Friday, January 25, 2013

in the wee hours of the morning...

i woke up very early this morning to pains in my stomach.  i had been laying on my left side when suddenly my eyes were open, and i felt very uncomfortable.  "am i hungry?" i wondered.  "is this labor? do i need to use the bathroom?"  i stumbled around in the dark and found my cell phone.  2:19 a.m.  i padded quietly down the hall and downstairs to the bathroom.  minutes later, i returned to the warmth of my bed and laid on my back next to john, listening to the rhythmic hum of his breathing.  in the distance, i could hear a siren.  the pain in my stomach had somewhat subsided, and i could feel sleep closing in.  i closed my eyes and thought for a moment about things i still need to do before the baby comes.

nothing seemed that pressing, though.  nothing too urgent nagged at me, and i sank further into the bed, moving a little closer to the warmth of my sleeping husband.  suddenly a thought popped into my head and i blinked open my eyes.  how many nights i had laid in this bed and wished and hoped and prayed and pleaded to be pregnant.  how many nights i had resigned myself to the fact that our household was limited to me, the man sleeping beside me and the little towhead down the hall.  and how sad that had made me.  how it made me feel like a failure. 

now i was in such a different place.  am in such a different place.  i can feel the gentle and sometimes not-so-gentle kicking of a baby growing stronger every day.  i can feel his tiny little hands pressing back when i push on my stomach.  i can see the excitement on his brother's face when i explain that the baby will be here soon and he reiterates, "the baby will pop out soon?!  hip hooooooray!" 

sometimes i find myself thinking, though, about what i would have been like if this wasn't where i was.  if this wasn't the road i got to travel.  if i never got to see that second line on yet another pregnancy test.  would this life have been enough for me?  would i have been okay with the hand i was dealt?  would i have been a good wife to john?  a good enough mother to jack?  or would i have cried myself to sleep and felt empty on holidays?  would i have felt a pang of jealousy when friends and relatives announced pregnancy?  sometimes it's very important to me to be able to assure myself that it would have been okay.  that i would have still managed.  and not just managed - but lived life the way i wanted to, intended to, regardless of less than ideal circumstances.  like getting what i wanted somehow made me a brat and i have to prove to someone, anyone that i could have made it through - persevered - triumphed - forged ahead - even in the face of adversity.  but laying in my bed this morning, i thought, i don't know if i could have been that person. 

right before i learned i was pregnant, i felt like i had made progress in accepting that my own fertility was not in my hands.  that i couldn't control many things - including the size of my family or if/when we would welcome another baby into our lives.  but did i make any progress at all? does it matter?  can i move on?  will i ever hear the questions "when are you going to try again?" "how many kids are you going to have?" "when is x getting another sibling?" without feeling a pang of anxiety?  will i ever be able to let go of residual anger at the way people in my life responded to what i was going through? 

in the quiet darkness of my bedroom this morning, these questions seemed less urgent than they otherwise do.  i pondered them, but didn't feel any overwhelming pressure to resolve them one way or another.  around 3:30, i determined that the pains in my stomach were actually hunger pains, and i made my way to the kitchen for half a bowl of cheerios.  i laid back in my bed and eventually drifted back to sleep.

... only to be woken by jack yelling at 5:20 a.m.  it sounded like he was having a nightmare, and i bounded out of bed and down the hallway to his room to soothe his little writhing body.  it took a few minutes to calm him down, and after a diaper change, he opted for the comfort of mom and dad's bed (a total rarity for our generally very-independent-very-good sleeper) and so we (me, puppy, blanky - the other puppy, teddy and his white blanket) made our way back down the hall.  jack settled in between john and i and laid there in the stillness.  he did what he has done since he was born, matched his breathing to mine, and we laid next to each other, our chests rising and falling together.  his hand reached over to touch my face, his little fingers rested on my cheek, and i saw his eyes blinking in the darkness.  he snuggled in closer.

after thirty minutes or so, it became apparent that he wasn't going back to sleep.  he wanted water, he wanted a story, he wanted to talk about his puppy.  while john is much more patient than i when it comes to certain things (toddler eating habits, messes around the house, disorganization in general), i have resigned myself to the fact that i  will not be getting a solid eight hours of sleep for a very long time (eighteen years?!) and i am much more patient with waking earlier/in the middle of the night.  so, jack and i returned to his room and laid next to each other in his bed.  he requested that i read "the giving tree" and "lost and found."  he wanted a granola bar and warm milk.  we discussed the need to be quiet when other people were sleeping, and i reminded him that very soon his baby brother would be here and it would be extremely important to whisper if he woke up when it was still dark outside.  "okay," he answered very seriously.  "i promise.  i be VERY quiet!" he exclaimed in a not-so-quiet voice.  he struggled to keep his eyes open in the dimly lit room, and i rubbed his back and sang him a few lines of edelweiss, his favorite "lullabye" since he was a baby.  after a time, i tiptoed out of his room and back into mine.  it was silent for a few minutes before he started calling for me again.  john rolled over, visibly irritated. "he needs to go back to bed!" he grumbled.  "why is he awake right now?!"  i was tired, too, but i just felt like maybe jack needed his mom this morning. 

back to his room, i scooped him up and carried him to the rocking chair in our bedroom.  he snuggled up on my chest and closed his eyes.  we rocked and rocked, and i thought and thought.  i wondered if this would be the last time i would rock my son before his brother was born.  i wondered if jack felt like the time was drawing near, like he could sense that things were about to change and he needed to reassure himself of his place in my heart.  do kids think about things like that?  are they aware of the magnitude of additional siblings in the days leading up to birth?  i hugged his little body closer and silently thanked him for all the precious moments he's given me, the laughs and the tears and the opportunities to grow.  the forgiveness and patience he's shown me when i had no idea what i was doing as a new mom or even a mom two plus years into this journey.  i said a silent prayer of thanks for all the "mama's" he's uttered, the hugs he's shared and the kisses on my cheek.  i don't know why i felt this overwhelming need to express to him in some way how grateful i am to be his mom, but i guess it's just one more thing i'm glad to have completed before his new brother arrives. 

i won't pretend that parenting is all a bunch of roses and rainbows and unicorns and happiness all the time.  because it isn't.  it's a lot of sleepless nights and worry and hard work, but mixed in with all of that are so many joyous, amazing, precious moments that make it worth any less-than-ideal times.  despite the 5:20 a.m. wake-up call this morning, i am so glad that i got a little extra time to snuggle with my firstborn.  i know these special moments might not come as easily in the coming weeks, and maybe he knows that, too... either way - i'm treasuring all these moments - whether they come at 5 a.m. or p.m.! 

Monday, January 21, 2013

In which I share my true feelings regarding the FLU

The black plague of death otherwise known as FLU SEASON 2012-2013 can kiss my ass, thank you very much.  I'm going out on a limb here, and I'm going to be a smidge dramatic, but I would really rather give birth to a child than have the flu.  Understand that this is coming from a woman who had an uncomplicated delivery the first time around.  This is also coming from a woman who is very tired, very pregnant and very ready to never have to see another jug of Pedialyte for a good long time.  At least at the end of a 12-24 hour labor, you have an adorable cuddly newborn to kiss and hug and snuggle.  At the end of a 12-24 hour flu sickness, you have a shit ton of laundry and an entire house to disinfect.

If you can't tell, we've been a little under the weather lately.  I am hoping that this week brings more sleep and less germs.  I have to be honest when I say that one of the most heartbreaking things I've ever witnessed was my two-year-old apologizing for throwing up.  John made a 3:30 a.m. run to Walgreens for some provisions and after he left, Jack asked, "Daddy mad at me?"  I wanted to cry and made a silent vow that I would offer to be sick for any/all remaining flu seasons of my life if my poor little angel would just get well  (you know, because bargains offered to no one in particular in the middle of the night are always super successful).

Anyway, the update on this front is: we are alive and (hopefully) out of the woods in regard to sickness (fingers crossed), I am still pregnant (legs crossed) and there is a lot of laundry piled up in my basement.  Hope everyone has a great week... sans germs!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

there's no buddy...

i am sitting here, sipping on some hot chocolate and listening to crooked still.  for one of the first times throughout the past 8+ months, i feel very pregnant.  not heavy.  not sore.  not achy.  i just feel a very strong sense of being with child if that makes any sort of sense.  which it probably doesn't.  i find myself waxing philosophical when the house is quiet and i am listening to music and thinking too much about anything and everything.

this is the first weekend in a very long time that i had no real agenda, no rigid to-do list of work projects that needed to be completed, no sewing projects begging to be completed, and no housework that can't wait until later this week or even next weekend.  of course yesterday began earlier than it needed to... i mean, why wouldn't jack wake up an hour earlier than normal on the one day i could sleep in?! (he and his sideKICK (emphasis on the KICK) both had the same idea, i suppose, since little man was jabbing me in my ribs ferociously from about 5 a.m. on... )  anyway, i knew that we could head off any impending crabbiness from waking up a little too early with a mommy-son date to donut boy, our local fried dough establishment.  i wish i could bottle up these precious little moments with him.  he is so fun and full of life and he really enjoys our adventures together.  yesterday, when i was in line to get the donuts, he was sitting at a table, calling to me, "hi mom!  don't worry!  i'm sitting.  no screaming, no yelling, just donuts!  sprinkles, please.  thanks, mom!"  we were sitting there enjoying our breakfast when he randomly kissed my cheek and said, "i love you, mom!  we're having fun!"  if i hadn't been in a room full of strangers, i might have cried.  these are the moments worth living for - fleeting, precious, perfect.  of course, later in the day, i always let myself reflect on how many more spontaneous kisses i will receive on the cheek before i will be the annoying mom who jack can't wait to avoid... and i should stop doing that and just appreciate the wonderful moments for what they are.

speaking of precious moments, my sister and nephew were in town this week, and is THIS not one of the more precious moments you've seen captured on film?!

 i just melt at the sight of little babies clasping their hands.  i also melt at the sight of jack being tender and sweet with his little cousin.  he was SO attentive and gentle with baby petey.  showing him all his toys, finding "soft" toys to share and telling him stories to calm him when he fussed.  in fact, he wanted to bring petey in his bed to sleep, but i think we're at least a few months away from cousin sleepovers (can't wait for that, though!)

since we had no real agenda this weekend, we decided to tackle a fun "baby brother is coming soon" project envelope... an art project for the gallery wall in the boys' shared room.  (wow, that was weird... to say "boys' room" and realize that soon - there will be children - multiple - sharing that space)  anyway, i let jack paint a canvas after i had put a quote down with stickers.  when he was finished, i peeled the stickers back to reveal jack's new masterpiece!

 "mom, it says g, b, h, x marks the spot!" - jack
 paintshirt throwback to the alma mater, held in place by a classy hair tie

 "this paint looks like blood, mom!  (pause) it's NOT blood, mom!  it's paint!" - jack

 the finished product.

 the masterpiece on the gallery wall.  as jack said - "this is for baby brother.  he might love it!"  
we can only hope!

we're one step closer to being ready to welcome baby brother!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

on battling the post-holiday blues.

this is the soonest i have ever taken down my christmas decor (jan. 4) and the most emotionally stable i have ever felt while doing so.  and did i mention that i'm also very pregnant?!  this is no small feat... but i suppose it has something to do with thinking ahead to all of the other fun things that will be happening around here in the coming weeks.

jack and i started on the first of our "before the little brother comes" adventures.  we started friday night off right (on daddy's suggestion) with a trip to cherry berry - this frozen yogurt place where you add toppings galore and gorge to your heart's content.  jack had already been there with daddy and his friends, so he was very helpful in explaining how to navigate the process and which flavors to try.  after successfully filling ourselves with a healthy amount of frozen yogurt, we all made the trek to joann fabrics where jack was to pick out some new fabric for two special projects.

i needed to make some more cloth diaper wipes since soon enough there will be another bum to change, clean, wipe, etc. around here, and here are jack's final selections for flannel fabric choices:


very two-year old boy appropriate, right?  next on the agenda was to choose some fabric for a new apron so he could help make some freezer meals in the coming weeks.  

he picked the fabric, which was a very intense process that involved touching every single home decor fabric option and explaining to everyone that walked near us that we were making an apron.  after approximately 43 minutes in the store, we left with our selections, and now jack has this apron to assist in our culinary pursuits.

 putting the new apron to the test

 helping make our favorite new breakfast recipe 
(a GREAT option for little helpers... what 2 year old hell bent on mass destruction can't get behind tearing up a loaf of bread?!)

 and... the final product.  i'm telling you - this recipe is heavenly.  jack describes it as "breakfast cake" - doesn't that tickle your taste buds?!

hope you're having a great weekend - after a day of getting busy with my sewing machine, i found myself back in a familiar mindset - i should open an etsy shop and quit my day job!  i could be creative 24 hours a day, sip coffee and sew while watching old "wire" episodes on dvd....  lest those feelings overpower me - we are on our way to the grocery store to run errands and do other reality-based tasks.  have a wonderful sunday!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

countdown to baby.

well, i'm officially in the throes of the third trimester. sleeping is difficult, there's no room in my stomach for food and i'm making insane "lists" of things that NEED to be accomplished before the little guy makes his entrance.  you know that point when you look down at your to-do list and it seems so lengthy and daunting that you can't even begin one task?  that's where i'm at.  so - i'm just going to ignore most of the "you have to's" and "don't forget about's" and "make sure to's" and focus instead on this completely unnecessary BEFORE BABY ADVENTURES CALENDAR i made with my new cricut cartridge (one of john's very thoughtful xmas gifts!)

yes, i know - making intricate little envelopes with tiny icons on them was not necessary nor a particularly productive use of my time, but it does, on the other hand, tie in with my main goal for the next few weeks - concentrate on making this a fun and exciting time for jack, as he prepares to be a big brother.  john and i have had 8+ months to get used to the idea of welcoming a new addition into our family, but only recently has jack really seemed to understand the concept.  i really want to focus on making this a smooth transition and, to that end, i made eight little envelopes with ideas/adventures/tasks for us to complete prior to the arrival of little baby brother.  jack so enjoyed the advent calendar activities that i thought this might be a great idea to help with the changes that lie ahead.

so... i'll be sharing the fun right here as we check off the days that remain before the ole due date.  and lest you think that i'm REALLY overdoing it with these ADORABLE little envelopes - please note: i have a sink full of dirty dishes, a messy bathroom, unfolded laundry and a pile of bills that need to be paid.  and paper making supplies strewn all over my living room.  PRIORITIES, people!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

I hope your 2013 has kicked off wonderfully!  At some point, I plan to do some in depth reflecting on 2012 because it was such a big year for me, in many ways, but for now, I'm going to keep this short & sweet.

I'm sort of over resolutions.

I feel like presenting things I want to accomplish in such a formal way has this paralyzing effect, and it ends up jinxing me.

So - this year, I'm keeping it simple.

I'm going to have a baby this year.  We're going to add to our family.  And I'm really, really, really excited about that.  

Here's to a blissful 2013 full of family, adventures and love!