely nary a whisper of any kind of tummy issues, which is still just so amazing to me. He goes to the bathroom on his own and doesn't even need reminding; no constipation, no diarrhea, just normal, quick, bathroom trips without commentary. He had his first hamburger tonight; after the shots, we all went to the "hot dog store" for a post-trauma treat, and he asked for a hamburger instead of a hot dog. Fine with me. But when he saw it, he started to cry: I want a hot dog! Then he took the top off the roll the better to explain his dissatisfaction and his expression changed. "Oh! It's churkey!" No, it's not actually turkey, but if it makes you happy to think it is, great. Half a gallon of ketchup and many bars of the Happy Food Song later, it was almost gone. He had French fries, too.
Barak is all about the Lego these days. I think I mentioned that we recently acquired a huge Rubbermaid bin of little Lego from a work friend's garage sale; it is the lifetime Lego collection of her two adult sons and I have no plans to ever purchase Lego in a store again. Barak had not been showing much interest in, or inclination to learn, aleph-bais; so I made him a chart, some flash cards, and told him that if he could fill in half the chart--meaning, he knew the letters cold on sight every time, and also the sounds they made--he could fill a plastic cup with Lego from the box. This was quite a powerful motivator and on Sunday he got all the way up to nun sofis. Reward: a dragon, a cannon, a bunch of storm troopers, and whatever else he could fit in there. He loves school and especially his rebbe, who I think is amazing. He currently prefers red grapes to green, and likes cutting his grapes in half with a plastic knife. He's started eating red peppers occasionally, but cucumbers are still the vegetable of choice; he loves grating cheese, so I buy it in blocks now whenever I can.
I think that's it. Knitting isn't happening nearly as much as I wish it could, but that's life. I have a lot of speeches to write and a lot of stuff to get done in the next few weeks (I hope it's that many...) It still hasn't really sunk in that there may soon be a new child around here. I'm kind of at that point of pregnancy where you feel like you've been pregnant forever and you always will be, and the baby idea seems just very very remote. Even though said baby idea is kicking me in the bladder right now. And on that note...