Tuesday, October 31, 2006
All Saints Day
. . . for when a child is born the mother also is born again. ~ Gilbert Parker

The arrival is impending, looming just beyond this mountain of a night I'm supposed to make it past - without running around the house like a child before Christmas. It's going to be impossible to sleep through the whisperings of my mind...tomorrow, I'll hold her and know beyond words that I've known her forever.

My husband and I are waking before dawn to make the hour long drive to the hospital where they'll hook me up to monitors, pump me with IV fluids, then break my water. If all goes well, I should be meeting her by the late afternoon.

And hopefully, I'll be able to post her story and pictures here soon.

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers and notes of encouragement.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Then, Now and Again
Before this, my shirts were coffee-speckled and I wore stickers beside my eye. I sifted through lazy afternoons like this like they weren't a limited commodity - one that could pass away, or become fleeting and rare and always an occasion.

I frothed milk and pumped espresso for a living. I smiled often and wore t-shirts with innocent words stretched across my breasts - Only in Bellingham. Got great tips.

Today, it's nearly four-thirty in the afternoon and I'm waddling - t-shirt and sweatpants, haven't bothered with a bra. Waiting, without sparkles or stickers or coffee, for the time to arrive. This is now.

A week from now, I'll be different yet again. If I'm still with-child on my due date, they're bringing me in to break my water and I'll wash away again with the tide.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Thoughts at Two and a Half Centimeters...
I'm not in the mood to have a baby.

I actually said that to my husband last night - as though having a baby is something that requires the right feeling at the right moment, like choosing between Chinese or Italian or Action or Comedy.

And, if I'm being nakedly honest here, I'll admit that what I said is not untrue. Life right now is comfortable and nice. The three of us have created for ourselves a home and a routine that works and makes us all happy...and yes, I'm nervous about adding a new person to the equation. Sleepless nights and the hard work of learning to navigate my way around an a new infant aside - it's this time in my life that I'm not ready to let go of. The moments of just The Boss and I at the park, or playing countless games of pat-a-cake and The Itsy Bitsy Spider. Or watching together at the door as his father pulls into the driveway and makes our family complete.

Of course, of course, I realize that these feelings are natural and normal and that any apprehension I'm having is strictly routine to the point of being boring. Yes, I'm sure. But still, at two and a half centimeters dilated and the end within days, we've reached a true point-of-no-return, and stubborn as I am, it's hard to not want to dig in my heels and hold firmly here.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Dressing a Toddler 101
Begin by asking the child in an excited tone if he would like to get dressed like a "big boy."

Assuming that you receive an enthusiastic response, encourage the child as he pulls open the drawers of his dresser and begins pulling out shirts, shorts, socks, jeans, sweatpants, etc.

Begin the undressing process by tugging at the end of one sleeve - this is like a 'start' button which will spur the toddler into a frenzy of misguided motion - an attempt to free himself from the shirt faster than you can help him.

Once Toddler's shirt has been plucked over his head, he will quickly move to his feet and begin slapping his bare belly. Don't distress while he runs amuck around the house slapping and squealing, instead, take a moment to clean up the heaps of clothing he tossed to the floor at the beginning of the process.

Putting on a simple over-the-head shirt (no buttons, snaps, zippers, etc) is the easiest part of the process. Once you've managed to wrangle the child back into a seated position, simply squeeze the neck of the shirt over his head. He will be eager to finish the task of shoving his arms into the arm holes - however, be prepared for shrill panicked squeals if he can't seem to locate his thumb at the end of his efforts. Assure him in a calm voice that his thumb isn't lost and that Mommy can in fact be of service in locating it...if he can sit still.

Once all fingers have been accounted for, try to explain to him that it's now time for "big boy" pants (again, use the most excited tone possible first thing in the morning.) If the toddler seems receptive to putting on pants, proceed to the next step. If the toddler kicks or seems to be otherwise disinterested in the process (and you are not planning on leaving the house), let him run around in his diaper and congratulate yourself on making it thus far.

For those moving on, I must warn you, it is my experience that the combination of pants and toddlers is a tricky one. Feet have a tendency to get lost, or shoved in the wrong leg hole - meanwhile the rest of the toddlers body may still be twisting and turning, reaching, etc. (Also, it should be noted that there is an increased risk of sustaining a blow to the stomach or chest while trying to kneel down and pull pants onto a toddler who is in full-thrive.)

In any event, if you are brave enough to proceed and the toddler seems to be cooperative, by all means, take a deep breath, say a quick prayer that no feet get stuck or lost or crammed into the wrong leg-hole and plow ahead. Nose down. Eyes on the prize. Do not stop for squealing, twisting or kicking. Once you've got that first foot in a pantleg, you're in it 'till the zipper is zipped and the button buttoned (zipping and buttoning are two tasks the toddler will most likely want to help with, by the way.)

As for socks and shoes...it has been my experience that these only indicate to my son that he is going to be leaving the house. On mornings when we are not leaving the house, I try to avoid socks and shoes, as he will be sorely disappointed (and quite vocal about it) once he discovers that he has put his "choo's" on in vain and that Mommy is not going to open the door for him.

Oh, and aside from mastering the art of dressing 21 month olds, I've been attempting to do some writing and school work, and picking up extra evening hours at my office-monkey job, and selling gourmet foods for busy women, and walking around with this crazy Lila-baby getting more and more cozy on my bladder. Things are hectic. I like it.


Monday, October 02, 2006
Yes, they're big.

So big in fact, that I'm attracting extra attention by wearing an outfit designed for pregnant women, (though apparently designed without taking pregnant women's breasts into consideration.) So, yes. They're big and they're out there. What do you want from me? You're lucky I'm wearing a bra, let alone a shirt (neither of which actually fit the massive things anymore), so quit your staring.

You'd think that since I work in a woman-only environment (on my one day a week spent as office slave) I wouldn't have to deal with my cleavage getting leered at. You'd be wrong. And, you may think that since I work in a mammography center, a pair of normal, healthy breasts would be oh-so passe. Sadly, it's not the case. Apparently, my bosom is fascinating to both genders.

I'm considering quoting Seinfeld on my way out the door today, "Oh, and by the way, they're real and they're spectacular."

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